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posted: 9/9/2013 5:00 AM

Arab countries should get on board

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We should attack targets of real consequence in Syria with missiles but not put boots on the ground. It is true that President Assad must be brought up short on using chemical weapons and equally true that regimes like Iran and North Korea, not to mention murderous dictatorships in Central Africa, will perceive weakness if no action is taken.

On the other hand, I struggle with why it is always the U.S. that has to carry the ball. For instance, the Arab League has condemned Assad's use of chemical weapons, and Saudi Arabia has modern aircraft bought from the U.S. Maybe France or the Saudis should do their share.

Bottom line: Congress should give the president well-defined authority to proceed and the president should try to get broad international participation, especially from Muslim countries (even if it's only use of their ports or airspace). Steve Smith


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