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Extra Letters: Readers react to possible strike on Syria

EDITOR: If the president is voted to be the people's voice, why is he trying to change our minds about going to war? Isn't he listening?

MARION RADIN

Sebastopol

Stopping atrocities

EDITOR: While I believe that most warfare causes more harm than it ever solves, I also know that staying neutral while genocidal action takes place only encourages more of the same. If solid evidence exists and then we wait for others to respond to Bashar Assad's gas attack, we may wait and watch for a long time. A hundred years ago, 1.5 million Armenians were murdered while the world did nothing.

We worry that our attack on Assad could kill innocent civilians, yet if we do nothing to make Assad pay a price, his continued use of gas could kill many more.

There are certainly other types of atrocities being committed besides poison gas. The answer isn't to give up on enforcing international norms, it is to expand them.

MICHAEL KRIKORIAN

Windsor

Not another war

EDITOR: The will to fight is in our genes. Very early in the history of our species, we lived as bands of hunter-gatherers. Each band's primary concern was to be sure its members had enough to eat. Outsiders depleted necessary resources and were a threat to the survival of the band. Violence enabled us to survive.

As our brains became more complex, we developed new skills for survival. We have long been capable of surviving using reasoning and communication rather than violence. We also have the mental capacity to understand and override our obsolete genetic tendency to harm those who get in our way.

Yet we continue to jump at the chance to fight, to destroy and to kill. And the chances keep coming. The reality is there will always be an excuse for another war. It is time to just say no.

ANN CLARKE GREENWOOD

Petaluma

Mind your business

EDITOR: Talking with Max, my 99-year-old father, about Syria, and the headline says it all, let us pay attention to our needs. Sure it's ugly, using gas on non-combatants, especially children and women, but this does not pose a direct conflict or threat to America. We have major issues to resolve right here at home.

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