US Military Intervention in Syria?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aaron David Miller, vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former US Mideast negotiator and advisor, discusses the US's options for military intervention in Syria. 

Comments [33]

John from Brooklyn from Brooklyn

Never mind that Al Queda rebels benefit from a weakened Assad and that this will no doubt lengthen the civil war and human suffering in Syria. I'd love for once that NPR and other main stream media outlets would have and honest
debate on the use of force in against Syria. The goal is regime change in Syria at best or a weakened Assad regime at worst. The real issues are Russian ballistic missile sales to Syria and the fact that Assad is winning the civil war. After Egypt, wrapping a strike in humanitarian terms against Syria is completely ludicrous and a big FU to any informed citizen.

Sep. 03 2013 12:37 PM
michael from Brooklyn

Don't refer offhandedly to the British H of Commons vote as "isolationist". Why is refusal to interfere in another country's civil war "isolationist", a loaded term used by people who want interference only to promote their own pet projects.
We do NOT need another stupid war in the Middle East. We get on our pulpit and preach at offenders, something we cannot afford to do after the mess we created in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who else is convinced by this kind of prating?
Why does every American president think it is his duty to bring down on us one more rain of deserved hatred from people who have not attacked us?

John Kerry who referred to our forces in Viet Nam as the work of Genkis Khan is now willing to lead the same forces to do destruction on Syria. Has Genkis hate turned to Genkis love now that he is secretary of State?
I am quite unmoved by his sermon today.


Aug. 30 2013 09:25 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The crackpots Independent_Noach is referring to are the Jews version of the crackpot Westboro Baptist Church.

Both are VILE.

Aug. 28 2013 03:57 AM
Carl from Queens

To the veteran calling about Israeli ''control'' of the U.S., and Mr. Miller's dismissing it as nonsense, I did not vote for Obama or Romney because, as an American citizen, I felt I had no right in interfering in the internal affairs of Israel, and that's why I voted for Jill Stein. [Thank you for your service].

Aug. 27 2013 11:39 AM

1.) In response to the caller who mentioned (Zionist) Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's incendiary statements and positions: They have been renounced by Torah authorities not infected with Zionism. (Search for "Ovadia Yosef" at )

2.) Aaron David Miller was on this show no more than two months ago or so. When was the last time someone like Sharif Abdel- Kodous, reporting from his native Egypt, was on?

***Requisite Disclaimer****
Quoting/citing/calling-upon to be heard != /endorsement/

Aug. 27 2013 10:49 AM

No existential threat to the U.S. as yet.

Still, we seem always to be "hurried" into war;

Without any real considered decision.

Oh, I forgot - the policy was fully discussed on the "Brian Lehrer Show", that should cover it.

Aug. 27 2013 10:41 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

john from office,

The reason Israel is hated is because Israel is not the unarmed Jew of WW2.

Aug. 27 2013 10:40 AM
amy pang

The government official said what happened in Syria is uncivil. If I am an American official, I will be shamed to mention uncivil. America attacked and invaded Iraq and destroyed the country, they seem have not said sorry to that country about their uncivil acts.
Do they forget what they did and want to do the same? If they respected the UN regulation, they should have not made the mistake, now, they seem have not learned their mistake.

Aug. 27 2013 10:39 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To john from office

So Israel shouldn't exist because the Arabs hate America because a Jewish state exists? What if everyone just hated America because it was created by white settlers and their black slaves, and said that the US has no right to exist, and all the Europeans and Africans in America should go back to Europe and Africa? The Jewish state exists, and if the Arabs don't like America as a result of it, too bad for the Arabs. Because Israel is going to exist with or without American support. Israel exists because it is Jewish land.

Aug. 27 2013 10:36 AM

Why does John Kerry's question about "who wants to be the last to die" relevant before a decision is made about the authorization for "the first to die"? (Maybe so people can reserve their prerogative to be "against" a policy that they were initially "for"?)

This is a debate and a decision that must be done through the established mechanisms of our government, specifically, some sort of formal debate and vote on authorization for the use of force.

Aug. 27 2013 10:35 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The picture at the top of this webpage, captioned

"Syrians rally outside the US Embassy in Amman to demand a US military intervention. (KHALIL MAZRAAWI/Getty)",

were they also burning the American flag at that rally, or threatening to do so?

Aug. 27 2013 10:33 AM

@Martin, I think correct spelling is the least of your problems

Aug. 27 2013 10:29 AM

Miller's indignation regarding our lapdog foreign policy was a little to breathy to be believable.

Aug. 27 2013 10:27 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Correction (sp) - "Israeli"

Aug. 27 2013 10:27 AM

"w/o going down the rabbit hole"...ya w/o facing the truth.
The guest said "...we are in the middle of the region..." NO we aren't! This guy is a shill.

Woodrow Wilson was a war monger statist.
btw we have been in Syria for 1 1/2 years arming and training the "rebels"

Aug. 27 2013 10:26 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

To the veteran calling about Iraeli "control" of the U.S. -

screw you, Jew hater. (Thank you for your service).

Aug. 27 2013 10:26 AM
john from office

Brian, in his list of reasons America is hated, forgot to mention Israel!!!

PC time

Aug. 27 2013 10:25 AM
Smokey from LES

Why not just charge him with war crimes and let the International Court take over?

Aug. 27 2013 10:23 AM
bob from Mercer County NJ

can't biden start dialing back on kerry?

Aug. 27 2013 10:23 AM

Here's the link to that foreign policy article the guest is reffering to:

Aug. 27 2013 10:23 AM
J. Jill Rito from Long Island, NY

Carla del Ponte, UN Independent Inquiry Commission member on Syria said that it may have been the rebels who used the chemical weapons, as per victims testimony. The report is from the Assyrian International News Agency. The US making an offense in defense of the Syrian people is laudable, however, we must beware of the implications involved and very certain of our accusations. The last thing we need is another war.

Aug. 27 2013 10:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Guy

The use of chemical weapons is banned by international treaties, but who cares? Syria is not a signatory to the treaty that bans the use of chemical weapons, but still it is considered a war crime.In fact it has been a war crime to INTENTIONALLY target innocent civilians since 1949 with any weapons.Of course, in WWII we targetted German and Japanese civilians ,but only because we said the Germans and Japanese did so first. Whatever. But the use of chemical weapons has been taboo since after WWI.

Aug. 27 2013 10:21 AM
Bob from Huntington

When the only tool in your box is a hammer every problem appears to be a nail.

Here we go again.

Aug. 27 2013 10:20 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Anyone educated person who claims that Saddam Hussein never had WMD's, learn about Halabja Iraq.

Halabja poison gas attack

"The Halabja poison gas attack (Kurdish: کیمیابارانی ھەڵەبجە Kîmyabarana Helebce), also known as Halabja massacre or Bloody Friday,[1] was a genocidal massacre against the Kurdish people that took place on March 16, 1988, during the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War, when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Kurdish town of Halabja in Southern Kurdistan. The attack came within the scope of the Al-Anfal campaign against the Kurdish people in North Iraq, as well as part of the Iraqi attempt to repel the Iranian Operation Zafar 7.

The attack killed between 3,200 and 5,000 people, and injured around 7,000 to 10,000 more, most of them civilians;[1][2] thousands more died of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack.[3] The incident, which has been officially defined as an act of genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq,[4] was and still remains the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history.[5]

The Halabja attack has been recognized as a separate event from the Anfal Genocide that was also conducted against the Kurdish people by the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein.[6] The Iraqi High Criminal Court recognized the Halabja massacre as an act of genocide on March 1, 2010, a decision welcomed by the Kurdistan Regional Government.[7] The attack was also condemned as a crime against humanity by the Parliament of Canada.[8]"

Aug. 27 2013 10:19 AM
pliny from soho

How serious is Russia?
WW3 serious?

Aug. 27 2013 10:15 AM
Tim Lee from Brooklyn

If we are so offended by chemical weapons attacks why not have a debate about banning them ?

Aug. 27 2013 10:15 AM
Guy from NYC

Besides the main debate, it is fascinating that Miller can say in public that the "tribes" of the world are prepared to be much more vicious than the US is.

Aug. 27 2013 10:15 AM
R. Moore from Manhattan

PLEASE ask your guest whether the idea that the chemical attack was made by the rebels in the hope that the West will intervene, help them defeat Assad so that they can set up, possibly an Islamic State. Don't forget we got caught by the 'WMD' sleight of hand in Iraq. Deja vu all over again?

Aug. 27 2013 10:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Let Syria disintegrate and then create a Palestinian state in what is now Syria, and that will relieve pressure on the Jews living in Israel. Let all Arab tribes live on Arab land, and the Jewish tribe live on Jewish land in peace.

Aug. 27 2013 10:13 AM
Stew from Manhattan

By "surgical," the congressman from TN was implying a "surgical" military strike, not sending over Doctors, Mr. Lehrer.

Aug. 27 2013 10:12 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Send in UN peacekeepers and anti-war activists to end the slaughter in Syria.

Aug. 27 2013 10:07 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


Syria will require more than cruise missiles – ELIOT COHEN -Wash Post

“The temptation here is to follow the Clinton administration’s course — a futile salvo of cruise missiles, followed by self-congratulation and an attempt to change the topic. It would not work here.

As weak as the United States now appears in the region and beyond, we would look weaker yet if we chose to act ineffectively. A bout of therapeutic bombing is an even more feckless course of action than a principled refusal to act altogether.

In 1994, after directing the U.S. Air Force’s official study of the Persian Gulf War, I concluded, “Air power is an unusually seductive form of military strength, in part because, like modern courtship, it appears to offer gratification without commitment.” The question before the president is whether he will make matters worse by convincing himself that he has found a minimal solution to a fiendish problem. He will convince no one else.

The administration would need congressional authorization. Despite his professed commitment to transparency and constitutional niceties, Obama has proved himself reluctant to secure congressional authorization for the use of force, most notably with Libya in 2011. It needs to be done here because this would be a large use of force; indeed, an act of war.”

Aug. 27 2013 10:06 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Considering what is happening in Syria - attacked by the government, then the rebels, now by the U.S., communities leaving in large numbers, many, many killed - with no solution of the problem in sight - the appropriate thing to do is just to cry and do penance. What a horror.

Aug. 27 2013 09:38 AM

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