WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is stepping up his criticism of Syria's crackdown on protesters, charging that the Syrian president is "completely incapable and unwilling" to respond to what Obama calls the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people.
Dozens of people were reported killed Sunday as Syrian security forces escalated their response to protests against President Bashar Assad. In the city of Hama, a barrage of shelling and gunfire left bodies scattered in the streets.
Obama issued a statement Sunday saying he is "appalled" by the violence and brutality the Syrian government has aimed at its own people. He calls the reports from Hama "horrifying" and says they demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime.
So why doesn't he recall our ambassador?!
You might remember the [Dec. 2008] Princeton Policy Workshop Plan for CHANGE in the Middle East: Achieving an Arab-Israeli Peace Settlement. The "recommendations" of a dozen graduate students "working under the direction of... Daniel Kurtzer," were as follow:
The pursuit of an immediate, comprehensive, end-of-conflict, end-of-claims settlement to the ArabIsraeli conflict should be a central component of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. The Obama Administration can fundamentally alter the context in which the United States deals with other regional and global challenges by pursuing three tracks to achieve Arab-Israeli peace:
- Lead the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli final status negotiations to fruition;
- Facilitate the conclusion of a Syrian-Israeli peace treaty that transforms the United States’ relationship with Syria; and
- Channel the momentum behind the Arab Peace Initiative (API) into an active facilitating role for Arab states in the peace process.
A conflict-ending peace will advance vital U.S. national interests by y reducing extremist violence, discrediting radical ideologies, and stabilizing a region whose conflicts have drained U.S. attention and resources for too many years.
You might also remember that Obama started "engaging" Syria within months of taking office.
04/04/2009: SYRIA CALLING: The Obama Administration's chance to engage in a Middle East Peace (by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker)
"President Barack Obama's administration considers Syria a key player in Washington's efforts to revive the stalled Middle East peace process, U.S. Senator John Kerry said in Damascus...
"Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region," Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a speech after meeting President Bashar al-Assad.
07/31/2011: Obama "appalled" by "horrifying" Syria violence:
Obama said in a statement: “I am appalled by the Syrian government’s use of violence and brutality against its own people. The reports out of Hama are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime. Once again, President Assad has shown that he is completely incapable and unwilling to respond to the legitimate grievances of the Syrian people. His use of torture, corruption and terror puts him on the wrong side of history and his people.
“Through his own actions, Bashar al-Assad is ensuring that he and his regime will be left in the past, and that the courageous Syrian people who have demonstrated in the streets will determine its future. Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward. In the days ahead, the United States will continue to increase our pressure on the Syrian regime, and work with others around the world to isolate the Assad government and stand with the Syrian people.
Syrian security forces killed at least 62 people Sunday in an escalation of the crackdown on protests ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to activists and residents, the Associated Press reported. Most died in raids on the flashpoint city of Hama, where a barrage of shelling and gunfire left bodies scattered in the streets.