Yesterday in a meeting, a colleague asked about what will be needed after the conflict in Syria, what we could help with. I looked down. I was thinking, there's not much we can do if the infrastructure of the country is wiped out.
Mr. President, our country's recent history makes it very difficult for you to obtain the world's approval that we should attack Syria based on any sort of moral authority. Yes, if Assad in fact is responsible for the gassing of his own people, he should be punished, but we cannot be the only ones threatening him. After the debacle in Iraq, and the countless times our country has watched other nations kill their own people in acts of genocide, many people around the world and even within our country no longer look at America as a symbol of morality. If we are to act against Syria, let us first build a global alliance with our allies and even with our so-called enemies that brings all parties to the table for the possibility of peace in that country and ultimately in that region of the world. This is a chance to show your extraordinary diplomatic skills, a fresh change from the bomb-first, ask questions later, approach of the past.
The real world tends to expose flaws in the best theories. Syria has done just that. However we come out on this debate, Obama's decision to delay action until Congress acts matters. His deferral to Congress builds a wall against cowboy military adventures in the future.
One would have thought that Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki's government had enough on its hands, what with a calamitous escalation of sectarian strife harkening back to the worst days of Iraq's bloody and traumatic post-Saddam days. I was wrong.
It is easy to overstate what a mission, even if undertaken for the noblest and most honest of reasons, can achieve.
The whole world really is watching. Obama did not create this box, the Assad government did that. Now the box has been opened -- we have to try and close it up again.
There's a certain irony to British Prime Minister David Cameron's decision -- dictated by the British Parliament and public -- not to join President Obama's coalition of the willing.
Vagueness is a very poor basis for the U.S. entering into another war in the Middle East, throwing itself deeper into a chaotic and volatile situation it little understands.
Only those who have forgotten how the United States and its allies wound up in a catastrophic war in Iraq could now charge toward military confrontation with Syria, absent a clear and credible annunciation of the intelligence that supposedly ties Bashar Assad's government to the chemical weapons attack, and without an agreed upon plan for how to handle the potential repercussions.
Cameron, like Blair, cries: we can't stand idly by, wringing our hands. Damn right: take action but not of the killing kind.
The British parliament's vote against going along with the United States' attack on Syria is a direct result of that country's attempts to come to terms with the lies of the Iraq War.
Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post. Kudos to the extraordinarily brave Cameron Russell whose TEDTalk ...
When the rhetoric against the Assad regime and Syria is eerily parallel to that prior to the Iraq war, wouldn't it make sense to wait, and to ask our leaders for actual information and proof? Are we ready to allow our government and the governments of our allies to commit such drastic action under our names yet again?
Unlike Egypt -- in which the divisiveness is over whether the state should govern using religious principles or secular ones -- the conflicts in Libya, Syria, and Iraq are more tribally based or ethno-sectarian in nature. The latter three may be more solvable without the need for a despot, elected or not, at the helm.
If we are to be a great country, we need people like Pt. Manning who will hold our military accountable. Pt. Manning is the type of principled, idealistic person I thought President Obama to be.
Now that the Arab Spring has been turned into a totally owned subsidiary of the Saudi royal family, it is time to honor Prince Bandar bin Sultan as the most effective Machiavellian politician of the modern era.