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USS John C. Stennis before its deployment last year to the Middle East
USS John C. Stennis before its deployment last year to the Middle East
Natalie Nougayrède

PARIS – Syria appears to be moving closer by the day toward the end of Assad’s regime. In Western countries, the debate on a military intervention to secure the country’s "hot zones" is gaining momentum.

Until now, Western leaders have said that they would only support a military intervention if Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. Unfortunately, if the use of weapons of mass destruction is the only reason for intervention, people are going to make unhappy parallels with the recent past.

"The reason why such statements are risky," says one Paris-based diplomat, "is that you are exposing yourself to criticism – if you use the same reasons that led to the Iraqi war, people will be suspicious."

The fact is that neither the US nor the UK nor France have explicitly said that a military intervention to secure Syrian chemical stocks would be contingent on a United Nations Security Council vote. Given the seriousness of the situation, these countries seem willing to bypass the UN. This is exactly what the Bush administration did in 2003. After being denied the Security Council’s authorization, they decided that resolution 1441, voted on Nov. 8, 2002, was sufficient for them to go ahead. This text threatened Saddam Hussein of "heavy consequences" if he didn’t come clear on his weapons’ programs. The American approach was strongly contested by the French and the Russians.

The Iraqi and Syrian situations are completely different. Nobody wants to launch a large ground operation in Syria. The Western countries and their Arab allies would rather see the regime fall at the hands of the rebels or from the palace itself in Damascus. As opposed to Iraq, no one denies the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Syria.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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