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A Real Syria Policy, Anyone?

Oct 17, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 05 • By LEE SMITH
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Why isn’t this about military intervention? Ford says the people he speaks to don’t want American help. But the opposition in exile explains that its colleagues in Syria seek precisely that​—​including a no-fly zone, which has recently earned the support of Sen. Joe Lieberman. Major regional powers are already well into preparations should the conflict turn hotter: The Turkish military is drilling on its border with Syria. The Israelis are sending strong messages of deterrence to Hezbollah. The Iran-ians are building a port in Latakia to service the Alawite regime should it be forced to flee from Damascus and compelled to fight with its back to the Mediterranean. The Saudis and other Gulf Arab states are in contact with Syria’s Sunni tribes, who have already borne the brunt of the violence and will undoubtedly be in the vanguard of a war against a regime that has spilled too much tribal blood to be forgotten. So why, with both American allies and adversaries invested in the outcome in Syria, doesn’t the United States have a plan that would include military action?

The fact is that Syria is already embroiled in a conflict that shows no signs of abating. The United States​—​with allies on all of Syria’s borders and U.S. soldiers and vital American interests in Iraq​—​has a stake in what happens in Syria. It’s time for the White House to get serious about the dictator in Damascus.

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