The recent apparent offhand comment of Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian and Syrian response have set the stage for a very complicated process of getting chemical weapons out of Bashar Assad's hands and into international control ["Lucky stumble in Syria crisis," Editorial, Sept. 12].
It remains to be seen if this will work, but it has had some interesting consequences already.
President Barack Obama has delayed his request to Congress for approval of military action, and this rescues him from almost certainly being refused. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative, is the good guy in this scenario. What a strange world we live in!
Whether this plan works, there remains a civil war in Syria, and the United Nations is powerless to act because of certain Russian and Chinese vetoes as members of the UN Security Council. Thousands of Syrians who only want to live in peace will die, no matter what is done, as both sides ramp up their attacks. We must not get involved in this battle, no matter the moral, political or national imperative our president presents.
Does any thinking American want to see children suffer and die under gas attacks? Of course not! But is it in our national interest to intervene? Not this time, in my opinion. We have had enough of "limited wars," after the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of American service personnel have died or been grievously injured as the result of our involvements.
We need to let this scenario play out as a Syrian civil war, no matter how objectionable to our sensitivities.
Nicholas Dallis, Smithtown