Oh, this one started out OK. A meeting with my Democratic Congressional representative, arranged with no expectations whatsoever that he would be actively listening much less agree to get back to me, ended on that positive note. Over the weekend he must have pondered my position opposing military intervention in Syria, because his community liaison Thomas phoned on Monday. The Congressman wanted to know if I had changed my position, in light of John Kerry’s stern remarks at the State Department, citing Assad’s “undeniable” use of a chemical weapon on the civilians of Ghouta.
Since the Tomahawks were on lock ‘n load, my email reply (below) had to be crystal clear. The survival of the species was at stake.
Just to recap, during our meeting last week I urged Rick to “actively oppose any military intervention in Syria…while supporting diplomatic approaches to conflict resolution. This preferable peaceful alternative should also include an endorsement for constitutionally approved elections scheduled for next year in Syria as a non-violent opportunity to permit political change without violence or the threat of violence. Until all key actors are seated at the negotiating table, including Iran, the political tensions at play will only escalate.” While this diplomatic alternative to “letting slip the dogs of war” may seem simplistic, it could work. A ceasefire could be obtained if the Obama Administration pressured Saudi Arabia, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, as well as Turkey to halt the flow of weapons to the Syrian opposition, while negotiating in good faith with Russia and the now moderate Iranian leadership to do the same. Appeasing Israeli right wingers and DC warmongers by wreaking additional havoc on a war-torn country that poses absolutely no threat to the US doesn’t even have an end game. Remember the end state that Bush redefined for five years? Or is the next so-called “coalition of the willing” actually gearing up for an attack on Iran?... In short, VFP (Veterans For Peace) seeks to abolish war as an instrument of national policy, so there would be no change to my position since we last spoke. As a leader in the organization and a combat veteran who knows first-hand war’s enormous costs, I would urge Rick to not line up in support of more destruction and protecting Obama’s right flank – like John Kerry. I listened to Kerry’s remarks today and he was a disgrace – he “Colin Powell-ed” us, without even the courtesy of a faked proof of a chemical attack. And this from a fellow vet that once said of the Vietnam disaster “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" Well, how about the next! Or the next kid, or the next thousand kids.
Thanks for calling, Thomas. I’m hoping Rick does the right thing.
Today it looks like similar pressure from all over the country has paid off, at least for now. Obama was forced to call for a debate and vote in Congress, for an authorization to attack Syria. Imagine that...let's hope it fails miserably. A reprieve of sorts, but there's still a hard road ahead.