Europe and U.S. pay cost of inaction against Syria’s Assad

Yaroslav Trofimov reports: The Syrian refugee crisis overwhelming Europe has shattered the illusion, often used to justify inaction, that in the modern world there is such a thing as a distant war in a faraway land.

Over the past four years, 250,000 Syrians have died, most of them killed by the Assad regime against which the West has refused to intervene. More than half of the population has been forced to flee their homes, with four million refugees pouring first into neighboring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan — and now many of them to Europe.

As Europe’s frontiers have collapsed, millions more are likely to follow suit, overland or by sea. This has already turned Syria from a thorny foreign-policy issue into a full-blown domestic emergency that threatens the cohesion and social peace of the European Union and lays bare the costs of the West’s policy of nonintervention against the regime.

“The Syria conflict is a lot closer to Europe than the U.S. — and the interest in solving it should have been regarded as a vital one at least here in Europe,” said Guido Steinberg, an expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs and the German federal government’s former adviser on international terrorism.

“But the Europeans really have no clue how to deal with a major regional crisis in the Middle East. We needed the U.S. — but the U.S. wasn’t there.” [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Europe and U.S. pay cost of inaction against Syria’s Assad

  1. Chet Roman

    I couldn’t read the entire article because I canceled my subscription of the WSJ because I would not support the neocons in the editorial page, hwr, the portion that is available is propagandistic nonsense. If it wasn’t for foreign interference in Syrian affairs none of this would have happened. The Saudi dictators armed and funded the most radical and brutal foreign jihadis that invaded Syria with Turkey’s assistance. Even Israel, an odd ally of the Saudis, is supporting the al Nusra an affliate of al Qaeda in its efforts to overthrow Assad.

    Without a nod from the U.S. the Saudis and Turks would not have sent fanatical foreign mercenaries into Syria. It’s a continuation of U.S. policies of destabilizing secular governments and allowing fanatical elements to take over: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria. The only sane voices are coming from Russia, another target of U.S. imperialism.

  2. Paul Woodward

    “I think this is one thing we share now with the United States, with the U.S. government: They don’t want the Assad government to fall. They don’t want it to fall.”

    Those are the words of Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin — which don’t seem to jive with the flavor of propaganda you apparently like, Chet.

    I’d stick to for your daily dose of “anti-imperialist” news if I were you, and stop wasting your time and mine by leaving comments at a site (this one) where you clearly learn nothing.

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