Regardless of motives, President Barack Obama made the right decision in seeking congressional support for a military response to Syria’s (alleged) use of weaponized gas on rebels.
While history and precedent provide a clear enough path for the president to make the decision himself, this particular incident at this particular time holds tremendous importance for the future of the Middle East and for the direction of our country.
Syria is but a minor player among Arab nations, but its allies are strong. Furthermore, we have seen all too well how American intervention without well-planned strategies for post-success actions can make matters far worse than before. Look to Iraq. Look to Egypt.
Compound this with the increasing reports of a strengthening al-Qaida presence in Syria, and we must be more vigilant than ever in vetting any military response that leaves Syrian power in place — which is the extent of any military reaction that most even would consider supporting.
At home, the divide among our national leaders is clear, and it worsened by the divide among our people. If the backlash against former President George W. Bush was bad after his decision to invade Iraq, the backlash against Obama for launching a military action against Syria could be devastating to our domestic agenda.
With Great Britain unlikely to join us in a military response and with the United Nations deciding against any retaliatory action, Obama would be unwise to move forward alone. Congress must be his ally in this action, or this action must not take place.
There is no good decision, no right and no wrong. And while the president could have made it himself, he was right to heed the calls of congressional leaders and many Americans who said he should seek the approval of Congress.
This will now be an American decision, one made by all we have elected to represent us, lead us and protect us.
— The Clarion-Ledger
Nyad represents power of human spirit
Diana Nyad’s successful effort in swimming across 110 miles of open water to get from Cuba to the Florida Keys says a lot.
It speaks of Nyad’s amazing determination — the swim across the Florida Straits requires overcoming wind, waves, sun, currents, stinging jellyfish and more, and all without benefit of a protective shark cage.
It speaks of Nyad’s commitment — the swim took nearly 53 hours of near-constant exertion.
It speaks of Nyad’s persistence — she first tried this feat in 1978, and success finally came on her fifth attempt.
It speaks, too, of the power of the human spirit. Nyad, after all, is 64 years old and accomplished something she couldn’t do at age 28. After reaching Florida, she said the swim showed that “we should never ever give up” and “you’re never too old to chase your dreams.”
Those are powerful lessons for anyone at any age.
— Omaha World-Herald