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    letters | crisis in syria

    US can’t act as moral arbiter to the world anymore

    James Carroll makes the perfect case in his June 10 op-ed column “No military intervention in Syria.” Senator John McCain, who has urged the United States to act, is living in the past. As Carroll so astutely points out, three distinct entities have taken shape in Syria, which, like Humpty Dumpty, cannot be put back together again.

    Our elected leaders should have recognized 12 years ago, and must recognize now, that we live in an age where groups of all stripes and varying ethics and values demand the right to exist, and America cannot act as moral arbiter for the entire world any longer — even if we believe we hold the high ground. Carroll suggests that, painful as it might be, we must hold our allies close, know them well, and pick our battles carefully, or devils we don’t know might prevail.

    Arthur J. Singer