What are the limits to a principled opposition to intervention in Syria?

This article appeared in the National on October 16, 2016.

Over the past month, the battle for Aleppo has reached fever pitch. Major hospitals have been targeted and destroyed, forcing already injured patients to be treated in makeshift clinics.

Bunker-buster bombs – designed explosives to penetrate concrete and rock and destroy underground facilities, have killed dozens in the medical clinics and schools that were previously used as bomb shelters.

As civilians navigate daily life through changing warfare tactics, another battle intensifies – this time online.

The Syrian conflict has divided leftist writers and commentators in the United States and the United Kingdom to a remarkable degree.

The Left – at least in the US and UK – has always been defined by a set of principles that informs its politics. Marxist and anti-­colonialist by nature, these principles militate against western intervention – including everything from invasions such as the US occupation of Iraq to US-influenced regime change throughout Latin America.

However, Syria has left many perplexed. Do we learn from the mistakes in Iraq, and let Syrians fight for – and create – the country they want, as they see fit? What about all of this carnage? Is there something that we can do about it? What would intervention mean for people on the ground?

While one camp has asked these questions, the other camp has remained staunchly anti-intervention – often creating tension rather than dialogue.

Read the rest at the National.