Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm Glad I'm Not in Congress

I've wanted to be in Congress since I was a little girl. I never wanted to run a campaign or fundraise but I wanted to be in Congress. I wanted an office in the Rayburn Building. I wanted interns to make copies of my speeches. I wanted a desk on the floor of the House or the Senate in a space which had been occupied by elected representatives since 1800. I wanted to weigh in on the important questions. I wanted to have a real say in the decisions.

I've wanted that right up until today. Today, I am very glad that Ron Barber is representing me in Washington, D.C.  

Sen. McCain's support for intervention in Syria is not surprising.  Doesn't it seem as if he's ready to pilot the planes himself? Sen. Flake can't be trusted to do what he says he will do so there is no point in wondering. That leaves Congressman Ron Barber.... and, once again, I am very glad that I was not typing my own name right then.

This is a decision I do not want to make.

Secretary of State Kerry says that the door is closed on boots on the ground .... in Syria's civil war. The last phrase grabbed my attention.  Is it a loop-hope through which my friends in the military might be called to service? Might there be boots on the ground to collect or secure or destroy chemical weapons? Inquiring Americans want to know.

I have been close enough to reportable events to know that television presents a simulacrum of the truth.  Reality, to those who experience it, looks different. If you know nothing going into the story (where I am, Syria-wise) it's wise to assume that those who are actually making the decisions are privy to more information than they share with the public. I can't base my decision on the fact because I don't know the facts. They do.

I must trust that they have my country's best interests at heart, even if the end game is obscure to me. There are so many moving pieces. I didn't think of North Korea beyond the fact that Dennis Rodman is headed back to visit his pal, Kim Jong Un. What is it with that, anyway? Can this be secret diplomacy hiding in plain sight? Inquiring Americans want to know.

Senator Boxer wanted me to look at the pictures of the dead Syrian children, wanted me to think about them gasping for breath, terrified. I tried to distract myself by admiring her hair and her blouse but it was inevitable that I would start to cry. I have to trust the officials telling me that they are certain that the sarin was not used by the rebels... or the vetted rebels, whatever that means.... and that the President of Syria was using poison gas on his own people

Then I start to think about yellow cake uranium and Niger and elusive weapons of mass destruction and Dick Cheney and, once again, I am glad that I am not in Congress right now.

NPR's story on the Syrian mother who took her children to the beach one day, downtown the next, as she tried to keep them safe, shook me to my core.  The beach was hard to get to, downtown empty because everyone is afraid - she went where she thought the bombs would not drop.  I hate the thought of her children wondering when America will drop death from the sky while I wonder that she is not afraid of being gassed by her own government. 

Learned men tell me that there is no justification in International Law (capitalized to show how important he thinks it is) for a US incursion of any kind, boots or drones or kitty cats. I know that they are learned me because they showed up on NPR and MSNBC and CNN. They always said the same thing. There are two distinct issues - what is legal and what is moral. 

They tried to make it simple

This is not a simple thing. I know so little and I have so many questions and every question leads to another road and none of those roads are paved, let alone equipped with signage. I am pacing and fretting and there are no cameras or microphones in front of my face. I can change my mind and there won't be any penalties.  I'll explain myself, taking as long as I want, typing whatever I fancy, and, although I hope you do, it doesn't matter if anyone reads it at all.  I have no more power than any of the other 207,643,594 eligible voters in the U.S

I'm fine with that, right now. 


  1. I also would not want to make that decision. Our senators, Wyden and Merkley are both undecided and will wait until they receive evidence that is firm. IF Assad used nerve gas, and other leaders have, I can see why Obama said what he did about making it more costly to use it than to not. They will hit military targets but nothing protects people who might be forced their as hostages. It's happened before. I don't think the world can overlook using such a weapon on someone's own people. Arguments such as that could justify letting a country create a Holocaust and we know what that did to the world's moral fiber to ignore it happening. Sometimes others do need to step in. The question, as you asked, is the evidence firm? Putin has indicated that if it is, Russia might not object to use of missiles to take out some of Assad's capability to do it again. I am glad it's not my decision as it's easier to be an idealist when real lives aren't on the line... Most of what is going on in Syria, why a mother would fear for her children's lives is their civil war. I cannot see how we could resolve that without taking on responsibility for the outcome for a long long time. That I definitely don't want.

  2. Replies
    1. (I get the whole proofreading part... sometimes the fingers get ahead of the brain!)

      Can we just go in, drone or missile the weapons away, and then ignore it again? I get the whole "making a statement" thing. The holocaust analogy is a valid one, but we ignored rape in Rwanda....

      I'll be glad to sit this one out and then judge the results :)

  3. I'm glad that I don't have to make this decision either. I'm morally opposed to war, but we cannot idly sit by and do nothing. The Holocaust is what I keep going back to also. Can we sit by and let someone use genocide on their own people?

    I don't want another war--especially when we have so many problems here in the U.S. Can we sit by and let the people in Syria being systematically eliminated?

    Wish there was a simple answer/solution.

    Megan xxx

  4. we ignored massive genocide in Rwanda which is a good argument on this one but I still don't know what's right. From what I can tell it's only talking about bombs or missiles not boots on the ground or out and out regime change.

  5. We don't know. We can't know all that the President knows. I have to trust him.... but.....


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