Syria is a side show
What red line? It's easy to see red in just about everything this administration does. What happened in Syria was a tragedy, but Syria is a side show. Iran and Russia are waiting in the wings to pounce on Israel once the U.S. launches its first missile. A military strike in Syria would be a big, big mistake and may be the beginning of the Middle East Armageddon that has been prophesied. I'm really disappointed in prominent Republicans supporting this effort. This isn't Bosnia in 2005, which is the only explanation that I can think of for why these Republicans would support this action. Apparently, they think it is merely a fight showing support for innocent civilians being killed. This is a legitimate powder keg ready to explode!
If this attack would go off as Obama has planned, Syrian media will be publishing pictures of parents holding up dead children and blaming the U.S. for it. Also, right now in Syria there are Russian soldiers manning anti-aircraft guns, missile shields and other Russian-made equipment. If the U.S. kills Russian soldiers, chaos will ensue. If a regime change happens, we all know how well that worked in Libya and Egypt don't we? If a regime change would happen, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood and other bad guys have unfettered access to the chemical weapons!
And, if we do a symbolic bombing, simply lobbing in a few missiles to show them we "mean business", then you will have places like Iran saying 'if this is all they have, we have it made'.
This is clearly an incident that the U.S. should stay on the sidelines for. This administration stepped into it big time with ill-advised statements, but it's time to back off. The world doesn't respect the U.S. anyway mainly because of the poor foreign policy on display by this administration and the U.S. is a laughing stock. It's time to walk away.
Thomas Hill, Colorado Springs
Alerting an enemy to your plans
The Japanese did not hold press conferences before they attacked the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941. The success of that attack was largely due to the surprise with which it was conducted.
Alerting an enemy to your battle plan gives all but the stupidest adversary opportunity to move valuable assets and engage in a campaign of deception to counter the effect of your attack. Say what you will about Bashar Assad, but since he is a trained ophthalmologist I do not think he is stupid.
I spent several years planning combat operations during my Air Force career. The details of our operations were always classified and were not divulged outside the chain of command. Your enemy should learn of your battle plan only while he is on the receiving end of it.
There is no vital U.S. interest at stake in Syria. Attacking the Syrian government will serve only to put U.S. interests around the world at risk of terrorist reprisal.
President Obama was unwise to draw a "red line" at the use of chemical weapons. Assad called his bluff, and now it seems we have to attack to save face. This is not a good reason to employ military force.
The dysfunction in the U.N. ensures the U.S. will go it alone.
Even if one or two of our allies chip in some support, it will be token. If we want to help the people of Syria, we should send humanitarian aid, not cruise missiles and bombs.
Richard F. Colarco, Colorado Springs
God forbid that it would happen
I have a limited understanding of international law, so "consider the source", but ...
My impression is that if we attack Syria, it has the legal right, under international law, to consider itself in a state of war with the U.S., and therefore to defend itself. Past that, it would have a moral obligation to fight back, under natural law, when its citizens were in danger.
That could include aggressive retaliatory acts up to and far beyond shrapnel devices (aka Claymores) in proximity to U.S. military and government installations within and outside our borders. God forbid that it would happen, but flying civilian airliners into buildings (a la 9/11) wouldn't necessarily be terrorism on the part of Syria, but arguably completely legal self-defense.
Is anyone in D.C. concerned by this?
Lynn Allan, Colorado Springs
Cracks are being created
When all else fails, we should try and follow our Constitution! If our country is engaging another country in hostilities (short or long), killing people and destroying "things," it is a war; let's keep it simple before we no longer have a choice, as a country! Our "Fathers" would not be happy to witness our torturing of our language to avoid the dreaded "declare war."
The War Powers Clause had the singular purpose of preventing a president from putting our country on a path of ruination, as has happened to other great countries by their kings, queens and/or monarchs, i.e. - the Roman Empire and others throughout history. These gentlemen took their lessons from history and demanded that the people would be in control.
I know, it is all too often that "We" seek the easy way out - The War Powers Act of 1973 - or, 'Oh this is not a war it is only limited combat and no boots on the ground, between countries'.
Huh! But, each time our Constitution is violated, it is "slammed" by a huge "sledgehammer" banging at its very foundation and cracks are being created. How many such "events" can our beloved Constitution endure before this, the greatest "edifice" of all mankind, collapses to the Earth to become only a distant memory to the hopes and dreams of all.
Glenn E. "Duke" Shrader, Colorado Springs