I implore you to vote "no" on military intervention in Syria. No vital U.S. interest is at stake, and an attack will have unforeseen consequences that are nearly impossible to predict. The proper response to the Assad regime's use of poison gas is not more killing.
The situation in Syria is not a partisan issue. Or at least it shouldn't be. If you don't like President Obama, fine. But appreciate the moral dilemma that he is in. To "mock" his strategy here makes one sound like an attractive moron.
For all the high brow talk about the moral issues involved, the Syria war resolution may well force many in Congress to vote against both their own beliefs as well of those of many Americans, and the issues that drive that vote may turn out to be quite different from those being debated today.
Now, as if having learned nothing from the devastating and costly aftermaths of the military invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, you're beating the combustible drums to attack Syria -- a country that is no threat to the U.S. and is embroiled in complex civil wars under a brutal regime.
From a moral point of view perhaps the best that can be said about the case of Syria is that it has the potential to make us rethink the limitations of traditional just war theory. Alternatives to that theory, however, are not going to be simple, easy, or without moral complexity themselves.
The clock is ticking, with President Obama and Secretary Kerry frantically selling a war that the American people don't want to buy. If Congress goes ahead and approves military action, they -- unlike their British counterparts -- will fail to represent the people who elected them.
Thank heaven that there are additional intense conversations happening beyond the U.S. Senate hearing -- and in other parts of the world -- or one may have walked away thinking that there were only TWO options regarding the Syria crisis: "strike" or "no strike.
Most Americans believe that Bassar al-Assad is a bad guy and probably used chemical weapons on his people. We feel sorry for the Syrian civilians. But we also feel sorry for working-class Americans who are struggling to keep their heads above water.
Machiavelli's world, his beloved Florence, was not so different from our own: There were wars and rumors of wars, assassinations, social unrest, and the collusion of unscrupulous rulers with corrupted religion.
When all is said and done, when the chain reaction of events from an American strike on Syria has played out, how many more innocent men, women and children will have been killed or injured physically and psychologically? Alternatively, it is fair to ask how many will have been spared?
Will there be a Western-led missile strike in response? What would such a strike lead to? Regardless of the answers to these questions, one fact is crystal clear: Syrians are going to continue suffering massively, at least in the near-term, and the world is failing to meet their needs.