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Chemical Weapons

NEWS
September 9, 2013
The Sun editorial staff is of the opinion that the "U.S. must act decisively and forcefully to punish [President Bashar] Assad for his choice to unleash chemical weapons on innocent civilians in Syria - even if our allies won't" ("Where is the outrage?" Sept. 4). The editorial goes on to suggest that there were "more than 1,400 people dead, 400 of them children, from rocket attacks spreading a chemical agent. " But is President Barack Obama's belated concern over civilian casualties really about punishing Mr. Assad for using chemical weapons - or about covering up his Middle East policy disasters in Libya and Egypt, plus his ill-advised "red line" speech?
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NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2013
The dean of Maryland's congressional delegation and a prominent voice in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, said on Monday that she supports giving President Barack Obama authorization to strike Syria. "I believe the president's plan is the best response to protecting U.S. security interests in the region," Mikulski, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said during a lengthy speech on the Senate floor. "Therefore…after really great reflection and as much due diligence as I could do, I want to announce today to my colleagues and most of all to the people of Maryland who have supported me, that I will support the president's request for a targeted, limited military action against the Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime in response to the horrific, grim and ghoulish use of chemical weapons," she said.
NEWS
By Jonah Goldberg | September 9, 2013
"The genius of you Americans," the Arab-nationalist and one-time president of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, once explained, "is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them which we are missing. " I've long taken patriotic pride in such statements of befuddlement from foreigners. America is a gloriously complicated thing. We often confuse our national creeds for universal principles.
NEWS
By David Horsey | September 9, 2013
There is a certain freedom in knowing that, no matter what you do, you will make someone mad. That is the situation in which President Barack Obama finds himself regarding Syria: he has no good options, so he is free to simply choose the one he believes is right. He believes the government of Syrian strongman Bashar Assad must pay a price for using chemical weapons on its own people. He believes that price should be a missile strike delivered from U.S. warships because no one else is willing to stand up for the mandates of international law that have long said the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent.
NEWS
By Douglas MacKinnon | September 5, 2013
As some people who served in our government under President George W. Bush acknowledge the ever escalating tragic consequences of going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, now seems the perfect time for those of influence on both sides of the aisle to ask some desperately needed questions regarding our seemingly pending attack on the government of Syria. Should these decision-makers and people of influence desire to speak from the moral high-ground on this issue, they need only listen first to the tens of thousands of American families who either lost a son or daughter in Iraq and Afghanistan or had a loved-one crippled in those countries.
NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The dean of Maryland's congressional delegation emerged from a classified briefing Thursday persuaded that Syrian leader Bashar Assad was responsible for last month's chemical weapons attack but undecided on whether a U.S. military strike is the best response. "What we heard today made a compelling forensic case, one, that nerve gas was used and, No. 2, that it was used by the Assad regime," said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. But the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said she has more questions about the military response and is wary of involving the U.S. in a protracted conflict.
NEWS
By John Fritze and Matthew Hay Brown, The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2013
He knocked on doors in Ohio for President Barack Obama's campaign last year and is active in Maryland's Democratic Party, but Dave Kunes nevertheless opposes the president on what has become the central issue of his second term: whether to launch a military strike in Syria. Kunes, a 24-year-old Silver Spring resident, joined several dozen protesters who rallied in Rockville and Ellicott City on Wednesday to deliver the message that even in Democratic Maryland - where six in 10 voted to re-elect Obama last year - there are deep misgivings about U.S. involvement in another Middle East war. "We've always had President Obama's back.
NEWS
By Rachel Marsden | September 4, 2013
When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the reported chemical weapons attacks in Syria last week, it was like watching a bad Stanley Kubrick movie cross between "Dr. Strangelove" and "Spartacus. " As in, "I, Spartacus, would like to claim full responsibility for the battles and woes in everyone's backyard. " This self-sacrificial impetus to take on all the world's ills needs to stop, particularly when the crisis of conscience belongs in someone else's dacha. Syria isn't America's problem to fix -- it's Russia's.
NEWS
By Faheem Younus | September 3, 2013
Mr. President, you and I having a similar challenge: selling a military strike against Syria as a "moral imperative. " But we have different audiences. Your constituents come from all parts of the country; mine from different parts of the world. Yours are driven by myriad interests; mine are simply seeking justice. Yours are young and old; mine are mostly teenagers. You call yours, "the U.S. Congress. " I call mine "the Younus family. " Mr. President, my nephews and nieces, who live in Pakistan, Canada and elsewhere, buy the fact that Syiran President Bashar Assad should be ousted and held responsible for his reprehensible actions against his own people.
NEWS
September 3, 2013
More than 1,400 people dead, 400 of them children, from rocket attacks spreading a chemical agent, most likely sarin, on civilians living outside Damascus. Those gruesome deaths ought to be the focus of U.S. and world attention - people suffering, convulsing, vomiting, laboring to breathe their last as the muscles around their lungs are paralyzed. Surely, there was a time when a decisive U.S. military response to such outrageous behavior by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad would have been a foregone conclusion.
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