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Emet m'Tsiyon

Saturday, July 02, 2011

How Obama's State Dept Works to Keep Assad Basher in Power

UPDATINGS up to 7-17&20&21&24&8-6&7-2011

Anti-Zionism is the anti-imperialism of fools.

Despite the usual viscous peace-loving goo that is often emitted by the State Dept, it is obvious now and has been --for years in fact-- that successive US administrations have worked to keep the Assad regime in power in Syria. They have worked to protect it from enemies both at home and abroad [such as Israel, such as the Lebanese anti-Syrian March 14 Movement, etc]. This was done despite the aid that the Assad regime gave to al-Qa`ida and pro-al-Qa`ida terrorists to get into Iraq and kill American troops there as well as Iraqi civilians.

Elliott Abrams talks about Obama's latest Syria policy on the Council for Foreign Relations blog, of all places. The policy now is that the Syrian opposition --whose rank & file Assad Basher's regime has been torturing and slaughtering for months now-- should talk with the regime in order to bring about "reforms" and "transition" in Syria. It is a weird, if not bizarre, policy. Here is Abrams:

In the last week the news has brought reports of additional repression in Syria, and of the American response: to urge Syrian dissidents to negotiate with the Assad regime.

This Washington Post account describes typical events on the ground in Syria:

“Around 100 peaceful protesters calling for freedom were met with police and baton-wielding security forces Thursday at Damascus University. Students gathered outside the faculty of economics in the Baramkeh area of Damascus minutes after 3pm today calling for freedom. Dozens more students joined together with the small group as the chanting became more forceful. One female protester managed to unfurl a flag before police and security forces charged on the crowd.”

On June 23, The New York Times reported that “Syrian forces backed by snipers and tanks stormed into the border town of Khirbet al-Jouz…sending hundreds of refugees fleeing to Turkey from the informal camp where they had sought shelter from a violent crackdown on protests in the country’s rural northwest.”

The Assad regime has adopted a diplomatic and propaganda plan so clear in its duplicity that I had assumed no one would fall for it. While the killing and jailing continue, the regime has also allowed one single meeting of dissidents in Damascus. In response, according to the Guardian newspaper in London, “The US is pushing the Syrian opposition to maintain dialogue with Bashar al-Assad’s regime as details emerge of a controversial ‘roadmap’ for reforms that would leave him in power for now despite demands for his overthrow during the country’s bloody three-month uprising.”

The Guardian account continues: “Quiet US interest in the roadmap dovetails with public demands from Washington that Assad reform or step down. Robert Ford, the US ambassador, has been urging opposition figures to talk to the regime, said Radwan Ziadeh, a leading exile, who insisted the strategy would not work. ‘They are asking Bashar to lead the transition and this is not acceptable to the protesters,’ he said. ‘It is too late.’”

The State Department denies that it is pushing the opposition into compromising its objectives and principles, but the Guardian then reports this: “A state department spokesman said: ‘We are encouraging genuine dialogue between the opposition and the regime but we are not promoting anything. We want to see a democratic Syria but this is in the hands of the Syrian people.’”

So, it is in the hands of the Syrians—but just in case they don’t get the message it is again clarified: the United States wants the regime to talk, not to fall. In recent trips to the Middle East and in conversations with Arab democracy activists, I have often been asked why the United States is backing Bashar. After months of denying it, I can only conclude they were right. How else can one read these news reports?

It is not possible to have “genuine dialogue” with a regime that has murdered roughly 1,400 peaceful protesters, jailed up to 10,000 more, and continues to shoot and imprison anyone it pleases. The American call for such “dialogue” is an act of realpolitik that abandons all claim to morality.

That is bad enough, but realpolitik must then be judged by its logic and its fruits. There are none, except for undermining the moral position of the United States. To repeat what has been written here before, the Assad regime is an enemy of the United States. It has the blood of tens of thousands of Syrians on its hands but also of thousands of Americans, killed in Iraq by jihadis it led into Iraq for that purpose. It is Iran’s only Arab ally, and provides Iran with a Mediterranean port, a border with Israel through Hizballah, and an arms trafficking route from Iran to Hizballah. It supports and houses Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. The fall of the Assad regime would be the greatest blow we can strike against Iran and its terrorist allies today.

“Encouraging genuine dialogue” is a pitiful position for the United States to take when our interests—and those of our enemies—are so clear, and when astonishingly courageous Syrians keep risking their lives to bring down the Assad regime. Our interests and our values coincide in Syria, and both are undermined when our policies have the effect of prolonging in power a vicious, anti-American regime allied to terrorist groups and to Iran. This policy is folly, not realpolitik. - - - - - end of Abrams - - - -

7-5-2011 BRITAIN ECHOES OBAMA POLICY ON SYRIA: The British are still waiting for Assad to carry out reforms!! Can you believe the naked hypocrisy?
Syrie: Londres condamne la répression à Hama "La violente répression à Hama ne fera que saper un peu plus la légitimité du régime et soulèvent de sérieuses questions sur sa volonté de mettre en oeuvre les réformes qu'il a annoncées récemment", a souligné le ministre britannique des Affaires étrangères William Hague dans un communiqué. "Aucun véritable dialogue politique ne peut avoir lieu au moment où est menée une répression militaire brutale", a-t-il ajouté. Au moins onze civils ont été tués par les forces syriennes mardi à Hama, une ville du centre du pays.
London thinks [ostensibly] that Assad's regime still has some "legitimacy" left because it says, "The violent repression in Hama will only undermine the regime's legitimacy a little more ." When did the Assad regime in Syria --going back to the 1960s-- ever have legitimacy? The Hama massacre of 1982 did not undo the regime's legitimacy at all as far as Her Majesty's Govt was & is concerned.
7-5-2011 Washington is still wringing its hands over Syrian repression. "The United States is very troubled by the continuing attacks on peaceful demonstrators in Syria"-- State Dept. Harsh criticism? Maybe not in the circumstances. Anyhow the State Dept is not troubled enough to demand that Assad get out. Recall that Obama told Mubarak to get out for much less.
Syrie: les USA réclament le départ des troupes syriennes d’Hama (Guysen.International.News)Les Etats-Unis ont réclamé aujourd'hui le départ des forces syriennes de la ville d'Hama, exigeant aussi du régime qu'il cesse sa "campagne d'arrestations". "Les Etats-Unis sont très inquiets de la poursuite des attaques contre des manifestants pacifiques en Syrie", a souligné Victoria Nuland, la porte-parole du département d'Etat.
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More on Syria and Obama's policy on helping the Assad gang stay in power. [here & here& others].
The word "power" by the way reminds me of one Samantha Power, the leading humanitarian phoney in the White House on Obama's staff. She went so far as to write a book about the US failure to effectively oppose past genocide & also recommended sending troops to Israel to enforce a pro-Arab settlement on Israel.
The slaughter in Syria may not yet be genocide. But mass slaughter fits what's happening.
7-4-2011 Barry Rubin points out that the Obama White House's warm spot for the Assad regime extends to Lebanon where the Obamanoids have allowed Hizbullah, Assad's allies, to take over the govt. Rubin says that the recent indictment of 4 Hizbullah operatives for murdering former Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri, has not moved Obama to do anything concrete to punish the Hizb for that murder and others [here]
7-7-2011 John Hannah wonders about the paradox of Obama's toleration for Assad Basher while he had told Mubarak to get out shortly after the protests began in Egypt [here]
7-16-2011 Barry Rubin tries to fathom the depths of Obama's Middle Eastern policy and to identify the reasons for it [here]
7-20-2011 Hilary/Obama backtracks on harsh words for Assad. Brutality is OK and the Syrian Opposition should cooperate with Assad Basher to bring reforms -- That's Washington's message about Syria as of now and the EU falls in line [here].
Tony Badran diagnoses earlier stages of the pathology of Obama Syria policy [here]
7-21-2011 Barry Rubin picks apart a lunatic editorial in the New York Times [State Dept mouthpiece] which tells the Lebanese prime minister to be a good boy and follow through on the international tribunal's indictments of the Hizbullah operatives who organized and carried out the murder of Rafiq Hairi & a score of others, and arrest them [here]. Unless the current Lebanese PM wants to end up like Hariri, he is quite unlikely to taken any meaningful action against Hizbullah operatives as long as the Hizb controls Lebanon. But the NYT can pretend that we are living in a civilized world.
Tony Badran now diagnoses the latest stages of Obama's pathological Syria policy [here]. Should we blame Obama's mentors, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Lee Hamilton, or an ingrained and insane Third Worldism transmitted to him as a contagion from the Communist who served him as a father figure in his youth?
7-23-2011 Barry Rubin again ponders why Obama & Co. are still trying to prop up the Syrian Assad regime, although it is hated by most Syrians and is likely to be overthrown [according to Israeli intelligence] [here]. Instead of trying to work with the Syrian opposition --a heterogeneous group to be sure-- in order to keep the Muslim Brotherhood out of a future Syrian power structure as much as possible, the Obama administration throws out several fraudulent arguments. One is the lie that Israel wants Assad and his regime to stay in power. Another is the danger that the Muslim Brotherhood might take power in a post-Assad Syria. But we can't trust that as being a real concern in Washington, since Obama and others speaking for him urged the powers that be in Egypt to allow "non-secular" forces to share power in a new, post-Mubarak Egypt, and one of Obama's "national security" clowns, Clapper, even minimized the Islamist nature of the MB by falsely claiming that it was "largely secular."
7-24-2011 Lee Smith calls the Obama White House's Syria policy "morally obtuse" [here]. Smith believes that the regime is doomed.
8-3-2011 Fiamma Nirenstein on the Security Council's failure to speak out about the regime massacres in Syria [here]
8-4-2011 Catherine Ashton has given your ever loyal and ever modest blogger a helping hand. She told the world after Bashar Assad had taken "a step in the right direction" by issuing a new law permitting a multi-party political situation in Syria [here]. She did this after French foreign minister, Alain Juppe, had sneered at Assad's move as a joke and a "provocation." The rather dull-witted Mrs Ashton or Baroness Ashton is holding on to the old British position of forgiving indulgence for Assad after even Obama had taken a more hostile stance toward Assad. She helped me, as said above, because other leaders, like Obama and Juppe, had already distanced themselves more from Assad, thereby leaving me without as much to criticize in them as before. She is the EU foreign affairs commissioner and seems to be becoming an embarassment for the EU. They should throw her out now in order to maintain any semblance of decency.
8-6-2011 Jonathan Tobin reports that UNESCO, headed by former Clinton honcho, Anthony Lake, continues to give money to Syrian govt programs --money raised from American children among others, while the regime keeps on slaughtering its people and while world powers finally rebuke Assad & his regime about that [here]
8-7-2011 The Hill reports on the US public relations outfit that arranged for Assad's wife to have a profile of her done for Vogue [here]

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