Sunday, September 30, 2012

Muslim Rage over ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Film: Should Deference or Factuality Act as Cover for Defense?

Muslim Rage over ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Film: Should Deference or Factuality Act as Cover for Defense?

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If factuality would be the cover for defence, a defamation case against the "Innocence of Muslims" film-maker in a court of law would not stand a chance...

September of 2012 will go down in history as a month of rioting, murder, and intimidation over a poorly-produced 14-minute trailer about Islam’s prophet Muhammad.  Over fifty people – among them Libya-based American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues, the rest Muslim – were killed, Muslim-owned businesses were torched, and numerous pundits and scholars were forced to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Muslim nations in the U.N. and the O.I.C., as well as many Muslim organizations, have called for international laws to criminalize any defamation of Muhammad, the Quran, or Islam. Fatwas and rewards have been posted calling for the assassination of those involved in the notorious YouTube clip. Even the bounty for the head of Salman Rushdie, who had no connection with the film, was revived and increased.
There is scarce acknowledgement, however, that most of the crudely-dramatized vignettes in the video were taken directly from highly-respected hadith and biography accounts of Muhammad (see Analysis of ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film below). The outrage was not over the inaccuracy of the portrayals, but rather about the exposure of the shameful side of a man, whose reputation has been protected through extreme deference by faithful Muslims. For their part, the producers of the clip would probably argue that uncritical reverence for Muhammad has allowed militants to parley his violent pronouncements into an international call-to-arms that threatens all non-Muslim civilizations. So the question becomes, “Should respect for X prevent the public from knowing about the imminent danger of blindly respecting X?
Consumers Union and its publication, Consumer Reports, have provided American with a world-renown product testing and evaluation for over sixty years. Engineers and scientists purchase products and put them through rigorous tests to determine, if they are safe, if they have hidden defects or hazards, and if they own up to the manufacturers’ claims. In 1988, while testing the compact SUV Suzuki Samurai, engineers found they could easily cause the vehicle to tip over while navigating their standard short, “avoidance maneuver” course. As a result, the prestigious magazine deemed the Suzuki Samurai “Not acceptable” – the only car in history to earn such a rating. Suzuki auto sales in the U.S. plummeted. Suzuki sued the Consumer Union for $60 million in damages and unspecified punitive damages for what Suzuki claimed was willfully fraudulent testing. While the suit was developing and progressing through the courts, Suzuki rollover incidents resulted in 213 deaths and 8,200 injuries. Suzuki’s own internal documents confirmed that they were aware of the serious safety problem in the vehicle’s design. In 2004, the lawsuit was dismissed with no penalties paid by the Consumer Union. Meanwhile, Suzuki partnered with General Motors to develop a new SUV model that met or exceeded all the national auto safety standards. The moral of this story is that speaking up truthfully about something that is dangerous saves lives and is to be commended, not condemned.
Islam might be called the Suzuki Samarai of religious ideologies. Analysis of the film trailer below will show how everything portrayed in the movie was accurate. Therefore, any case against the film-maker, claiming defamation of Islam and Prophet Muhammad in the court of law, would not stand a chance like the faulty Suzuki Samarai car case.
Analysis of the 'Innocence of Muslims' film

Was the “Innocence of the Muslims” video trailer inaccurate?
Most of us have seen “Innocence of the Muslims”, the film trailer that sparked rioting resulting in over 50 deaths and damage of properties worth millions of dollars. Here is the link, just in case:
Listed below are the scenes (by time-stamp and theme) along with the references to Islamic sacred texts that provide support for the assertions:
3:02 - Muhammad’s father is unknown. (His father died before he was born, and his mother never raised him.) Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, para. 105
3:45 - Young Muhammad taking orders from and married to older Khadija – Ishaq, para. 120
4:43 - Muhammad buries his face in Khadija’s garments to determine if visions are divine or satanic – Ishaq, para. 154
5:24 - Khadija’s cousin Waraqa is a Christian scholar who helped Muhammad – Ishaq, para. 121
5:43 - Muhammad’s revelations stopped when Waraqa died, prompting him to consider suicide – Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, No. 478
6:27 - Muslims used booty for their income – Quran Surah 48:20
6:35 – “Muhammad is our messenger and the Quran is our constitution.” – taken from the Muslim Brotherhood oath
7:19 - Muhammad given special privileges regarding women and marriage – Quran Surah 33:37-38
8:37 - Muhammad is linked to Allah in authority and worship – Quran Surahs 3:32, 4:80, 8:20, 9:71, 24:47, 24:54, 47:33, 61:11, 64:8, 64:12, and many others
9:11 - Abu Bakr gives his 9-year-old Aisha in marriage to 53-year-old Muhammad – Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 5, No. 234
9:27 - Muhammad and Omar are “gay”. (With nineteen wives and concubines, Muhammad had very few children and no male heirs.) References to bizarre sexual behavior can be found in Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 4, No. 143, Sahih al-Bukhari, No. 2393, and Sahih Muslim, Nos. 3663 and 3674. The story about Omar apparently comes from this Shiite cleric’s speech:
11:15 – An elderly woman, Umm Qirfa, is torn in two by two camels – Ishaq, para. 980
11:32 – “Whoever refuses to follow Islam has only two choices – pay extortion or die.” – Quran Surah 9:29
12:38 - Torture of Kinana bin al-Rabi (a Jew) in front of his wife, Safiya, who Muhammad later raped – Ishaq, paras. 764 – 767
13:10 - Fight between Muhammad and two of his wives – Hafsa and Aisha – when he is caught in bed with Hafsa’s Coptic slave Maryah after he had promised not to sleep with her.  This is the subject of Quran Surah 66.
13:43 - “Every non-Muslim is an infidel; their land, women and children are our spoils.” – Ishaq, para. 484
Several scholars, who have studied the origins of the Quran, have concluded that the traditional Islamic claim of the Quran being the “verbal word of God”, transmitted to Muhammad by Angel Gabriel, is not true. For example, the quotations enshrined on the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem do not match the canonical texts of the Quran. The Quran seems to be a collection of religious and political statements from various sources that was assembled in its final form as an Arab national religious text during the rivalry between Caliph Abd al-Malik and Abdullah ibn As-Zubair around 685 – some 53 years after Muhammad died (See “Did Muhammad Exist?” by Robert Spencer, pg.58). Prior to that time there is no clear reference to Muhammad as a prophet of Islam in either Islamic or secular accounts.
Rebecca Bynum has, quite eloquently, stated the dilemma regarding Islam:
Real peacemaking is the result of the stout and unyielding defense of the values our civilization was founded upon. We can start by defending the truth concerning the differences between Islam and Western civilization. We can attempt to bring the enemy to his senses (non-violently) by pointing out the errors in his understanding of reality, because the truth is, Islam is deeply and profoundly wrong. Pretending it is right only worsens our situation by delaying actions that must be taken if our civilization, however imperfect and unseemly it may be, is to be preserved.  (“Allah Is Dead – Why Islam is Not a Religion,” pg. 61)
Rational people do not “respect” something because they are legally required to show deference. True respect is earned by the qualities that a person or ideology exhibit. Other religious and political ideologies have had to make radical changes in order to earn public respect. The Mormon (LDS) religion had to abandon polygamy and discrimination against African-Americans to find acceptance in the United States. Nazism was outlawed because there was no way to reconcile its racist and violent ideology with Western civilization. Despite the one billion plus followers of Islam, their insistence on respect for their ideology must be preceded by conclusive evidence that their sacred texts, values, and actions are worthy praise and commendation.

Imagine if Mohammed Had Never Existed

No seriously, an Islamist group is planning to make its own version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”. And we’re talking about a really wonderful life here.
Egypt’s second-largest political movement, the Salafist al-Nur party, said it will produce a movie about the life of Mohammed, titled “what would the world look like without Mohammed.”
Imagine if “It’s a Wonderful Life” had starred Hitler and when he tried to commit suicide, he was shown a version of a much better world where he never existed. And then decided to commit suicide secure in the knowledge that the world really would be better off with him dead. Now imagine that with Mohammed Bailey.

Mohammed is never born. We arrive in a 21st Century Middle East where all disease has been cured, flying cars travel over a blooming desert and children of all religions happily play together in the giant sandbox. Spaceships take off daily from Damascus and Tel Aviv spaceports and the energy crisis has been solved with technology developed in the 11th Century Middle Eastern Renaissance.
The Library of Alexandria attracts visitors from around the world to a center of learning that rivals anything in Constantinople or Paris. Egypt, exporter of wheat to the world, has rows of shining wheat fields beneath the pyramids, and every hour the bullet trains leave for the international trading bazaars of Mecca where the stock indexes rival Wall Street. Artificial rivers flow through the Arabian desert creating entire oases where the old traditions of democracy and freedom were reborn.
But unfortunately that’s not our world. In our world, Mohammed did exist.

For Muslims, a world without Mohammed would mean eternal Jahiliyyah without a cult of rapists and murderers plundering the globe, but come on Al-Nur, can you really imagine a world where the Middle East is a worse place than it is now?

Is it a world where parents routinely murder their children? Where everyone hates everyone else?

Where every Muslim country in the region is ruled by dictators and tyrants? Where women are inferior and everyone who isn’t a Muslim is running for their lives? Where ignorance is common, illiteracy is everywhere and the people are eager to return to barbaric times? Where Muslims are constantly killing each other and everyone else?

How could the Muslim Middle East be any worse than it is now?

I think this could be a whole campaign. “Imagine the world without Mohammed.”


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

James M. Arlandson: Should the West Tolerate Islam?


and NO   our ADVANCED Western Civilization should NOT tolerate this fukked up religion/cult!!!!

islam goes against EVERYTHING I hold DEAR in my life!!!!!

James M. Arlandson: Should the West Tolerate Islam?

Should the West Tolerate Islam?
by James M. Arlandosn, Ph.D.

Thomas Jefferson said, “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my legs.”

This means that beliefs and practices that do not harm us monetarily or physically can be tolerated.
But at what cost? How far do we take tolerance?

The answer to those complicated questions is found in another Jefferson document.

The Declaration of Independence proclaims, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

But this answer is not as simple as it first appears, for how do we apply those three self-evident truths to an aggressive religion like Islam?

Three Universal Rights

The three universal rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have penetrated our psyche whether we acknowledge them or not. By them, we can discern which rules in shariah are harmful or harmless. So let’s unpack the three rights.

Happiness appears at first glance to be so subjective and so open to a wide interpretation that it is impossible to nail down. However, it is not as subjective as it first appears. At bottom, it depends on life and liberty. 

Happiness means functioning in excellence and fullness, living to the highest potential and freedom. If one’s life and liberty is restricted and oppressed, then one cannot be happy, even if he thinks he is.
Pursuing happiness means that an individual creates his own utopia, as he lives in society and follows basic laws, like honoring contracts and respecting other people’s property and person. The government does not create utopia for him. Government is formed to ensure the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Government clears the path and creates a safe environment for people to be free and have a high quality of life and pursue their own happiness, as they define it. 

Life and liberty, though they have a subjective feel to them, are not entirely subjective. Extreme behavior or policies do not lead to life and liberty, whether an individual or an entire society believes this or not, and whether a religious system teaches the opposite – they do lead to life and liberty and happiness. Despite their belief or religious system, when an act or policy does not actually promote life and liberty, then a person cannot be happy by definition, because happiness is built on life and liberty. 

A person living under oppression, religious or atheistic, cannot be free and have a high quality of life; therefore, he cannot be happy, even if he thinks he is. He is not the best judge of what happiness is because he does not have a broad perspective.


Specific examples can be tricky. Sometimes we all sense people choose self-imposed oppression and restriction (e.g. the headscarf), but this does not harm society at large, so their choice can be tolerated. Other examples, however, are obviously bad, because they oppress all or many in society (e.g. the second-class jizyah or submission tax), so those shariah laws should not be tolerated.

One man gets revelations that tell his followers how to dress, how to believe, and how to pray. A prophet can teach these things, if he wants. He’s within his political right of religious freedom. If people choose freely to follow them and are allowed freely to walk away from them, then the religious laws do not pick the pockets or breaks the legs of the larger society. These religious rules can be done in private or at the mosque (or church or synagogue). 

Yet, a strong case can be made that an extremely large number of religious laws also restricts life and liberty excessively, and therefore they do not lead to the pursuit of happiness. Nonetheless, these religious laws that do not harm the larger society monetarily or physically can be tolerated.
However, if the same revelator gets an allegedly divine message that orders him to impose, by government decree or armed struggle, these beliefs on everyone or to restrict and punish nonconformist beliefs, then religious freedom is not promoted, and this harms society. His religion picks our pockets and breaks our legs.

And certainly a religious theocracy does not create utopia for all of society, to make people conform to a theocrat’s vision of the ideal world. A theocracy works overtime to remove all imperfections. That is why sexual sins are turned into crimes. If corporal punishments need to be applied, even up to execution, then so be it. Those imperfections must be removed. But a theocracy breaks our legs and picks our pockets.

A small-scale example is a woman who believes that wearing a veil that covers her face, except the eye slit (either a burqa or niqab), makes her happy. That’s part of her utopia. Who are we to interfere in her pursuit of happiness? Never mind that vitamin deficiencies can happen from underexposure to the sun, as the article on the veil in this series documents. Though she may not (yet) have come to the realization that a burqa or niqab is an extreme restriction on her liberty and highest quality of life, it still is such a restriction, objectively speaking. Deception does exist, which can be defined as believing or thinking you are right, while in reality you are wrong. And beliefs can be wrong.

Nonetheless, if she still freely chooses to wear a burqa or niqab and can freely choose not to wear it, then her belief should be tolerated. [1] If someone wants to persuade her with words alone, not by force or government fiat, then he can try. But her personal liberty must be respected, after the discussion ends.

However, if a government passes laws that force all women to wear certain religious clothes, then these laws are unjust, because they violate liberty, and violated liberty does not lead to the highest quality of life. And a degraded life does not add up to happiness – or the pursuit of it. In such a repressive environment, individuals cannot create their personal utopia as they define it.

Another example of how shariah restricts life and liberty: shariah today still imposes a submission tax on Jews or Christians or other religious minorities who refuse to join Islam. Defenders of this policy say that it is designed to offer them protection for the privilege of living under Islam. 

However, a second-class submission tax based on religion violates the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence. It does indeed harm us monetarily and legally. Everyone should be equal before the law; no one is to be discriminated against because he or she may be a religious minority living in an Islamic country.

And now we can judge that this Islamic rule about a religious submission tax is a bad one, for it is incompatible with the progress of humanity. The tax degrades the life and liberty of Jews and Christians and other religious minorities because they become second-class citizens and are deprived of some of their lawful earnings by a specialized religion tax, just for them.  When their life and liberty are restricted, they cannot pursue happiness, as they define it. 

The foundation of advanced societies is equality before the law. But Islam teaches a religious hierarchy before its shariah tax law.

One major reason Americans fought the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) was to free ourselves from taxes imposed on us without our consent. Why would we consent to a second-class religious submission tax, even if the government claims it came from Allah himself? 

In all these examples, the general principle is Jefferson’s: if an act or policy does not harm us monetarily or physically, then it should be allowed. But if it does harm us in those two ways (or is on the verge of doing so), then it should not be allowed.


The shariah laws listed in Thirty Bad Shariah Laws – however culturally insensitive it may seem to hear – need to be rejected, because they are aggressive and oppressive, not peaceful or benign. These practices are themselves intolerant or fail to respect all humans with full dignity. 

They are extreme and thus deny life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, these harmful shariah laws are wrong. They (should) have expiration dates on them – back in the seventh century.
However, we need to be sensitive about benign customs like prayer, diet (e.g. not eating pork), reading or carrying a holy book in public, washing properly, or wearing a headscarf, even a burka or niqab. None of these things break our legs or pick out pockets. 

But we must not be hypersensitive about excessive and harsh shariah rules that we can judge by these three principles – life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By those standards many of shariah rules come up short. We must pass judgment on them. 

The West is accused of arrogance, and maybe the charge is sometimes valid. However, the refusal to learn from the West is also a sign of arrogance. We have learned our lesson about our three rights, after centuries of mistakes.

Until Islam genuinely reforms on these matters and follows the ten suggestions of reform and builds up a long track record, intellectual elites in the USA and elsewhere around the world must use extreme caution in assuming that shariah is perfectly harmless or is just misunderstood. They must not form any policy, write any school curriculum, issue any ruling, or pass any law based on or referencing shariah. Islam must bend towards us, not we to it.

The elites must stick to or return to the Declaration’s three principles, which guides (or should guide) the USA and has served us so well: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our civilization will stand on them. 

And our civilization will also stand by our outspoken courage to promote them, even if they deny shariah, even if they appear intolerant. But our civilization shall fall by our cowardly silence.
James M. Arlandson, Ph.D., has written a book: Women, Class, and Society in Early Christianity.  He has recently completed a series on The Sword in Early Christianity and Islam. This article is taken from Towards a Reform of Islamic Shariah Law? posted at

Articles in the Series (on site)
Political Islam
Marital, Domestic and Women’s Issues
13. Veils
Sexual “Crimes” and Punishments
More Punishments (off site)

And See (off site):

[1] I am not referring to a woman wearing a veil that covers her entire face, except for the eye slit, in situations like driving a car or taking official photo IDs. The woman needs to compromise, because she potentially puts larger society in jeopardy.

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Jerusalem Post: "Support the civilized man," Pamela Geller "has it right"


At last, some common sense. "Support the civilized man," by Israel Kasnett in the Jerusalem Post, September 27 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
Pamela Geller, the executive director of the The American Freedom Defense Initiative, has it right. Her organization’s pro-Israel posters are in 10 New York City subway stations after a federal judge ruled that the city must put them up. The ads read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

New York’s MTA transportation agency barred the ads last year, citing “demeaning language.” However, a Manhattan federal court judge ruled in July that the MTA violated the First Amendment rights of AFDI, the group behind the ads.

Geller boldly fought for freedom of expression on CNN and blamed the network for being part of the problem.

“Your position is emboldening Islamic terrorism and emboldening extremism because you’re sanctioning it... you’re blaming the victim,” she told Erin Burnett.

Burnett attempted to push the interpretation of “jihad” as a “personal struggle,” implying that Geller is taking an extreme stance in her ads. What Burnett and, likely, most CNN viewers do not get, is that “jihad” today is used in the context of “holy war” against non-believers. It may have been intended to be used in a more peaceful context, but clearly Islam has changed....

Even more worrying is the West’s inability to gain a proper perspective and understanding of radical Islamic ideology. The West seems to believe that “most Muslims are peaceful” and, considering that there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world, this may just be the case. However, if just 10 percent of Muslims – 13 million people, that is – follow radical Islam, the world is in trouble. Put simply, radical Islam seeks to slowly take control of the world and bring it to submission.

THE LEVEL of hatred for the Western world, especially Israel, should be of great concern for all those who believe the Muslim world is changing for the better.
In August, numerous news outlets reported on the Egyptian show in which Arab celebrities and public figures had been invited under the pretense that they would appear on an Arabic-speaking German network.

When the deception began, the guests were unnerved after they were tricked into believing that the show airs on an Israeli channel.

The host fooled guests into believing she was of Jewish origin.

Some of the guests responded with anti- Israeli slurs and violence. When Egyptian actor Ayman Kandeel believed he had been tricked into appearing on an Israeli television network, he smacked the show’s producer and slapped the female host, throwing her into a corner.

And Morsy thinks the world should accept this “culture”? And CNN thinks jihadists aren’t savages? What culture maintains honor killings as a rightful practice? What culture becomes enraged by silly depictions of Muhammad but snores when thousands of innocent men, women and children are actually dying? Only a twisted, savage culture would operate in such a manner.

The world ignores wars fought between savages. Just look at Syria. Look at Africa.
IT IS this savage culture that the Western world is trying to appease. And it will fail....

As Geller says, any war on innocent civilians is savagery. The West needs to stop apologizing to the Muslim world, get behind Israel and defeat jihad.


The Latest from National Terror Alert Response Center

The Latest from National Terror Alert Response Center

Link to Homeland Security News

Posted: 29 Sep 2012 08:45 AM PDT
To mark the end of National Preparedness Month, representatives from the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA and Verizon gathered on Thursday Sept. 27 to stress the importance of disaster preparedness and to highlight the tips and technological tools available to help people prepare for emergencies or disasters. “Disasters can strike quickly [...]
This story comes to us via Homeland Security - National Terror Alert. National Terror Alert is America's trusted source for homeland security news and information.

Red Cross, FEMA and Verizon Stress the Importance of Disaster Preparedness, Emergency Communications

Gambill in Nat'l Interest: "Intervention Won't Save Syria"

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Intervention Won't Save Syria

by Gary C. Gambill
The National Interest
September 27, 2012
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The death toll in Syria has reached a threshold where outside parties are entitled to use force to protect the civilian population. But those who would intervene in ostensible pursuit of this noble objective have an obligation to ensure that, on balance, the patient benefits from the procedure. Whereas former president Bill Clinton can claim with some justification that "the burning of villages and killing of innocents was history" after NATO's 1999 intervention in Kosovo, achieving a positive balance sheet in Syria will be extraordinarily difficult.
The Syrian conflict differs from other notable targets of humanitarian intervention in three critical respects. For starters, the constituency that has borne the brunt of appalling human-rights abuses is not an imperiled ethno-sectarian minority (such as Iraqi Kurds or Kosovo Albanians) or the population at large (as with Somalis in 1992). Instead, it is Syria's Sunni Arab majority that is suffering at the hands of an oppressive minoritarian regime.
Also in sharp contrast to major intervention precedents, this group is already on track to win the war. With a fivefold demographic advantage over President Bashar al-Assad's quasi-Shiite Alawite sect and growing material support from surrounding states, the overwhelmingly Sunni rebels are sure to eventually overpower regime forces. That's why they have zero interest in negotiating with the Syrian president.
Finally, the situation in Syria is unique in that the main victims have a long history of subjugating their victimizers. Syrian Alawites were deeply impoverished, socially marginalized and politically powerless for centuries prior to the rise of the Baath Party in the 1960s. Given the scale of regime atrocities in the interim and the increasingly Sunni Islamist character of the revolt, Alawites and other minorities that benefited disproportionately from Assad's rule (or at least suffered less than their fair share) have well-grounded fears of violent retribution when the walls come crumbling down. The fall of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated minoritarian regime led to several hundred extrajudicial executions of former officials within a year and a mass exodus of Christians, despite the presence of U.S.-led coalition forces.
A humanitarian intervention must be expected to have a positive net impact on civilian life over the entire arc of the war, which won't end with Assad's downfall. Former regime forces are likely to regroup in areas of northwestern Syria where minorities predominate, and Iran can resupply them by sea. The reduction of these enclaves, as well as free Kurdish areas that have sprung up amid the fighting, could claim more lives than the fight to bring down the regime, and the civilians most in need of protecting will not be Sunni Arabs.
The dilemma, then, is how to prevent atrocities in Syria today without aiding in the commission of others tomorrow. Most intervention plans under discussion amount to direct or indirect military support for insurgents likely to perpetrate atrocities once the tables have turned. It's impossible to create and defend aid corridors or "safe zones" for refugees without providing rebels with rear bases to resupply and refit, particularly if the international community relies on neighboring Turkey to do the heavy lifting.
A no-fly zone designed to deprive all sides of offensive air power avoids the pitfalls of aiding and abetting combatants, but enforcing one without a UN Security Council mandate will still lead a sizable minority of the population to see the United States as a participant in the war. This could prolong Syria's ordeal by bolstering Assad's anti-imperialist credentials and making it easier for Iranian-backed malcontents to mobilize opposition to the successor regime. Taking part in a sectarian turf war decades in the making could also compromise U.S. credibility in contending with other multiconfessional hot spots, such as Lebanon and Iraq. Few advocates of intervention appear to be thinking this far ahead.
There are no easy solutions to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, least of all the Obama administration's futile pursuit of a multilateral diplomatic initiative to end the war. The best-case scenario of such a settlement (assuming a highly unlikely change of heart by Russia and the acquiescence of Iran) would mean a Lebanon-style interim power-sharing formula, which might cut down on the violence but only at the cost of stunting Syria's political recovery. This is precisely why the rebels will never agree to it.
Absent a workable plan for saving lives or acompelling strategic rationale for intervention, the United States should stay out of the conflict—while using all means short of force to dissuade the participants and their regional backers from committing egregious human-rights abuses. Once the smoke clears, Syria will need a benefactor with clean hands to help it pick up the pieces.
Gary C. Gambill is an associate fellow at the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum.
Related Topics:  Syria  |  Gary C. Gambill This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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