In sum, opposition to U.S. support for the armed resistance in Syria has nothing to do with indifference, isolationism, or pacifism. Nor is it indicative of being any less horrified by the suffering of the Syrian people or any less desirous of the overthrow of Assad's brutal regime. With so much at stake, however, it is critical to not allow the understandably strong emotional reaction to the ongoing horror or a romanticized attachment to armed revolution serve as a substitute for strategic thinking in our support for and solidarity with the Syrian struggle for freedom.
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Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, where he chairs the program in Middle Eastern Studies.