Hands Off Syria
May 30, 2012
The recent massacre by the Syrian government of 108 people, mostly women and children, will inevitably put intense pressure on a reluctant Obama administration to take out President Bashar al-Assad using force. As was obvious when the United States evicted Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi after he threatened to kill lots of his compatriots, hawks thirsting for future American intervention in the world will use this as a bloodless (that is, free of American blood) model to depose dictators from the air. But the administration, which also has been rash in its expansion of the drone war against al-Qaeda and related groups, has wisely avoided intervention in Syria for a variety of good reasons.
The main reason is that military action in Syria would not be as easy as it was in Libya. And the use of armed force in Libya seems easier in retrospect than it was—it dragged out for months with no conclusion, with some bitten nails on the part of the administration.