Why intervene in Libya when protestors are dying in Syria too?

Question to President Obama: Having gotten a go ahead from the UN Security Council for military action to halt Qaddafi's brutal attacks on peaceful protesters, will you now seek the same UN remedy to halt the killing of peaceful demonstrators in Syria by Bashar Assad's murderous goons?

If not, why not?


So far, Syrian security forces have killed at least four civilians engaged in peaceful protests demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption. But this may just be a prologue to a much bloodier repression. Some 10,000 people demonstrated at the funeral of the victims and popular anger against the government is rising. Dozens of protesters have been jailed. Assad has shown that he can be as unrestrained as Libya' Qaddafi in trying to quell serious challenges to his regime.


After all, this is the same Assad whose father, Hafez Assad, countered an insurgency in the Syrian town of Hama in 1982, wiping it off the map and slaughtering in the process an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 victims, mostly civilians. And make no mistake, Assad pere's iron-fisted DNA has been passed on to Assad fils.


As uprisings spread across the Arab world, there is no basic difference in the bloody tactics used by Qaddafi and Bashar Assad to keep themselves in power. The media spotlight now is on Libya because the cycle of protests and lethal repression began a bit earlier. But rising protests in Syria point to similar results there. What will you do, Mr. President, when the body count rises in Syria?


Will you also ask the Arab League to give the U.S. and NATO an endorsement for getting a UN green light for use of military action against Assad? Protecting civilians in Libya has become the watchword of U.S. and NATO agendas. Are peaceful protesters in Syria less vulnerable than in Libya?


To quell dissent in Syria, Assad has coupled use of lethal force with imprisonment of schoolchildren writing slogans inspired by public revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.


And come to think of it, from the standpoint of U.S. strategic interests, Assad's Syria -- as Iran's regional ally and outpost to the Mediterranean -- is arguably a bigger menace than Qaddafi's Libya.


I realize, President Obama, that the U.S. intends to play only a "support" role behind Britain and France in challenging Qaddafi, but that shouldn't hold you back to get them also to take a leadership role on behalf of reform-minded protesters in Syria.


LEO RENNERT

Question to President Obama: Having gotten a go ahead from the UN Security Council for military action to halt Qaddafi's brutal attacks on peaceful protesters, will you now seek the same UN remedy to halt the killing of peaceful demonstrators in Syria by Bashar Assad's murderous goons?

If not, why not?


So far, Syrian security forces have killed at least four civilians engaged in peaceful protests demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption. But this may just be a prologue to a much bloodier repression. Some 10,000 people demonstrated at the funeral of the victims and popular anger against the government is rising. Dozens of protesters have been jailed. Assad has shown that he can be as unrestrained as Libya' Qaddafi in trying to quell serious challenges to his regime.


After all, this is the same Assad whose father, Hafez Assad, countered an insurgency in the Syrian town of Hama in 1982, wiping it off the map and slaughtering in the process an estimated 20,000 to 40,000 victims, mostly civilians. And make no mistake, Assad pere's iron-fisted DNA has been passed on to Assad fils.


As uprisings spread across the Arab world, there is no basic difference in the bloody tactics used by Qaddafi and Bashar Assad to keep themselves in power. The media spotlight now is on Libya because the cycle of protests and lethal repression began a bit earlier. But rising protests in Syria point to similar results there. What will you do, Mr. President, when the body count rises in Syria?


Will you also ask the Arab League to give the U.S. and NATO an endorsement for getting a UN green light for use of military action against Assad? Protecting civilians in Libya has become the watchword of U.S. and NATO agendas. Are peaceful protesters in Syria less vulnerable than in Libya?


To quell dissent in Syria, Assad has coupled use of lethal force with imprisonment of schoolchildren writing slogans inspired by public revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.


And come to think of it, from the standpoint of U.S. strategic interests, Assad's Syria -- as Iran's regional ally and outpost to the Mediterranean -- is arguably a bigger menace than Qaddafi's Libya.


I realize, President Obama, that the U.S. intends to play only a "support" role behind Britain and France in challenging Qaddafi, but that shouldn't hold you back to get them also to take a leadership role on behalf of reform-minded protesters in Syria.


LEO RENNERT

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