Bombing Syria is a terrible idea


The author Ambrose Bierce once said, “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” I cannot help but agree with that long-departed fellow at this moment as my country appears poised, once again, to begin bombing another country overseas.

The focus of this letter will be President Obama’s planned course of action to attack the country of Syria. What I’ll note immediately is that my letter has little to do with “supporting the troops” or “not supporting the troops” since my concern is protecting them as well as the Syrian populace by not silently consenting to unnecessary war.

We’re still in the hyper-speed planning phase for this one, and I’d really like to know what President Obama is thinking about his own plan to bomb Syria into some kind of submission.

I’ll be blunt and say that I think his idea is the worst thing I’ve heard of since he has held presidential office, and I say that as someone that voted for him twice. But now I am reconsidering the wisdom of doing that.

Is this “hope and change?”

Is this moving “forward?”

Rather, this is a despicable repeat of our behavior in Iraq and Libya and Vietnam and so forth. It is no more ethical for a Democrat president to take us to war in Syria than for a Republican one to do it.

By no means is this letter merely a referendum on the president, though I’m sure that’s what some want it to degrade into. Realize this is about war and peace, honor and power, the latter two things we have slowly been losing as a country as of late. Yet somehow we, the public, remain very distracted.

Why not focus on domestic issues, America? Tell your leaders to desist immediately in starting another bottomless war in a country most of us could not find on a map. We always seem to have funding for our cavalier battles abroad, but not for things like Delphi salaried pensions and education. I think war, with all its drones and depleted uranium rounds, is a waste of money. There is no return on it.

Cheesy sayings like “Freedom isn’t free” and “Be a patriot” don’t apply here. This is simple. The government of Syria is extremely stupid and brutal against its own people, but we cannot deliver peace to them through the barrel of a gun or via bomb-dropping.

Instead there must be negotiation and corralling of diplomatic resources to solve this one. Otherwise I ask the Democrats and the Republicans this: would you like me to vote third-party in 2014 and every year after that?

I’d do it.

And I would convince as many people as possible to join me. As someone who has been involved with politics from a young age, I’m pretty good at advocacy.

So go ahead and try me, D.C. tough guys. And that includes the president. But don’t dare monger another war in my name.

Robert Heltzel