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Neither President Obama nor some opponents of war with Syria are being forthright when they say they are standing up for the people of that country.
By advocating bombing Syria, Obama is likely to end up killing hundreds if not thousands of innocent people in Syria.
He says he is responding to a war crime, but he would be committing a graver war crime by launching attacks on Syria. Justice Robert Jackson at the Nuremburg Trials said the biggest war crime of all is to engage in an aggressive war.
As for delivering an oppressed people from tyranny, we have the recent example of Bush's war in Iraq (based on bogus reports of weapons of mass destruction) and NATO's violent intervention in Libya. Neither ended well.
Even as over 1,000 Syrians were being killed by chemical weapons, nearby Egypt's murderous military went on a rampage and murdered hundreds of demonstrators. Secretary of State John Kerry won't even cut off military aid to Egypt, let alone bomb that country "to protect the innocent."
Double standards are all over the place. The United States used Agent Orange in Vietnam and depleted uranium shells in Iraq. Israel used white phosphorus in Gaza. All are versions of chemical weapons, and all did enormous harm.
That being said, those who oppose Obama's war plans would be well advised not to give Syrian dictator Assad a free pass.
Since the Arab Spring spread to Syria, Assad's forces have murdered tens of thousands of people for demanding the same things as protesters in Egypt, Tunisia, and so many other places of the world: freedom.
Sadly, some the same voices that speak out against U.S. military intervention have for the most part kept quiet about Assad's crimes.
The slogan "No war in Syria" is downright absurd. There already is a war in Syria, and it has killed over 100,000 people in barely a couple of years.
And the calls against foreign intervention in Syria are downright hypocritical if they do not include Russia, which has for years armed Assad's forces to their teeth.
Let's stand by the Syrian people. They don't want to be bombed by Western "liberators," but they don't want a genocidal dictator either.
What they want is peace. What they want is freedom.
And the best way to get there is to bring all sides to the peace table.
Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero is a Puerto Rican author, journalist, and environmental educator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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