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Letter: Let’s Try a Nonviolent Approach

To the Editor:

The use of poison gas by Syrian President Bashar Assad on his own people was horrible and should be outside the bounds of acceptable behavior by the world’s community of nations. The punishment should be total ostracism of Syria by the rest of the world. This total isolation of Syria should be maintained until Assad and all those responsible for this abomination are handed over to be tried for war crimes. I note that Syria’s ally, the Russians, are demanding they turn over their supplies of the poison. If we do not act in concert against Assad, then we are giving carte blanche to any dictator or country that wishes to behave as he has done. A military action, such as an air strike, will only cause the deaths of more innocent people, so let the rest of the world unite in this condemnation.

The community of nations is faced with a challenge and a choice — cooperation or military action. Let us try a nonviolent approach for a change. That way, perhaps we can prevent the deaths of more innocents.

I am an old man and have seen many wars during my lifetime and fought in one of them. I will never understand this constant demand for power and territory in this world of ours. In our country, we have the driving desire of the individual for more money, bigger houses, more things to buy and all sorts of status symbols. What good does it do in the long run? Don’t people see that the building of war machines only creates a demand for war? You build a missile, and I’ll build an anti-missile-missile. You build nuclear weapons, and I’ll build nuclear weapons. And let’s prevent the small guy from building them. Maybe nuclear weapons are a nation’s status symbol.

Too bad we haven’t learned to live with one another. Reminds me of rats that kill other rats of the same species but are from a different clan. Maybe we are just as territorial and stupid.

Herbert A. Knapp

Orford