Obama wisely cautious

If President Obama were to start a military confrontation with Syria without congressional approval, he would be strongly criticized. Now that he’s decided to consult Congress he is accused of weakness.

What do his critics want?

I’d rather have a very cautious president seek congressional approval and line up his ducks before ordering missiles to be launched.

In Libya, the outcome was not good, as we know. In Egypt, both sides accuse the United States of betrayal. Caution and careful consideration of all the issues surrounding a possible intervention should be applauded.

I hope we all remember the Iraq “slam dunk” and give President Obama credit for not rushing to action.

Gabriel Virella, M.D., Ph.D.

Spearfish Circle

Oak Island

‘The president flinched’

On Aug. 30, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a speech implying that Tomahawk Missiles would soon be launched against Syria for having used chemical weapons against its own people.

The next day, however, President Obama, after apparently reading the political tea leaves, took a 180-degree turn away from Kerry’s speech in which he justified the need and urgency of punishing Syria for its action.

The president flinched.

Now, for at least a week until Congress returns from its traditional August vacation, Syria and especially the Arab world will be in limbo.

In the military, the traditional response to an order to fire artillery or even to launch a missile is, “On the way, wait,” meaning the ordinance is in the air and en route to the target.

In President Obama’s world, “wait” appears to mean, “I’m dithering and delegating my authority to order our nation’s military into action to the U.S. Congress,” a government body which cannot agree on much of anything.

What strange times we find ourselves with President Obama wielding military power on our nation’s behalf.

Lawrence McMahon

Town Creek Drive

Charleston

Break time is over

It is time for Congress to come back from its month-long vacation, and work with Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama, as well as our allies abroad, to decide the best course of action for our country.

Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Mark Sanford and all the rest of the officials who work for us need to get to work.

Vacation time is over.

Pamela Stogner

Cameron Boulevard

Isle of Palms

Consider the costs

The desire to help the oppressed and punish the oppressors in Syria or elsewhere is understandable. We have the most powerful military, so why should we use restraint?

Let’s just consider the fiscal aspects.

Our power lies in unique yet expensive technological weapons.

What if we exhaust the funds needed to provide for the basic necessities of the homeland?

We already have significant, runaway and core weakening internal problems: the deficit, cities in fiscal default, unemployment, tax revenue decline, foreclosures, college costs, immigration containment, addiction, medical care and more.

The equally powerful ancient Roman Empire included most of Europe, North Africa and much of the Middle East. Costly frontier wars, in the face of internal decline, depleted the coffers, leaving the homeland prey to multiple final destructive forces.

We still have one distant war, and remnants of another, a high military suicide rate and major benefit cuts for those who served so bravely and are now so over-extended.

We want justice and credibility, but history, both recent and past, speaks loudly, suggesting the fixing of the home front first, rather than venturing militarily alone into the unknown.

This discussion does not dismiss the growing dire humanitarian crisis which justly and urgently needs our and international participation.

Charles Vergona

Shadow Oak Drive

Charleston

Comrades in farce

Charles Krauthammer was right ... it is “Amateur Hour.”

Our country has never seen the likes of this farce foisted on us by our bumbling Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

If that’s not bad enough we’ll have to endure a visit from Sen. John McCain and his “Mini-Me” groupie Lindsey Graham.

South Carolina voters need to elect another senator who, like Tim Scott, can represent his people accurately. We don’t want a camera-loving, inside-the-Beltway, wine-and-cheese gadfly who forgets the people back home.

Finally, to those who shout about McCain’s heroism, take note ... Alvin York and Audie Murphy were heroes too, but they knew their limitations.

Bob Stefani

Long Grove Drive

Mount Pleasant