Topic: middle east
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September 28, 2013 at 6:53 AM
U.S. should stay out
Although I agree with the unethical nature of the use of chemical weapons, I do not agree with taking quick action with Syria. [“Diplomats reach deal on Syria’s chemical weapons,” page one, Sept. 27.]
Despite much evidence indicating that President Bashar Assad was indeed behind the attacks, news coverage has also shown that Russia has reason to believe that Syrian rebels, not the president’s troops, were responsible for the attack — evidence that Sen. Kerry is, for the most part, denying.
By moving on Syria rather impulsively, the U.S. fuels its reputation for quickly exercising hard power on other countries. Moreover, despite this action seeming justified by the human-rights abuses in Syria, the U.S. is forgoing a primary objective: the protection and success of the state.
While an invasion may have quelled domestic paranoia and propagated the Middle East as a place of eternal conflict, resources are expended that could be used for the U.S. itself, a detrimental effect, especially while we are already running on virtual credit.
That being said, the U.S. may need to retire its role as international sheriff and focus its efforts internally, for we cannot give what we do not have.
Nicholas Louie, Tacoma
September 7, 2013 at 7:56 AM
I write as one US citizen of many who stands strong against U.S. strikes in Syria. [“U.S. may set up training Syrian rebels,” page one, Sept. 6.]
President Obama, give me my hope back. I do not stand with your decision to destroy the lives of Syrians.
I am speechless as I remember when we heard the news in Chicago and I stood with you when I traveled to Washington, D.C. and chanted “we are one” on the morning of your inauguration.
Now I watch as you decide to commit acts of war. As an African-American woman, I must speak out and state that in these days of U.S. strikes, never-ending days of Guantánamo, in these days where 1 in every 3 African-American men are likely to be incarcerated during their lifetime, your home-sweet-home Chicago public schools close and an economy that seems to continue to shrink, I wait for that feeling of hope to return.
In these days, I realize it is up to me to keep you accountable, as you stated when elected. Yet, where to begin? We, the American people, do not support this strike.
As history will tell its own story, I will, at the very least, be able to say that when I felt hopeless, I spoke out, if only in the margins of this paper, to shout out loud that I stand for peace, not war. I stand for justice, not killing. I stand for hope, not destruction.
My heart and prayers reach out to the people of Syria in peace on this day as I raise my hands and cry out, why has our government acted once again in the name of destruction and murder with the rhetoric of peace and stability?
Catron Booker, Seattle
Courses of action
The ideal is a U.N.-authorized punishment of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime for gassing his people, effected by whomever is willing.
However, this is likely to be blocked by Russia and China, just as the U.S. blocks U.N. sanctions against the illegal actions of Israel.
We should advocate talks toward the remaking of Syria. The talks should be sponsored by six major and equal sponsors: the U.S., Russia, France, Turkey, Iran and the Gulf states (including Saudi Arabia).
The practical thing would be a coalition of NATO and Arab countries supporting punishment of Assad, to be effected by a subset of such a coalition.
The minimum? We play the world’s policeman by punishing Assad for gassing his people, shaming those who sit on the sidelines, and loudly proclaiming that any other use of such weapons by any group will be treated similarly.
Peter Haley, Seattle
August 30, 2013 at 7:22 AM
An internal matter
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
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
June 18, 2013 at 4:00 PM
The U.S. needs to step back
A majority of Americans don’t want the United States to further involve itself in yet another Middle East mess by arming Syrian rebels with more sophisticated weapons. [“Military aid to rebels in Syria pulls U.S. deeper into conflict,” News, June 16.]
We are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. There is a chance that a rebel victory will not be a plus for the U.S.
Like me, many of us probably wonder why it seems like it is always us that have to ride to the rescue. Especially in the Middle East, where today’s friend can easily be tomorrow’s enemy.
We need to step back this time. We got ourselves involved in a religious conflict in Iraq unnecessarily, in my opinion. There was some justification for invading Afghanistan, but that conflict has us wondering if it was worth it. Syria is, yet again, a clash between Sunni and Shia. We are not making any friends by involving ourselves in these conflicts. All we are doing is prolonging them.
Don Curtis, Clinton
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