If Secretary of State John Kerry were to critique the violence that rips through the streets of New Orleans and compare it to the alleged chemical violence of the mean streets of Damascus, Syria he would no doubt thunder that “children dying of asphyxiation by chemical weapons must not be allowed to go unanswered!” Really!? Would you like to tell that to the mother of 1 year old Londyn Samuels who was killed with her 18 year old babysitter on August 31? How about the parents of the other 3 children killed in “Central City” since September, 2010 (1)?
The answer to this question is obvious, the political power of the United States will only be summoned to grandstand against gun violence here at home while shipping those same weapons, at taxpayer expense, to be used overseas. Recall that Staff Sgt. Robert Bales recently plead guilty to the 2012 massacre of 16 women and children in Afghanistan. Now Kerry, President Obama and Mrs. Clinton want us to perform an encore in Syria because this “moral obscenity” (2) must not go unanswered. I say how can you “answer” one moral obscenity 7,000 miles away while the same obscenities go unanswered 7 blocks away?
Leo Tolstoy explained why the violence of war is resorted to by men of little virtue. “The use of violence only weakens this [spiritual] force, corrupts it, and tries to replace it by another which…. is detrimental to…. the progress of humanity” (3). It should resonate loud and clear that the same government that has presided over the societal decay responsible for the death of Londyn Samuels claims it can alter that decay in the Middle East; yet the 33 year campaign to do so has helped produce the conditions in Afghanistan & Syria.
Let’s hope that in 33 years we are talking about the decades long campaign to stamp out “moral obscenities” in American cities like New Orleans.