My thoughts on Syria, this Sunday, September 20th.
The prophet Micah proclaimed, “Without a vision the people perish.” A vision empowers a people. It raises the bar of civilization.
Yes and No. The Nazi’s had a vision of world domination, as does ISIS.
What I hear from Carla and Trump and the rest – except Rand Paul – is an American Military so overwhelming that it will keep the world in paralyzing shock and wide-eyed awe.
Republicans don’t have a vision of world domination, but a vision that it is The Manifest Destiny of America to lead the world, its power unquestioned, based on a Military that dwarfs that of all other nations.
What is Obama’s vision: America is first among equals. Its power: Economics. Political History. And Diplomacy: “It is better to jaw, jaw, than war, war.”
Well, now we have Syria. Putin, allegedly, is using this Civil War to burnish Russia’s image with the West so as to re-integrate his country with Europe. He has sent military equipment to Syria. At the same time, he will woo the UN. He will be the peace-maker.
And what is Obama’s response? Kerry will meet with his Russian counterpart, Obama will sit down and talk with Putin. And what is the Republican response to Obama’s diplomacy? Putin is making Obama and America look weak.
The Syrian Civil War has gone on for four years. It has all but razed the country. It has unleashed four million refugees, hundreds of thousands of dead. It has destabilized the Middle East. Obama is not dealing with the Soviet Union. He is dealing with Russia. Russia is better in the tent of the West than outside of it. A recent example, Russia supported the Iran Treaty. Is it possible that this unspeakable war can be resolved by Jaw!Jaw!?
Russia has visions of former glory. They are fantastical. As are American visions of Manifest Destiny.
Nothing invites violence like a clash of visions. They are invisible but the most powerful force in a people. They unleash ignorant armies. They lead civilizations over a cliff. Or they strive to “achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Obama knows Abraham Lincoln spoke those words at the end of a Civil War, which the American President had prosecuted ruthlessly – 620,000 American dead, the greatest violence up to that time in history. President Obama, like President Lincoln, knows that some wars, as was true of our deadly conflict to abolish slavery and preserve the Union, do not unleash ignorant armies. They are fought with the vision of achieving peace.
Our sixteenth President preserved his vision through war. Obama shares Lincoln’s vision for America. President Obama is striving, on this 20th day of September, 2015, to Jaw! Jaw! to preserve it through peace.