These past few days have been difficult for me. I find the current clamoring for war to be quite unsettling. I'm not a foreign affairs specialist, just a student of history and a mere Quaker with more questions than answers:
Why this war? Why do we see atrocities around the globe - the Congo, Darfur, Rwanda, Burundi - yet don't intervene? Why do we allow 1,000 rapes a day to occur in the Congo? Why and how do we pick and choose when to become involved in the affairs of other nations?
Why should we believe Obama's "quick and limited" yet know that the Bush administration's optimistic "short, short conflict" turned into two wars lasting over a decade?
Why is it wrong for other nations to violate international standards when the US does?
Why are chemicals worse than drones? Why is one method of killing better than another? Why was it acceptable for the US to use chemical weapons such as thermobaric bombs, depleted uranium, and white phosphorous in Iraq? Why are chemicals that kill immediately worse than chemicals that cause birth defects and death for multiple generations?
Why is torture okay? If chemicals are bad because of the duration of suffering before death, why has it become acceptable for us to torture - something that causes endless pain and suffering?
Why are Syrian children and civilians more valuable than those in Iraq and Afghanistan - or anywhere else in the world?
Why is it acceptable when we take certain actions but an atrocity when "they" do it?
One answer I have is that war is easy.
- War is easy when you're the only superpower.
- War is easy when it is turned into a video game.
- War is easy when it is in distant lands.
- War is easy when you convince others that you have the moral high road.
- War is easy when it is profitable.
- War is easy when you don't see the pain and suffering.
War is easy. Peace is hard. We deserve leaders who work hard. We should oppose war no matter which "team" is in power. Warmongers come in all stripes.
But now those skies are threatening
They're beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details"