Reality Check: Readers’ Responses


This is your finest hour in Reality Check. (SYRIA – JUST SAY NO – Issue: 9/4/13) You have put this thing to the wall and said everything I am thinking and fearing. This country has had enough of war, enough of intervening in civil wars around the globe, cleaning up everyone’s messes. It is cold-hearted and I feel for those people being slaughtered, but what is bombing going to do, or threats or whatever?

The Bush years have weighed deeply on our psyche as a nation. And then we elect this “change” guy and we still get another couple of years or Iraq, the continued fighting in Afghanistan, Gitmo, spying, all the things that horrified us during the Bush/Cheney regime of fear and war and jingoism.

This has to stop now.

You are so right.

—David Greenberg


Mr. Campion,

By tying Syria’s fortunes to Russia’s in “SYRIA – JUST SAY NO,” I believe that you are highlighting the most troubling aspect of potential U.S. intervention, namely the potential of starting a true proxy war. I hadn’t even considered that. I am sticking to the most obvious reasons for non-intervention, chiefly, that I am tired of all our international shenanigans. The hubris, the financial burden, and the cost in mental and physical health effects on service members is too hard to bear.


—Jonathan Young

Smithfield, RI


Hey James,

Usually I am the one guy you can always go to to support a good Haji ass whooping but wow, even Syria has me saying, “Yeah…ummm…thanks, but no thanks.” There is no “good guy” there. There is no “white cowboy hat” to get behind. Either way, you are going to create an alliance you will regret in a few short years as the alliance wears out its usefulness and the leopard’s spots prove unchanged.

Dropping ordnance from 120 miles away on targets created by intelligence reports is what got Mr. Obama’s predecessor in trouble. The level of hypocrisy being displayed by this media is astounding. To support Mr. Obama’s Syrian adventure while simultaneously still supporting the “Bush Lied – People Died” nonsense is over the top even for this lapdog media.

Hopefully, cooler heads prevail and we let the Syrians duke it out themselves.



—Bill Roberts


This feels like one of your best columns. It’s incredibly pointed and sharply written. There were lots of good lines throughout, and this was one of the most perfectly put together: “Russia is a broke anachronistic lump of atrophied machismo …” Incredibly apt. Glad you mentioned the complete misguided disaster and monumental waste of life called Vietnam. (WE blocked their free elections in 1954, divided the country, and started a “civil” war, not the Vietnamese.) And I love the ending. Also, perhaps, incredibly apt (though I hate to think so). Sometimes you pay me the compliment of saying I write in ways beyond you. Well, you write in ways beyond me, too.




Bravo, Mr. Campion. No to Syria! No to Iran! No to the entire mess over there. And it is a mess, and unless we stop kowtowing to special interest and oil marauders and this over-the-top Israel collective, we will continue to be burdened by maniacs. What century is this? Where is humanity going? How much longer do we have to be inundated with this horrible, horrible, horrible ancient, tribal nonsense? It is inconceivable to me that we would even consider this. Your effusive backlash to this is what the country is buzzing about. This is the will of the people, and I hope this president and this Congress will not give in to this veiled attempt at a power play—to merely involve ourselves in an untenable situation just to appear as if we’re THE superpower!

Enough, I say!




Ah, yes. Russia. Of course. It’s Russia’s crap. Let them wipe their own asses for a change. That Putin asshole has been sitting on his hands for too long. These are his weapons. Assad is his dictator. We had to deal with the shit-can of our dictator in Iran in 1979, what the fuck? Man up, Putin. You want to be a viable world leader, then lead or do something. I hope this president isn’t as asinine as the others. I hope he is not Johnson or Nixon or Reagan or Clinton or god help us all, Bush (actually, as you point out, both Bush’s), as I have always believed what you have written about the primacy of the first Iraq War on 9/11 and the prior attacks on our embassies and ships.

This madness has to end at some point. They won’t ever end it over there, we just have to let them kill each other. Bombing another nation, getting our hands into another civil war and letting Putin reap the benefits or whatever may come, is bullshit.


—The Runcker


If I may, your Russian points are sound, but I wonder how much they are motivated to stop this, beyond the fact that if Assad goes bye-bye, then there is a tinderbox down the block and Turkey, another key buffer for Russia, would be in harm’s way. I do think that Putin has interests in that direction, but to what end? What does a broke, battered and fractured nation gain from mucking around in Syria? That is a pile of trouble no country wants.



Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at

James Campion is the Managing Editor of the Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus” and “Midnight for Cinderella”