The purpose of action is good results, but also to exemplify right & wrong intentions. Foreign intervention must clearly include Russian, Iranian, Saudi Arabian actions and also non-violent actions. Actions speak louder than words, to act & speak in & about Syria is partially an exercise in morality. Refusal to speak about the correct way to intervene and denial of a correct way to intervene, or to even opine intervention, refuses and denies one’s own capacity for morality and refuses & denies one’s nations capacity for morality.
On the international stage, there are many moral standards. Human Rights is the most agreed upon standard, but could be held as among the least enforced of moral standards. Agreements justified by a basis in national law have led to a consensual basis of international law. International law has not been the basis to fully create a national code, although it has been used as a standard to decide corrective challenges re-writing a national code. There has not been an extension of Human Rights in an idealistic & realistic method to create a state structure which has the consensus of Human Right principles. If Human Rights are to develop a better tomorrow, they must be implemented. If Human Rights are to have value, that value must be defended.
Actions taken in the three nations (Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan) were, definitively partially, against endemic forms of state violence. Prior to engagement of foreign military, there are demonstrable offences against Human Rights, as well as demonstrable attempts to improve the situation by political and economic approaches. The actions of the three nations, and the reactions against them, were not consistent with the principles of Human Rights. The actions of those three nation state-systems are the greater of the two evils, in my opinion.
Now there is a clearer standard for foreign intervention in a positive example of the trumpet calls for war, a negative example in the trumpet calls against war and in a realistic example of what actually happened. It would be a quiet planet if none of those trumpets sounded again. However, the scarcity of public goods & services in Syria, alongside the wrongful exercise of state violence in Syria has struck against the bell of Human Rights, which then sounded both sets of trumpets. Hopefully by heeding the lessons of history, a larger example of what to do and a smaller example of what not to do, shall be the legacy of foreign intervention in Syria.