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CAMBRIDGE – Se dice que más de 130.000 personas murieron en la guerra civil de Siria. Los informes de atrocidades de las Naciones Unidas, las imágenes de Internet de ataques contra civiles y los relatos de refugiados que sufren nos desgarran el corazón. ¿Pero qué se debe hacer, y quién?

Recientemente, el político y académico canadiense Michael Ignatieff instó al presidente norteamericano, Barack Obama, a imponer una zona de exclusión aérea sobre Siria, a pesar de la casi certeza de que Rusia vetaría la resolución del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas, necesaria para legalizar una medida de este tipo. Según la opinión de Ignatieff, si se le permitiera prevalecer al presidente sirio, Bashar al-Assad, sus fuerzas arrasarían con los restantes insurgentes suníes –al menos por ahora; si se encendieran los odios, volvería a correr sangre otra vez.

En un artículo, el columnista Thomas Friedman extrajo algunas lecciones de la reciente experiencia de Estados Unidos en Oriente Medio. Primero, los norteamericanos entienden poco de las complejidades sociales y políticas de los países en esa región. Segundo, Estados Unidos puede impedir que sucedan cosas malas (a un costo considerable), pero no puede hacer que sucedan cosas buenas por sí solo. Y, tercero, cuando Estados Unidos intenta hacer que sucedan cosas buenas en estos países, corre el riesgo de asumir la responsabilidad de resolver sus problemas.

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