Russia plan could be a good beginning

Russia's plan deserves a chance.

If Syria's chemical weapons can be safely removed, then maybe we can find a way to remove the Syrian dictator who could easily stop the pain and suffering by merely getting on a plane and getting out of Dodge.

If this plan is just another way for the Syrian government to stall for time and hide its chemical weapons and other military assets, then there must be consequences. Remember that Iran and North Korea are watching what our government will or will not do. If you think chemical weapons are scary, try a nuclear bomb attack.

Putting our heads in the sand led to World War II, the Korean War and other wars. We can no longer hide behind the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

If World War III begins it could start in the Middle East. We are on the top of the cliff looking down at a bleak future. If we do nothing about the use of poison gas, what's next?

Al Paltin

Orinda

An irony worthy of Guinness records

Obvious candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records, Category, Best 21st Century Irony: An erstwhile KGB thug derails a Nobel Peace Prize winner's plan to commit an act of war in Syria.

An even greater irony is that if Vladimir Putin's brilliant diplomatic coup actually results in Bashar Assad giving up his chemical weapons, then we can fully expect the cloistered and capricious Swedes to award next year's Nobel Peace Prize to the pair of them.

Christopher Panton

Walnut Creek

Sarin matter demands harsh U.S. response

Vladimir Putin and Bashar Assad are two of the most untrustworthy political criminals in the world. And President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have no skill in dangerous military matters like this. The U.S. public and the "thinking" world have no idea how a missile explosive strike could work against stockpiles of sarin nerve-gas components.

"No boots on the ground," say Obama and Kerry. This is ridiculous. The real answer to Syria possessing sarin is too shocking to print.

Martin A. Easton

Clayton