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Saturday, October 8, 2016

American Military Intervention Can't Save Syria

American Military Intervention Can't Save Syria

The New York Times appears to have experienced an epiphany of the obvious on Syria.
On October 6, its op-ed page ran a piece by Steven Simon and Jonathan Stevenson, both former members of President Obama’s National Security Council, warning against American military intervention in Syria’s civil war.
The paper has been a hospitable forum for advocates of military intervention in Syria, academics (some of whom had been senior foreign policy officials) as well as Senators. They had backed the wars in Iraq and Libya but insisted that their recommendations would work this time around. Don’t learn the wrong lessons from history…that sort of thing.
Two of the paper’s regular columnists, Roger Cohen and Nicholas Kristof, have penned all-heart-and-no-head pieces describing Bashar al-Assad’s undeniable brutality and calling for the use of American military power to stop it. Neither has yet explained how that would serve American interests, what risks the creation of no-flight zones and safe havens would involve, why such steps are nevertheless necessary, and what they have in mind should events not unfold as anticipated. It’s enough apparently to dwell on the terrible suffering of Syrians and to portray opponents of intervention as latter-day Chamberlains and Daladiers. Appeal to emotion and guilt tripping substitute for hard-headed analysis.

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