August 23, 2012
Re "Obama's 'red line' on Syria," Aug. 21 How can world leaders continue to allow the slaughter of civilians in Syria? There have been many reasons in favor of and in opposition to intervention, either with arms, a no-fly zone, the use of troops or a host of non-lethal support measures. We should provide the rebels with weapons to fend off Syrian President Bashar Assad's warplanes, helicopters and tanks to level the playing field. Once we do that, we will have made a political settlement more likely.
August 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Conceding that a peaceful resolution in Syria now appears remote, President Obama warned Monday for the first time that use or movement of chemical or biological weapons by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad would constitute a "red line" for U.S. military intervention. Obama acknowledged his frustration that diplomacy has done little to protect civilians or stem the growing bloodshed in the 17-month conflict. International efforts to persuade Assad to step down, to negotiate an effective cease-fire or to facilitate a political transition have been unsuccessful.
July 23, 2012 |
BEIRUT - With mounting international alarm about Syria's cache of chemical and biological weapons, the embattled government in Damascus said Monday that its "unconventional" arms stockpiles were secure and vowed not to use them - unless provoked by an outside attack. Syria publicly ruled out using such weapons against domestic rebels, but also seemed to explicitly threaten their use if foreign powers were to attack, sparking a new international outcry. "No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used, during the crisis in Syria," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said during a news conference broadcast from Damascus.
February 18, 2012 |
The National Security Council is moving to exert greater federal control over scientific studies of highly lethal diseases and toxins in the face of mounting fears that the research could be used by terrorists and rogue states, according to people with knowledge of the process. Under the NSC's guidance, the government plans to issue guidelines for research grants that would give agencies the authority to delay or restrict publication of findings they considered susceptible to "dual use" by terrorists or enemy states.
April 18, 2011 |
Over the last few decades the intelligent thriller has become an oxymoron. The thriller aspect of many of these books has eclipsed the intelligent narrative. However, "Spiral" by Paul McEuen represents a return to form. McEuen, a physics professor at Cornell University and a first-time novelist, does a fine job of braiding science, story and suspense to create an engaging and fast-paced novel. The prologue is set in 1946 when Liam Connor, a young Irish biology prodigy in the Royal Navy, is dispatched to a U.S. vessel in the Pacific after a group of sailors aboard another ship contracted a lethal fungal virus.
April 11, 2010
Nuclear foolishness Re "New nuclear policy walks careful line," April 7 President Obama's nuclear arms initiative is ill-conceived and very dangerous for our country. It is foolish to pledge that we would not use a nuclear bunker-busting weapon to retaliate against the leadership of a country that attacked us with chemical or biological weapons. It is even more foolish to declare that we will abandon efforts to develop more modern nuclear weapons. It should be clear to anyone with a map that we have some potential enemies with whom we cannot compete on the basis of the number of ground troops.