Twelve years ago, ruthless men used airplanes as killing devices to extinguish the lives of thousands of people. In Syria this year, ruthless men reportedly used chemical weapons to murder hundreds of people.
And yet, some of us seem to have learned very little in the past twelve years. We seek a violent vengeance that continues the cycle of horrific killing. There are few who can rightfully claim that Iraq and Afghanistan are better places than before the U.S. invasion. And how many can claim that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia have made them safer?
We seek peace with war, but war isn't linear, it's Newtonian. For every violent action, there is a violent reaction. Only a great power such as the United States can break this heinous cycle. And it must begin with Syria.
The deaths of countless Syrians is depressing. We must keep those alive and those dead in our hearts and in our thoughts. But adding to the violence won't ease their lives. Recently a proposal accidentally fell on the table. If Syria gives up their chemical weapons, they assert, then the U.S. strike should be called off. It's win-win. We avoid joining the killing of more Syrians and those still fighting will have less potent weapons at their disposal. it doesn't achieve the goal of peace, but it doesn't had to the hell of war.
The goal must be to avoid the pain the loved ones of those who perished felt when they learned they would never again see their mother or their father or their spouse or their child or their friend again. We can not achieve that goal by creating that pain for a new group of loved ones.