Michael Gerson: Syria: U.S. paralyzed by fear of unintended consequences

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  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Feb. 22, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    Esquire is right. First, we are persuaded to intervene with euphemisms like "liberate", "regime change" or (now)"narrowly tailored attacks" as if we were playing board games. Years later, the same non-combatants insist we can't withdraw because then '..will have...in vain". Please.

    Neither side in Syria asked our permission to start a war, and our intervention in these conflicts has been good only for Halliburton. "Fear of unintended consequences"? Beats getting caught in a terminal case of hubris every time.

  • Kafantaris WARREN, OH
    Feb. 21, 2014 9:55 p.m.

    "[N]arrowly tailored attacks targeting Islamist fighters who may be looking to use that country’s lawless war zones as a staging ground for potential attacks on U.S. allies, U.S. interests and possibly the United States itself."
    Sounds good.
    And doable in the present international and domestic environment.
    Let's go for it.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    @ JoeBlow, reading your comment made me want to laugh! Those pushing for military action never, ever, ever, ever, ever concern themselves with the costs, whether money or U.S. lives. They'll spend with reckless abandon, leave a mess, and them complain about the mess they themselves made.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    So, sounds like Mr Gerson (and SCFan) are pushing for military action (aka war).

    How would Gerson or SCFan propose to pay for this "military action"

    Would the proposal be to put it on account and send the bill to our kids and grandkids, or make some tough choices today and pay the cost TODAY?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    The US is not "paralyzed by fear," it's guided by prudent self-restraint. Why should we embroil ourselves in this mess anyway? Let the Syrians duke it out among themselves while we do what we can in a humanitarian way.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    It seems that the right wing's only solution is invasion by U.S. troops. We have seen that their approach does not work, is costly in terms of U.S. lives and money, and makes things worse. How was the U.S. supposed to act on Syria? Invade? Support rebels with close ties to al Quaeda? Attempt diplomacy? Do nothing? We attempted diplomacy, and it was the right thing to do. The other options were far worse. Just because diplomacy has not succeeded so far does not mean it wasn't the right way to go. We cannot police the world and ensure that everyone lives happily and in peace. It is just not possible. Yet the right wing criticizes but fails to offer one iota of useful, constructive advice except to hint that we need to send in the U.S. military. Enough of that! In the end, the Syrians need to sort this out, a situation that is just a subset of the age old sectarian struggle in the Muslim world. So stop whining, right wing, and tell us your solution for a change. (Won't happen, will it?)

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    I just want it on the record that this stuff has been going on during the tenure of Obama/Clinton, and some Kerry. I only point that out because it is possible the aforementioned Clinton and Kerry might try to sell themselves as Presidential material in the coming years. Not exactly the folks we want answering that phone at 3AM, are they? Hillary WAS right about Obama not being one either.