Re "Obama steps up campaign for airstrikes," Sept. 3

The frantic tone of the Obama administration, seemingly desperate to send missiles into Syria, indicates a serious lack of understanding of the dynamics of the Middle East and a continuing infatuation with the bullying tactics of past administrations, which have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths in the region. These bankrupt military policies have resulted in making the Middle East a caldron of misery and death.

Why doesn't the U.S. try a sensible approach involving working with the other important key players and countries in the region, primarily Iran and Russia, rather than trying to further ostracize these countries?

The days when the U.S. could control the world with its big-stick diplomacy are over. The sooner we grow up and understand this reality, the closer we will be to peace.

Dianne Walter

Altadena

As a young girl during World War II, I listened with horror to news broadcasts reporting massacres of innocent civilians — including children my age — all over Europe and Asia. Especially hard to take was learning about those little ones brutally murdered during the years of Hitler's unspeakable Holocaust.

So I stand behind my president 100% in his brave outcry against Syrian leader Bashar Assad's cold, callous poisoning of his own country's defenseless little ones. I encourage Congress to stand with him.

My only question is this: Given all the twists and turns of the so-called Arab Spring, what comes next for both Syria and the U.S.?

Bonnie Compton Hanson

Santa Ana

As a matter of law, there should be no military action taken by the United States in Syria unless approved by the United Nations.

Too often the U.S. ignores its pledge to abide by U.N. decisions; too often we chose to go it alone as the self-appointed policeman of the world. For example, we use the International Criminal Court but refuse to be subject to its jurisdiction.

We have become too big for our britches.

I usually support President Obama. I love my country. I am a combat veteran of World War II. And I believe we have no business in Syria without U.N. approval.

As a nation that has used a weapon of mass destruction in the past, we need to be more humble and work more closely with other nations that honor the decisions of the United Nations.

Phil Wilt

Van Nuys

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others say it would be catastrophic for Congress to rebuff the president on Syria and undermine Obama's credibility. I think the opposite is true.

Obama drew his red line on the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons. So when the line was crossed, the president prepared to launch an attack. But Congress reminded him of the often-ignored constitutional notion that in matters of engaging the nation in war, it is a good idea to seek the support of the people through congressional approval. Obama, to his credit, agreed.