I’ve been an Obama supporter from the beginning. My wife and I were serving in the Peace Corps, living in Romania, desperately gobbling up any election information we could find before he was elected POTUS. It was an exciting time. Heather stayed up the whole night to watch him win. I went to bed, assured of his victory. I’ve supported his policies to reform our healthcare and immigration system. I still have hope; I still believe that “Yes, we can!”
Except for drone strikes. Except for draconian deportations that break up hard working families without criminal records. Most importantly, except for Syria. Just because we CAN do it, doesn’t mean we should. As much as I love listening to the man speak, my anti-war position was not swayed by his address to the nation last night. His points are valid; human history is filled with examples where millions died because nobody stepped in to help. I just don’t agree with them.
Right now, the world is watching the Syrian conflict very closely. Its regime knows that it’s under a microscope and any wrong move could bring military action. Also, I don’t believe the United States should be the only superpower in the world that can throw its bombs around with impunity. We set up the United Nations and we should work within its procedures. Even the United Kingdom, one of our greatest allies, told us no. Heck, when was the last time a republican was against invading a country? So many people believe diplomacy can work in this situation that we should give it a chance.
Plus, I am tired of conflict. In this millennium, the American people were duped into a war and an invasion. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We never found Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Bush and his administration were wrong and United States citizens are still paying the price. Trillions of dollars spent (and not paid for), thousands of our service men and women dead, even more wounded, over one hundred thousand civilian casualties.
President Obama would like me to believe that these will be surgical strikes meant to punish a dictator for killing his own people. That we’ll only drop a few bombs and no actual troops will be on the ground. However, he cannot guarantee that MORE civilians will not be killed (by us) or that there will be victory. I remember Bush riding on the USS Abraham Lincoln giving his “Mission Accomplished” speech. For a man who is usually very pragmatic (and who holds a Nobel Peace Prize), I cannot understand why Obama is pushing so aggressively for military intervention.
This has been a hard decision for me. I want to support our President; I want to believe in his vision. But I cannot support him on this one. If the United States is still the greatest country in the world, I believe we should man up and act like it. If we put half as much money and energy into solving global issues (and our own) of education, poverty, democracy and equality, I am confident we could change the world more than if we dropped a couple of bombs to slap a dictator on the wrist.
Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.