Hate begets hate. Violence begets violence.

The years of war and the recent tragedies in Syria are heartbreaking. The tortuous deaths caused by chemical weapons are another example of the depths of human depravity.

War and preparations for war accomplish nothing. The President’s decision to violate international law by this act of aggression, along with a lack of consultation from Congress, to launch missile attacks on Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons, adds to the years of crushing hardship experienced by the Syrian people. The solution to war is not more war. Retaliation will not bring justice or peace but only perpetuates death and injustice.

The trauma of war creates short and long term consequences that are the deepest pain human beings can experience. The immediate horror of losing loved ones to the long-term consequences that destroy the bodies, spirits, and psyches of human beings are tragic for individuals and for society. The environmental impact of war is passed on for future generations.

Pope Francis said, “I appeal to the conscience of those with political responsibility both locally and internationally to cease this tragedy and bring relief to that dear population that for too long has been exhausted by war.”

Pax Christi USA believes that peace comes with justice. Voters with political responsibility have the great ability to influence situations and policies that create justice, and consequently, peace, and clearly, sending drones and missiles into Syria is a decision that promotes neither justice nor peace.