Violence never begets peace
by BRETT MARINO
“Violence never begets peace.” This quote was taken from a letter Pope Francis I sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Sept. 5, as Putin prepared to host the Group of the 20 largest economies or G-20 summit.
In the letter, published by Vatican news agencies, Francis took a strong stand against military action by the U.S. and France against Syria’s Bashar Al- Assad’s regime.
“To the leaders present, to each and every one,” the pope called, “I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution.”
In the letter, the pope used the disruption of a sound economic climate as reason enough to halt the counter-offensive. “Wars are a concrete refusal to pursue the great economic and social goals that the international community has set itself… Without peace, there can be no form of economic development. Violence never begets peace, the necessary condition for development.”
On Thursday, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), a practicing Roman Catholic, also announced his formal position on the Syrian conflict. In a press release, Vitter said he will oppose the Syria resolution after he participated in a briefing for Senate Armed Services Committee members with Charles Hagel, Secretary of Defense, and General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, regarding potential military action in Syria.
The next day, Vitter made the following statement:
“After a lot of careful thought and prayer, I have decided that I will vote NO on the Syria war resolution.
As horrible as events in Syria are, they do not pose a direct threat to the United States or our allies. U.S. military action could spark a broader war and/or entangle us in Syria’s protracted civil war in which elements of the opposition are even worse than the Assad regime, all while our troops are underfunded.
There is a very serious and direct threat to us in the region – Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. I am extremely concerned that getting involved in Syria, after Iraq and Afghanistan, would make mustering our resolve to stop a nuclear Iran impossible.”
It seems that Vitter agrees with Francis that this type of violence begets violence, not peace. But, neither Vitter’s nor Francis’ appeals have yet won the day. The Senate Foreign Relation Committee authorized President Obama to use limited force against Syria; the vote was 10-7, with five Republicans and two Democrats voting against it.
The language of the debate becomes odd when Obama and the major conservative proponent of the strikes, Sen. John McCain, discuss the goal and after-effects of the aggression. Obama only states that the U.S. will give military and humanitarian aide to the Free Syrian Army, while McCain’s adopted amendment to the Senate resolution states that the end-goal should be “a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and leads to a democratic government in Syria.”
This stance is ludicrous. May I ask the senior Senator to provide examples of a successful Middle-Eastern democracy? Especially one that was preceded by a U.S. military strike?
No one with conscience of goodwill thinks that a ruler who kills his own people by chemical weapons should remain in power, but there are other ways to resolve this matter. Neither Francis nor Vitter think that a unilateral, (or bilateral) limited military campaign will bring order and stability to the region. Yet, for unknown reasons and in the name of “humanity,” McCain and Obama are hell-bent on conquering Syria.
Who would have guessed that these two political rivals would end up being war buddies?
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