Re "Obama must act if Syria engaged in chemical war" (Editorials, Aug. 30): Let's peel the onion skin away a bit and let's not be stampeded by congressional hawks into again involving ourselves in an area in which we do not belong. Let me take unreserved issue with the editorial and say, "Hold on. Let us explore a possibility more completely that has been totally disregarded up until now."
Let's examine the facts as we understand them: First, Bashar Assad is winning his internal war. What does he stand to gain by, after two years, gassing his people in defiance of international convention? Al-Qaida is losing. Would it like some assistance from the hated Americans to unseat Assad and further erode his standing in the world? Does al-Qaida have chemical weapons at its disposal? Assad has little to gain and al-Qaida has everything to gain.
-- Kevin B. Smith, Lincoln