The Supervillain Syndrome

  • Article by: John Norris , Foreign Policy
  • Updated: August 27, 2013 - 12:51 PM

Not content to slowly exterminate his opposition and continue the massive depopulation of his country, Syrian President Bashar Assad apparently felt compelled to launch a blatant chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb that killed hundreds, if not thousands. If this sort of supervillain behavior sounds familiar, you’re paying attention. Assad is replicating the same strategic blunder committed by a long list of his fellow tyrants and strongmen.

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omakristyAug. 27, 13 1:49 PM

Indeed. Another military venture is the last thing the American people want, but Assad has underestimated the world's capacity to watch while he commits holocaust in his country. Nobody gets to commit vast acts of murder and get away with it completely. We can only hope the outrage lasts. We can only hope that Syria gets the protection it needs from it's leadership. I mean it.

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vjhumpmomAug. 27, 13 1:58 PM

that killed hundreds, if not thousands?? How about some facts rather than pure speculation? Is the STRIB still looking for weapons of mass destruction or are we taking Obama's words as fact these days?

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dschachenmeyerAug. 27, 13 2:11 PM

Pretty interesting when a far left organization such as the "Center for American Progress" starts beating the war drum. I wonder if they took the same stance when regarding the Iraq invasions. My guess would be no since they conveniently leave Saddam Hussein out of their list of villains even though Hussein reportedly used chemical weapons to murder 100K plus.

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pjhawk95Aug. 27, 13 2:11 PM

but in Beijing and Moscow they will start to plan for life after Assad. This, as the saying goes, is not their first rodeo either.__________That's the kind of tough cowboy rhetoric the Bush's (i.e. read my lips and bring it on) always loved to use. I thought the era of Obama would bring something different.

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xenonimusAug. 27, 13 2:26 PM

"What gives? Why would Assad do something so provocative, something so stupid, something so obviously designed to trigger an international military response?" Why indeed. Assad's forces were making headway against the rebels, so it's hard to see what he had to gain. On the other hand, the rebels have much to gain, especially if it brings US, British, and French involvement. The real question is why Obama would want to get the US involved on such a flimsy pretext.

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psc56stribAug. 27, 13 2:50 PM

Maybe Assad figures the US will see that the alternative to him is Al-Qaeda. Having the US Military act as the Al-Qaeda Air Force may seem as such a ludicrous possibility to him that he figures we will let him murder people in his country any way he wants to.

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davehougAug. 27, 13 2:51 PM

"No good options" means it's gonna get messy. I would like to see Europe, The Arab League put pressure on Russia + China first to state common goals (and how to keep Al Queda out after the fall). Are the Arab countries willing to let us do their dirty work and then watch Iran too????? Are the other Arab countries going to put THEIR troops at risk???

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muckandgrindAug. 27, 13 3:41 PM

Sure would be nice if our allies could take the lead and we could sit this one out.

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hermajestyAug. 27, 13 4:16 PM

There's supposedly no money for feeding people, no money for fixing the infrastructure, but somehow there's always money for invading other countries. This is one fight to stay out of. Assad isn't a good guy, but neither is the opposition, which is hardline Islamist. Syria has bad times ahead no matter who wins.

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thomasme262Aug. 27, 13 5:37 PM

Why do we have to do something? Why don't our supposed allies pick up the slack for once! We don't have money to take care of our own problems, but we have money to take care of other peoples problems!!!! I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick of being the worlds police force.

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