Marge Clark, BVM
August 27, 2013

My heart sinks with an ache as I read and hear language of:

  • There were some very strong signals over the weekend that the United States might have been seriously considering, or even imminently prepared to launch, a series of limited strikes against Syria, most likely cruise missiles. (Washington Post, Aug. 26)
  •  President Obama is weighing a military strike against Syria that would be of limited scope and duration, designed to serve as punishment for Syria’s use of chemical weapons and as a deterrent, while keeping the United States out of deeper involvement in that country’s civil war, according to senior administration officials. (Washington Post, Aug. 26)
  • In an interview with The Associated Press in Damascus, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said airstrikes or other action against Syria would also trigger “chaos” and threaten worldwide peace and security. (CBS News, Aug. 26)

Has there been a time in recent years when U.S. use of military force has not escalated the level of violence and death in a nation?

There seems little doubt that hundreds of people were victims of poisonous gas in Syria last week. There is evidence that the government of Syria holds such chemical weapons. However, can we prove without a doubt that it was the government that released the gas? Is there some chance that it was some rebel group hoping to escalate the violence, taking and using the weapons?

And, what will be accomplished by military action against Syria? Who will be harmed? Will those who made the decision be the ones harmed by our retaliation? I fear the victims of retaliation would be people such as those already killed by the chemical weapons.

What would really be accomplished?

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