Last week, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said, "We are not going to war ... . We will be able to hold [Syrian President] Bashar Assad accountable .... in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort." This may be the desire of the U.S. government, but who's to say what the fallout from such an "effort" will be ("John Kerry says limited action in Syria not war," Web, Sept. 4)?
The Japanese, the Spanish and the Mexicans may have thought Pearl Harbor, the USS Maine and the Alamo were limited military targets. Unfortunately for them, these events became rallying cries for U.S. mobilization, enabling us to forget our differences for a time and unite before a common enemy.
Such attacks on our national sovereignty led to the finest hours in our nation's history. So why does Mr. Kerry expect the Syrian regime, and by extension Hezbollah, Iran and other factions throughout the Muslim world, to roll over and take President Obama's punitive expedition lying down?
Air strikes may provide the president with a face-saving moment, but pause to think, Mr. Secretary. Military strikes are acts of war, and in this case, they may very well serve to provide Syria and Shia throughout the world with a new rallying cry to use in recruiting fresh combatants.