"What do we tell the Syrians?
What do we tell any woman in an abusive relationship with a man, especially if she kills him? You should have packed up and left. You should have gotten help. You should have called the police. Do we tell her to turn the other cheek, or try to reach a negotiated settlement? That rarely if ever works with men addicted to power, domination and abuse. Eventually the woman could end up dead.
The Syrian people have been in a long-term abusive relationship with their President, Bashar al-Assad. He has already killed them by the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Those who escape to become refugees lose nearly everything. Jobs, income, possessions, homes and even members of their families. That kind of loss is so economically devastating that most will never fully recover. They have no police to call, unless you wish to count the Al Qaeda militants who have shown up as volunteers.
The Syrians have called upon the world, and especially the United States, to be their police. And for over two years, the world has fended them off, like neighbors unwilling to get involved in a mean and armed bully's domestic disputes. If we wish to tell them we are tired from war, short on resources, involved in our own domestic problems, and either can't or don't want to be the world's policeman, that's one thing. If we wish to tell them that this world is not yet civilized enough to have policemen and justice for everyone, that's another.
But to tell the Syrians that they just aren't doing it right and have to find a way to live with the abusive, murderous bastard; that's not just pompous and unfeeling, it violates our own stated dedication to law and justice. It's like telling an abused wife that she has to make do and find a way to live with a violent man who has already destroyed her possessions, and killed one of her babies and the family dog, just to ensure her fearful obedience.
So tell us again; what do we tell the Syrians?"