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Has the time come for the U.S. to intervene in Syria?
June 13th, 2012
03:38 PM ET

Has the time come for the U.S. to intervene in Syria?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Syria is teetering on the brink of an all-out civil war as the situation quickly goes from bad to worse.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she's concerned that Russia may be sending attack helicopters to Syria. Something that, if true, can escalate the conflict quite dramatically.

She says the U.S. has confronted Russia about stopping its arms shipments to the assad regime. According to the State Department, Russia insists that the weapons they're sending can't be used against civilians and are only for self-defense. What's not to believe?

Syrian forces are reportedly pummeling their own people with attack helicopters, tanks and mortars. On the other side, the insurgents appear increasingly armed and better organized. Like we said: bad to worse.

Meanwhile the UN is out with a report that the Syrian government has used children as human shields and tortured other children whose parents are suspected dissidents. These child victims describe being beaten, blindfolded, whipped with heavy electrical cables, burnt with cigarettes and in one case, subjected to electrical shock to the genitals.

A UN peacekeeping chief now describes the situation in Syria as a civil war. It's estimated as many as 14,000 Syrians have been killed in the 15 months of bloodshed.

Secretary Clinton says there's no easy solution to the mess in Syria. But it's clear that sanctions and isolating Syria haven't worked so far.

As for Americans, they overwhelmingly say the U.S. does not have a responsibility to step in.

A recent CNN/ORC poll shows 61% oppose any American intervention.

33% say the U.S. should intervene - that's up from 25% in February.

Here’s my question to you: Has the time come for the U.S. to intervene in Syria?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Syria
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Pete in Georgia

    NO !!!!!!!!
    Just another "Hell Hole" we have no business being in. No matter what we do there we will be ridiculed and demonized by most, spend hundreds of millions of dollars we don't have and waste precious young lives.
    When will we ever learn to stay away from these lunatic asylums ???

    June 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Gregory D Williford Sr

    It's time the US stop trying to be the international policeman and protector of the world and take care of business here at home.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  3. Carl

    Jack,

    Really? The answer is a big No.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  4. Pat, Twin Falls, Idaho

    No it's not time and we should stay out all together

    June 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  5. Paul From Round Rock, Texas

    I hate to say it but yes. The reason I hate to say it is at some point we need to stop being the Police of the world. If the UN is so worthless then maybe we should get out and kick them out of the U.S.. The only ones that really seem to try to help anymore is the U.S., U.K., Canada,Austriala, and sometimes the French that may now change due to new leadership. The thing is the world does not seem to realize that we can wipe most nations of the map if we wanted to yet we never do we always try to fix things and what does it give us. Nothing but problems.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  6. John from Alabama

    Jack: The biggest mistake of the 21st Century so far was the Iraq War under President George W. Bush. We should have never gone to war with Iraq. President Obama is trying with some success to get American Combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. This is a very good thing. To enter a violent confrontation with Stria's Central Government by one nation is not desirable. If NATO nations such as Great Britian, France, and Germany were to provide combat troops maybe something could be done to stop the murdering of the innocence in Syria. Russia and China would have to remain silent and not help Syria. President Obama is not thinking about war in Syria, but rather jobs and the economy at home.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  7. ken, atlantic city, nj

    no, the time has come for hillary to keep her nose out of syria. Syria is trying to fight off armed insurgents. What would we do in the u.s. if people decided to try to overthrow the obama regime by force. When is the u.n. going to have sanctions against israel for war crimes against lebanon and the palestinians.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  8. jk in MN

    It just shouldn't be the US alone, it should be the United Nations. America just should be expected to be the world's policeman. We can't afford it anymore – it's time to invest in America again.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  9. Ron

    No. We have enough problems of our own.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  10. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    After being involved in two wars over the past 10 years with one still going on, I think it is time for other countries to step up. I have two grandsons in the military one just return from Afghanistan. I hate seeing young children massacred on the streets in Syria. But also would hate to see American soldiers laying in the streets of Syria. I think it is time to bring back the draft then you would not hear all this talk about us going to war with Syria or Iran. You also would see Romney sons heading to France to do missionary work.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  11. russkeller

    NO! I've had enough jack. Enough of the military industrial complex's fraud, lies, and propaganda to sell their hardware. Enough of the government acting like a vending machine for lobbyists just insert a few coins and buy the legislation you want to sell to profiteer and sell whatever it is your sell. Had enough of the over classification and secrecy of this joke we call a government.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  12. David Edenden (Toronto)

    By all means intervene ... make use of all the experience gained bringing pro-American democracy to Iraq!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  13. Mitch

    One cannot use war to spread freedom. The best way to spread freedom is to retract our ever-growing military presence around the world. By doing this, we would see an economic boom like never before. Of course, we would also need to implement true capitalism here, but honestly, this is why nations despise the US, and are not going to adopt freedom anytime soon. Let us be other nations' role models instead. Let us live in peace, prosperity, and happiness. That is the real way to spread Liberty.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  14. Dave, Orlando, FL

    When will we ever get it through our collective heads that we can’t be the protector of the world and its police department? At some point we have to leave people alone. The last couple of times we decided to meddle beyond our own shores, it cost us trillions and is continuing to run up bills our children will never be able to pay back. Initially, Afghanistan was a just and necessary action, but we dropped the ball at the last minute which created two full blown ongoing debacles because of poor choices on the part of that administration (and now this one). We need to let the Arabs beat the crap out of eachother in their own sandbox. We need to turn our attention back to our own problems here on our sandy shores, and lush forests, and majestic mountains – while we still have them.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  15. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    No. Not until we can see an end game, such as enforcing a UN mandate reversing the expulsion of the Hashemite Dynasty from Dmascus by the French after WWI – and then only if King Abdullah requests our assistance.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  16. Gary in San Jose, California

    Are you really so naive as to assume we have not intervened yet or are you really asking if we should move from covert to overt intervention? If that's really your question then my answer is no. We should let our clandestine quiet professionals take care of this one.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  17. Riley ODay

    No. We cannot fix the problems they have. Only they can fix their problems.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  18. Duke from the Crowbar Saloon

    Jack, we really need to unplug our own war machine and not feel militarily responsible for resolving conflicts everywhere.
    Other nations can take the lead on handling the Syria mess, pressuring Russia to join the peace effort is step one.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  19. Ed from California

    No, because Russia will be involved. Syria is a customer of Russian arms. So....no way. Stay out. We need jobs, not wars!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  20. Bill of New Mexico

    Where is the money coming from to intervene in Syria?

    Social security? Medicare? Borrow more money? Can the US crawl out of the present debt hole?

    The country does not have the money for it. But, if we did the answer is "No!" The US has supported countries as bad as Syria. Remember the Shah. The CIA under Eisenhower helped put a democracy down to put the Shah in control. Remember Pinochet of Chile. The CIA under Nixon helped put a democracy down to put Pinochet in control.

    Let the country who is pure of heart go into Syria.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  21. ken from connecticut

    The United States for a long time wanted to intervene in Syria. They are fabricating a story and facilitating events in order to do so. The time is not yet, but close. When they have a sure fire excuse and their indocrination of the American people has been achieved by their propaganda machine then it will be time, and a decision to be made by the President.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  22. Name*Jimmy in nc

    No. I do not recall Syria sending troops to interfere in the American Civil War. Minding your own business was at one time considered a virtue.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  23. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    It is difficult to demand a war crimes tribunal against Assad, whereas we never did for Cheney, and Cheney brags as loud as he can about torturing suspects. UN Security Council Resolution 1674 makes it clear that it has a responsibility to do so. If I were the President I would follow the law and honor our obligations with Assad and Cheney. That doesn't mean blowing up America, or Syria. It means issuing arrest warrants for Assad and Cheney. Cheney's conviction will likely come after he meets his Maker, but it is the legality that counts not the outcome.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  24. Brad, Portland, OR

    Nope, not our problem.

    The question you should be asking is, "Has the time come for the *Arab League* to intervene in Syria." They're Syria's neighbors and have more of a vested interest in the Syrian civil war than we do.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  25. Walker in Prosperity S.C.

    There can be no overt action against Syria without three actions taking place concurrently: Bashar al-Assad's death, gain control of all of Syria's Chemical weapons and hit their military with sufficient forces to immediately divert the full attention of all their military assets away from the civilian population. These three actions seem impossible to execute simultaneously, but to do otherwise would result in hundreds of thousands (that could reach into the millions) of Syrian civilian casualties at the hands of al-Assad loyalists using military might and chemical weaponry.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  26. Bert in LA, CA

    Hi Jack, yes time has come for Obama to stop yet another ruthless terrorist but don't expect the Republicans in Congress to allow him to do that again with the election so near.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  27. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Not in any type of military capacity. Russia is already involved with military helicopters. The last thing we need is any more Americans killed trying to defend another country that does not want us there. Let the UN send in all the humanitarian Aid that it can muster but keep America the hell out of Syria.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  28. Phyllis G Williams

    Has the time come for the U.S. to intervene in Syria?

    The time came from the beginning of this tragedy
    and America has money but will not pay her debts
    so she cannot incur more and will have to try to solve this
    problem peacefully.
    'the effectual fervent prayer of righteous men availeth much'
    (James 5: 16).

    June 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  29. William Miller

    William, Vancouver, Wa. The time to intervene passed long ago. We are always behind the power curve, asking now if it's time is asking do we get involved in a situation with no other conclusion than tragedy. We should have taken action when the only conflict was between us and the government of Syria, when we knew it was against human rights and fairness. We may have had a positive influence if we had taken up sanctions and voiced our concerns before people started killing each other. At this point there are no winners and our participation will leave us with nothing more than a negative image with some large portion of the Middle East! Our participation now will require we kill someone and someone will remember nothing, in the long run, other than that. Yet we no longer have a choice do we, so yes get involved but next time do it sooner.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  30. Walker in Prosperity S.C.

    Why would we even consider entering into another middle-eastern civil war that will cost us unknown numbers of American lives and greater national debt for God knows how many decades to come? Why take action that is going to further destabilize this most sensitive area and increase hatred and retaliation from radical Muslims around the world? If we go in, let the Senators and Congress persons who support such action lead the first charge into Syria. Light Bulb!!! Maybe an invasion led by all senators and congress persons is a great idea!!! When possible, assign a Republican and a Democrat to work together and watch one anothers backs. There is a lesson they could all learn from this!

    June 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  31. Barbara from NC

    Only if we want war with China and Russia.

    Sounds like something the republicans would provoke. They wouldn't finish it, but they'd sure send the poor men and women.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  32. jazmin johnson

    As long we don't send our troop,we can offer food medecines etc.why not the Muslim country if they think they are good people..this is the time that all Muslim country should help there brother. And show the world...

    June 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  33. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    Jack, We have leaders that have given up on being able to fix OUR problems, so in order to make themselves look better, they are always looking for a place overseas to stick their noses and send our troops so they can say, "Look how we saved this country". Well, we've had it, we're sick of it and we want OUR problems fixed. The rest of the world can just take a number!

    June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  34. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The time has come for the U S to face the reality that our current economical situation no longer allows us to serve as global policemen.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  35. Gary H. Boyd

    No Jack, it is not time for America to intervene in Syria and that time should never come. This business of America being the world's policeman has got to stop. We have lost blood, treasure, stature and respect interferring in the affairs of other nations. If such countries are going to hell in a handbasket, so be it because we're not doing so bad in that regard ourselves.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    June 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  36. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The time has come for the U S to face the reality that America's current economy no longer allows the U S to serve as the global policeman

    June 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  37. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    I don’t know what kind of intervention we are talking about here. If it's a war, start the draft, raise taxes to pay for it, importantly, be it constitutionally legitimate. If not mind our own business, most of us aren’t military contractors.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  38. marcia in west virginia

    NO! Maybe play back-up to the countries around Syria. We are not the saviors of the world. We should let the reat of the world step up to the plate. See what happened in Iraq today? You can't fix countries that have been rulling by force for 10,000 years. Troops home and on our own borders.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  39. EdfromMd

    No because it's obviously the result of a covert war. Attacking the Syrian government is like handing the country over to terrorists.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  40. Mack from Michigan

    I could see some merit in "droning" those Russian attack helicopters the first time they took off and then asking Assad if he still has confidence in his benefactors. But I would hate to see another long term engagement matching our technology and soldiers against Russia's technology and proxy. Been there done that! Maybe we could just send Assad a message lol
    knock knock.
    "who is it?"
    "It's the navy seals Mr. Assad and we've got something for you from the President of the United States!"

    June 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  41. Ken in Seattle

    No. And Republicans need to quit playing election year politics with it. They should be ashamed of themselves.They always seem so willing to put our troops at risk. It is a terrible, horrible and complex situation with no easy straight forward solution. With Russia and Iran so heavily involved things could easily escalate beyond anything we might imagine going in. Remember, we were going to be out of Iraq in something like 60 days. If other countries want to intervene we can support them but we should not take the lead and we sure as heck shouldn't have a single boot on the ground. We are not the world's policeman.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  42. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    NO. as horrid as the situation there is, Syria is NOT a "direct threat" to the United States. AND any "direct action" on our part could get us in a confrontation with the Russians.

    the people that SHOULD be intervening directly are the Turks and Saudis. Syria is in THEIR neighborhood and any civil war could spill over into THEIR countries. the Turks especially have the professional military that could step in and stop the Bashar al-Assad atrocities in about a week IF the World would just get out of the way and let them DO it.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  43. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Why in the world is it always the United States that has to get involved? The Arab nations have proven time after time that they are incapable of a peaceful co-existence with anyone, even themselves. The entire Mid-East is a breeding ground for terrorists, and their cultural inter-tribal fueds with each other ensure that any peace process is strangled in the crib. Besides, they just play us for suckers every time.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  44. calaurore9

    What would we do? Is this another mine field sink hole with no clear resolution for decades? It's a horror, but as we've sadly learned lately, we are no longer a super hero world power.

    Carol in Ma

    June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  45. Tulie

    If you witness a woman being abused should you intervene? If a child is being tortured in front of you eyes, should you intervene? If an animal is being severely beaten do you intervene? If your answer is still no, then we should all be afraid for we have lost our souls...

    June 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  46. Conor in Chicago

    Obama needs to employ the classical strategy of foreign policy for empires which is to convince others to do your bidding through an agreed mutual interest. Turkey, who is the historic and natural power in the region, is resurging after a century of recovering from the Ottoman years and seems eager to reassert its dominance over the Middle East. This is the perfect moment to allow that to happen. Let’s face it: The US will be dramatically scaling down its involvement in the Middle East over the next two decades. There is no way around that. Someone is going to dominate that region. Our choices are Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Iran is a major adversary so that’s an obvious non-starter. Saudi Arabia is an ally but their Wahhabism is hated by their own people. Their dominating the Middle East would be unacceptable to most in the region. Egypt is transitioning away from being an American puppet but since we supply all of their military hardware to them they are at least 10 years away from being to make any meaningful transition away from giving in to our interests. But, Egypt’s growing hostility toward Israel make counting on them risky at best. Turkey is NATO, is historically a secular country, and has the capability to exert both hard and soft power over the region, is viewed throughout the Middle East as an honest broker, and is aligned rather close to Israel as it has common interests.

    If an intervention in Syria has a Western finger print on it the chances of it succeeding are extremely low. It also will ensure that Russia will get very involved and really could lead to a 3rd World War. However, if this intervention can legitimately be seen as a conflict by middle eastern powers with little or no help from the US, there is little room for other powers such as Russia or Iran to argue that they are just countering American moves. I say unleash Turkey

    June 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  47. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    NO! It's time for the U.S. to intervene in every major city in our own country and attack the drug cartels. Then once we've cleaned up our own backyard then we can consider Syria, North Korea and Iran. We are not the police force of the world, look at Iraq today and what's happened there since Bush invaded.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  48. Pete in Florida

    NO! We need to STOP wasting American lives and treasure trying to control the world. It's time to solve our OWN problems, rebuild our OWN country, help our OWN citizens, and tell the rest of the world "when YOU break it, YOU own it!". STOP trying to be the "American Empire" – it didn't work for the Brits, and it won't work for us.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  49. Martha Brooks

    I would say yes, if we had not already expended so much of our resources in two useless and self-serving wars. So now that when the time comes to actually do something for folks who really need our help, we've already overextended ourselves making military contractors, among others, rich. It's sad.

    Martha, Rew, PA

    June 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  50. Oliver El Paso, TX

    With every thing, that we can help, But NO boots on Syria ground, this would be another Iraq. Jack if we go in lets take the Oil industry to pay for the war, but that would bring in the Russian. We can not have another unpaid war.The GOP
    wants it so they can blame Obama.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  51. Larry in Houston

    Has the time come for the U.S. to intervene in Syria?
    Short Answer : NO

    Long Answer : It's amazing to me that this country has to stick our noses into other country's problems, and we have to constantly be in some kind dis-agreement, or conflict in the middle east. It seems to me that this country has to constantly be the one to keep the peace, or be in some type of negotiation, with the middle east, for some reason or another. It's pathetic I tell ya, pathetic. Every President we've had since Nixon, it's always been the "camp david" thing, meetings, upon meetings, "road map to peace" & it Just goes on & on & on, year after year, and Term after term, no matter who is in office. It's like a merry go 'round.

    Do you see or hear on any news channel or read in any newspaper about countries such as Denmark / Sweden / Scotland / Finland / Switzerland / Poland / Ireland / Italy / AND I Can Go On & ON Naming Other countries – Do you see / hear / or read about THEM in constant Wars with THEIR Neighbors, such as killing their Own People, blowing theirselves up , taking innocent people with them, and in a constant hatred towards the west ?

    btw – that was a simple yes or no question. so it should deserve a simple yes or no answer.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
  52. david from herndon, va

    Jack, it's like dealing with my mother in law. If I get involved, I'm blamed for doing so. If I don't, I'm blamed for not doing so. Best choice of action is usually to not get involved - I'll still be blamed but at least I won't spend the time and resources, which in America's case would be billions of dollars we don't have, and the lives of some of our best young people.

    I'm sorry the Syrian people are going through this, but it just CANNOT be America's responsibility to fix every problem in the world, especially since the world hates when we stick our noses in it.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  53. Ron WPAFB

    Comes at a bad time, Jack. With the GOP wasting Tax payer money by not doing their jobs and instead adding new definition to the word Partisanship, we do not haave the time or money and I'm not willing to sacrifice one soldier for a corrupt country that has for years been a source of Terrorism! The Arab league, Turkey, countries in the region are showing their true colors by burying their heads in the sand! Why should we spend one dollar, why? Bush wouldn't even go to Syria unless there was oil!!!
    I'm not trying to be racist here but I have a very thin skin on the subject of Terrorism, a few less Arabs is not going to cause anyone to loose sleep, in fact, we may sleep better! Now, tell me I'm wrong with all the stuff that part of the world is causing! Not on dollar, not one soldier!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  54. RickFromDetroit

    Yes, we should intervene! We should begin our attack with heavy bombing and kill 250,000, like we did in Iraq, then we should use "Daisy Cutters" [fuel-air non conventional bombs] like we did in Afghanistan, next we should demand that the al Assad government be overthrown like we did in Egypt, and then we should launch 250 cruise missiles at Syria like we did in Libya, after issuing a "Wanted Dead or Alive" bounty for Gadaffi.

    After we had ransacked the entire country, we should send the Syrian Government Officials to GITMO for water boarding and various other types of torture.

    And then my favorite American Government Officials explanation: This was a "humanitarian mission."

    June 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  55. I'm a Rose

    NO, we don't need anymore wars. President Obama is trying to get America out of two, that Bush should not have got us into. Bush should be jailed for those wars along with the rest of the mouse pack.
    Let the Countries next door help them out, we aren't the world police.
    That's what is wrong with our country now, Bush just charged the wars, now President Obama is trying to get things straightened out.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  56. Jeff In Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, it should be obvious that Hillary is ineffective at doing her job.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  57. MYSTERIOUS

    You know why . The instant we do anything, the others will shout one way or another. If the President proceeds to help, then you'll have the GOP saying he's wrong, we have no money, etc. If he doesnt' intervene, the same crowd will say the "President doesn't care."

    June 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  58. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Yes, the time has come, but that doesn't necessarily mean Iraq-style intervention. Just a drone strike on Assad's residence might correct his thinking wonderfully.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  59. Jayne in NH

    Only if we reinstitute the draft so everyone has skin in the game and we have a large war tax to pay for it. As badly as I feel for the Syrians, our troops are spent and our coffers are empty.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  60. Deb in MT

    Has the time come for the U.S. to intervene in Syria?

    No, unless you mean a replay of our role with Libya.

    However–if Willard Romney wins–it'll be 'boots on the ground' in Syria & Iran before we know it, because nothing sends shivers of excitement up a chickenhawk's spine like sending other peoples' loved ones into combat.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  61. tom cramer

    Only if they have OIL

    June 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  62. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The atmosphere in Syria is tragic-but the US doesn't have a dog in that fight. How about another country or nation belling-up to the bar! Our role of being the international policeman has been over for a long time. However, if there is something in it for the US--who knows--we just might.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  63. John J. Grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Why would this country intervene in one more Middle Eastern, Arab country? We complain that Russia is arming the Syrians when it was out government that armed the Taliban to kill Soviet soldiers. When our old friends took control of Afghanistan, we entered their country and had them use our weapons on our soldiers because now, they were our enemy. Up is down, down is up and nothing changes with our sabre-rattling politicians.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  64. sjdsh

    US/NATO's UNCivil War of proxy terrorist psychotic sectarian militias has FAILED.
    Call Hillery's Helldogs off Now or Pay Dearly.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  65. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    To what end I ask, to what end?

    June 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  66. David of Alexandria VA

    Ethically, intervention on something like this is right up our alley. But, i think it depends on what "intervene" means, and who "we" is Jack. If intervene means no-fly zones and cyber-bombs ala Iran, then "we" can be just us and can probably be a serious irritant. But, if Intervene means special ops, ground troops, Cruise missiles, drones, and estra-curricular arms race with Moscow, and the like then "we' had better include us and a whole lot of our friends. Otherwise, "we" had better be able to spell El Salvador and Afghanistan just like they do in the history books.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  67. LARRY OF BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS

    NO SYrian intervention now or ever Jack. This is a regional issue. It is a Muslim issue. There are many countries in the Arab league more than capable of intervening here - Saudi Araboe, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE, and others. The military capabilities of these neighboring Muslim countries is more than sufficient to intervene -

    The US cannot and should not get entangled in these internal regional civil wars - NEVER. Remember what our firest president said in his farwell address about avoiding foreign entanglements.

    " The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities" George Wqshington

    June 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  68. BILL, WI

    It is time for intervention from the UN and the Arab League. The U.S. should stay out of Syria completely, which includes no material support for a no fly zone or safe zone for refugess.

    But now the UN says it is civil war and intervention from anyone is no longer a consideration.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  69. Randy

    Only on cable "news" can you ask that question in the same story that reveals that 60+ percent of Americans OPPOSE any action in Syria and keep a straight face. Of course there's money to be made by the media, politicians, and corporations so the public will once again be muted. Welcome to another round of poor and middle class kids dying so some coward on wall street can earn (steal) another twenty million dollar bonus.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  70. Gigi Oregon

    We should be doing this in the same way we helped the people of Libya. If we want to have peaceful relations with the people of Syria.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  71. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    How can we ever ask the U.S. to intervene in yet another war? Have we not learned anything in regards to placating other people's emotions and destruction?

    We had a civil war once, over 650,000 Americans were killed, it was wrong, and looking back we can see there were much better ways to solve our differences, yet it took 650,000 deaths to realize this. Though I wonder if we are not headed this way again with the worship of the absolute ideologies we are becoming trapped in.

    Maybe after these people tire of killing one another the Arab states can come in and resolve their own hatreds.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  72. Bob in Texas

    Yes, it's time for someone to intervene in Syria. At a minimum, Assad and his entire family, including wife and mother, should be targeted. But when the US takes or leads these actions it always backfires on us. Unless the Saudis, and other gulf states will commit the bulk of the manpower, we need to stay out of it. It's really an Arab problem that requires an Arab solution.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  73. DaleW in MA

    Just drop a BIG smart bomb on his palace and walk away, what results...results. No lingering expensive air campaigns nor boots on the ground. Just one big boom and be done with it. The media and the military industrial complex would just love another war, but our footprint in the middle east is too big.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  74. david doherty

    Yes! The time is long over due. If this country can go to war in Iraq because of lies that were fed to us by dumb & dumber, then we could improve our reputation around the world by going to war for a noble reason for a change.
    Were the words never again spoken in vain?
    Dave from NH.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  75. Jennifer

    Unfortunately we cannot afford it😦

    June 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  76. Sandstone

    "You're are far too late to claim any glory from this one! Obama the Wimp only plays with his military games, when he thinks he's making a Hero of himself!"

    June 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  77. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    It would be like sending the Humane Society out to resue a battered puppy, only to find when they got there that instead they were facing a huge pack of rabid wolves. North America should stay out of this one ... it's none of our business and we can't afford it .... period!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  78. Texan

    "We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace," Pelosi told reporters after her talks with Assad.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  79. Phil Conrad

    Send them some Stinger missles and that should take care of the Russian Helos!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  80. Blake

    The real question here Jack is should we intervene in our own country?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  81. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Absolutely not. These are the same people who support the mercenaries in places like Darfur as they carry out slaughter and rape of women and children in that region, it's being going on for years.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  82. Vicki in Florida

    Absolutely NOT!! Let the Arab League monitor their own members – not us! I feel very badly for those people but the plain fact is that if we help them out they will only hate us for it and try to kill our soldiers by any means possible.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  83. Larry Laird

    It depends. I'd ask the Republicans how they will react. Recall Lybia. When there was talk of going in the Republicans freaked. When we stood back and assisted the UN the Republicans freaked that we didn't lead. Ask Boehner how he will respond in both scenarios. (then do the opposite)

    June 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  84. Sam B, Boston, MA

    This needs to be a Syrian victory. If the U.S wants to help, we should support the rebels in any way can without putting troops on the ground. The last time we tried to intervene directly was in Iraq, and we tried to implement a democratic government in a country that has no history of democracy. Hopefully the Syrian rebels can oust Assad on their own.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  85. Robert from Texas

    Jack, here's a question for you. 800,000 died in Rwanda and you ignored it. Over 100,000 have died in Darfur, and you have ignored it. Just over 10,000 have died in Syria and you talk about US involvement every day and night. Why? I really do not understand. Is it really just as simple as skin color?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  86. Elvia M. Chalmers

    We need to be wise, it seems the new war on America is to have us fight, spend money and be spread too thin. I am suspicious of this middle eastern uprising "stuff" and it's timing. We need to focus on America and protect our homeland and our borders and rebuild our economy.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  87. Drew PA

    Jack,

    This is the proxy war that could end all proxy wars. This "Luke Warm War" we have with the Russians is only escalating. When Romney called the Russians our "greatest geographical foe" most Americans thought he was out of touch. But in Syria, we have the potential to kill more than just two birds with one stone. The Iranians are winning in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Is the United States really going to let the Russians become Iran's big brother? We'll intervene, and it will change the Middle East landscape.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  88. Peter Simmons

    Yes. For a long time, I was against it because I didn't want us getting bogged down there for years, like we were in Iraq. However, with all the atrocities being committed by the Syrian government, we need to go in there and get their maniac leader and all his cronies OUT. This would be a humanitarian mission, not a money-maker, which was the deal in Iraq where we simply wanted their oil.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  89. Jerry Mund, Appleton, WI

    No Jack. Going to war in the middle east is like making a deal with the devil. It's easy to get into it but impossible to get out of it, eg Iraq and afghanistan.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  90. Rich Allard

    Jack why do we have to be the policemen of the world, the UN can send in troops not the USA. What's going on in Seria is genocide and should be stopped. Our country needs to solve its own problems and don't forget we are still involved in two wars so where's the money for a third one? Rich

    June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  91. r.landschoot

    Jack, Islamists would rather fight than switch. Read Islamic tenets, kill an infidel and go to their concept of heaver.
    and who is an infidel? All who are not Muslims. Arabs have no conscience as Iraq and Afganistan prove.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  92. Andrew

    Absolutely not! Why is this nations treasure of blood and capital so easily wasted on others? We have more than enough problems of our own, your questions should be about how to fix those problems not how to create more!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  93. rod

    and leave it like libya? n put assad against a rock n a hard place? remember the regine has chemical weapons

    June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  94. Rose T

    No. The Unied states should nhot intervene in yet another nation's civil war. Civil wars always involve atrocities, it is the visualization of the offenseson television that shock us all. It is not our war. We have too many problems in this country to even think about another intervention.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  95. michelle - san francisco

    I understand the 61% who say the US should not intervene but at the same time I ask myself WHY is not anyone doing something about it? with horror we watch the killing of men and children, sitting on our sofa eating popcorn – it is no different than watching the nazis murdering people in Auchwitz or Buchenwald. The world again is watching and doing nothing. I for one feel awfully guilty.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  96. Rick Fulton

    In the early 1960s I was stationed in Libya, at Wheelus. We owed the Libyans for all the support they gave us over a 20 year period. It was right we supported the uprising against Quadaffi. Syria, though, has always been kind of an enemy of ours. I think before we get directly involved we should turn to Israel and get their take on the situation, and then follow their lead.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  97. HARRY WATERFIELD

    Mr Cafferty, Why is everyone expecting the US to get involved? This is an internal issue. Why is not the UN more involved in the peacekeeping in Syria? The UN is useless and costing the New York taxpayers a ton of money. They pay no taxes, commit crimes they are not held responsible due to diplomatic immunity and use police, fire and emergency services. Why doesn't the UN pay taxes on all of the property they have in New York? The UN is one big joke that cost the American tax payers tons of money.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  98. Joanne Balantzow

    Absolutely not. We are spreading ourselves too thin and we should not subject our young people to the civil wars of other countries where we will only be resented by one more country. The emotional and financial stress is too much for our country. We have enough problems here that have been put on the back burner. At some point we have to start to help our own.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  99. Salem Samra

    Yes. Innocent men, women, and children are being indiscriminately slaughtered simply for demanding their basic rights: freedom, dignity, and democracy. These are principles that we hold near and dear to our hearts as Americans and we should not turn away as fellow human beings are treated in horrific ways by criminal regimes for seeking those principles for themselves. To do nothing in the face of these atrocities, as they are displayed to us in realtime, is immoral, unjust, and sets a dangerous precedent for the future. The United States has all the ability and all of the reasons necessary to stop this massacre, now all we need is the will. The world will be better for it.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  100. rod

    no..remwmber lybia? haha where is cnn now..not relorting at all..assad has chemical weapons..n the regime will use them if ther backs are against the wall..so no stay away from it n focus on domestic peoblems...which we are screwed anyways

    June 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  101. Rosaline

    NO, NO, NO We should stay out of their business. They have been fighting for hundreds of years. They need to settle things with themselves. We need to bring all our troops home and guard our borders. My late husband was in CBI during WWII and Japan during Korean Conflict. I know what wars are about.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  102. Ruth, Miami FL

    We absolutely HAVE an obligation to intervine in Syria. I know most American are war weary, but think about what happened in Cambodia, Bosnia, and of course Rwanda. We not only refused to do nothing there but we encourged other countries not to intervine as well. But I can't help but wonder what our excuse will be when this all ends.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  103. Tom

    NO! Its also hilarious that the next story covered was "how the world feels about the US". One of the main complaints from the Middle East is that we don't ask THEIR OPINION before we take action.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  104. deansloan

    While I understand how many feel about the US seemingly always left holding the bag, I'm also saddened by who we have become. We preach freedom and democracy to the world and challenge them to follow our lead. They are getting the message and following our example, but now we hesitate to answer their call for help.

    It's too expensive. It puts our people in harms way. It's none of our business. We have enough of our own problems. All those excuses may have some merit, but at what point did who we are and what we are become optional?

    We are Americans. We go where we are needed and fight oppression whenever the oppressed ask us to. It's who we are. It's what we do. Sure we complain and whine about the unfairness of it all, but that is also who we are. At 51, overweight and having already done my service, I'd go tomorrow if called, knowing that I would probably be a day one casualty, because I'm an American, and sticking up for the little guy and punching the bully in the nose is what we do. If we stop answering the call, especially when others come to the assistance of the oppressors, then the price we pay further down the road will be much greater. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave, even if they hail from far off lands, they see us as home, our way of life as the one they pursue and they are Americans by proxy.

    Yes, it's time to look at the flag, remember the true meaning behind it and champion democracy once more.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  105. Curt in Avon, Indiana

    Are you nuts? The U.S. is already involved in far too many "adventures" that we cannot win and supporting too many rinky dink foreign governments that hate us and are working against us. No, Jack, we need to keep our noses out of every civil war that ignites.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  106. Pope

    This needs an international response supported by the U.S like NATO's work in Libya. The Syrian situation is desperate, and organizations like NATO and the UN have to step up and do way more than they are doing at the moment.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  107. Mark Luehrs

    1st time responder – Yes – past time. Somewhere in our declaration of Independence it says basically " Those that have the ability to do right, have the obligation to do right". Think of the Flying Tigers, The American Eagles squadron – Merrils Mauraders – from WWII. As a retired military veteran, I would proudly serve with others who can see the basis of a dictatorship not unlike the mid 1930's that propelled a world into chaos. There is no room in this world for such evil, and we need to assert that now, albeit several months too late. We simply need someone with the balls to stand up to this monster and show the world that we will not tolerate a world of innocense lost. As for Russia supplying attack helocopters, can we really be surprised? The Russian people as a whole are a good people, it is the political tyrants that bring about the ill will projected. Shame on them. And shame on those people who don't see the need to help the people of Syria from their terror. Wasn't there a similar situation in 1775 in this country?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  108. Derek LaBelle

    The bottom line here is that people are dying. If this kind of brutal insanity were happening here, would U.S. citizens want help? Fear kicks in at some point and everybody wants help when they fear for their life. How many more innocent people have to die? How many more civilians just trying to live everyday lives like us have to be murdered in the streets?

    In my honest opinion, we should have stopped this atrocity a long time ago.

    -Derek LaBelle
    Denver, Colorado

    June 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  109. Claude

    From Jamaica, Even though though in our democarcy the situation is barbaric to say the least, when Moslems in Middle East fought among themselves it provides a respite for the US ally Israel. The US, therefore, should not intervene, the moslems do not want the Big Satan involve, let them be.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  110. Passerby

    No. Unless their 50 WMD sites are being scattered to the winds.

    The Alawites have a 1300 year old grudge against the Muslims. For virtually all that 1300 years, until they siezed power (or where working with the Christians against the Muslims), they were subjected, driven into poverty and slaughtered by the Muslims.

    Yep, nasty violent now, facing the prospect of Muslim rule again, this time with a real score to settle.

    Everyone says it's not possible politically, but Syria will be partitioned. This is what the Alawites are doing, all the fighting, all the slaughters of the children, is in traditionally Alawite areas. It's not the Rebels launching attacks, it's the Alawites driving the Muslims out of the Muslim areas before the partition. Keeps Russia happy, they get their port, the Alawite areas are on the coast. The WMD doesn't get distributed to Al-Qaeda, who are there. It'll take 100,000 UN troops to prevent the Muslims exacting revenge, but so be it.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  111. Fernando

    Isn't this war enough. STOP BUTTING INTO OTHER COUNTRIES AFFAIRS! Just send the civillians relief supplies. Thats it. If the civillians dont like what they get thats too bad. Its time to let the millitary take a break.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  112. Cres from Florida

    Jack,

    Only if you mistakingly believe that the U.S. should be the policemen and ultimate influence in all of the world's
    affairs. Haven't we learned enough after VietNam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I'm not for being isolationists, but
    enough is enough and the U.S. has too often gotten too involved in things that they should just leave the hell
    alone. Syria is none of our business. I say NO, NO, NO, a thousand times NO!!!!!

    June 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  113. Miguel Morris-Austin, Texas

    No thank you. We have an organization called the United Nations. It is their job to take action with member countries. We continue to bad mouth our Presidents for intervening into other countries problems. It is time to put up or shut up with the UN. Action is needed for sure, but if the World Organization is ever going to be effective, then lets see the Arab countries stand up and be counted. Mean while I will not hold my breath. We do not have the money, manpower, time, or energy to be the World,s police force.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  114. Passerby

    Alawites are far more Christian than Muslim. They have always been on the side of the Christians against the Muslims, all the way back to the Crusades. When the French were running it after WWI, the Alawites worked with them against the Muslims. When France created Syria, the Alawites, including Assad's grandfather, begged them for their own country, that the Muslims would persecute them. But the French stabbed them in the back, and the Muslims persecuted them. (One of the things a desperately poor Alawite could do is join the Army, and when Muslim political infighting removed all the top generals, and the Alawites were temporarily in the job, they siezed power and here we are.)

    Alawites are on the coast, and smuggling etc. is always on the coast and with the tight ethnic structure, it was inevitable that some Alawite family would take control of that. The Assads are that family. They had those Ghosts that killed those kids in cold blood working for them (in smaller numbers) long before national political power.

    Give them their partitioned country, it's the only hope.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  115. calvin

    NO. i was reading some of the comments made by your reads. most agreed with me whick i find a suprise. remember when Mitt said russia was our road block every democrat jump on that with he nuts. Now see who right. we have to beware of both russia and china. or Obama follpows will not be able to kill babys an mopre.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  116. Renee, Illinois

    Let me get this straight; we can intervene in places like Iraq and Afghanistan but not in Syria? Why? The 61% who say we shouldn't – I'd like to know their reasoning.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  117. Jenna Roseville CA

    Has the time come for the U.S. to intervene in Syria?

    Not without NATO support. It didn't take much time to get rid of Ghadaffi I doubt it would take much time to get rid of Assad.

    Plus as a reminder, the US didn't have boots on the ground in Libya, and the cost was minimal. If we are going to play BIG BROTHER we can't cherry-pick who we support or don't support.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    June 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  118. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    I do not know, exactly what is the world class standard for determining a full scale revolution in terms of the numbers slaughterered and tortured, or is it if the rivers run red like the hackings and beheadings in Africa, how many bodys per minute must flow by before this determination is made? Okay there is not a lot of rivers in Syria so I do not know the criteria for the civil war standard. Perhaps a study group should write a grant proposal to study this ?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  119. chris brown fl

    hay jack lets go all in but got an idea lets let the iraqis go take care of it we will supply the arms get oil in return and let them do the fighting we will find out if they learned any thing from all our training we can give them cheny for a general and bush for a seargent

    June 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  120. Jason

    No Jack we shouldn't intervine in Syria. The U. S. was never meant to be the world police that it seems so many people believe we have become.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  121. Emmett M. Smith

    Dear Jack,
    I have no doubt that several well targeted cruise missiles would dampen Assad's ardor for genocide. We should also use Space -X as soon as possible to access the ISS and end our cooperation in space with the Russians.
    Emmett Smith
    Mobile, AL

    June 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  122. Bob in FL

    Jack: if we become involved in Syria it will show once again that America has failed to learn from its past mistakes (Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan). As a Vietnam vet i am still furious that LBJ maneuvered us into a meaningless war so that he would not appear "soft on defense". Remember his "domino theory" – If Vietnam falls to the Communists all of SE Asia will follow.

    The current problem with our proclivity to initiate meaningless wars began when the War Department (whose mission was to DEFEND America against foreign enemies) was renamed to the Defense Dept (who mission is to fight all around the globe in the name of defending America). Over 50 years ago Dwight Eisenhower warned us about the "military-industrial complex". That helps explain our tendency to get involved in wars wherever they may be.

    Let's listen to Ron Paul – he alone speaks the truth.

    Bob in FL

    June 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  123. Nina Fox

    No Jack

    We should leave well enough alone. Russia already their warship “Smetlivy” which is patrolling waters off Syria which will be replaced by "Black Sea Fleet" in May.Let Russia take the lead on this one. We, as a country, continue to enter into other countries without full knowledge of the implications involved.

    ~Nina Fox
    In the Deserts of California

    June 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  124. Phil

    A question assuming its our burden to police the world. Why not ask "Should we risk the lives of our sons and daughter in someone else's civil war?", "Should the Arab League nations, Russia, China and our European allies solve the Syrian crisis?". Nah, that would be balanced

    June 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  125. Jason T. from Virginia

    Yes, but not with a full on invasion. We need to concentrate more on spec ops. We've seen how effective they've been against Bin Laden and those pirates a few years back. Sending in a whole army would be detrimental to our current financial situation. However, sending in a SEAL team to take out the heads of Syria might not be a bad idea.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  126. Daria, Los Angeles, CA

    Yes, unfortunately. The Assad regime is seeking out and slaughtering babies and children in their own homes. It boggles the mind that we have done nothing, thus far, to provide aid to civilians.

    June 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm |