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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 30, 2013 at 7:22 AM

U.S. involvement in Syria

An internal matter

Palestinians hold Syrian and Palestinian flags during a march in support of the Syrian regime in the West Bank city of Nablus, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Syrian President Bashar Assad said Thursday that his country "will defend itself against any aggression," signaling defiance to mounting Western warnings of a possible punitive strike over a suspected poison gas attack blamed on his regime. [AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh]

Palestinians hold Syrian and Palestinian flags during a march in support of the Syrian regime in the West Bank city of Nablus, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. Syrian President Bashar Assad said Thursday that his country “will defend itself against any aggression,” signaling defiance to mounting Western warnings of a possible punitive strike over a suspected poison gas attack blamed on his regime. [AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh]

I could not have said it better myself: “Let others punish Syria.” [“Editorial: Let others punish Syria,” Opinion, Aug. 29.]

Your view is cogent and compelling.

Events in Syria are repugnant and horrific. But it’s an internal matter, and none of our business. I am sorry, I am appalled, but I’m not interested in a U.S. intervention.

A military “shot across the bow” would have no strategic value that I can see. If you think it does, then ask, “What’s next?”

A foreign policy based on our cruise-missile capability is doomed to fail.

Look at Iraq. We obliterated their military and hung Saddam. Are Iraqis better off? I don’t think so.

House Speaker John Boehner is right on this one — get Congress involved.

Clark Douglas, Mount Vernon

U.S. involvement a terrible idea

A peace campaigner holds up a sign outside Parliament on August 29 n London, England. Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament to debate the UK's response to a suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria.   [Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]

A peace campaigner holds up a sign outside Parliament on August 29 in London, England. Prime Minister David Cameron recalled Parliament to debate the UK’s response to a suspected chemical weapon attack in Syria. [Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]

President Barack Obama should not carry out any military strike against Syria. He should certainly not do so without congressional approval.

As Vice President Joe Biden noted several years ago as a senator, the president has no constitutional authority to take military action against a nation that does not pose any current or imminent danger to the U.S. Citing his expertise in constitutional law, Biden threatened to seek to impeach President Bush if he proceeded with military action in the Middle East without congressional approval. His arguments are still valid today.

Any military action against the Syrian government only aids al-Qaida, who are a factor in the rebel force and who, if the rebellion succeeds, could have great influence in any successor government.

There is no benefit to U.S. interests in starting yet another war in the Middle East, and all sorts of serious detriments.

Christopher Hodgkin, Friday Harbor

Comments | More in Foreign policy, military, Politics | Topics: middle east, military, syria

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