I’m no Syria expert. (Heck, I’m not an America expert. Or a Maryland genius. Or so knowledgeable about Baltimore. Nor do I know myself.)
But Obama’s doctrine seemed plausible to me because it took into account the falsity of the “something vs nothing” framing wrt Syria. Any choice involves the deaths of innocents. Assad will kill.
Will intervening cause more deaths, or prevent them?That seems a core question. The more aggressive intervention might not necessarily achieve more robust outcomes, but merely more death and distress.
The Iraq lession is not “never intervene.” It’s “know what you’re doing before you intervene” and “intervene based on truth, not lies” — and also “have the end in mind before you start killing people.”