Tuesday, January 27, 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

    In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Interfaith event focuses on justice

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Senate Dems block GOP effort to wind down pipeline debate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    New-home sales jump 11.6% in December

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Blizzard howls its way into Boston

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Crash leads to DUI, hit-run arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn nature photography from an expert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A winemaker’s downfall

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7

    Gerber nominations open now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Wife’s attitude costs her friends

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Taking turns as the halfway house

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Damage done to democracy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A family was torn apart, but we survived

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Locals will join march for climate change

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6

     
    It’s foggy? Turn on your headlights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Anatomy of a hoops collapse: Can Aggie men handle the pressure?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD swims past Santa Barbara

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Arts

    ‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

    By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

    Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Death notice: Lorraine Bernice DeGraff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7