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Letters: Our duty in Syria

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  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 1:00 a.m.

    Is there just a reflex in Utah to support the opposite of Obama? We had a lot of opposition to Syria strikes but now that Obama called for a delay in the vote to see if the diplomatic solution will work I swear I'm seeing a lot more calls for military strikes and assertions that removing chemical weapons isn't enough since Assad will just kill people with conventional weapons.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 1:01 a.m.

    There is no constitutional power to attack a nation that is not threatening us in any way. An attack would establish a precedent that has no foundation in law, even if Congress gives its permission to do so. This is a case of "might makes right" and nothing else.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 5:35 a.m.

    john,
    dictators cannot use gas to murder children, but it's OK to use:

    starvation (north korea)?

    bullets (Syria, Egypt, Iran, Zimbabwe, Burma, China)?

    collapsing buildings and sweathouses (bangladesh and all of the third world)?

    please explain why we don't go after all these guys as well in our righteous indignation.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 6:13 a.m.

    No question that the potential Russian diplomatic intervention to take control of Syria's chemical weapons was in direct response to America's willingness to use military force. While I'm not happy about the prospect of another war, I thought Obama was quite compelling in his remarks that if America allowed chemical weapons to be used, they'd proliferate in use and among terrorists against Americans.

    Though seemingly messy in execution, I think Obama's moves (deployment of military, delays to bring Congress along, allowing the Russian diplomacy emerge) have been quite savvy to reach the end game of Syria admitting it has chemical weapons and its willingness to given them up.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    Putin's public relations team realizes that the tea party right hates Obama so bad that he can score points for Russia. What did Romney say about Russia?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    It's an International treaty that was broken,
    let the International community deal with it.

    Syria did not attack America, our families or our freedoms,
    once again -- we have no issue to get involved.

    And Republicans only agree with me this time because they are pre-programed to reject all things Obama.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    I realize Utah returned George W Bush back to Washington with the highest approval rating in the nation but I think many are now reevaluating their past support for him and the preemptive attack on Iraq. It was a total embarassment to me.

    The residual anger over Iraq's war orgins will continue to haunt the American populace.
    Many now realize that we went to war under false premises. Does any one not understand them? Would you like me to list them? They do not want a repeat of it.

    I for one am weary with America military entangements in the middle east.

    We can not afford to be the world's policeman.

    We can not afford any longer to give foreign aid to Israel and Egypt with borrowed money.
    As long as we have one homeless or hungry American we have no right to give borrowed money away to other countries.

    I realize that a lot of pressure groups lean on congress to continue this aid but the time comes when we need to think of Americans and American interests first.

    We need to stop "flushing our borrowed money" down the middle east.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Oh WOW! I agree with LDS Lib!

    Making strikes against Syria would make us the Hitleresk aggressor. They haven't done anything to us.

    I am not surprised that John McCain wants us to intervene, but I am surprised Lindsey Graham, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and the president want to. The democrats have been so verbally opposed to the foreign military actions in the last decade, that I just didn't think they would be for it. What happened?

    My opposition has nothing to do with Obama. I oppose all those who want to take our military and do something stupid with it, including the above mentioned from both parties. There is a large block of democrats who are staying true to their non-intervention stand.

    But I do seriously question those who have long opposed having our military actively involved in the middle east, but now think this is a good idea? And anyone who opposes the idea on any ground is really just out to get Obama??? Sounds like paranoia. The deluded Obama worshipers are making themselves known.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    @Badgerbadger
    Murray, UT

    Oh WOW! I agree with LDS Lib!

    I oppose all those who want to take our military and do something stupid with it, including the above mentioned from both parties. There is a large block of democrats who are staying true to their non-intervention stand.

    But I do seriously question those who have long opposed having our military actively involved in the middle east, but now think this is a good idea? And anyone who opposes the idea on any ground is really just out to get Obama??? Sounds like paranoia. The deluded Obama worshipers are making themselves known.
    8:18 a.m. Sept. 12, 2013

    ======

    Thanks,

    But I gotta ask it -- Why the about face, 180, diametrically flip-flop now?

    It's the SAME situation, maybe even more evident -- and suddenly there is complete turnabout.
    Seriously, What changed, besides "political party"?

    I have been 1,000% consistent for 12 years now.
    Through all the snarky - "unAmerican", "unPatriotic" garbage I put up DAILY for 12 years.

    I just want to know why NOW guys like you are singing such a different tune?
    And would you still be singing it IF Mitt Romney were President?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    LDSLib

    I disagree that it is the same situation. There are a lot of parameters that are very different.

    Then:
    Recent terrorist attack IN the US
    Bin Ladin alive and leading his terrorist organization
    The strong terrorist cells were concentrated
    The belief that Iraqis were so tired of an oppressive dictator that they would embrace democracy.
    Our military leaders favored going in.
    The blessing from many countries for going in.
    The hope that a successful democracy in the Middle East would inspire other countries to follow.

    Now:
    Bin Ladin dead
    The terrorist 'boil has burst' spreading the terrorist infection all over a much larger area encompassing many countries.
    Our own military leaders oppose going to Syria.
    No backing from any other country, none!
    Far less indication in Syria that any party is interested in a solution that shares the power. They are just fighting to be the sect in power.
    The well intentioned experiment of an example democracy has failed. They just don't want it.
    Almost 17 trillion in US debt, can't afford it.

    World of difference, not a flip-flop (offensive, BTW).

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    If this person wants to bomb Syria they should go over there and take part in it. The war on terror is a total scam designed to take away freedoms and destabilize other nations. I'm sure the administration needs all the help they can get from people like you. I'm glad there are some in the military that are finally beginning to realize what a scam these wars truly are by refusing to report for duty if they are deployed. It's time to try Bush and Obama for WAR CRIMES.

  • Che Payson, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    There would be no debate, no name calling, no claiming this president did this and that one did that, if we but followed the Constitution of the United States of America in all branches of government....presidential, legislative, and judicial. Just follow the Rule of Law....not men and women, as is our present practice.

    Other countries are sovereign and need to solve their own problems, live their own lives. If we have not been attacked, it's none of our business to attack them. Would we like it if another country decided we were out of line in the US in some way, so they have the right to attack us? Don't think so.

    By the way....I heard this morning that some recently released European journalists in the middle east reported that they overheard their captures discussing how the rebels in Syria set off the gas attack to force the US to attack Assad. And another point. 1500 were gassed. What about the other 100,000 killed by conventional weapons. Guess that's ok.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    This thread isn't a poll or popularity contest to see who agrees with whom; it is a forum where we can discuss the principles which should guide this nation.

    The United States is not the world's policeman.

    The United States has no authority to involve itself in the affairs of a sovereign nation, unless that sovereign nation has attacked the United States.

    If action is required by the world community because of actions within a sovereign nation (civil war), then the United Nations is the proper venue to discuss what actions need to be taken and which nations should be involved.

    Obama has no right bomb Syria without the consent of Congress and Congress has no right to declare war on Syria unless Syria has attacked the United States or a nation that has allied itself with the United States.

    Obama is using the public stage to perform his song and dance about Syria. He would destroy innocent lives to retaliate against those he claims destroyed innocent lives. His logic is faulty.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Tell us Mr. President, are we trying to:
    Punish with an "unbelievably small" strike those who use poisonous gas.
    Contain Syria's WMD. Where did they get them?
    Weaken the Assad regime without knowing what will follow.
    Help the rebels and which ones.
    Prevent Syrian children from dying, just by gas or with bombs, rockets, guns, etc. also. They are tragically dead either way.
    Prevent anyone from being slaughtered in Syria. Adults count, too.
    Show the world that we are strong and decisive. The clock is running.
    Show the US that we are strong and decisive. Time's up.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    @Badgerbadger
    Murray, UT

    You dodged, spun, and skirted every issue --

    Let me boil it down to this --
    and ANSWER the question honestly and truthfully:

    Would you still be singing the same tune IF Mitt Romney were President?
    [Hint & reminder: He promised over and over again if elected he WOULD invade Syria and Iran.
    And that was BEFORE the chemical WMDs.]

    Y/N ?

    And I'm still waiting for the Congress and the GOP to fund their last $3 Trillion boondoggle.

    I oppose the President's call to Syria.
    That's called integrity.

    I'm waiting for you guys to either:
    1. Admit you were wrong supporting GW Bush
    or
    2. be consistent and attack Syria for the same reasons you did last time.
    REGADLESS who's in the WhiteHouse.

    That should prove who is supporting the truth and what is right,
    and who's being duped as a political hack and a lemming.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    What obligation do we owe to the world?

    To fight WMDs?
    To fight bad guys?
    To fight oppressive dictators?

    In that case, America will ALWAYS be at war. Always. A perpetual state of war awaits us, our children, and grandchildren.

    There will always be someone who has WMDs. There will always be a mean dictator out there. There will always be oppressed peoples.

    Just look at our own middle east adventures. For over 20 years we have been at a state of perpetual war there and look at the results!

    Trillions have been wasted and thousands of Americans have perished. Is the Middle-East any more safe today than it was 20 years ago? Is it any less unstable? Any more free?

    Lets focus on America or there won't be an America left to help save the world.

  • Demosthenes Rexburg, ID
    Sept. 12, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    The U.S. Constitution, the President, and Congress have no jurisdiction over another country. That jurisdiction, if there is any, belongs to the United Nations. Love 'em or hate 'em, they're the only entity with jurisdiction to interfere in Syria. The U.S. doesn't have a dog in this fight.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 1:15 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,
    #1. I think there was as much reason to stop what Saddam Hussein was doing in Iraq.

    #2. Unlike you... I have no problem with people changing their mind, as long as they can point to when and why they changed their mind.

    I'm not one of those who thinks, "You can never change your mind", "You have to stick consistently to the political narrative", "If you ever change your mind, EVER.. it's a Flip-Flop".

    It's OK to change your mind.

    And no... you can't always ASSUME that it's just because Obama's a Democrat. For some that may be true, but you can't just assume it knowing nothing about the person.

    Blanket group judgements are rarely correct. Basing your every thought on political narrative is not right. Judging everyone based on your political stereotypes is bogus.

    We need to be able to discuss things and not be instantly judged (based on stereotypes), and even change our mind as we learn lessons.

    This will probably be blocked, but if it's not... I agree with you on this one (just not your prejudiced assumption that anybody who disagrees with Obama is flipflopping).

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    @2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    Well then -- same question:
    Would you still be singing the same tune IF Mitt Romney were President?

    Y/N ?

    ==========

    BTW - I know about changing one's mind.
    Many years ago, I used to be a Republican.

    I've been in an actual war --
    I've see death, and disparity.
    I've seen starvation and disease.

    That made me have a Change of Heart.
    and now it's Bleeding...

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    @Iron Rod:
    "I realize Utah returned George W Bush back to Washington with the highest approval rating in the nation but I think many are now reevaluating their past support for him and the preemptive attack on Iraq."

    Remember, Bush was given approval by Congress to go to war with Iraq. And guess who voted for it? Hilary Clinton, John K\erry and Joe Biden, that's who.

    "Many now realize that we went to war under false premises."

    The war was a continuation of the military action to kick Saddam out of Kuwait.

    "As long as we have one homeless or hungry American we have no right to give borrowed money away to other countries."

    We will continue to have homeless as long as the government keeps giving handouts.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2013 5:08 p.m.

    @SEY:
    "There is no constitutional power to attack a nation that is not threatening us in any way."

    Tell that to Clinton who bombed the heck out of Kosovo even though there was no national threat to the US.

    @Baron Scarpia:
    "No question that the potential Russian diplomatic intervention to take control of Syria's chemical weapons was in direct response to America's willingness to use military force."

    What Russia plans to do with the chemical WMD is unclear. Russia will likely just leave them intact in Syria and none will be the wiser.

    @LDS Liberal:
    "He [Mitt] promised over and over again if elected he WOULD invade Syria and Iran."

    Not without congressional approval.

    "And I'm still waiting for the Congress and the GOP to fund their last $3 Trillion boondoggle."

    I'm still waiting to hear how Obama raised the national debt by more than all the past presidents added together.

    "...be consistent and attack Syria for the same reasons you did last time."

    Did you mean to say: 'Be consistent and attack Syria for the same reasons Clinton attacked Kosovo?'

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:28 p.m.

    Thank you 2 bits. So well stated.

    LDSLib

    It is really hard to talk sensibly with someone obsessed with recruiting the world to hate their ex. Seriously try to read what 2 bits said, but read it as though you were not someone else, not you.

    I will not participate in your war on the ex-president. Hakuna matata.

    I oppose intervention in Syria. It is nice that we agree on this.

    I take that position based on the facts of this case. I respect that you have done the same, and as such the challenges pitched to those who blindly follow Obama, you may disregard, or get bent out of shape, whichever works for you.

    Romney??? Uh, he is not the president. Don't care what he says or thinks. It doesn't matter, at this point, one iota.

    I am 100% comfortable that I oppose going to Syria based on the facts of this case, which I outlined nicely for you, even though you don't appreciate it.

    "You guys" is also snarky and offensive, BTW.

    TTFN

    Last post

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:18 p.m.

    Badgerbadger
    Murray, UT

    I read what 2bits said --
    He brought up ex-Pres Clinton,
    He dragged Kosovo into this now.

    For the record - I opposed Clinton then,
    I opposed Obama now.
    I also opposed both Bushs for the exact same reasons.
    As a Veteran, and one who has put skin in the game -- I do so with All POLITICS aside.

    Hakuna matata.

    I oppose intervention in Syria. It is nice that we agree on this.
    I take that position based on the facts regardless of blind political party leanings.

    I challenge Ditto-headed Tea-Partiers to show that same level of integrity likewise.

    I am 100% comfortable that I oppose going to Syria based on the facts of this case for the same reasons I opposed Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and evey other political shenannigan...
    I am an American -- we all should be.
    regardless of Party.

  • Neanderthal Pheonix, AZ
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:38 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal:
    "BTW - I know about changing one's mind. Many years ago, I used to be a Republican."

    So, what are you now... a Democrat? May God somehow look after and help you.

    "I've been in an actual war -- I've seen death, and disparity. I've seen starvation and disease. That made me have a Change of Heart. and now it's Bleeding..."

    Remember, Democrats have caused their share of death, disparity, starvation, and disease from war as any Republican has.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon,
    I'm not WRZ, but he made some good points about President Clinton's wars.

    I didn't bring up Clinton and Kosavo but let's go there. No UN Security Council backing for that one either. Same goes for Clinton's war in Somalia. Don't forget that Clinton was the first President to start the hunt for BinLaden the first American President to send cruise missiles into Afghanistan (kinda the start of our involvement there).

    So let's not pretend that only Republicans start wars. Or that only Bush used our military against countries that never attacked us, or that Bush was the first US President to act unilaterally or think America had to be the World's police and involve our military in countries that hadn't attacked us (because Clinton also thought there was a moral imperative to attack these countries that had not attacked us).

    I'm glad you are consistent and denounce them all. That's better than most people who seem to approve or disapprove depending on the party of the President making the decision to use our military overseas to enforce America's sense of moral superiority.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:28 p.m.

    RE WIZ Phonix, AX

    "The war was a continuation of the military action to kick Saddam out of Kuwait"
    Could you please explain your comment? What does Kuwait have to do with it?

    "we will continue to have homeless as long as the government keeps givinhg handouts"
    Does this mean that if the government nolonger gives handouts the problem will go away?

    "...and guess wo voted for it? Hilary Clinton, John Kery and Joe Biden, that's who"
    What does that have to do with "I think many are now reevaluating their past support for him and the preemp[tive attack on Iraq?

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 10:55 p.m.

    wrz: you've mistaken me for someone else, apparently. I never supported Clinton's, Bush's or anyone else's interventions. Their actions were unconstitutional as well, but the constitution has been a dead letter for at least 150 years now. It's just a nuisance to presidents anymore.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:51 a.m.

    @Iron Rod:
    "Could you please explain your comment? What does Kuwait have to do with it?"

    George H. W. Bush went to Kuwait to kick Saddam out. A no-fly zone was established to keep Saddam hemmed and prevent harassment of Kurds in the north and Shii in the south. He violated the NFZ so George W. Bush put him in his place with invasion in 2003. The excuse of WMD was supposed to get the Congress, the American people, and the world behind the effort. That's how I see it. Evidence shows that Saddam did had WMD (used earlier on Kurds).

    "Does this mean that if the government no longer gives handouts the problem will go away?"

    Why get a job and go to work if Uncle Sugar supplies everything?

    "What does that have to do with 'I think many are now reevaluating their past support for him and the preemptive attack on Iraq?'"

    It simply means the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 included a significant number of Democrat leaders in Congress.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 13, 2013 4:23 a.m.

    1) America has been the world's policeman. People look to us to deal with the bad guys. Now that we have not attacked Syria, we are ceding that position. (I am not saying we should attack Syria.). A lot of people are going to think, "Hey we have to do this ourselves." So we will have a Mid-East arms race. This may not end up good.

    2) Obama can retaliate with words. Iran and Hezbollah support Syria's murderous regime. Obama can simply call a press conference and say, "I don't want to talk about Syria. But this is on my mind. In the early 1950's the US's CIA organized a coup against Iran's democratically elected leader. The coup put the Shah into power who the US supported for over 20 years despite his gross violation of human rights. It was a despicable thing for us to do to support this evil dictator. We sincerely apologize to the Iranian people for our terrible acts." Hopefully they'll read between the lines and consider what their government is doing.

    We should point out Iran's and Hezbollah's support as much as possible.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    "This thread isn't a poll or popularity contest to see who agrees with whom; it is a forum where we can discuss the principles which should guide this nation." Actually I agree 100% with this.

    I think there are at least three points here with opposing views.

    1) America is not the worlds policeman, and should never use military force against another nation unless attacked.

    2)If we interfere in one atrocity why not them all or at least how do we choose?

    3) The US cannot take any military action without the consent of Congress.

    Personally I think point one and two merge, and point one is poorly stated (I know I wrote it).
    The US is not the worlds enforcer, however the world does have the opportunity and obligation to come together and set some standards of behavior. Standards that can and should be enforced when broken. I also think the US has a unique position in the world. A position that allows and even demands leadership from us. So to be out front in the enforcement of world standards is not wrong.

    Point 3, later.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    I'm going to cherry pick a couple of facts here. First that Russia will hoodwink us by running a scam and turn a blind eye to Asaad's chemical weapons. Sorry, but Russia "needs" those weapons gone much worse than we want or need them gone. That's why they're involved. They need them gone.

    Secondly this re-occurring claim that it was reasonable to think Iraq had chemical weapons because they used them on their own people. They used them in 1988. Fifteen years later, two wars later, and ten years of crippling sanctions(over a million people died because of the sanctions), no it was not reasonable to think they still had those weapons.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    The case for military action in Iraq was not one thing. It was not only WMDs. There was a long ilst of reasons and the international community backed us up.

    That said... in hid sight there may have been a better way to deal with Saddam Hussein, but the US tried many times, the UN tried many times, his own people tried and were slaughtered. I think President Bush thought he had tried everything he could (much as President Obama is feeling now).

    But the American people and the Congress did not stand up and say "NO" when Bush proposed military in Iraq. Support was almost Unanimous in Congress, and the vast majority of the American people were for it (at the time). That has changed since. But don't use what we know today to judge the decisions he had to make back then. Our understanding of what would/could result in Iraq has changed drastically since 2003.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:11 p.m.

    RE WRZ
    Phoenix

    Thanks for the response.

    I am intersted in your ideas.

    When you say "Evidence showed Saddam did have WMD." does that mean at the time of the invasion or ten years earlier?

    Any idea of what they had operationally at the time of the invasion?

    Did Saddam actually have the capacity as President Bush and the British government said to field battle ready WMD in 40 minutes."

    As Bush said did Saddam "try to buy yellow care uranium from Africa?" Who went to the time and effort to produce these papers?

    At the time of the invasion did Saddam really have an active nuclear program? I remember the often repeated quote" the only warning we will have would be a mushroom cloud."

    Were the mobile WMD labs that Sec. Powell talked about real or were they a figment of "Curveballs' imagination

    Interested in your response. Say dry in Phonix

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    Iron Rod,
    If he had them 10 years earlier, and he said he still has them, and people from his administration say they still have them, how do you come up with the brilliant deduction that they used their last chemical bomb on the Kurds and now they don't have any more??

    They had an active nuclear weapons program. That's why the UN Nuclear Weapons Inspectors were required to be on site to monitor their progress. So when he kicks out the inspectors and says he has the weapons and will use them on people in the region and anybody who dares attack him... you kinda have to play it safe and reduce his ability to continue to develop or use those weapons. Pretty much the same logic that Obama is using to insist that we must attack to diminish his ability to continue what he's doing.

    I think Bush made mistakes. He should have got out after the military victory instead of trying to occupy and play peacemaker.

    But it bugs me when people who questioned the reasons for Iraq think we have MORE reason in Syria. We don't.