Notes on the failure of peaceful intentions

We go about our work at the beginning of the fall semester in south Louisiana, where it has been easy to look out the library window and see peace: early morning mist, cows in the field, quiet land.  Syria has none of this; its morning mist is dust, gunsmoke, and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Today’s news:

Despite having won the Nobel Prize for Peace in his first term, U.S. President Barack Obama  has decided to attack Syria in what the New York Times called
“a brief operation to punish the government of President Bashar al-Assad for apparently launching a deadly chemical weapons attack last week that killed hundreds.
“The vote was also a setback for Mr. Obama, who, having given up hope of getting United Nations Security Council authorization for the strike, is struggling to assemble a coalition of allies against Syria.”

Substitute the name of George W. Bush for Obama in the above paragraph, and wonder what the presidency does to make its holders obtuse and heedless of history.

“But administration officials made clear that the eroding support would not deter Mr. Obama in deciding to go ahead with a strike. Pentagon officials said that the Navy had now moved a fifth destroyer into the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Each ship carries dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles that would probably be the centerpiece of any attack on Syria.”

And this action will improve eastern Mediterranean conditions? How will bombing Syria reduce violence in the Middle East?  Rather, tension will spread, violence will escalate, and the reputation of the United States of America as a peacemaker will further deteriorate as it continues its self-appointed role as the world’s policeman.

[Quotations from  the article by Mark Landler, David E. Sanger, and Thom Shanker.  “Obama Set for Limited Strike on Syria as British Vote No.” New York Times online. August 29, 2013.   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/30/us/politics/obama-syria.html?ref=world       Accessed 30 August 2013.]

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