Wednesday, March 07, 2012

US "New and Assertive" Step Is Helping Syrian Opposition Organize

Libyan Rebels Defiant but in Disarray, as Qaddafi’s Forces Gain Momentum
New York Times headline, March 11, 2011

Assad's Forces Gaining "Momentum" in Syria, U.S. General Warns
Washington Post headline, March 7, 2012

Just a year ago, Qaddafi's forces in Libya were reported to be gaining momentum. Today, we know what happened and Qaddafi is no longer a threat to his people.

Today Assad is still a threat to the Syrian people, and despite what the pundits may say, it is still not clear that Assad's days as ruler of Syria are numbered--even as the slaughter of unarmed Syrian civilians continues.

Maybe the turnaround to the situation is just around the corner as the US is committing itself to assist the Syrian opposition:
Last week, a group of senior Obama administration officials met to finalize a package of options for aiding both the internal and external Syrian opposition, to include providing direct humanitarian and communications assistance to the Syrian opposition, two administration officials confirmed to The Cable. This meeting of what's known as the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council set forth a new and assertive strategy for expanding U.S. engagement with Syrian activists and providing them with the means to organize themselves, but stops short of providing any direct military assistance to the armed opposition.
And that of course is the problem--that the Obama administration stops short of any kind of military aid, while at the same time patting itself on the back for taking the bold step of offering advice.
"These moves are going to invest the U.S. in a much deeper sense with the opposition," one administration official said. "U.S. policy is now aligned with enabling the opposition to overthrow the Assad regime. This codifies a significant change in our Syria policy."
The Obama administration is still unwilling to arm the Syrian oppostion--let alone discuss options such as a no-fly zone in Syria or using US armed forces there.

At best, the Obama administration will not oppose other countries arming the rebels.

This is "new and assertive".

Is it any wonder that Israel will not allow itself to be tied down to the whims of the Obama administration?

If Obama does not have the back of unarmed Syrian civilians being slaughtered by Assad, then the support of the US in general, and Obama in particular, does not mean very much.

We know what happened in Libya.
Don't count on the same thing happening in Syria.

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