5 Obama-style reasons to intervene in Syria

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Over 700,000 protesters gather in Al-Assy Square in Hama on July 22. Al-Assy Square in Hama demanding the fall of the regime during the Syrian Revolution 2011.

Hard on the heels of news that the president includes political fixer David Axelrod in his invitation-only meetings to decide which terrorists to target in drone strikes, herewith some cynical, self-serving, political reasons why this cynical, self-serving, and most political of presidents should care about what happens in Syria:

1.    The longer fighting goes on, the more likely al Qaeda gains a foothold in Syria, destabilizing Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Israel. Wise leadership points.

2.    The death of more than 10,000 civilians, including thousands of woman and children, is a stain on the Obama legacy. Moral points.

3.    Subcontracting U.S. foreign policy to Saudi Arabia and Qatar is a recipe for the rise of Wahhabi extremists that will mean a Middle East even more precarious than the one born in the Arab Spring. Muslim moderation points.

4.    It’s a chance to hit Iran without hitting Iran, and without allowing a single boot on the ground. Manhood points.

5.    It can reinstate the soiled name of “leading from behind.” Recycling points.

What should he do? Arm the rebels. Support safe corridors. Provide air cover to rebel fighters. Help the Syrian opposition come together and write a transition plan. Stand against Assad. Act like the president of the greatest nation on earth.

Danielle Pletka is the Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

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About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

  • As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.


    Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


     


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    Email: dpletka@aei.org
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