Emphasis on a United Nations-led resolution to the chemical weapons crisis in Syria quickly led to talk of a U.N. role in ending Syria’s civil war. Do you believe the U.N. is capable of finding such a path to peace, given that there is so much similar strife across the Middle East? If not, what hope is there for the region?Yes, the U.N is capable of finding such a path to help solve the problem.However, it will never happen because the leaders of Syria, Russia and Iran can’t be trusted to cooperate. History tells us that they will not divulge the numbers or locations of their chemical weapons and materials.The U.N. and the United States will never be able to get a 100-percent-accurate account of the weapons and materials. Look at what the Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation, Ali Haidar, had to say to a Russian state news agency. He called it “a victory for Syria.”Sure, they welcome the proposed agreements because that will let them hide, scatter and give false numbers and locations of the weapons.Hopefully, the inexperience of President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Hillary Clinton will not prevail. — Donald W. Grannan, BenbrookThe United Nations can certainly facilitate a peace agreement with Syria, but it’s going to take international involvement and a simmering down of the vitriolic rhetoric that’s dominated both sides of this seemingly O.K. Corral mentality.And it will work if all parties stop the finger-pointing and get down to business and negotiate terms applicable to all parties involved. The key is continuity.So, let’s hope and pray that the United Nations will bring about a peace resolution in Syria and its neighbors. It’s better to be friends than enemies. — Sharon Ream, Fort WorthNow that Syria has agreed to the seizure and destruction of its chemical weapons, what effect will it have on its 30-month civil war with the rebels?The CIA is delivering all kinds of weapons to the opposition (rebel) forces to continue the fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Isn’t that tantamount to arming mercenaries? I don’t see them in uniforms or with a bona-fide leader. Why do we send them lethal weapons, food and gear at the expense of U.S. taxpayers? It certainly validates that we do have a vested interest in Syria. Is there a quid pro quo in this war that appears to be nothing short of anarchy? With continuing support and supplies sent to the rebels, there’s likely to be an acceleration in this war and, ultimately, if we’re not careful, can easily have us involved — and, yes, with boots on the ground! — Cynthia Sseketto, Fort WorthBased on 30-plus years of teaching political science, I predict that if the Assad regime falls, Russia will lose its last best toehold in the Middle East.Ethnic Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq will try to finally create their national dream, “Kurdistan.” This will not please Turkey or Iraq. Meanwhile, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and possibly Jordan will try to seize some Syrian real estate, particularly Lebanon, in revenge for decades of Syrian domination.Al Qaeda, the Taliban and Hezbollah-related militias, as well as the 150 odd other militias, will try to grab chemical and heavy military ordnance from the collapsing Syrian army and secure bases within shooting distance of each other and of Israel.Shiites and Sunnis will go after each other and the Syrian Christians. Various Syrian tribes will seek revenge on their fallen Alouite masters.It will be a bloody mess, and it will last a long, long, time! The good news is, Assad will be gone and these folks probably will be too busy fighting each other to mount a serious attack on Israel for quite awhile. — Paul R. Schattman, ArlingtonIt was great news for Congress, the American public and the world that a deal was brokered between President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow for Syria’s chemical weapons to be confiscated and destroyed.This was putting diplomacy in the vanguard of any action first, in lieu of the potential for our country to unilaterally send cruise missiles into Syria.If our government could be instrumental in ending Syria’s civil war, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced 6.5 million more, that would be icing on the cake.With the chemical weapons taken out of the equation in the ongoing war, perhaps there’s hope for a compromise on both sides. — Delbert Cantrell, Fort WorthA U.N. role in Syria? What a joke!I served on the Russian border in the Army in 1957-1959. I listened to the drivel coming from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev as he pounded his shoe at the United Nations.The U.N. has never been more than a platform for foreign leaders to dress us down. I want it shut down and closed! — Don Pittman, ArlingtonNo, the United Nations is not capable of finding a path to peace, especially in the Middle East. Many years ago, we allowed our conservatives to preach “no one-world government” to us and, as a result, we gutted the United Nations. Foolish, because we have now become, de facto, the world’s police.Even more years ago, specifically 1,400 years ago, Islam broke into two large segments, the Sunnis and the Shias, who have been fighting for control of Islam ever since. Until those two factions work out their religious differences, no matter what any nation or the United Nations does, peace will never come to that region.It is far better, and cheaper, now for the United States to police the corruption of the weakened United Nations, and strengthen that organization, than for us to police the evils of the world alone! — David Perkins, Fort WorthT he best response to the situation in Syria is for the U.S. to gain energy independence, but I would not limit that independence to oil and gas extraction. An all-of-the-above approach to energy should be the focus for any who want long-term stability and security. As high-ranking military officials have attested, our national security interests are inextricably linked with stabilizing the climate.According to the Center for Climate and Security — a think tank that includes retired military commanders and international affairs experts — a five-year drought in Syria has served as a “threat multiplier” in sparking that country’s civil war. As such, it could be said that Syria may well be the first of many climate wars to come. A revenue-neutral carbon tax could help spur investment in wind and solar power as well as in other not-yet-conceived innovations. Americans are nothing if not innovators. Should we fail to act in this direction, we may well see China — which is currently setting up wind farms in Texas — selling our own wind and solar power back to us. — Heather L. Cohen, MansfieldThe Middle East has always been in turmoil, apparently because of an inability to negotiate differences. Negotiation requires giving in on both sides, and one would think that there is not that much difference within the same race. However, this region never experienced the pooling of various races, creeds and people of differing ideas, similar to the United States. They haven’t learned how to accept others with vast differences or how to concede their mores.It appears that the U.N. or the United States will not be successful in finding a lasting peace, for when the concessions wear out (i.e., U.S. money) the turmoil will return. However, that doesn’t mean that we should give up. We must keep trying. War is a last resort and few people want it. However, when nations’ lives are taken, punitive action must be applied. — Grady Fuller, KennedaleIt appears that the approval by the leaders of Russia and China of Assad’s lethal policies toward his own populace would make the question moot.Those heads of state will say “nyet” to any positive proposals that would arise from debate at the beleaguered United Nations.Perhaps, if the nations that supply wanted goods and funds to, and buy wanted goods from, those recalcitrant nations, were to cut them off at their wallets, peaceable pressure would be brought to bear and Assad would change his ways. But, a commerce-loving country such as ours would have to assume that the rest of the world would agree. — Peggy Meade-Cohen, Fort WorthSince the conception of the U.N., its effectiveness has greatly diminished.Many countries are defiant toward the U.N. on any resolutions or efforts to solve world problems.What good is the Security Counsel composed of Russia, China, the United States, Britain, etc.? Any one of those members has veto power over any resolution approved by the other members.I have no solution and little hope for these regions that have had these problems for hundreds of years, mainly problems of religion, ethnicity and territory! My hope is prayer! — George J. Anthony, Fort Worth
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