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Letters to the editor, September 25

Diversity of opinion

The Sept. 11 editorial rightly memorialized those killed 12 years ago on that date. It went on to remember the brave Americans who engaged in “our nation’s wars against terrorism that followed the attacks.”

I, too, lament their deaths. However, the war in Iraq was not a war against terrorism. Some recognized that at the time — all of us should know better now.

That same paper featured an article in which University of North Texas professor Wawro observes a “lack of appetite” among Americans for the “adventure” of striking Syria. He noted, “The only explanation is that [Americans] are just fatigued by 10 years of war and nation-building in the Middle East.”

Wawro’s use of the term “adventure” when describing military action is unfortunate. Military strikes are not adventures, and the cavalier attitude implied by such a term is precisely what many reject.

The reluctance of many Americans to strike Syria may stem not simply from fatigue but from a humble skepticism regarding the ability to achieve constructive ends by destructive means.

Others may object to the financial costs that such a strike would entail, while others are concerned about empowering al-Qaida or acting without broad international support.

Others — including the denominational leadership of most churches (Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, ELCA Lutherans, etc.) as well as the pope and Al-Azhar (the most prestigious Islamic institution in the Sunni world) — object on moral grounds.

To state that the “only explanation” is fatigue is to overlook the complexity and diversity of American opinion on the subject.

Craig Hunter