I’ve been reading, and talking, and watching and listening, and I have come to the conclusion that it simply makes no sense at all to kill as a punishment for killing. I have come to realize that, once you take away the carefully crafted rhetoric about “moral imperatives” and “red lines” and “humanity”, you simply cannot justify the lobbing of missiles into a sovereign nation.
I was beginning to come to that conclusion after listening to friends who believe in peace. I was brought even closer when I saw images of protestors marching against the upcoming attack.
But what really brought me to the realization that it would be entirely wrong for the US government to bomb Syria was the talk that I heard on the radio about the “moral high ground.”
The argument in favor of bombing went something like this: “The United States has always held the moral high ground against the slaughter of innocents. If we turn our backs on the use of chemical weapons, we will lose our right to lay claim to that high ground.”
And my reaction was something like this: “Say, WHAT?!”
My government has been using unmanned drones to drop bombs on suspected terrorists all over the Middle East. Even when those suspects are sitting at local cafes. Even when they are at home, surrounded by their families. Even when they haven’t had any kind of a trial or even been arrested.
According to a study by Stanford and NY Universities,
“TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 – 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 – 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 – 1,362 individuals,” according to the Stanford/NYU study.
Based on interviews with witnesses, victims and experts, the report accuses the CIA of “double-striking” a target, moments after the initial hit, thereby killing first responders.
My government knows that it has killed nearly as many civilians than the admittedly horrifying chemical weapons attack committed by Bashar Al Assad. And yet it tries to lay claim to the “moral high ground” in order to justify the use of Tomahawk Missiles in retaliation for the killing of civilians.
An attack in which there is no doubt at all that more civilians will be killed.
So I have come off the fence, and I have landed squarely on the side of peace.
I have written to my state Senators and Representatives as well as the White House. I have expressed my opinion.
Next I think I need to get myself out onto those streets to protest what I see as an act that can absolutely lay claim to the moral low ground.