To the editor:
This Syria problem has more twists and turns than an Oliver Stone movie. First, President Barack Obama was criticized for not acting fast enough. Now that 1,400 people, including 400 children, are reportedly dead from a gas attack, he gets criticized for waiting too long. He should have taken action two years ago.
Since Syria hit the news, nothing else is being talked about. No IRS, Benghazi or National Security Agency scandals. No debt limit vote, no immigration reform and no ObamaCare repeal. Everything is off the front page. As always with these things, this has become a political and media circus. Just last week, we had Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on television for an hour, interviewed by Charlie Rose in English. What comes next, an interview with Jon Stewart?
Then, in a new twist, Vladimir Putin and the Russians offer to broker a deal to remove chemical weapons from Syria and store them for safekeeping. So as the plot thickens, does this turn out like an Oliver Stone movie, with Mr. Obama being the bad guy? No, it turns out like a Disney movie. The Russians save the president from bombing Syria, and he’s praised around the world for standing up for the 1,400 people who were killed.
Because the president is now a hero, the nasty Republicans must eat humble pie and vote in favor of immigration reform, raise the debt limit without a hassle and put forth no more talk of ObamaCare repeal. I did say it was a Disney movie, and just a fantasy.
CARY DE GROSA
President’s Syria speech
To the editor:
After listening to President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday, it appears to me that several points were not addressed, and that misleading statements and assumptions were presented as fact. There’s no positive proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ordered the chemical gas attack. True, he has possession of the weapons and motive, but that degree of evidence alone couldn’t get a conviction in a shoplifting case, much less initiate military action.
Illegal weapons trade is common in the Middle East. The president’s stance a week ago was to punish Mr. Assad, but it now seems Mr. Obama would be content with Syria’s surrender of illegal weapons, with our military keeping watch. President Obama tried to take credit for giving Assad something to think about, but failed to mention that Russian President Vladimir Putin was the linchpin.
By not taking questions during his speech, Mr. Obama carefully chose what objections to his plan he would address. For instance, he admitted that we cannot be the world police. He even admitted that the Syrian rebels are partially supported by al-Qaida. Many news sources have reported atrocities committed by the rebels — including beheadings — that rival those of any dictator. The president also gave us a brief history on the ban of chemical weapons at the international level. He failed to mention the more recent use of illegal weapons by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein against the Kurds.
If using these terrible weapons violates international law, why are we and other nations not petitioning the United Nations for action? The White House must have some confidence in this world body — an organization that supports measures threatening American sovereignty, such as arms control agreements.
The president’s stance surely goes beyond humanitarian reasons. Whether it’s to save face in the Arab world or an attempt to provide jobs by giving the defense industry and government contractors a shot in the arm, I certainly hope our Congress delivers a “no” vote if military action gets put back on the table. Military actions have a habit of escalating, and we don’t need Americans put in harm’s way to benefit terrorists.