Michael Gerson: America's tired ambivalence in Mid-East has consequences

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  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 18, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    Re: "Like, what do you suggest we do with Syria?"

    Pretty much anything would be better than what we are doing.

    Suggesting there are only two sides in Syria is, of course, the losing position from which liberals start. There are WAY more than two sides, several of which hold worldviews compatible with ours.

    The Obama regime, by electing to sit this one out, not only assures it will be won by one or another of the bad guys, also forfeits a golden opportunity to use American influence to degrade Iran's meddling in the area, disarm and disband Hezbollah, free Lebanon, demilitarize the Golan, and increase overall security in the region, and of our only real friend there, Israel.

    Whenever he does get around to acting, it will amount to a too-little, too-late backing of the wrong horse.

    And that, in a nutshell, describes Obama's tired, failed presidency.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    July 17, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    There's little evidence that US engagement in the Middle East has done anything to win friends and influence people. Instead it's made us even hated in most of the region, alienated us from many of our allies, diminished our credibility as a world leader, added hundreds of billions of dollars in debt, and killed thousands of our finest young people.

    Perhaps we should try doing nothing for a change of pace.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 17, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    "But little positive actually gets done in the region without active U.S. leadership". OK Mr.Gerson give me an example of what you are talking about. There are no examples. For decades America has tried to influence a peace resolution between Israel and Palestine...hasn't happened. We tried to change the hearts and minds of Iraqis with a trillion dollar war....that hasn't happened. We tried to improve relationships and influence Iran because of a nuclear threat....hasnt happened. So with some innocent "neo-con" rhetoric we again convince ourselves of our immense influence and a tendency to justify doing anything we want to do. Thankfully most Americans are tired of us being a problem solver in the Middle East.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    Everything's so black and white with conservatives... Like, what do you suggest we do with Syria? One side has Assad, the other has Al-Qaida affiliated Al-Nusra. Pick your poison.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 17, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    Active engagement in the middle east has consequences, too. Time and again we've proven that stability and peace aren't among them. Rather than chasing our ideals and trillions of dollars down a sinkhole again, let's think about this for a while. If we want to get rid of dude in Syria, it can be done just like in Libya. Will that make things better? Smarter people than I must have some idea. But for pete's sake let's not just go in guns a blazin', or sucking up to israel. This mess is way to complex to armchair QB.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 17, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Re: "Let's fix America before we save the rest of the world."

    But, since liberal politics depends on America being broke, we'll never be able to save the rest of the world.

    Liberals -- for purely selfish, political reasons -- are suggesting we wait for another Pearl Harbor before we get involved in influencing an obvious evil that is only enabled, encouraged, and strengthened by our neglect.

    You know, we've tried it before. It doesn't work.

    Rather, it gets millions killed, millions more maimed, orphaned, and displaced. And liberals claim to care about and be looking out for the little guy?


  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    July 17, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    So why are we in charge of the worlds security? We can't feed our people. We can't provide healthcare to people, or even a mechanism for them to get it themselves. Our roads are crumbling, we are behind in the quality of internet service we receive. China is pirating our best ideas because we don't have the network security to prevent them from stealing corporate secrets. We don't have the $$$ to pay trillions a year to stop wars across the globe. Let's fix America before we save the rest of the world.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 17, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    Re: "I've always wondered what really would happen with other European and Asian countries if the U.S. took a break . . . ."

    No need to wonder. Just look around.

    The US IS taking a break on Mid-east issues. The Obama regime is openly hostile to Israel, friendly to her enemies. It inexplicably treats tin-pot dictators as if they were reasonable, decent leaders, representing reasonable, decent people, who are capable of responding reasonably to decent proposals for a reasonable, decent peace.

    It can't work. It won't work. Never has. Everyone knows that.

    The only chance for Mid-east peace is to punish threats to it.

    The regime has chosen, instead, to reward those threats.

    The result -- war -- is entirely predictable.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    July 17, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    I've always wondered what really would happen with other European and Asian countries if the U.S. took a break from involving itself in Mid-East problems. After all, a nuclear Iran is much more dangerous to that region than it is to our side of the Atlantic. Would countries like England, France, Germany, Russia, China, ect. just sit by? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe those countries have just been letting the U.S. spend its blood and money to stabilize the region. Maybe it's time for those countries to take the lead. After all, in much of the Muslim world, we, the U.S. are the "Great Satan". How can we expect those folks to want to work with the Devil? Maybe our involvement creates as many problems as it is supposed to solve. Just a thought.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 17, 2013 6:52 a.m.

    So does thinking we are the worlds policeman have consequences. It has practically bankrupted us.