So….if our President cares soooooo much about the suffering (and little about our national interest) why is he stopping at Syria?
Dozens of people have been killed in a number of Syrian cities after protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime flared up more than a week ago.
Ten people, including members of the security forces, residents and two members of “armed elements” died in the Latakia violence, the state-run news agency said, adding that at least two people were killed by rooftop snipers. Around 200 others, mostly members of the security forces, were reported to have been injured.
Ammar Qurabi, an exile in Egypt who heads Syria‘s National Organisation for Human Rights, told the Associated Press that dozens of people had protested in Latakia before attacking the Ba’ath party’s offices in the city.
Demonstrators also attacked a police station and the Ba’ath party offices in the town of Tafas, six miles (10km) north of the southern border city of Daraa, the epicentre of the anti-government protests.
An activist in Daraa told AP that up 1,200 people were still holding a silent sit-in the al-Omari mosque.
I mean isn’t this the yardstick for Obama? It sure isn’t national interest, as admitted to by our Secretary of Defense:
On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”
“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about. The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.
But the yardstick is now the brutal crackdown of a rebellion correct?
Obama helped push an ally out of power with Egypt, and then started a war in Libya….because he wanted to side with the “rebels.” Nevermind actually finding out who they really are and in what interest do they act.
But still, he wanted to back the “rebels.”
When it came to Iran, not so much.
And now with Syria…..can’t be bothered.
Indeed, the crackdown calls into question the entire American engagement with Syria. Last June, the State Department organized a delegation from Microsoft, Dell and Cisco Systems to visit Mr. Assad with the message that he could attract more investment if he stopped censoring Facebook and Twitter. While the administration renewed economic sanctions against Syria, it approved export licenses for some civilian aircraft parts.
The Bush administration, by contrast, largely shunned Damascus, recalling its ambassador in February 2005 after the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri. Many Lebanese accuse Syria of involvement in the assassination, a charge it denies.
When Mr. Obama named Mr. Ford as his envoy last year, Republicans in the Senate held up the appointment for months, arguing that the United States should not reward Syria with closer ties. The administration said it would have more influence by restoring an ambassador.
But officials also concede that Mr. Assad has been an endless source of frustration — deepening ties with Iran and the Islamic militant group Hezbollah; undermining the government of Saad Hariri in Lebanon; pursuing a nuclear program; and failing to deliver on promises of reform.
Some analysts said that the United States was so eager to use Syria to break the deadlock on Middle East peace negotiations that it had failed to push Mr. Assad harder on political reforms.
So let’s see. Assad supports Iran, supports Hezbollah, and supports Hamas. Most of all he and his regime supported those who killed our troops in Iraq:
In recent years Syria has become the logistical rear for global jihadists operating in Iraq and the main crossroads for the jihadists en route to Iraq to fight the American troops. Furthermore, it is where an extensive supply of false Syrian passports are issued to these volunteers. In fact, Syria allowed key al-Qaeda activists in Iraq to use its territory for weapons supplies and financing. Public disclosure of this activity emerged following the killing of Badran al-Mazidi (Abu al-Ghadiyah), a senior al-Qaeda logistics operative in Iraq, in an American Delta Force commando operation in the Syrian village of Sukkariyeh near the Iraqi border on October 26, 2008. According to American intelligence sources, Abu al-Ghadiyah had been operating in Syria for a number of years, smuggling money, weapons, and fighters on behalf of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda commander in Iraq. When Zarqawi was killed in 2006, Abu al-Ghadiyah continued to operate under Abu Ayyub al-Masri, Zarqawi’s successor. US intelligence indicates that Abu al-Ghadiyah would supply global jihadists with false passports, train them, provide them with safe houses, and supply them with weapons and other supplies. These volunteer jihadists came from many countries in the region – Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Abu al-Ghadiyah made housing arrangements for them in Damascus and the port city of Latakia with the help of Syrian intelligence officers. After moving the volunteers into Iraq, Abu al-Ghadiyah’s men on the east side of the border would continue to see to their logistical needs.
Moreover, American military sources stated that in addition to the logistical support that global jihadists receive in Syria, the Syrian president allows al-Qaeda operatives to train on Syrian soil. The Sunday Times, for example, following a visit to Sukkariyeh where Abu al-Ghadiyah operated, quoted a local leader who explained that everyone in the village knew that jihadists were active in the area. “You can often hear gunfire near the border that has nothing to do with clashes but are just the fighters training,” he said. He added that “there are regions along the border that the Syrian security service (the Mukhabarat) has closed, and I think that that is where the jihadists are. Those places have the best access to Iraq.” According to senior American officials, Syria and Iran also supply al-Qaeda networks in Iraq with bomb-making materials and help them improve the quality of their explosives.
Most importantly, until recently Syria was the main source of the suicide bombers active in Iraq. Thus in 2007, American military sources claimed that “85-90 percent of the suicide terrorists in Iraq enter the country through Syria,” and despite repeated appeals Syria has not managed – or not wanted – to stop the flow of Sunni suicide bombers into Iraq. In the course of 2008, though the situation improved and the flow of suicide terrorists into Iraq slowed significantly, American sources maintain that this resulted from successful activity on the part of Iraqi and coalition forces along the border with Syria.
And supports terrorists of all stripes and colors:
Since the 1960s, the Syrian regime has used terrorism to advance its goals in both the internal and regional arenas. Syrian terrorist activity has included a range of methods, such as assassinations of rivals athome and abroad and various attacks on Israeli, Jewish, and Western targets around the world. The tactics Syria has used over the years have varied according to needs and circumstances. The regime in Damascus has at times sent its own agents to launch terrorist attacks, and at timeshas operated proxy organizations such as al-Saiqa. At other times Syria has provided close support for various organizations serving its interests, such as the Fatah Revolutionary Council (Abu Nidal) and the Popular Front–General Command under Jibril’s command. On a few occasions, the regime provided more passive aid to Palestinian terrorist organizations such as the Popular Front and even to foreign terrorist organizations such as the Kurdish PKK and the Japanese Red Army.
These organizations were granted shelter in Syria and used Syria as a base of operations for activity abroad. This policy, which began under Hafez el-Asad, continues to serve his son Bashar. At the same time, Syria under Bashar is concentrating its efforts primarily on indirect help, especially for Hizbollah, and on mostly passive aid for Palestinian terrorist organizations, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in particular. The non-Arab foreign terrorist organizations that formerly operated in Syria were asked to leave. In addition, the Syrian regime is avoiding, at least for now, using its own agents for terrorist activity. The exception is Syria’s activity in Lebanon where Syria has no qualms about eliminating its political rivals.
The change in Syria’s operational terrorism policy stemmed mostly from the international risks involved in being directly implicated in terrorist attacks. Ever since 9/11, it has been clear even to the Syrian regime that staging terrorist attacks is liable to provoke a harsh international response. Thus a significant portion of Syrian support for terrorism is channeled indirectly to global jihad elements, which are not operated by Syria as proxy organizations, rather are allowed to reside in Syrian territory and operate out of it freely against enemies of the Syrian regime. Today, the primary arena where Syria-based global jihad elements are active is Iraq and to a lesser extent Lebanon.
So with “rebels” fighting against the Syrian regime why shouldn’t the US go in and help out, as we did in Libya?
Why, because Assad is a “reformer”
“No,” Clinton said, when asked on the CBS “Face the Nation” program if the U.S. would intervene in Syria’s unrest. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s security forces clashed with protesters in several cities yesterday after his promises of freedoms and pay increases failed to prevent dissent from spreading across the country.
Clinton said the elements that led to intervention in Libya — international condemnation, an Arab League call for action, a United Nations Security Council resolution — are “not going to happen” with Syria, in part because members of the U.S. Congress from both parties say they believe Assad is “a reformer.”
What a mess of a President, what a mess of administration, and what a mess they have all got us into to.
Anything to help out the Arab League it appears.
Hypocrites one and all.