Why does our government not learn from the mistakes of the past? After the Russian invasion of Afghanistan we armed the opposition, and as a result the Taliban used those weapons to establish one of the most repressive regimes in post-World War II history.

They provided aid and sustenance to al-Qaida, with disastrous results for the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

In Syria, much of the opposition to President Bashar Assad is vehemently opposed to the U.S. and Israel. Is it really in our national interest to assist these so-called rebels?

I believe the answer is no, and that we she stay out of the Syrian civil war while remaining ready to offer humanitarian aid to refugees from the conflict. It is not our right nor is it our responsibility to be the moral police of the world.

After all, our history of decimating the Native American population and the institution of slavery, followed by the segregation of African-Americans, is hardly pure. Let the Syrians determine the fate of their own country.

Marc Raim, Baltimore