Monday, September 9, 2013


Rebels sent a wave of [conventional] rockets slamming into regime strongholds in the central city of Homs [Syria] on Thursday [Aug. 1, 2013], triggering a succession of massive explosions in a [government] weapons depot that killed least 40 people and wounded dozens, an opposition group and residents said. NYT 8-2-13
From the conclusion of Rep. Candice Miller's [MI 10th District] op-ed in Detroit Free Press 9-8-13.  “Since the first suggestion of using U.S. military force in Syria, I have asked my constituents for their input on whether such force is justified. They have clearly spoken their opposition. I share their skepticism, and when Congress convenes to consider this important vote, I will do my best to be their voice in Washington by opposing direct U.S. military involvement in the Syrian civil war.”

It’s not often that people in the peace and justice community have agreed with Congresswoman Miller.  She was an unflinching supporter of all of Pres. George W. Bush’s war and economic policies.  But I must thank Rep. Candice Miller, for her well-reasoned statements against U.S. military involvement in Syria.   May we correct and move beyond our mistakes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya wars, by directing our resources towards powerful informed diplomatic measures in the Middle East.
More from Rep. Miller---“our nation has learned many difficult lessons. In Afghanistan, we rightfully ousted the Taliban regime, which aided and abetted al-Qaida to murder our citizens, but what has followed is unending corruption and sectarian violence. In Iraq, our effort to remove the threat posed by the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, who had also gassed his own people, was greeted once again with sectarian violence and repression. American military involvement in Libya, which I opposed at the time, helped to protect the citizens of Benghazi from crushing assault, only to have those who we protected attack our consulate, murder our ambassador and three other brave Americans after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.”

What we should have learned is that you can’t get good fruit from a bad tree, -- and war is hell, the worst of trees.  Jesus calls on us, for us, from the Garden of Gethsemane, and from the cross, “Put away the sword,” “Father forgive them…”
View from the cross--unknown artist
An international moratorium on all arms sales and support to all Middle East nations [recommended but not pursued by Pres. H.W. Bush after the first Gulf War], by all the counties in the world, is still the first necessary step to lasting peace.  It can be done.  The now revealed surveillance technology of NSA and worldwide satellite networks and intervention capabilities can be dedicated to shutting down this terrible aspect of the international arms trade.

The people of the U.S., China, Russia, France, Britain—all the major arms suppliers—should reduce their financial support of their governments until this takes place, spending that money directly instead, on peaceful measures.  An international taxes for peace-prosperity-not war-movement, that’s the tea party that’s needed.

So, these words of the Gospel [Luke 12:51] do not authorize in any way the use of force in spreading the faith. It is precisely the contrary: the true force of the Christian is the force of truth and of love, which means rejecting all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible! Faith and violence are incompatible! But faith and strength go together. The Christian is not violent, but he strong. And with what strength? That of meekness, the force of meekness, the force of love.

He now calls us to prayer and fasting for nonviolence in Syria, saying, “the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict."
Which would you rather suffer, a nuclear bomb or a chemical weapon?  The U.S. has been the only one to use the former, and the most prolific in the production of both. We are the "Arsenal of Democracy" wherein the arsenal has become more important than the democracy.
Thomas Merton has this to say in his book, Peace in the Post-Christian Era, manuscript in 1962--published posthumously in 2004. 
"Since any large scale war is likely to turn without warning into a global nuclear cataclysm, we can no longer afford to ignore our [Christian] obligation  to work for the abolition of war as a means of solving international problems."
Reference links --

On this week's 911 anniversary, something to remember from historian Howard Zinn -- "Since war is the most extreme form of terrorism, a war on terrorism is profoundly self-contradictory."
For more information on the complicated political situation in Syria, please see previous entry & related articles

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