The year in letters 2013: Syria

  • Updated: December 31, 2013 - 6:25 PM

Associated Press Photo/Aleppo Media Center AMC ORG XMIT: MIN2013123114220349

Photo: Associated Press/Aleppo Media Center AMC,

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War can’t be fine-tuned

We are again being fed nonsense: The CIA is trying “to provide enough support to help ensure that politically moderate, U.S.-supported militias don’t lose but not enough for them to win” so that a political settlement can be arrived at in the Syrian conflict. Nonsense.

No entity can fine-tune the outcome of a war. One can regulate the temperature of bathwater, but not the outcome of a gigantic, violent struggle.

Geza Simon, Minneapolis


Responsibilities to shoulder

Regarding a prospective U.S. attack on Syria, I would use the quote “To whom much is given, much is expected.” We are the most powerful nation in the world. Do we not have a moral responsibility to aid the persecuted people of our planet? To sit back and watch them being murdered by chemical agents, and to read their signs asking “Why has the world abandoned us?” is reprehensible. What you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.

Sheryl Steinman, Maple Grove

Just a few questions …

I have some questions before the irreversible step of attacking Syria is taken: The argument for airstrikes is supported by a video that shows dramatic scenes of children gasping for breath because they had been exposed to nerve gas. If the video had been of children missing arms and legs, would it be just as effective?

How many innocent lives were taken by the United States in the air war before the invasions of Iraq, either time? How many innocent lives are we taking in the drone war in Pakistan? If Bashar Assad were on death row in the United States, it would take 15 to 20 years to execute him. The principle of American justice is that it is better for 10 guilty people to go free rather than for one innocent person to be punished. Why is it OK to destroy innocent lives in Syria to punish a war criminal?

CALVIN DE JONG, St. Anthony Village

Our hypocrisy is showing

Perhaps the world would listen to us on the subject of chemical weapons had we not scorched Vietnam with Agent Orange.


Tell the whole story

I suspect that two stories in the May 1 newspaper — “Hezbollah pledges [Syrian] rebels won’t win” and “Americans feeling isolationist” — are related.

I believe that Americans’ “feeling isolationist” is fueled by the media’s coverage of conflicts, as in Syria, in a slanted way — toward the views and threats of terrorist groups. When we Americans hear only this message, why wouldn’t we want to “stay out of it?”


    With the help of news researchers Sandy Date and John Wareham, we’ve compiled excerpts of letters to the editor on topics that drew the most response last year. Enjoy, and keep sharing — in 250 words or fewer — by using the “Submit a letter or commentary” link or via e-mail to

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