Beware "humanitarian intervention!" Nevertheless, there are significant differences between Syria today and, say, Bosnia-Kosovo in the 1990s. To name a few:
- There was a united, democratic Europe on the borders of the Balkans ready and eager to contain the war;
- Bosnia and Kosovo were separate ethnic-religious enclaves that could be (almost) cleanly separated from Serbia (former Yugoslavia);
- There was UN Security Council resolution 1244 (among others) for Kosovo and dozens of UNSC resolutions for Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslavia that authorized international military action against Serbia, a sovereign state, that had not declared war on the U.S.-NATO;
- Russia was sympathetic to the Serbs but not openly arming and training them and threatening to up the ante;
- There was no al-Qaeda or foreign terrorist presence in the Balkans that couldn't wait to take U.S. arms and use them against us.
Beyond that, Cohen is an unreformed neocon moron who covers it up with a bleeding-heart liberal veneer. He asks, "Does he [Obama] care that he has let this crisis [in Syria] get out of hand?" That rhetorical accusation reeks of U.S. arrogance! As if the U.S. President carries the responsibility of the world on his shoulders, even when U.S. strategic interests aren't at risk!
Even worse, Cohen is a dirty hypocrite. He goes further;
The operative philosophy is that you do what you can when you can. The United States has the muscle. There are few grander causes than the saving of human life.
Oh really? Is that why Cohen urged on our war of choice in Iraq, (and before that supported the deadly decade-long embargo of Iraq), to savehuman lives?!? In 2011, Cohen admitted he was wrong to cheer on the Iraq invasion; he said he supported it out of emotion. Well Cohen is wrong again, he just doesn't realize it yet. Good thing we don't make war on the advice of hot-headed pundits tapping away on their Macs in their safe, cozy offices.
I'll say it again: Obama's decision to arm the rebels is wrong. It's another Obama half-measure meant to kind of please everybody. But at least he's not sending them rockets and heavy artillery that will wind up in the hands of terrorists!
By Richard Cohen
June 18, 2013 | Washington Post