EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 8, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Reasons to stay out of Syria are many

To the editor:

Here is the case for staying out of Syria:

1. Coalition building is defunct. It’s not that the issue doesn’t warrant debate as international law is clear — chemical weapons use is the highest form of state-sponsored criminality — it’s that this president has no legitimacy. Only France will follow along but only if we lead from the front. When has France been a reliable ally since World War II?

2. The delay degrades effectiveness as Syrian President Bashar Assad will integrate more forces and war-making equipment into population areas making “surgical” strikes far less capable of removing the threat of continued nerve agent use.

3. Syrian rebel forces are not peace-loving, moderate, democratically inclined people. They are just as bent on destroying Israel and Western culture as the current regime. Why intervene on replacing one enemy for another? This would not be a good precedent in American foreign affairs.

4. The British have done us some big favors: They have demonstrated to us how a government functions with swift consensual public debate and conclusion. There’s no gridlock in London when it comes to vital matters of national security. They have correctly deduced that supporting an ally with an historical penchant for acting unilaterally would be dangerous. They will not be party to the United States, once again, sugar-coating its intent with a feigned call of enlightened collaboration. America is a war-monger. Its worldwide peace-keeping mission is over. This is a marvelous opportunity for American retrospection on what its international profile should be if allies no longer fall into place on a meaningful level.

5. The United Nations is a puppet authority. Among its five permanent members — the U.S., Britain, France, China and Russia — two harbor a perpetual anti-U.S. veto threat which preserves a bias toward enemy states such as Iran and North Korea. This organization has ushered in a 1970s style “detente.” The organization has a legal responsibility to punish Assad for his crime but it has no practical way to accomplish this. Therefore, without coalition forming and international oversight, many nations are now left to their own devices to direct their own affairs. Assad places too much importance on the “historic American retreat.” The United Nations and by implication the international community has abandoned the innocents of Syria.

In the meantime, our only truly steadfast ally in the world is Israel. They will have the military resources to intervene if directly threatened which I doubt they will be and we have the military power to contain the civil war combatants if they wanted to export their war.

Last time I checked, Syria was embroiled in its own civil war. I wish them Godspeed in resolution.

In the meantime, without a functional Congress and respected president, the United States is well-advised to pass on this one.

Joe D’Amore


Stay out of others’ civil wars

To the editor:

For 10 years, liberals have been telling us we could not trust intelligence that was laid out before the public’s eye prior to going to war with Iraq. Now those same people tell us we must trust the very same intelligence sources but this time they won’t show us. They are convinced. I doubt they would have accepted that relaxed standard from George W. Bush.

For 10 years, they have told us that there was no reason, no national interest, in going to war in Iraq. In Libya, Egypt, and now Syria, there is not even the fig leaf of national interest — they are sectarian civil wars. Yet they are beating the drums of war.

They derided Bush for “Mission Accomplished”, but defend Obama’s juvenile red line challenge.

In 2002, we had reports from nine countries’ intelligence services that Saddam Hussein had WMD and was working to get a nuke. That was not enough. Now, we cannot even be sure who set off the sarin gas, and we must go to war immediately — or we can wait a month or so for Congress ... and it won’t be “boots on the ground” ... unless it is boots on the ground, after the limited strike fails to shock and awe.

A little Middle East history: Jimmy Carter abandoned the Shah of Iran because he was a dictator. But the Shah maintained stability in the region, and kept the Islamist radicals at bay. Now the radicals are in charge.

Obama undermined Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak because he was a dictator. But he maintained stability and defended American interests and kept the radical Islamists at bay. Now, the Islamists are in charge.

Obama actively helped overthrow Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, and ushered in the radical Islamists. Now it is a broken country descending into sectarian violence, but all the sects have one common enemy, America! They burn Obama in effigy for his interference.

Now, Obama wants to insert the United States into another sectarian civil war, to affect change, with the most likely outcome being the al-Qaida backed rebels taking over.

When does the president stop using our money and lives to help our enemies take over countries?

Mark Acciard


The easy way to peace in Syria

To the editor:

As a concerned citizen, I have sworn to do what I can to bring peace to Syria. From now on I will neither buy nor eat Syrian bread. If wearing a colored ribbon can cure some disease or whatever, then why can’t boycotting Syrian bread be just as effective?

Give peace a chance. Stop eating Syrian bread.

Stanley A. Hoff