President Barack Obama stands on the brink of engaging the United States in another war of choice in the Middle East.
Ostensibly because the Syrian regime crossed Obama’s self-declared “red line” by using chemical weapons, Washington will deliver small arms, including antitank weapons, to Syrian opposition groups favored by the administration. (Obama appears to have overlooked reports by the United Nations that rebel groups may have used the weapons as well.)
The administration’s red-line bravado became a policy without any deliberation among the American people or their representatives. Consequently, administration officials are now on a propaganda spree trying to justify this blunder, which is likely to have major repercussions for the Middle East, the wider Islamic world, and for U.S. strategic interests.
None of this is to discount the horrifying humanitarian disaster unfolding in Syria. Thedeath toll from the fighting has reached 93,000 since the start of the conflict over two years ago. But it’s strange to be concerned only about deaths due to chemical weapons when so many thousands more are being killed by more conventional armaments, some of them imported by U.S. allies.
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