Magazine June 25, 2012, Issue

What to Do about Syria?

A poster of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, January 2012 (Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty)
Thoughts toward a strategy

As hostilities in Syria roll on unabated, the civilian casualties rise because of combat operations in urban areas and execution-style killings. In response, calls for U.S. military intervention of one sort or another to aid the opposition increase, while the Obama administration dithers over whether to continue relying on the United Nations Security Council and former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan.

But what are the American interests at stake, and what is the best way to protect them? Although it is easy to concentrate on the stomach-churning television images, we should operate on the basis of strategy, not emotion. That does

John R. Bolton is a former national-security adviser, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and the author of The Room Where It Happened.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

A Real Race

We’ve gotta wake up,” James Carville wrote in a May 31 fundraising e-mail. “Everywhere I go, people are telling me that ‘Obama has it in the bag.’ Newsflash: nothing is ...
Politics & Policy

Conventional Unwisdom

Raleigh, N.C. – ‘Well you crazy people, is this the Democratic party or what?” That was David Parker, the embattled chairman of the North Carolina Democratic party, announcing on May ...
Politics & Policy

Black Studies 101

Back in May, conservative writer Naomi Schaefer Riley managed to get herself fired from The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle had run a cover story about black-studies Ph.D. students ...
Politics & Policy

The Sticky Slope

The best way to give somebody bad news is, first, give him a doughnut. This is basically the idea behind what we in Hollywood call “craft services.” Craft services — also ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Falling Bricks

Madrid — Just off the Plaza Mayor in the Spanish capital, there stands an abandoned Santander bank branch, shuttered, vandalized, and covered in graffiti. “Murderers!” is spray-painted on the edifice ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Don’t Forget Payroll Taxes I was happily reading Arthur C. Brooks’s article in the May 28 edition, agreeing all the way, until I hit the point at which he picks up ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Why is Wisconsin like Eric Holder testifying before Congress? They both said, “I don’t recall.” ‐ The May job numbers were even worse than April’s, and came with a downward ...
Athwart

Agent Obama

Every so often you find yourself reading a gripping account of a super-secret government program designed to foil the plots of our foes, and you think: Why am I reading ...
The Long View

Wilson & Sterling

  Wilson & Sterling A professional corporation IN RE: CLINTON/CLINTON CONTINUATION OF MARRIAGE AGREEMENT 2000, AND ADDENDA, UPDATED JUNE 2012 Dear Steve: Many thanks for the phone call yesterday. I have received your e-mail and ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

CONVERSATION You are a lovely sky of autumn, clear and rose! But inside me, grief is rising, like the sea, Leaving as it ebbs upon my lip morose, Bitter culinary silts of memory. – Vainly ...
Happy Warrior

Gradus ad Narcissum

‘How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice.” It’s an old line, and perhaps an obsolescent one. I can’t recall the last time I heard anyone use it. Americans don’t ...

Recommended

The Latest