Today, the United States government denounced Russia’s decision to continue arms sales to Syria. As Reuters’ Erika Solomon notes, “the [Russian-made missiles] could prove a threat to warships in the Mediterranean, should, for example, Western powers abandon their deep reserve and intervene to offer air support to the rebels, as they did in Libya two years ago.”
It might be a stretch to suggest Western governments are experiencing “deep reserve” when it comes to directly intervening in Syria. For at least a year and a half the U.S. has been providing materiel, or what they call non-lethal aid, to various rebel groups. French officials have been calling for an air war for the better of a year as well. At this point it seems as if the only restraint has been Russia’s unwillingness to endorse an attack on the Syrian government.
We also learn that the French government is unwilling to participate in negotiating peace if Iran is allowed to attend the talks. Of course it makes sense Syria shouldn’t be allowed an ally. It’s only a summit of hegemons looking for an excuse to ravage the country as they just did in Libya. Why should such a meeting be anything but one-sided?
Some wonder why Bashar Al-Assad has doubled down with his military efforts. But what choice does he have? His government’s only ally is being barred from any peace talks and is facing its own threats from abroad. Millions of dollars in military aid is being poured into the hands of rebels from the same Western governments now supposedly wanting peace talks.
Unfortunately there is no good side in all of this, and it doesn’t appear that the bloodshed will stop any time soon. Indeed, it appears as if it will only grow worse for the people caught up in all of this. Let’s pray it doesn’t.
Here’s yet more evidence (as if we needed any more) that Christians ought to avoid the military, and churches should stop promoting military service. The Pentagon has announced they may consider courts martial for soldiers who proselytize while in uniform. Instead, as I advocate here, Christians who feel called to minister to soldiers should do so without joining the ranks.
Glenn Greenwald posted these three links earlier in the week:
When will the public start questioning the wars?
Ten years ago today the United States government launched the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses. Thankfully, I did not participate in the invasion. Regrettably, I participated in the subsequent occupation, deploying in 2005 and again in 2007. Anthony Gregory described this war as “the worst U.S. government project in my lifetime,” and the same is true for me.
Despite the assurances of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush, and others, suffering and misery have been the enduring legacies of that misadventure. A million and a half were killed, millions were wounded, and even more were displaced from their homes. A repressive regime was toppled, but a military occupation followed, bringing with it martial law, kidnapping, rape, torture, and wholesale destruction of private property that bankrupted the already impoverished population.
Though most of the American troops have returned, the violence continues. Dozens were killed in attacks across the country today, as warring factions continue the fighting, long after “mission accomplished,” and the war having ended. Please pray for the families affected by this ongoing crime, and refuse to give your support – moral or otherwise – the next time a president launches another war of aggression.
Well, this might be what they need to justify overt military operations in Syria. According to Reuters, chemical weapons have been used in northern Syria, although it’s unclear which group initiated the attack.
“Syria’s state television channel said rebels fired a rocket carrying chemical agents that killed 25 people and wounded dozens. The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, said 16 soldiers were among the dead.”
Read the rest here.