Last week, I felt conflicted as to how the US should respond to the gassing of citizens in Syria by the Assad government. I have since reached an opinion regarding the use of targeted missile strikes by the United States. Mr. President, don’t do it.
Assad has already killed many Syrians using conventional weapons and air strikes won’t prevent him from killing more Syrians in the future. Children are always collateral damage in a war regardless of the weapons of choice.
The use of chemical and biological weapons were outlawed after World War I at the Geneva Convention. The Chemical Weapons Convention, which further bans chemical weapons and requires the destruction of these weapons, clearly specifies:
- Declaration Requirements,
- Destruction Requirements,
- On-site Activity,
- And Penalties for non-compliance.
You can read more at the Arms Control website.
Since it is clear that using chemical or biological weapons is greatly frowned upon, I am left wondering, “Where is the outrage by the rest of the world’s nations?” Why isn’t Assad being charged as a war criminal by the Hague? European nations are timid in their response. Could this silence be because of the war crimes committed by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld when no nation spoke up? Is Putin siding with Assad because he would do the same to Russians that oppose him? Just asking.
I question why Assad used chemical weapons. He knows that President Obama claimed their use was the red line and yet Assad used them. Does he want the US to get involved? Were these chemical weapons the lure on the line? There are still too many questions that have not been answered.
Americans are tired of war. If our government is struggling to handle the current case load of our veterans, it certainly can’t afford to add to that work load. We are struggling to recover from a huge deficit by using “sequestration”. Many home bound citizens are missing meals because of cuts to Meals on Wheels and children that could greatly benefit from early education are being denied admission to Head Start. This is just some of the impact of the budgetary cuts made by Congress but yet, we are suppose to believe that the US can afford to pay for missiles. A single Tomahawk cruise missile costs approximately $1.5 million and Hellfire rockets cost about $115,000.00 each. These prices do not include the cost of transportation or the tools need to launch the weapons.
I am hopeful that the House will say “no” to President Obama’s request for military strikes in Syria.
In the meantime, you might want to dust off your yellow ribbons.
This diary at Daily Kos presents an interesting perspective.
This is the Open Thread. Speak Up!
NB: This post was created on Saturday, Sept. 7 and does not reflect any updates that may have occurred since then.