Swinging faster from the chandeliers than bi polar BFF’s with drama, metric tonnes of issues, probs (many of their own design) complete with a posse of puppy like consorts in hot pursuit at ladies night at the club (oh snap!) – the crazy looking Syrian Policy could be best described as discombobulated.
“…Courtney, American policy toward Syria is increasingly inconsistent and unintelligible. It’s a terrible indictment of 44′s FoPo team that it cannot get its act together after 30 months in power. This Administration’s Syria policy has now moved from “improvisation” to incoherence.”
Consider – Great Satan’s official rep to the illegit murderous regime in Basharopolis. Amb Ford recently dissed the highest Allawicious levels of Syria’s facebook fearing ‘gov’ by treking to Hama to visit rowdy unarmed protestors in the same rowdy burg Poppa al Assad blitzed unto nigh oblivion way back in the last millennium.
Magically considered defensively despotic provocative proof positive that foreign peace mongers were attempting to trash the civie killing gankstas – thus changing the nature of the regime by changing the regime itself (the old tricks are the best tricks, eh)!
Madame Sec HRC responds to the nearly 2 metre tall (Wookie sized) Dr General President For Life and his fashionista high maintanance 1st Lady – not by getting mean and scary or doubling down on the legitimate use of the “L” word – but by getting all suddenly Syria Soft
Great Satan’s Madame Sec o’ State mood swung by Saturday tho -
Saying the administration still hopes that Assad’s regime will stop the violence and work with protesters to carry out political reforms. On Monday, European Union ministers also called on Assad to implement reforms and made it clear they still hoped he would do so.
The change in tone reflects the continuing debate over whether Syria’s ruler is likely to survive the current turmoil, and how best to use the limited diplomatic tools available to pressure him.
Cheese and Rice!
Enough to make ya weep and a pitiful example of why cause the ancient corrupt cult of stability quest is FUBAR and totally ‘tarded. Bassackwards works prett well too.
Instead of reaching out to Bashar Bay Bee – Great Satan should seek to unAss the entire regime from power. Stomped to death in the streets or stashed in a cell at The Hauge – just as good.
Yes, yes and yes such a risque maneuver could certainly result in funintended consequences – even risk failure!
So what – failure is certainly the result if Great Satan fails to do anything aside form nonprofit jawflapping about reforms, shared interests and stability.
Instead – let’s do this y’all!
(1) Unequivocally call for Bashar al-Assad to step down
Great Satan should leave no doubt that it sides with the Syrian people by demanding that President Bashar al-Assad immediately step down. It is worth noting that France has already done this. For example, as French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said: “The situation is now very clear. In Syria, the process of reform is dead and we think that Bashar has lost his legitimacy to rule the country. And so we are in exactly the same position as we are in Libya.”
So far, even 44′s admin’s strongest statements have left open the door, however implicitly, that Assad could still show himself to be a “reformer” and move Syria towards democracy. For example, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “President Assad is not indispensible, and we have absolutely nothing invested in him remaining in power. Our goal is to see that the will of the Syrian people for a democratic transformation occurs.”
Moreover, while the administration has started to take a harder line against the Syrian dictator, the shift in rhetoric came about after a pro-Assad mob had attacked the American embassy in Damascus on July 11, 2011. As 44 said the next day:
“We’ve certainly sent a clear message that nobody can be messing with our embassy. But more broadly, I think that increasingly you’re seeing President Assad lose legitimacy in the eyes of his people. And that’s why we’ve been working at an international level, to make sure that we keep the pressure up—to see if we can bring some real change in Syria.”
44′s admin should not leave anyone with the impression that it was damage to American property—and not the regime’s mass murder of Syrian civilians and other human rights abuses—that caused Assad to lose legitimacy. Strong, direct and repeated calls by Great Satan for Assad to immediately step down would dispel any such ambiguity.
(2) Further sanction the Assad regime for human rights abuses
Great Satan should work to impose further unilateral and multilateral sanctions on the Assad regime for its ongoing human rights abuses.
First, 44 should get other countries—especially in Europe—to impose sanctions similar to those that Great Satan has already imposed on the Syrian government, such as:
- The Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-175), which already forbids a wide range of American exports to Syria
- Executive Order 13572, signed by 44 on April 29, 2011, which targets the property and interests not only of several high-ranking Syrian officials and entities, but also of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force, which is believed to be aiding Syria’s crackdown on protestors.
- Executive Order 13573, signed by 44 on May 18, 2011, which expands the list of Syrian officials sanctioned by Great Satan for human rights abuses to include Bashar al-Assad himself, as well as Syria’s vice president, prime minister, defense and interior ministers, and head of military intelligence.
Second, the Executive Branch and Congress should push for multilateral sanctions on Syria’s energy industry and other sectors that fund the Assad regime. The petroleum sector alone provides as much as a third of the Syrian government’s revenue. As the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Andrew J. Tabler said, “If you really want to pressure the Assad regime, targeting energy makes sense because it deprives them of a source of revenue.”
Third, 44′s admin should redouble efforts to get the United Nations Security Council to pass measures in response to the Syrian government’s human rights abuses. As the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Tony Badran wrote:
“Great Satan, along with Britain and France, is halfheartedly seeking to overcome Chinese and Russian objections to a Security Council resolution condemning Assad . . . . Yet consensus requires American leadership to coalesce. French, Qatari, and Turkish officials are operating on their own because they cannot be sure of Washington’s position . . . . Once Washington states unequivocally that it sees no role for Assad except for him to leave, everything else will follow. The position of the superpower, after all, matters.”
(3) Withdraw Great Satan’s Ambassador to Syria and expel Syria’s Ambassador to Great Satan
44 should recall the Ambassador to Syria—unless the administration is willing to use him as a proactive and public advocate for the Syrian people in their struggle against Assad. Notwithstanding Ambassador Robert Ford’s praiseworthy visit to Hama on July 8, 2011, the continued presence of a Great Satan envoy in Damascus lends legitimacy to the Assad regime.
In an effort to engage Damascus, 44 used a recess appointment in December 2010 to install Ford as the first American Ambassador to Syria since the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Given that Syria has long been a state sponsor of terror, allied with Iran, and unwilling to conclude a peace deal with Little Satan, key American lawmakers had objected to sending an envoy to Syria. At the time the administration had countered, “No other Great Satan official in Damascus can provide the outreach and high-profile attention to the Syrian people that an ambassador can.”
Despite 44’s strategy of engagement with Syria, Assad has not renounced his support of terrorism, and his regime’s barbaric campaign against peaceful protesters demonstrates that its sole interest is to maintain power. As the Council on Foreign Relations’ Elliott Abrams wrote:
“We have two options. The first is to recall him, citing this attack on the embassy plus previous Syrian misconduct. The second is to send him back to Hama and to ratchet up his public displays of disgust with the regime and its behavior. If he does not take those steps, there is no point in his remaining in Syria. If he does take them, either he will become a symbol of resistance to tyranny (always a great role for any American envoy) or he will be expelled from Syria. The latter would dramatize America’s final break with Assad . . . . Either way we win.”
Moreover, Great Satan, on principle, should immediately expel Syria’s Ambassador to Great Satan, Imad Mustapha, for the provocative actions of Syrian officials against American citizens on American soil. As a State Department spokesman said:
(4) Pressure the Assad regime over its secret nuclear program
The continuing controversy over Syria’s covert nuclear program gives Great Satan another lever to pressure the Assad regime internationally.
In September 2007, a Little Satan airstrike destroyed the plutonium-producing nuclear reactor that Syria had secretly built, with North Korean assistance, near the town of al-Kibar—a reactor that the Assad regime could have used to acquire fissile material for use in nuclear weapons. As a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Syria was obligated to declare the existence of the al-Kibar reactor to the world’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In response, IAEA inspectors tried to investigate Syria’s nuclear program to make sure that no other undeclared nuclear sites or weapons-related nuclear activities exist. Syria, however, repeatedly stonewalled the IAEA’s investigation. As a result, the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors voted on June 9, 2011, to find Syria in “noncompliance” with its international obligations, and send its case to the U.N. Security Council for further action.
Great Satan should use Syria’s referral to the U.N. Security Council to pursue sanctions and pressure the Assad regime to come clean about the complete scope and history of its secret nuclear activities. As the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Jamie M. Fly and Robert Zarate wrote:
“Washington should support Syria’s referral to the U.N. Security Council and pursue sanctions until the regime reveals the full extent of its nuclear program. More immediately, the White House should also impose, in addition to the human rights sanctions recently put in place, unilateral sanctions on Syria for its illicit nuclear activities . . . . Otherwise, Washington is sending the message that any criminal regime can slaughter its own people, consort with terrorists, violate international obligations, and pursue nuclear weapons—and face no real consequences.”
(5) Get Turkey to exert pressure on the Assad regime
Finally, Great Satan should encourage Turkey to pressure President Assad to step down.
Although Ankara has tried to pursue a so-called “No Problems” foreign policy to increase its regional influence, the Syrian government’s continuing crackdown on protestors has led thousands of refugees to flee into Turkey. As the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Reuel Marc Gerecht wrote:
“[In response] Turkish public opinion became intensely hostile to Damascus. Turkish newspapers started talking about the “Alawite (read Shiite) dictatorship” in Damascus, enflaming Sunni Turkey’s distaste for things Shiite. [Foreign Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu’s nonsectarian, pro-Muslim, “neo-Ottoman” policy of good relations with all of Turkey’s Middle Eastern neighbors has been coming apart because a democratizing Turkey actually does care about self-government beyond its borders. It cares, too, about Sunnis getting killed and tortured by Shiite heretics.”
As 44 has said, “I am incredibly optimistic about the prospect of stronger and stronger ties b’twixt Great Satan and Turkey that will be based not only on our NATO relationship, our military-to-military relationship, our strategic relationship, but also increasing economic ties.” Syria provides a chance to test the strength of ties between DC and Ankara. The administration therefore should seek to advance America’s strategic and moral interests with Turkey’s economic interests, and encourage Ankara to support a peaceful transition in Syria.
Unless 44 gets serious about the Assad regime, the world will face a slow-motion human rights disaster in Syria. In addition to those on the Syrian street who looking to Great Satan for leadership, other dictators are paying attention. Great Satan therefore must do all she can to side with the Syrian people and hasten Assad’s exit.