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Steve McSwain Headshot

Should the U.S. Attack Syria?

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It is a difficult matter. What Assad has done to his own people is terrifying and inexcusable. What the U.S. did to the innocent citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was equally terrifying and...

"But it ended the war," you say.

Did it?

Does violence ever end violence?

Do we ever learn anything from it, except how to be more violent?

The wisdom teachers throughout history have reminded us time and time again...

"Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself" - Lao-Tzu

"Before retaliating, dig two graves" - Confucius

"Though violence appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Gandhi

"If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in the struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos" - MLK, Jr.

Is this not the legacy of violence?

I know I do not have all the facts, any more than you do. And, like many of you, I have supported President Obama every step during his presidency. I have believed in him. I have valued his leadership, his judgment. I have trusted him to do what he believes is best, not just for Americans, but for the world.

For the most part, I have. But I cannot agree with this action, not even with Congressional support.

As a follower of the Christ path, how could I explain away, overlook, or disregard the following core values regarding violence of any kind...for any reason?

"Blessed are the peacemakers..."

"Love your enemies."

"...those who take up the sword will perish by the sword."

"...forgive and you will be forgiven..."

Do unto others as you would have others..."

Well, you know the rest.

The news reports from Syria reveal as many as two million refugees. What would happen if the U.S. chose to send aid equal to the cost of even a "limited campaign" of bombs and violence?

"Nothing!" you say.


What makes you so sure?

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.
It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
- Albert Einstein

"Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived."
- Abraham Lincoln

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
- Isaac Asimov