War’s reluctant start


It’s true a century ago with the assassination of an Austrian baron. It’s true half a century ago with one ( or two) incidents in the Gulf of Tonkin. It’s true this very Labor weekend, even when we all saw photos of little bodies – dead by chemically induced weapon.

Labor Day traditionally meant as a break for the working class (well, somehow it got co-opted by Congressmen and women as well). Sort of poorman’s vacation e.g. kids back to school, mom back to PT work etc…

Who would want to go shoot down somebody. Not a convenient time. Not in everyone’s mind, nor purview.

It might sell some weapons to take down “creative destruction” weaponry. But in this post-Recession era, it is a reluctant call.

There is no rationality to how war started and takes on a life of its own. I have no prejudice against the Syrian people per se.

After all, Steve Jobs, with Syrian DNA, gave us Apple and the I-phone.

It is more convenient if it were the Chinese, whose money we owe, who crossed the red line

War has always been inconvenient. It destroys at many layers and its effects unending (a century ago, it got the US addicted to war as gold treasure ballooned up , hence, war as economic solution – half a century ago, now, the lingering effect of Agent Orange).

So, why bother?

Acts of aggression take place everyday, everywhere.

Some made the news. Many and most don’t.

But I happened to see the photos (just like I did witness the burning monk, the last chopper and Three-Mile-Island up close).

When you are engaged, you are responsible.

This one matters to me.

Some future misuse of chemical weapons will mater to you and your loved ones.

It’s not enough to turn sword into ploughshares.

Or write a letter or a blog.

There are more effective ways to get your point across.

It’s our century’s dilemma: data rich, but determination poor.

We have become of species of special access (broadband for everyone), but not of anger.

We don’t feel. But then, we will regret (for things we did not do).

President Clinton once made a stop in Ireland to seek consultation from a just-dead poet, before facing E European troubles.

This time, Mr Obama might want to seek consultation from Congress-on-vacation (back in ten) and history book.

All Presidents must face crisis and call to war.

It always has a built-in ambivalence and unintended consequences.

Leaders face fear and challenges but go ahead with gut calls.

Or else, we are all managers, tweaking and cooking the books.

Yes. It’s regional and sectarian. It’s even civil war.

But by zooming out, we realize that chemical weapon violation marks a bookend to humanity.

From here on out, either we say No to “chemical addiction” or we end up using it ourselves.

An assassination there, a regional sea brush here. All seemingly regional and reluctant.

But it’s necessary. To stand (not a cowboy stance, in ready gun-draw posture ) and put down our ploughshares to take up the sword.

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