The Syrian government's increasingly brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters is putting the
In his speech last month about the upheaval sweeping Arab countries, Mr. Obama conceded that in the past America's short-term interests in maintaining regional stability had often trumped its commitment to democratic reform. But he said the emergence of the Arab Spring had made the old approach unsustainable and that from now on the U.S. could no longer be seen as propping up autocratic dictators while turning a blind eye to their governments' corruption, incompetence and human rights violations. Instead, Mr. Obama said, America must reach out to the Arab people and embrace their aspirations for peaceful democratic change.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has repeatedly called on Mr. Assad to allow peaceful demonstrations and open a dialog with opposition leaders — to no avail. Reports this week about a 12-year-old boy whose hideously disfigured body was returned to his family after he was tortured and killed by
Last month, the administration announced targeted sanctions against President Assad and his top aides, but no one seriously expects those to cause him to change course. Nor is there any expectation that the U.S. or
Never mind that possibly thousands of lives have been lost so far, even accounting for the uncertainty of what is happening because news organizations have been banned from reporting in the country.