I’ve been wondering for quite some time- along with the rest of the country- (I hope) if we are going to be dragged into this Syrian rebellion. I didn’t want us to. I didn’t want to see one more American life lost, over yet again another Middle Eastern conflict, rebellion, uprising, whatever.
This last week shifted my thinking though. I thought about Hitler’s reign of terror and the Holocaust and how long it took the United States to act during that time. The holocaust began in 1938 and ended in 1945 when the American Army stumbled upon Ohrdruf Concentration Camp where there were hundreds of starved, frail prisoners who had managed to survive though many would die in the following weeks, as well as over 3000 corpses.
General Patton- when he arrived at the camp was physically sickened and refused to look at further carnage. Reportedly, General Eisenhower, turned white, but he said, “I made myself look at every nook and cranny” [of the camp.] “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he was fighting for, now; at least he will know what he is fighting against."
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the United States press, at the time, had grossly underreported what was happening to the Jews in Germany. Eisenhower called on the US press and the press corps to visit the concentration camps. Joseph Pulitzer, whom it was said had a suspicious frame of mind concerning what he thought, were exaggerated rumors; when he saw Ohrdruf, Pulitzer said. “The reports were understatements.”
The current Syrian Civil War is part of the Arab Spring. A general dissatisfaction of the people with their government and lack of human rights. Once again, like in Iraq; it is Sunni versus Shi’ite and once again a leader is using sarin Gas on his own people.
The President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, has removed all political parties other than (his) Ba'ath Syrian Regional Branch--leaving Syria a one-party state without free elections. He has chipped away or failed to improve any human rights issues in his country. And, now we hear--and I do believe--that he is using sarin Gas. In 1983 the United States was aware (top secret reports released) of Saddam Hussein using chemical weapons on his own people (The Kurds) and under President Reagan’s leadership chose at that time to do nothing. We all know how that worked out.
The US is now backing the armed rebels fighting the al-Assad regime. (The same rebels arrested by US Marines on the border of Syria and Iraq for gun smuggling in 2006-7.)
Because we have so little understanding of the Arab world and the Muslim conflicts, at least until recently, we have flip flopped on support over the years, seemingly picking sides randomly- taking what looks to me like -- if Russia is for it we must be against it approach. We have to stop looking at the politics and start looking at the human condition.
I hate war. I hate what Operation Iraqi Freedom did to so many of our own troops. I hate what it did to my son. I don’t want to see one more US troop’s life lost over Middle East religious wars. (You may call them oil wars- but I don’t). BUT- this is a human concern. We have a moral obligation to prevent another holocaust. We have already waited too long, because of politics and politicians. According to the United Nations, over 100,000 men women and children have died in Syria since 2011. Hundreds of thousands have fled to Iraq.
I know the US is war weary- though so few actually have skin in the game- so few have cared about the troops and what happens to them after they get home-- after they are out of uniform. But, the truth is, this is not politics. This is being human. And I can’t personally use the Christian card because I don’t think of myself as a Christian, but wouldn’t anyone’s God want to prevent another Holocaust? Wouldn’t anyone’s God want to not see civilians killed for being some religion that some other people don’t like?
|Syrian children after the sarin gas attack|
No- I do not want to see another US troop killed for nothing. I know though, there is no way I can turn my head and not see this holocaust in the making.