News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 10, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 10, 2013

Stay out of civil war in Syria

It is 2:45 a.m. and I have been unable to sleep as the dilemma facing the United States over Syria continues to be played out on every news channel. Because this turmoil is keeping me awake, I am hoping by writing this letter to at least put my own mind at ease and finally nod off.

First and foremost is the question of putting ourselves in the position of keeper of the moral fiber of the whole world. Must we be responsible for fixing every situation that is morally abhorrent on this earth? I would say a resounding “no.” While the killing of a large number of citizens of the country of Syria by its own government is terribly wrong, when did it become our responsibility to try to settle this civil war? I cannot for the life of me figure out just why we need to send a warning shot to the ruling leaders of Syria. Will this shot stop their civil war? Again a resounding “no.” Why do we feel killing additional people will somehow lead to peace between the warning factions? How can we justify killing additional civilians by this so-called warning shot? We cannot.

I have been a strong, vocal supporter of President Obama and his proposals for domestic programs, but I cannot support his request of Congress to allow him to interfere in a civil war in the Middle East (again). Have we not learned our lesson in the last 10 years? We are going broke at home and our country is crippled by the constant need to fight battles that are none of our business.  

The conservative Republicans in Congress have stripped our domestic programs to the bone to support our war machine. When we have citizens going without food, clothing and shelter to support wars, then there is definitely something wrong with what we are doing. I am sick of our Armed Forces being killed and maimed in a war with no end in sight. Our veterans return home to a country that is bankrupting itself. They are receiving less than required benefits, and the wounded are left to their own devices to survive in a homeland that cannot offer them first-class medical care, nor jobs, nor homes, nor education.  

I guess what I am saying is, do not involve us in any further actions in the Middle East, including Syria. Let the Arab states deal with the chemical warfare that is being waged. It is their war, not ours. For once, put the welfare of our country and our citizens above what is happening in another part of the world. We cannot police every other country. Killing people in the name of freedom will never lead to peace.

— Shirley A. Thomas


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