By Peter Bergen
What is widely recognized as the most authoritative study of the United States' responses to mass killings around the world - from the massacres of Armenians by the Turks a century ago, to the Holocaust, to the more recent Serbian atrocities against Bosnian Muslims and the ethnic cleansing of the Tutsis in Rwanda - concluded that they all shared unfortunate commonalities:
"Despite graphic media coverage, American policymakers, journalists and citizens are extremely slow to muster the imagination needed to reckon with evil. Ahead of the killings, they assume rational actors will not inflict seemingly gratuitous violence. They trust in good-faith negotiations and traditional diplomacy. Once the killings start, they assume that civilians who keep their head down will be left alone. They urge cease-fires and donate humanitarian aid."
This is an almost perfect description of how the United States has acted over the past two years as it has tried to come up with some kind of policy to end the Assad regime's brutal war on its own people in Syria.FULL STORY