Sunday, March 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

U.S. in no hurry to intervene in Syria

By
From page A6 | May 08, 2013 |

The issue: Obama’s innate caution may be irritating to his followers, but in this case it is sound policy

President Barack Obama, who is cautious by nature — many on both sides of the political spectrum say too much so — is being double-extra-careful on Syria. And he is right to do so.

AT HIS NEWS conference last week, he not only backed off his “red line” about chemical weapons, which he had said earlier would be a “game-changer,” the president almost seemed to be trying to talk himself out of any tougher measures on the Assad regime than he has already taken.

“What we have now,” he said, “is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria, but we don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them. We don’t have a chain of custody that establishes exactly what happened.”

And if Obama was certain that he had all the facts and that Syrian President Bashar Assad had indeed used chemical weapons, “we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us.”

“Rethinking” falls somewhat short of a blood-curdling threat likely to make a murderous dictator change his ways.

In fact, the diplomatic, legal and political grounds for Obama to take action are weak or nonexistent.

Unlike our intervention in Libya, there is no U.N. resolution authorizing such action. And, for all the bellicose talk of GOP Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, it’s doubtful that Congress would pass a resolution approving the use of force by Obama.

BY TORTUOUS legal reasoning, the president might be able to invoke a 2001 congressional resolution authorizing the use of force against nations or organizations that participated in or aided the 9/11 attacks. While there are radical jihadists with tenuous ties to al-Qaida in Syria, they are fighting to oust Assad, so technically we would be on the same side as the radicals.

In Libya, the Arab League took the lead in the fight against Moammar Gadhafy. In this case, the Arab League seems to have elected to sit out the Syrian civil war. Individual Arab nations — namely, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — are actively aiding the rebels, but Saudi Arabia and Qatar are backing different factions.

And the American public is hardly in favor of intervention. A CBS-New York Times poll last week found that 62 percent of Americans say the United States has no responsibility to intervene in Syria against 24 percent who say it does.

Obama’s innate caution may be irritating to his followers, but in this case it is sound policy.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Motive for murder-suicide remains a mystery

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Davis sewage to get new digs

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Where do Davis recyclables go?

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD faculty receive lowest pay in the system

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

    Human Relations Commission hosts Chávez celebration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    Friends search for shooting victim’s lost pets

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    ‘Music as Medicine’ is radio show topic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Friendship the topic on radio program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Forum

    A phone call could have fixed this

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Milt Prigee cartoon

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Some ‘survey’ …

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    These results were meaningless

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Survey not representative

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Answers on the green waste program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    A Little Respect for Dr. Foster

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: B5

     
    Universities need more funding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    Mayor’s corner: Looking ahead to spring

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: B5 | Gallery

     
    Father of the bride snubbed

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A8

     
    After a month of no TV news, I’m feeling much better

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A8

    Take a hike for your heart

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggie softball splits doubleheader

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Republic stun Galaxy with repeated history

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Bad fourth quarter sinks boys lacrosse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies’ walkoff win clinches series against Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Burns scores shootout winner to lift Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    UCD women’s tennis dominates at home

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Grant writing for non-profits workshop set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Millennials are changing our community

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

    With new owner, DAC will Get Fit

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8