U.S. Senators foaming at the mouth over Syria
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels April 29, 2013 - 7:04pm
should take the time to read two articles in today's Ha'aretz (April 29). It might sober them up.The first by Chemi Shalev invites readers to consider the "Law of Unintended Consequences": "It doesnt take long to prove that in the Middle East, the Law of Unintended Consequences reins supreme, and usually for the worse. It was Israel, you will recall, who built up Hamas in the 1980s so that it would serve as a counterweight to the PLO; Israel who viewed the Shiites as an ally in the Lebanon War; America which imposed its freedom agenda on Israel in Gaza; America that built up Iran by invading Iraq; and Israel, when it comes to it, that subjugated itself to 47 years of debilitating occupation in its miraculous victory in the Six Day War."So before calling in the U.S. cavalry, perhaps one should take stock of the things one knows that one doesnt know, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, ever mindful that there are countless other things - usually bad things - that one doesnt know." The author enumerates 10 things we don't know.In the second, Amos Harel on why the United States should hesitate. He lays out the difficulties of securing Syria's chemical weapons: Most significant: at least 75,000 troops would be required to secure at least 18 sites with no guarantees that they would succeed.
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.