Opinion » Commentaries

Thoughts on Syria

The nation waits to see what will happen



As the executive editor, I see and hear opinions of all kinds every day. They come in by e-mail, by mailed envelope, and by fax. Some are hand delivered. Some are left as voicemails.

As the situation in Syria ripened or stagnated, depending on your point of view, U.S. citizens, certainly Syrians, and people around the world waited to see what the response from this nation would or wouldn’t be. As of Sept. 10, it seemed that tensions would begin to ease, with reports of an agreement by Syria’s leaders to turn over its chemical weapons to Russia.

A CNN story on the development reported that various major players around the globe were throwing their weight behind the proposal, even as U.S. leaders—among them Sen. John McCain—voiced skepticism tinged with a hint of optimism.

On Sept. 11, a day of particular significance to the nation and the world, the situation continued to evolve. National news outlets reported on a presidential case made for military intervention and diplomacy. Congress visibly relaxed. Social media networks were peppered with praise for U.S. leaders taking a measured approach, even as some pundits questioned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motives and how the turnover proposal would impact the region—and diplomatic developments therein—over the long run.

The situation is obviously an ever-changing one, though by the time of this printing it could be essentially resolved. Or back to tense.

Over the past week, readers and organizations sent in a variety of opinions on the situation, though pretty much all of them seemed to come from the same angle.

The following represent a few of the comments we received while the world waited:


“The California Federation of Teachers Executive Council has empowered CFT President Joshua Pechthalt to speak out in opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria. Pechthalt commented:

“‘The act of dropping bombs on Syria or any other country is an act of war. The American people understand that, and they are saying no. Educators in California are tired of sacrificing our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers and the women, men and children of other countries in senseless violence.

“‘After the loss of millions of lives during World War II, the world community created the United Nations to resolve international and domestic disputes. We abhor and condemn the role of the Syrian government in killing and maiming their own people. But bombs raining down on the people of Syria will only cause greater death and destruction.

“‘As educators and parents we are always imploring our children and students to ‘use their words’ when faced with anger, frustration and conflict. We urge President Obama and the world community to put down weapons of violence and ‘use our words’ to find a just and equitable solution to the internal strife faced by the Syrian people.’”


From Kevin O’Connor of Santa Barbara:

“The Democrats had no interest in Iraq, who used weapons of mass destruction on its own people with Bush as President, but with Syria and Obama they want to attack?!

“Hypocrites. The low I.Q party.”


From Thomas Stevenson of San Luis Obispo:

“I find it ironic that the only thing the Republican Party can agree with Obama on is a military attack on Syria. Since we’re the leader in the world, I expect our country, with all its resources and wisdom, to come up with a better solution than killing. After all, doesn’t killing to avenge killing just create more dead people? I’m angry at both political parties in our response to Syria. Certainly, something must be done, but using weapons to force peace is an equation that has never added up. So, I’m asking our leaders to show real leadership, to dig deeper, and take more time if necessary, to find a solution and response that truly reflects our country’s peaceful intent.”


Send comments to Executive Editor Ryan Miller at [email protected].

Add a comment