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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid