Another Mideast War? How Syria Is Different from the Congo

(Wall Street Journal) Editorial - In an interview this month, President Obama stressed "our limitations" in intervening in Syria, along with the risk that U.S. intervention would only make things worse. "How do I weigh tens of thousands who've been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo?" mused the President, posing a question that would effectively have prevented every U.S. intervention in history. Unlike in the Congo, the U.S. has vital national interests in the Syrian war. One interest is to inflict a strategic blow to Iran by deposing its principal Arab client. Another is to cut Iran's military-supply link to Hizbullah, a terrorist group that has killed hundreds of Americans. A third is to prevent Syria's unrest from spilling into its neighbors. A fourth is to avoid the outbreak of a wider regional war. A fifth is to make sure that the U.S. might have some leverage and standing with a post-Assad government in Syria. A sixth is to prevent further thousands from being killed. The fruit of two years of U.S. inaction in Syria is that the very nightmare scenarios the administration fretted about are closer to occurring. The U.S. doesn't have to put boots on Syrian ground to help bring the Assad regime to an end, such as by imposing a no-fly-zone over Aleppo and the rest of western Syria. A similar no-fly-zone over Libya in 2011 helped spell Moammar Gaddafi's demise.

2013-02-01 00:00:00

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