Sunday, September 8, 2013

The USA, President Obama, Pope Francis, Syria and the International Community

It has once again been a month of Sundays since our last post. Life keeps taking priority over the posts. Our last post about the Roman Catholic Church, and the subsequent election of Cardinal Bergoglio to become the new pope, gives us a starting point for this post. The Cardinal, now Pope Francis, has already shown by his actions and words that he has the potential to be a once-in-a-blue-moon leader as pope. That is, he shows early indications that he embraces characteristics we have presented here at our blog site – regarding leadership, mindset, vision, the stuff that we believe makes for true leadership and that is most likely to lead to organizational excellence, even global excellence.

Now, the Syria situation and President Obama’s decision to ask Congress to consider and support his decision to conduct a military action against the Syrian regime adds a second starting point for this post. Both of these leaders follow the principles we present throughout our posts. We hear so often about what the folks back home are telling our senators and representatives, we thought we would give our opinion as a blog site post.

As we look at it, these two world leaders are each embracing the spirit and letter of these words from the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America (USA):

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of  Happiness.”

We believe the USA has an affirmative obligation (as do other leading nations, like Russia) to be available to all nations as they consider the universal applicability of these “unalienable rights.” In fact, all five of the United Nation (UN) Security Council member nations (the permanent members) recognize these rights in their charter documents – each in their own words.

The United Nations (UN) has a declaration of universal human rights. Those rights include the unalienable rights set forth in the USA Declaration of Independence. Importantly, the UN and the members of its Security Council have an affirmative obligation to address instances where a nation is denying these rights to its citizens. Syria is doing just that – and more. While there have been and perhaps even now are other nations that are trampling on their peoples’ unalienable rights, Syria is the nation needing immediate attention.

It just seems to be basic kitchen table wisdom and street corner logic that the UN, particularly through its Security Council, should join the USA in bringing the Syrian troubles to an end. As Pope Francis is urging, the preferred way of course is to bring the Assad regime to the negotiating table (which in this case might need to be a very tough love pull to the table).

China, France, The UK, Russia and the USA, each and all in their respective more lucid moments, must understand that their own long term interests, those of the Syrian people and of the world in general will be best served by a negotiated resolution that brings the fighting and killing of innocents to an end, and that sets the template for a proper Syrian future – one that is in keeping with the self-evident unalienable rights premise we all seem to embrace.

President Obama has looked at the heinous chemical weapons use as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  Indeed on its own it is a bright line, as at least implicitly reflected in UN proclamations, among other places. To be sure, though, the Syrian situation with more than 100,000 deaths so far calls for international attention and resolution.

The leadership words and actions of both President Obama and Pope Francis ought to be heeded and followed. A negotiated resolution , it appears, will only be possible if the other Security Council member nations “adult up,” and join President Obama – including avoiding the need for military intervention. The chemical weapon use in Syria is of course a “never again’ matter. The entire complicated set of circumstances there, and elsewhere in the region, though, cry out for a wise and long lasting resolution, one that could conceivably even lead to subsequent attention and resolution of other extremely serious issues in the Middle East.