While acknowledging that recent events in the Middle East are as complex as ever, deeply rooted in sectarian, cultural, religious and other equally difficult differences, it's hard to look at the violence and horrible loss of life and not feel the urge to do something. Soldiers killing their fellow citizens, government condoned use of chemical weapons on its own citizens…this is the kind of stuff that would typically lead to some United States voice, some action. But there is none. And that's troubling.
It seems to us there are many reasons for the seeming inability of the U.S. to influence these events, including a reduced diplomatic corps, a lack of clear policy on America's role in many of these countries, and a lack of leadership – for political reasons – in Congress and the White House. And we shouldn't accept any of it.
We're not eager for military action, although Syria's use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated. But it's hard to believe we no longer have the will, resources and commitment to help broker resolutions, even temporarily, in these countries that look to be crumbling in front of our eyes.
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