TEXAS FAITH: How should the U.S. respond in Syria?
We dealt with the Mideast last week, but now there is a pointed question before Congress. This question comes with all sorts of moral parameters, so I would like to hear your answers to it as religious clergy, laity and scholars:
“Should Congress authorize direct U.S. military intervention in Syria?”
On Monday, Russia presented a proposal that would require Syria to place its chemical weapons under the watch of the international community. But if that doesn’t work, we still are left with the question of whether to authorize force.
The National Association of Evangelicals put that question to its board of directors and 62.5 percent of its directors said no.
And writing in the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, Chicago Theological Seminary’s Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite outlined 10 steps to take instead of bombing.
But Secretary of State John Kerry compellingly laid out the case last week for a strike, if nothing can be worked out diplomatically. Said Kerry:
“Our concern with the cause of the defenseless people of Syria is about choices that will directly affect our role in the world and our interests in the world.
“It is also profoundly about who we are. We are the United States of America. We are the country that has tried, not always successfully, but always tried to honor a set of universal values around which we have organized our lives and our aspirations. This crime against conscience, this crime against humanity, this crime against the most fundamental principles of international community, against the norm of the international community, this matters to us, and it matters to who we are. And it matters to leadership and to our credibility in the world.”
Kerry also asked this question:
“Some cite the risk of doing things. We need to ask what is the risk of doing nothing.”
So, how should we respond to Syria?
AMY MARTIN, Director Emeritus of Earth Rhythms and Writer/editor, Moonlady News Newsletter
A fire is not extinguished with more fire. It ends only when the oxygen, the substance that allows fire to burn, is removed.
In the Syria conflict, global munitions industries provide the oxygen. The United States and Russia supplies the guns and explosives and England supplies the Sarin gas.
As economist Lloyd J. Dumas explains, arms must be continually deployed in order for that industry to stay in business. An unexploded bomb is useless, so there is profit in war. Raytheon stock prices are way up. Harsh truth.
And now the U.S. suggests avenging the killing of Syrian citizens with more killing. Boon for Raytheon! If we truly want peace, we must stop arming the world. Raytheon protests: “But then Russia, England, France and others would get all the arms contracts!” Yes, the U.S. arms industry would collapse. And the whole world would benefit.
As Dumas points out, arms manufacturing is an inefficient and deadly way to gin up an economy. Many other industries could take that federal largesse and pump in far more dollars. Some, like alternative energy, would get at the root of why we are so interested in the Middle East: access to oil.