Violence is not a solution

glassbulletholex250croppedI‘d almost tuned out the discussions about Syria and what appears to be an impending US intervention into a secular war that is none of our business. I’ve heard all the arguments on both sides. The president has made his pronouncement, and although he’s invited Congress to weigh in, it sounded for all the world like he’s going to launch his attacks regardless.

Then today I read this from philosophermouseofthehedge to the president:

… could you explain why it’s more important to save others’ children before our own?

If children learn by example, couldn’t you, Mr President, stand up and say “Violence is not an acceptable solution to solve conflicts. It’s cowardly.”

It is indeed. Particularly if you strike first.

Read phil’s post.



Categories: International, Obama, Politics, Society, Syria

31 replies

  1. I think I understand where you are coming from but is my child more important than another child half a world away? I think not. They are all important. They are all children of the Universe as are we. Violence needs to be stopped before children are at risk. Hugs, Barbara

    • That’s the point. Resorting to violence to save Syria’s children puts all children at risk, teaches all of them that violence is a solution. Our own kids are already killing each other in the streets. They don’t need more examples of adults resorting to violence as a solution.

      • What you say is true. But do we sacrifice them all or do we find out how to stop the violence before it happens. Kids aren’t the problem, adults are. So how do we talk Assad into stopping with the chemical warfare? What is your plan.

        • I have no plan, just the conviction that attacking another country that has done nothing to us is not the answer to anything. (See my post “On red lines and war“)

          • Convictions are good but useless without a plan to implement them.

          • I am not able to grt your link work.nsorry. I am not disagreeing with you. I am just not quite to the side of you. What are children seeing Ameria now? They see mass shootings and children being stolen. They see gangs, and they see hatred and violence. Who is showing then this stuff. Adults. This is why we need a plan.i am anti war but after Nazi germany was done killing millions with chemicals, the international community formed the red line. Obama did not dream it up.the. World as a whole said no more chemicals. They drew the line, Hugs, Barbara

            • Then the world as a whole should respond. We’re not the world’s policeman. It’s not our job to assume all the responsibility, risk, and cost of intervening in Syria while the rest of the world sits back and watches.

            • This is what I am staying. The international community drew the red line 100 years ago and should move together so that bombs don’t become worse and kill more easily. Have a wonderful day. Peace for us all. Hugs, Barbara

            • Hugs haven’t seemed to have helped…actually overly optimistic/forgiving self esteem may be contributing to violence in America.
              I agree with what you say about the international community – so why is the US always the one being shoved out front? Especially now when everyone else has stepped back? Not “moving together” at all in this.
              The MIddle East is a complex situation. Right now there are 2 violent groups of thugs with the ordinary citizens caught in the middle. No matter which group wins, the ordinary family will lose. People are going to continue to brutally die no matter…so why should the US be helping either side? Mark my words, as soon as the US strikes, there will be pictures on social media of murdered children and women – those people over there are smart with strategy and technology….many educated here.
              It is a civil war. None of our business to say how another country should rule – If the UN doesn’t like it and thinks crimes against humanity are happening – the create a UN group force and let them fund it – so it’s not just the US beating up a country.
              Then there’s the old sayings about how the cobbler’s child goes without shoes and the carpenter’s wife always has a leaky roof over her head.
              I can no long stand looking at children in need and at risk locally and say, sorry, the country needs to spend money elsewhere. There were over 7,000 homeless children enrolled in Houston ISD last year. The number is expected to rise this year with all the people coming here for jobs. They live in hotels, shelters, cars, teachers’ homes, the streets and family cars. The schools and churches have stepped up feeding, clothing, gathering them in buses. But 7,000. Look at their eyes and say oh, it’s more important to go fix some place else.
              Pray for them. Children are our country’s future.
              That’s what my dad said. He was one of the first WW II medics in the group that liberated a German concentration camp.
              Yes, pray for peace and wisdom

            • I have not nor do not disagree with you. I am a dove and always will be. MY only point with the other gentleman is that in a perfect world, no children would be dying. We have had millions of years to form a perfect and this to be the result. This subject is not closed with me. I will only say all children matter and we need to find answers for peace. That should be the discussion discussed. The rest is rhetoric. Hugs, Barbara

            • Pope’s on your side. He says no go . Find a way to peace. Maybe some will listen. Gotta hope

            • I am not asking or telling you to do anything. You are really having this conversation with yourself or perhaps Divinity. I do believe in peace. My point is that their children is as important as ours. I have 9 grandchildren.

            • ? OK. You are assuming something and defensive about something – but ?
              Most are praying for wisdom, guidance and peace. One thing for certain man is flawed, and lacks complete understanding/clear vision – which is why some always include the phrase “Thy will be done” after those 3 words and have to leave it at that.
              Grandkids are such fun

  2. I agree. Violence has never been a solution. We can transplant organs, grow new ones, clone animals, send a man to the moon, use our phones as personal computers and assistants, and we still use stone-age tactics to solve conflict. Aren’t we war-weary yet?

  3. Violence never been a solution..

    • Ah, but it has been, Aurescu. Violence ended the takeover of the world by the Axis powers in World War II. And an included example, how about the rescue of Holocaust victims from the Nazi death camps? Anything the mind of man can imagine is possible, but I submit that we should not exclude the possibility of the good.

  4. Thanks for spreading the word. Greatly appreciated. A complex issue that’s going to require many voices loudly saying enough. Red hands held high. Good job

  5. The question now before the Congress and the nation is whether violence can or should be used to further moral objectives, a deep subject for sure.

    I think that the last “good” war was WW II, and by “good”, I refer not to the motives of the Americans fighting it but to the motives of those who approved it and set us on the course of waging it. Pearl Harbor says it all.

    Then there’s Korea. There the prevailing motive was the Domino theory, the notion that if Vietnam fell to Communism, then the rest of Southeast Asia would follow, and then . . . us. This was accelerated by fear because the Iron Curtain had descended. Russia had ruthlessly taken over Eastern Europe and the Red Chinese had crushed all democratic opposition in China. And, of course, it didn’t help that they stole the Atomic bomb from us. Scary as hell.

    It is politically necessary, I submit, to emphasize the humanitarian benefits of any war. Some call it “leadership”. It was necessary in Korea, both for troop morale and because we wanted the Koreans to have the same benefits of the democracy (small “d”) that we ourselves so esteem, but let’s not kid ourselves. The primary motivation for that war was a fear of Communism that threatened America, not just South Korea. Vietnam, the war that was built on the lie that was the Gulf of Tonkin “incident”, was similar.

    Altruism is never enough motive by itself for any war, even though it is comforting to think so. The real motive for war has almost always been either fear or aggrandizement. Until lately, that is. Altruism has been creeping in, in Kosovo, in Libya, and now, Congress willing, in Syria. Will we embrace it or shun it? Nuclear weapons haven’t been used again in war since 1945. Doesn’t this raise the possibility that other WMD’s can also be banned?

    Like PT and Barbara, I too am dismayed at the inaction of the international community, but then the United States is the world’s only remaining superpower and the president believes that we alone can enforce this. This is an historic choice. Here is the question we must ask: If the answer is “no”, then what is the increased likelihood that our children and grandchildren will experience the horrors of chemical or biological warfare?

    • Always glad to see you, JIm. Thoughtful insightful comments.
      The world has changed/changing – the SuperPower Age is pretty much over. The US is not immune and no longer isolated/protected geographically as it was in the past. It’s easy to get chemical/bio weapons to local targets anywhere in the world now. No guarantees of safety – and no matter what is done for security, realistically the US population is no longer “safe” as it once was.
      I’d feel better if China, Russia, and India were in complete agreement…with Brazil, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, and Japan at least not saying “no…maybe would be nice”. A united world force. We cannot do this alone…even if we understood what “this” is. Major risk accomplishing nothing but major risk with major blame from what ever results, great cost, and increasing danger stateside. Don’t go to a fight in a dark alley alone. Not smart. Round up the allies or sit down and make alternative plans

      • Thanks, Philo. I wish more citizens were at least engaged, as you, PT and the others are here in this post. Instead I think most are distracted and only give such topics superficial attention. Am I wrong? Anyway, I recognize the concern that a cruise-missile strike cannot help but cause “collateral damage”, and I agree. I just hope and trust that they can minimize it. The devil is always in the details.

        • Always love your chats. You know and apply history and facts. It is disheartening how many simply shrug and don’t bother.
          The Middle East is a complex issue. All the information and facts need to be tossed out on the table – and all potential responses and their result pointed out to the public and the world. – Otherwise people will be “shocked” at pictures of dead children and finding out the ones we support are just as bad as the ones we oppose once all the facts are known – and some “bad guys from one side or another are on our shores taking revenge. The details, for sure. Worrisome. Thanks for the exchange. Hasta later

    • Discussions like this always leave me thinking: What is all this talk about “rules” in war? War itself is the total abandonment of the rules of a civilized society. How can anyone talk about rules when the objective is to kill people? How can you say it’s okay to kill with guns but not with chemicals? War is kill or be killed, but we speak of rules for doing it? One of the rules is not attacking without provocation, but look what we did in Iraq. Another rule is no torture, but look at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. Yet we presume to tell other nations how to conduct themselves and their wars. Such arrogance.

      Protect our progeny from the horrors of chemical or biological warfare? Don’t we want to protect them from all warfare? Isn’t that the point? How does attacking Syria, waging war against a nation that has not threatened us, intervening in another nation’s internal affairs, and taking sides in a religious war, teach anyone that war is not the way? How would we react if another nation did this to us?

      • What is all this talk about “rules” in war? War itself is the total abandonment of the rules of a civilized society.

        Good question, PT. As a military man I have thought about that often. The Wikipedia entry on “war” has this to say:

        The behaviour of troops in warfare varies considerably, both individually and as units or armies. In some circumstances, troops may engage in genocide, war rape and ethnic cleansing. Commonly, however, the conduct of troops may be limited to posturing and sham attacks, leading to highly rule-bound and often largely symbolic combat in which casualties are much reduced from that which would be expected if soldiers were genuinely violent towards the enemy.[13] Situations of deliberate dampening of hostilities occurred in World War I by some accounts, e.g., a volley of gunfire being exchanged after a misplaced mortar hit the British line, after which a German soldier shouted an apology to British forces, effectively stopping a hostile exchange of gunfire. Other examples of non-aggression, also from World War I, are detailed in “Good-Bye to All That.” These include spontaneous ceasefires to rebuild defences and retrieve casualties, alongside behaviour such as refusing to shoot at enemy during ablutions and the taking of great risks (described as 1 in 20) to retrieve enemy wounded from the battlefield. The most notable spontaneous ceasefire of World War I was the Christmas truce.

        The psychological separation between combatants, and the destructive power of modern weaponry, may act to override this effect and facilitate participation by combatants in the mass slaughter of combatants or civilians, such as in the bombing of Dresden in World War II. The unusual circumstances of warfare can incite apparently normal individuals to commit atrocities.

        This issue is relevant to the Syrian Red Line conundrum because it is about WMD’s. Why should WMD’s be more abhorrent than other weapons? I submit it is because they are indiscriminate. When a combatant employs a rifle or even a cruise missile, he is obliged to choose targets, but WMD’s target broad swaths of territory, killing or maiming everyone therein. Surely there must be some collective limit to human tribal instinct for violence. Is this it? That’s what the 1925 international protocol against the use of poison gas was about, wasn’t it? But when the occasional megalomaniac comes along and pushes the boundary, as with Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Bashir Assad, what shall we do? It’s looking like that protocol is just another piece of paper.

        • I suppose “indiscriminate” might be the distinction, but the missiles carrying the gas are deliberately aimed. And the radius of a large bomb blast can be just as great. So I think that distinction may be being erased by technology.

          Red lines and protocols are all well and good until the shooting starts. Then all bets are off. Look at how we’ve already expanded our plans from a few carefully aimed cruise missiles, which I assumed would be fired off over a day or two like “shock and awe” in Iraq, to the Senate’s proposed authorization for a 60-day operation with a one-month optional extension. We could level Syria in 90 days! Israel fought an entire war in 6 days! This thing is getting totally out of hand and it hasn’t even started yet.

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