Shannon Fuller is a Freshman Cortina Student, studying Creative Writing and French. She is from Wisconsin. This is where she stands with regard to the possibility of the United States’ intervention in Syria.
As a young novelist and poet I seek to bring peoples minds and hearts back to whatever core beliefs they have. I do not wish to glorify poverty, nor do I wish to glorify wealth. I do, however, wish to follow in the footsteps of my betters and glorify peace. At this point, what I most wish for Syria is peace. I hope that somehow it can be achieved without sending more young men into battle with our flag pressed upon their shoulders. I do not wish for another Vietnam, and this “war on terror” or “war on dictatorship” is exactly what I feared it would be as a child. I feared this war would never end and that we would continue to find reasons to go to other places and fight. My fears are confirmed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria. We cannot fight dictatorship when we as a country have so many problems here.
People here think of our country as the big brother. The government must realize that we have problems of our own that we need to deal with. We cannot aid those “weaker” when we ourselves are weak. The Syrian government is wrong, but going in and killing more people solves nothing. Agent Orange was a chemical used in Vietnam that still produces birth defects in the country today. The United States also dropped the first atomic bomb and we all know how that ended. What so many people see as the “big brother” is actually the “big bully.”
There are so many issues in our own country that we must try to remove these first as a country before we can be an “example” for other countries. The number of shootings domestically and criminally in our country far out number those of any other Western country. We must open our eyes and see that the power we were in the World Wars is gone, and our intentions have not gotten any more moral since. We are a country that others look at and see as imperialist, and we are. We don’t help other countries unless it benefits us. We are not who we once were. We are not creating independence for others or ourselves. We are not freeing the slaves, in fact, again we are creating them in China and in Mexico. We are following in the same downward spiral as we did in the Cold War only this time we’re dragging more people under with us.
We have never benefited any country we invaded, or “helped.” In the Cold War, we invaded and paid off dictators who kidnapped small children and who destroyed young peoples lives. They kidnapped and killed people our own age and their blood ran through the streets. In Syria, we will try to create an election, the election will happen (eventually) and if that election produces an unfavorable outcome we will replace that person with someone that WE want. It happened in South America and it will happen in the Middle East.
I learned what I know in an International Baccalaureate class in Milwaukee and I left the class angered and frustrated with my country. I ask myself: “Why do we stand back and do nothing? Why do we say nothing?” I don’t need guitars and communes or bare feet to get my point across. I want to write my words down and strike fear with my “pen.” For, it worked for my betters, why should it not too work for me? We must remember where we came from and study it so we do not repeat the same mistakes that we have made. We as a generation must be proud of the people we are and the choices our generation made. Arrest me if you must, Paine and Hugo too spent their time behind bars. I will only speak truth. I do not wish for anarchy, because that only brings chaos. I am not for chaos. I am gentle chaos. The power is in the people, that is what we must remember.
As I wrote this to you I was listening to Imagine by John Lennon and I have to say the one line that always sticks out to me is this: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” I sincerely hope that I am not alone.