Comments about ‘In our opinion: The Syria question’

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Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Layton, UT

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 fighting.

salt lake city, utah

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.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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 either.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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 Balkans?

clearfield, UT

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.

patriot vet
Cedar City, UT

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.

sparks, NV

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?

Anti Bush-Obama
Washington, DC

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 Morgan

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Cambridge, MA

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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?


Salt Lake City, UT

Syria 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.

baku, 00

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.

Cambridge, MA

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?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT


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.

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