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Posts For: August 25, 2013

Boycotting Ariel Not About Justice or Peace

In this week’s Forward, venerable columnist Leonard Fein imagines he will elicit gasps of shock from his readers when he suggests that they should boycott the city of Ariel. He writes that he can do so in good conscience because there is nothing inherently immoral about boycotts and because shunning Ariel, its people, institutions, and commerce is a blow struck for justice and the cause of peace. He’s right that boycotts can sometimes be appropriate if not a moral imperative. But he’s dead wrong about giving a small city filled with ordinary law-abiding Jews, synagogues, schools, and businesses the same treatment previous generations gave Nazi Germany or segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Doing so is not only morally obtuse, it also has not the slightest thing to do with peace.

Fein is pushing on an open door when he suggests there’s something controversial about boycotts. Boycotts that are rooted in moral indignation against a specific policy whether it is Nazi racism, American segregation, Soviet refusal to allow Jews to emigrate, or apartheid were all defensible boycotts since they were aimed at highlighting injustice that could be corrected. But boycotts that are themselves the product of a spirit of discrimination are less defensible. For example, the Arab boycott of Israel and the efforts of the BDS campaign—which aims at isolating it via boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions, is rooted in a desire to eradicate the Jewish state, not to reform it.

Those who oppose the building of Jewish communities in the West Bank feel they constitute an obstacle to peace. That is an argument that is undermined by the fact that the Palestinians make few distinctions between the Jews who live in their midst and those in the settlements that were built on the other side of the 1949 cease-fire lines. But if there is to be a two-state solution to the conflict, do Fein and those who agree with him really think peace will be bought by dismantling Ariel? Is he prepared to take the same position about those Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem that are also on the other side of the old “green line?” Seen in that light, it’s hard to see his attitude toward Ariel as anything but an expression of political venom directed against Israelis whose politics he doesn’t like. Whatever the merits of his arguments about settlements, such a boycott has nothing to do with justice or peace.

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In this week’s Forward, venerable columnist Leonard Fein imagines he will elicit gasps of shock from his readers when he suggests that they should boycott the city of Ariel. He writes that he can do so in good conscience because there is nothing inherently immoral about boycotts and because shunning Ariel, its people, institutions, and commerce is a blow struck for justice and the cause of peace. He’s right that boycotts can sometimes be appropriate if not a moral imperative. But he’s dead wrong about giving a small city filled with ordinary law-abiding Jews, synagogues, schools, and businesses the same treatment previous generations gave Nazi Germany or segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Doing so is not only morally obtuse, it also has not the slightest thing to do with peace.

Fein is pushing on an open door when he suggests there’s something controversial about boycotts. Boycotts that are rooted in moral indignation against a specific policy whether it is Nazi racism, American segregation, Soviet refusal to allow Jews to emigrate, or apartheid were all defensible boycotts since they were aimed at highlighting injustice that could be corrected. But boycotts that are themselves the product of a spirit of discrimination are less defensible. For example, the Arab boycott of Israel and the efforts of the BDS campaign—which aims at isolating it via boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions, is rooted in a desire to eradicate the Jewish state, not to reform it.

Those who oppose the building of Jewish communities in the West Bank feel they constitute an obstacle to peace. That is an argument that is undermined by the fact that the Palestinians make few distinctions between the Jews who live in their midst and those in the settlements that were built on the other side of the 1949 cease-fire lines. But if there is to be a two-state solution to the conflict, do Fein and those who agree with him really think peace will be bought by dismantling Ariel? Is he prepared to take the same position about those Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem that are also on the other side of the old “green line?” Seen in that light, it’s hard to see his attitude toward Ariel as anything but an expression of political venom directed against Israelis whose politics he doesn’t like. Whatever the merits of his arguments about settlements, such a boycott has nothing to do with justice or peace.

It should be understood that even those who are most ardent in advocating for the peace process understand that it will not be achieved by insisting that Israel retreat to the old “green line” border. Though the Palestinian Authority is making noises directed at liberal Jews and the Western media that it is ready to end the conflict for all time, there is good reason to doubt they will accept terms they have repeatedly refused in the recent past. But if they do, they know it will involve their having to accept that Israel will retain the large settlement blocs in exchange for some territory inside pre-1967 Israel.

Among those blocs that aren’t changing hands is the city of Ariel. So exactly what point is served by a boycott of a place whose existence as a Jewish community wouldn’t prevent a peace settlement? Ariel’s continued existence inside Israel is not really in question. Does Fein believe that every Jew must be removed from all of the areas that were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1949 to 1967 in order to create justice and peace for the Palestinian Arabs? If so, is he advocating for a similar boycott of the various Jerusalem neighborhoods and towns and villages that would also be kept by Israel in the event the “agreement whose terms everybody already knows” that fellow leftists keep talking about is signed?

I think not.

Just as calls for the eviction of Arabs from Israel are repugnant, if peace is ever to be achieved, it will have to be on the basis of mutual respect and coexistence, not on eradicating the Jewish presence in parts of the country. But even if some settlements were to be removed, as happened in Gaza, in the event of a peace settlement, why would Fein focus on one that is not in that category except to vent spleen against the settlement movement that is more about Israeli politics than the future of peace?

I understand the arguments of those who believe preserving Israel’s Jewish majority will require the separation of two peoples. Doing so may involve giving up some settlements. But the movement to boycott settlements does more to appeal to the Palestinian belief that all Jews should be evicted from the country than it does to the cause of two states for two peoples. Palestinians may think Ariel’s existence is an injustice and intolerable insult to their sensibilities. But so is every other Jewish village, town, and city inside Israel. In this case, it is the boycott that is the injustice, not the existence of Ariel.

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Turkey Caucus Should Speak Out on Anti-Semitism

I’ve written a number of times about the Congressional Turkey Caucus, the congressional organization which seeks to promote and encourage a strong U.S.-Turkey relationship. While many Caucus members simply join to burnish foreign-policy credentials or qualify for Istanbul junkets, Namik Tan, the Turkish ambassador to the United States, has used membership numbers in the Turkey Caucus to imply U.S. endorsement of Turkey’s foreign and perhaps even domestic policies.

Alas, those Turkish policies run increasingly counter to U.S. interests with regard to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Eastern Mediterranean, and NATO. The Turkish government has grown more noxious in recent weeks as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or his top aides have blamed Jews and/or Israelis for everything from the protests in Gezi Park to the coup in Cairo to the the alleged use of telekinesis to undercut Erdoğan and his allies. He has promoted films which depict Jews as scavenging Iraqis for their organ, and Mein Kampf has become a best-seller. Anti-Semitism is rife increasingly among Turkey’s civil servants and diplomatic corps, and Erdoğan has suggested that Israel’s existence is a hate crime.

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I’ve written a number of times about the Congressional Turkey Caucus, the congressional organization which seeks to promote and encourage a strong U.S.-Turkey relationship. While many Caucus members simply join to burnish foreign-policy credentials or qualify for Istanbul junkets, Namik Tan, the Turkish ambassador to the United States, has used membership numbers in the Turkey Caucus to imply U.S. endorsement of Turkey’s foreign and perhaps even domestic policies.

Alas, those Turkish policies run increasingly counter to U.S. interests with regard to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Eastern Mediterranean, and NATO. The Turkish government has grown more noxious in recent weeks as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or his top aides have blamed Jews and/or Israelis for everything from the protests in Gezi Park to the coup in Cairo to the the alleged use of telekinesis to undercut Erdoğan and his allies. He has promoted films which depict Jews as scavenging Iraqis for their organ, and Mein Kampf has become a best-seller. Anti-Semitism is rife increasingly among Turkey’s civil servants and diplomatic corps, and Erdoğan has suggested that Israel’s existence is a hate crime.

When it comes to political theories and Jews, Erdoğan increasingly sounds like a cross between Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddafi, and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The difference between Erdoğan and those three footnotes to history, however, is that only Erdoğan has 135 congressmen watching his back. How shameful it is that the chairmen of the Congressional Turkey Caucus have not spoken out on Turkish anti-Semitism. Their silence convinces the paranoid and conspiratorial Erdoğan that American congressmen support his theories. Sometimes, diplomacy isn’t simply about making friendships; true diplomacy requires sometimes breaking them as well.

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Can GOP Candidates Ignore Iowa?

With two years to go until the political world converges on Ames, Iowa for the traditional Straw Poll conducted a few months before the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus, Republicans are pondering whether anyone who is serious about winning the presidency should bother showing up. But the meaningless nature of the quadrennial circus in Ames (the fact that Michele Bachmann won the caucus in 2011 shows how absurd the poll can be) is only part of the problem about Iowa. As the New York Times’s Jonathan Martin writes today, the dominance of the state by the far right and libertarian wings of the GOP is causing a great many in the party to wonder not only whether the disproportionate effort that the state attracts from presidential candidates is worth it but whether contenders with mainstream appeal should even compete there.

Those asking these questions are not wrong. Iowa is an odd choice to be a presidential lab test. It is not only unrepresentative of the nation as a whole but also even of a Republican Party that is whiter and less urban than the rest of the country. Moreover, the dominance of libertarian backers of the Ron and Rand Paul libertarian faction and social conservatives in the state party makes it inhospitable for candidates that are likely to win primaries elsewhere in the country, not to mention have a shot at actually winning the presidency in a general election. But it’s going to take more courage than most political consultants are usually able to muster to get any of them to advise serious candidates to shun Iowa in 2016. As much as 2012 was an illustration of Iowa’s irrelevance to the final results that year, ignoring the locus of political attention for months at the beginning of the primary season could be a serious mistake that could wind up damaging a more mainstream GOP candidate like Chris Christie and giving more conservative rivals an even bigger boost than they might otherwise receive.

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With two years to go until the political world converges on Ames, Iowa for the traditional Straw Poll conducted a few months before the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus, Republicans are pondering whether anyone who is serious about winning the presidency should bother showing up. But the meaningless nature of the quadrennial circus in Ames (the fact that Michele Bachmann won the caucus in 2011 shows how absurd the poll can be) is only part of the problem about Iowa. As the New York Times’s Jonathan Martin writes today, the dominance of the state by the far right and libertarian wings of the GOP is causing a great many in the party to wonder not only whether the disproportionate effort that the state attracts from presidential candidates is worth it but whether contenders with mainstream appeal should even compete there.

Those asking these questions are not wrong. Iowa is an odd choice to be a presidential lab test. It is not only unrepresentative of the nation as a whole but also even of a Republican Party that is whiter and less urban than the rest of the country. Moreover, the dominance of libertarian backers of the Ron and Rand Paul libertarian faction and social conservatives in the state party makes it inhospitable for candidates that are likely to win primaries elsewhere in the country, not to mention have a shot at actually winning the presidency in a general election. But it’s going to take more courage than most political consultants are usually able to muster to get any of them to advise serious candidates to shun Iowa in 2016. As much as 2012 was an illustration of Iowa’s irrelevance to the final results that year, ignoring the locus of political attention for months at the beginning of the primary season could be a serious mistake that could wind up damaging a more mainstream GOP candidate like Chris Christie and giving more conservative rivals an even bigger boost than they might otherwise receive.

On the face of it, it’s going to be tempting for Christie or someone like him in the 2016 race to ignore Iowa. The Ames Straw Poll is a pointless exercise that a more sensible party would scrap because it is more of a financial transaction (whoever buses in the most people and purchases tickets for them wins) than a genuine measure of political support. But that won’t happen because Iowa Republicans use it as a fundraiser. However, the caucus is also problematic because it is the creature of one wing of the party where those who cannot compete for the most right-wing voters seemingly haven’t much of a chance. What then is the point of a candidate with national appeal but not a favorite of Iowa conservatives expending precious time and money on a state they can’t win?

That’s what Rudolph Giuliani’s campaign thought when he didn’t bother trying in Iowa in 2008. His pro-choice views on abortion rendered him a certain loser in Iowa (as well as with the GOP nationwide) and he hadn’t a prayer of winning the caucus. But his absence from the competition left him dead in the water heading into the other primaries where his ultimately doomed candidacy might have fared better.

If Christie were looking for a better model than Giuliani, it would be Mitt Romney’s decision to try to win Iowa in 2008 even though he appeared out of step with the state’s Republicans. A divided field helped Romney with too many conservatives competing for the same votes. Moreover, had we known on the evening of the caucus that Rick Santorum had won by 34 votes—the ultimate result after all the ballots were counted—rather than thinking Romney had emerged as a narrow victor, that would have made things a bit more uncomfortable for the eventual nominee. But by showing up and competing, Romney demonstrated he intended to be the candidate of the whole party and not just those elements that were more likely to support him.

That’s a lesson Christie and any other Republican who thinks the odds are stacked against him in Iowa should ponder.

Like New Hampshire but only more so, Iowans are under the impression that they are entitled to meet presidential candidates personally and think any contender that doesn’t give them several opportunities to do so isn’t really trying. Conferring such a privilege on Iowans that is not given to the rest of the nation doesn’t make much sense. But since both Iowa and New Hampshire are more or less guaranteed their spots on the calendar, it’s not going to change. No matter how right-wing the Iowa GOP is, it’s like a Monday Night Football game: when nobody else is playing, everybody is forced to watch.

As in 2012, the Republican field will likely be crowded with plenty of competition for social conservative votes as well as the possibility that libertarians will be asked to choose between Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. That leaves plenty of room for a Chris Christie (whose credentials on abortion and other social issues make him far more palatable to most Republicans than Giuliani or someone like him) to go to Iowa and, like Romney, do well enough to avoid embarrassment before moving on to other states where right-wingers won’t be as dominant.

Iowa won’t determine the Republican presidential nominee in 2016 any more than it has done any other year (and if you don’t believe me, just ask Presidents Santorum or Huckabee about it). But whether the national party, the candidates, or the media like it or not, it will be the center ring of the political circus for a few months at the end of 2015. Any candidate who ignores it will be making a mistake.

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What’s Motivating Erdoğan on Egypt?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become the most outspoken international leader condemning the coup in Egypt and calling for the restoration of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Certainly, part of Erdoğan’s commitment to Morsi is ideological: Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party is, at its roots, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Both share an ideological and religious agenda and hope to remake their societies fundamentally.

It would give Erdoğan too much credit to suggest his only motivation is religious. Erdoğan is no saint; he is vain, coarse, and has amassed an amazing amount of money far beyond his salary or religious alms. In the months before Morsi’s ouster, Turkish defense contractors cultivated Egypt. From Hürriyet Daily News:

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become the most outspoken international leader condemning the coup in Egypt and calling for the restoration of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Certainly, part of Erdoğan’s commitment to Morsi is ideological: Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party is, at its roots, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Both share an ideological and religious agenda and hope to remake their societies fundamentally.

It would give Erdoğan too much credit to suggest his only motivation is religious. Erdoğan is no saint; he is vain, coarse, and has amassed an amazing amount of money far beyond his salary or religious alms. In the months before Morsi’s ouster, Turkish defense contractors cultivated Egypt. From Hürriyet Daily News:

An Arab diplomat in Ankara said he expected “difficult times” in Turkish-Egyptian relations, which may disrupt economic relations too, unless Ankara and Cairo prefer to pursue a pragmatic line… In May Turkey granted Egypt a $250 million loan to finance Turkish-Egyptian joint defense projects. The loan, the first of its kind, intends to boost defense cooperation and Turkish defense exports to Egypt. Earlier, Egypt expressed an interest in buying the new ANKA Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles built by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). Egypt was one of the pioneers in unmanned aerial systems, fielding the Teledyne Ryan Model 324 Scarab high speed drone and SkyEye tactical UAVs since the early 1980s. The addition of a MALE platform will fulfill the gap offering better persistence, improved imagery and multi-payload capacity. The potential sale of six to 10 ANKA systems to Egypt was discussed during Erdoğan’s visit to Cairo last November… In a separate deal, Ankara had approved the sale to Egypt of six multi-role tactical platforms, MRTP-20 “fast-intervention crafts,” produced by the privately-owned shipyards Yonca-Onuk.

Erdoğan may be angry at the financial hit Turkey took in Egypt, but the episode should also be a wake-up call to the changing military balance in the Middle East. While the United States provides Turkey with high-end military platforms, Turkey has been building up a military industry which potentially can change the military balance in the region. The coup may have voided Turkish military contracts in Egypt, but it is an open question what Turkey has provided to Islamists in other Arab Spring countries.

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Obama Already Waited Too Long on Syria

I agree with our Michael Rubin who writes today that the fuss about a United Nations investigation into the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar Assad regime in Syria is largely meaningless. There’s little doubt which side in the Syrian civil war committed the atrocity, and the Obama administration is right to be signaling that it is unimpressed by Assad’s belated decision to let U.N. inspectors into the area to make a determination. However, the president’s characteristically slow decision-making process as he decides if and how to react to the incident may turn out to be equally irrelevant to the question of whether the tyrant of Damascus is called to account in a meaningful way for the latest evidence of his depravity.

Given the willingness of the administration to speak openly of their certainty about Assad crossing the “red line” that the president established last year about the use of chemical weapons, it’s obvious the White House is calculating some sort of response. What exactly that response will be is still a matter of speculation. If, as many think, the president orders some sort of a strike on Assad’s forces or that of his Iranian and Hezbollah allies that are currently winning the war in Syria by a clear margin, perhaps he thinks he will have vindicated his reputation as a man of his word since he has taken so much heat for letting Assad cross his “red line” earlier this year with impunity. But short of a shower of cruise missiles that would decapitate the Syrian regime and completely change the course of the war there, it’s likely that any American action now would be more about Obama’s self-regard than anything else. Having passed on the chance to deal with the situation in Syria when minimal action might have ended Assad’s reign of terror without opening the gates to the al-Qaeda-related forces that currently play a huge role in the opposition, it’s just too late for a single show of force to make a difference.

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I agree with our Michael Rubin who writes today that the fuss about a United Nations investigation into the use of chemical weapons by the Bashar Assad regime in Syria is largely meaningless. There’s little doubt which side in the Syrian civil war committed the atrocity, and the Obama administration is right to be signaling that it is unimpressed by Assad’s belated decision to let U.N. inspectors into the area to make a determination. However, the president’s characteristically slow decision-making process as he decides if and how to react to the incident may turn out to be equally irrelevant to the question of whether the tyrant of Damascus is called to account in a meaningful way for the latest evidence of his depravity.

Given the willingness of the administration to speak openly of their certainty about Assad crossing the “red line” that the president established last year about the use of chemical weapons, it’s obvious the White House is calculating some sort of response. What exactly that response will be is still a matter of speculation. If, as many think, the president orders some sort of a strike on Assad’s forces or that of his Iranian and Hezbollah allies that are currently winning the war in Syria by a clear margin, perhaps he thinks he will have vindicated his reputation as a man of his word since he has taken so much heat for letting Assad cross his “red line” earlier this year with impunity. But short of a shower of cruise missiles that would decapitate the Syrian regime and completely change the course of the war there, it’s likely that any American action now would be more about Obama’s self-regard than anything else. Having passed on the chance to deal with the situation in Syria when minimal action might have ended Assad’s reign of terror without opening the gates to the al-Qaeda-related forces that currently play a huge role in the opposition, it’s just too late for a single show of force to make a difference.

President Obama’s pitiful performance on Syria over the past three years doesn’t need to be rehashed in depth. Suffice it to say that there isn’t much debate about the fact that had the United States chosen to act when the rebellion first began, Assad might well have been soon toppled without it opening the gates for radical Islamists to replace him. But instead he waited and did nothing except for incessantly predicting that Assad’s fall was imminent. Even a “lead from behind” strategy that was used in Libya might have been better than that because as the chaos in Syria spread, other forces entered the fray, complicating the conflict and reducing America’s options. On the one hand, groups related to al-Qaeda infiltrated the opposition to Assad, making regime change a less attractive option. On the other, Iran and Hezbollah’s entrance into the war raised the stakes in a regional conflict in which possession of Damascus becomes key to Tehran’s hopes for regional dominance that should scare the West more than anything else.

In the coming days we may be treated to the spectacle of a demonstration of American power in Syria. Expect the usual photos out of the situation room in the White House as the president and his team are depicted waiting for news of the strike and the subsequent celebration in the manner which we saw when the president took credit for the heroism of the Navy SEALs that killed Osama bin Laden. But nobody should mistake such theatrics for a coherent policy.

President Obama didn’t create this mess by himself, but he worsened it with rhetoric that he chose not to back up with action. So now that the world turns to the United States and ponders what it will do about Assad’s atrocities three years on, all Washington can offer is a gesture that is unlikely to make a whit of difference in Syria. At this point, even a full-fledged American decision to get involved in the military effort to oust Assad may be too little, too late.

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Who Cares if UN Visits Chemical Site?

There is much diplomatic hand-wringing about whether or not United Nations inspectors will be able to visit East Ghouta, the site of last week’s apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria. Within the United Nations, different departments are debating whether the situation is safe enough for the inspectors to leave the Four Seasons Hotel in which they are staying. Some politicians and diplomats are seeking “definitive proof” before reacting, a call made more acute by Russian and Syrian regime suggestions that the opposition staged the chemical weapons attack.

I addressed the issue briefly in my Friday New York Daily News analysis, but diplomats seeking definitive proof are like politicians promising to consider: too often, both presage inaction. Definitive proof after the Halabja chemical weapons strike let Iraqi President Saddam Hussein off the hook for months if not years. It became too easy for the Iraqi regime to buy a few agents of influence to throw up enough doubt to provide anyone prone to equivocation with an excuse to equivocate. Earlier, diplomats and analysts deliberately twisted intelligence regarding Soviet violation of the Biological Weapons Convention in order to undercut any excuse for action.

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There is much diplomatic hand-wringing about whether or not United Nations inspectors will be able to visit East Ghouta, the site of last week’s apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria. Within the United Nations, different departments are debating whether the situation is safe enough for the inspectors to leave the Four Seasons Hotel in which they are staying. Some politicians and diplomats are seeking “definitive proof” before reacting, a call made more acute by Russian and Syrian regime suggestions that the opposition staged the chemical weapons attack.

I addressed the issue briefly in my Friday New York Daily News analysis, but diplomats seeking definitive proof are like politicians promising to consider: too often, both presage inaction. Definitive proof after the Halabja chemical weapons strike let Iraqi President Saddam Hussein off the hook for months if not years. It became too easy for the Iraqi regime to buy a few agents of influence to throw up enough doubt to provide anyone prone to equivocation with an excuse to equivocate. Earlier, diplomats and analysts deliberately twisted intelligence regarding Soviet violation of the Biological Weapons Convention in order to undercut any excuse for action.

Iraq in 2003, of course, is the elephant in the room. But the notion that the Bush administration lied its way into war should be relegated to the same fringe as 9/11 “truthers” or wacky Obama birth certificate conspiracies. Intelligence was faulty, but that rested in Saddam’s lying to his own generals and the Iraqi regime’s refusal to allow unhampered inspections.

Bill Clinton’s 1998 cruise missile strike on a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan also became subject for a lot of hand-wringing, with a number of officials second-guessing the intelligence that led Clinton to choose that target from the menu with which he was presented. He shouldn’t have lost sleep: Had Sudan not put itself in a position in which it would be reasonable to assume its guilt, and then it never would have been hit. Clinton never even considered hitting Luxembourg, Tunisia, Malawi, or Indonesia because none flirted with terror sponsorship.

The fact of the matter is that “definitive proof” is more a journalistic concept than a firm intelligence category. And the nature of intelligence is that it is never firm enough when policymakers need to make a decision. The preponderance of evidence seems to suggest the Syrian regime is behind the attack and that should be enough. Even if by some chance that’s not the case, Syria’s involvement with chemical weapons–a red line clearly articulated by President Obama–clearly shows that action is needed. Whether or not UN inspectors step outside the Four Seasons is, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant.

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