Doesn't want to exercise leadership
Recent coverage and commentary on the Syrian situation led me to look up the word "feckless." I found the definition straightforward: "lacking initiative or strength of character."
The word has been used by pundits and, most recently, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to characterize the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in Syria. Even as President Barack Obama often stressed his highly flexible "red line" Syria's use of chemical weapons in its civil war, he has now disassociated himself from his own strong language. He has waffled, turning to Congress for support of action he asserts is well within his constitutional authority.
I believe President Obama does not want, and has never wanted, to take action in Syria. The human cost of the continuation of the Assad regime aside, he just doesn't want to exercise the leadership the world still expects from the United States.
And where else have we seen this same "feckless" behavior? The environment? Immigration? The economy? On the economy, a recent Wall Street Journal column reported that Obama's administration has succeeded in reversing two decades of income growth and narrowing of the "income gap." Ironically, his strongest supporters are among those worst impacted by the lagging economy.
It increasingly feels like we elected an "empty suit" to the highest office in our land. He talks a good game! And he's "cool." But what are his principles beyond growing the (federal) government and individual dependence on government programs?
It is not clear what we, as a nation, should do about Syria. It is not clear what the president means or wants to do. On that issue, then, I think "feckless" fits very well. If you don't, consider synonyms: "useless, worthless, incompetent, inept". Take your pick.
James Moore, Colorado Springs
The destruction of innocent life
It is truly sad about what is happening in Syria. President Obama states correctly, how can we stand by and do nothing as a government leader uses chemical weapons to destroy his people. We must do something to curb the destruction of innocent life. Yet, President Obama, you are the one pushing chemical weapons on your own American citizens. You push RU-486, on pregnant mothers, which is a chemical weapon to the pre-born child. President Obama, you want the government to pay for this destruction of innocent life by Obamacare. You want religious organizations that oppose using chemicals for the destruction of human life to pay for it and do not allow religious exceptions in violation of the Constitution. We must not stand idly by and do nothing to stop this. Let's start first in America and stop the massacre of thousands of innocent lives by the use of chemicals by stopping the use of RU-486 and other abortion procedures. Then maybe we can stop the violence in other places.
Fr. Bill Carmody, Colorado Springs
It will not stop Assad
No wonder the once powerful United States is not trusted anymore by other nations, to include our allies.
Obama, who is now in Sweden instead of Washington taking care of business, states that "the world drew the red line" regarding poison gas attacks in Syria, not him! Does he really think that the citizens of the USA and the world don't know that he is lying again?
For over two years, he has made his great speeches against Syria, naturally without details etc. Now Assad has called his bluff! Suddenly, Obama finds the U.S. Constitution, which he has always ignored, to make a decision for him. He has again found some one to blame if he doesn't get his way. Usually it is Bush but this time it will be the Congress. While he jets around the world he has his usual stooges, "Shot Gun Biden" and his "Sad Sack Kerry" pounding his drums.
What is the military value of limited air strikes in Syria? Zero! It will not stop Assad or force a regime change. For over two weeks now the Obama administration has advertised the targets that would be hit. Syria's military leaders are far from dumb and have moved their weapons elsewhere.
Should Congress give Obama the "green light" for these attacks, we will be wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to save Obama, politically, from the mess he started with his useless threats.
The Middle East will never accept a government like that we have in the Western world. Let them sort out their disputes! You only have to look at Iraq. The "Great Divider" declared the war is over and pulled out U.S. troops. Now they are killing each other again like in days gone by.
As a retired military veteran who did his duty in Vietnam and other places, I saw the results of our "politically fostered wars. A lot of us lost our youth and a lot more making the ultimate sacrifice for their country and for what? To save "political face" for the "leaders in DC."
Franz G. Yohe, Colorado Springs
More than just a message
Let me get this straight: the president's plan is to violate international law to enforce international "standards" and "norms" - to commit an act of unprovoked, aggressive war to "send a message" that poison gas is wrong - then to sit back while Assad kills tens of thousands more by conventional means.
The real reason the president needs this message is so he does not appear weak, vacillating, indecisive and powerless. That is no reason whatsoever. It will not change anyone's perception of him. It will not change the attitude of a mass-murdering, extremist, Baathist dictator.
What should we do? What we should have done in the first place: Arm the Syrian rebels and provide food and medical aid to civilians, including biochemical protection and antidote. If just one U.S. civilian aid worker is attacked, we have lawful reason to deliver more than just a message.
Eldon Dickens, Colorado Springs