Region 8 reacts to possible U.S. intervention in Syria

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Washington remains split on the big question, "Should the U.S. intervene?" And the opinions vary all the way from the nation's capital to right here in Region 8.

President Obama said Bashar al-Assad needs to be reprimanded for his military's alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus last week that killed 1,400 people, including more than 400 children.

"In the face of such barbarism, the international community cannot be silent," President Obama said in a speech in Sweden.

"I agree to a certain extent because, you know, the United States can't be the policeman for the whole world. Seems to me like we have a lot of marbles on the table playing at the same time now," retired colonel Danny Honnoll said. "But then when you see the images of over 400 children that were killed by the Syrian gas, it just infuriates people around here. Most of us have a moral balance in there that says, 'That's wrong. Something needs to be done.'"

But local veteran Carl Mosby does not agree with Obama and Honnoll. Mosby told Region 8 in a phone conversation that, from his personal experience with war, he thinks Bashar al-Assad's alleged chemical attack on his own people was a just a ploy to start a conflict with the U.S. Mosby said the U.S. should stay out of it.  

"Failing to respond to this attack would only increase the risk of more attacks," Obama said. 

"If this was a military strike that the president of Syria had done, I would say stay out of it. But since they used gas, that's the cardinal sin of any group of people, I think that changes the balance of it. Someone that would use gas is a monster. This guy is a monster if he truly did this. And he needs to be told not to be using the gas on his people, just like Saddam Hussein," Honnoll said.

Honnoll said a slow intervention would be the best military strategy.

"Starting with a limited engagement with the drones where you don't have boots on the ground. I think that's a big start to it," Honnoll said.

Honnoll said he would not want our involvement to get so deep that American boots would have to touch Syrian ground.

He also said Russia's opposition to U.S. Intervention will strain ties between the two countries. 

"But they've been strained before. We're able to survive without Russia and everything. Of course, we don't want a big confrontation with them," Honnoll said.

Now the President is asking for Congressional approval. 

"I'm glad he's slowed enough to go to the legislative people to get their consensus so the people back home can talk to their senators and representatives to have our voice in it to a certain extent," Honnoll said. 

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Wednesday to approve a resolution authorizing U.S. military action.

A current Reuters poll shows 56 percent of Americans think we should not intervene in Syria.

Congress will consider Syria legislation next week.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.