| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Strike Syria? Think again

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld struggled to recall the exact words of the quotation he sought to cite when asked by an interviewer about President Barack Obama's handling of the Syrian situation. But he accurately expressed the essence of the quote often used to criticize weak leadership.

It's from Corinthians: “If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?”

Think of the red line drawn, deferred, then transferred. Think of executive authority claimed for a unilateral strike, then off-loaded onto a skeptical Congress acting on behalf of an even more skeptical nation. Think, too, of a parsing Secretary of State John Kerry arguing that this is not an “asking you to go to war” attack.

Lest our critique be misconstrued, this is not an attack endorsement. Neither is it advocacy for self-defeating isolationism. It is, however, an exhortation for the Obama administration and congressional attack hawks to acknowledge, as Mr. Rumsfeld has, “that intelligence is intelligence and not necessarily a fact.”

As the facts on the ground in Syria increasingly suggest.

Just Friday, a rebel group claimed responsibility for a chemical attack for which “intelligence” tags Syrian strongman Bashar Assad. Another rebel group was exposed for summarily executing captured Syrian soldiers. These are the kinds of rebels who appear to hold sway, hardly the “moderates” that Mr. Kerry insists “intelligence” shows to be dominant.

War-weary Americans deserve the facts. Right now, from this administration, they're not getting them.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  2. President Carbon: Hypocrisy’s trip
  3. Laurels & Lances
  4. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  5. Alle-Kiski Laurels & Lances
  6. Signing Michael Vick: Personal baggage & professional talent
  7. Greater Pittsburgh’s ‘brain gain’
  8. The Pa. pensions debate: Union hypocrisy
  9. The Thursday wrap
  10. Mon-Yough Tuesday takes
  11. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes