“Knowledge without character
Politics without principle”
~~~from “Seven Deadly Sins” by Mahatma Gandhi
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I read these words and try to put them into the context of what is happening in Syria today. As UN inspectors search at this moment for evidence of chemical warfare against Syrian citizens either by the regime of Bashar al-Assad or by rebel terrorists, US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the chemical attacks in Syria a “cowardly crime.” Assad maintains his innocence. It is not a question of whether chemicals were used against innocent Syrian civilians, but by whom and whether Obama’s “line in the sand” has been crossed. If indeed it has been, do we attack Syria with possible allied help from Britain and France? The conundrum emerges in several ways.
First, we are a war-weary country still struggling to gain lost ground after war on two fronts under Bush due to faux WMD’s. Lives of our military were lost or ruined and we, as a nation, struggled to regain our standing, not just internally but throughout the world. Additionally, Syria’s friends are a formidable axis that includes Russia, Iran and China. Are we truly ready to re-engage in armed conflict?
Second, can we as a society that calls itself humanitarian turn our backs on those who lie dead in Syrian streets? Can we look at the evil that has been done and have “knowledge without character” or “politics without principle?” I think back to the crematoriums of Nazi Germany. Were we not horrified? Did we not act? This also begs the question of whether Obama would act without consent from the Senate and Congress. We are a nation divided on many issues. I do not foresee us uniting on the issue of Syria.
But I know this: I cannot look at those children dead and dying without wanting us to do something to help. The UN is an impotent body. If we have the knowledge that chemical attacks were knowingly perpetrated against Syrian civilians and we do nothing, we as a nation have no character. If politics rule the day once truth is finally surmised, it must be done with principle.
About the Author: Cher Duncombe
Someone once told me, “Used-to-be’s don’t count.” I have pondered this often and find that they do count. We are the sum of our life experiences.
I used to be an English and Speech teacher. There will always be a part of me that wants to teach. I used to be an Investigator, first for the government and later in my own private investigations business.
I will always probe beneath the surface of issues and people, looking for the gem-like quality hidden in the text of words and personae. Today I am a writer and all of the used-to-be’s are part of the continuum of this journey. br> View My Profile