Robert Ehlert: Statesman readers offer thoughts on Syria

September 11, 2013 

Robert Ehlert

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Trust. Mistrust. Verify.

This twist on President Ronald Reagan's words at a different time in history is a fair description of what President Barack Obama asked of his country during his speech on the Syrian crisis Tuesday night.

Though it would be one thing to trust our president, we're now being asked to trust the Russians, the Chinese, the United Nations and Bashar al-Assad — a man who has killed 100,000 of his Syrian countrymen, including hundreds of children in a sarin gas attack.

We learned nothing. Whose mind will be changed? We are today where we were when the president drew his red line weeks ago.

What occurred Tuesday is that the president was presented with a welcome parenthesis to buy time and build an argument that his idle threats have brought Assad to his senses.

The president said we are not the world police in his speech, but he also posited that we have been the "anchor of global security" for seven decades and that the world is better because of it. Which is it?

On Tuesday the Statesman asked readers to offer their opinions about going forward with a military strike in Syria. We hope the conversation continues following this speech. A sampling of the responses to the president's possible plans in Syria submitted to the Idaho Statesman's Facebook page (readers were asked to sum up their thoughts in five or fewer words):

Amy Fort: Huge mistake!!

Ann R. Key: No need now, Russia solved it.

Dave Kanati Usti Raper: STAY. OUT. OF. SYRIA.

Megan Mattocks: Fix America first, stop killing my friends.

Tennille Alambra: Russia solved, U.S. go home.

David Breithaupt: No, no, no, NO, NO.

Kerri Smart: We can't afford the lives nor money.

Kevin Quinn: Fire Obama!

Megan Isaacson: We shouldn't intervene militarily.

Alex Petersen: Team America: World Police 2.

Susan Nelson-Sangiorgi: NO!!!

Joe Patnaude: Who's really the terrorist there?

Mary Defayette: Remember, we're broke!

Glen Scott Swearingen: I approve sending President Obama to Syria.

David Breithaupt: Not only no, but hell no.

Amber Ashby: They need help. Not from us ...

Marilyn Mitchell Aiton: No, No, No and No!

Liz Miller Bloss: We can't afford involvement.

Melinda Morales: No.

Joshua Scott: First time I agreed with the man.

Ann Ludington: We don't belong there.

Lisa Jordan: Help our own country first.

Lora Alexander Fullerton: Let the barbarians kill each other!

Maegan Reinholtz: Leave it alone!!

Tish Rice: Stay away from it!! No more!!

Tyler Stanford: Big mistake!!!

Adria Lewis: Obama + terrorist support = dead Americans.

Gloria Hayes Forrey: Stay out of it America.

Lindarose Curtis: Pressure from Israel.

Michael Adams: Not our war. Not our problem.

Jason Thueson: NO MORE WAR!! Fix America First!!

Helen Mcmains: I'm with Labrador, Stay out of Syria.

Roger Tebo: NO clear path or ally ...

Heather Talbot Medema: We need to stay out!

Susie Stertz: Stay out We have more than enough !

Nick Coltharp: "Just say NO" to Syria!

Clint Anderson: Damned if we do - damned if we don't.

Virginia Smith Dillon: Hooray to our US Rep. Idaho!

Bill Holman: No. No no no war.

Bradley McGee: Why help Al-Qaida?

Robert Phelps: No more being the world policemen.

Pearl Hogard: Stay the hell out.

Cenia C Parsons: No!

Tom P. Warner: Seems like a terrible idea.

John Mike Fish: where were you people when we invaded Iraq?

Daniel J Fredrickson: Military action too late to help now.

Susan Byerly-Harshman: No military action from the U.S.

Chris Canfield: GOP would rather vote against the president than anything else.

Le Dawson: Obama turns warmongers into doves.

Sharon Herrick: How about the two leaders do the fighting!


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