Syrian President Bashar Assad is the world’s “most dangerous man,” according to Pulitzer Prize winner journalist Joel Brinkley, who added that the Obama government has “delusional views” of the dictator.
Writing for Tribune Media Services, Brinkley said Assad overshadows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for being dangerous because the “duplicitous dictator…has duped presidents and prime ministers into believing he is their indispensable friend – even as he facilitates the killing of American troops, collects weapons of mass destruction and serves as the supply master for terrorist groups.”
After the Muslim uprisings spread to Syria last month, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton labeled Assad a “reformer,” a remark that Brinkley branded as “absurd.”
“Even now, as his own people have at last taken to the streets to challenge his rule, prompting him to shoot and kill scores of them, Washington’s criticism remains equivocal,” Brinkley wrote. “A few days ago, President Obama remarked, ‘I strongly condemn the abhorrent violence committed” by the Syrian government but then added, ‘I also condemn any use of violence by protesters.’ So both sides are equal offenders?”
The love affair between Syria and the United States, which sees Assad as the key to a regional peace and the eventual possessor of the strategic Golan Heights in Israel, goes back for decades.
Then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once remarked, “There can be no war without Egypt and no peace without Syria,” Brinkley recalled, and added, “Last month, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she told Assad, ‘The road to Damascus is the road to peace.’”
Brinkley said the Obama administration’s views of Assad are “delusional” when considering that “since the Iraq war’s beginning, [Assad] has been the best friend of Islamic extremists transiting into Iraq. They’ve crossed the Syrian border by the busload, in full view of U.S. spy satellites.
“He sells missiles to Hizbullah, the terrorist group in southern Lebanon that is the avowed enemy of Israel and the United States.
“Khaled Mashaal, the Hamas leader, actually lives in Damascus and does his murderous business openly from a storefront.
American intelligence shows that Syria has a vast store of chemical weapons. Assad pursued a secret nuclear-weapons development program until Israel bombed it in 2007. More recent intelligence suggests that he is back at it, though this time the program is better hidden.”
Brinkley added his name to countless analysts who have questioned why President Obama backed the ouster of American ally Hosni Mubarak while trying to work with Assad, “who has openly worked against Washington.”
The journalist pointed out that the day after President Obama sent a new ambassador to Damascus, Assad hosted a state visit by Ahmadinejad. “The timing was no accident,” Brinkley concluded.
[youtube losIR-M_O9g nolink]
Human rights activists estimate that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s force have killed more than 400 protesters as tanks roar through city streets while U.S. President Barack Obama remains relatively silent.
American observers are asking out loud why the voice of Obama President Obama, who turned his back on Mubarak, is barely heard as Assad’s tanks shoot at civilians in Daraa and surround Banias.
“It’s not yet clear if America wants President Assad to step down,” reported ABC’s Meredith Griffiths. An eyewitness told her that Syrian soldiers and police “won’t even let you get first aid to them and the ambulances; they’re being shot at by security police.”
Meanwhile, Britain, France, Germany and Portugal are seeking a United Nations Security Council condemnation of the violence and an independent investigation of the brute force that has more than matched the killing of opponents to ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.
The Obama administration, which last month called Assad a “reformer” and has tried to “engage” Syria away from Iran, has said only, “We continue to look for ways and are pursuing a range of possible policy options, including targeted sanctions, to respond to the crackdown in Syria.” However, American sanctions on Syria already have been in place for several years.
President Obama has relied on rhetoric, after weeks of relative silence. On Friday, Obamas said that “The United States has repeatedly encouraged President Assad and the Syrian government to implement meaningful reforms, but they refuse to respect the rights of the Syrian people or be responsive to their aspirations.”
“As the casualties mount, liberals in America are wondering where their champion of human rights, President Obama, has disappeared to,”wrote Stephen Brown for FrontPage Magazine. “He was front and center in the Egyptian crisis, and even sent American warplanes to bomb the murderous dictatorship in Libya. But so far in Syria, Obama has only condemned the violence in conjunction with other world leaders, calling the Assad regime’s actions ‘“outrageous.’
“But why such a milquetoast response to the client regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a world sponsor of terror? Why are Egyptian allies (Mubarak) and Libyan gadflies (Gaddafi) treated more aggressively, and more swiftly than a regime, whose fall might actually benefit American interests?
Even the Washington Post, normally friendly to the president but increasingly critical of his Middle East policy tactics, editorialized, “As a moral matter, the stance of the United States is shameful. To stand by passively while hundreds of people seeking freedom are gunned down by their government makes a mockery of the U.S. commitment to human rights.”
The American government may be trying not to upset the already turbulent Muslim Middle East by provoking Iran, Syrian’s key ally, but if the Syrian uprising follows the fortunes of those in Egypt, Yemen and Tunisia, “the president’s unintelligible policy regarding the Middle East will…leave an indelible mar on his presidency,” Brown wrote.
Source material can be found at this site.