Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

We can't just sit by and do nothing

Wick's World


When it comes to world affairs, inevitably my wife and I are in agreement politically, morally and ethically. When Assad gassed his own people, we had differing reactions. Like most Americans, my wife said, “Leave them alone. Don’t get involved at all.”

On the other hand I replied, “We can’t just sit by and do nothing. Chemical warfare is so nasty. It has to be dealt with somehow.”

The Syrian gassing of its own people was so outrageous that it comes as no surprise that there are as many viewpoints about what to do about it as there are people who take the time to give this dilemma serious thought.

This wasn’t just a simple shootout between two opposing armies. This was an unleashing of chemical weapons against civilians, women and children who posed no threat to the Assad regime. This was outright murder resulting in the cruelest of deaths.

The real dilemma is that there remains no viable solution to effectively prohibit despots from gassing their own people.

Saddam routinely gassed the Kurd in the north of Iraq. Hitler made it a policy of ethnic cleansing.

The use of chemicals in war was banned way back in 1925. History documented the horrors of mustard gas in WWI and the world vowed never again. That vow has been too often dishonored.

Unfortunately our administration’s response continues to center around a military reaction. The focus has been retaliation and punishment which rarely works.

If we punish Assad are we actually aiding Al-Qaeda and other Muslim radicals that make up the Syrian opposition?

There appear to be no "good guys" in this conflict, so how does America expect to be the Knight in Shining Armor?

A Mayan shaman who had a bounty placed on him by a brutal Guatemalan government once told me, “Wick, I always choose my battles carefully. I never fight an unworthy opponent. If I take your head, who can I show it to?”

As I write this column I am somewhere over the Pacific Ocean en route to Honolulu.

Tomorrow, I cross off another item on my bucket list.

I am going to visit Pearl Harbor, the crime scene of one of the most dastardly acts ever committed against America.

I will also see the battleship USS Arizona where many Americans lost their lives, including area resident Kenneth Dale Skelton. I hope to find his name etched on the memorial simply to remember a real human who once existed and sacrificed his life for our country.

I cannot foretell what will happen with Syria by the time this column gets published.

I know I cannot support a military action because killing for peace rarely seems to work. What is needed is a wholesale worldwide re-inventing of culture, one based on getting along instead of getting it on.

Maybe I’m a dreamer, but what if we bombed them with schools, houses, food and infrastructure?

Fat chance you may say. If we all stand by and do nothing, I’m afraid it will be business as usual. We might just as well turn on the tube and watch the highly censored show begin.

(These are the opinions of me, Wick Fisher, and not the Moose Lake Star Gazette.)


Reader Comments

Expat writes:

Having spent several years in the region, there has always been considerable debate as to who deployed these chemical weapons. The first reports I heard were well over a year ago. From the latest reports that I have read and speaking with actual intelligence assets in the area, it is most likely not Assad who ordered the chemical attacks. So it turns out it was better to sit back and do nothing, because we really did not know the complete story...


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