Sunday, September 8, 2013

Should the U.S. Go It Alone In Syria?

While watching This Week with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday, September 1, Tavis Smiley very eloquently reminded us that just days before President Obama said that the U.S. must strike Syria, the world was celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King's, "I Have a Dream" speech, and celebrating the success of his non-violent equality movement. Now, as Mr. Smiley points out, we are dishonouring Dr. King by  asserting that violence is the only course of action. George Stephanopoulos retorted that while non-violent movements can work in a civilized society that recognizes behavioral norms, he didn't think it would work in Syria.

I'm undecided.

What I am decided about is that regardless of the atrocities committed by the Assad regime, the U.S. should not go it alone. If the rest of the world doesn't want to participate, the U.S. should not take it upon itself to be the policeman of the world.

As more food for thought, here are some non-violent protests that achieved success:
1. Gandhi's Independence Movement
2. Martin Luther King's Equal Rights Movement
3. Flower Power Anti-Vietnam War Movement
4. Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience Movement
5. Women's Suffrage Movement
6. United Auto Workers "Flint Sit-In"
7. Tiananmin Square Protester (ongoing)

In Memphis, Tennessee, on the sight of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was gunned down now stands The National Civil Rights Museum dedicated to his honour and the honour of nonviolent protest movement. It is a very moving tour that takes you through the motel and ends up in the room where Dr. King was staying when he was gunned down. Go see it, it's special.

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