Pages: 1 2
Two parliamentarians from Daraa and the city’s mufti have resigned to protest the violence. There still isn’t a wave of defections as other countries facing uprisings have experienced but stories of soldiers and police refusing orders to kill civilians continue to come in.
The killing of the deputy commander of the 90th division outside Damascus, Jameel al-Assad, is said to have come at the hands of a soldier after his forces were told to open fire. In another incident, the body of an army officer was delivered to his family who were told that he was murdered by the nefarious elements behind the protests. His uncle, also an officer, reacted by blaming the regime and causing a protest in Tadmur. A Kurdish soldier from Amouda has also been executed for refusing orders. Notably, the regime has arrested Mansour al-Ali, who the Jerusalem Post describes as a “prominent figure” in the Allawite community that the regime draws its ranks from.
The Assad regime continues to deny that its security services or military is responsible for the murders and continues to blame unspecified “armed gangs” and radical Islamic terrorists. In reaction to these accusations, protesters in Homs chanted, “Brothers we want freedom, not Salafism.” Hamas and Hezbollah have not endorsed the uprising and the Muslim Brotherhood has yet to put pressure on the regime or mobilize its supporters to back the protests. Farid Ghadry of the Reform Party of Syria wrote an article lambasting the hypocrisy of these groups and the Turkish government and said, “When elections come, we will make the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] in Syria pay for [their] silence.”
President Obama has joined other Western leaders in condemning the “outrageous use of violence to quell protests” but no substantive action has followed. The International Commission of Jurists and Human Rights Watch are demanding that sanctions be placed on the Syrian officials involved and for an international investigation into the acts. Senator Joe Lieberman is suggesting the enforcement of an arms embargo and now, the Washington Post is slamming the U.S. response in an editorial.
“As a moral matter, the stance of the United States is shameful. To stand by passively while hundreds of people seeking freedom are gunned down by their government makes a mockery of the U.S. commitment to human rights,” the newspaper said.
But the U.S. has only offered words to the anti-American dictatorship of Bashar Assad. Even small measures like withdrawing the ambassador have yet to be taken. Seemingly, the administration’s posture toward Syria is yet another example of the curious “Obama Doctrine” apropos the Middle East: Offering hostility and heavy-handedness to allies (Egypt, Israel) and unimportant actors on the world stage (Gaddafi), while American enemies and terrorist regimes are handled with extreme, bewildering delicacy.
Pages: 1 2