Press-Republican

Z_CNHI News Service

September 17, 2013

EDITORIALS: Strikes averted, for now / Open letter to Vladimir Putin

Agreement averts strike on Syria, at least for now

(The New Castle News, New Castle, Pa.)

All things considered, we’re glad the United States is taking no direct military action in Syria.

At least not yet. Officials in the Obama administration warned that an agreement forged with Russia over the status of Syria’s chemical weapons is only as good as the actions of Bashar Assad’s regime. The threat of future military moves remain on the table if Syria does not comply.

What to do about Syria in the wake of a confirmed sarin gas attack on civilians poses a problem for the international community. We have held that doing nothing poses risks of its own in terms of encouraging future attacks by Syria and other nations.

But the Obama administration faced a variety of hurdles in its call for military action against Syria. While some of this opposition may have been politically motivated, a very legitimate and practical question loomed over the administration’s efforts: What, precisely, would be accomplished by a strike on Syria? With the administration saying the intent was not to remove Assad or turn the tide of Syria’s civil war, and the ongoing debate giving the regime time to hide potential targets, it was difficult to define the goal of such a mission.

President Obama is now drawing criticism from several factions, accusing him of looking weak and disorganized in his handling of Syria. No doubt some of this criticism is warranted. But we suspect the Russian proposal — quickly accepted by Syria — to have chemical weapons removed from that country was a result of Obama’s threat of military action.

Perhaps the president achieved a strategic victory of sorts without engaging America’s military.

None of this, of course, does much to resolve Syria’s future. It remains unclear whether the Assad regime will survive the ongoing civil war. Waiting to be addressed is how the world will deal with Assad if it’s formally determined his government gassed its own people.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo