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letters | Showdown over Syria

‘Limited’ action in Syria cannot be guaranteed

Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Administration statements have called for “limited, proportionate” action in Syria, something “that will send a clear message” to Bashar Assad. All previous experience with American military adventures in the Middle East strongly suggests that there is no real-world action that fits the words.

No amount of wishful thinking is going save us from the unintended consequences of war. Our purported good intentions will be of no value to the civilians whose deaths we will euphemize as collateral damage.

Joseph A. Martin

Somerville