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Published March 11 2012

Forum editorial: ND caucus organizers win roses

Prairie roses: To all the activist North Dakotans who helped to make the Super Tuesday caucuses a success in the state. In addition to organizing supporters for their candidates, the focus on the caucuses helped bring three of the four Republican presidential candidates to the state prior to last Tuesday’s event. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul attracted good crowds at their stops in the state. Their rallies helped energize their supporters and also gave North Dakotans, Republican or not, opportunities to see the candidates up close. It’s all part of a uniquely American process that might be messy sometimes, but nevertheless highlights one of the strengths of a representative democracy.

Leafy spurge: To the voices in Congress, specifically Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who are advocating airstrikes on Syria in order to speed the fall of the Assad regime. To his credit, President Barack Obama is resisting the drumbeat, preferring instead – at this point – to tighten economic sanctions and solidify an international coalition pushing for regime change in Syria. Syria is not Libya, where a coalition of nations led by France and the United Kingdom (with vital U.S. logistical and communications support), conducted targeted airstrikes that made the difference in toppling the regime there. Syria has an air force and sophisticated air defenses. Libya had none of those resources. The voices calling for U.S./western airstrikes should cool the rhetoric and support the administration and its allies (which include several Mideast nations) in increasing the pressure on the Syrian leadership. The time might come for the use of air power, but not yet.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

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