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Good Reads: Syria's conflict, hero journalists, and the power of parents

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For Colvin, the facts were clear: a murderous dictator was bombarding a city that had no food, power, or medical supplies. [NATO] and the United Nations stood by doing nothing. In a nearby village, hours before they left, Conroy had watched her trying to get a signal and file her story for the next day’s paper on her vintage satellite phone. “Why is the world not here?” she asked her assistant in London. That question, posed by Colvin so many times before — in East Timor, Libya, Kosovo, Chechnya, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka — was the continuing theme of her life. “The next war I cover,” she had written in 2001, “I’ll be more awed than ever by the quiet bravery of civilians who endure far more than I ever will.”

Lawrence of Syria

The black-and-white morality of the Syrian conflict – symbolized by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s overwhelming use of force, and by the cruelty of his intelligence service in torturing opponents and dissidents – doesn’t make it any easier to find a solution to the crisis.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has been struggling with this question for months, with few results. Support for Assad from Russia and China doesn't make it any easier.

But should the world intervene militarily in Syria? It’s a question that T.E. Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia,” had an answer for: No.

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