Bergen’s take is that Samantha Powers showed delay after delay fizzles any opportunity to intervene in a way that helps. Newt Gingrich says both sides of this battle are bad and will not help the USA or Middle East peace.
SMcK: the Christian asks What does Jesus teach? The Christian asks What is best for the church? Some ask pragmatically, What will America or other nations achieve if they intervene?
What do you think?
The issue now in Syria is not simply that al-Assad is massacring his own civilians at an industrial rate, but he is also flagrantly flouting a well-established international norm by this regime’s reported large-scale use of neurotoxins as weapons against civilians. It seems inconceivable that the United States as the guarantor of international order would not respond to this in some manner.
But on what authority? There is scant chance of a U.N. resolution authorizing military action. When she was U.N. ambassador, Rice skillfully ushered a resolution through the Security Council that authorized military action in Libya in 2011. But Russia and China will almost certainly veto any similar kind of resolution on Syria.
Russia is one of Syria’s few allies, and Russia and China are generally staunchly against any kind of international intervention in the affairs of other countries, no matter how egregious the behavior of those states might be.
That leaves the possibility of some kind of unilateral action by the United States.
The U.S. regularly infringes the sovereignty of countries such as Pakistan and Yemen with CIA drone strikes on the novel legal theory that terrorists planning strikes on the U.S. are living in those nations and those countries are either unable or unwilling to take out the terrorists on their territory — and therefore their sovereignty can be infringed by drone attacks.
But making a claim that the Syrian regime threatens the U.S. is implausible, and therefore some kind of unilateral American action seems quite unlikely.
We have already concluded that as terrible as the civil war is, it cannot be our war. The bombing will not change this — and then what?
Both sides in Syria are bad. One side is a brutal dictator, and the other includes Islamists and terrorists who are dangerous already and who would be brutal in power if given the chance.
We will not spend the time, money and blood to create a desirable side in Syria. There is no victory to be had there.
Syria is not the greatest threat in the Middle East to U.S. or world security. The Iranian regime is working every day to get a nuclear weapon. It poses a direct threat to Israel’s survival and a long-term threat to America.