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Syria and the limits of Western humanity

While we reassure ourselves with our own humanity in the face of horror, the war continues—and our borders turn back its refugees

By Lyndsey Stonebridge  

A sarcophagus in the Beirut National Museum depicts Hector being dragged through the dust. Photo: courtesy of the author

Although thoroughly man-made, just now Syria’s violence appears to have taken on a dangerous force of its own. Some in this war, of course, believe that violence is divine. But most do not, and find themselves floored, physically and mentally, by a force that seems as indiscriminate as it is unstoppable.

We look on in appalled horror, or fidget manfully about our options, but at some level we know that the chances of…

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