The "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine (R2P), Samantha Power's justification for entering the conflict in Libya, has been largely absent so far from any discussion of what to do about Syria. Government forces (apparently acting on recommendations from Iranian advisors sent to help Assad stay in power) shot and killed over 100 people Friday, and fired machine guns into funerals of dissidents Saturday. Sunday, they were entering homes and arresting protestors .
Recall that Hillary Clinton, a few weeks back, said Assad was a reformer, and the Administration encouraged him to continue with his reforms. This does not seem to be advice that is being heeded. The Assad regime seems to prefer blowing people's brains out, and submission.
It would be hard to argue that Libya has more strategic importance to the West and the U.S. than Syria, which has funneled weapons to Hezb'allah and Hamas, interfered for years in Lebanon, and aligned itself politically with Iran, despite decades of U..S. engagement. Our troops are engaged in three wars, unemployment remains close to 9%, the economy is slowing (projected growth rates have been adjusted lower by many economists in recent weeks), gas prices are at an all time high, and yet, the President had a good week.
Or to put it more precisely, he had a good fundraising week. It is 19 months before the election, and the President is doing what he does best: campaign and fundraise for the one job that really matters to him.
Here is some video of the Syrian reformers at work.