We are fighting an external aggression that is more dangerous than any others, because they use us to kill each other. It is a war between the nation and its enemies, between the people and the murderous criminals.Syrian President Bashar al-Assad • Suggesting to the country’s people, during a major speech, that people still loyal to his regime continue to fight against the extremist forces he claims are disrupting the country. Meanwhile, he pitched an idea for settling the civil war, but said he would only work with parties ”who have not betrayed Syria.” The approach, which includes a new constitution and a reconciliation conference, was dismissed by Syrian opposition figures, who will settle for nothing less than Assad’s departure. Syria’s neighbors (see: Turkey) and Western officials also criticized the proposal.
swagandpassion asks: Hey SFB. Are there fundamental differences with Libya and Syria as far as Western powers intervening? Logistically I can assume Europe had more interest in a stable Libya & Obama leading behind scenes, but is intervention not a good idea for Syria?
Scott had a really long answer to this, so we’re gonna jump it, so we don’t just give you a long block of text. Here’s the tl;dr version: The biggest challenge raised is from Russia and China, and it’s making it difficult for western forces to get involved.
Anyway, click on to read. — Ernie @ SFB
Obviously, with [this] recognition comes responsibilities. To make sure that they organise themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, [and] that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women’s rights and minority rights.President Obama • Announcing, in a critical geopolitical development today, that the U.S. now recognizes the Syrian rebellion as the “legitimate representative” of the people. This is a move that’s been speculated about for a long while — it also brings into focus an announcement earlier today that a part of the rebellion’s coalition, Jabhat al-Nusra, had been designated a terrorist group by the administration. Obviously, such a designation had to be made in advance of granting this recognition to the greater body of the opposition. source
And today, I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there where be consequences, and you will be held accountable.President Obama • Speaking forcefully to the Assad government of Syria last night, at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction symposium (he also lauded outgoing GOP Senator Richard Lugar, with whom he’s worked extensively on nuclear disarmament). The possibility of Syria mobilizing a chemical weapons attack on its people has been a worrisome one for human rights organizations worldwide, further stoked by a recent internet blackout that left Syria functionally opaque for two days. This is one of the most aggressive statements Obama has made on the conflict in Syria — as foreign-policy types like to say, he’s drawn a red line, which may be instructive of the level of involvement he’s comfortable with. source
This is a red line for the United States. I am not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people. But suffice it to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton • Making clear that the United States will not remain idle on the sidelines any longer if the Syrian government uses chemical weapons on civilians or rebel forces inside the country. The United States and other nations have maintained a mostly hands-off policy with regards to the conflict in Syria, instead pushing for change via diplomacy, though international pressure has yet to yield any significant results outside of occasional political defections. The Syrian government has already responded with a denial that they own such weapons, saying officials would never do such a thing “under any circumstances.” source