In the historical record, we find that peoples who in the past did suffer from U.S. inaction have not had a track record of striking America. Have the East Timorese taken revenge for their decades-long subjugation to Indonesia, which happened under America's watch and tacit blessing in 1975? Has there been an instance of Iraqi Shia terror within the continental United States to avenge the U.S. decision not to support their uprising against Saddam Hussein in 1991? The reality is that those who wish to cause America harm will find whatever excuse or pretext to justify their attacks.
There are important and reasoned arguments for why the United States ought to intervene in Syria. This, however, is not one of them.
Nikolas K. Gvosdev, a senior editor at The National Interest, is a professor of national-security studies at the U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are entirely his own.