Cultural Revolutions

Syria's Jihadist Rebels

Although Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and other hawks have urged the United States to put “boots on the ground in Syria,” the Obama administration thus far seems determined to resist such calls.  Indeed, the White House has rejected lobbying efforts even to establish a no-fly zone to impede Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s military campaign against insurgent forces.  Such restraint is admirable, but Washington is nevertheless becoming involved in Syria’s civil war to a troubling extent—much as it did in the conflict that toppled Libyan tyrant Muammar Qaddafi.  The United States is already providing humanitarian and other supposedly “nonlethal” aid to rebel forces, and U.S. weapons are finding their way to those groups from U.S. allies Turkey and Saudi Arabia.  As in the Libyan struggle, there is a dearth of evidence that such meddling benefits the cause of human liberty—much less the security interests of the American republic.

Assad is a murderous, corrupt thug.  The Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011, has now claimed an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 lives, and it is difficult to watch images of the carnage without revulsion.  But before the United States blunders into yet another Middle East conflict, policymakers need to realize that the fighting is not a Manichean struggle between the evil Assad regime and noble...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here