Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press later this year. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reports.It's Official: The Obama Administration Will Do Zero to Criticize or Undermine the Syrian Dictatorship
By Barry Rubin
It's official. The Obama Administration won't do anything at all to help the Syrian people against the Bashar al-Asad dictatorship. Libya's Muammar Qadhafi is a bad dictator, but Bashar al-Asad is a good dictator?
The great Martin Kramer puts it perfectly:
"Earlier I noted that the Arab League gave Asad a license to kill because Syria is "occupied." Now Clinton and Kerry have given him one because he's a "reformer." Asad hasn't carried out any reforms, still supports terror, has stockpiles of WMD, and even tried to build a secret nuke facility. But unlike Qaddafi, he cleans up nicely and his wife is chic. Asad gets a pass; Asads always do."
Ask yourself these simple questions: Which regime is more dangerous to U.S. interests? Which regime is sponsoring more terrorism at present? Which regime is killing Americans in Iraq? Which regime is allied with Iran and actively trying to destroy U.S. interests in the Middle East? Who is the worse dictator--more repressive; incompetent; and bad for regional stability, the United States, and the West--Egypt's Husni Mubarak or Syria's Bashar al-Asad?
Nobody is asking the U.S. government to bomb Syria or to send troops. It's just a matter of supporting those seeking democracy when it also serves U.S. interests. Even Secretary of Defense Robert Gates seems to feel this way.
I have no idea whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supports the White House's pro-Syrian policy or not but her attempt to defend it is the most pitiful performance of her 26 months in the job. Was this because her heart isn't in it or just that the contradictions are too obvious to paper over?
Does anyone still believe that the United States is going to woo Syria away from Iran, especially now that it's handing one victory after another to Tehran? Does anyone still believe that Syria is going to make peace with Israel? I mean someone who is a rational being who has some comprehension of international affairs, in other words not Senator John Kerry.
Technorati Tag: Obama and Clinton and Syria.
You'd have to believe Assad is willing to ditch half a century of Syrian statecraft to get in America's and Israel's good graces.
What's in it for him? He has the best of all worlds right now and the only way he'd ever change his policy is if it dealt him a losing hand. Not with the way things are going, from the Syrian perspective.
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