The hardest part of being in the field of political journalism is the reality of soul-wrenching information that begs to be covered. As casual observers of global news are aware, there is no shortage of death and destruction taking place across the planet. Just in the last two weeks several videos have surfaced from Syria showing two distinctly different visions of death, each shocking in their own regard. One purportedly shows Syrian “Rebels” executing Syrian government troops with automatic weapons, while the other shows children convulsing and frothing at the mouth after a supposed Sarin gas attack. While both of these videos are horrifying, the global community has asked us to choose a side. As a global society we have decided that chemical weapons are the wrong way to kill someone, whereas cluster-bombs, automatic weapons, and surgical strikes are the right way. While innocent civilians in a war-stricken country deal with these deadly attacks, the “civilized” world debates the legality and arbitrary difference between the two.
It is no surprise that some American politicians wish to intervene in the, for lack of a better word, cluster-fuck that is Syria. However, a strong majority of the American people do not acknowledge the metaphorical red line that our faltering President Barack Obama and John Kerry have. Yes, the use of chemical weapons is deplorable and has no place in this world, but how can we proudly claim that these deaths are worse than alternate means of justified murder. The “surgical” drone strikes O-bomb-ya sends across the globe have a poor record for limited civilian casualties, yet no other country is levying threats against us for doing so—but there is open criticism for our controversial practice. We’re indiscriminately killing civilians in other countries to pursue our ideal of “national security.” However, we continue to deem it necessary to intervene militarily in a country killing itself with civil war.
Now that Russia has emerged as a possible diplomatic savior (yes you read that correctly), the Syrian conflict has changed drastically. Under the recently proposed plan, Syria would relinquish their chemical stockpile to international control and have it promptly destroyed—something that reads like common sense to most of us. America has already used the guise of “WMD’s” before and it led us down a bloody road, but are we not being hypocritical in our condemnation of such weapons? We are, after all, the only country to deploy a nuclear missile in war and are now the world’s crusaders against weapons of mass destruction. Let us not forget that many of these nerve-agents and chemical weapons were pioneered by the western world. These chemical weapons induce some of the most horrific symptoms a human could experience. Seizures, uncontrollable bowel movements, vomiting, open sores, all lead to a miserable death that reminds us that these weapons are something we wish we could “disinvent.”
A bullet can either kill instantly, or leave a person maimed, disabled, or scarred for the rest of their life. When it comes to war, there are no winners—other than those companies building our killing tools. Whether it is death by Sarin gas, or execution in a shallow grave, there is no way to justify the death and destruction taking place in Syria. Instead of contemplating a half-billion dollar “short-term” offensive in Syria, maybe the United States could use that money towards relieving the millions of refugees suffering in the surrounding countries. Or better yet, we could choose to solve our own problems first and bring that money back to the people boldly proclaiming their case for no military attacks in Syria.
*Graphic Video showing possible Sarin Gas attack in Syria*