January 16th, 2015
02:34 AM ET

U.S. intervention not the answer in Middle East

By Fareed Zakaria

It would be nice if an American intervention could identify the moderate Syrians, ensure that they defeat the (much stronger) radical Islamists and then the (much stronger) Assad army, and then stabilize and rule Syria. More likely, it would help Assad and add fuel to a raging fire.

Let’s review the record. The United States’ non-intervention in Bosnia in the early 1990s is said to have spawned Islamic radicalism, as did the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s, as did the partnership with Pakistan’s military, as did drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, as did the surge in Afghanistan, as did the withdrawal of troops from that country. When the United States intervenes, it is said to provoke terrorists; when it doesn’t, it is said to show that Washington is weak. No matter what the United States has done over the past two decades, Islamic radicalism has been on the rise, often directed against the United States and its Western allies, and it always finds a few alienated young men who act on its perverse ideology.

Read the Washington Post column

Post by:
Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. Philip

    "Not that permanently." Classic @banasy. Omg. A must have for all good listeners. Lol

    January 16, 2015 at 10:59 pm |
    • banasy©

      As you completely ignored the immediate correction.

      Which surprises no one.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm |
      • 9 year old

        God forbid said correction be delayed.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:13 pm |
      • banasy©

        The correction was posted within 3 minutes.

        Nobody posting here is from India. Not that permanently.

        January 16, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Reply
        *Note that permanently.

        January 16, 2015 at 9:24 pm |

        Your OP making fun of this was posted 1 1/2 hours after the correction.

        I can only ascertain that you ignored the correction.

        Classic @Philip.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:20 pm |
  2. 9 year old

    Oh yeah? Well TWICE again "youre" rong then.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:01 pm |
    • banasy©

      I guess both of our posts had a disappearing letter.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm |
      • 9 year old

        Only mine was purposeful.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:11 pm |
      • banasy©

        And mine was accidental; the correction was purposeful, as well.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:15 pm |
  3. chri§§y ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥

    Lol well now @ banasy..there lies the problem....if it referred to JD he woulda understand it better than DJ. And remember in his mind a DJ is a MC lol

    January 16, 2015 at 11:01 pm |
  4. 9 year old

    My uncle Joe was not Catholic. Nor was my mom who kept it secret. Chrissy.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:04 pm |
  5. 9 year old

    Emcee. Holy crudcakes.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:06 pm |
  6. 9 year old

    em·cee /ˌemˈsē/informal

    noun a master of ceremonies. synonyms: master of ceremonies, MC, host, hostess, ringmaster, chairman "Smith has done stints as an emcee of variety shows" verb

    January 16, 2015 at 11:08 pm |
    • banasy©

      In hip hop and electronic dance music, an MC, otherwise known as a rapper, is a music artist and/or performer who usually creates and performs vocals for his/her own original material.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:14 pm |
      • 9 year old

        MCs are long before gangsta rap or hippety hop. Get a clue old lady wannabe hip.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:16 pm |
      • banasy©

        And it was always written out emcee.

        In the context you were posting, ie song lyrics, it is perfectly acceptable to have it taken MC (the music reference).

        When one is unclear on intent, one should not make fun of the person taking it in the context given.

        I'm sorry you still reside in the 50's. Most people do not.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:24 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        I have worked in the music industry for almost sixty years, and played the piano well for sevent-three years, but this is the first time that I have ever heard the term "MC" in reference to a...an entertainer.

        January 17, 2015 at 4:51 am |
      • banasy©

        I would posit that it would be because you don't particularly like that form of....entertainment, JIF.

        January 17, 2015 at 11:34 am |
  7. chri§§y ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥

    Lol dumb as a post. No where in your description does it mention disc jockey which is usually referred to as a DJ. And again philip i do not care which family member did or said. I AM angry that the straight up lied to all of US here for years and that i WASTED countless hours feeling your pain! Pain i now know was PURE FICTION on your part!!! Want me to go into MORE detail here? Im sure Joey will remember. Adam also. Now maybe you should just go sober up and stop actin a fool!!!

    January 16, 2015 at 11:18 pm |
    • 9 year old

      I never said DJ. You did. Sheesh.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:26 pm |
      • banasy©

        Read her post again. She was referring to my post about an alternate meaning definition of Observer's "cya on the flip side." Which included DJ's.

        Focus. Clise one eye, if necessary.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:31 pm |
      • banasy©

        *Close one eye [...]

        January 16, 2015 at 11:32 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        Ah yes, I know what DJs are, as in, "oh, the DJ at Charlanixee's birthday party was such a great artiste!"

        January 17, 2015 at 4:59 am |
  8. Bettertomorrow

    Modern day terrorism was invented by the likes of Mussolini and Hitler assisted by Gandhi. They were Christians and hindus. Millions were killed in the most vicious way.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:19 pm |
  9. chri§§y ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥

    Angry that "YOU" straight up lied to ALL of us here, i meant to say!

    January 16, 2015 at 11:20 pm |
  10. 9 year old

    Well. I'm going to drink a half-gallon of Mogen-David "Mad Dog" 29/20 wine. And chase it down with 1 1/2 pints of Evan Williams "Green Label" if you don't mind.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:23 pm |
    • banasy©

      Have at it. Oh, btw: it's 20/20.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:26 pm |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Drink WHAT?
      There are only two red wines that I really love.
      Many white wines can be tolerated because they are served cold.
      A Roma, cheap red wine outside is fine when cut with water. That's because of the color of the buildings' walls.

      January 17, 2015 at 6:10 am |
  11. 9 year old

    Modern day terrorists are doctors, really.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:25 pm |
  12. chri§§y ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥

    Lmfao you are going to lecture a MOTOWN girl on rap and hip hop??? You are thinking of MC HAMMER....ONE musical artist!!! You should THINK before you post...clown!

    January 16, 2015 at 11:26 pm |
    • 9 year old

      No. Just on the meaning of the word Emcee. "MC" for short. That's all.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:31 pm |
    • 9 year old

      But yeah. I got more MOROWN in my little finger than you got in your teets. I went to the same church as Michael Jackson did when we were teenagers. I know where MJ got the moon walk from and YOU don't, for example.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:35 pm |
      • 9 year old

        More *MOTOWN in my pinky toe, rather.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:37 pm |
      • banasy©

        I'm sure the misspelling of Motown was accidental, too.

        And MJ is dead.

        So much for your glory days.

        January 16, 2015 at 11:39 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        Horowitz, too.
        The first time he heard me play, I was alone on the stage of Carnegie Hall, and I had no idea that he was listening from upstairs.

        January 17, 2015 at 6:16 am |
  13. 9 year old

    Within 3 minutes! A new blog record! Lmao.
    Congrats to @banasy the new record holder. he he

    January 16, 2015 at 11:29 pm |
    • banasy©

      The correction was within three minutes because my phone has to load and refresh.

      Your not noticing the correction then pretending "God forbid said correction be delayed." took much longer.

      The obvious conclusion is that you ignored it to ridicule me.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:36 pm |
  14. chri§§y ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥

    I dont give a rats ass WHAT you do! I will NEVER believe a damn thing you say again! Youve had the longest pity party in history and it was all because we felt bad over SOMETHING THAT DIDNT EVER HAPPEN???? You dont have an ounce of remorse for lying to ALL OF US for years about being rayped by a priest do you???? You are one sick individual!

    January 16, 2015 at 11:32 pm |
  15. Bettertomorrow

    Fareed is being dishonest by implying that the Gita Bhagavad is the ONLY source of law in Hindooism. Many things don't appear directly in Gita Bhagavad but are considered a part of hindoo law and hindutva jurisprudence. The sources second only to Gita B are the Ramayana tales, and as an Indian, Fareed knows this to be true. And in Ramayana several examples are given Lord Shiva ordering the killing of those who mock or satirize him in poetry or other forms. These sanctioned killings forever enshrined the practice of death to blasphemers as a legitimate part of hindutva law. Those who are denying this are being willfully dishonest or are simply ignorant.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:35 pm |
    • Bo Burnside

      He is too much of a dumb f ukk to figure all this out.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:41 pm |
      • Black Betsy

        Feed the fella some beef to smarten up. LOL

        January 17, 2015 at 3:25 am |
      • Black Betsy

        I mean you can keep on changing appearances and appear to be sushi but a rotten tuna smells like you know what. You know who I'm talkin aboout!

        January 17, 2015 at 3:31 am |
      • Black Betsy

        So what is the solution Ms. Zakaria? Why dont you steal some ideas from @Blue Saffron's posts!

        January 17, 2015 at 3:34 am |
  16. 9 year old

    When I close one eye I only see one line, silly goose. Lol

    January 16, 2015 at 11:40 pm |
    • banasy©

      Them you'll be able to convince the nice officer you can walk it when you are asked to.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:44 pm |
      • banasy©


        Good gracious, my typos...

        January 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm |
      • 9 year old

        Them what?

        January 16, 2015 at 11:49 pm |
      • banasy©

        Late to the party as usual. You know you look stupid commenting on my error when it was corrected, don't you?

        January 16, 2015 at 11:52 pm |
  17. 9 year old

    MJ is asleep. Just as Jesus describes all who have died for their own sins." Sleeping in death" Jesus said of those awaiting the promised resurrection of all who had died for their sins. Even little boys like Adolph Hitler rayped by gay Parrish priests.

    January 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm |
    • banasy©

      He can reshoot the video for "Thriller" when he 'wakes up', then.

      January 16, 2015 at 11:54 pm |
  18. chri§§y ¥ ¥ ¥ ¥

    Lol @ Bo...he already KNOWS! Thats WHY hes piggy drunk in the first place. He got caught in his lies and instead of manning up and apologising hes just gonna throw one tantrum after another! If YOU are who i think you are you will remember telling all of us that. And then last nite after he got caught he CLAIMS he NEVER told us any such thing!

    January 16, 2015 at 11:48 pm |
  19. 9 year old

    Oh timprr tantrumb is me. Zzzzz

    January 16, 2015 at 11:53 pm |
  20. Cuchumber

    Eureka! US intervention amongst drug users in America has been a failure how can ME be a success. Spot on @Bo B.
    Put him out to pasture with them cows.

    January 17, 2015 at 3:17 am |
    • Rosey Khambatta

      And then what? He will out p issing in the streets in Pune.

      January 17, 2015 at 3:48 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Don't intervene too well with addicts.
      Our economy is terrible, and two of our few functional industries are drug sales and treatment such as rehabs.
      Do you know how much Medicaid pays to give an addict a month in a rehab?

      January 17, 2015 at 6:26 am |
  21. Black Betsy

    @Hannah Bill Maher converted to Islam. That was to be expected. Mullah Maher now.

    January 17, 2015 at 3:38 am |
  22. Rosey Khambatta

    Check @Fareed Zakaria's birth certificate. Lol he was bred in a kibbutz milking hogs. Squeak!

    January 17, 2015 at 3:46 am |
  23. Eddie E

    Daymn I could have read the Kama Sutra!

    You obey a stranger who encourages you to murder for booty. You are greedy men. Is there no honor among you?' Upon hearing those lines Lord Shiva said, ‘Will no one rid me of this woman?' Modi, a zealous Hindoo decided to execute Lord Shiva's wishes. That very night he crept into the writer's home while she lay sleeping surrounded by her young children. There was one at her breast. Ganesha removed the suckling babe and then plunged his sword into the poet. The next morning in the mandir, Shiva, who was aware of the assassination, said, ‘You have helped Lord Shiva and His Apostle.' Ganesha said. ‘She had five sons; should I feel guilty?' ‘No,' the pundit answered. ‘Killing her was as meaningless as two goats butting heads.'

    January 17, 2015 at 3:53 am |
  24. Blue Saffroń

    Middle East? What a misnomer. East of what Middle? Sherwood Forest? Once we figure out the geo political context the rest will fall in place. Let's get to work CNN. Do you see the problem with your thought process?

    January 17, 2015 at 4:20 am |
    • Hannah

      OMG we must be intervening in the wrong place ! No wonder terrorism is on the rise. Check the compass.

      January 17, 2015 at 8:14 am |
  25. Blue Saffroń

    Crazy Horse killed more Americans than Bin Laden. Yet we have a bigger monument for him than Mt. Rushmore. Is the space at Rushmore for Bin Laden? Time for peace pipe.

    January 17, 2015 at 4:33 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Turquoise is so pretty in silver.
      I gave a friend some Zuni cufflinks years ago. He never wore them. Finally he gave them back to me.
      I've never worn them, either.
      Artur Rubinstein wore turquoise jewelry. That's the Rubinstein who played less well than Anton.

      January 17, 2015 at 6:33 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        One of my piano teachers won the Anton Rubinstein Prize in Russia, when Russia was good...you know, Czarist Russia.
        The tradition of great Russian pianism has been almost completely destroyed by idiots who want to simplify or deconstruct everything of value.

        January 17, 2015 at 6:42 am |
      • Philip

        Good morning Joey. (notice I have dispensed with many commas)
        Piano? Russian? Keiko Matsui comes to mind. Have you ever enjoyed listening to her?

        January 17, 2015 at 6:56 am |
    • Philip

      Crazy Horse was an American, @BS. So it doesn't count.

      January 17, 2015 at 7:03 am |
    • Philip

      Oh shut up. Crazy Horse was an American. Not an Indian you moron.

      January 17, 2015 at 7:20 am |
    • Hannah

      They saved the space for you @Blue Saffron. The other guy will probably need a mountain for himself. Lol

      January 17, 2015 at 8:17 am |
  26. Philip

    And thanks for clearing up the MC thingy. One evening when only one or two people were here I began posting lyrics to some popular songs under the s/n Philip MC and started a cat fight. he he

    January 17, 2015 at 6:59 am |
    • banasy©

      Cat fight? Between who? There wasn't anyone there.

      He also did not "clear it up"; he said he'd never heard of it used in that context.

      Words have meaning that are alternate what older men may be used to.

      Them yound whippersnappers. Get off his lawn!

      January 17, 2015 at 11:43 am |
  27. Philip

    Can you believe I'm still drinking instant coffee? I still haven't replaced my broken flask. And coffee is my main ingredient too. My daughter claims she was raised by a cup of coffee on her FB page too. And her mom only drank small cups.

    January 17, 2015 at 7:09 am |
  28. Philip

    @3:27am. EST, Black Betsy stated " This terrorism stuff is all fake. To keep the disenchanted jobless majority occupied." An absolute truth.
    American trouble is an innovation. And actually drives pharmaceutical sales which gives reason to America's burgeoning rehab industry.

    January 17, 2015 at 7:18 am |
  29. BobTM

    Commas were invented to give fat people time to breath.

    January 17, 2015 at 7:26 am |
  30. Hannah

    ME? Who are fighting there BTW? And why?
    CNN Please clarify.

    January 17, 2015 at 8:23 am |
    • Cynic

      Fighting for control of China's oil supply and the pipelines needed to transport that oil to China. If you must know.

      January 17, 2015 at 9:24 am |
      • Cynic

        Is what made things like Wal-Mart possible.

        January 17, 2015 at 9:25 am |
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