Tom Howell Jr.'s article, "Israeli airstrikes on Syria put Obama at the crossroads" (Web, May 5), quotes an Obama official as saying: "If he [Assad] drops sarin on his own people, what's that got to do with us?" I was shocked by this remark.
It definitely has a lot to do with us and our ally Israel, because if Bashar Assad uses chemical weapons on his own people, one can just imagine what he will do to Israel, America and other free nations. It is now known that the rebels are not just innocent Syrian people longing for democracy; they are. in fact a large mix of Hamas, al Qaeda and other assorted terrorists backed by Iran. These are not people you want to arm.
Keep in mind that whoever wins this civil war in Syria, the enemies are united in their threats against Israel, America and all other free, non-Muslim nations. Therefore, we have to be united to fight against a common, lethal enemy that can only fuel a civil war globally if left alone. These people have already reached our own soil several times. Do we have to wait until they get Syria's chemical weapons before we can prevent them from using these weapons against us? Israel is not waiting for that; neither should we.
Also, we cannot trust arming one side or the other. We did that in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Israel did that with Yasser Arafat, who was supposed to be a moderate. Arafat's Fatah agreed to fight against the Hamas terrorists, but what happened? The Palestinians ended up turning their weapons on Israeli soldiers instead.
Just before his re-election last year, President Obama approved the decision to allow approximately 3,000 Palestinians the right to come to our country as refugees from Gaza. I hope Mr. Obama will indeed alter his plans since we Americans now know our goodwill gestures to promote democracy in Muslim nations are not what a majority of Muslims leaders or their people really want.
BARBARA ANN FENNELL BLOOM
Owings Mills, Md.
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