The point of the Empire's sword is directed toward Syria. The following is an issues list related to the Syrian intervention. * Sanctions always hurt civilian populations. Carried to an extreme, as with Iraq, sanctions can decimate the population of a nation. In addition, sanctions do not hit the privileged elites anywhere near as hard as they do the general population. * Military intervention always hurts civilian populations. The Western powers are already intervening in Syria, with disastrous results for the Syrian people. * Attacks on Syria by Western powers strengthen domestic support for the Assad regime. The Syrian people rightly perceive foreign assaults as being imperialistic. * Much of the reporting on Syria consists of dubious propaganda. Both sides of the civil war lie, but the Western media plays up the side of the Syrian opposition without applying any appropriate degree of skepticism. * Syria is a stepping stone on the path to regime change in Iran. Not only is Syria an Iranian ally, Syria also funnels arms into Lebanon. Those arms could be used against Israel if Israel attacks Iran. Thus, the Western powers want Syria out of the way in order to facilitate regime change in Iran. * Sunni/Shia divisions - Syria, Iran, Lebanon(mixed), and Iraq form a Shia alliance. Saudi Arabia leads a Sunni alliance(Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates) that wants to break up the Shia alliance. The Western powers want to play up the divide, in a classical imperialist manner, in order to maintain and extend hegemony over the Middle East. * It is a grievous mistake to align yourself with any government. The Syrian government, the United States government, the Russian government, the Saudi Arabian government, etc., all have their own agenda that has nothing to do with the welfare of the Syrian people. The critical point is to allow the Syrians, and everybody else, to determine their own fate. * The assault on the Syrian government is straining the relationship between the United States and Russia, a Syrian ally. Anything that strains the relationship between the two nuclear superpowers is a bad thing. * Foreign powers are funneling arms to the Syrian rebels. The result is not only an increase in violence, but the whole opposition movement is being taken over by the most violent elements. * Imposing regime change on Syria is likely to have dire consequences for religious minorities. For example, religious minorities in Iraq suffered enormously after the fall of Saddam Hussein. * In a time when the United States government is running deficits of over a trillion dollars a year in order to prop up its teetering economy, and the European banking system is in danger of collapse, do the Western powers really need to take on the expense of imposing regime change in Syria? * Do the actions of the United States toward Syria conform to international law? * What should opponents of a Syrian intervention do to stem the assault? At Tolstoy put it, what is to be done?