Tahlequah Daily Press


September 2, 2013

Cole’s cautious position on Syria the best

TAHLEQUAH — Americans keeping up with the volatile situation in Syria may be recalling the ramp-up to war in Iraq and Afghanistan during the last decade, and thinking it’s “deja vu all over again.”

According to polls, most Americans do not favor U.S. involvement in this so-called “civil war.” While a chemical attack launched last week by the al-Assad regime likely killed hundreds of civilians, it didn’t much change the opinion of folks who are tired of the U.S. tendency to serve as the world’s policeman.

Despite assurances by the Bush administration that U.S. troops and resources would not become bogged down on those two Mideast battle fronts, that’s exactly what happened. Few would now question the assertion that these wars cost America not only thousands of lives, but billions of dollars that could have been put to better use elsewhere – for instance, on our crumbling infrastructure, educating our children, or helping impoverished citizens pull themselves up by the bootstraps. And that doesn’t even take into account the mental scars brought back by thousands of soldiers.

Unfortunately, many Americans don’t have long memories, which is why we tend not to learn lessons of the past. And if the average citizen can’t remember mistakes of a few decades ago, politicians can’t recall past a two-year term.

President Obama seems to be spoiling for action in Syria, and has even hinted the U.S. might “go it alone” if other allies aren’t in on the deal. Indeed, the list of supporters grows ever sparser: The UK decided at the end of last week to nix a role, although France says it’s still in. But other countries are asking for more time for U.N. inspectors to make a report, or simply for more time to consider options.

Meanwhile, many in Congress are reticent, although a few hawks are spoiling for battle. Ironically, some of those most opposed were all for jumping into Iraq with all barrels blazing when Bush was in the White House – which suggests their opinion about Obama, rather than what’s best for Syria or the U.S., is the driving force.

It’s hard to miss the parallels with 12 years ago. Should we assume Obama knows more than he’s telling about Syria, or should we assume many in the Beltway have done an about-face on how they view participation in overseas conflicts?

Oklahoma Republican Congressman Tom Cole – probably one of the most sensible and bipartisan souls in that party – should be viewed as a bellwether. Last week, Cole was one of 140 members of Congress – 21 Democrats among them – who signed a letter urging Obama to back down on his threat of a military strike without congressional consent.

That seems like a rational position. Before Obama does anything, he needs to ask himself whether we can afford to intervene. And by “afford” we don’t just mean the expenditure of money, though the action would undoubtedly mean the use of funds we can’t really spare. There are other costs to consider, not the least of which is innocent lives.


Text Only
  • Ban on wage hikes by municipalities a mark of hypocrisy

    The words “God” and “governor” may share the same first two letters, but the two are hardly interchangeable.
    But let’s assume Gov. Mary Fallin really isn’t deluded enough to place her powers on the level of a deity. What rationale would a woman who has championed smaller government and local control use to explain her hypocrisy in banning individual Oklahoma cities from raising minimum wages in their jurisdictions?

    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video