Overheard on CNN.com: Readers ponder dangers, benefits of getting involved in Syria
Given the ongoing unrest in Syria, readers are debating whether the U.S. and U.N. should get involved.
February 13th, 2012
07:43 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers ponder dangers, benefits of getting involved in Syria

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The violent unrest in Syria has many people wondering what solutions might exist. Among our readers, a debate is brewing about whether it's a good idea to get involved in the country's affairs, and if so, how.

Harsh condemnation for Syria at United Nations

This story talks about the United Nations' involvement in particular. The most-liked comment was about the Arab League's responsibilities.

blursd: "What's the point of an Arab League even existing if the only time it uses its collective militaries is when it a question of Jewish interests. Seriously, if they think this is as imperative of an issue as they say it is (a member state unjustifiably killing fellow Arabs), then they should be willing to commit their militaries to resolving the issue. Instead, they just sit around and twiddle their thumbs like a bunch of ineffectual hypocrites, and expect the 'evil' West to come in and do the 'dirty work.' I say let the Arab League step up to the plate ... if they want to world to treat them like a legitimate organization, they need to start acting like one."

JohnRJohnson: "Unfortunately, the Mideast is more than just nation states. It is an uneven grouping of several branches of Islam. Shiites in one country would not like seeing Shiites in another country fired on by an Arab League force. The same goes for Sunnis. These people are bound together more by religion and tradition than by a sense of nationalism. So the Arab League has to tread very carefully here, and that's the primary reason why it is calling on the U.N. to take action."

Is it right for outsiders to get involved?

ConvinceMe12: "Once upon a time, two Muslims were fighting trying to kill each other. An outsider tried to stop them; so the Muslims joined together and attacked the outsider. Once the outsider decided to leave them alone, they went back to trying to kill each other again and blamed the outsider for what they were doing."

We saw a lot of readers saying people should stay out of Syria's business, but others were frightened of that idea as well.

Sargemdf: "Let the people of Syria take care of themselves. I'm tired of us sending our troops into Arab countries to fight and die for them. They don't like us, and they always turn on us, so I say let them fend for themselves. They are a people incapable of living in peace with anyone, even themselves. No matter what we do, that region and those people will never live in peace. It is not worth one Western life to go in there."

truebob: "Kind of infantile to think that you should not participate in managing a rabid dog on the loose. The U.S. tried that in the 1930s and early 1940s. If we are not careful, the dog will infect others and then it is a rabid pack and a threat to us all. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I would think Pearl Harbor was a clear enough indication that isolationism won't keep us safe, but maybe everybody didn't pay attention in school."

Is this a case for the United Nations?

iceroads: "Here's an idea. How about both the U.N. and the U.S. butt out of Syria's business. This is an in-house matter in Syria. It's no one else's fight."

Karim Al-Sharif: "This is what the U.N. is for. Solving problems that can't be solved by anyone else. Who is the Syrian government accountable to? No one."

Edward Hassertt: "I agree, the U.N. was created to resolve problems between nations, not take sides in a civil war where both sides have behaved atrociously."

Others were a little less than confident in the U.N.'s power.

Spearwielder: "The U.N. will issue a three-page resolution stating 'Don't do that, Syria, or we will release a resolution saying 'don't do that' a second time.' "

shmuckell: "Bad, bad Assad! Go to timeout."

What's your take on this issue? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Politics • Syria • United Nations • World
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. beachrat

    I am wondering how many innocent, helpless Syrians are dyeing as I type this.

    February 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • LakDriver

      Clothes or hair?

      February 17, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • becca

      Because the Libyans who died do to NATO bombing campaigns, and Iraqi civilians who died in similar cases aren't victims. And we have absolute one hundred percent certainity that whoever follows Assad will be a cuddly puppy who gives rights to all. There are real fears that Assad leaves means Syria falls into a terrible civil war. The "opposition is not organized" and its presented no guarantees for anyone-including minority...

      I don't know what the answer is in Syria. But I'm not sure we CAN do anything nor should we. The next group might very well be worse. Under the Assad regime women have unprecedented rights and same goes for minority religions. That could easily change if a new regime gets into power. Lets say a fundamentalist regime.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
    • becca

      I'm not trying to defend the Assad regime because its clearly cruel, but this is hardly the only cruel regime in the Middle East, we aren't we talking about Bahrain. And the Saudi's want to preach to anyone? I'm not sure Assad can be forced to go without violence, and if your going to encourage others to violence-or commit violence yourself you better be darn sure it wil lsolve the problem... I don't think it will.

      February 29, 2012 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    Ya know as americans we are shelterd for the most part.We dont know what its like to go to bed and not know if the enemy thats just ten miles away is going to attack before you wake up. we here in the states are certainly spoiled.

    February 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      I've met people who grew up with that kind of reality. Sobering.

      February 13, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @gung hoe: you say that like it's a bad thing.

      other words for it would be civilized.. free.. things to be proud of.. things that make us better than them..

      February 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ronald mcloughlin

      It's gung ho! U forgot to mention our young men and women who have to go to foreign lands. Have U forgotten them? When was there a war that America wasnt in since the 20th century?

      February 14, 2012 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      He spells it that way for his own reasons.
      Why do you spell 'you' that way?

      February 14, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Saddam Hussein thought he could, he couldn't. Saddam bin Laden thought he could for over 10 years, but found out the hard way he couldn't. Moammar Qadhaffi thought he could, but eventually got mowed down. Mubarek fighting a losing battle. For each one of these dysfunctional leaders being removed, there's 10 more just like them.

    February 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • LakDriver

      Have you checked out the Republican candidates for President?

      February 17, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    If not better than them, certainly alot luckier than them! Everytime i think of those 30 children laying dead in a house for more than 4 days it makes me cry. And i dont see how in all good conscience we CANT get involved!

    February 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • LakDriver

      Are you talking about Israel's war on the children of Gaza? I believe Uncle Sam defended that at the UN.

      February 17, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Superman

    Lets do this ,why dont we put these people in time out! That will sure solve the problem wont it?if the USA does not get involved then it will affect the whole globe ten fold than it is now! So we just let these rabbid people continue to murder there own? Thats pure BS i for one do and i repeat DO not want there ways to affect us at all , but its already happening and we dont even know it yet . But for me i see it already once the US citizens start getting emotional about this situation its going to get us in a war. Its called proper morals to end blood shed is the american way its the only to stop such carnage. I just heard from an individual that his entire famiky was murdered now is that close enough to home?

    February 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • becca

      How i hate the Hitler argument-anything everything under the sun. The are plenty of cases where being quick to war resulted in dire consquences. If we had stayed out of World War I (for exampl), good chance the British would have actually been willing to negotiate with Germany. And the Germans would have had far less of hard treaty... In this case its possible the resentments that LEAD to Hitler, wouldn't have happened. And one of the reasons why the rest of Europe was reluctant is because they weren't ready for that war yet in World War II. Comrpomising gave them time to build up..

      February 29, 2012 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    The flip side is Russia. They support this al-Bashad mad man. What's to say this wouldn't elicit war between us and Russia. al-Bashad is not only instilling genocide, but is using Russia.

    February 14, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin

    Oh yes Syria (tongue in cheek)....that is the country where the population is being indiscriminately slaughtered by a psychopathic despot. I almost forgot due to the relentless U.S. media coverage of the death of a superstar (god bless her soul). I am not quite sure, but since I have been dumbed down by the U.S. media, I have an idea that there might be a problem with Iran....but I forgot what it is all about. I think it might be something about a nuclear threat to the world.
    On a serious note.....I think the U.N., the global or regional communities lack of ability to stop the killing of thousands of innocent people in Syria is a clear indication of the Power of Russia and China. It also reflects on these two countries indifference to human life. Statistically it is clear that in the end China and Russia will be the most prone to being isolated by the rest of the civilized world community.
    It is 2012 and we have evolved to this?

    February 14, 2012 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. ronald mcloughlin

    The US shud bar itself from ever meddling in other people's affairs. My source is George Washington in his farewell address: "Beware of foreign entaglements."

    February 14, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Olla

    If there was oil there, we would all be fighting at the chance to get involved.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |