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Mark Caserta: All Americans should unite with Obama on Syria

Sep. 05, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Allow me to show some disgruntlement with the GOP.

Disagreeing with the president in the interest of the country is democracy.

Disagreeing with the president in one's political interest is hypocrisy.

Let me be "perfectly clear." I have little regard for Barack Obama's overall agenda for our nation.

But I have the "utmost" respect for the office of president.

After Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people and the subsequent international discussions as to "who" should do "what," several prominent Republicans began firing pre-emptive blasts at President Obama daring him to take military action in Syria without Congressional approval.

Well, now that the Obama administration has made a compelling case that Assad was indeed responsible for this senseless attack on his own people and that he will "indeed" seek Congressional approval before authorizing surgical strikes on Syria's weapons facilities, several prominent Republicans, positioning for the 2014 and 2016 elections, are now saying the only reason Obama placed this matter into the hands of the people's representatives was because he didn't want to be responsible for making the decision.

Are you kidding me?

Message to the GOP: Quit the political pandering that causes a party to lose its credibility! If we can't unite on issues like this, we're doomed.

Some foreign policy issues must transcend political bias, and we're at a time in our nation's history when many have lost the ability to discern them!

This isn't a matter of what's good for the left or the right, but whether it is good for America and humanity.

I've heard the rhetorical question from Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and others, "What difference will a strike on Syria make?" In other words, what's in it for the United States?

America is a land blessed of God -- a nation divinely called for a purpose. And I know in my heart America's blessings are a result of blessing others.

Taking action against this Syrian dictator will cause him to think twice before hurting or killing more innocent men, women and children in such a horrific, ghastly manner.

Just because life is on the other side of the globe doesn't make it any less worth protecting.

In addition, while this issue may currently be contained within the Syrian civil war, the entire world is watching the United States and learning from our response -- steadfast or wavering. It would be naive to believe such information would not be used by our enemies.

President Obama did the right thing seeking Congressional approval in this matter. Overriding his decision would send a harmful message to the world.

Congress must vote unanimously for a strategic, surgical strike on Syria's weapons facilities, but no boots on the ground!

America has not become an exceptional nation by ignoring the plights of other countries with people not privy to the freedom and protection democracy brings.

And now, who is better equipped than the U.S. to take the lead in protecting innocent lives and role model the blessings of democracy?

Americans should unite on the president's decision.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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