People who lost their houses in the devastating earthquake, lineup to receive aid supplies at a makeshift camp, in Iskenderun city, southern Turkey, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A convoy of 11 trucks from a United Nations agency crossed into northern Syria from Turkey on Tuesday, just hours after the U.N. and Syrian government reached an agreement to temporarily authorize two new border crossings into the rebel enclave. Credit: Hussein Malla / AP

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The world has mobilized to help Turkey and Syria with earthquake damage. Deaths are over 40,000 and climbing.

We, the U.S., are late to the scene because our military occupies about half of Syria (the part with the oil, of course), and our government doesn’t like their government.

But under massive pressure from American people and the international community, U.S. help is there, but only for a few months. Too late for many who died under the rubble who could have been saved, but at least they can help find the dead.

Russia, Iran, China, and others our government considers “enemies” were there working together with local people, some of whom they have political differences with. But what do political differences matter at a time like this?

If all these countries can work together in a catastrophe, surely they can work together to end the endless war in Ukraine, and slow climate change.

Virtually no one wanted this war except arms manufacturers and other corporations looking greedily at Russia’s oil, gas, and rare earths needed to manufacture the fancy electronic gadgets the tech-y futurists tell us we need.

On February 19, there will be an antiwar rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. We need a sustained antiwar movement like we had in the 1960s-1970s to stop U.S. military adventures on behalf of greedy corporations. Please tell others.

The human toll from these earthquakes — and America’s wars — is horrible. Let’s get sensible. International cooperation is necessary to help Turkey and Syria, as well as to end wars and fight climate change.

America’s government/military needs to jump right in when others suffer catastrophes or be shunned by us citizens and the international community. The delay in helping Syrian people was disgraceful behavior I hope never to see again.

The Golden Rule, helping others, is what it means to be a moral human being. Let’s not allow our government to shame us again.

Nancy Oden