By Dan Wright, CNN
Dan Wright is the Executive Editor of “Amanpour.”
Today it emerged that ahead of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg His Holiness the Pope had written to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the topic of Syria.
He said: “I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution. Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties.”
It’s an emotional appeal for peace, but it’s also significant that it comes in the form of a letter. It comes on the back of a similar missive, this time from the Syrian Parliament – addressed to the speaker of the British Parliament – invoking Shakespeare to encourage MPs to vote against military action in Syria. Which they did. Similar letters have gone to the French Parliament and the UN.
There is something about receiving a letter, on paper, that personalizes the content and gets under the skin of the reader. It is interesting that on the verge of what seemed like an inevitable military action, such a personal and old fashion tool is being used, arguably with some success.
As the 21st century weapons such as drones and Tomahawk cruise missiles are poised, will a few words in ink – heart to heart – stand them down?