Letter to the Editor

In response to “Will the U.S. invade Syria?

On page six of the April 22 edition of The War Cry, the Salvation Army’s weekly newspaper, the editor comments on the two sides fighting each other in Syria. On one side, “a vicious Russian and Iranian-backed dictator who has allowed his own citizens to be bombed with chemical weapons.” On the other, “a plethora of rebel forces that includes murderous jihadists, whose idea of liberation includes the subjugation of women and death to dissenters, including Christians.”

Not much to choose from unless we want to fool ourselves that somewhere out there is still a “lost battalion” made up of politically democratic, secular Syrians who really need our help.

Most sentient people know that the Salvation Army’s militancy eschews violence. Their recommendation is to not involve ourselves (the West) in the violence and instead “give a home to Syria’s many orphans.” As a not-particularly-religious Quaker, I support the Army’s humanitarian efforts, as well as those of the Quakers, which is why I regularly read The War Cry. (As well as Latterly, which also seems to be somewhere in that middle ground and able to see the essentially vile nature of both sides).

As to whether or not stories about the pending invasion by the United States and its hapless allies are fake, it may well depend on what his favorite daughter finds important on the day. The Trump family operates at such an intellectually and emotionally primitive level that Ivanka’s reactions to the photographs of gassed children were cited by her brother as the trigger of the missile attack on the Syrian government.

So what’s holding Trump back? Pence? Ryan? Ivanka? What remains of the Democratic party? Please find out and tell us.

And if the story is or becomes true, and assuming that even Trump understands that it would not be a good idea to enable a militant Sunni jihadist government to take over in Syria, despite what our “allies” in the Gulf and Ankara are planning, is there a next step? If the Russians can be forced or threatened into standing down or backing off, and presumably giving up their Mediterranean Naval bases, will we then see Jared filling the role of this administration’s nation-building Paul Bremer?

Or more likely, will everyone who voted for Trump be disappointed yet again as the United States slides into an even bigger disaster than Afghanistan/Iraq, but this time with Russia, Iran and every Shia Muslim in the world on the other side? If the Syrian conflict, Act 1, has already destabilized our world Act 2 will complete the job.

Do what the Salvation Army recommends and take care of the orphans. We don’t have anyone’s permission to do anything more than that.

Christopher Henson
Cambridge, U.K.