US & Canada

Syria crisis: US readers' reaction

Barack Obama speaking (31 August)
Image caption Mr Obama said the US could not turn a blind eye to what had happened in Damascus

The US has evidence that the chemical nerve agent sarin was used in a deadly attack in Damascus last month, Secretary of State John Kerry says.

The US blames the Syrian government for the 21 August attack.

President Barack Obama has called for military action to be taken against Syria and says he will seek congressional authorisation for intervention.

Here, American readers react to Mr Obama's announcement and discuss their views on a potential US-led missile strike on Syria.

Tim Sigler, Jupiter, Florida

Image caption "I don't feel comfortable watching people getting massacred and not doing anything about it"

The US should have done something about the Syrian crisis much sooner than now.

The world reacts by talking, while the people of Syria react by crying and burying their family members.

I think whatever party or religion you belong to, I don't feel comfortable watching people getting massacred and not doing anything about it.

By leaving the decision to Congress, and if it goes against Obama, then he can blame Congress for not going in to Syria.

It's the most cowardly move I have ever seen in my life.

A lot of countries depend on the US for leadership and for the stand we take on issues. But if we don't do something, no one else will.

Wilfred Perera, Marietta, Georgia

I do not agree with the president that he ought to take punitive action against Syria.

His action to seek authorisation from Congress is a sham.

He knows well that punishing Assad is not going to stop the conflict, nor is it going to stop any future chemical weapon attacks.

Also, the USA cannot afford to spend money in this manner when our economy is not very sound at this time.

Historically, our past military interventions in the Middle East have been extremely costly.

Sadly, they have not achieved any good political results either.

I expect Congress to veto any US punitive action in Syria.

The best solution to stemming the inhumane actions in Syria is for Arab states to discuss the present situation and then advise the UN to take military and/or economic sanctions against that country's leader.

John Rosati, Los Angeles, California

Grudgingly, I agree with a brief, muscular action in Syria. But I am quite sure that there will be some reaction and serious consequences from some Arab states.

President Obama has no escape route. He placed himself in a corner with the words "crossing the red line" [over the use of chemical weapons].

He has already made his mind up and is just going to Congress to pacify the "doves", justify the intervention and make it legal.

Of course, he is going to get the approval of Congress. When in distress, right or wrong, we Americans agree with our leaders. Look at World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia and 9/11.

Syria is the most difficult situation ever encountered by the US and its allies.

It is a case of "damned if you do and damned if you don't".

Allyson Kissell, Lakewood, Colorado

While an attack on a military installation in Syria might seem like a simple response to a terrible action, I think the United States is already over-involved in expensive Middle East disputes that it cannot easily extricate itself from.

We should not add one more that we know in advance will have no practical impact and risks escalation of our involvement in the area.

Instead, I would like to see us embarrass and "punish" China and Russia for supporting al-Assad after his regime's brutality on his own people.

Further, I would like to encourage the countries in the Middle East to step up to the plate and clean up their neighbours' mess.

Allan Lindh, Santa Cruz, California

Image caption "If a little time could pass maybe the Russians will come around"

It is easy to make the case on moral grounds.

It is far more difficult to find an intervention that will make things better rather than worse.

We all know what happens when we jump in with good intentions.

Blowing up Syrian installations that would reduce the pain and suffering in Syria is hard for me to imagine.

A delay is good at this point - give the Russians time to deal with the evidence for sarin gas.

It's possible that if the UN comes forward with a clear report on the use of sarin gas then the Russians may moderate their stance.

The best development at this point would be for Russians to reduce support for Assad, and join the effort to find way to begin to wind the violence down.

If a little time could pass maybe the Russians will come around.

Rita Addessa, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Image caption "A diplomatic political solution is the way forward towards peace"

I am vehemently opposed to Obama's military threat against Syria with or without the approval of the UN Security Council, Nato, international allies, and/or the US Congress.

Overall, US military force cannot solve the problem of the mass murder of innocents with chemical or other weapons.

We do not kill people to save people from being killed.

Another debauched USA war against an Arab nation can lead only to chaos.

A diplomatic, political solution is the way forward towards peace.

The US must lead a multilateral and meaningful peace process that engages leaders of all nations involved directly or indirectly in the Syrian conflict.

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