A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fred Hof on Syria

Frederic Hof of the Atlantic Council has a piece at Politico entitled "How I Got Syria So Wrong." Many may disagree, but Ambassador  Hof knows Syria well and knows US policy-making on Syria from the inside, so let me refer you to his article. (Full disclosure: I've known Fred since college.)


A. Timoshenko said...

I like to think of Assad as our Pinochet or Suharto -cleansing his country of dangerous elements. But then I'm not an American and so don't know better.

David Mack said...

Ouch! Truth hurts. Are Russia and the U.S. cursed to repeat the mutually destructive competition of the cold war?

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Those who do not remember the past . . . well, you know.

T. Unsel said...

A better comparison is Abraham Lincoln who in the process of that country's civil war unleashed General Sherman's March to the Sea and Sheridan's Shenadoah Campaign.

Anonymous said...

I'm disgusted that the comments postings ignore Assad's horrible use of barrel bombs on the civilian population.

Why would we not hold Assad to the same morals standards of the USA in the firebombing of Dresden or Japan? Or the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

There are rules of conduct in war. If Assad does not follow them, then he must be removed!

Anonymous said...

Robert McNamara quotes US war hero General Curtis Le May on war ethics.

McNamara: I think the issue is not so much incendiary bombs. I think the issue is: in order to win a war should you kill 100,000 people in one night, by firebombing or any other way? LeMay's answer would be clearly "Yes."

"McNamara, do you mean to say that instead of killing 100,000, burning to death 100,000 Japanese civilians in that one night, we should have burned to death a lesser number or none? And then had our soldiers cross the beaches in Tokyo and been slaughtered in the tens of thousands? Is that what you're proposing? Is that moral? Is that wise?"

A. Observer said...

For my friend anonymous this McNamara quote explains precisely why Suharto or other USA allies are good men and Assad is not.

LeMay said, "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?