News Roundup – Great Day, Syria

september 3 nice day - smaller


What a great day in Asheville!  Took a golf lesson from Brian Oliver with my wife at Broadmoor, then played nine holes. Came home, cleaned up and went to Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse. Outstanding. Loved having a day off. Back to work in the morning.

Syria. Secretary of State and former Senator John Kerry was on Capitol Hill today. He was there with former Senator and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, as well as General Martin Dempsey. The administration pulled out all the stops. It appears that their charm offensive is working. More and more people on Capitol Hill are speaking in favor of some type of military action in Syria. In my opinion, once President Obama won over military hawks – John McCain and Lindsey Graham – he basically won this fight on Capitol Hill. Sometime this morning Congressman and Majority Leader John Boehner stated that he supported military action against Syria. Game, set, and match. Obama has won the argument over what to do with Syria. Senator Kerry had this very poignant point, “I remember Iraq, Secretary Hagel remembers Iraq. We were here for that vote. We voted. And so we are especially sensitive — Chuck and I — to never again asking any member of Congress to take a vote on faulty intelligence. And that is why our intelligence community has scrubbed and rescrubbed the evidence.”

I don’t think the American people will ever be sold on the idea of military intervention in Syria. A new poll by the Pew Charitable Trusts reveals what we already know –

Pew Research Center

Americans are simply not in favor of any military intervention, anywhere. Yet, this is a time when, I believe, our elected leaders need to lead. From a practical standpoint, we simply don’t want nations to begin using chemical weapons. There has to be some sort of consequence. I think it was wrong for the first President Bush to allow Saddam Hussein to use chemical weapons against the Kurds. I’m also a little disappointed that President Obama did not call Congress back in the session late last week. I think he needed to show a sense of urgency.

Let me be clear. My own personal feeling is that I don’t think we should be bombing anybody. I really don’t think the bombing is going to help. But, were I president, which I’m not, I would feel obligated to uphold the rule of law. One of the key things that we cannot know is exactly how good our intelligence is. I know Secretary Kerry believes that our intelligence is solid. I hope he is correct.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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