Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Calls for Action on Syria Grow

The news from Syria is unrelievedly grim. The Assad forces are continuing their murderous assault on Homs but the opposition continues to strike back–now, apparently, with two car bombs in Aleppo, a major city that until now had been largely free of violence. President Obama has gone to the UN Security Council and failed to get a resolution. Is this to be an excuse for continued inaction or will Obama summon as much courage as Bill Clinton did in 1999 when he authorized action in combination with NATO in Kosovo despite the lack of a UN mandate? A growing number of voices are suggesting it is time to act.

No one, to be sure, suggests the use of U.S. ground troops but there is much that can be done short of that. In a typically cogent Wall Street Journal article the great Arabist Fouad Ajami writes: “We could, with some moral clarity, recognize the Syrian National Council as the country’s legitimate government, impose a no-fly zone in the many besieged areas, help train and equip the Free Syrian Army, prompt Turkey to give greater support to defectors from Syrian units, and rally the wealthy Arab states to finance the effort.”

Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post further develops the case for arming the Free Syrian Army in this article in which he points out why we should not be paralyzed by memories of how some of the mujahideen we had armed in Afghanistan in the 1980s later turned against us: “That’s a misreading of history,” he argues. “In fact, arming the Afghan opposition in the 1980s succeeded in its aim of driving out the Soviet Union. U.S. responsibility for the subsequent chaos lay in its abandonment of the country after 1989, not the arms it gave the mujahadeen.” Michael Weiss of the Henry Jackson Society in London provides additional details of what could be done here.

Let us hope the administration is paying attention because the death toll is growing every day.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.