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Old 02-13-2012, 09:48 AM  
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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Obama must do something tangible for Syria

Obama must do something tangible for Syria

Editor’s Note: Danielle Pletka is the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, DC. Before joining AEI, she served for ten years as a senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Danielle Pletka.
By Danielle Pletka – Special to CNN

Obama administration officials have labeled the United Nations’ failure to act on Syria as “outrageous” and a “travesty”. But that’s about all they’ve done about Syrian dictator Basher el Assad’s wanton murder of thousands of innocent Syrians.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the failure of last weekend’s weak Security Council resolution, more than 400 Syrians were killed in ruthless assaults. They had nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Syrian opposition leaders have begged the international community to act, to do more than convene in contact groups and make rounds on the diplomatic circuit. But their begging has fallen on deaf ears.

Why care about Syria?

Let’s again rehearse the simple reasons:
- Syria is the soft underbelly of Iran, Tehran’s most important ally, conduit for arms and cash to terrorists.
- Syria has been home to and sponsor of terrorists that have killed American soldiers and non-combatants in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Israel, in the West Bank and more.
- Syria was likely behind the murder of the former Prime Minister of Lebanon, an act for which it has paid no price
- Syria has been the godfather to Iran’s terrorist creature, Hezbollah, which has degraded and exploited the Lebanese state (among many other sins).
-Syria’s despotic government has murdered thousands of its own people and will continue to do so until Bashar al-Assad has secured once again his dominion over the Syrian people.

A unique confluence of American moral purpose and America’s strategic interest argue for intervention in Syria. It’s time to do something tangible.
It’s time to start arming the Free Syrian Army, convening the disparate factions of the Syrian opposition and coaching them toward an interim government. It’s time to create safe zones along the border with Turkey and humanitarian corridors to get there. It’s time to protect those corridors from the air with a limited no-fly zone and establish safe cities. And it’s time to do all that without benefit of a Security Council resolution, because let’s admit it, the Security Council’s moral authority is nil with Russia and China in permanent seats.

It’s time to begin to work with Turkey and coax the Islamist Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan into a position as moral leader in his region. He may be taking Turkey down a dangerous path, but at the moment, he’s willing to do the right thing on Syria. Let’s double down on that.

It’s in the U.S. interest; it’s also in Israel’s interest, and worth their while to arrange themselves on the side of Turkey and the Arab League against the loathsome al-Assad. That doesn’t mean coming out publicly and intervening in Arab affairs, but it does mean beginning to have quiet talks behind the scenes with interested parties. Indeed, it is fascinating that Israel, which has found itself in weird concert with the Arabs on Libya, Iran and Syria, has failed to exploit that position to improve its regional relations in any way. One might almost think Israel an indifferent observer to ouster of al-Assad, a sworn enemy.

Syria will have a post-Assad future. That future could be in the hands of Qatari backed Salafis, Saudi-backed Islamists, or the Western world could have a say. Sitting on the sidelines will ensure that we have as little as possible.

Here is what President Barack Obama said about Libya in May of last year:
“To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

How does Syria not meet that standard? For shame on Obama for his hypocrisy, his indifference, and his abdication of American moral and strategic leadership.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Danielle Pletka.

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn....ria/?hpt=wo_r1
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #2
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So what say you conservatives? Action or no action? You are made president for 5 minutes. Its your call.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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Hard to figure out what the US actually can do shy of another occupation.

That's why you're going to see a lot of people taking potshots at the President over Syria, while offering zero ideas as to what the US should do.

Which is exactly what Pletka is doing here. Complaining without offering ideas.

Because when it comes to helping the Syrian people, there really aren't any.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:00 AM   #5
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So what say you conservatives? Action or no action? You are made president for 5 minutes. Its your call.
I say if we were NOT in there instigating these guys to attack and overthrow their govt then we wouldn't even be having this conversation. This is a CIA, M-16, and Mossad covert action. Assad actually had support in that country as a secular regime and he treated Syrian Jews well.

So, of course, I don't think we should put our troops in there now. The whole idea was to bring it to this point, and then claim humanitarian reasons because that govt was killing it's people. What a load of BS. The left buys it because it's their guy in power but it's the same game—Clean Break strategy to remake the entire ME. Iran is just last on the list.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Hard to figure out what the US actually can do shy of another occupation.

That's why you're going to see a lot of people taking potshots at the President over Syria, while offering zero ideas as to what the US should do.

Which is exactly what Pletka is doing here. Complaining without offering ideas.

Because when it comes to helping the Syrian people, there really aren't any.
That's not what Pletka is doing. The criticism of Obama stems from his statements that the US can't sit idly by as people get slaughtered. Meanwhile, people are getting slaughtered, and here we sit.

The sad truth is that we CAN and WILL sit idly by while people get slaughtered. It's not Pletka's fault that Obama painted the US into a corner.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #7
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I might try to strong arm the Russian to stop cock blocking the UN but other than that not sure what useful Obama could do. Interesting Conservatives taking shots at him for not acting.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
So what say you conservatives? Action or no action? You are made president for 5 minutes. Its your call.
After decades of malignant order in the Middle East comprised of systemic oppression of Arab (and other Muslim) people at the hands of dictators and a constant state of non-peace against Israel, George W. Bush set the table in the middle east for a much needed radical transformation. It falls to Barack Obama to take advantage of that situation and see to it that the transformation results in an improvement. So far his track record isn't very good, IMO. Now is the time to force an end the Assad regime, and put some of the final nails in the coffin of Iran and her regionwide proxy army.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post

That's why you're going to see a lot of people taking potshots at the President over Syria, while offering zero ideas as to what the US should do.
The constant refrain by the left is that the govt should "do" things. If someone doesn't suggest action for an activist ( busy-body ) govt it means they have "zero" ideas. The best govt is the one that does the least to some. So advocating doing nothing is an idea. Particularly since all govt action has unintended consequences. You don't know what going in there could bring. That's a good enough idea for me.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
I might try to strong arm the Russian to stop cock blocking the UN but other than that not sure what useful Obama could do. Interesting Conservatives taking shots at him for not acting.
Why not, it's consistent with their philosophy? Obama is a pesky interventionist warmonger too. Only he covers it with humanitarian rhetoric to appeal to his base. The right uses the rhetoric of threats, national security and our "interests" to appeal to their base, even though it's a lie. Same coin, different side.

Why do you think paleo-cons and libertarians say the NeoCons are actually left-wing hawks. Precisely because of this position you take here. That we should intervene militarily.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Hard to figure out what the US actually can do shy of another occupation.

That's why you're going to see a lot of people taking potshots at the President over Syria, while offering zero ideas as to what the US should do.

Which is exactly what Pletka is doing here. Complaining without offering ideas.

Because when it comes to helping the Syrian people, there really aren't any.
Did you even read the article?
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
I say if we were NOT in there instigating these guys to attack and overthrow their govt then we wouldn't even be having this conversation. This is a CIA, M-16, and Mossad covert action. Assad actually had support in that country as a secular regime and he treated Syrian Jews well.

So, of course, I don't think we should put our troops in there now. The whole idea was to bring it to this point, and then claim humanitarian reasons because that govt was killing it's people. What a load of BS. The left buys it because it's their guy in power but it's the same game—Clean Break strategy to remake the entire ME. Iran is just last on the list.
And the most important.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
After decades of malignant order in the Middle East comprised of systemic oppression of Arab (and other Muslim) people at the hands of dictators and a constant state of non-peace against Israel, George W. Bush set the table in the middle east for a much needed radical transformation. It falls to Barack Obama to take advantage of that situation and see to it that the transformation results in an improvement. So far his track record isn't very good, IMO. Now is the time to force an end the Assad regime, and put some of the final nails in the coffin of Iran and her regionwide proxy army.
How Progressively Left Wing of you, my dear.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #14
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How Progressively Left Wing of you, my dear.
Your statements like this are meaningless.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
After decades of malignant order in the Middle East comprised of systemic oppression of Arab (and other Muslim) people at the hands of dictators and a constant state of non-peace against Israel, George W. Bush set the table in the middle east for a much needed radical transformation. It falls to Barack Obama to take advantage of that situation and see to it that the transformation results in an improvement. So far his track record isn't very good, IMO. Now is the time to force an end the Assad regime, and put some of the final nails in the coffin of Iran and her regionwide proxy army.
@ bush being responsible for what's happening in the middle east. Twitter and facebook have much more to do with it than shrub's misguided foray into iraq.
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