Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 7, 2013 at 7:56 AM

U.S. involvement in Syria

Speak out

Medea Benjamin of Code Pink uses chalk to write on a sidewalk where Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, will be speaking about Syria at the Center for American Progress, Sept. 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. Power spoke about the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians and the need for an international response.  [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

Medea Benjamin of Code Pink uses chalk to write on a sidewalk where Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, will be speaking about Syria at the Center for American Progress, Sept. 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. Power spoke about the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians and the need for an international response. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

I write as one US citizen of many who stands strong against U.S. strikes in Syria. [“U.S. may set up training Syrian rebels,” page one, Sept. 6.]

President Obama, give me my hope back. I do not stand with your decision to destroy the lives of Syrians.

I am speechless as I remember when we heard the news in Chicago and I stood with you when I traveled to Washington, D.C. and chanted “we are one” on the morning of your inauguration.

Now I watch as you decide to commit acts of war. As an African-American woman, I must speak out and state that in these days of U.S. strikes, never-ending days of Guantánamo, in these days where 1 in every 3 African-American men are likely to be incarcerated during their lifetime, your home-sweet-home Chicago public schools close and an economy that seems to continue to shrink, I wait for that feeling of hope to return.

In these days, I realize it is up to me to keep you accountable, as you stated when elected. Yet, where to begin? We, the American people, do not support this strike.

As history will tell its own story, I will, at the very least, be able to say that when I felt hopeless, I spoke out, if only in the margins of this paper, to shout out loud that I stand for peace, not war. I stand for justice, not killing. I stand for hope, not destruction.

My heart and prayers reach out to the people of Syria in peace on this day as I raise my hands and cry out, why has our government acted once again in the name of destruction and murder with the rhetoric of peace and stability?

Catron Booker, Seattle

Courses of action

Russian warships sail through the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.  A group of Russian warships sailed into the East Mediterranean Thursday.  Syria is once more a source of renewed tensions between Washington and Moscow, as US President Obama seeks the support world leaders for a U.S.-led strike against Syria, and Russian leaders insist that any evidence of the use of chemical weapons should submitted to the U.N. Security Council.[AP Photo]

Russian warships sail through the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. A group of Russian warships sailed into the East Mediterranean Thursday. Syria is once more a source of renewed tensions between Washington and Moscow, as US President Obama seeks the support world leaders for a U.S.-led strike against Syria, and Russian leaders insist that any evidence of the use of chemical weapons should submitted to the U.N. Security Council. [AP Photo]

The ideal is a U.N.-authorized punishment of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime for gassing his people, effected by whomever is willing.

However, this is likely to be blocked by Russia and China, just as the U.S. blocks U.N. sanctions against the illegal actions of Israel.

We should advocate talks toward the remaking of Syria. The talks should be sponsored by six major and equal sponsors: the U.S., Russia, France, Turkey, Iran and the Gulf states (including Saudi Arabia).

The practical thing would be a coalition of NATO and Arab countries supporting punishment of Assad, to be effected by a subset of such a coalition.

The minimum? We play the world’s policeman by punishing Assad for gassing his people, shaming those who sit on the sidelines, and loudly proclaiming that any other use of such weapons by any group will be treated similarly.

Peter Haley, Seattle

Comments | More in Foreign policy, Middle East, military, Politics | Topics: Barack Obama, bashar assad, chemical weapons

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►