The Norman Transcript

Headlines

September 7, 2013

OU assistant director cautions against U.S. involvement in Syria

NORMAN — As President Barack Obama seeks approval from Congress for military intervention in Syria, University of Oklahoma assistant director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies Joshua Landis cautions against any U.S. action that would completely destroy the Assad government.

“There is no alternative. There is no one to step-in and stabilize the country if it were completely destroyed. Many citizens still rely on the Syrian government for services,” Landis said.

An expert on the Middle East with numerous articles and online publications as well as a daily blog on Syrian politics, Landis has consulted with state department and government agencies.

Although, initially a U.S. retaliation seemed imminent on Assad, Obama has since turned to Congress to authorize a strike for use of chemical weapons in Syria. Currently, Congress fractiously debates whether to authorize the limited military action Obama has proposed.

This past week, the Senate hosted several hearings to discuss a drafted resolution by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that would allow President Obama to order a limited military mission against Syria — not to exceed 90 days and not to involve troops on the ground.

After Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., opposed the proposition and said something other than cruise missile strikes should be used against Assad, the resolution was changed.

Landis said the new drafted proposal would require the president to change the balance of power in Syria, meaning he would have to help the rebels win over the government.

It is uncertain if such a hard strike against Syria would address what Landis said is a two-issue situation.

“What’s going on in Syria right now is really two issues: 1) that of Syrian civil war and 2) non-perforation of weapons,” Landis said. “If the president is going to act, he has to figure out how not to get sucked into a Syrian civil war while retaliating against Assad enough to be a deterrent.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Governors_Webf.jpg Governors group discusses Common Core

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Reviled by staunch conservatives, the common education standards designed to improve schools and student competitiveness are being modified by some Republican governors, who are pushing back against what they call the ...

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seven quakes shake central Okla.

    GUTHRIE — The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded seven small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma in a span of just about 14 hours. They ranged from magnitude 2.6 to 2.9 and were centered in the Guthrie, Jones and Langston areas, 15 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Trooper released from assignment after complaint

    Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirms a troop-level review of allegations brought forth against State Trooper Daniel Martin. A complaint alleges during the first few days of the Cadet Lawman academy, Martin showed an ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Island of Niue hit by exodus

    ALOFI, Niue — It was a school once, but there are no children here anymore. The lonely building on this remote Pacific island now contains only a punching bag that someone has strung from the classroom rafters, and a note scrawled on the ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Michelle Knight says fame comes with complications

    CLEVELAND — Michelle Knight has discovered that the fame that followed her escape from Ariel Castro’s house of horrors cuts both ways....

    July 14, 2014

  • AP analysis: Mideast crisis a strategic stalemate

    If the Israel-Hamas fighting feels like a rerun, that’s because it is....

    July 14, 2014

  • Russia: One killed near Ukraine border by shell fire

    MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign ministry said Sunday that a Ukrainian shell hit a Russian border town, killing one person and seriously injuring two others. Ukraine denied firing a shell into Russian territory....

    July 14, 2014

  • No Iran breakthrough with Kerry in Vienna

    VIENNA — Joint efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and three other Western foreign ministers failed Sunday to advance faltering nuclear talks with Iran, with the target date for a deal only a week away....

    July 14, 2014

  • Thousands of Palestinians flee northern Gaza

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Thousands of Palestinian residents of the northern Gaza Strip fled their homes on Sunday and sought safety in U.N. shelters, heeding warnings from the Israeli military about impending plans to bomb the area in the ...

    July 14, 2014

  • One Vision One Voice prepares for ‘I Count’

    Passing a neighbor on the street, one usually smiles, gives a nod of acknowledgment or reaches out to shake a hand. But what about the neighbor who lives on that street and is tired, scared and without a home? One Vision One Voice is ...

    July 13, 2014