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Santa Maria Sun / Commentary

The following article was posted on September 11th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 27

Thoughts on Syria

While waiting to see what would happen, locals raised their voices


As the executive editor, I see and hear opinions of all kinds every day. They come in by e-mail, by mailed envelope, and by fax. Some are hand delivered. Some are left as voicemails.

As the situation in Syria ripened or stagnated, depending on your point of view, U.S. citizens, certainly Syrians, and people around the world waited to see what the response from this nation would or wouldn’t be. As of Sept. 10, it seemed that tensions would begin to ease, with reports of an agreement by Syria’s leaders to turn over its chemical weapons.

A CNN story on the development reported that various major players around the globe were throwing their weight behind the proposal, even as U.S. leaders—among them Sen. John McCain—voiced skepticism tinged with a hint of optimism.

The situation is obviously an ever-changing one, though by the time of this printing it could be essentially resolved. Or back to tense.

Over the past week, readers and organizations sent in a variety of opinions on the situation, though pretty much all of them seemed to come from the same angle.

The following represent a few of the comments we received while the world waited:


"The California Federation of Teachers Executive Council has empowered CFT President Joshua Pechthalt to speak out in opposition to U.S. military intervention in Syria. Pechthalt commented:

“'The act of dropping bombs on Syria or any other country is an act of war. The American people understand that, and they are saying no. Educators in California are tired of sacrificing our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers and the women, men and children of other countries in senseless violence.

“'After the loss of millions of lives during World War II, the world community created the United Nations to resolve international and domestic disputes. We abhor and condemn the role of the Syrian government in killing and maiming their own people. But bombs raining down on the people of Syria will only cause greater death and destruction.

“'As educators and parents we are always imploring our children and students to ‘use their words’ when faced with anger, frustration, and conflict. We urge President Obama and the world community to put down weapons of violence and ‘use our words’ to find a just and equitable solution to the internal strife faced by the Syrian people.'”


Kevin O’Connor of Santa Barbara:

“The Democrats had no interest in Iraq, who used weapons of mass destruction on its own people with Bush as President, but with Syria and Obama they want to attack?!

“Hypocrites. The low I.Q. party.”


From Thomas Stevenson of San Luis Obispo:

“I find it ironic that the only thing the Republican Party can agree with Obama on is a military attack on Syria. As the leader in the world, I expect our country, with all its resources and wisdom, to come up with a better solution than killing. After all, doesn’t killing to avenge killing just create more dead people? I’m angry at both political parties in our response to Syria. Certainly, something must be done, but using weapons to force peace is an equation that has never added up. So, I’m asking our leaders to show real leadership, to dig deeper, and take more time if necessary, to find a solution and response that truly reflects our country’s peaceful intent.”


Send comments to Executive Editor Ryan Miller at

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