regarding the on-going crisis in Syria tonight. He spoke in deeply moral terms about the world’s responsibility to protect civilians from the use of chemical weapons and other WMD. Barack Obama is no George W. Bush.
The current president has argued that a military response is needed to deter Syria from further attacks against civilians using chemical weapons but at the same time we now know the president and Secretary of State John Kerry have been negotiating with the Russians on a proposal to place all of Syria’s WMD under international control so they can be destroyed – a long sought goal.
President Obama is seeking with intention to avoid military conflict as a first resort whereas President Bush used the pretext of 9/11 to invade Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with those terrible terrorist attacks. At the same time, President Obama is honoring the democratic institutions of our nation by calling on Congress to debate the path forward in Syria. Balance is being restored between the three co-equal branches of government – balance under assault since the start of the imperial presidency.
The worldwide Christian community has been nearly unanimous in arguing against military action in Syria. There are many good arguments not to engage in this conflict but I believe very seriously that the world does have a responsibility protect those who cannot protect themselves. We ought to mean “Never Again” when we talk about holocaust or genocide or the use of WMD.
The Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is right, however, when she notes that often such military interventions meant to protect civilians end up causing more harm.
Like other people of faith across the globe, I pray for a peaceful resolution that not only ends Syria of their chemical weapons but also ends the bloody civil war there that has cost over 100,000 lives. The diplomacy undertaken by the Obama Administration with Russia, soon to be debated as a resolution by the United Nations, is a much better option than more war.