The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 31, 2013

Arming Syrian rebels may not be worth the cost

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

There is now a strong movement in congress to aid the Syrian opposition with some leading congressmen, including Senators McCain and Graham, wanting us to provide arms to be used in combat.

As a disabled Korean combat veteran, I have had years to think about our foreign wars. World War II was probably necessary but I am now not sure about Korea or any of the recent ones. In placing blame, people forget that many people got rich and companies made trillions in war contracts.

Every day, my friends that died and those with damaged bodies and/or damaged minds, from that war so long ago, are in my mind. Often I see the damage of our many foreign wars.

A few years ago, while visiting in Arkansas, I met a young man injured in the first Iraq War. There was not much I could do other than to suggest he contact his congressman and try to get more help from the Veterans Groups. Linda Bilmes (former Assistant Secretary of Commerce and now Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School) who has written extensively on long-term cost of wars, estimates the cost of providing Iraq and Afghanistan disability and services close to $1 trillion dollars. Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) states, “many Americans don’t understand the full cost of war.”

The decision to aid and possibly arm the Syrian rebels could be costly. I hope our leaders think before involving American troops in this conflict.

Edward V. Harris

Hugo

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Congratulations to ‘The Sam’

    Congratulations are in order this week for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. The massive museum is one of only five museums and five libraries honored with the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service by the ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Help for the hurting

    This past fiscal year, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services served about 187,000 of our neighbors. That’s a lot of Oklahomans, but the department missed serving an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 more that are ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Repairs still needed

    Lawmakers once again kicked the can down the road on making needed repairs to the state Capitol. By a 62-34 vote, they turned down a Senate-approved plan to authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the nearly century-old building....

    April 24, 2014

  • Health care needs have reached critical stage

    Once again, the Republican-led Oklahoma legislators are leaving Oklahoma’s neediest in the dust with their proposed 2014-2015 budget. Studies by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Can’t have it both ways

    Local sheriff Joe Lester wasn’t among the state sheriffs and lawmakers protesting the removal of state prisoners from county jails this week. The sheriffs, some of whom have protested by having too many state prisoners in their ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014