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A Modest Proposal for Syria


It is a melancholy object to those who view videos of Damascus, when they see the streets, the roads, and doorways, crowded with the bodies of those reportedly killed with the wrong weapons by the wrong people.

I think it is agreed by all parties that this 1,000 or more bodies is an outrage not to be tolerated in a nation that has killed off 100,000 or more in recent years with perfectly respectable weapons and seen its neighbors in Egypt murder thousands just a few weeks ago, to the clear satisfaction of the International Community.

Conceivably, Syria will set itself aright and return to more acceptable styles of population elimination. But my intention is very far from being confined to providing only for the next 10,000 or 100,000 corpses.  There are some 20 million people in Syria, some of whom may die rightly, and some wrongly, if left to chance.  To make matters worse, they are fleeing the nation by the millions at an increasing pace.

This need not be.  We in the United States have a responsibility.  Syrians are not less worthy of proper deaths than ourselves.  We need spare no financial expense due to prejudices of religion or ethnicity.  It is time for us to step up as the International Community, while the rest of the world’s nations fail.  We can make sure Syrians meet a proper end.

Let me be clear, when we used White Phosphorus to burn holes straight through men, women, and countless children in Fallujah, the International Community approved.  When we deployed new types of napalm despite the apparent lack of jungle foliage in Iraq, the International Community was satisfied.  There is no more proper death than through depleted uranium, injestion of which brings a most glorious chemical demise.  All of these avenues are available, and we should let a thousand flowers bloom in the Syrian streets.

But the ultimate solution is one which we have become the supreme masters of: cluster bombing.  The United States stands nearly alone in the world as a proponent of the legal use of both land mines and flying land mines, also known as cluster bombs.  These weapons are efficient and beautiful, creating a great variety of injuries as well as death.  Most importantly, they will generate terror.  Refugees will flee in all directions in such numbers that starvation and disease will wipe out huge swaths of the population.

As hunger takes over, opportunities will be found to restore a proper, if temporary, balance to the Syrian diet.  I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in Virginia, that a young healthy Syrian child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled. Sources within Syria report that hearts and livers are a delicacy.

The benefits of my scheme are so numerous that one is apt to forget the central and most significant objective, which will be accomplished with complete and total success if our actions are swift and comprehensive.  That is: we will stop the wrong people killing anyone with weapons deemed unacceptable by the International Community.

Enough with halfway measures, I say!  Enough with telling the Democrats we won’t join another endless war beyond our control on the side of Al Qaeda! Enough with assuring Republicans we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with terrorists until Iran is destroyed or Russia launches nukes! We have the technology. We have the stockpiles. Wipe every Syrian out with acceptable weaponry today! It’s our humanitarian responsibility!

David Swanson is author of War is a Lie. He lives in Virginia.

David Swanson wants you to declare peace at  His new book isWar No More: The Case for Abolition.

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