Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

August 27, 2013

The Pandora's Box in Syria

The images we’ve seen this week are grotesque, disturbing, heart breaking and may be just a preview of things to come.

The chemical attacks – apparently by the Syrian government against rebel strongholds outside of Damascus – have killed an estimated 1,300, including dozens of children.

In a civil war against the Assad regime, more than 100,000 people have been killed as Iran, Russia and Hezbollah have supported the government. But the chilling specter is the potential for al Qaeda to not only take power in this fractured state, or part of it, but to gain control of Syria’s chemical stockpiles.

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar spent the last 20 years of his Senate career trying to prevent this type of attack, forging the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Act that initially took aim at the decaying nuclear, biological and chemical stockpiles in the old Soviet Union. Over time, Nunn-Lugar worked to rid Albania of its chemical stockpiles

In a statement to Howey Politics Indiana, Lugar said recently, “One year ago, while in Moscow, I made a public suggestion that the United States and Russia work together to secure and destroy chemical weapons in Syria. Recent reports on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and the destabilizing effect the conflict in Syria is having on the broader Middle East, underscore the continuing importance of the United States seeking to work with Russia and our NATO allies to ensure that chemical and biological weapons in Syria and elsewhere are identified and destroyed.”

Lugar was defeated for reelection in the Republican primary in 2012, leaving a void in Congress on who will continue the crusade to stabilize and eliminate the WMD stockpiles. There has been notable success, as states such as Ukraine, Belarus, Albania and Kazakhstan have given up their stockpiles.

But the events in Syria raise the nightmare scenario of terror networks obtaining chemical shells. As Nunn-Lugar officials explained on an August 2007 tour of Russia, one sarin gas shell strapped in C4 plastic explosives and carried in a briefcase could kill tens of thousands of people in a Western subway or sports stadium.

Text Only
Columns
  • Thanks, Max

    Max Dickson has given the historical society a gift that many will enjoy for years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Lee H. Hamilon: Government As Innovator? You Bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: There are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • How to deal with nuisance wild animals Most people enjoy watching wildlife and sometimes even interacting with critters on occasion. One of my favorite activities is keeping the bird feeder well supplied and seeing Hoosier song birds up close and personal. Sometimes there are situations w

    April 17, 2014

  • Self deposit box: Wolfsie takes a selfie of his check I love where I bank. It's a branch inside of a big supermarket. I can make a modest withdrawal and then go and blow every last penny in the cookie aisle. The tellers at the window appreciate me. They know about my obsession with round numbers and und

    April 17, 2014

  • Alice Woodhull: Back on the job Well, this is Alice, and I am back on the job. It has been two months since I got my new shoulder, and so far it is working like it should. I have had a couple weeks of therapy, plus doing a lot with it on my own, and I'm hoping it will soon be as g

    April 16, 2014

  • Linda Hamer Kennett: The timeless beauty of wicker No matter what the day may bring, I can leave it all behind when I take my evening walk. Strolling through our historic neighborhood on Indy's south side is a multifaceted treat. It is good for my heart, it erases the cares of the day and it affords

    April 16, 2014

  • Dr. Michael Layne: Palm Sunday Matthew 21:1-11 is the Gospel passage that will be heard in many churches this Palm Sunday. Today, I want us to look at the last two verses: 10When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, "Who can this be?" 11The crowd a

    April 12, 2014

  • Jenni Hanna: Exploring the mystery of the bitcoin I've heard of a lot of synonyms for currency, but "bitcoins" was a new one to me. Although bitcoins (BTCs) have been around since 2009, they are something I've just recently learned about and am really struggling to understand. Bitcoins cannot be hel

    April 11, 2014

  • nws-gb041014-Spaulding headshot Jack Spaulding: A time not to adopt Springtime brings a host of new life into the outdoors. The fields, forest, and the nests and dens are full of new life and cute and cuddly baby critters as nature carries on procreation. Nature knows how to take care for her own, but unfortunately,

    April 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • Net tricks My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've

    April 10, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.