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Monday, March 18, 2013

Allies say US holding back fight against Assad in Syria

US President Barack Obama has clearly emerged as the best friend Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has among those countries thought to be supporters of Assad's opposition. Readers of my blog since Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad will not be surprised by that. Now according to the Washington Post, key US allies in Europe and the region are becoming increasing frustrated with what I consider Barack Obama's passive-aggressive support for Assad. From the Washington Post, we have this report:
U.S. hesi­ta­tion on arms shipments to rebels in Syria frustrates
some close allies in Europe and the Middle East

By Karen DeYoung
Published: March 16
Decisions by France and Britain to step up direct support for Syrian opposition forces, possibly with arms shipments to the rebels, threaten to leave the United States on the sidelines of what many see as the approaching climax of a two-year-old effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

That may be precisely where the Obama administration decides to stay, once it concludes a renewed internal debate over whether to pursue a more aggressive policy in Syria.

But U.S. hesi­ta­tion has frustrated some of Washington’s closest European and Middle Eastern friends, who say that the time for debate is fast running out. More than 70,000 Syrians have been killed and millions have fled their homes. The raging conflict has begun to spill over Syria’s borders, and no negotiated end is in sight. ­

“We’re at the point where we have to show some real progress,” said a senior official from a Middle Eastern government that actively supports the Syrian rebels. Sophisticated weapons that could help break a months-long military stalemate in and around Damascus and consolidate rebel gains in other parts of the country, he said, could finally persuade regime supporters to break with Assad and hasten his downfall.

Beginning last fall, “everyone was waiting for a new administration, then a new cabinet” in Washington to formulate and lead a new joint strategy, the official said. If Assad and his military now “see business as usual, then he could survive,” the official said.

Anti-Assad governments in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, are privately acerbic in their assessment of U.S. dithering. The Europeans express more understanding, even as they question whether the Obama doctrine of close coordination on issues of shared foreign policy concern is viable if the United States declines to participate.

“It slightly undermines the model” established with the military intervention in Libya, a senior European official said. There, President Obama took credit for organizing and supporting a strategy implemented along with European and Persian Gulf partners.

“We would hope the Americans would join us” on Syria, the official said. More...
A group called human right first has started a political campaign targeting Assad enablers around the world, including in such unlikely places as the US, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, South Africa and Venezuela. They have also established a
New Interactive Website, Report Chronicle Syrian Enables
and U.S. Options to Stop Them

March 15, 2013
Washington, D.C. – Today marks two years since the start of the Syrian uprising that has claimed nearly 70,000 lives, caused over one millions refugees to flee the country and sparked an international debate about how the world should respond to ongoing atrocities. Human Rights First notes that the conflict in Syria is a human rights catastrophe perpetuated by a complex network of supply chains that have supported the Assad regime. To shed light on these actors, Human Rights First today released a new interactive online site and accompanying report, The Enablers of the Syrian Conflict: How Targeting Third Parties Can Slow the Atrocities in Syria, detailing the countries and commercial entities that are enabling Syrian President Bashir Assad’s crackdown. The group also offers specific recommendations for how the United States can disrupt these supply chains. More...
Here is a bit from the human rights first report:
President Obama has made stopping mass atrocities a “core national security interest” of the United States, which manifestly applies to Syria. As neighboring countries struggle to absorb the nearly one million refugees and regional powers become more involved in the conflict, the possibility of wider violence and instability looms.

Yet U.S. efforts to slow or stop the crisis—diplomacy and sanctions against the regime, primarily—have had little effect. Amid calls to arm the rebels, we urge the United
States to approach the conflict from the other end: to choke off the flow of arms, resources, and money to Assad. While no single strategy could resolve this crisis,
this low-risk, nonviolent one could help stem the bloodshed and put pressure on Assad to stop the bloodshed.

The Syrian regime’s mass atrocities—like all mass atrocities—are complex, organized crimes requiring the support of third party “enablers.” This report provides both
a unique overview of Assad’s enablers and a roadmap the U.S. government can follow to crack down on them.
Here is a petition you can sign from human rights first.

Here are some of my other blogs on Obama's support for Assad:
Obama "green lights" Assad's slaughter in Syria
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
Chemical weapons use reported in Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
SecState John Kerry and his "dear friend" Bashar al-Assad
How Obama's 'No MANPADS for you' policy in Syria is backfiring

More thoughts on Obama's 'No MANPADS for you!' policy

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

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