But you also say there should be a popular vote. Let the people decide. But also you seem opposed to Assad being held accountable for his crimes.
You speak as if there are solid and immutable definitions of “war crimes” that all six billion people on the planet agree with. I don’t think that’s the case.
It occurs to me that in war, one person’s “war crime” is another person’s “defense of the nation”. It all depends on what end of the gun you’re holding.
The point of justice here is not simply to punish Assad by imprisoning him. It’s to assert to the entire world that war criminals will be held accountable.
To be blunt, until this “accountability” is levied consistently and impartially, it’s a bit of a joke. If you’re in the developed West, you can do whatever shit you want and nobody’s going to hold you accountable. The rest of the world sees this clearly and views it as an exhibition of Western arrogance.
I think here’s where we disagree: Your view is that even though justice is not levied consistently, you still have to try to do so. Mine is that if you can’t levy justice consistently, trying simply emboldens anti-West sentiment and makes the drivers of the dictator problem worse than if you had just left the guy alone.
The other issue you have here is that the Middle East is a perennial shithole. Why is it a shithole? Because the West can’t keep it’s hands off it. We drew the borders after the Ottomans fell specifically to make sure that tribal and religious conflicts were maximized. We did a very good job of it. So, to a very large extent, the reason we have these tinpot dictators that are relatively brutal is because that brutality is required to keep the Sunnis off the Shias, the Shias off the Sunnis, and to keep them both off the Christians. Remove the dictator, you get genocide.
You want to arrest Assad? Go ahead. The Syrians will say “Well, here come the Crusaders, again.” And the entire cycle will start over.