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November 1, 2014 / 8 Heshvan, 5775
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Syrian People pay for Western inaction with their lives


Free Syria Army fighters

Free Syria Army fighters
Photo Credit: Asharq Al-Awsat

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, on behalf of the Syrian Democratic Coalition, released the following statement regarding the escalating humanitarian crisis in Syria, and the inability of the Obama administration to lead the world with a coherent strategy and action to directly aid the Syrian people in their quest for freedom rather than with simply words:

“After over a year of demonstrations and over 7,000 Syrian men, women and children killed by Assad’s killing machine for simply wanting their freedom, it seems that there is no end in sight to the brutality of Bashar al-Assad and his military and no hope from the West or the UN for navigating a path forward for a Syria free of tyranny. Bizarrely the United States and its western allies seem to be following the lead of the Arab League and its friends at the United Nations, cliques of autocrats often no better than Assad himself rather than lead free nations and immediately implement a clear strategy to end Assad’s regime. Britain’s foreign minister William Hague essentially took western intervention off of the table when he flatly stated ‘I don’t see the way forward in Syria as being western boots on the ground in any form, including in any peacekeeping form.’ Few are actually calling for ‘boots on the ground’ but a Kosovo style solution with targeted bombing of military facilities and armamentarium would have essentially the same impact it did against the Serbs for the Bosnians, giving in this case the Free Syria Army room and momentum to gain position, time, and safe zones. Hague’s comments seem to rather reflect a raising of the white flag in the face of determined opposition from Iran, Russia, China, and of course Syria itself.

The US’s attempt to bring together “Friends of Syria” is admirable but only one component of what should be a far more forward-looking and comprehensive strategy to bring down the Assad regime and help foster a genuine transition toward democracy. The paralysis of the US and the West due to a fear of what may come next, sentences the Syrian people to their current miserable condition and bloodshed at the hands of the Baathist butchers in control of the Syrian military. Any transition will be messy but let us not allow fear of change become accomplices in a horrific genocide occurring in towns across Syria. In the last week alone, the city of Homs has seen continued shelling of neighborhoods, daily death tolls in the hundreds, and an attempt to smother a town into silence by cutting off food, water, and electricity.

There is no excuse whatsoever in 2012 for massacres like Homs to occur with inaction from the US and the free world. Shortsightedness may paralyze our weak leaders, but in the end once the Syrians have rid themselves of Assad and all of his corrupt military leaders enacting kill-orders across their nation against their own people, they will not forget how little the US openly did inside Syria to counter the forces of evil in Syria. If we have any desire to bring liberty to Syria rather than see it become Islamist, American soft power and some hard power must be utilized or all the Syrian people will know is how we sat silent as Iran, Russia, China, and Hizballah armed the Syrian military and they were aided only by a few Arab League nations. This is not the American legacy our families came to the US knowing and loving.

A Kosovo style solution with bombing, military air support, black ops and intelligence support, humanitarian aid, border aid with safe zones, genuine economic isolation through comprehensive sanctions (in addition to sanctions against direct Syrian supporters ie. Russia, China, Iran, and Lebanon) is possible and the only genuine support that will be in any way meaningful to the Syrian people. Any other so-called support – with repeated diplomatic meetings, delay tactics, and empty statements at press conferences – is empty and transparently useless. The Syrian people know who is coming to their aid and who is not.

When Jay Carney, on the behalf of the White House, stated last week that the ‘right solution is a political solution’ for Syria, he revealed such a profound ineptness and inability to articulate and understand the evil that is Assad and his military leadership, that the US has fallen to an all-time low in its reliability in defending liberty abroad.

American diplomacy has taken a tragic turn when it is the UN’s Ban Ki Moon who is advocating the loudest for the freedom-seeking people of Syria. Strategically Syria represents our greatest opportunity against the Iranian crescent of control through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. As an ethnically and religiously diverse nation, Syria stands as the Arab nation ultimately most likely to arise out of both secular fascism and Islamist fascism.

Our inaction is being paid for with the lives of the Syrian people. The Security Council gridlock will do nothing to change the situation on the ground. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov told a news conference that ‘We should first have peace’ before we agree to the Arab League proposal. Hypocritically, the Russians are best suited to bring that peace by ceasing the arming and fueling of Assad’s military. The Syrian government does not make its own weapons. The United States needs to step away from the table at the UN, it needs to stop grasping at straws for a solution, and seize the opportunity to lead for there to be any hope for change within the Middle East.”

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