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The State Department ordered non-emergency personnel and their family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Beirut Friday, and told Americans to avoid travel to Lebanon due to a threat to the diplomatic post. It also warned U.S. citizens in Turkey to be on alert for potential violence and issued a drawdown of employees at the U.S. Consulate General in Adana, Turkey.
(Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

The State Department ordered non-emergency personnel and their family members to leave the U.S. Embassy in Beirut Friday, and told Americans to avoid travel to Lebanon due to a threat to the diplomatic post. It also warned U.S. citizens in Turkey to be on alert for potential violence and issued a drawdown of employees at the U.S. Consulate General in Adana, Turkey.

(Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

What the president is trying to do, and what we believe is important to America’s national security interests, and to humanitarian interests, and to the interests of Israel, and Jordan, and Lebanon, and all of our friends in the region, is that you hold Bashar al-Assad responsible for use of chemical weapons, and that you degrade his ability to use them again, and deter him from using them again. That’s what’s really important here. And that’s all that we’re talking about in this.

-John Kerry, Kerry: ‘I don’t believe this is taking America to war’

In 1971, a young Naval lieutenant named John Kerry pleaded with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to stop a war. Four decades later, Kerry will return to that same committee table, this time as Secretary of State, to advocate for U.S. military action in Syria.Kerry will be joined Tuesday by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel–the two men both military veterans who served for years together on the senate panel that will hold hearings on Syria and President Obama’s quest for Congressional approval of military action there.
(Photo by Henry Griffin/AP)

In 1971, a young Naval lieutenant named John Kerry pleaded with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to stop a war. Four decades later, Kerry will return to that same committee table, this time as Secretary of State, to advocate for U.S. military action in Syria.

Kerry will be joined Tuesday by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel–the two men both military veterans who served for years together on the senate panel that will hold hearings on Syria and President Obama’s quest for Congressional approval of military action there.

(Photo by Henry Griffin/AP)

Every war creates a strategic and political lens through which the next war is framed, waged, and measured. Korea influenced the critical decisions made in Vietnam. The Gulf and Afghan wars were waged in a manner that supposedly avoided the mistakes of Vietnam. And now Iraq is the frame for not only what will and will not be done in Syria in the coming days, but also broader perceptions of what American power, military and diplomatic, can accomplish in the early stages of the 21st Century. Call this the “Iraq syndrome,” which will carry potentially profound policy implications for years.

-P.J. Crowley, The ghost of Iraq dampens discussion on Syria