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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Patrick Regan, "Syria Strike Would Put Peace Further Out of Reach": Comparing Bashar al-Assad With George W. Bush

There can be no mistaking CNN's agenda.

On Monday, CNN published an absurd online opinion piece entitled "A U.S. strike would be self-wounding" (see: by someone named Kapil Komireddi, who claimed that there was an "absence of conclusive evidence linking the Assad regime" to the August 21 sarin attack that killed almost 1,500 Syrian civilians on the outskirts of Damascus. Yes, this is the same claim being being made by Vladimir Putin.

Today, CNN is back with an equally ridiculous opinion piece entitled "Syria strike would put peace further out of reach" ( by Patrick Regan, "a professor of peace studies and political science at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies." The premise of Regan's essay is that a "significant amount of research, including my own, demonstrates that military interventions from outside states lengthen and make bloodier civil wars," and that the Obama should instead seek a negotiated settlement.

Regan begins:

"President Barack Obama faces a terrible choice in the coming days. It is whether to kill a number of Syrians who had nothing to do with a poison-gas massacre to show President Bashar al-Assad, who presumably did have something to do with it, that using chemicals weapons violates an international norm."

Well, unbeknownst to Regan, Obama also has the option of rendering Assad's military airfields unserviceable without killing anyone. Obama could also announce a non-lethal no-fly zone, intended to protect innocent civilians from further slaughter. Alternatively, Obama could strike the facilities responsible for Assad's chemical weapons manufacture, although this wound entail casualties among those who "presumably did have something to do with it," i.e. the August 21 massacre.

Regan continues:

"Few would doubt the importance of international agreements to regulate war, particularly those that safeguard the rights of citizens, such as bans on chemical weapons and torture. If al-Assad is responsible for the use of chemical weapons, he had full knowledge of the norms he was violating."

"If al-Assad is responsible for the use of chemical weapons"? "If"? Can this Notre Dame professor possibly be serious?

Regan next states:

"By way of comparison, President George W. Bush chose a policy that allowed torture in interrogations with full knowledge that it was outlawed by agreements to which the United States was a signatory. He made a strategic choice in the face of a threat to national security. Both are abhorrent actions on the part of national leaders, both taken for fundamentally the same reasons."

Just a moment, professor. Are you actually suggesting that non-lethal waterboarding, "abhorrent" as it may be, undertaken to locate Osama bin Laden and to prevent another 9/11 attack, can be compared with a sarin gas attack that killed almost 1,500 innocent civilians? Did I miss something here?

Excuse me as I reach for my airsickness bag.

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