The regime in Syria has chosen to crush dissent in the country by unleashing its military and security forces to violently repress demonstrators and protesters calling for increased freedom there. This has resulted in widespread brutality and hundreds of deaths since the unrest began. President Bashar Assad has obviously decided that using violence is the preferred method of dealing with dissenters and has made it clear that the regime will continue to do so until it succeeds in achieving its ends no matter how many Syrians are killed, maimed or brutalized.
Assad is free to respond in this manner because he is perfectly aware that the United States and the West will not intervene militarily the way it has in Libya even though the case for intervention is much more compelling. Despite protestations and threats by President Obama and other Western leaders and despite the possibility of targeted sanctions and other non-military approaches he really has nothing to fear from the West and he knows it. Western military intervention is the only thing that can stop the slaughter and that is not going to happen. That makes Western leaders, including Obama, complicit in the carnage and death because they have the power to stop it and won’t take any serious measures to do so.
It also makes them stupid and hypocritical. Stupid because Syria has been a mortal enemy of the West, particularly the United States and Israel, for many years, because it is a close ally of Iran (it is in fact the only ally Iran has in the Arab world), because it is a state sponsor of terrorism, because it has a large and capable military including short and long range missiles and chemical weapons and because it is a serious threat to Western affairs in the Middle East and beyond. The West has the authority and power to remove this cancerous regime and stupidly is refusing to act in what are patently its own best interests. Humanitarian reasons aside, think how much better off the Middle East would be if the Assad regime were removed and replaced by a more pro-Western government. There is some small chance of that happening if the West helped get rid of him now. There is no chance if the regime fell and the West didn’t help at all.
If Assad and the regime don’t fall its just business as usual.
Hypocritical because the Responsibility to Protect doctrine under which the United States and the West intervened in Libya clearly doesn’t apply to Syria, which means that it is not universal, that the Syrian people are less worthy of protection than the Libyan people, that it will be applied selectively when it suits the U.S. and other Western nations and that it doesn’t apply to everyone in need and will only be trotted out when it is politically expedient.
Stupid, hypocritical and weak, weak, weak. That’s the response of President Obama and the West to the events in Syria. Assad and the Syrian regimes response…up yours, we’ll do as we please. Responsibility to Protect my foot, Obama and the West aren’t even smart enough, strong enough or responsible enough to protect themselves, never mind the Syrian people.