News / Middle East

World Disagrees on Possible US Intervention in Syria

World Disagrees on Possible Intervention in Syriai
X
August 29, 2013 10:47 AM
The Obama administration is preparing a legal argument for undertaking a military response to the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria. Zlatica Hoke reports that public opinion about military action in Syria varies both in the United States and abroad.
Zlatica Hoke
The Obama administration is preparing a legal argument for undertaking a military response to the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Syria.  Public opinion about military action in Syria varies both in the United States and abroad.
 
While world leaders pondered Wednesday how best to respond to Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against its people, Syrian refugees in Jordan staged a demonstration in support of possible U.S. intervention. 
 
"We've protested today to say to the free world and to [U.S. President Barack] Obama that the time has come," explained Ghareeb Shehada, a protest organizer. "The red line has been crossed by [Syrian President Bashar] Assad.  It's time to send a strong message to Bashar and to destroy scud missiles and the chemical weapons, which have been used by criminals to kill honest civilians." 
 
For some refugees in Jordan's Zaatari camp, one of the world's largest, an intervention after two years of death and destruction in their country is too little too late. 
 
"The military strike is late, it should have taken place two years ago," complained Ibrahim Suleiman, a Syrian refugee in living Jordan, "and the ultimatums given by NATO, the Western and Arab nations, should have been given a long time ago. They are too late, our people have died, our people were slaughtered, children, women, even old men.''
 
While many Western leaders call for a military strike in Syria, some of their citizens are opposed to a costly military intervention at a time of economic austerity at home. A group of demonstrators gathered outside the prime minister's office in London after Britain sought U.N. backing for action against the Syrian government. 
 
"But they are going to make it worse, they are going to ruin it, and they're going to make it like Iraq and we do not want it to happen there," opined Jihan, a protester in London. "We don't want Syria to be the same as Iraq."
 
Commentator Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe newspaper said the most recent public opinion polls show that 60 percent of Americans are opposed to any military role for the United States in Syria.  He said the protracted war in Iraq is often given as the reason.
 
"In the wake of the Iraq war, where weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, possibly nuclear weapons, were the rationale for the war, and it turned out that [former Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein did not have them, I think that there's going to be a lot of skepticism in the United States, but also abroad," Bender said.
 
Bender added that if President Obama decides on a military strike in Syria he will have to convince the American public that it is necessary and also address the risks of expanding the U.S. role in the Syrian war.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs