The Moral Minimum of Arming Rebels

The National Interest

3 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2013 Last revised: 7 Aug 2014

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: June 11, 2013

Abstract

The debate about whether to arm the Syrian rebels is centered around the question which groups are "good" rebels (those who favor democratic regimes and the United States) or "bad" rebels (various kinds of jihadists). The Obama administration is widely reported to be reluctant to aid Syrian rebels due to the difficulty of identifying "leaders who are committed to a unified, democratic Syria that respects minority rights" as opposed to "militants who might turn them against Western interests." In Dissent, Michael Walzer finds that his readers "would be happy to see the victory of Syrians who have been studying John Stuart Mill or who take their cue from Swedish social democracy," which he warns is not going to happen.

Keywords: Syria, Security, Middle East, Obama, International Affairs

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, The Moral Minimum of Arming Rebels (June 11, 2013). The National Interest. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2278304

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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