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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/7/13

Drop gas masks, not bombs

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Message Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Source: Shalom Center

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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.

Is this just a pleasant prayer, or do we mean it in the real world -- the world of bombs, chemical war, ailing schools and rotting sewers and worsening hurricanes?

If moving to the "right" is violently destructive and moving to the "left" is disgustingly immoral, then something is wrong with the box we are in.

Think out of the box, act out of the box.

That's where the US is in regard to Syria: All the "official" choices -- from Do Nothing to One Strike to Overthrow the Regime -- are destructive to us, to the Syrian people, to the US Constitution, and/or to international law.

So -- think fresh.

Drop gas masks, not bombs.

That's a metaphor.

Translate: use the power of the US in nonviolent, non-military, nonlethal ways to counter Assad's (or the rebels') possible use of chemical weapons.
  • If gas masks would not meet the need, drop antidotes to the nerve gas Sarin, sending instructions in Arabic by radio and social media.

  • Test out what would happen if the US invited physicians to be parachuted into Syria, as brave as the soldiers that some US politicians want to send.

  • Drop leaflets and broadcast radio and social-media messages denouncing the use of chemical weaponry and offering amnesty and monetary rewards to anyone in the military who comes forward with information on their use.

  • Bollix the Syrian military's computer system just as the US bollixed the Iranian nuclear-research system without killing anyone.

  • Ask the government of Iran to intervene with its ally Syria to demand a total end to any use of chem-war, and offer Iran relaxation of US sanctions against it if it does so.

  • (In Iran there is fierce opposition to chem-war because Saddam used it in Iraq's war against Iran, killing tens of thousands. The US, by the way, uttered not a peep of criticism of Sadaam's use of chem-war, because the US government saw Iran as an enemy. Indeed, the US may have assisted Saddam in using chem-war.)

  • Go to the UN Security Council as well as Congress for approval of such nonlethal, nonviolent interventions.

  • And so on. Get it?

What is wrong with the box we are in?

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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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