Despite the apparent misuse of chemical weapons, the administration is right to
be slow to jump into this conflict. Most of our interventions in the Middle East
are pyrrhic victories at best. We can control the conflict only to have a large
portion of the region despising us all the more. And when the expenses are paid,
there's no gratitude there. One wonders if getting involved is
wise, despite the obvious good that could be achieved if we could calm the
I listened to a long discussion on NPR yesterday with varying opinions and
everyone thought something was going to come from the US but no one thought it
would calm the fighting. It's pure retaliation, and face saving. The core
problem seemed to be there are 5 separate wars going on in Syria, and over 1,000
separate militias. Which war do you intervene in and on who's side? The article with it's simplistic red line theme is very
disappointing and uninformed.
No option I’ve heard discussed on dealing with the Syrian situation is
without risk. None are sure to produce desired results. U.S. air strikes score
big headlines at the outset but they often prove to be symbolic and
inconsequential. Then what?After a decade of involvements in Iraq
and Afghanistan, the American public has no political will for yet another U.S.
military intervention that sucks us further in with no end in sight. The U.S.
can't fix all of the world's problems. And putting together a
multinational coalition that has Arab states playing a key role is no easy task
We all make stupid statements at one time or another. President Obama is just
like the rest of us in that respect. To start WWIII in order to prevent WWIII
doesn’t make sense. Hopefully we catch ourselves before it’s too
late. As for the creditability of Present Obama, the United States
of American, and its government, it’s hard to have any creditability when
a large segment of our nation is filled with hate for the president himself and
the government in general. President Obama has be subjected to
just about every form of discredit from his birth to the programs he intended to
promote. If he scratches his nose, people argue about what it means if he uses
his left or right hand. This loud and financially powerful segment
of America even refuses to abide by a law passed by Congress, signed by the
President and accepted by the Supreme Court. Some even call for the dissolving
the United States. It would be helpful to us if we could actually
know the particulars of the “American interests” in Syria. The
notion that the anti-government people would go to war for humanity
doesn’t make sense.
I am completely stumped as to the best course of action for the United States,
but as for Ultra Bob's comment "As for the creditability (sic) of
Present Obama, the United States of American, and its government, it’s
hard to have any creditability (sic) when a large segment of our nation is
filled with hate for the president himself and the government in general."
Is this situation with Obama a whole lot different than with Clinton and the
Military options as far as I can see. Air strikes, and or boots on the ground.
It is said that no war is won from the air only. Do we really want more
military being injured and killed in yet another Mid East war? Do the
supporters of Obama, over Bush policy, want that? Will they stand by their man
if he does it? If he does it, it will be his war, not Bushs'. If Obama
strikes, will Obama supporters see that Obama is merely doing what every
President since Jimmy Carter has had to do in his Presidency, namely, committ
military power to the Mid East? And will Obama people finally see and admit the
truth about their guy? And in the process be less hard on the Bushes, and or
Reagan for their military interventions? We'll see.
We have set 2 Red Lines recently in the Middle East: (1)Syria's use of
chemicals on its citizens and (2) Iran's development of a nuclear weapon.
These Red Lines are connected, since Iran is Syria's big brother and
principal ally. What we do about the chemical use in Syria may well set the
stage about what Iran does about developing a nuclear weapon.The
chemical use in Syria is isolated and probably has no effect outside of Syria
(other than violation of International Law).On the other hand,
Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon is a diract threat to Israel. There
must never be a nuclear weapon in Iran. That would pose threats from the Shiite
regime and their surrogate terrorists toward Israel, as well as all the Suuni
regimes over there: an unacceptable risk.So...we must respond
directly and meaningfully to the chemical use in Syria.
Let me get this straight, the death toll in the Syrian civil war is between
80,000 and 100,000 and a few hundred die in an ALLEGED chemical attack (which is
suspicious considering Assad was winning the war and did not need to wage any
chemical attack) so now the United States has justification for waging yet
another war in the middle east when US interests are not affected? If we think
military intervention is warranted in Syria, we should be going into China,
Saudi Arabia, etc., right? So many "evil" deeds done by "evil"
nations around the world, why stop at Syria, or why stop in the middle east?
I told you from day 1 that Obama is nothing more than a Bush clone. We are
seeing the same script that was used 10 years ago with Iraq. These guys do not
swear an oath to the constiution they swear an oath to Goldman Sachs and JP
Re: Anti Bush-Obama. In connection, I note with dismay that the Obama
administration is taking steps to absolve Bush, Cheney, and Co from any criminal
culpability in connection with the Iraq war. Maybe the old saying is true, the
more things change the more they stay the same.
This is quite interesting to see the lack of reaction from the left.While Bush had our troops engaged in Iraq, the liberals were continually
saying that it was an unjust war. One of their favored arguments was that Iraq
didn't do anything to the US. Another one of their favorite arguments was
that it was a war for oil.I now ask you liberals who support Obama,
what has Syria done to the US to justify this coming war? Who are Obama's
oil buddies that are going to profit from all of the cheap syrian oil that we
can get after the conflict is over?Where are you liberals? Is it ok
to attack countries that have done nothing to the US or not? Under Bush that
was an impeachable offense, but under Obama you are silent.
Two things would be nice:1) If a media outlet owned by the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would proclaim opinions more in line with
LDS scriptures and prophetic counsel: namely, to "renounce war and proclaim
peace."2) If the president and other powers-tha-be would not be
such slow freakin' learners. The concept of Humanitarian War is self
contradictory and causes more problems than it solves.
RedShirtMIT, there are important distinctions between Syria and Iraq. Knowingly
or not, the Bush Administration got public support for the Iraq war using
inaccurate information (the old WMD line, among other things). I have a much
higher level of confidence that the Obama Administration will 1) have greater
(although not perfect) knowledge of what they are getting into and what
justifies or does not justify intervention, and 2) will be more free of
ideological or economic interests in the decision-making before committing to a
course of action with regard to Syria.
The Syria dilemma is a tough one for ANY President. But especially for one
that blamed every problem he's ever had on the previous President's
decision to intervene in similar circumstances.Remember... Sadam
Hussein gassed his own citizens too. It's a documented fact. He also
ordered mass executions of his own people (the mass graves were discovered and
he was executed by his own people for it).So President Obama is
going to have to do some fast back-peddling to sell any US Military intervention
in Syria after all his criticisms of others who faced the same tough
decision.It will be proof that the most rabid left's assertion
that you can TALK your way out of ANY conflict (when it's a Republican
President making a tough decision)... is factually false. Not when you have
fanatics and terrorists on the other side of the negotiating table.I
personally think he's going to have to intervene militarily (at least in a
support role). Because they have crossed his line in the sand too many times
now. And it's sad because more Americans WILL die. I hope he finds
another way out.
"The administration must find a way to act both meaningfully and in a way
that minimizes bloodshed."It is always from this noble motive
that brings about the folly of the Humanitarian War. Such wars are doomed by
their own inherent contradictions.The author needs to google this
article by Stratfor, Immaculate Intervention: The Wars of Humanitarianism
I had a book once entitled Back to Basics. I think those 3 words are so
fundamental, and not just for handyman projects.We supposedly are a
government based upon the Constitution and in Article I, Section 8, it lists the
powers of CONGRESS:To declare War ...It is not the
President's job to declare war. Rather it is the duty of Congress to do
so. Why then are they disobeying the supreme law of the land, which they have
sworn to uphold. Why are We The People not expecting and forcing them by our
voices, if nothing else, to do such. Why do we not scream to the House of
Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against an officeholder who has
so little regard for the office of President of the United States?It
is not a small thing to start a war. I don't remember Syria invading our
country. Why would we do the same to them? Why?Why is the
newspaper of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not demanding that
they obey the document which is held sacred by the scriptures of the Church?Steve
@RedshirtMITSyria is actively slaughtering people and there actually is
evidence of chemical weapon usage, neither was going on at the time of the Iraq
war. Then there's the matter of what the US response would even be. I
suspect the Administration would like to keep any intervention to something akin
to Libya rather than a boots on the ground type invasion. Personally, I'd rather we not get involved in this mess. However, I feel
like President McCain (guaranteed) or Romney (probably since his foreign policy
team had a disturbing number of neocons) would already have us deeper in it so I
mean... I wouldn't like the alternatives either.
West never go to Middle East to correct anything. They never go anywhere to
correct anything. Just take a short look on Middle East map. What was the result
of earlier invasions? Are you going to add another ruined country on awards
list? By any reasonable way of thinking, rebels used WMD in Syria, not
Assad, just to give west a ridiculous and preplanned excuse to get in. The
unfortunate thing is who gave rebels WMDs. West has waited two years to be sure
that Syria is completely devastated, so why can’t they wait just one week
for inspection of UN to see who is behind WMD use? You see, they only
thing that has no value for nobody here is human-life.please urge
politician to take their hands out of Middle East (and its oil!) and let them
resolve their problems by their own. People are dying in Africa from hunger, go
and take care of them!. They have no oil but they are also humans.
To "Gandalf" when has the Obama administration been right on the people
they support?In Egypt they supported the Muslim Brotherhood, which
turned out to be a group of radical islamists intent on setting up sharia law.
That group also pushed to kill or drive out the Coptic Christians from Egypt.
Basically they got rid of a secular dictator in favor of a radical islamic group
that was worse than the dictator.In Libya they backed the rebels
that were being supported by Al Qaeda. Why would the US support a terrorist
group that wants to destroy the US?Obama backed Treyvon Martin, who
it turned out was a thug with a chip on his shoulder.Obama threw the
Cambridge police under the bus to support a self entitled professor. Turned out
the Professor was out of line.It seems that whenever there is a
conflict Obama will end up on the wrong side. What makes you think that he will
get it right this time after exploring the terrible track record that he has?FYI, you still have not answered the basic questions. What has Syria
done to the US? Who are Obama oil buddies that will profit?
atl134,What about Husein's chemical attack on the Kurds in
Northern Iraq? This is from Wikipedia... "Survivors said the gas at first
smelled of sweet apples; they said people died in a number of ways, suggesting a
combination of toxic chemicals (some of the victims "just dropped dead"
while others "died of laughing"; while still others took a few minutes
to die, first "burning and blistering" or coughing up green vomit).
Iraqi forces used multiple chemical agents during the attack, including mustard
gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX; some sources have also pointed to
the blood agent hydrogen cyanide.The attack killed between 3,200 and
5,000 people, and injured around 7,000 to 10,000 more. Sadam Hussein DID use
chemical weapons on his own people.No slaughtering his own people in
Iraq?This from Wikipedia, "Human rights organizations have documented
government-approved executions, acts of torture and rape for decades since
Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979 until his fall in 2003". So much for
THAT false claim.It's going to be interesting to see how many
people who criticized Bush at every turn are silent when Obama does the same.
search google for Was the Syrian chemical attack a false flag operation
I object to spending dollars we don't have and risking our citizen's
lives in a conflict we do not understand which most likely has a lot of
undertones and ethnic issues we cannot comprehend. These peoples,
and they are peoples more than organized nations, have fought each other for
centuries over issues we are ignorant of. We seem to have a
reasonable relationship with the only democracy in the region, Israel, partly
because most of them are of western heritage and have some history in
parlamentary democracy. Israel is not our friend, as witnessed by attacks on
USS Liberty, and several high profile spying episodes. We do not know of the
ones not found, Duh.Nations do not have friends, only interests. We
are not the world's policeman. The various Islamic nations and
peoples are choosing sides, let them work it out. They don't like us and
it is not worth it to intervene when we have no idea of what is going on.Oh, Kerry needs a haircut, or a spot in a Breck commercial.
On the one hand I, like most people would like the U.S. to sit out this skirmish
because not only does Syria have ties to Iran, but to Russia as well (and BO is
doing his best to burn bridges with Putin...) Secondly, unlike Iraq or
Afghanistan, the majority of Syrians don't like Americans. Perhaps
intervening would help build stronger relations there, but any military campaign
would have to be VERY carefully managed and executed. On the other hand, if we
don't intervene, who will? Sure, the Europeans talk a big game, but besides
the UK, no one else has shown their capable of responding effectively in these
Lobbing some missiles at their military might make us feel better, but there is
nothing short of another war that the US can do to truly punish Syria.Assad is the Russians' creature. Let them deal with the consequences of
his use of WMD, or face the world's opprobrium for failing to reign him in.
The last thing we need is further US intervention in the region unless vital
interests are at stake.
Re: RedShirtMIT "This is quite interesting to see the lack of reaction
from the left." Well, RedShirtMIT you raise some mighty interesting and
troubling questions. You've forced me to take a position on this. I
conclude that whenever the United States invades a country which has done
nothing to us, it creates unanticipated blowback, which can be severe and
long-lasting. For example, Iraq. Or for another example, the U.S. invasion of
Russia following WWI. No, we should not take military action against Syria. By
dribble and drams we are getting into middle east war #3.
Syria is a deep seated religious conflict that goes back hundreds of years, it
is a continuing civil war, and now rebel aligned extremists are threatening
civilians supporting the current government with mass destruction and killings.
There is no one in the country to support with out mass killings of the other
To "marxist" so where are your liberal allies? Why are they not taking
a stand against this?At least you have a position on this that is
not dictated by the wind.The problem with Syria is by backing either
side, a dictator or totalitarian government wins.Since you are
against this, are you going to start to call for Obama's impeachment like
the liberals did during Bush's term with the Iraq war?
Excellent editorial DN. Foreign policy decisions are some of the most
complicated difficult decisions any president will make. Sometimes you get it
right, but in many cases you get it wrong. Everyone can point to the wrong
examples and make a case that any intervention is wrong, but the US has learned
the hard way that ignoring world conflicts can eventually lead to large
conflicts that can engulf the entire world. The vigilance of the US after WWII
against Soviet aggression kept Western Europe and much of the rest of the world
free and prevented a nuclear WWIII. The US has made mistakes, but we can't
let those mistakes prevent us from acting when a Dictator who only respects
force decides to use horrible weapons second only to nuclear ones.
It's kinda interesting and revealing to watch Sec Kerry setting the stage
for war and justifying it to the American public, when candidate Kerry was all
against every decision the Bush Administration made, and what's going on in
Syria isn't all that different than what was happening in Iraq in the years
before we got involved there.So if history repeats itself... we will
have a quick surgical encounter with them (like we did with Iraq in Kuwait (see
"Gulf war timeline Wikipedia). This was the 1991 war waged by a
U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States,
against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.
Note this was way before the vilified George W Bush, before Clinton. But when
we do quick surgical conflicts like this... they often simmer and eventually
lead to bigger wars, like the war the left loves to hate (couched in pretend
morality, but mostly for political reasons). I hope we find a way
to stay out. We never seem to make the situation better when we step in
(especially in the middle-east).
Unless Syria has attacked US, in the United States, we should stay out of it.We should only fight war for DEFENSE, never offense - no matter how
noble the cause.
The president may have drawn a red line, but that has already been found to be
meaningless. Nothing good will be achieved by intervening in Syria now. A token
intervention will just look silly, while a more meaningful intervention risks
@redshirtSo liberals are hypocrites but conservatives that have done
the same flip flop auppeoti g bush and now attacking Obama are not? I personally
agree with Marxist we should not intervene with military for e as it is likely
not going to actually being the war any closer to resolution. There really does
not seem to be any easy or even right answers here.
Given that earlier empires -- Roman, Ottoman, others -- went down the tubes
because, among other things, they ran out of money, let me ask a simple
question: can we AFFORD to get involved in Syria? It could get extremely
expensive -- remember, Iraq came in at $1 trillion plus. We will run ourselves
into the ground with projects like this -- if we haven't already done so.
@2 bits"What about Husein's chemical attack on the Kurds in
Northern Iraq?"That was years prior to our invasion. We have an
active situation in Syria. @RedshirtMIT"Why are they not
taking a stand against this?"They generally are. You can't
get 9% approval in a poll question about a military strike against Syria without
having a lot of liberals against it. We're generally convinced though that
the strike would take the form of something akin to Libya that doesn't
involve ground troops which is quite different than something like Iraq.
To "atl134" no, the liberals are not taking a stand against this. You
are only posting because I have dishonored liberals by calling them out for
saying nothing.If the liberals were reacting to this like they did
to Bush and Iraq, there would already be at least 60 angry posts about Syria
having done nothing to the US, how this is just for his oil buddies, or how
Obama should be impeached for an illegal war.You have posted nothing
like that. Nor have we heard from most of your ilk that would gathering
pitchforks ready to head to DC looking for the President.You are
wrong about what is about to occur. Kerry has already implied that the US may
end up with boots on the ground. It will be Iraq all over again, except there
is no faction that is fighting for freedom.
I have wondered a long time why people don't push the fighters out of the
neighborhood to avoid being the victims of strikes against the fighters. It must
be because they have neither power nor will to do so. Thus it seems reasonable
to decide that fighters are "hiding" in the neighborhoods as protection.
Little kids do that all the time when they stand behind momma's skirts to
peer out at the strangeness around them.So what can be done? Maybe
the "authorities" should round up all the people and truck them off
somewhere for safety because any that refused to go would obviously be fighters
and as such "legal" targets. What an outcry that would cause.It is a war; unpleasant and undesirable but still a war. We should stay out of
it and also quit trying to establish our version of rights. There is a
legitimate government that is resisting overthrow and we needn't interfere
in rhetoric or participation. Obama was wrong in establishing the "red line
in the sand" and we would also be wrong trying to "enforce" that red
line. The first was misguided rhetoric and what is being proposed is misguided
Bottom line - an International law - outlawing the use of chemical weapons has
been violated. Who is going to make the guilty pay for violating an
international law? If such a violation is ignored and nothing is done, will the
problem go away, without future consequences?