Commentary by Alfred James
Americans are vocalizing their demands in town hall meetings. Congressmen and Senators are receiving thousands of phone calls, e-mails, and letters stating the concerns of the average citizen. We are a nation that is ‘war weary,’ but are we certain anyone is really listening to us?
The people of the United States do not want any intervention into the Syrian conflict, under any circumstances. We want to wash our hands of the Middle-East, and focus on domestic issues. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that it will happen. Our government dictates to us, they do not listen.
Recent use of chemical weapons, specifically sarin gas, in Syria, has led to a call by President Obama for retaliation against the Assad regime. United Nations inspectors have verified that there was some type of chemical attack, and hundreds of people were killed. What they have not proven is who used the chemical weapons.
The first verifiable chemical weapons use was on March 19, 2013. Inspectors verified that is was implausible that the attack was instigated by the forces of Bashar Assad. The rebels, who are backed by al-Qaeda have stockpiled chemical as well. As of today, no one has seen proof of who committed the recent attack.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry claim they have proof, but who has seen it? And they are unable to answer other questions: Will the missile strikes make a difference? Will innocent civilians be killed? Will this lead to an escalation of violence in the Middle-East? Are we committing America to another involvement in another unwinnable war? What will happen if there are future chemical weapons attacks? And the bottom line is, we can’t afford it.
America is bad at its war efforts. We cannot win. We lose lives and billions of dollars, and diminish our country’s reputation and respect. In their place, we have created hatred and distrust.
Polls were taken not only of the average American, but also of our military forces. They are tired of waging war. And they know, as do the rest of us, that we have gained nothing from military action in the last seven decades.
The citizens of the United States have only one weapon, our vote. The 2014 elections are coming in just over one year. Any Congressman or Senator who votes for military action in Syria should be voted out of office, regardless of his or her party.
America must cease to be a nation of violence. Nothing has ever been solved by killing and maiming human beings. Governments do not pay the price for their actions, only the average citizen feels the result of missiles, bombs, and bullets.
The American government thrives on war. The American people are weary.
I was born into the post WWII era. But, shortly after my birth, America became involved in the Korean Conflict. The year after I graduated from high school Vietnam escalated. We lost that one too. It’s hard for me to remember a time in my 67 years that our country was not at war.
We, the people, don’t want to exist in a country that is aggressive and view war as a viable alternative to a poor economy. The average person suffers in war, not governments and the wealthy; they often thrive. The question is; ‘is anyone listening to us?’