Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman at a press conference yesterday told us that the “Libyan model is not appropriate for Syria.” It’s not OK for the USA and its allies to intervene in Syria even though Syrian protesters have been increasingly calling for international protection to stop civilian killings.
(U.S. State Department Newspeak translation: “Libyan Model” = USA military intervention)
It would appear that the State Department is following the same willful blindness in Syria that many of their members and advisors applied to the Rwandan genocide during the 1990?s.
But this is not the first time that an Assad regime has massacred his people and the international community stood by and did nothing. In February 1982, the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad. The lower estimates claim that at least 10,000 Syrian citizens were killed, the majority civilians, while others put the number at 20,000 (Robert Fisk), or 40,000 (Syrian Human Rights Committee). About 1,000 Syrian soldiers were killed during the operation and large parts of the old city were destroyed.
To date, Assad’s latest assault on the citizens, has resulted in over 3,000 deaths of Syrian citizens. Under his regime which followed that of his father’s in 2000, A 2007 law required internet cafes to record all the comments users post on chat forums. Websites such as Wikipedia Arabic, YouTube and Facebook were blocked intermittently between 2008 and February 2011. Human Rights groups, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have detailed how Bashar’s regime and secret police routinely torture, imprison, and kill political opponents, and those who speak out against the regime. Since 2006 it expanded the use of travel bans against dissidents, a practice that is illegal under international law. In that regard, Syria is the worst offender among Arab states. In an interview with ABC News in 2007 he stated: “We don’t have such [things as] political prisoners,” yet the New York Times reported the arrest of 30 political prisoners in Syria in December 2007.
In August 2011, Syrian security forces attacked the country’s best-known political cartoonist, Ali Farzat, a noted critic of Syria’s government and its five-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators and dissent. Relatives of the severely beaten humorist told Western media the attackers threatened to break Farzat’s bones as a warning for him to stop drawing cartoons of government officials, particularly Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Ferzat, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday, was hospitalized with fractures in both hands and blunt force trauma to the head. [Source Wiki]
Other than the fact that Assad doesn’t have a penchant to play dress up, how different is he from Gaddafi in his treatment of the people he governs?
UPDATE TO ORIGINAL POST OF OCTOBER 25
Note: I posted this early on the 25th of October, but later in the day I learned that soldiers who have deserted Assad’s army attacked a military convoy and killed 7 of Assad’s military and wounded many more. This
is almost certain to may escalate into a civil was war as we now have armed combatants fighting and no longer the condition of Assad’s military murdering unarmed protestors–as we know from history, the western world has a well-establisehd tolerance for genocide.
An Arab delegation led by Qatar headed for Damascus today (Wednesday) for mediation between the Syrian government and its opponents, even as activists rejected dialogue and called for a general strike. (1200 GMT)
Most likely the soldiers deserting from Assad’s army will have a domino effect and embolden others to desert as well. This meeting today may be too little too late.
The USA response? The US Senate urged the United Nations to refer credible charges of crimes against humanity by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the International Criminal Court (ICC). That’s a big help.