Obama must keep US out of Syria

Presidents are right to insist the Pentagon prepare contingency plans to meet any eventuality, no matter how remote the possibility they may be used.

But sending Americans into combat in the Syrian civil war is such an insane idea that Congress should make it clear that if President Barack Obama decides one day to do so, lawmakers will order him the very next day to withdraw.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee he has provided the White House with options for use of the U.S. military in Syria. The matter is “under deliberation inside of our agencies of government,” he added.

Has Obama learned nothing from the history of this country’s many bloody mistakes in the Middle East? If not, members of Congress – of both parties – should remind him.

U.S. military intervention in Syria would be a catastrophe for any number of reasons. The president ought to be asking himself whether he wants to start a conflict that would be known as “Obama’s War.”

Outright voter fraud is very rare in Ohio. But it does happen, and we sometimes wonder whether Buckeye State residents understand the real danger in the practice.

A Cincinnati-area woman who had been a poll worker was sentenced to five years in prison this week, for voting illegally on behalf of as many as eight other people.

She was far from contrite, telling the court, “I’ll fight for (President Barack Obama) and Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States.”

But what other votes did she cast illegally? Did she vote multiple times for or against a local tax levy?

Presidential elections are not decided by margins that can be affected by fraudulent voting. But local elections and referendums sometimes are close enough to be swayed.

That is the big danger of vote fraud – and it is why people such as the Cincinnati-area woman should be punished severely.