September 11, 2013
To the Editor:
Why is our government arguing so forcefully to use cruise missiles against Syria? And why now, as the anniversary of the attacks killing nearly 3,000 on 9/11/01 approaches?
We lost our son, Gregory, in the World Trade Center, and experienced firsthand the grief and shock of violence. The sympathy of the world was with our nation and we could have led an international movement that would use negotiations, dialogues and peacemaking approaches to conflict resolution. At that time we and other like minded victimsʼ families opposed retaliation that would cause suffering for other innocent victims abroad. Instead, over the past twelve years, weʼve watched our governmentʼs response make things worse as violence begets violence.
We should argue our case before the United Nations and not act illegally. We should be active members of the World Court and the International Criminal Court whose mission is to “bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind – war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide”, especially when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.
How painful it is that we may be repeating recent history, perpetuating a policy of failure while giving extremists more reason to hate us.
The killing of innocent civilians under any circumstances is wrong, but we have already seen hundreds of thousands of deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen in response – directly or indirectly – the attacks of 9/11/01. When will it end?
Right now, thanks to Secretary Kerryʼs proposal taken up by the Russians, there is a ray of hope that Syriaʼs government is willing to hand over chemical weapons to the international community. We, the US, can still leave future generations a legacy as peacemakers by pursuing this. Letʼs stymie our enemies by committing ouselves to any and all possibilities for negotiation and dialogue.
If we do in the end go ahead with missile strikes, it will not be in our sonʼs name!
Phyllis & Orlando Rodriguez
Our son, Gregory Rodriguez, died in the WTC attacks. He worked in email security at Cantor Fitzgerald. We are members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.