My thanks go to the Flyer for publishing Alyson Krueger's beautiful and moving story about young Sergio Araya and his family ("A Life for Sergio," September 12th issue). It perfectly illustrates why the U.S. immigration laws need to be reformed and why dehumanizing and demonizing and labeling all undocumented immigrants as "illegals" does a disservice to both the immigrants and to us.
I totally agree with Bruce VanWyngarden's comments regarding U.S. involvement in Syria (Letter from the Editor, September 5th issue). When will the world (and the U.S.A.) learn that war is not the answer? Fifteen percent of our 316 million citizens are homeless and 25 percent of this number are veterans. Now we contemplate another war while our national debt approaches $17 trillion and the US dollar is shrinking every year. When will we learn?
The Obama administration argues that the use of chemical weapons is a violation of international law. But the U.S. would also be guilty of violating international law if it unilaterally attacked a sovereign nation, Syria, that was not threatening us. Do two wrongs make a right? Missile strikes on Syria are an act of war. The conflict in Syria does not threaten our national security.
About the only thing we can be sure about in going to war in Syria is that the U.S. will lose military lives and that civilian lives in Syria will be lost.
What a lifetime. From the end of the Korean War until today, I've lived through dozens of U.S. military interventions, hundreds of war crimes, and the murder of millions.
Despite this education in suffering, I was unprepared emotionally to watch the video of the chemical attack by the Syrian government on its own citizens. No act, including the use of nuclear weapons, could be more repulsive or more irredeemably evil. If ever there was a case to be made for a global "blitzkrieg," for an immediate military response, and for every other conceivable punishment to be rained down upon the Syrian regime, this is the time. And yet, from my country and the world, silence.
What a lifetime. I remember our military adventures, when we sacrificed our youth to defend corporate interests or corrupt dictators or global political agendas. Almost all were ill-advised at the time. All could have been avoided had we proactively lived up to our creed as a nation.
Our creed and our belief is that we are "exceptional." That we know what is good and true. That we stand against evil at any cost. And we do this, in large part, because we believe we were endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, and these rights extend to everyone in the world.
How disappointed our creator must be with us. How selfish and hypocritical we have proven ourselves to be. How thoroughly unexceptional.
Unlike the Syrian women and children who died a torturous death as their limbs stiffened, my country and I will go on, pretending that nothing happened. But, of course, something did. Through our indefensible inaction, America and the world finally let the devil steal our soul. And we'll never get it back. My God, what a lifetime.
Regarding Jackson Baker's September 12th Politics column: While I understand that to many living in Memphis everything east of Nashville is considered "the East Coast," there are in fact many states that make up the region east of Tennessee, with great differences between them. North Carolina and Virginia are, in fact, not the same state. Senator Tim Kaine represents the northernmost of the two, which is the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was also formerly the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, not North Carolina, as the column stated.
Editor's note: Catherine Piche is correct. We regret the error.