I can understand the president's initial reluctance to get more involved in Syria. He should not succumb to pressure to escalate our involvement. What is happening there is tragic and appalling. However, it has been clearly demonstrated that U.S. involvement in the Middle East does not produce great outcomes. In fact, it has the opposite effect.
The unjustified attack on Iraq was a huge financial drain and, more important, resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and human suffering needlessly. Our losses are hardly appreciated! In fact, we unintentionally abetted Iraq to become buddy-buddy with Iran, its former enemy and our current nemesis. We have had very little success in Afghanistan. Our initial intent to defuse al-Qaida has been virtually forgotten as we fight Islamic fanatics who hate us but pose no direct threat to the United States. Our relations with Pakistan have suffered severely because of our actions. Billions of dollars have been sunk, directly and indirectly, to pressure Israel and Palestine to resolve their differences. No success there. The jury is still out on Libya.
The United States should adopt the attitude "if it's not an almost certain win-win situation for us and the country where we are considering intervention -- stay out." We have no guarantee that our intervention in Syria would not be in support of the wrong people. From all indications, the American people are sick of wars with negative consequences and wasted resources that could more rightly benefit the citizens of this country.
ALEX J. VALLAS