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No case for military action

September 4, 2013

The news this morning has stories about French spies and Syrian defectors pinning the chemical attacks on Assad. Let’s assume that the Obama administration is more careful and honest in handling such intelligence than his predecessor, and that it is correct in pinning responsibility on Assad. That does not make the case for military action. The argument for that has to include what practical purpose would be achieved by the action. Regime change? No claim is made for that. Sway the civil war? It’s not clear how or why we would want that. To slap Assad’s wrist? That’s not worth the lives it would take, this time with the blood on our hands. American credibility? The credibility this nation needs isn’t obtained by military strikes just for the sake of that. Like Andrew Sullivan, I am stunned by the neocons and liberal hawks acting as experts and saber rattlers.

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