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Moyers & Company: What Are We Doing In Syria?

Airs Monday, September 9, 2013 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Bill Moyers

With the probability of American intervention, Syria is everywhere in the news. On this episode of MOYERS & COMPANY, Phil Donahue, filling in for Bill Moyers, speaks with National Public Radio Middle East correspondent Deborah Amos and historian and Vietnam veteran Andrew Bacevich about the possible repercussions of our actions in the Middle East.

Courtesy of Moyers & Company

Graphic cover of the book, "Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country," by Andrew Bacevich.

Courtesy of Deborah Amos

Graphic cover of the book, "Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East" by Deborah Amos

As he has so often in recent years, historian and analyst Andrew Bacevich is asking the important questions about America’s role in the world and specifically why we should go into Syria. Is a military response justified and if we take action, where does it stop?

A graduate of West Point and Vietnam veteran, he served for 23 years in the military before becoming a professor at Boston University. His new book, "Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country," asks whether our reliance on a professional military rather than a citizen’s army has lured us into a morass of endless war – a trap that threatens not only our global reputation but democracy itself.

Among its deadly side effects, the war in Syria has created a refugee crisis beyond that country’s borders ̶ a “disgraceful humanitarian calamity” and “the great tragedy of this century,” according to the United Nations. Deborah Amos is a veteran National Public Radio Middle East correspondent.

She wrote about the exiled and dispossessed of the region in her book "Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East" and has been in the refugee camps and on the Syrian front lines. Amos joins Donahue for a discussion of the human toll of the Syrian fighting, and the potential impact of millions of displaced people on the region.

As members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached an agreement late Tuesday on wording of a new resolution authorizing U.S. military force against the Syrian government, events will likely change quickly.

What won’t have changed is the need for a full discussion of our motives and American foreign policy, not just when it comes to Syria but in the entire Middle East.

Bill Moyers is on Facebook, and you can follow @BillMoyers on Twitter. Miss last week's episode? MOYERS & COMPANY is available for online viewing.


Moyers & Company: What Are We Doing In Syria?

What Are We Doing in Syria? from on Vimeo.

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