The Associated Press reports the latest butcher’s bill from Bashar Assad’s struggle to remain in power: “Ammar Qurabi heads the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria. He said 13 people were killed in tank shelling on a village outside Daraa, the southern city where the Syrian uprising began in mid-March. Five others were killed in the central city of Horns.” One of the victims was reportedly an 8-year-old boy.
Say, didn’t we go to war to prevent Moammar Qaddafi from shelling the residential areas of a city? Fear not, because the coalition that destroyed Tripoli is poised to spring into action. The European Union imposed sanctions on 13 Syrian officials… but not Assad himself. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is “disappointed” that international aid teams have not been allowed into Daraa yet. He might even be getting a little queasy about putting Syria on the U.N. Human Rights Council in May.
How about the White House? Well, it’s “reiterating its condemnation” of Assad’s butchery, and the AP says it is “edging closer to calling for an end to the long rule of the Assad family in Syria.”
“Administration officials said Tuesday that the first step would be to say for the first time that President Bashar Assad has forfeited his legitimacy to rule, a major policy shift that would amount to a call for regime change that has questionable support in the world community,” the Associated Press continued.
I can’t imagine “questionable support in the world community” would be a big problem. President Gutsy Call was the man who single-handedly forged the global alliance against Qaddafi, wasn’t he? Here’s another dictator doing the exact same things. If Assad shows up for his next proclamation wearing a purple drape and one of Zsa Zsa Gabor’s old hats, the transformation into Qaddafi will be complete. Surely we’re only one mass grave away from another Obama-led international coalition!
A military operation against Syria is not on the table, but why is it so hard to formally declare that Assad has “lost the confidence” of his rapidly dwindling population, and is no longer the “legitimate” ruler of Syria? Heck, I’ll do it: Bashar Assad is no longer the legitimate ruler of Syria, and must go. Feel free to copy-and-paste, Mr. President. Or you could ask “Common” to write a poem about setting him on fire, while you’ve got him at the White House. Be sure to insist that the poem actually rhymes.
If humanity is ever to rid itself of creatures like Assad, it must learn to be more than “disappointed” in them. Intolerance has its uses.
Update: While the White House wonders how much it should ratchet up its rhetoric, Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have had just about enough of Bashar Assad. They issued a joint press release Wednesday afternoon that says, in part:
“A bipartisan coalition of Senators introduced a resolution today strongly condemning the escalating crackdown in Syria, warning that President Bashar Al Assad has lost legitimacy and urging President Obama to ratchet up the pressure on his regime. The resolution, introduced by Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), is cosponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).
“The bipartisan resolution calls for the expansion of targeted U.S. sanctions against Syrian officials responsible for human rights abuses, including against President Assad personally, and for the Obama Administration to work at the United Nations Security Council to hold Syrian human rights abusers accountable. The resolution also expresses unambiguous support for the aspirations of the Syrian people, as they continue peaceful protests in the streets of cities and towns across their country despite a dramatically heightened campaign of barbaric violence against them by the Syrian regime, and urges President Obama to speak out directly and personally about the situation in Syria.”
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