There is a sad irony to the way Barrack Obama and John Kerry are mongering for war in Syria. Unilateral U.S. action in Syria is not supported by the American people, nor by the international community. No direct threat is being posed to U.S. interests. The only justification for war in Syria would be via belief in America’s function as a global “policing” force.
While the Al-Assad regime has clearly been an evil and murderous force in Syria, there have been frightful atrocities committed by the rebelling forces as well, particularly against Syrian Christians.Even if U.S. military action could stop Al-Assad from inflicting further horror (highly doubtful), we would likely be paving the way for an Islamic militant government armed with U.S. weapons. Sadly, there is quite a precedent for this outcome in the region.
The Global Test Forgotten
Now back to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. Isn’t the type of action they are proposing in Syria the exact thing they each campaigned against when running for President, Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008? Didn’t each rightly point out the damage of George W. Bush’s “good cop” foreign policy? Have we so quickly forgotten John Kerry’s speech about a “global test” to measure whether U.S. action had international support. When President Bush first side-stepped the United Nations it was a scandal. Now it appears to be precedent.
How did these two men change so much in such a short period of time? Is this what power does? Is it the weight of leading the most powerful country in the world and having to stand by as a dictator slaughters his people? If there was an easy way to stop such evil we would have already done it. Unfortunately U.S. airstrikes will do nothing but spread more death. Even if we succeed in overthrowing Al-Assad, we may clear the way for a far worse regime.
Proponents of peace need to remind Barrack Obama and John Kerry why we once believed in them.
A Day for Fasting and Prayer
Pope Francis has designated Saturday September 7 as a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. As Christians we are urgently called to work for peace, not to choose sides in a destructive civil war. Jesus set the example of non-violence and political neutrality even at a time when “justice” could clearly have been said to be on the side of the zealots working to free Israel from Rome.
The situation in Syria has become a grave humanitarian crisis. To try to solve this crisis through more violence will only bring more bloodshed and further destabilize the region.