With all this talk of deterrence, red lines and national interest, it is easy to forget that these are living, breathing people who will end their lives under American missile bombardment ("Syrian rebels ready to strike if U.S. does," Sept. 6).

It would be extremely ironic if we launched a massive attack next Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 slaughter, without thoroughly considering, "Do we really have to do this?"

John C. Stiles, Forest Hill