Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Obama Administration Continues Its Weakness And Vaccilation On Syria

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton obviously got a spanking from President Obama behind the scenes.

Last week, Secretary Clinton had finally dropped her line about Syrian Thug-in-Chief Bashar Assad being 'a reformer' and said that Assad had 'lost legitimacy', language that looked like a lead up to calling for him to leave power.

This week, the story changed,with Secretary Clinton saying the administration still hopes that Assad's regime will stop killing and imprisoning the regime's political opponents and "work with protesters to carry out political reforms."

Yes, we're back to Assad The Reformer again.

Let's recap a bit. Here's a regime that actively aided and abetted jihadis and weaponry traveling through its territory to kill our troops in Iraq, who's allied with our enemies in Iran,who put together an illegal nuclear weapons program through North Korea until the Israelis bombed their main reactor, who actively and openly supports groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that are officially named terrorist groups by our state department and brutalizes its own people on a grand scale and we're 'hoping they work to institute reform'?

Syria is probably the one true 'Arab Spring ' pro-democracy revolt, the real game changer, and I can only imagine the feelings of Syrians risking their lives for their freedom when they see the vacillation of America's leaders.Those Arabs who saw Obama's farcical Cairo speech as an encouragement to freedom in the region have probably realized by now that it was just words and wind.

Syrian activists and their supporters were encouraged last week when the U.S. ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, unexpectedly visited the opposition stronghold of Hama and met with protesters. The highly publicized visit appeared to be a direct challenge to Assad's regime.

Then, after a pro-Assad mob broke into the U.S. Embassy compound in Damascus, Clinton angrily told reporters that "from our perspective, he has lost legitimacy." That sparked speculation that President Obama would call for Assad to step down.

But U.S. officials said no such decision had been made. And the next day, Obama appeared to soften Clinton's criticism. "Increasingly, you're seeing President Assad lose legitimacy in the eyes of his people," he said.

U.S. officials say that although some administration officials, including Clinton, have pressed for a more forceful policy, others argue that the administration would look weak if Obama called for Assad's departure and nothing happened.

I it actually possible for President Obama took look any weaker? Just to emphasize how President Obama is perceived, the Assad regime restricted the movements of US Ambassador Robert Ford, warning him not to leave Damascus without permission.

Instead of at least putting our moral authority on the side of the protesters, condemning the carnage outright and withdrawing our ambassador, steps that would gain the US some street credibility in the Arab world if nothing else, the president just hedges.

Oddly enough, only an outright foe of the United States is accorded this kid gloves treatment. Mubarak of Egypt, who was at least nominally an ally of the US certainly didn't. Neither did Moamar Khadaffi, who was no friend to America but at least not an active enemy.

I can't help but wonder if the Israel factor came into play as part of this..replacing a regime that was committed to keeping the Israeli-Egyptian accords with one that likely won't, and coddling another regime that is an avowed enemy of Israel and supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

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