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Forming an opinion on Syria

Forming an opinion on Syria

If someone asked you for resources to help him form an opinion on whether we should bomb Syria, what would you suggest? Assume this person is not persuaded by pacifism and is familiar with the thinking of the usual pundits on the left and on the right. Asking for a friend.


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Nathan Roser

One more thing: I think Nick Kristof, at the New York Times, is a pretty thoughtful columnist. He had a piece this week on what questions should and should not be raised about Obama’s missile strike plan. (It largely comes down on the President’s side, fwiw, but I think it frames the issues pretty well.)

Donna Hicks

Jadaliyya has been doing a daily listing of news and analysis from a variety of sources. Here’s the latest one:

Nathan Roser

I think Laura’s comments are misleading, because the thread isn’t about just war theory. The question asked was, if you had a friend who wanted to form a reasonable opinion about what was the case in Syria, where would you send them to? I’m not opposed to just war theory being discussed here, but it’s a different question than the one asked. To answer the question being asked, the Washington Post ran a blog last Sunday about what is actually the case in Syria.


I would recommend that this person ask whether the situation in Syria satisfies the criteria and principles of Just War theory.

I think Just War theory can be a useful tool IF one is approaching these principles with a willingness to seek out honest answers, rather than trying to fortify one’s pre-established convictions. If one is not persuaded by pacifism, the questions Just War theory raises give a very helpful framework for thinking about military intervention.

Laura Darling

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