A few days ago, the Sacramento Bee interviewed local Syrian physicians and dentists from Aleppo and/or other Syrian cities who live in Sacramento for their insight on the situation in Syria and how the situation impacts Americans. Check out the article by Stephen Magagnini, "Local Syrian American leaders support U.S. intervention against Assad." The view from the local Sacramento area Syrian leaders not only support a military strike by the USA, but also favor the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad in favor of a democratically elected leader. There is an estimated 300 or more Syrian families living in the Sacramento area.
In the Sacramento Bee article, the general attitude is that the community doesn't like intervention, but they "are out of options" after three years of suffering, the killing of 120,000 people by tanks and bombs and another 1,500, of which 500 of the victims are children. The Syrian community in Sacramento accuses Assad of killing innocents with chemical weapons, the Sacramento Bee article noted in the interviews with Syrian dentists and doctors in the Sacramento area. In contrast, other Americans wonder whether extremist groups did the gassing. On the other hand, the Syrian community feels that the extremist groups did not have access to the Syrian government's pile of poison gasses or other weapons of mass destruction.
Some Syrians blame it on Iranians in Syria who are extremists who do have weapons of all types. And in contrast, the American government largely proclaims the Syrian government's stockpiles of poison gas are hidden and not available to extremist groups trying to raise the level of destruction to attract international intervention. To many people the controversies don't make sense. At least the outcome, for now, is to try a more diplomatic approach by asking Syria to turn over the weapons of mass destruction such as poison gas, with Russia and perhaps China doing some of the diplomatic mediation between Syria and the USA. You have a population where 80% of the American people who don't want another war that attracts more retaliation after a decade of Iraq and Afghanistan military actions and thousands of wounded and unemployed veterans seeking help for PTSD and other medical care. So what's the outcome for the present?
The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) today applauded President Barack Obama's pledge to hold the Assad regime accountable for its use of chemical weapons on civilian populations in Syria, and to support the moderate Syrian opposition. In an address to the nation, the President said that Assad's use of chemical weapons presented a danger to America's security, and that failure to respond would embolden other tyrants and also endanger American allies. Please check out the site, Obama says Syria chemical weapons use endangers US security - NBC.
While it is too early to judge the reported Russian proposal on controlling Assad's chemical weapons capabilities, such a proposal became possible only because of the credible threat that the United States would use military force. That is why the US and its allies must pursue an enforceable Security Council resolution at the UN. And if and when a vote eventually comes before Congress, Members must act to give the US President the necessary authority to act if the regime fails to comply with its international obligations.
The United States, the international community and the UN must not let such a possible proposal be used as a delaying device that Assad can use to stall for time while he continues to attack Syria's civilian population. Given the regime's history, CDS remains deeply skeptical that the Assad regime will in fact honor and adequately implement such an agreement.
The UN's role: Preventing crimes against humanity as the USA communicates with the rest of the world
The UN must send a message not only to Bashar al-Assad, but also to other tyrants and terrorists throughout the world - chemical weapons are a crime against humanity and will not be tolerated. Allies in the region are directly threatened by continued instability in Syria and the mass refugee exodus. Our allies are watching closely to see the U.S. stand up for these rights, as the strongest and most capable military leader in the world. Our enemies are also watching - Iran, North Korea, Al Qaeda - to see how serious the US will be in reacting to the use of these evil weapons.
The chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime on August 21, 2013 killed more than 1,400 people in the suburbs of Damascus, mostly women and children. There are now over 100,000 dead and 7 million civilians displaced including one million child refugees, according to the UN.
CDS also welcomes President Obama's strong statement that the US must support the moderate Syrian opposition. The Syrian Coalition and the Supreme Military Council represent the will of the Syrian people and their best hope for a peaceful and democratic future for Syria. Robust and deliberate support for these moderate opposition forces is necessary not only to push the regime to a negotiated transition, but also to stem the spread of extremists and other elements who do not act for or in the interests of all Syrians.