Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Responses to President Obama's Syria Speech

After some of the responses I've seen to President Obama's speech last night, I'm again surprised at the ignorance, racism, intolerance and lack of empathy shown towards the suffering of innocent people in the Middle East. In my humble opinion, the average person in the Middle East is less culpable for 9/11 than the average citizen of the United States is for the drone killings of so many innocent civilians abroad since then.
 "The most appalling cruelties are committed by apparently virtuous governments in expectation of a great good to come, never learning that the evil done now is the sure destroyer of the expected good." ~ Katherine Anne Porter
Thanks to my good friend Laura for giving me the above quote earlier today.
I am against direct US action in Syria. I don't think that direct intervention from our military can fix anything in the long haul. President Obama made some good points about the dangers of a lack of any action overall in response to the use of chemical weapons, but it certainly wouldn't be the first time that our country has made that decision. I am very skeptical of our country's ability to stay out of a larger-scale conflict that would further damage our international relationships, not to mention the region as a whole. 
All of that said, I think that anyone who says that Syrian civilians aren't deserving of any U.S. support because they supported the 9/11 terrorists is living in a fantasy world. I don't necessarily think that a direct US response will lead to a favorable outcome, but I certainly wish that there was something that could be done to protect those civilians, and to prevent future usage of chemical weapons on any population. 
Wishing that were possible does not make the reality any more probable or possible. Doing "something" because we "wish" that the outcome could be a good one is a wasted effort. We need to be pragmatic, now more than ever. Nevertheless, I hope that there is also some room for empathy and a recognition of the horrors that the Syrian populace has been witness to over the last years.