I was interested to note how Ray Fleming (Obama is right' Daily Bulletin 25.8.2013) praises the American president for his caution' over Syria and how he is now responding to calls for action'.
In my opinion, as the world's most powerful man, President Obama should be leading calls for action not just responding to them, because, after two and a half years of fighting, horrific deaths and casualties, the time to be cautious has run out. Though I don't want to see a repeat of Afghanistan or Iraq, what's the point in the American President making taking a moral stand with threats about red lines/toxic weapons, etc., if he isn't prepared to back up his words with actions?
So come on Barack. Do something.
When I voted Barack Obama way back in 2008, I'd hoped the US had gotten a President who didn't shoot from the hip like cowboy G W Bush, but who'd not take forever to make tough decisions.
So I agree absolutely with Hugh Ash when he blasts Obama for not cutting to the chase quicker over the barbaric Syrian tragedy.
As Hugh said, it's a year since the president said red lines' would be crossed if ever WMDs were fired. So he's sure had plenty of time to think up a game-plan to slap down anyone who ignored that warning. Instead, only now is Obama asking the Pentagon and State Dept what options he has, short of putting GIs on the ground, which nobody wants.
With 100'000 already dead and millions made refugees, that's a heck of a long time to wake up and smell the coffee.
I read your columnists Hugh Ash and Ray Fleming and their contrasting views on President Obama's woeful lack of action/wise lack of action in the Syrian conflict.
May I suggest they, along with other Daily Bulletin readers, reflect on the following letter from a Mr. Al Sabah, published in the Financial Times, which sums up the Middle East turmoil in simple terms. He writes:-
Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad.
Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood. Obama and Muslim Brotherhood are against General Sisi (Egypt's Defence Minister).
But Gulf states are pro-Sisi. Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood.
Iran is pro-Hamas. But Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood.
Gulf states are pro-US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi.
And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states! Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.' I think that ends any confusion.
Yours truly, W.J.L. Perry
It's very sad to hear some of those people who supported western involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, now calling for military action over Syria. When will they ever learn? Military intervention in the Middle East has never been in the West's best interests. Do we really want to support those who oppose Assad, who have been guilty of so many atrocities themselves and who are linked to the organisation that seeks to blow up embassies, planes etc. and kill as many of us as it can? Do we want to support those who are persecuting Syria's two million Christians? Do we want to support the likes of the Syrian rebel who can be seen on YouTube, eating the heart of a government soldier?
If there is a solution to the desperate situation of the Syrian people, it has to be a diplomatic and political one and it is to be hoped that President Putin will eventually be willing and able to play a part in this, as the eyes of the world focus on his country in the run-up to the Winter Olympics. An attack on Syria will be like a spark igniting a forest fire that then spreads over the entire region.