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Letters: Call to war in Syria not examined

FILE: Refugees fill their buckets at the Atmeh

FILE: Refugees fill their buckets at the Atmeh refugee camp in the northern Syrian province of Idlib on April 5, 2013. Credit: AP / AMC

I was greatly disappointed by what was left out of President Barack Obama's speech when he pledged to destroy the threat of the Islamic State . He did not mention what would become of Syria and Iraq when we are done.

When we liberated Libya and Moammar Gadhafi was killed by rebel forces, there was little government structure, and the country has been taken over by battling tribal groups.

When we liberated Iraq and Saddam Hussein was hanged after a trial, we left that country with a weak sectarian government unable to defend itself, so now we're coming to the rescue.

When we defeated Germany and Japan, we left their government structures intact, removing only the top officials. Those were successful victories, resulting in peaceful nations and eventual economic partners.

We should not enter a new, long-term war without a clear picture of the endgame.

Jerry Worthing, Wantagh

Responses from our elected officials on Long Island were very disheartening and ignored, once again, the perilous consequences of U.S. military intervention. Entering into another war in the Middle East disregards the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan -- that there is no military solution to end these civil wars, and that airstrikes will only fuel Arab anger and increase terrorist recruitment as their civilians are killed.

Rather than airstrikes, the United States should use our leverage and power for negotiations. A long-term political solution is required that includes the United Nations and all parties of the countries involved.

We cannot afford another decade of war; it will destroy our country and our democracy. This president was elected to end wars, not to start a new one in Syria.

Margaret Melkonian, Uniondale

Editor's note: The writer is director of the Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives.