A way to help


To the Editor:

The situation in Syria is indeed very troubling. I can understand why President Obama first hesitated to send even light weapons to aid the rebels against the Assad government’s cruel treatment of its own people. I am distressed that the president has changed his mind in this matter, but perhaps it is not too late to apply one remedy that I have in mind.

Instead of halting the shipments of even light weapons and then waiting to see what happens next, and doing nothing is probably just as bad, I have in mind an idea that Steve Coll in his New Yorker magazine column (July 1, 2013) proposes, which he describes as “a humanitarian corridor in Syria’s north” to provide shelter, food and medical aid to the thousands of displaced citizens, the victims of Assad’s tyranny.

This idea is not a new one. An example of such aid has been made over the years by the American Friends Service and others and is something to be remembered.

America can and should be counted on to help the downtrodden, not to provide more military weapons to them. There are too many of these now already. What a great example we could give to our allies as well as our enemies if we at last begin the work to stop this relentless hostility against people with whom we basically have no quarrel.

I fear for our brave young soldiers who are thus exposed to death and injury for causes that seem so hopeless. Let us concentrate on helping the victims of tyranny, and let the other nations decide how to solve such problems in their own ways.

We can help by healing not destroying.

Heidi Schultz

West Tisbury