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Global solidarity, it seems, is in retreat. We thought we’d established a minimal sense of international responsibility, but Europeans and Americans have caught “compassion fatigue.” And so the polls measure the resistance of public opinion to the surgical strikes proposed by President Barack Obama and supported by the French President, François Hollande; and our closest friends, the British, on whom we had counted, refused in a parliamentary vote at Westminster to punish Bashar al-Assad.

Not long ago, at the…

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