Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 4, 2013

ROOT: Enough with the war stuff already

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — OK, let’s look at this whole Syria thing rationally and try to get a grip on the situation before we actually do anything. First of all, I am hearing conflicting reports on who actually gassed those poor people just outside Damascus. I am hearing that it was the Syrian government, and then I am hearing that it was a Saudi delivery system that was accidentally activated by the rebels. Either way, we really won’t know anything until the United Nations gives the findings of its survey of the area.

The president said that he is going to debate the issue with Congress. That’s great, but he didn’t say what would happen if Congress gave the thumbs down to bombing Syria. The president claims he has the legal authority to do whatever he wants in Syria, but he prefers to talk it over with Congress. The actual truth is that neither the president nor the Congress can do anything unless Syria’s actions are considered a direct attack on the security of the United States. I think that what happened to those people in Syria was awful, but it is not a direct attack on the security of the United States. That is especially true if it was done unintentionally.

Why do we have to do this anyways? We are not the only country in the world that agreed on the current international guidelines for banning chemical weapons. Great Britain said that they don’t want any part of what is going on. What about Germany, Spain or Italy? I have not checked, but I believe the French have already surrendered unconditionally, so they will be no help. But why us? Why do we feel it necessary to police the world when we cannot police ourselves?

We have millions of people living below the poverty line and starving to death all over the United States. Millions of people are without jobs and we face a small business Armageddon with the pending changes being made by Obamacare. The country’s infrastructure is falling apart. There are tens of thousands of bridges in the United States that are unsafe for travel, but they are being used every day by people going to work and trying to survive.

This myth that every war boosts the economy needs to stop. All war does is line the pockets of government contractors and put our nation’s youth in harm’s way. This would be the fourth Middle East conflict we have put ourselves in since September 11, 2001. We call the generation that fought WWII “the Greatest Generation Ever.” That generation fought two major conflicts with WWII and Korea. This current generation is on its third and headed to a fourth. What are we trying to do? Eliminate an entire generation of Americans?

The president said (and I know because I watched it on Saturday) that taking action against Syria is something the rest of the world supports. I am not sure what planet President Obama is on, but on Planet Earth the United States is alone in this one. Even the Brits, who love a good fight, have passed on doing anything about this.

Mr. President, we are all tired of this. We are tired of fighting wars in far-off lands while our own country is falling apart. We are tired of pouring billions of dollars into policing the rest of the world while our “allies” get the chance to just pass and stay out of it. You have no international support, you have no “Coalition of the Willing,” and you have absolutely no legal right to bomb anyone that is not bombing us first. To be honest, Congress doesn’t have the right to bomb anyone either.

Can’t we just go back to the way this is supposed to work? Can’t we focus on making America a great nation and then strike back at countries that directly threaten us? We cannot win a war against Syria, Russia, China and Iran at the same time. Use your head. It would be just us and Israel. The rest of the world would just sit by and hope that the big bad bully America gets wiped out.

Mr. President, you were supposed to make America a beacon of light to the rest of the world. Instead, you have systematically made our international reputation even worse. We have no business being in Syria and we certainly have no business bombing anyone. If you bomb Syria, you will kill more civilians than the gas attack did. If you are using the death of innocent civilians as your battle cry for bombing Syria, then how does any of it make sense?

George N Root III is a Lockport resident and an American sick of war. His column appears every Wednesday, and isn't really much of a beacon of anything for anyone. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net. Don't contact him looking for answers, because he has none.