Syria News and Perspectives Round-Up

  • Samantha Powers (U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) gave a speech at the Center for American Progress on Friday. You should read the whole thing. “Some have asked, given our collective war-weariness, why we cannot use non-military tools to achieve the same end. My answer to this question is: We have exhausted the alternatives”
  • William Polk (Council on  Foreign Relations) lays out one of the most cogent explanations of the situation I’ve read
  • Max Fisher’s 9 Questions About Syria You Were Too Embarrassed To Ask is a short-and-sweet entry to the debate
  • Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.): “The first objective is to deter Assad from using chemical weapons again. The second objective is to secure the chemical weapons inventory of Syria against proliferation. The third is to achieve a negotiated peaceful resolution to the civil war”
  • Robert Danin (Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations): “But if the Obama administration wants to send a message to Assad that he accurately understands, the United States must provide not only a credible response to his recent use of chemical weapons but also make him believe that response is part of a larger strategy to compel him to stop slaughtering his own people — by any means. Such an approach would require a U.S. commitment to doing more than limited strikes against facilities related to chemical weapons. But it is the only message Assad will understand”
  • Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ): Don’t attack, but set up a war tribunal: “We would start by immediately gathering documentation about atrocities committed in Syria. We’d let everyone in the chain of command there know that people will be held to account as quickly as possible. And what I said in the resolution is that this has to be immediate”
  • My friend Anna Day on the ground in Syria, investigating the country’s education system. Quote from a  parent: “Our children don’t deserve this. They deserve their right to an education just like American children.”

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