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Unframing the Debate: Syria

As we consider launching missiles into Syria, perhaps sacrificing American troops in another Middle East war, perhaps letting the world see chemical weapons get used successfully without repercussions, there aren't easy answers.  But one thing we can do, one thing we owe the Syrian civilians and US troops, is to engage in a serious conversation that is about the real situation in Syria and not just our political habits -- not fall into habitual liberal and conservative patterns.

Without suggesting a particular course of action, what would improve the debate?