Monday, May 13, 2013

"In Syria, Americans can still claim innocence..."

"... Still, there’s another, more disturbing, reason that Syria gets so much more ink than Iraq and Afghanistan. American elites aren’t sick of Syria yet. Purely on cost-effectiveness grounds, one could argue that humanitarian intervention, whether diplomatic or military or both, would be more effective in Iraq or Afghanistan than in Syria. It’s usually cheaper to prevent a civil war from breaking out than to end one that’s already underway. But even contemplating new forms of American intervention in Afghanistan or Iraq is virtually impossible because it is American intervention that has helped bring those countries to the brink of civil war in the first place.The big difference between Syria on the one hand, and Afghanistan and Iraq on the other, is that in Syria, Americans can still claim innocence, which is how we like it. As a country, we’re more attracted to cleaning up messes made by others than the ones we make ourselves. And just as our media generally allows hawks like John McCain to advocate military intervention in Syria without quizzing them about the interventions they advocated in the past, we expect the rest of the world to wipe the slate clean every time America loses interest in one war and gears up for another..."

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