Let us begin, for the sake of argument, by laying down two premises: First, what Assad is doing is awful, deeply immoral, and without excuse. Second, America's hands are so bloody in the Middle East that there is nothing it can do that is not compromised by past actions [and current ones.] So, what if anything should the rest of the world community do? [I am under no illusions that the hands of other nations are less bloody.] Is there anything at all that anyone can do that will actually effectively stop the slaughter of innocents? Can anyone with much more knowledge than I identify any actors in the Syrian theater that, by some reasonable moral standard, ought to emerge victorious? Is it even clear what "victorious" could mean?
America is the richest and most powerful nation on earth, and there are any number of things it could have done over the past half century that would have stimulated and facilitated a better state of affairs in the entire region than now exists, including, of course, in Egypt. But having said that, can we identify anything that ought to be done now?
Ought we simply to wash our hands of the situation and avert our eyes from the slaughter? If not, then what?
I freely admit I have no idea what the answers are to these questions, and I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has either specialist knowledge or else just less compromised moral intuitions than I.