What is with Clinton's suck up to Syria
Image via WikipediaCharles Krauthammer:
...There seems to be an eternal myth at the State Department that if we just say some magic words of diplomacy, we can "flip" Syria and make her an ally. The fact is that the only way we will ever flip Syria is with a regime change that would get rid of the thugocracy that now dominates it. It is time to look at this regime realistically. I thought that is what this administration said it would do.
Bashar made promises of reform during the short-lived Arab Spring of 2005. The promises were broken. During the current brutally suppressed protests, his spokeswoman made renewed promises of reform. Then Wednesday, appearing before parliament, Assad was shockingly defiant. He offered no concessions. None.
Second, it's morally reprehensible. Here are people demonstrating against a dictatorship that repeatedly uses live fire on its own people, a regime that in 1982 killed 20,000 in Hama and then paved the dead over.
Here are insanely courageous people demanding reform — and the U.S. secretary of state tells the world that the thug ordering the shooting of innocents already is a reformer, thus effectively endorsing the Baath party line — "We are all reformers," Assad told parliament — and undermining the demonstrators' cause.
Third, it's strategically incomprehensible. Sometimes you cover for a repressive ally because you need it for U.S. national security. Hence our muted words about Bahrain. Hence our slow response on Egypt. But there are rare times when strategic interest and moral imperative coincide completely. Syria is one such — a monstrous police state whose regime consistently works to thwart U.S. interests in the region.
During the worst days of the Iraq War, this regime funneled terrorists into Iraq to fight U.S. troops and Iraqi allies. It is dripping with Lebanese blood as well, being behind the murder of independent journalists and democrats, including former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri.
This year, it helped topple the pro-Western government of Hariri's son, Saad, and put Lebanon under the thumb of the virulently anti-Western Hezbollah. Syria is a partner in nuclear proliferation with North Korea. It is Iran's agent and closest Arab ally, granting it an outlet on the Mediterranean. Those two Iranian warships that went through the Suez Canal last month docked at the Syrian port of Latakia, a long-sought Iranian penetration of the Mediterranean.