Syrian fighting expanding, America still on the fence (thankfully)

The New York Times was rocking some coverage of the Middle East today.

First, there was this great article: By Inserting Itself Into Syrian War, Hezbollah Makes Dramatic Gamble.

The article lays out the increasing involvement of Hezbollah, Lebanon’s fierce fighters, into Syria, where they’re actually fighting with Syrian government forces against the rebels, who increasingly look like al Qaeda members.

If you’re not aware of what’s going on there, definitely take the time to read the article and get in the know.

And then there was a great column on the Op-Ed Page called In Syria, Go Big or Stay Home.

A few highlights of this must-read column:

The sort of intervention needed to bring about a decisive rebel victory would require more than no-fly zones and arms. It would mean disabling Mr. Assad’s air power and putting boots on the ground. America would have to take the lead in organizing a regional military force blessed by the Arab League and supported by its own intelligence assets and Special Forces. After that would come the task of reconstituting Syria and mediating its sectarian conflicts. As the war in Iraq painfully demonstrated, refashioning national institutions from the debris of a civil war can be more taxing than the original military intervention.

And I agree with this, as well, from the column:

There is no easy solution or middle ground. Moreover, rather than intimidating Iran, a less-than-decisive American intervention in Syria would do the opposite. It would convince Iran’s leaders that America doesn’t have an appetite for fighting a major war in the region.

Speaking for myself, I can see little reason for getting involved. Any of you out there think we should? I’d love to hear the “pro”-side of intervention.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

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