Dear Mr. President. I must tell you straight from my heart and soul that you are wrong on your decision to make a military strike upon Syria. Pope Francis has given you advice "lay down your weapons." I would encourage you to find a table for peace talks before moving any further with talks of a military strike on Syria. The American people who elected you twice have made it clear where nearly 80% of us stand which is not to strike Syria. Regardless of your desire to punish the Assad regime for alleged use of chemical warfare against his own people, including innocent women and children you must not allow your righteous indignation to drive your thinking. I continue to weep when I see pictures of small children dressed like children all around the world, laying dead. They look just like my grandchildren and my heart goes out to them and their families. But Mr. President, you must not be coerced into believing Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are now suddenly on your side by publicly stating their support for you on Syria. These men are not your political allies. They are wolves in sheep skin clothing.
Remember these are the same gang of Republicans who have opposed you every step of the way in your efforts to bring the American people from every political, social, racial and ethnic group together on programs which can benefit our country. These are the same wolves who have made it publicly clear their only agenda is to make sure you fail. Even now they are planning to step up their attacks on the affordable care act, dismantle social security and Medicare/Medicaid and stop the funding of benefits for gay and lesbian couples already agreed upon. They are the same wolves who would shut down the Government rather than support any of your Iniatives to strengthen the country they say they love. These are the wolves who have cleverly trapped you by luring you into thinking they share your views on Syria-again a position opposed by nearly 80% of the people who elected you to into office. Can you not see what these wolves are doing? Surely you must know you cannot trust this band of hypocrites?
Mr. President, you must know you are being used by them for their purposes only. They are some of the meanest, dishonest, racist, arrogant, homophobic and sinister men on the planet. If you are determined to continue this dangerous and violent path to punish Syria then you are not the compassionate and brilliant President I have come to know you to be. I have always believed you were more of a prophet than a President more compassionate and considerate than arbitrary. As such I want to believe you listen to your heart more than your head and that you are led by a higher authority as well as the law of the land we all love. Now that you are in your second term of office you must follow the path of diplomacy and negotiation so that those who continue to live daily with their backs against the wall can see a path forward. Those who can never get over your first term election are more determined than ever to block any legislation during your second term. Mr. President, remember those who still believe you were not born in the United States? Do you remember the U.S. serviceman who said you are not his Commander and Chief, therefore he does not have to take any directives from you? Do you remember the wolves who feel they have enough votes to impeach you? As President Roosevelt said in 1941 following the attack on Pearl Harbor "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
I urge you to listen to those voices protesting outside of the White House against the build up to strike particular targets in Syria. Listen to the young voices around America urging you not to strike Syria as they will be the ones to pay the ultimate price for your decision. They are the ones who overwhelmingly voted for you to have a second term. You owe nothing to J. McCain, M. McConnell and L. Graham whose favorite past time is to challenge anything you wish to do for the good of our beloved country. Mr. President I urge you to listen to those strong voices opposing your intent to nominate Lawrence Summers as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Here is a man who disrespects women, does not respect the rights of the individual and who is arrogant, rude and not a nice person. Here is another one of the wolves in sheep skin clothing.
Mr. President the American people are weary of war and its high cost in young lives and money we the tax payers must bear. Give thought to letting the dust settle in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran before creating a plethora of resentment and hostility against the United States and its allies. Listen to those ancient words "not by might nor power, but by my Spirit says the Lord." I will continue to pray for you and for our country that reconciliation and diplomacy will be the tools for the path to peace in Syria. And so it is!
Rev. Dr. Paul Smith, Senior Minister Emeritus,
First Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn Heights, New York