Fast Focus: Should the U.S. take military action in Syria? In a word, no

September 29, 2013 

Please keep or beautiful, young, patriotic soldiers out of that snake pit full of writhing, vicious, venomous, vipers. They are lethal. Enough loss of American lives already!

-- RICHARD OLSEN, Prosser

No, no, no

No. While the situation is very horrible, the U.S. needs to stay out. It is a civil war between their people and their government. The chemical weapons are a huge deal, but we should act with U.N. support, with evidence to show that it was 100 percent without a doubt the government that launched the attack.

I do not see a minimal "bombing" as a solution, as the U.S. bombing another country is an act of war (see Pearl Harbor, 9/11, others) and would be retaliated by the Syrian government. It is a huge mess, and U.S. involvement at this time would make it even worse.

From an economic and military standpoint -- very much a hard NO. We cannot afford another war, nor can we spread our military to Syria.

-- DUSTIN HARPER, Boardman

Mind our own business

Syria is a sovereign nation and has been waging a two-year civil war. This war does not threaten our nation or it's security and their culture is completely different than ours. We have no business getting involved and it appears the international world is of the same opinion. The United States has been involved in military action in that region for many years, losing many young lives, wounding many more and spending billions which has accomplished nothing.

We have our own problems of which we cannot seem to solve, let alone try to solve the problems of the sovereign nations and imposing our culture and type of government on other countries. It hasn't been successful in the last 30-plus years -- and I don't think it ever will be.

We never seem to have enough resources (money) to help our own, yet we spend billions and billions overseas. I would think our administrations would recognize that fact and wake up to taking care of business in the U.S. Humanitarian aid only; no military engagement whatsoever.

-- NEAL D. STERNBERG, Richland

Show some muscle

The civil war in Syria poses an impossible dilemma for U.S. foreign policy: If we choose to back one side -- either the rebels or the government -- and they are victorious, the outcome almost certainly will be bad. So President Obama is wise to not throw military support behind either side. However, Assad's actions in this conflict are so brutal, resulting in the deaths of more than 100,000 of his citizens, that it is very difficult to stand on the sidelines.

Assad's forces crossed a red line when they used chemical weapons against Syrian citizens. Civilized society has abhorred the use of chemical weapons, and has successfully banned its use for many decades, except for rare violations. President Obama had correctly called this out as a red line, and if your red line is crossed, you need to respond.

Assad would not respond to arguments of morality -- I agree with the president in declaring his intention to launch a military strike against Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons. The administration had a plan for a strike that would inflict pain but not lead to an entanglement in a protracted war. But Russia and Syria stunned us all by agreeing to a plan to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons. We can still be skeptical of this plan's final outcome, but so far it's moving along according to schedule: Syria has already submitted a list of weapons and sites. There would have been no such action if Obama had not threatened a military strike. If things go well, the military threat will result in Syria's chemical disarmament.

-- ROBERT SCHERPELZ, Kennewick

Reasons for no

My answer is an unequivocal "no" and the reasons go beyond the present Syrian debacle. Before it was in our best interest to be involved in the Middle East because of the oil dependency but this is no longer the case. Therefore we should just stay out of their squabbles. As Sarah Palin so wisely advised us, "Let Allah sort it out." If the environmental whackos and their sycophantic liberal pols would just chill out and let us develop our own resources, we would have plenty of oil whereby our long-standing goal of energy independence would be realized and we could quit financing the terrorists.

The more we get involved in the Middle East, the more we muck it up. We keep trying to impose representative government on these people but history and Muslim attitudes have shown that this is probably not possible. Most Muslims desire peace and stability as much as we do, however they realize that because of the sectarian violence this can only be achieved by having a strong authoritarian government capable of keeping the peace. If you doubt me, just look at the Libya, Egypt and Iraq after their despots were deposed, (with probable U.S. meddling).

-- JIM WATKINS, Pasco

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