I know that you guys don’t need me to tell you what to say when you contact your Congress critter, but I thought I’d share what I told the staffers who answered the phone today when I did. As you well know, when you contact Congressional offices, the staffers who answer the phone are always polite, and they quietly listen to what you say, and provided it’s anything short of a death threat, they will say “Thank you for contacting Rep. Schmidlap. I will make sure that he gets your message.”
I like to keep it short on these calls max, so here’s what I said. “I am calling to tell the congressman (or Senator) that I cannot overstate my opposition to starting a war with Syria. In fact I think it’s the stupidest idea I have heard in a long time. There is no American national security interest, or if there is, it hasn’t been demonstrated to me. Second, there is no clear objective, so there is no way to tell when we’ve accomplished the mission. Third, since we don’t know the objective, no one, not John Kerry, not Barack Obama, and not the congressman, can tell us what it will cost. The Tomahawk missiles cost $600,000- $1 m (I’ve read conflicting amounts), but if we don’t know what we’re trying to accomplish, we don’t know how many we will use. Therefore, we don’t know the cost. Fourth, John Kerry, Barack Obama and the others telling us what a great idea this adventure is assure us that there will be “no boots on the ground.” If there are no boots on the ground, how do we know that we’ve degraded the chemical weapons? That question alone should make it clear how ridiculous this idea is. Finally, the time to go after Syria was in 2011, when Barack Obama said “Assad must go,” but he didn’t want to do anything then, because he didn’t want to start a war before the election.
As you know, there are many other issues that make it clear that bombing Syria is a bad idea (the lack of clarity about who actually used the weapons, the fact that the rebels are al Qaeda affiliated, or may be, the fact that it’s obvious that Obama is embarking on this mission out of cynical political calculation), but I let those suffice.
Did you call your Congressman? What happened when you did? Please leave your story in the comments.