France, which governed what is now Syria after World War I, has stepped forward as the first Western power to recognize the opposition as the legitimate government. But the future course of the Syrian civil war remains dangerous and complicated, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Exclusive: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney did all he could in Monday’s debate to calm voters’ fears that he would revert to George W. Bush’s neocon foreign policy. But there was one telling slip-up when Romney signaled that his heart remains with the neocon plan to remake the Middle East, reports Robert Parry.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has charted a novel course through Campaign 2012, shape-shifting his positions endlessly on domestic and now foreign policies. In Monday night’s global affairs debate, Romney exchanged his neocon garb for a new cloak of moderation, notes ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
The idea of arming a favored side in a civil war has become popular among U.S. policymakers chastened by the disastrous Iraq War, but there are grave dangers in that approach, too, especially the uncertainty of who might get the weapons and how they might be used, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Much of Official Washington is clamoring for President Obama to arm the Syrian rebels, but the civil war in Syria is reminiscent of the anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan in which the Reagan administration ended up helping hard-line Islamists who then turned against the U.S., notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Mitt Romney and his neocon advisers want to confront the Muslim world with a “credible military threat” as if more American “tough-guy-ism” will quell the region’s anti-Americanism. But the reality is that the long history of U.S. intervention has engendered the hostility, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Led by Egypt, key Muslim nations – also including Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran – are exploring ways to reduce the political violence in Syria, an initiative that upsets some in Washington because it represents an independent regional approach, observes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The latest selling point for American warfare is “smart power” humanitarianism, dispatching the U.S. military to eliminate foreign leaders designated by pundits as evildoers taking lives and resisting freedom. Ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley warns against this latest con.
Amid a growing chorus for U.S. intervention in Syria – from both voices on the Right and Left – President Obama is threatening military action if Syria’s unconventional weapons come into play. But the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland says the risks from a U.S. attack still outweigh the potential benefits.
Political pressure is building on the Obama administration to intervene in Syria’s civil war on the side of the anti-government rebels, but an escalation of the violence might only prolong the conflict and prevent serious national reconciliation, say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett at RaceForIran.com.