Ed Husain

The Arab Street

Husain examines politics, society, and radicalism in the greater Middle East.

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Debating Syria

by Ed Husain
February 21, 2012

A member of the Druze community holds up a Syrian flag with a picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a rally in the Druze village of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights (Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters). A member of the Druze community holds up a Syrian flag with a picture of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during a rally in the Druze village of Majdal Shams on the Golan Heights (Baz Ratner/Courtesy Reuters).

Today marks the beginning of a ten-day period of debating and polling at the Economist.com. The motion is:

Military intervention in Syria would do more harm than good.

I am defending the motion, and Brookings’ Shadi Hamid is thoughtfully opposing the motion. Feel free to participate and vote. The crux of my argument, excerpted from my opening statement, is as follows:

Cooler heads must prevail in Western governments. Diplomatic options have not yet been fully exhausted. After the Iraq debacle, we cannot choose military options over diplomacy so readily. In the great game to bring down Iran, and to strengthen Israel, do not go through Syria. Syria will prove to be yet another deadly, expensive detour for the West. Think Iraq, but compounded by sectarianism and regional contagion.

Read more and participate here

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