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.
I wrote my string quartet, The Named Angels, against the current backdrop of unrest in the Middle East. Each of the four movements of the quartet portrays of one of the four angels shared by the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths.
The United States is once again on the brink of war in the heart of the Middle East. While the necessity of some kind of military intervention -- if only symbolic in nature -- is now evident, the risks are enormous.