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Tom Spiro: What message do we send with Syrian attack?

To the editor:

Egypt, Somalia, Burma, Sudan, Bahrain, the Republic of Congo, Chechnya, Indonesia, Colombia, Nigeria.

These are just a few of the world’s nations where today, military conflicts and civil unrest result in crimes against humanity in the most horrific and unthinkable ways.

So what makes Syria demand so much of our attention today, as did all the other countries we have brought democracy to, from Libya to Kosovo and before?

What determines this country’s selection of specific outrage, and what is the goal of our actions?

To many, it seems obvious that the U.S. is locked in a game of geo-political supremacy with the only winners being the military-industrial complex and the gaggle of private enterprises that gain windfalls in the process.

The losers are, of course, you and me, the taxpayers, but more importantly the citizens of those countries we choose to bomb whose lives are marginalized or lost.

We claim that gassing one’s own population is morally corrupt and unthinkable in a civilized society, and I agree! That is very true! Using chemical weapons on anyone, be it your our neighbors or anyone else is abhorrent. Whomever was responsible for this terrible use of banned weaponry should be condemned. But is the U.S. in a position to claim the high ground here?

Remember, we are the ones who most recently attacked Iraq and others with depleted uranium, white phosphorus, cluster bombs and all those experimental weapons we like to test that cause as much human suffering as possible. And let’s also not forget that we were allies with Saddam Hussein in our proxy war with Iran and looked the other way when he gassed the Kurds in 1988.

Given that we have no international or moral authority to bomb Syria, nor will it lead to a cessation of violence in that country and will likely have the opposite effect, does this government feel it wise to use military force just so we can look strong to the rest of the world?

It seems more likely this action will reinforce the world’s perception that the U.S is still the world’s bully and self-proclaimed police.

Tom Spiro


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