Syria's president is getting away with murder

  • Article by: Star Tribune Editorial
  • Updated: May 2, 2013 - 7:13 PM

Bashar Assad's deadly ways continue because of global inaction.

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supervon2May. 2, 13 9:39 PM

Assad does not have to worry. Obama will never invade nor will he supply weapons to the oppostition. Remember that Nobel Prize? He will deliver another speech and consider it done.

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davehougMay. 2, 13 9:40 PM

Let the Arab League act. They have the money and it is their back yard.

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owatonnabillMay. 2, 1310:00 PM

This may sound callous--but so what? What earthly reason does America have being involved in any manner, shape or form in a conflict that, when one looks at it coldly and logically, can only end badly no matter WHO we support? The rebels have the support of al-Qaeda--hardly the best friend of America. The government is apparently the "enemy" of the Obama administration. So who wins? If the rebels win, they hate us for ideological reasons and become our enemy. If Assad wins, HE hates us because we supported the rebels and becomes our enemy. So someone out there please elucidate owatonnabill on this issue. What does our involvement gain? Not much, apparently.

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dschachenmeyerMay. 2, 1310:13 PM

Syria is a foreign policy nightmare. There are no good guys and bad guys. There is only bad guys and worse guys. And which side is worse varies from day to day.

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brianstpMay. 3, 1312:53 AM

More weapons for Syria? Really? Surface to air shoulder fired missiles? Well, that would work out well. Generally speaking, the Qataris are supporting the exiled Muslim Brotherhood (who have no good in-country organization, though they are trying to buy one). The Saudis' have the most success, bankrolling the most radical of the Salafi soldiers of the revolution. We, the USA, are providing training in Jordan and logistics (plane loads of munitions mainly purchased from Croatia) through Turkey. The fact on the ground is that the Syrian opposition has views and alliances that we are fighting against at extreme cost across the near east. A current American Neo-Con motivational cry is that we must quickly send more arms directly before radicals gain the upper hand. Tish tosh. The radicals have been in the lead from the first moment. It was very clear at the very earliest part of this civil war when the revolutionaries seized the city of Homs. They dynamited the Christian churches to the ground. The thought that overthrowing Assad will burn the hands of Iran is embarrassingly optimistic. Iran would be willing to establish good relations with a new radical Sunni government. After all, The Islamic Republic has warm and close relations with Pakistan, another Sunni state with a radical Islamic military. Assad is a lousy dictator who has been willing to work with us since 9/11, letting us outsource some of the darker activities of the war on terror to him. And he has support of maybe a little more than half of the population, Sunni businessmen, Christians, Alawites, Shia, Kurds, Druze... Even with 70 thousand killed, wiping them out is barely started. In following the path blazed under Carter, supporting Sunni Salafi fighters against the Soviets gave us the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Why would support of their fellow travelers (and de facto al-Qaeda themselves) in Syria give us something better? Anyway, here is a crib note to help: Assad is not our friend and the revolutionaries are our enemies. Believing anything else shows us as naive as ever. End of story.

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mvp1923May. 3, 13 1:08 AM

The conundrum is that no matter who wins the civil war in Syria, whether it is the murderer Assad, or the rebels, the people are still in deep trouble. Both sides shun democracy; the rebels are just as bloodthirsty as Mr. Assad, and if they gain power, they will have a heavy-handed, jihadist government that will be allied with al-Qa'eda. Some scenario! The best thing to do is to strengthen democracy's hands by supporting our true allies in the Middle East, especially Israel.

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erikj3May. 3, 13 1:10 AM

We're coming on 12 years in Afghanistan, we were in Iraq for almost 9 years, and we're in the midst of the sequester. Republicans have been screaming for years about how "we're broke", and now they want us to start ANOTHER war? No way. I'm with davehoug, let the Arab League deal with this mess.

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Truckman182May. 3, 13 6:23 AM

If there was an armed rebellion in this country what would our government do? Why do people assume the opposition are the good guys? This is a Syrian war and we should let it be handled by Syrians....

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wa0tdaMay. 3, 1311:45 AM

The link to the poll leads to "Poll Shows Isolationist Streak in Americans" in the WP. This is so typical - branding realists as "isolationists". The Strib editorialists seem to want to do something, and that is understandable. We all hope for a peaceful, safe world, but the fact of the matter is that this conflict is not fixable, at least by US intervention. As others here point out, it is a civil war with dodgy players and murky goals. If we put in our hand, we will make matters worse - and it will cost like sin.

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wa0tdaMay. 3, 1311:47 AM

Sorry, I meant that the poll is in the NYT, not the WP.

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