Tom Perriello Weighs In On the Syria Situation

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

At The Atlantic, former Rep. Tom Perriello - one of the people I respect the most in the world of politics, and no that is NOT a backhanded compliment! - weighs in on what he thinks should be done regarding Syria. Definitely read the entire interview, but here are a few key quotes (bolding added by me for emphasis).*"While I have advocated for a more aggressive posture that would potentially include regime transition, there is absolutely an argument for inflicting some cost to the regime for the use of chemical weapons against the civilian population."
*"There is an interest, not just by us but by the community of nations, in creating a significant disincentive to the use of chemical and biological weapons, which even repressive regimes, on the whole, have treated as off-limits."
*"[Assad] has given every indication that he is reading the international community's willingness to care fairly well. The use of chemical weapons appears to have been a miscalculation, though maybe not, since a lot of people in the U.S. still don't want to act."
*"One of the reasons I came to the conclusion a year and a half ago that we needed to intervene is that both sides appear just strong enough not to lose. That's what leads to civil war that lasts for years and years, with hundreds of thousands dead, millions displaced, and a cancer that spreads through the region."
*"There's a lot of talk about, oh, is this Iraq or is it Rwanda? I tend to agree with the notion that this is closer to Kosovo..."
*"To me, there are a number of elements that go into whether you intervene in a given situation...The difference between force and violence is legitimacy. As progressives in foreign policy, we tend to believe legitimacy matters."
Well reasoned, and well articulated, as is always the case with Tom Perriello.
P.S. In related news, Hillary Clinton says she "supports the President's effort to enlist the Congress in pursuing a strong and targeted response to the Assad regime's horrific use of chemical weapons."