In today’s On the Square, R.R. Reno points out that we are not taking Syria seriously:
We can avoid clarity because few think anything important is at stake in Syria, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. This judgment reflects a deeper conviction that we now live in a global system that automatically limits warfare and domesticates rogue nations. True, there are threats. But counter-terrorism is now a global project that blurs the lines between domestic and international intelligence, as the revelations about the NSA make so clear.
Read the rest here. (Go do it now!)
Congress reconvenes today. NBC Politics thinks that the Senate will vote on Wednesday. Some speculate any decision may wait until August 21, when UN inspectors can present proof of an attack using chemical weapons. President Obama will make an address to the nation on Tuesday, in “an effort to shift public opinion in favor of military action,” according to Politico. (The President has a few supporters he may not especially want: some members of the Bush administration support intervention in Syria.)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is also going to appear on American TV, in an interview with Charlie Rose, which airs tonight.
According to the UN, the number of Syrian refugees crossed two million as of September 3, with more than four million displaced from their homes within Syria, meaning “that more Syrians are now forcibly displaced than people from any other country.” The situation for Syria’s Christians is dire, and Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America has written an open letter to Obama asking him not to intervene.
A lot has been written about Syria in First Thoughts and the First Things-associated blogs. Here is a (non-comprehensive) roundup of things you might have missed (or might want to revisit), listed by author.
James Ceaser, “To Authorize or Not to Authorize”
James Ceaser, “On Reading the Centennial”
Robert George, “Syria and the Wages of Dissembling About Benghazi”
Peter J. Leithart, “Syria’s Christians”
Mark Movsesian, “Christians, American and Syrian”
R.R. Reno, “Skeptical on Syria”
R.R. Reno, “Against Symbolic Killing”
R.R. Reno, “Syria and Domestic Politics”
R.R. Reno, “Does Syria Matter?”
Carl Scott, “Fellow Anti-Authorizers, How Many Chemical Attacks Can We Take?”
Pete Spiliakos, “Stray Thoughts on Syria”