Victor Davis Hanson
Remember when President Obama used to warn
The Muslim Brotherhood was proclaimed to be largely "secular." Echoing the pseudo-disavowals of
Now comes a depressing Arab Winter of chaos and growing Islamic authoritarianism.
The result is that Obama's threats about Syrian use of weapons of mass destruction are now contextualized and internationalized. We sorta, kinda want
The president finds himself in a terrible dilemma with
The third alternative -- fostering a postwar democracy, as in
Obama, better than anyone, also knows the rules of today's political opportunism. Currently, liberal hawks are calling for Syrian intervention on humanitarian grounds. They are echoed by many conservatives seeing intervention as a way of both hurting enemies such as
Yet put Americans on the ground in
Obama must remember the fiery 2002 speeches of then-Sens.
Without a credible follow-up of using force, Obama's once-soaring warnings have become stale and no longer earn any deterrence. Even a Nobel Peace Prize laureate can only so many times thunder about "red lines" and "game changers."
After serial but inconsequential deadlines to cease their nuclear enrichment, the Iranians now snooze when lectured. Assad bets that the danger of American retaliation for crossing the WMD red line is far less than the danger of losing his rule -- and his life.
In the end, we are left only with hope for change. Maybe
And then again, maybe not.
- United States Shouldn't Have Gone to Bat for Egypt's Morsi
- Then What in Syria?
- The Monotonous Middle East
- Public Opinion in Arab World Turns Against Iran
- Turkey Finds That Trouble Knows No Bounds
- Iraq: Mission Failure
- Iraq Can't Avoid Syria Contagion
- Sectarian Pressures Tearing Up the Sykes-Picot Map
- Saudi Arabia takes tentative steps to end child marriage
- Who are Turkey's Agents Provocateurs?
- US and Russia must work to stop snowballing Syrian crisis
- Syria: Russia's Big Test
- Syria's Religious War
- Back to the Future for Syria
- Hoping for Change in Syria
- A Grass-Roots View of the Syrian Uprising
- Is America About to Checkmate Russia in Syria?
- US Weighs Syrian Intervention, Despite Consequences
- Date with History... Cairo's First Revolution
- Obama Got Ahead of Himself with 'Red Line' Talk on Syria
- Palestine After Fayyad: The Choice Between Cooperation and Conflict
- Turkey: PKK Fighters Begin Their Withdrawal to North Iraq
- The Path to Follow after Syria Crosses the Red Line
- Redlines and the Problems of Intervention in Syria
- Leadership, Not Locusts, is Egypt's Greatest Plague
- Iran's North Korean Nuclear Future
- Iran: Birth Control Flip Flops
- Saudi Arabia: Cyber-savvy Youth on the Rise
- Syria: Chess Match Turned Free-for-All
- Iran's Regional Quagmire
- The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security
- Iran's Internal Politics
- Iran's Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons in a Regional Context
- Israeli Apology to Turkey Big First Step But Not Sea Change
- Israel's Insightful Cynicism
- Settlements Still Blocking Middle East Peace Agreement
- With Bus Segregation Israeli Apartheid Becomes More Blatant
- Is Egypt Being Primed for a Coup?
- The Somaliazation of Syria
(C) 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc., "Hoping for Change in Syria"