PATSY BRUMFIELD: It’s reasonable to stay cool about Syria



It’s hard to know who’s having a worse week, George Zimmerman or President Obama.

Of course, we all remember Zimmerman as the Florida neighborhood watch guy who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman benefited from excellent legal representation and was acquitted.

Still, he’s been stopped by police twice in two states for speeding in his pickup truck. Last week, his wife announced she will divorce him.

Then, she called the cops on Monday to say he threatened her with a gun.

George, can you not see that target on your back? This means mandatory choir-boy behavior for the next 20 years or you will pay dearly.

As for President Obama, he got himself out there on a political limb on this Syria thing, where we must all admit, very bad things are happening.

They may not be much worse, though, than what happens in North Korea or Iraq, Afghanistan or Egypt.

Oddly enough, this tough talk may yet yield a diplomatic solution.

I am sure the president doesn’t want history looking back on him for why the U.S. didn’t do something to help these poor Syrian people caught up in a deadly civil war. Shades of Rwanda.

Weeks ago, the president said that if the Syrian government crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons against its people, the world would respond.

This is quite a dilemma for our leaders but apparently less of a dilemma to the U.S. public.

A staggering percentage – more than 77 percent of the folks polled – say we don’t need to be the world’s police.

I realize it makes some folks angry when the Syrian president goes on TV and says bad things are going to come back on the U.S. if his country/government is attacked.

But, in truth, he’s not wrong.

Who knows what will happen in retaliation for a U.S. strike on Syria.

Are we suppose to be so afraid of retaliation that we are paralyzed to act? Well, no.

But American citizens are saying to their elected leaders: This just isn’t the ditch to fall into right now.

Oh, the pundits say, the U.S. will look weak if we don’t attack Syria.

Guys, we already look weak after decades of costly blunders elsewhere.

We have lost thousands of our best and brightest fighting a Washington war. Has anybody heard folks out in the heartland marching for greater militarization, for more U.S. military footprints around the world?

For now, it looks like Secretary of State John Kerry’s suggestion that Syria give up its chemical weapons is gaining some traction. This isn’t a quick-fix either.

Sure, we cannot deny that bad things are happening there and in other places.

We just need to continue to seek non-military solutions.

So what if we don’t go charging into the Middle East powder-keg again like screaming eagles?

Even George Zimmerman, who hasn’t shown a lot of prudence lately, probably doubts that will work.

PATSY R. BRUMFIELD writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or

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