Why the silence on Syria, since President Obama has already promised the people of the Middle East: “Wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States.’’
The latest example is Syria, where protests against one of the most repressive regimes in the world are now in their third week – despite the killing of dozens of peaceful demonstrators. Friday’s protests – a “day of martyrs” – saw more violence by security forces in a number of cities.
What is rather sleepy is the Obama administration’s sense of moral outrage over these killings or its refusal to join calls by Syrians for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad and his repressive Baath party. The ruler of Damascus is, after all, already well branded as a regional facilitator of terrorists for Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah.
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His strategy of intimidating protesters with violence is now clear. It reflects the tactics of his late father, who ended a rebellion in the city of Hama in 1982 by simply killing most of the 15,000 to 20,000 residents there.