President's decision on Syria: no easy choices - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

President's decision on Syria: no easy choices

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The White House has a challenging task ahead and there doesn't appear to be a correct answer when it comes to how The United States should proceed.  It seems like we're stuck between Iraq and a hard place.

One thousand adults killed, and four hundred twenty-nine children- all of them civilians. That's the figure Secretary of State, John Kerry alleges is the death toll from the Syrian government's attack on its own people last week.   But it's the claim that Syria used chemical weapons to create this man made disaster that has our nation's leaders the most agitated. 

Professor Tom Dolan, a chairman of political science at Columbus State University, said, "Chemical weapons--they drift through the air.  You can't target a single person or single building. Because they are so indiscriminate, they fit into that category of weapons of mass destruction."

Eliminating weapons of mass destruction is a battle cry we've heard before. Not too long ago, it was a claim produced by U.S. Intelligence to support an invasion of Iraq. A claim that was later discredited. Ironically, John Kerry was one of the loudest detractors of the War for Iraqi Freedom for that very reason, but he says this time it's different.

"Our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information regarding this attack, and I will tell you it has done so more than mindful of the Iraq experience. We will not repeat that moment," said Kerry.

President Barack Obama said at a news conference today, "I have not made a final decision about various actions that might be taken."

Professor Dolan said President Obama has to decide which is the lesser of two evils. Letting Syria think it can use chemical weapons without recourse after repeated warnings, or take military action and face a host of new problems.

"You have Russia supporting Syria in this case because Syria is a major buyer of Russian arms," said Dolan, "Iran has threatened to attack Israel if the United States attacks Syria. And, getting rid of the Assad regime, which is misbehaving, would lead to a worse situation if the people who are opposing him now were put in power."

Dolan said Syrian rebels are mostly backed by Al-Quaeda and preachers of radical Islam.

"I would hate to be in president Obama's shoes right now," said Dolan. 

Besides the War for Iraqi Freedom, the professor said this situation reminds him of another war in American history.

The actions that other Middle Eastern nations, and Russia, are threatening to take are similar to the entangling alliances that got many countries involved in World War I who had nothing to do with the original incident.

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