Ok. So generally I am for peace and against war. I'm sure you all know that. But putting that aside for the moment, I'm reading about Syria and it seems to come down to this:
Obama is angry that Assad killed people (with chemical weapons) after Obama told him not to.
So Obama wants to use a military strike (a euphamism for bombs) to kill people to punish Assad for killing people.
Does that not seem crazy? You killed people, which was wrong, so I'm going to kill people, to show you you were wrong?
For those of you who say chemical weapons are different. Yes, they are bad. But they were banned by the international community because they killed civilians instead of military personnel.
We think of war as this clean exchange of fire and death between armies. But wars as our Nation and others engage in the practice disproportionately kill civilians, with non-chemical weapons. But they are still dead.
In fact, according to the International Red Cross the civilian-to-soldier death ratio in wars fought since the mid-20th century has been 10:1, meaning ten civilian deaths for every soldier death.
So if the point of the military strike is to retaliate for civilian deaths, I think we might want to stop, pause, and look honestly at our own nation's military policies and practices and think of the millions of civilians we have killed in the midst of our wars in the last 50 years.
The Sister of Peace has now finished her preaching. You can go about your business, but please pray and work for peace!
Those are my thoughts this evening. You might also be interested in the:
- US Bishops Conference Letter to John Kerry
- Pax Christi International Statement
- Pope Francis calling for peace and dialogue
I am praying for peace and hoping that diplomacy and dialogue will win the day. I've also sent out a number of action alerts today to that end. Here are some if you'd like to join me in pounding the virtual pavement for peace.
- Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center
- Friends National Committee for Legislation
- No War in Syria Petition
If you know of others, feel free to put them in the comments.
I end this post with the words and prayer of Pope Francis:
With great suffering and concern I continue to follow the situation in Syria. The increase in violence in a war between brothers, with the proliferation of massacres and atrocities, that we all have been able to see in the terrible images of these days, leads me once again raise my voice that the clatter of arms may cease. It is not confrontation that offers hope to resolve problems, but rather the ability to meet and dialogue.
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to express my closeness in prayer and solidarity with all the victims of this conflict, with all those who suffer, especially children, and I invite you to keep alive the hope of peace. I appeal to the international community to be more sensitive to this tragic situation and make every effort to help the beloved Syrian nation find a solution to a war that sows destruction and death.
All together let us pray. . .
All together let us pray to Our Lady, Queen of Peace:
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
Everyone: Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!