Why Are We Intervening in Syria?

Friday, June 14, 2013

A man walks past a burnt-out building in the Northern city of Latakia, some 350 km northwest Damascus on March 27, 2011. A man walks past a burnt-out building in the Northern city of Latakia, some 350 km northwest Damascus on March 27, 2011. (AFP/Getty Images)

The Obama administration reports that the chemical weapons "red line" in Syria has been crossed. Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent for CNN and global affairs anchor for ABC, discusses what comes next. Plus: elections in Iran and continued unrest in Turkey.

Comments [26]

DTorres from Manhattan

Why are we getting involved in yet another Arab/Muslim/Islam dominated
country, when we are still reeling from the effects of our last intervention
in Iraq?
We are still in Afghanistan, where they hate our guts and can't wait for
us to leave?
We were told a pack of lies by the same players that are pushing us into
war with Syria? The neocons, NYTIMES are behind getting us involved in
For whose benefit?

Iraq never posed a threat to the USA.
Iran does not pose and has never posed a threat to the USA.
Syria is not a threat to the USA.
None of those countries can ever be a viable threat to the USA.

So why are we again, going in to change kick out the current regime,
Assad and impose one more to our liking?

This puts Obama on a collision course with Putin, because Putin
backs Assad and not just with words, but with deeds.

The Russians have a dog in this fight, they have a military base in Syria.

Russia has the bomb, USA has the bomb, so why risk conflict that could
have dire consequences for everybody over, yet another Arab country with
a problem.

Don't listen to the NYTIMES, do not listen to Kristol or any other neocon,
just remember the last time, they took the USA down the garden path,
and all those body bags with American Soldiers in it, coming home,
the ones that are still alive, so broken, they have to be put back together

Any American Politician, like McCain, Graham that is pushing Obama,
into a conflict with another unstable Arab country, with a "bad" leader,
check out who is backing them, who is feeding them, who they are
getting their money from.

Politicians dance for the money, for who finances their campaigns.

What national interest does America have in Syria?

Jun. 14 2013 08:37 PM

I don't see this as a civil war. it's a holocaust of a people by a brutal military Stalinist regime. If alquada is helping the people topple this brutal military state then it is our narrative about alquada that needs changing. That we are parroting Assad's narrative about how they're all terrorists-is truly bizarre and shows how powerful this evil dictator is. Unlike Iraq ,where they did not ask to be liberated, in Syria the people themselves have risen up against a regime we labeled part of an axis of evil. Now we keep coming up with reasons to allow a genocide to take place there. Appalling. Only mc Cain has a conscience -it seems. We have a moral obligation to intervene-we who set up bases there and took it upon ourselves to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Lets do some real good for once. And the Libyans were grateful for our help. Of course there are always post revolutionary reactionaries but on whole Libyans were grateful.

Jun. 14 2013 03:09 PM

Wrong audio! At least in my stream. Can you fix it please? I'd like to hear the Syria segment. Thanks!

Jun. 14 2013 01:57 PM

Wag the Dog!

Jun. 14 2013 12:59 PM

"There's no business like WAR business, like no business I know..."

Foreign policy: Where there's NO *real* difference between the two wings of the one Party of the corporate-military ruling class.

Jun. 14 2013 12:04 PM

"Christiane Amanpour, chief international correspondent for CNN and global affairs anchor for ABC, discusses what comes next."

Another representative of the gate-keeping, establishment corporate media. On "public", "independent", "non-commercial" ("...brought to you by TekServe, the Apple Specialist...") WNYC...

Meanwhile, Noam Chomsky, just one of any number of people with something actually worth listening-to on this topic, was last on the show in 2009...

Jun. 14 2013 11:53 AM

Report: Police foil al-Nusra bomb attack planned for Adana
Read Comment


Seven members of Syria's militant al-Nusra group were detained on Wednesday after police found sarin gas, which was reportedly going to be used in a bomb attack, during a search of the suspects' homes, Turkish media have reported.

Newspapers claimed on Thursday that two kilograms of sarin gas, which is usually used for making bombs and was banned by the UN in 1991, had been found in the homes of suspects detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersin. Twelve suspects were caught by the police on Monday. The reports claimed that the al-Nusra members had been planning a bomb attack for Thursday in Adana but that the attack was averted when the police caught the suspects. Along with the sarin gas, the police seized a number of handguns, grenades, bullets and documents during their search. Five of the suspects were released later on Thursday.

In another incident in Adana, the police received intelligence that a bomb-laden vehicle had entered Adana, the bombs being of the same type used in a recent attack in Hatay's Reyhanlı town, the Taraf daily reported on Thursday.

In the foreign press, that not subject to US and it's allies determined to bring down Syria, there have been reports of mostly the rebels using poisonous gases of some sort...and then claiming they'd been used by the Syrian government forces.

That makes this article very interesting.

Also, most of the reports are form "rebels," including the Al Qaeda supporting Al Nusra, claiming photos and videos show effects of chem weapons. However, most of the symptoms do not look like Sarin, but either tear gas or chlorine. The "rebels" had access to chlorine from a plant taken over in Aleppo.

I do not believe the "intelligence" about sarin; I think Obama is just using the same tactics as Bush/Cheney did to get us into yet another war.

Way to go, Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Jun. 14 2013 11:52 AM

Sorry, Amanpour. The US should not be a superpower and we can start by not being involved in all the lose-lose fighting there. If you want to fight Iran, go lob your nukes at Iran and not through a proxy. After the whole Taliban affair, we still haven't learned that our enemy's enemy is not necessarily our friend.

Jun. 14 2013 11:47 AM
steven from nyc

Not many of us in the USA want to be involved in the crisis in Syria. If USA wants to influence the area how bout doing the exact opposite of arming rebels. Why not stop the inflow of all weapons in order to de-arm the area. Maybe a no-fly zone would work with that. But more and bigger arms to an area where once again few Americans can even point to the country in conflict on the map - seems like yesterday's solutions. We have to find a better way to influence the world and incline it toward peace.

Jun. 14 2013 11:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The Iranian PEOPLE are mostly our friends. The Islamofascist REGIME is our enemy. Big difference.

Jun. 14 2013 11:44 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Does she know if the U.S.'s use of Syria as a black site and Syrians as proxy torturers has had any impact on decision making?

Jun. 14 2013 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Nothing wrong with trying to undermine allies of Iran, a self-declared enemy of the US, the EU, and Israel (i.e., the West). They say so every day if you read or see the Iranian press (see PRESS TV).

Jun. 14 2013 11:42 AM
john from office

When we do "help" these nations our troops are killed by all sides. Look a lybia. Why not ask why these sects like to kill each other?

I know sunnis here who call shites dogs.

Jun. 14 2013 11:42 AM
Soldier's Father from Westchester

Despite her protestations, Ms. Amanpour sounds much more like a frustrated policy adviser than like a dispassionate journalist. (e.g., Why is she opining on "immense strategic implications"?) Like it or not, imposing a no-fly zone on a sovereign nation is an act of war, and involves putting American service member lives at risk. The basic question remains: why is this our fight?

Jun. 14 2013 11:40 AM

I've been reading in various international press that the US has been sending not only weapons but fighters into Syria for about two years now (actually, toward the end of the Libya invasion, there were reports of planes landing at the US base in Incerlik (sp?) carrying jahadist fighters and weapons, easily moving into Syria).

The objective for the US seems to be to destroy any ally of Iran.

Jun. 14 2013 11:40 AM
Manhattanite from Manhattan

Is the US government using intelligence gathered by Israel? If so, are we in for another war like the one in Iraq based on intelligence provided by Israel? I can't help but wonder if we're being used by Israel as a puppet fighting wars for their benefit.

Jun. 14 2013 11:39 AM

Selective, self-serving, self-righteous, hypocrisy all around...

Jun. 14 2013 11:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Why is the use of biological or chemical weapons, as opposed to using bows and arrows or regular arms a "red line?" Because since WWI, the use of chemical and biological weapons, especially against civilians, has been banned under international law, as far back as the 1920s. Why? Who knows? But the only use in WWII was covertly by the Nazis in their death camps. Not even in defense of Berlin or Japan. So the use of those particular weapons has been used as a "red line" due having been banned by international law.

Jun. 14 2013 11:34 AM
David Tussey from Lexington, KY

Why is the Syria situation so different from Libya? We seemed to have success in Libya. Can we duplicate that kind of effort in Syria?

Jun. 14 2013 11:31 AM
Sally from NYC

Christiane, to what extent are the "rebels" Jihadists involved a sectarian conflict?

Jun. 14 2013 11:30 AM


Since I first began posting here, I've been lamenting the lack of the ability to edit/delete one's own posts.

I suggest you submit this request directly via
as that would have a greater chance of actually getting to the right party or parties.

I have done so at least once, along with a number of other criticisms and suggestions of mine regarding the functionality of these comment pages.

Jun. 14 2013 11:28 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I agree with Obama on this. Keep the Shia jihadists and the Sunni jihadists busy with each other instead of with us or with Israel. A weak and divided Syrian state is good for us and our good friend Israel.

Jun. 14 2013 11:28 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

*It sure seems likely...

Note to WNYC site-makers: Any way to get an edit button installed? I only have time to type with one hand.

Jun. 14 2013 11:16 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Are we intervening in Syria? I sure seems likely, Brian. When CyberWar failed to distract the Americans from the NSA spying, he thinks the war in Syria will do the trick! LOL!!

Jun. 14 2013 11:14 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

1) A welcome distraction from the NSA/Snooping "scandal" for the Obama admin.

2) The Assad regime finally has the rebels on the run.

Jun. 14 2013 11:13 AM

Coincidentally , given the current revelations that the us govt. is arguably sticking its nose where it shouldn't, here is an area of the US gov. not sticking its nose where it should. I'm guessing that much of the world was as surprised as myself to hear rebel leaders complaining that the us gov is providing zero military support or leadership ito victims of human rights abuse and even crimes agianst humanity. At a time when us leaders are even listening to china suggest that we "reset" relations, syria seems like a golden opportunity to remind the world and ourselves if what us values are, or can be, by demonstrating quiet but strong leadership to counter transparently brazen horrors, committed over time in Syria by many bad actors.

Jun. 14 2013 09:55 AM

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