Tonawanda News

Opinion

September 1, 2013

DUVALL: No good options remain in Syrian civil war

Tonawanda News — In the intervening day between when this is written and when you read it, events could well render this moot. Without hyperbole, I can say by then we could be hurtling toward World War III.

The situation in Syria is exactly that serious.

After a preponderance of evidence suggests Syrian President Bashar Assad gassed his own people killing as many as 1,400 civilians — many among them defenseless women, the elderly and young children — the world expressed shock and outrage.

And that’s about all we’ve done, is talk.

Some of the best advice I was ever given came from a high school history teacher: The most difficult choices in life are rarely between something good and something bad. They’re almost always between something bad and something just as bad.

That’s precisely where the Obama administration finds itself, in part due to its own dithering and lack of a coherent policy toward the Middle East and also because of unforeseen events that no president could address without serious consequences resulting from all available options. 

President Obama rightly stated last year if Assad used chemical weapons on his own people it would change America’s calculus on their bloody civil war. 

He’s right, there’s a moral imperative for America, as the world’s greatest defender of freedom, to act when atrocities like this happen. Standing by and doing nothing is in itself doing something — it’s signaling to the world’s thugs that it’s permissible to used abhorrent weapons on innocent civilians without fear of reprisal. 

Of course, the alternative is military action that almost certainly will ratchet up what is already turning into a regional war and threatens to drag us back into a prolonged conflict in the Muslim world. 

And that’s actually not the worst-case scenario.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: Employers don't need 24/7 access to workers

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Taste of Buffalo sneaks up again This time next week you can find me tromping somewhere up and down Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. I'll be there with tens of thousands of my closest friends.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo