The Norman Transcript

Opinion

September 3, 2013

Let others punish Syria

NORMAN — The United States is under no obligation or duty to take the lead in another military intervention and should not.

Others have the capacity to respond to the suspected chemical attacks in Syria that have roused the international community.

President Obama has been chatting up foreign leaders and meeting with administration advisers on how to proceed. The best advice is to step aside and let the French, British and Germans punish the Bashar Assad regime as they see fit.

Syria has been in a heightened state of turmoil since 2011. A brutal taxonomy of religious groups, internal rebels and regional foes are challenging the Assad family dictatorship.

The rebels, coalitions and militias hate one another with the same zeal they loathe the brutal ruling authority in Damascus. A suspected chemical strike outside of the capital is getting special attention after repeated reports of similar attacks.

The ostensibly detached launch of cruise missiles from U.S. Navy ships is no encouragement to get involved.

The U.S. and its presumed confederates in a response have no real clue who is doing what to whom or who among the rebel groups ought to prevail and be in charge.

No tidy divisions of authority, credibility or capacity exist. Can the outside forces identify a coalition with broad acceptance within Syria?

The U.S. should take sides? With whom? This innate lack of understanding of the local political, social and religious environment has haunted U.S. intentions and presumptions repeatedly.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whose country is aligned with Syria’s dictatorship, wags a finger at the global community and says that use of force without a sanction by the U.N. Security Council is a crude violation of international law.

A sanction, if sought, would certainly be vetoed by the Russians.

Snipers were shooting last Monday at U.N. officials looking in a town near Damascus for evidence of chemical weapons.

If the international community, which has been a spectator of this rebellion for two years, wants to punish Syria, then let them organize and act.

The United States can mull its recent history in the Middle East and contemplate an exit from Afghanistan. Demonstrate the restraint of lessons learned.

— The Seattle Times

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Marijuana a gateway for new OK voters

    A poll this past year showed significant Oklahoma support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The poll showed that more than 71 percent of those surveyed thought medical marijuana was appropriate for patients who ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Expansion effect evaluated

    Editor, The Transcript: The effect of the Medicaid expansion rejection and acceptance on hospitals’ uncompensated costs are now being evaluated....

    July 31, 2014

  • America paying the piper

    Every third American you pass on the street has debts that have been turned over to a collection agency whose 140,000 workers are keeping the phones ringing....

    July 31, 2014

  • State is No. 2 in barbecue

    Americans love the marriage of smoke, fire and meat, but geography plays a part in how strong the passion is. Estately Blog has created a map charting which states are home to the most barbecue enthusiasts. Oklahoma comes in at No. 2 in ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Action mostly closed due to cutbacks

    Editor, The Transcript: The Community Action, at 1155 E Main St. in Norman, for decades has served Cleveland County with the following everyday services: a food pantry, short-term housing for the homeless, providing rides for those without ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Keep guns off campus

    Some Oklahoma lawmakers just won’t let the issue of allowing handguns on campus to go away. A joint legislative study will take a look at campuses around the nation to see if there is a way to accommodate faculty, staff and students who ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014