Ladies and Gentlemen we stand at a crossroads. Before us is a choice that you’ll be making on our behalf. Despite what many of the citizens of the United States and elsewhere think and feel and no matter how vocal we are the choice is your choice and despite what you might feel about this Syrian civil war personally it will define you all. When you’re spoken of this decision will be at the top of the list, not a statement about global warming and how you choose to handle, or not handle it, not a statement about LGBT rights, of all that you have, are, and will do this choice will define you.
The Choice is Life or Death
To understand what those choices are we must view them in the most basic terms. You can choose life or you can choose death. Choosing death means knowingly entering into World War Three. The Russians, Iranians, and likely others including possibly the Chinese will take up arm in defence of Assad. The US, GB, France, and Israel will fight alongside and arm Jihadist, our future enemy. The region will erupt in conflict and we will not be able to escape years of death and destruction. Death and destruction that has a high probability of coming home as today’s technology makes fighting armies that are as capable as our own (Russia and China) a very dangerous prospect.
Even if there is no physical violence brought to America’s shores there will be ramped up cyber-attacks, our economy will surely be disturbed, our people will suffer greatly both in the men and women we send off to fight and in the reduced ability to function at home.
If and when the world realize how futile such a war is and begins to negotiate an end to the worthless killing and destruction, America, our great nation as well as nations the world over will be devastated, left fragile, wounded, and hardly able to function. That is the best case, that’s if we manage to come out of this fight without nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons being used to reduce modern civilization to dust.
If All You Have is a Hammer Everything Looks Like a Nail
We’ve got other tools and it’s time to use them. You can choose to bow to the pressure of the military industrial complex, go against the will of the people the world over, and spend billions on another unwinnable, destructive, and utterly pointless war or you can change the paradigm.
Choose Life: An Alternative To Unnecessary Global Conflict
As the USSR closed off Berlin we began the most amazing show of humanity in modern history – The Berlin Airlift. We made sure the people of West Berlin didn’t starve, we made sure that Berlin didn’t become swallowed up and didn’t become part of East Germany and we have before us the ability to do something very similar but for a far greater cause. Our enemy is not in this case ideological difference, a loss of industrial productivity, and customers for our products. This enemy is death itself. Death itself is baiting us, asking us to join him, to choose death and destruction, but we can choose life.
We can, in this moment, choose a path like the one I’ll lay out below.
A New American Paradigm: Benevolence & Noble Action
We can use all the resources we’d waste through death and destruction to set up refugee areas to protect the people of Syria. Millions have already fled and the conditions they’re struggling through are dire. We can use our resources, the money we’d spend on bombs, missiles, and aircraft to create refugee camps that keep people safe, that provide food, medicine, and even education to the children or even to adults that have been displaced.
Along with other UN members we can then place restrictions on the entry and more importantly on leaving these camps. Any weapons brought to the camps should be collected and destroyed. Once in the camps people should not be permitted to leave to rejoin fighting no matter their affiliation.
Preventing WWIII and Extinguishing the Flames of War
Once camps are established the UN can begin to close the Syrian border to foreign fighters currently pouring in. Restricting foreign soldiers and providing a safe haven for those displaced will bring a quicker end to fighting.
Along with stopping foreign fighters from entering we must commit as global partners to not sending in disruptive covert actors. The CIA and their counterparts the world over will only prolong fighting and cause more suffering. We must commit and stand by the commitment to not interfere with the actual fighting even though, to this point, we’ve already done so.
Once fighting dies down a peace must be negotiated and it should be done openly, fairly, and without threat of retaliation from either side but with it being expressly known to both sides that violations of international laws will be enforced. It’s likely Assad’s government would win in the above scenario but even if he does his use of chemical weapons, if true, should be enough evidence for his conviction in The Hague.
I’m not naive, I understand the above may involve some defensive fighting and will, in the end, require enforcement of international law. That said, this or a similar plan, should be far more agreeable to people the world over. Again it also provides a chance to instill a different opinion about America in the eyes of people the world over. We can no longer be seen as the hypocritical and ultra-aggressive bully that we’ve been acting like. We can be seen as kind, law abiding, and brotherly.
I don’t have the proper access to the information I’d need to put numbers to such a plan and I don’t have the international experience to delve into the details but I’m confident that it’d be far less expensive both in the short and the long run and that we can put down the hammer, set down the guns and missiles, and we can find another way. We can choose life.
So I ask once again what is your choice? Life or Death?