Tonight Michael and I attended the only town hall of it’s kind anywhere in the country, and it was held by my Representative, Emanuel Cleaver II, in one of the lecture halls in the Penn Valley Community College Health Sciences Building. For two hours – and he had only scheduled the room for one, not expecting the SRO crowd that showed up – he heard his constituents out. I think only two people – other than the Syrian Americans who were there, oddly enough – favored military action against the Assad regime. Each one of the Syrian Americans felt compelled to express how surreal it felt to them to want to see bombs fall on their homeland. Only one of the Syrian Americans opposed military action against the Assad regime.
Lots of people think we need to do “something” they just aren’t sure what. There was a lot of support for indicting Assad and the top members of his staff for war crimes, And, as one of the voters in attendance who advocated that action put it, “That’s serious business. Just ask those fellas from Bosnia.”
The other option people liked was to bypass the UN Security Council and debate the issue in the General Assembly. There was also a lot of support for a humanitarian mission of some sort, perhaps along the lines of what we did in Haiti in the 90s.
And of course, the crazy was out. There was a banquet of pathologies on parade, from delusions of grandeur to full-on paranoia, but for the most part, people are just sick and tired of war and spending money we don’t have on wars that do nothing to further our interests, and that’s a damned hard position to argue with. Fortunately, my Representative is Emanuel Cleaver. I don’t have to worry about him being a bloodthirsty warhawk who would even try that tack.