Consequences of U.S. Inaction in Syria Are Clear

(Washington Post) Editorial - It might seem as though the horrors of Syria, where more than 60,000 people have died violently in the last 22 months, could not grow worse. Yet steadily, week by week, they do. The Obama administration appears stuck on Syria, unable to decide even on simple measures to help the opposition. Not only does it refuse to provide weapons to moderate rebel fighting units - which complain of shortages even as materiel pours in to jihadist groups - but it claims it is legally barred from giving even non-lethal aid directly to the Syrian National Coalition. U.S. humanitarian aid goes to private groups such as the Red Crescent or, worse, the UN, which passes much of it along to the regime. The U.S. could do much to shape the course of events in Syria without using American troops. It could begin providing aid directly to Syrian refugee organizations and civilian councils inside the country, as France has done for months. It could provide arms to moderate rebel factions, so that they can compete with the jihadists and so that they will look to the U.S. when the war is over. Continued passivity will ensure that the crisis in Syria continues to worsen - along with the consequences for the U.S.

2013-01-30 00:00:00

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