EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

September 3, 2013

Editorial: A look at what others are saying

Here is a look at editorials from other papers across New England.

The images the world feared to see were stark and shocking. Scores of bodies wrapped in tight white sheets, placid faces sometimes visible, spoke of the horror of chemical attacks.

The line has certainly been crossed in the crackdown by the regime of President Bashar Assad against opposition forces. President Obama last summer warned it would be a game-changer if this happened. In April, the White House concluded, with “varying degrees of confidence,” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons to kill citizens and quell the uprising.

Despite calls for the U.S. to at least institute a no-fly zone over the country, clue-gathering and hand-wringing continued. The sense of urgency heightened, but action by Washington was lacking.

The Syrian government was not so hesitant.

Vehement denials by the regime notwithstanding, it almost certainly sent toxic gas into suburbs east of Damascus, killing, by some reports, well over 1,000 people, including many children.

The attack happened even as a U.N. team was in the country searching for evidence of previous chemical use.

The call by the U.N. Security Council for “a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation” into the killings sounds painfully weak in light of the atrocious boldness and ferocity being shown by the Assad government.

Meanwhile, rebel forces in Syria have become mixed with terrorist elements, further complicating what was already a major mess for the U.S. and its allies.

The emergency inside an increasingly unstable Syria has only escalated further. How to stop the killing of innocents is unclear, but it is long past time to stop waiting around.

— The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester

Can’t we keep gas from turning to goo?

The 2005 renewable fuel standard — a law that requires gasoline refiners to add ethanol, an alcohol made primarily from corn, to the fuel mixture sold to consumers — has been a boon to farmers and the bane of owners of lawn mowers, chain saws, outboard motors and other small engines. It’s almost as if the ethanol, after more than a few weeks in a gas can or weed wacker, begins to turn into corn pudding, a gummy gelatinous substance that fouls carburetors and, if the machines can be made to run at all, shortens engine life.

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