Letter: There’s no reason to wage war in Syria

In 1971, a young John Kerry said, “This country has been unable to see there is absolutely no difference between ground troops and a helicopter, and yet people have accepted a differentiation fed them by the administration.

“No ground troops are in Laos, so it is all right to kill Laotians by remote control. But believe me, the helicopter crews fill the same body bags, and they wreak the same kind of damage on the Vietnamese and Laotian countryside as anybody else.”

Now he stands in front of Congress as secretary of state with 30-plus years in the “administration” with scant proof and “high confidence” that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons. He proposes the lobbing of missiles at selected targets. Perplexingly, he argues his case while asserting we are not at war.

Pumping a country with Tomahawk cruise missiles exemplifies war, as he seemed to understand in 1971. Just because our soldiers attack from further out of harm’s way does not make it right. And the feigned outrage of chemical weapons usage just exacerbates the hypocrisy. It is reported that the civil war has claimed over 100,000 lives. Now that 1,000 supposedly died from chemical weapons, the situation becomes unacceptable? What about the 99,000 who died before them?

There is no more security threat to America now than there was before this claimed chemical weapons attack. There is no good side or bad, with dictators on the right and al-Qaida on the left. Showing those peace-loving Syrian people the benefit of our humanitarian bombs will not improve the status of humble refuges in Syria nor Americans at home.

At one time, I believed that America was a beacon of light, standing for human freedom, respect and hope. It would be naive to believe that beacon of light stands for anything but a laser guidance system to many millions. America should be neither the world’s policeman nor its bully.

M. Wesley Salmon


Baton Rouge