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posted: 9/10/2013 5:00 AM

An urgent plea to President Obama

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A universal strike in Syria would represent a break from the multilateral stance you championed during your campaigns. In your first presidential run you embraced a foreign policy approach emphasizing that the U.S. wouldn't go at it alone on the international stage, and you promised to shore up alliances and build multinational coalitions to legitimize and carry out military actions. When you won the Nobel Peace Price, the award committee cited your efforts to place "multilateral" in "a central position."

Mr. President, now it appears that you are about to break that promise, If it made good sense in 2008, why not in 2013? The American people supported your promise and that promise got you elected. Mr. President, what has changed? Is it because Britain wouldn't be a partner? Neither the United Nations, the Arab League, nor any other multilateral institution has authorized the use of military force against Syria.

Mr. President, don't enter an unwise war; wait and see what the United Nations inspector's findings are. If they are as bad as what's being reported, perhaps the United Nations and our allies will be willing to support your cause.

Silvio Pontarelli

Mount Prospect

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