叙利亚的教训

普林斯顿——在美俄试图促成会谈让叙利亚冲突各方重回谈判桌的同时,至少潜在的西方参与者应当思考叙利亚冲突对全球独裁和民主政体可能造成的宏观影响。迄今为止应该吸取的教训如下:

坏人总是不遗余力地互相维护。俄国和伊朗愿意不惜一切代价让巴沙尔·阿萨德总统继续执政。伊朗支持的真主党现在已公然走上战场支持阿萨德政权。俄伊两国源源不断地为叙利亚政府提供重型武器和其他军事援助,其中包括俄罗斯先进的反舰导弹及雷达系统。阿萨德可以借此机会站稳脚跟,以包括被俄罗斯租用的塔尔图斯港在内的阿拉维派迷你国家为后盾抵御所有侵入者。

没有靠得住的武力威胁外交就是一句空话。“柔声细语但是手持大棒”是西奥多·罗斯福的忠告。奥巴马总统当然希望通过民众而非军事力量来领导世界;他清楚以军事手段解决外交政策问题代价极为昂贵,而且在推动美国长期安全和繁荣方面往往起到适得其反的效果。

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