President Obama: a parent’s response to the Syrian tragedy
I don’t know the president. But I do have a child. When the president said that Trayvon Martin could have been his son, I identified with that as I have a teenage son. When the president cited the cruelty administered to Syrian children with the sarin gas attack, I identified with his visceral feelings.
Parental instinct: protection
Perhaps the president and I are having our response to the Syrian gas attack manipulated by our parental emotions to protect children from evil. But if we squelch our human reaction to protect children in harms way, can we call ourselves human?
The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. – Transcript of President Obama speech on Syria
Is a military response correct?
I am not sure if launching cruise missiles is the best course or only option to punish or stop future crimes against humanity with the use of chemical weapons. I am certain that those who hide behind the notion that a strike on Syria will unnecessarily escalate the conflict and draw us into another war value their own personal political positions over those of the world’s children.
When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory. – President Obama
It’s none of my business
It is easy for me, from the comfort of my arm-chair, to advocate against any military involvement in a foreign country’s civil war. What happens in the Middle East has no impact on my life or the lives of most Americans. The domestic violence at my neighbor’s house also has little impact on my life. But that doesn’t mean that if I witness abuse I would not be called to intervene to protect the victims.
What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas, and we choose to look the other way? – President Obama
Who will place their body between an adult’s hand raised in anger to shield a child? Have we become so numb to the atrocities in the Middle East that we shrug our shoulders over the killing of innocent children? To rephrase an old protest song “Politics, what is it good for, absolutely nothing”.
Have they no heart?
I sincerely hope those politicians invoking themes of “war weary public”, “wider conflicts”, and “U.N. mandates” as an excuse not to advocate for the children of Syria are spoken purely for political posturing. Surely, those opposed to any intervention don’t have their hearts so hardened that they can dismiss any action to protect children. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they only care about themselves.
To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain, and going still on a cold hospital floor. – President Obama
I’m guilty of being a parent too
The president is guilty of being a parent and having a sense of empathy compassion. It happens to the best of us. Our President is human and is acting like a loving parent that can see the eyes of his own children in the Syrians that have died. Whether we like it or not, Syria is our neighbor on this small planet we share together. We have a moral obligation to exercise all options to protect the innocent victims of any unprovoked attacked whether it is in Syria or the house next door.
But when, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death, and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. – President Obama
The president and all parents are imbued with the natural instinct to protect the children. That instinct causes us to risk our own safety to intervene when a child is in danger.
We are better than our history
The military mistakes of the past are just that: history. We must learn from history and move forward. Even a person that has committed a crime in the past is not immune from making the right decision to help someone in need. We do need to focus on caring for our citizens here in the U.S. But that doesn’t relieve us of our obligation to protect children and families in other parts of the world.