letters | what should obama do about syria?

US must avoid repeating past mistakes, keep out of widening war

A child walked past damaged buildings in Deir al-Zor, Syria, earlier this year.


A child walked past damaged buildings in Deir al-Zor, Syria, earlier this year.

ALAN BERGER’S op-ed, “The ‘let-it-burn’ strategy” (June 22), reflects the common sense of someone whose memory extends to before President George W. Bush’s senseless war in Iraq. During the 1980s, the West encouraged its twin enemies, Iraq and Iran, to fight each other, which they obligingly did. The United States later foolishly intervened in Iraq, with the result — predicted by some — that Iran became the major Middle Eastern power.

Today, while the situation in Syria is tragic, our potential liberal allies are not strong enough to win power. Rather than sending in troops, it is wiser for the United States to let Iran, Russia, and whatever other authoritarian powers imagine they can “win” the war waste their energies fighting one another. Cynical? Perhaps. But peace will not come to Syria until the contending factions decide — who knows when — that democracy and religious tolerance are the only paths to progress.

Carl Proper


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com