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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Avoid the errors of the Vietnam War
When President Obama speaks about the civil rights movement, he is eloquent and has an obvious grasp of the importance of history. When he speaks about foreign policy, he fumbles for words and appears to have been born yesterday, rarely invoking lessons from past foreign policy failures.
The majority of Americans of all political persuasions and demographic groups oppose the unilateral use of force by the U.S. against Syria.
The administration’s spokespeople are out talking about losing credibility if we do not act. This was the main argument that LBJ used in 1965 to justify not speaking with the North Vietnamese or negotiating a gradual U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam. It was a ridiculous and stupid argument then, and it is today.
President Johnson waded in until we were drowning; will Obama heed the lessons of history, or will he act alone against the will of the people? Even a cursory reading of Vietnam War history would provide him the answer he needs.
RICHARD ALAN STRAW
Obama should take ‘no’ for an answer
If Congress votes down authorization of a missile attack on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, President Obama should: one, thank Congress; two, agree with heart-felt negative polls of Democrats, Republicans and independents.
If Congress votes “no,” proceeding with the attack will ruin Obama’s legacy and potentially shred world peace across the globe. Yes, the world’s red line and his are the same. But a lesson of avoidable war is: More violence breeds more violence. A military attack will open attacks on U.S. embassies and Israel. Vortex to nuclear war?
I hope Obama will declare: “America is a democracy and not a dictatorship. I will find other means to uphold the world’s code of no WMD.” America’s status will soar in a world envious of democracy of and by its people. The power of nonviolent means is more effective than missiles.
Should Assad continue to use sarin gas, that will more than prove Obama’s case and truly activate a free-world response. Assad and his supporters, i.e., Russia and China, will become pariahs. That status hurts, but without bloodshed.
Obama must consult peacemakers: Pope Francis, “Sojourners” Editor Jim Wallis, U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, the teachings of the late Martin Luther King, and congressmen who listen to reason.
DR. ROBERT F. ROTH
If jail looks like a free ride, give it a try
Re: “Jail life on Easy Street,” commentary by Michael Cannaday, Sept. 5:
If Cannaday is envious of inmates for all the “free” stuff they receive while incarcerated, then he should go down to a local jail, confess to some crime and join those lucky souls.
While there, he may marvel that the steel and concrete accommodations are “free,” but I’ll bet that in a short time he’ll wish that he was, as well.
Obama stumbles, and the world laughs
It’s amateur hour in the White House and the world is laughing at us.
The Saul Alinsky community organizer is demonstrating ponderous, weak decision-making with Syria.
After drawing the red line on chemical weapons, President Obama has done his usual political posturing. He now proclaims that it is not his red line, but the world’s.
After releasing details of his plan to retaliate, he has decided to ask Congress (those pesky obstructionists) for its blessing, and in the same breath says he does not need it.
It appears there is no clear plan to deal with what happens after using a fly swatter on the hornet’s nest.
It seems his grand strategy for the Middle East is to see how many countries he can destabilize.
With Libya, Egypt and now Syria, he has enabled the very jihadists who execute Christians to grab power.
We are being ruled by the emperor, and the media are afraid to tell him he has no new clothes.
LEETA W. SINK
Think hard before taking action on Syria
The images we have seen on TV of suffering and dying people, including babies and children, are a horrible example of man’s inhumanity. We who live in a free country quite naturally want to take immediate action to stop this cruelty. However, there are questions that need answers before we take any action.
What is our best course of action? What weapons would be used? What could happen to friendly neighbors in the region? What would happen to us? Our intervention in the problems of other Middle East countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, have cost our country dearly in the loss of far too many of our brave military forces, and yet in both countries peace and freedom have not been achieved.
The decision to attack Syria should not be made by our government.
The United Nations is the organization that should make the decision, but with Russia being a certain no vote, nothing will be done.
I ask our Congress to think carefully before voting to proceed.
A “yes” vote promises retaliation.
YVONNE STONE SLONAKER
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims