When I hear President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry give reasons why the U.S. must use force in Syria, I think I am listening to rewrites of President Bush and Colin Powell's remarks about why the U.S. must go to war in Iraq. But in the future, I hope presidents will be more careful with their words.
Joe Honick (Sep. 16, 2013): I have only utmost respect for Art but simply cannot accept the logic of our flip flopping on the Syrian matter to feature the very critical chemical weapons matter that has now become a traveling circus. What do we now tell the families of the 100,000 killed by other than chemical weapons, the others who will continue under Assad's military "ably" assisted by Iranians, Hizbollah and other fine(?)folks who wonder what happened to all the tough talk from America? I opposed any strike without a "morning after" plan. While some asserted we should not give away all our plans, the fact is our President did in fact tell Assad we would not aim for regime change thus assuring the dictator he could keep his job. With new traveling chemical warfare sessions, all we will have accomplished is to develop hope Hizballah and friends have not hustled the stuff out of the country or that we get fooled again as we did in Libya. We now see Assad being interviewed on television with virtually equal standing to other talking heads and able to make his case by asking what we or others would do in case of an armed rebellion.
arthursolomon (Sep. 10, 2013): Kevin, I, too am concerned about what the fallout from an American attack on Syria might bring. But history shows that much more often than not, doing nothing to stop evil results in even greater evil. Kevin, remember the history of WW2, when isolationists prevented FDR from aiding Churchill until it was too late to stop the Nazis.
Joe, The "show em" quotes are yours, not mine. I'm not interested in the U.S. proving anything to any country. I'm not in favor of the U.S. getting involved in civil wars, except in the cases of genocide. But Syria broke a long-standing international accord against using chemical warfare. If Syria is not punished for doing so, what other countries might be the next to flout international accords? Are we to evolve into an era of where international accords of all kind mean nothing? Where it's every country for itself? Surely that would be a route to continuous wars. I believe that Churchill and FDR were right:stop evil before it spreads and that's why I reluctantly agree with Obama. Maybe then North Korea and Iran will show respect for what America thinks.
Kevin Foley (Sep. 6, 2013): Arthur, I am concerned about punishing Syria but am even more worried about reprisals on Israel, since Assad really can't hit back at the U.S. I also worry about where we draw the line as the policeman. Assad is one of dozens of blood soaked dictators. Do we take them all out?
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (Sep. 4, 2013): Art, we will sure "show 'em"! Neither Iran norNorth Korea seemed to have given a hoot about what we think, about the same as free-lancing Hizbollah. And when we finish with the missiles into some precision targets, will we use the experience to figure out why we cannot be that precise with drones in Pakistan where we seem to catch civilians along with our perceived bad guys? So we lob some stuff into Syria and then go out for coffee. Our INTRUSION EFFICIENCY INDEX so for does not rate highly.