What A Difference Eleven Years Makes
September 4, 2013 Leave a comment
Let’s play a little word substitution game, shall we?
Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about [Bashar Assad]. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams [and] developed chemical and biological weapons… He’s a bad guy. The world, and the [Syrian] people, would be better off without him.
But I also know that [Assad] poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the [Syrian] economy is in shambles, that the [Syrian] military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against [Syria] will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of [Syria] without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.