During the Gulf War to expel Iraq from Kuwait, then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney telephoned former President Ronald Reagan to thank him for the military that George H.W. Bush had inherited. Mr. Cheney explained that any president is dependent on the military created by his predecessor.
Whether striking Syria for its use of chemical weapons is sound policy or not, President Barack Obama is constrained by the war-weary and skeptical American public and international community. For this President Obama should thank the Bush-Cheney administration, which led us and our partners into two costly protracted wars based on what was, at best, faulty intelligence and the assertion that the wars would be brought to swift conclusions.
It doesn't make any difference whether Syria should be punished for its heinous use of chemical weapons -- the American public and our Western allies are just not willing to consider military action after the past 12 years of war. While Mr. Obama can be rightly criticized for his failure to foresee the reaction to his proposed military strike, the cause of the distrust of the use of force by America rests with the prior administration.
MICHAEL C. JOYCE
The eyes of the world have been focused on our Congress and President Barack Obama to see how America responds to the brutal murdering of Syrian civilians. People are basing their decisions on what they hear and how they feel. In other words, the selling of this moment in history is multisided.
I wonder if the following would make a difference on how we and the world would react. If the headlines read: "President Assad marched 1,400 men, women and children to a boxcar, had them taken to a prison camp, forced them into a building and then used chemical weapons, killing them all."
Do you think this would make a difference? I would say yes.
War is hell
Anyone who has a question about President Barack Obama's decision to challenge Syria's leaders and their attack on their own people needs to be reminded: "Remember Pearl Harbor." Many Americans opposed any interference in "Europe's" World War II until Dec. 7, 1941. Only then did it become "our" war.
Apparently people of all nations forget that war is hell. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
MARY DOT WINSLOW