Snubbing the Real Syrian Democratic Movement

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Yahoo News reported on August 2, 2011 that “Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, met this morning with members of the U.S. based Syrian opposition.”  According to Sherkoh Abbas, president of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria (KNA-S) and a founding member of the Syrian democratic opposition group known as the Syrian Democracy Council (SDC), the “opposition members” Clinton invited are associated with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Abbas contends that his group of pro-Western democrats seeks to create a federal democratic Syria that would enfranchise all segments of Syrian society, would strive for peace with Israel, disassociate Syria from Iran and respect Lebanon’s sovereignty, but has been shunned by Clinton and the Obama administration.

It is perhaps not surprising to see the Obama administration snubbing pro-American allies and pandering to those nations and groups who are clearly anti-American. This past February, Obama told President Mubarak of Egypt – a country which, under his rule, had been a U.S. ally – that “he must go,” but has refrained from demanding that President Bashar Assad — an ally of Iran, a sponsor of terrorism, and an enemy of the U.S. — must also go. Nor has the Obama administration/State Department recalled its ambassador.

The Palestinian news agency, Maan, reported on February 2, 2011 that:

President Barack Obama told Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that he must begin to transition power “now,” hinting his offer to leave after September elections may not go far enough. Obama also made another subtle shift toward crowds amassed in Cairo and other Egyptian cities after days of rage against Mubarak’s rule, saying America had heard them, and they would certainly get the change they craved.

Obama, it seems, couldn’t grasp the Syrian people’s rage against Assad, nor feel the pain of the Syrian people with the cold-blooded murder of thousands of their countrymen and women by the Assad regime.

With atrocities too glaring to ignore, and the resistance to the Baathist regime increasing rather than subsiding, Hillary Clinton has woken up and decided that the Obama administration must react.  The recognition of the opposition and condemnation of the killings has been, in fact, mere lip service and contradicts her assertions made on March 28, 2011 as reported by Bloomberg News Radio that “the elements that led to intervention in Libya – international condemnation, an Arab League call for action, a United Nations Security Council resolution – are not going to happen with Syria, in part because members of the U.S. Congress from both parties say they believe Assad is a reformer.” It would be more accurate, however, to say that it was the Obama administration that considered Assad to be a “reformer.”  Moreover, both the Arab states and the U.N. condemned the atrocities in Syria. And, while Khadafy’s Libya has not endangered American troops, Assad’s Syria has actively allowed Arab-Muslim terrorists to cross the Syrian border into Iraq where they have attacked U.S. personnel.

The hypocrisy embedded in the Obama administration’s choices speaks volumes. The Huffington Post reported on February 14, 2011 that:

Under Obama’s proposal, released Monday, the State Department’s Democracy Fund would be cut by 21 percent from its current $140 million appropriation, leaving it with $111 million for fiscal 2012.  Subsidies for the National Endowment for Democracy, a private nonprofit that focuses on spreading democracy, would be cut by 12 percent, from $118 million to $104 million.

The Obama administration also reduced funding for democracy and governance programming in Egypt by more than half from $50 million in 2008 to $20 million in 2009.

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  • Chezwick_mac

    From Honduras to Iran…Libya to Syria….Obama just can't get it right.

    • Jim_C

      Quite the contrary: he's rarely got it wrong. One thing whomever runs against him won't have on him is a substantial criticism of his foreign policy. Here at Frontpage, it always amounts to "If Obama's done it, it must be wrong." They were for getting involved in Libya before they were agin' it. And the killing of bin Ladin was the most comical, bringing out all sorts of crackpot theories that Obama had some sort of ulterior, pro-terrorist reason for doing so.

      Mind you, I said "substantial," as in, "Here's the factual substance." As you know, everyone can armchair quaterback after the fact–but who's got a significantly different vision for our foreign policy? (OK, Ron Paul, but we know where that's headed….) Otherwise it's just lipservice b.s. about "not bowing to dictators blah blah…."

      • Chezwick_mac

        Jim, You saw my kudos to Obama for the Bin Ladin operation and particularly the ballsyness of it (going in with commandos instead of an airstrike). Couple it with his enthusiastic use of drones…and I'd readily concede his Pakistani policy has been more effective than Bush's.

        But that said…

        1) In Honduras, he was alone with Castro and Chavez in supporting Zeleya's attempt to usurp the Honduran Constitution

        2) In Iran, he looked the other way while the Revolutionary Guards fired on their own people (while castigating Mubarak for doing the same thing)

        3) In Syria, his initial overtures ended that country's diplomatic isolation and revived the forces of Hezbollah in Lebanon

        4) In Libya, the problem isn't supporting regime change per se, it's supporting a guerrilla movement that is heavily infiltrated by radical Islamists.

        • Jim_C

          With regard to Iran, I think he could have capitalized on that situation better. He did impose sanctions on the Guard–anything further would have been a trap. Obama really missed his chance, though, to point out after the elections that "this is a country with nuclear ambitions and the world is watching to see how it acts." Simple bully puplit stuff. I thought he'd use the position he's in to frame issues better–I was wrong; he prefers behind the scenes work.


          Syria/Libya…eh…play by ear

  • andrew

    what in the hell is he thinking or doing…maybe he is trying reverse psychology; if america stops supporting it, the arabs will be more likely to support it as their own idea rather than an idea pushed upon them by america and maybe he thinks that if he invites the MB, the Syrians will distrust the MB because the US "supports" them and will instead turn to the democracy which the US has left out to dry???? idk…whatever he's doing I hope he knows what he's doing and more importantly I hope it ends up creating democracies.

    • Jim_C

      Well I think you at least understand its a tightrope walk.

  • tekow

    Who does this person, Sherkoh Abbas, represent? He is a PKK mouthpiece. He has zero credibility in Syria for his separatist views. That is why these people are sidelined among the real opposition. No wonder he makes common cause with people who are no friends of Syrian people.

  • StephenD

    “If the SDC were to be in a position of power in Syria, …we will guarantee security and peace to Israel.”
    THIS is why Obama chooses not to include them. The MB is much more in line with his vision for the ME.
    Tell me, if you were an enemy of America or Israel, what would you do differently than Obama? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything either

  • Jim_C

    Abbas's group may give FPM the warm fuzzies because they'll say the things they want to hear, but that doesn't mean throwing your hat in with them won't cause chaos. And that's the problem with FPM's stance on these Arab countries–they constantly want Obama to throw his hat into the ring with this or that faction–for the sake of criticizing Obama. But how many people over there do you trust? Just how credible is the opposition "on the ground"? Of those, how many AREN'T associated with some Islamist group or another? Sorry, there's no magic solution.

    • Chezwick_mac

      Which is exactly why his Libya policy is such a folly.

  • mrbean

    Once again clandestine Muslim Obama spreads the buttock cheeks of his Muslim allies and presses lips upon their hemmoroids to gain favor of Muslim Brotherhood.

  • michaelle50

    Anybody who supports the muslim brotherhood-is a big dog fecal.

  • Jim_C

    Saying "Muslim Brotherhood" is beginning to elicit the same dangerous levels of brain cell death as teleprompter jokes, birth certificates, mentions of Soros, and endorsements of Palin and Trump. But it does at least seem to be confined to FPM.

    Remember how you felt when you heard someone yell "Halliburton?" Same thing. (well…Halliburton DID plowed through stupendous amounts of your tax dollars for reasons tangential at best to our national interest without having to bid for the privilege to do so, but let's not worry about that, now).

    • Chezwick_mac

      My God man…are you aware of trends in Tunisia and Egypt? Don't make a fool of yourself just because the MB hasn't taken over right away.

  • Faridon Abbas

    State Department Sold Lebanon to Hezbollah and now Selling Syria to Muslim Brotherhood

  • mlcblog

    This backwards rhetoric from the Obummer administration reminds me of the shocking first waves of anti-American writings that I was given while being wooed by the New Left back in the 1960;s. Yes, that long ago! they were getting much bolder then, had decided to take over the Democrat party because it was the easiest prey, and were recruiting and activating big time, as witness the turbulent 1960's and beyond.

    The shock that I recall when reading I.F. Stone and the like was horrific but I overrode it because 1) I had serious personal issues, unresolved anger, powerlessness, and so forth which of course have now been resolved with the help of God and a few friends, and 2) my whole family was sympatico with rebellion, especially when grass, as we called it then, became a regular weekend activity. We would take the kids, gather everyone, our wine and beer, some great food, and head to the parks in the Bay Area. It all seemed just so cool! but…well, read Destructive Generation. I went on to organizing many protest rallies and other activities. I later have thanked the American servicemen who fought for my right to free speech, to express myself and in that way to learn how very wrong I was. I just stand amazed and greatly saddened that so many listen to and buy into this kind of anti-American thinking. I do everything in my own power to turn the tide so that anyone I contact in any way might reconsider how really wonderful our institutions were designed to be and how the design is that we, the people, can run things well, a concept which is entirely foreign to those who would lecture us and try to shame us.

  • Lawrence Solomon

    Lawrence Solomon: It’s in our interest to break Syria into pieces