Saturday, President Obama announced his decision to take military action against Syria. Thankfully, he also announced his decision to seek approval of Congress for such action.
Yesterday, our Holy Father, Pope Francis made a passionate appeal for peace for the people of Syria.
As the people of this nation, we need to do two things (minimally.) First, we would do well to heed Pope Francis’ appeal for prayer and fasting in an effort to secure this seemingly illusive peace in Syria. Second, we have a short window of opportunity to appeal to our national representatives. Please, write, call, email, tweet, facebook… but communicate to our congress a strong and unified voice: No Military Action!
Is the situation in Syria not a truly devastating time for so many innocent people? Is it not heartbreaking to see so many dying? Are not millions now living in sub-human conditions in refugee camps? Will thousands not live with physical handicaps the rest of their lives? Will not thousands more live with psychological scars as a result of the actions of this dictator? Absolutely.
But, is military action of this nation truly going to change that situation? I believe it will have no such desired effect.
We must ask ourselves: ‘What is the good to be advanced by such military action?’ To punish a dictator for the atrocious use of chemical weapons is not a sufficient answer. To send a clear message to other dictators regarding their consideration of using chemical weapons is also inadequate. To justify such action in defense of national security seems self-serving at best.
The good we seek is the cessation of violence and the restoration of order. The good we seek is a safe environment for the millions of civilians to live and put their lives, homes and neighborhoods back together.
The other serious consideration regards unintended outcomes to the use of military weapons in such a politically fragile part of the world. The US has limited if any international support for this military response. How can we not expect unknown and potentially major military responses in retaliation for this planned military strike? How can we say definitively as a nation that our military response in this situation will not further erode the fragile peace that presently exists in the Middle East? How can we not expect that such military action will not further embolden the terrorists already intent on inflicting harm upon this and many other western nations?
Tell our Congress: Work for peace. Work towards true diplomacy. Efforts to promote and defend human dignity and sanctity must apply the same principles of human decency to its actions.
Let us pray that a strong diplomatic effort, not military action, may work towards a resolution to this growing and sad chapter in our human history.
Mary Queen of Peace, Pray for us!