John Hanrahan: Regardless of the sincerity of petition-signers who believe no-fly zones can save civilians’ lives, the recent history in Iraq and Libya demonstrate that no-fly zones are actually precursors to — or accompanists of — stepped-up military action by the United States and other western powers to bring about regime change.
Gareth Porter: President Obama, with his characteristic diffidence, has announced his “liberation” from the Washington foreign-policy “playbook,” but the national security elite is already striking back. Obama Foreign Policy Break
Gareth Porter: Kerry sought to ‘send a message’ to Assad via cruise missile strikes against Syrian government positions but Obama refused proposal. Forcing Assad to Step Down
Gareth Porter: The ‘Plan B’ episode shows another moment of failed US policymaking on the Syrian crisis, revealing a familiar pattern of deep division.
Gareth Porter: President Obama, who once called the idea of “moderate” Syrian rebels a “fantasy,” has maintained the fiction to conceal the fact that many “moderates” are fighting alongside Al Qaeda’s jihadists, an inconvenient truth that is complicating an end to Syria’s civil war. Obama Syria
Janet Phelan: The US engagement in the Middle East has an unexplored impetus and if allowed to continue unchecked will have unexpected and world-changing consequences.
Mel Gurtov: There is no end in sight to the US at war, both because the Pentagon has found the perfect enemy and because no one in Congress is willing to stand up to it.
Gareth Porter: The notion that a political settlement will take place lacks credibility – the realities on the ground in Syria won’t allow it.
Norman Solomon: I gave a lofty major speech a couple of years ago about how a democratic society can’t have perpetual war. I like to talk about such sugary ideals; a spoonful helps the doublethink medicine go down.
Gareth Porter: Obama’s Europeans allies as well as US national security officials have urged the United State to downgrade the official US aim of achieving the departure of Bashar al-Assad from Syria.
Michael Hertz: Is Obama setting us up for another Gulf of Tonkin situation? Our soldiers go into Syria, they get attacked by ISIL, and suddenly we are told that we must defend our country’s honor and defeat ISIL.
John Peeler: Putin will inevitably find, as the West found, that it’s easier to get into the Middle East than to get out.
Mel Gurtov: There was a time not long ago when the Syrian situation was all about getting rid of Assad by supporting the armed resistance. That possibility is dead.