Sunday, September 1, 2013

Have We Learned From Our Mistakes-My Thoughts on Syria

The images are shocking. High school students burned over 80% of their bodies among other civilians in Syria. In a recent genocide against their own people, the Syrian government has used chemical weapons creating a political crisis for the leading countries of the world. To the credit of President Obama, he has delayed any military force until a vote of confidence takes place by our Congress.  I ask, have we learned from our mistakes over the last ten years since the attacks on 9/11? In two wars, there have been mistakes and brave decisions,  thousands of American troops lives taken in combat, countless veterans returning with many physical and mental challenges and the many military families left behind to find a way forward without their loved ones sent off to war.

Our country has been war weary and detached from the Iraq War and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.  Recent pictures of the suffering Syrians, creates an emotional sense of urgency as it did shortly after 9/11. When were the last time a pictures of an IED exploding an American tank, a flag draped casket being unloaded at Dover Delaware Air force Base and the actual crashing of aircrafts into the Twin Towers shown on the evening news?  Yet again we are presented graphic images of the horrific acts in Syria.

A line in the sand has been crossed. The question we face as Americans is do we continue to be the police power of the world at what cost to our own people.  We have the opportunity as citizens to have a voice in this decision by contacting our Senators and Congressman to express our concerns and views of another military attack. Why not economic sanctions and diplomacy first?  War only brings more death and destruction and should only be used as a last resort. I remember President Reagan challenging Russian President Gorbachev to tear down that wall. Then one night I watched in disbelief as the wall came down. Without a single shot the Cold War was over. We fight new and old enemies and I ask are we prepared for yet another engagement that could potentially ignite a new outbreak of wars throughout the Middle East? Let us learn from our mistakes of the past and make intentional, purposeful, well thought out decisions before we rush to war.

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