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Intervention in Syria: Iraq Redux?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Reginald Johnson     Permalink
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If the U.S. is so concerned about the Assad regime's oppression of the Syrian people, and the government's use of chemical weapons, then America should take its case to the United Nations. The U.S. should lay out the crimes of the Assad regime, and argue for collective action to remove him. Even if one assumes Russia would veto any UN move, couldn't we make a very powerful case? Wouldn't we at least shame the Assad regime, and possibly spark some changes?

But making that case would rest on proving Assad's crimes, his use of chemical weapons and the alleged atrocities committed by his military. There's a lot of evidence for all of that, but there's also evidence of war crimes by the opposition, so the picture gets complicated. It becomes a situation of "a plague on both houses.'

Finally, there's Question Number 3. Reporters need to ask, is the U.S. intervening because it is really worried about Iran? Are we trying to install a friendly regime in Damascus that would deprive Iran of a key ally and perhaps lead ultimately to a toppling of the Iranian regime as well? And why are we so worried about Iran? Is it really because of their alleged nuclear bomb-making program (there's no verification of such a program yet), or is it because, like Iraq, Iran holds such a large supply of oil?

I'm hoping that reporters and members of Congress will start asking some pointed questions about what's going on with America's Syria policy. But based on what I've seen so far, I'm not holding my breath. And that's a shame, because after Iraq and Afghanistan, we definitely don't need another rush to war and still more loss of blood and treasure.

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Reginald Johnson is a free-lance writer based in Bridgeport, Ct. His work has appeared in The New York Times, BBC-Online, the Connecticut Post, his web magazine, The Pequonnock, and Reading Between the Lines, a web magazine affiliated with the (more...)

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