I am not pacifist, at least not in principle, though who knows? I’ve never killed anyone, nor am I likely to. Nonetheless, I have a serious issues with our “little wars” — and I sincerely hope this really IS a little war and not the start of a big one.
Wars don’t work.
They don’t solve any problems. When I lived in Israel, they were also under a brutal dictator. And before that, too. Syria has moved from brutal to brutal dictator with barely a pause in-between. We can bomb them. Send regiments. Whatever. It doesn’t change because somehow, that’s what the people want. It wouldn’t keep happening if there were a strong, national will for change.
Wars don’t fix problems.
Wars don’t make peace.
Wars don’t cure the internal socioeconomic issues of nations,
though we apparently believe they should.
It will not make them better. Cruel as it sounds, this is a country that has a bad attitude to the rest of the world — for a very long time. Does anyone really believe dropping bombs is going to make their situation better? That it will make Assad feel compelled to “have meaningful talks?” If such “talks” occurred, who thinks it would mean anything?
We have these little wars. Medium wars. Bigger wars. Again and again and again.
I keep hearing “this is a proportional response.” What does that mean?
“Mommy, Sally hit me,” says little Sarah.
And mom says: “How hard did she hit you? Did she draw blood? Do you need a hospital? Remember, sweetheart, you should only hit her back in direct proportion to how hard she whacked you. Never beat a friend harder or longer or using bigger bombs than he or she used on you. Okay, maybe a little bit bigger bomb because we want her to never forget that we can really make her hurt. PROPORTIONAL RESPONSE is our family standard.”
Mom pauses, looks around. “Here’s a good sturdy stick. Go thump your friend. Just … not in the face.”
From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli. Guess where you might find “Tripoli?” We keep fighting the same battles. We never learn anything. Surely there is a better way to deal with other nations? Because this isn’t working. It didn’t work in the past, it will not work now. It will never work. Ever.
I know we think we are fixing the problem, putting bandages on the ills of the world. Someday we’ll recognize we can’t police the planet, especially since we seem to have quite enough trouble policing ourselves.