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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What Is Going On With Syria? I Need More Info!

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM

There has been lots of talk this week about the situation in Syria and how the international community should respond. Now that there's almost certain proof of the use of chemical weapons, something Obama called a "red line" in a speech a year ago, some sort of violent intervention seems inevitable.

In today's New York Times, there's a rather unsettling op-ed by professor and author Ian Hurd, titled bluntly, "Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal." Hurd presents an argument for circumventing the UN Security Council and intervening (bombing) in Syria.

To his credit, his language is direct. Hurd says, "I believe the Obama administration should intervene in Syria. But it should not pretend that there is a legal justification in existing law." No Iraq War obfuscation here! Still, Hurd does not really go into detail about what would be accomplished by said bombing. Seeing how his focus is International Law, I'm guessing it's outside of his concern, though on Twitter he makes sure to clarify that intervention (bombing) is "means not end."

But betraying a hint of nuance on Twitter is not the same as penning an op-ed for an international newspaper detailing why a country should bomb another country. For nuance, thoughtfulness, and candor I would recommend instead reading George Packer's debate with himself on The New Yorker's website. Packer poses questions about this horrible and sensitive situation while acknowledging how complicated it all is. His commentary is the kind of thoughtful piece we deserve if we want to better understand the conditions and complications of international intervention.

If you have any more great reads on this situation please share them.

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