An Open Letter to Barack Obama regarding Syria.

Via Daniel Scharpenburg
on Aug 28, 2013
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Dear President Obama,

This is not normally the kind of article that I write here—I was hesitant to write it, but I think that not enough people are talking about what’s going on.

If you do a quick search for “reasons not to invade Syria,” you’ll find a lot of results. You’ll read things like: it will be hard, it will be expensive, we shouldn’t be the police of the world, we were wrong about Iraq and we could be wrong about this too, this is a civil war in which both sides are ones that don’t really deserve our support, etc.

But, that’s not what I’m going to write about. If you want that information, it’s easy enough to find.

Mr. President, there is one reason above all others that I think you should not invade Syria.

For years, people have been saying that you are no better than Bush. There’s a list people can make: the prosecution of Bradley Manning, drone strikes on civilians, spying on Americans, etc.

I don’t agree with those people—I always have maintained the following: Obama hasn’t authorized torture and he hasn’t lied to put us into a war that we have no business being involved in.

I’m not one of those people, but I want to point out this one thing. You have an opportunity. A wonderful opportunity to prove them wrong. All you have to do is not attack Syria. Killing civilians with missiles and/or a ground war probably isn’t the best way to show Assad that he shouldn’t be killing civilians with gas, is it?

I mean, I guess you could say, “These are war crimes. It’s important that we do something.” But given that no one in America was prosecuted for the torture that occurred under your predecessor…it won’t seem genuine.

Let the United Nations do it’s job instead.

War in Syria won’t go well. I noticed a few talking heads say that it would be easy—those same people said Iraq would be easy, so they have no credibility.

War is not the answer.

People say you’re as bad as Bush; please prove them wrong.


A concerned citizen


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Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg lives in Kansas City with two kids and two cats. He teaches classes in Buddhist studies at the Rime Buddhist Center, where he's starting a Zen meditation group in the near future. He's studied with a wide variety of different Buddhist teachers and is a dedicated follower of the Zen tradition. He received personal instruction from Shi Da Dao, in the Caodong (Soto) tradition, and he has served as jisha (personal attendant) to Karen Maezen Miller on a Zen retreat. He's the writer of Notes from a Buddhist Mystic Find out more about Daniel on his blog and connect with him on Facebook and  Twitter.


2 Responses to “An Open Letter to Barack Obama regarding Syria.”

  1. Mali Jimenez says:

    I haven't heard about the possibility of the US invading Syria but rather of 'strategic strikes'. I don't think there is talk of 'boots on the ground', which is what an invasion would be. I do agree with you, though, that any more force is a terrible idea. As I read today, any more military intervention in Syria would be like "cutting into a hemophiliac"…

  2. Daniel Scharpenburg says:

    Also, please pardon Bradley Manning.