Almost every American ally in the Middle East is desperately calling out for help, and we are ignoring them. Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain -- and behind closed doors, even Egypt -- want American involvement in Syria to stop the blood bath.
But the twin ghosts of Iraq and Afghanistan seem to have paralyzed America in the Arab world.
On Thursday, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will visit President Barack Obama in Washington. This is an ideal opportunity to throw American weight behind greater Turkish leadership in resolving the Syrian conflict -- and declare as much from the White House. The conflict is spreading fast outside of Syria, and unless regional powers such as Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia are empowered to act militarily, and swiftly, many more lives will be lost and the Middle East further destabilized.