I don’t think there are any lambs in this particular gathering, but it appears as if the lions may decide to, if not lie down together, at least make war another day.
Presidents Putin of Russia, Rouhani of Iran and Assad of Syria have been talking about a proposal to remove chemical weapons from Syria to Russia for several days now. I first read about this before the weekend, but didn’t write about it because the sources were publications inside Russia that I didn’t know anything about.
Haaretz, an Israeli news outlet, has also been running stories about it. The proposal became quasi official yesterday and today the New York Times wrote that President Obama has “tentatively embraced” the idea.
I expect that the war-promoting members of the press (which is a substantial portion of the press) will react to this with an analysis that President Obama has been “weak” and went to Congress “looking for a way out,” etc. I want to say, in anticipation of that, that if this compromise works, a good portion of the reason why is that this president made the decision to involve the American people, through their representatives, in this debate.
I’ve been critical of this attempt to take this country into another unnecessary war from the outset. I expect that I am going to be equally critical of the inevitable future attempts to do the same thing. Our press has become a powerful lobby for armed intervention all over the globe. There is one cable news network in particular that never stops agitating for war. The place where they want this country to use armed force changes, but the demand that we do it is almost constant.
I am not a pacifist. I believe in self-defense.
I am most definitely a patriot. From the soles of my feet to the hair of my head, I am an American.
I believe without equivocation that if we do not take an honest and critical look at this situation, we are dooming ourselves. I’ll write more about this, but we are spending ourselves into bankruptcy to finance a war machine that is out of touch with reality. Then, we are being sold on wars and “military actions” one right after the other to use it and justify it.
War has become our major industry.
This cannot go on if we are to survive. We need an economy that is based on manufacturing the goods and services of the people of this country, not an economy that is based on manufacturing weapons.
As I said in the title of this post, Don’t stop Praying.
We are not out of the woods on this yet.
And the peacemakers in this situation are hardly peaceable people.
But it looks as if there is a real possibility that we will be able to avoid firing Tomahawk missiles at the people of Syria. There may even be a possibility that we can let them work out their own civil war without shedding American blood.
We need to continue praying for peace, and for our Christian brothers and sisters who are so very vulnerable in this war. I’ve read that President Assad has treated the Christian minority in Syria with tolerance and that the rebels have targeted Christian villages for attacks and attempts at forced conversions to Islam. Again, this information has come largely from the Russian press and the Russians have a stake in this war, so I’ve been slow to write about it.
But, the Christians in Syria who have contacted me have said much the same thing.
I am grateful to the Holy Father for his powerful leadership in this matter. I am also grateful to President Obama for making the decision to allow Congress to vote on it.
I hope that is a precedent-setting move that future presidents will take seriously.
Don’t stop praying. It appears to be working.