I join the overwhelming chorus of American voices strongly opposed to military action in Syria.

An appropriate response in Syria is a humanitarian one. Spend the tens of millions (I’ve heard in the media projections of more than a billion dollars) that a military “solution” would cost, to support the refugee camps, into which 2 million Syrians have fled, partly because, now, of fear of American bombs.

Barack Obama, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton should stop beating their drums and wait for the U.N. inspectors’ investigation to conclude, instead of asking us to believe their self-serving offerings of evidence. And they should seriously consider Syria’s acceptance of the Russian diplomatic settlement — that Syria allow international control over its chemical weapons.

The incident in question in Syria has happened already; rushing into military action won’t undo it.

Obama’s assertion of a limited, surgical strike is ridiculous because it ignores the inevitable reality of unintended consequences. Have those in power learned nothing from the last 12 years in Afghanistan and Iraq? We attack, they and/or their allies retaliate, and there we go again, down that slippery slope. Does Obama really think that Assad will not respond in kind to a military strike?

Are the videos from Syria more disturbing than the “collateral damage” video from Iraq, made available by Chelsea Manning? Did the world intervene when the United States dropped tons of napalm on Vietnam, used white phosphorous in Iraq, or atomic bombs in Japan?

Have we forgotten the iconic photo of the burning, screaming, naked Vietnamese girl? That was our doing. Who are we to be moral arbiters?

To paraphrase Lawrence O’Donnell of msnbc: War can never be civilized. Death in war is never humane.

Frank Zimbardi


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