In foreign policy, negligence paves the way for the forces of evil to overpower the forces of good. Washington's negligence with regard to Syria has left the people for dead. In the context of the Assad regime's genocidal horrors against them, they are spinning into a vortex of destitution, foreign exploitation and radicalization.
The real roots of the uprising didn't begin in 2011. The people of Syria long knew the immovable force of evil they had to confront. The revolution only exposed the horrors that Syrians had experienced for 50 years.
For over 29 months, Syrians have been the victim of tardiness. While inaction is contrary to the American spirit, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have tarnished our resolve. As Syria devolves into a crisis with fewer and fewer discernible allies, a hesitation to act seems to be the one issue on which the Left and Right are unified.
We Syrian Americans have long known that against Assadists there would never be a political solution. We have made it clear that the quicker aid is given to the revolutionaries in toppling Assad, the better chance Syria had to avoid sectarianism and evolve back into its roots as the pluralistic crossroads of the Middle East.
Our negligence has left 100,000 dead, millions displaced and a power vacuum in Syria to be filled by our worst enemies, from Iran to al-Qaida. Inaction in Syria is surrender to evil – and a betrayal of our values.
Have we missed a window of opportunity? Does paralysis now breed more paralysis? Now, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Syrians, have been maimed and killed with chemical weapons of mass destruction.
The revolution will only end when one of the sides has depleted its human assets. The Iranian Islamist Khomeinists will be more unhinged and fearless with a growing Shia crescent of control from their Israeli border in Lebanon, and Syria onto Iran and Iraq. The U.N. has proved its uselessness. Russia and China are operating in Cold War 2.0, and Iran's nuclear program will likely move forward with abandon.
If somehow the Syrian people – by sheer grit and numbers – are able to overwhelm the regime without our help, a post-Assad Syria will not be friendly to the U.S. They will not forget who did come to their aid – the region's Islamists who are not our allies.
For those who still believe Assad means stability, they must realize that a regime which will use WMDs against its own will not hesitate to use them against Americans, Israelis and all free people of good will.
The current policy of inaction will eventually force the hand of action. The future may yield an unleashed Iranian client state in Syria or a new deeply radicalized Syrian Islamist regime embittered by American indifference.
Sadly, we will not be able to claim surprise at either conclusion. The best time to act was two years ago. Yet, now, today will always and has always remained better than acting later. None of our choices are easy.
Beyond the sheer humanitarian appeal that has fallen on deaf ears, American action in Syria is necessary for the self-interest of all Americans. Our inaction will only lead the forces of evil to the brink against Israel and the West. The question is not about targeted missile strikes; heavily arming, aiding and training the rebels, providing buffer zones of protection around Syria, or a long overdue no-fly zone against the Syrian military. No one knows if any of these will bring a semblance of an ideal result in Syria. No guarantees exist.
What we do know is that inaction is undoubtedly the worst choice among many evils and is the path forward for our greatest enemies.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."