The best sentences on Syria we read today

-- "The explosives-heavy approach to humanitarianism has a lot of unpredictable side effects, sometimes backfires massively, and offers an extremely poor value proposition. "

-- "The notion that killing with gas is more reprehensible than killing with bullets or shrapnel came out of World War I, in which chemical weapons, introduced by the Germans in 1915, were used extensively."

-- "The Syrian army is being transformed into an Alawite militia," said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. "As the Sunnis defect, more and more Alawites are being brought in, which is bringing in more of these villagers."

-- "I had steadied my arm with a splint and I tried not to move it; when I moved it the bones would start rubbing each other and coming out from the flesh."

-- "Don't expect a big cheer from us," said AbdulKhaleq Abdullah, a political-science professor in Dubai, of the likely response from the region. "If the results are fine, and the damage is very limited, I think that is gonna be a good sign. Maybe, 'Wow, give America a D.' "

-- "But if you were a Syrian being bombed by Assad every day, trying to keep your head down and your family alive, wouldn’t you want the world to respond, even if a few more people die?"

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Neil Irwin · August 27, 2013

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