Into Syria without Arms

Syria is one of those rare cases in which foreign-policy realists and idealists alike back outside intervention. But intervention need not be armed: there is much more that the world can and should be doing to bring about the removal of Bashar al-Assad's regime.

NEW YORK – Much of the debate over what to do in the Middle East tends to pit realists against idealists. Bahrain is a classic case, as is Saudi Arabia and, for that matter, Egypt: calls for the United States and other countries with interests and influence in the region to stand up for democracy and human rights run up against concerns that national-security interests will suffer if pro-Western authoritarian regimes are ousted. European and US policymakers often attempt to square the circle with a compromise policy that is inconsistent and satisfies no one.