Letter to the Editor

Chance to strike

San Luis ObispoSeptember 20, 2013 

Public outcry — and a bit of sheer luck — has given international law the opportunity to strike a serious blow against chemical warfare.

Great War veteran and poet Wilfred Owen described such warfare well: “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning … the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer.”

Driven by horrific media images and political expediency, presidential power was recently poised to commit an act of war more narcissistic than sane, inflaming adversaries, ignoring allies and risking much wider conflict.

But the people rejected the incoherent talkingpoints of government sources and the toxic blather of media talkingheads. Outraged citizens — plus one truly inspired question to John Kerry from a journalist — gave the Republic a welcome breath of fresh air.

It is nearly 100 years since World War I spiraled out of control, and pundits are still debating what happened. Have we forgotten?

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