Eventually, Assad or his sons must renounce power; history teaches that no repressive regime lasts forever. But how long until this family falls? How long until "might makes right" is replaced by morality, until the pen and law and human decency really do triumph over the sword?
Syria's chemical weapons are being dismantled because 1,400 civilians were poisoned and the world was rightly outraged. We must not wait for another weapon of mass destruction to be unleashed upon the world before we act with the same urgency.
We are exactly where we were in April of 2011. That is to say, Assad's killing machine continues, Russia's backing of the regime continues, and any political settlement is going to be bogged down in diplomatic squabbles.
As the Syrian people watch to see whether the international community will finally spring into action, we should have some more real talk on Syria's ongoing tragedy and why all of us have a personal stake in combatting state terrorism.
If Congress refuses to authorize Obama's proposed bombing, it will be the first time it stopped a president from going to war. For those who want the United States to be an empire, that is a scary thought.
How the United States should respond to Assad is far from clear. If we think a strike would help, though, then we shouldn't let others' reluctance stop us from taking the lead. Maybe what this country is actually all about is doing something.
"Assad was a master of evasion, dodging, weaving, demanding absolute certainty; he treated the interview as a game of chess, making the necessary moves to avoid having to admit the evidence he knows (I believe) is there."
If the Syrian government has used chemical weapons to massacre large numbers of people that is a real problem -- not only a dastardly act, but a clear violation of international law. But will the U.S. lobbing cruise missiles into Syria provide a solution to the problem?
As a parent, I see no way to ignore the flagrant violation of international law in Syria and not rue the choice. I realize as well that international law is violated often around the world. But we can't fix what we don't know is broken, and much of such abuse takes place in shadow.
The U.S. is a founding member of the UN and a party to the UN Charter which, at its core, was designed, in response to the devastation wrought by WWII, to prevent aggressive war of the type the Obama Administration is contemplating.
It is time to discuss a non-military intervention that adheres to and reinforces the rule of law as well as encourages a political solution. It is time to discuss a contingent referral of Syria to the International Criminal Court.
A use of military force for the primary purpose of defending American "credibility," in which many innocent people will be killed, and in which the normative power of the international legal order will again be undermined, is not only unlawful, but is also illegitimate and unjust.
That the Syrian regime used chemical weapons does not necessarily entail that the U.S. becomes the international judge, jury and executive to dole out punishments. Indeed, reprisals are subject to strict criteria.
Syria is yet another tragedy where the U.S. has no good options, and this is partly a result of its own inconsistent and contradictory policy and goals. Ending violence in Syria requires a long-term solution. There just isn't any quick fix.
Despite the summer lull, the International Criminal Court (ICC) continues to receive the attention of the international media. On July 17 the Day for International Criminal Justice marked the achievements of the international community in the fight against impunity.
Cholera, a water-borne disease that can kill in a matter of hours, was introduced into Haiti via untreated human waste that leaked from a UN peacekeeping base into the river that serves as the water source for tens of thousands of Haitians.
New evidence that the far northern reaches of the globe are becoming increasingly passable and habitable means that the last 100 years may be seen as just a break in the story of development and settlement.
There are two men, both of whom, Washington is convinced, must be brought in: one to face "justice," one to escape it. And all of this is a given, nothing that needs to be explained or justified to anyone anywhere.