Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Violence not the answer in Syria

Editor,

In the past decade the United States has engaged in two largely unsuccessful military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan at a considerable cost of money, lives, and international respect. The American people are now asked, through their Congressional reps, to support yet another potentially disastrous military intervention in Syria with equally clouded rationale, purpose and goals.

We oppose this proposed military intervention.

The reports of the atrocities committed against the people of Syria, particularly the recent allegations of the use of chemical weapons, are horrendous.

While we strongly denounce the use of chemical weapons, we also believe that we cannot respond with violence. A unilateral U.S. attack on Syria, even limited, will introduce further instability, fear, and violence into the already tumultuous situation.

There are people on both sides of the conflict, as well as other international powers, who oppose the use of American force.

Voices from religious and political leadership here and abroad, as well as millions of people of faith and good will throughout the world, have affirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiations among all components of Syrian society, with the backing of the international community, is the only option to end the conflict and the violence that each day cause the loss of so many human lives, most of all among the defenseless population.

On behalf of the Whidbey Island Friends Meeting we strongly urge our fellow citizens to advocate against military intervention in Syria by contacting Congressman Rick Larsen, Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray and ask them to choose sustainable peace efforts through diplomacy.

The use of military might may seem to be more immediately satisfying, but our Quaker experience is that the slower process of nonviolent engagement has historically proven to better address and ameliorate complicated foreign affairs by providing for human rights and the primary needs of the people caught in the tragedy and aftermath of war.

To allow us to discuss the Syrian situation as a community, the Whidbey Island Friends Meeting (Quakers) are organizing a dessert fundraiser at the Trinity Church Hall Annex in Freeland for this Sunday evening, Sept. 8, 7-9 p.m.

All are welcome. This gathering will also be an opportunity for us as individuals and as a community to petition our Congressional representatives.

TOM EWELL

Clerk

Whidbey Island Friends Meeting

 

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