Only a genuine democratic transition will solve this crisis. As the Arab League has said, the goal should be the formation of a national unity government followed by transparent and free elections under Arab and international supervision, and Assad’s departure must be part of this. Looking ahead, there should be no doubt the United States will support a managed transition that leads to a new Syria so that just like in Tunisia today, the rights of every citizen are respected and protected.
I suppose it’s a good thing that the government is tracking the humanitarian crisis in Syria…which is a nice way to describe President Bashir Assad using his army to murder his fellow Syrians. The State Department’s latest posting of satellite footage documents what appears to be mass graves in the town of Houla. The world needs to know what’s happening in Syria, and the US government certainly has the technology to spread the story of indiscriminate mass murder directed at those with the temerity to oppose the Syrian dictator. The question remains what, if anything, the US (and the international community) will do about the continuing atrocities.
I’ve written a lot about Syria, and I’ll own up to not being the most objective observer, having traveled extensively there. It’s a beautiful place, and the Syrian people have lived under an Assad dictatorship for far too long- first under Hafez Assad and now under Assad fils. I’m trying to separate my interest in and feelings for Syria from the geopolitical considerations. What I can’t seem (and don’t really want) to get past is my horror over the number of innocent civilians Bashir Assad is responsible for murdering. We invaded Iraq based on far less…and yet America (and the international community) stands idly by in the face of clear evidence of the butchery and brutality directed at their own people by the Syrian government.
If we can invade Iraq on the basis of lies and propaganda, you’d think that clear evidence of indiscriminate murder and human rights violation would warrant a response from the US in particular and the international community in general.
Then again, it’s not like Syria has much in the way of oil….