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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/7/13

Drop gas masks, not bombs

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Author 22832
Message Rabbi Arthur Waskow
What Obama was publicly proposing, "One Strike" to "punish" and "deter" chem-war, had a very risky flaw: It was essentially assuming "one-man chess." Either the OneStrike would accomplish nothing real -- a useless act -- or if it did hurt, it might well push Assad into retaliating. If there were a response, a retaliatory attack on US forces or assets or on Israel, etc., would the US then shrug and do nothing -- or would the US then re-retaliate? And then?

Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that in fact, under pressure from hawkish Senators, Obama is now actually planning much more than One Strike -- rather, an attack to "degrade," not  only "deter," Assad's military, with the intention of regime change.

And there are other reports that the actual text of the resolution that Obama is asking Congress to approve is considerably broader than the One Strike he has said he wants.

So we may after all be standing on our tiptoes at the very edge of the precipice of still another immoral, illegal, unwinnable, self-destructive war.

If our own government pushes us over the edge of that precipice, the real losers will be the American and Syrian people. There, even greater devastation. Here, another wave of failure to meet the real and increasingly urgent civilian needs for schools, bridges, solar and wind energy, firefghters, and much more. More deaths and disasters from forest fires, floods, droughts. Another wave of justifying, in the name of anti-terrorism, intrusive unconstitutional surveillance of practically everyone; police infiltration of peaceful mosques and political activists; and vigilante attacks on Muslims.

What to do? Call 202/224-3121 (the US Capitol) and ask for your Senators and House members, one at a time. When you get each office, leave a message vigorously opposing any resolution authorizing military force against Syria, and pointing to nonviolent, nonlethal alternatuve ways of intervening.

Write a similar letter to your local newspaper.

Forward this letter to your friends and to list-serves you are on.

Try to start a viral message: Drop gas-masks, not bombs.  

Remember: One of the metaphors of Rosh Hashanah is that we plead with God -- which means also with ourselves -- to move from the throne of Punitive Justice to the throne of Compassionate Repair.

If not now, when?

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Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Ph. D., founded (in 1983) and directs The Shalom Center , a prophetic voice in Jewish, multireligious, and American life that brings Jewish and other spiritual thought and practice to bear on seeking peace, pursuing justice, (more...)
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