May 22nd, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Why Assad shouldn't worry about NATO

By Elise Labott

As NATO leaders discuss the winding down of its 10-year war in Afghanistan and pat themselves on the back for helping in the bloody ouster of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya, there is one increasingly deadly conflict that is taboo for the alliance to even think about wading into: Syria.

Practically every NATO leader has publicly condemned the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and called for him to step down and make way for a democratic transition in Syria. Yet U.S. ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder said Sunday that not one leader even raised the issue of Syria during the opening day of the summit.

While saying NATO is "very much concerned about the situation of Syria," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen made clear the alliance has "no intention whatsoever to intervene."

NATO's radio silence has prompted criticism among human rights groups and on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers for question why the alliance supported military intervention in Libya but has ruled out similar action in Syria. One congressional source called the refusal to even talk about the issue "pretty shocking."

Sen. John McCain, an outspoken proponent of U.S.-led intervention on Syria, has called it "shameful" that NATO has stood by while the Syrian people are hammered by the regime's heavily armed forces. McCain lobbied unsuccessfully to get the Syria issue on the formal agenda at the Chicago summit.

"Is it now the policy of NATO that we will stand by as rulers kill their people by the thousands and our alliance won't even discuss what we might do to help stop them?" McCain asked in a recent speech. "Shame on us and shame on the alliance, if we neglect our responsibilities to support brave peoples who are struggling and dying in an unfair fight for the same values that are at the heart of our alliance."

U.S. officials and other NATO diplomats argue that Syria's sectarian make-up and its divided opposition make military intervention a gamble that could lead to further bloodshed and instability, as it did after the U.S.-led invasion of neighboring Iraq in 2003.

"There is a clear difference between Libya and Syria. We took responsibility for the operation in Libya to protect the civilian population because we had a clear mandate from the United Nations, and we got clear support from a number of countries in the region," Rasmussen said Sunday in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union." "None of these conditions are fulfilled when it comes to Syria."

They also point to war-weary populations and slashed defense budgets throughout the alliance, which make another NATO intervention unfeasible.

"Nobody is keen to ask questions that they don't want answered," one senior official said of the lack of discussion on the Syria issue in Chicago. "There is no point of a vigorous plea if you aren't ready to back it up."

NATO leaders have individually backed implementation of the April 11 cease-fire brokered by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, but in the same breath have acknowledged the deal has failed to stem the regime's assault. Syrian human rights groups estimate nearly 12,000 people have died since the uprising began, more than 900 since the truce took effect

David Kramer, president of the Freedom House, a pro-democracy group, says the mixed messages on the Annan plan, coupled with an unwillingness to consider more robust action, signal to al-Assad a lack of international resolve that encourages him to continue the crackdown.

"It's incomprehensible to me why NATO officials publicly say they are doing zero planning," Kramer said. "Why telegraph to Assad what our limits are?"

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said U.S. and NATO military leaders in April had explored possible military outcomes in Syria should Western powers decide to remove al-Assad by force.

In Jordan, U.S. Army Green Berets are training Jordanian special forces in a number of "worst-case scenarios," including Syria's chemical and biological weapons falling out of the control of government forces, U.S. sources tell CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.

Turkey's recent threat to invoke Article 5 of the NATO charter further raised hopes among opposition supporters that the alliance could play a role in the conflict. Article 5 claims that an attack against one NATO member can be considered an attack on the entire alliance.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara was considering the move after al-Assad forces fired into Turkish territory in pursuit of rebels who had fled across the border. Some NATO diplomats expected Turkey to at least ask for formal NATO consultations on this issue at the Chicago summit, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the alliance would be ready to consider.

But in Chicago, Turkish officials remained silent, as did the alliance's 27 other members, including the United States.

In the summit's final declaration, NATO members pledged to strengthen partnerships with non-NATO members to deal with global threats, as it did in Afghanistan and more recently in Libya.

Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, says NATO should be discussing how to form such a coalition for acting in Syria with countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates before the situation becomes more dangerous and al-Assad considers even more brutal action, such as using Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons.

"It is the biggest conflict waging on NATO's border," Volker said. "How many dead Syrians are enough? If he were out there with chemical weapons, would we stand by and do nothing, even if the Security Council was blocked by the Russians? I don't think so. So is there a threshold of human catastrophe? And if you are convinced Assad is going to cross that threshold, isn't it better to do something before he does?"

It's a very profound set of questions, which NATO is not yet ready to answer.

soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Madonna

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    October 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
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    May 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  6. Samer

    Few of the American and west journalist really understand what is going is Syria, the rest is submitted to the national media propaganda, what you are seeing on TV and news papers is only one side of the story, besides NATO intervention in Libya cost 100 thousand deaths, the vast majority of the Syrian people consider NATO intervention is as occupation and they totally reject it.

    May 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • sjdsh

      War Poopaganda for da pooples of demockracy's la la land.

      May 24, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
  7. Jason K

    Its the same reason we went after Hitler and left Stalin alone. Stalin killed his own people, Hitler killed other people.

    Your options are as follows
    1. Get rid of him and let the militant, extremist, Moslems have access to one of the best militaries in the region
    2. Leave him alone and let him do our job for us.

    Its a pretty simple choice, I mean the summit thought so.

    May 23, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  8. Reuben

    Syria's extremely formidable air-defense system is the biggest reason for NATO and US caution. The other is not wanting Al-Qaeda to have access to weapons of mass destruction.

    May 23, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
  9. Paul Merkel Jr.

    Assad can only be killed by his inner circle. He has too much eye's like u.s. and Israel blinking at him with ambugious siganls of course.

    May 23, 2012 at 6:47 am | Reply
  10. Paul Merkel Jr.

    This article, including its title reflects the coldness of the Zionists and their supporters. The media, mainly zionist jews if you have noticed, has recently stopped reporting on Syria, while atrocities are going on there. I will say it again, regardless of how blunt and off base it may sound: Assad + Mossad = Death to Syrians and invitation to world war. U.S and West is deliberately keeping Assad in power, knowing fully sectarian wars will slowly weaken the country, so Israel and U.S. can go on with their merry agendas of imperalism and creation of refugees and terrorists.

    May 23, 2012 at 6:29 am | Reply
    • Danny

      Your sentiment though not uncommon is misplaced. That is the view that everything that does or does not happen in the world is because of the US or in the Middle East because of the US and Isreal. Assad's tightest ally is Iran. The US would love to make a surgical strike on Syria to take out Assad or better yet ask the Turks to do so. The problem is Russia and China who share the same false paranoia about US hegemony. The world complains when the US does intervene and then again when it does not. The US should not have to salve all problems. Russia and China needs to lead themselves sometimes not just prevent the US from doing so in the vacuum they leave.

      May 23, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
  11. midas

    What if no one helped out during US revolution. Every one desires to simply be free. Most revolutions have to have lots of sacrifice.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:52 am | Reply
    • Paul Merkel Jr.

      Every revolution required patience, persistence and efforts of many. Although one person can have a great impact, he or she cannot make revolutionary changes without the help of others who also seek justice.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:41 am | Reply
  12. sjdsh

    Why Assad shouldn't worry about NATO ? Russia&China have told US "enough w/your psycho B S......VETO X 2 .

    May 23, 2012 at 1:02 am | Reply
    • Paul Merkel Jr.

      You seemed to miss the boat. Syria'a Assad is a minority, and majority does not want him. Assad can kill manyand get away with it, because U.S. and West know his a secular from a minority sect of Islam, thus the more he kills the majority sunni's the more pleased the powers will be; sad but true.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:44 am | Reply
      • sjdsh

        You missed the boat.The 70-80% Moderate Sunni, Syrian National Army is protecting All of their brothers/sisters in secular sovereignty of Syria. Majority population of regular Syrians All backgrounds support them and national unity/reform fiercely.

        May 24, 2012 at 12:55 am |
      • Alaa

        As said, American and European people think they understand the syrian crisis better than the syrian people themselves, I am Syrian , I am an old opponent, but I don't suport the current islamic extremist opposition in syrian, the so caller free syrian army is a collction of extremists, unemployed, and traffickers, national media does not speak about the crimes of the armes islamic opossition, the syrian army which has gained the repsect of most of the syrians now.

        May 24, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  13. Shane

    Assad has been stupid enough to leave his military out in the open. A two day bombing campaign will turn half of all Syrian military involved in the atrocities into wreckage and burnt corpses, which of course they deserve.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • Paul Merkel Jr.

      Assad is being guided by Israel's MOSSAD; in case you didn't know.

      May 23, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply
      • NCHunter

        Where the proof of what you're saying?

        May 23, 2012 at 7:40 am |
      • UB Mow Ron

        I can smell your brain cells burning.

        May 23, 2012 at 7:52 am |
  14. dou44

    American politicians and the US public sure were silent about Iraqi civilian deaths as the US military destroyed Iraq killing 30,000 in the Shock and Awe bombardment and invasion and nearly one million dead as a result of the criminal occupation. Two-faced without shame.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

      So does the Syrian Government pay by the month for moronic comments made on CNN, or do they pay by the word, or by the number of postings? It's kind of like a "Tokyo Rose Franchise" operated in Damascus. It is easy to spot. So 60 years of Gestapo like oppression by the Assad Family and the complicity of neighboring Arab governments is not the issue. Somehow it is now the fault of the US for not acting quickly enough. Eventually the US and NATO will intervene directly. Perhaps 20 minutes after the US Presidential Election. The conflict will last about 2 weeks to 20 days. After that, Mr. Assad and his lovely wife will be on display in cages at the Hague. Stay tuned. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

      May 23, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • boosko

      Your death toll for shock and awe is infalted by a factor of 1,000.

      May 23, 2012 at 12:42 am | Reply
  15. AngryAmerican

    Possible UN and NATO intervention was all about BLOOD MONEY and blind support of Israel.

    May 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Reply
    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A., J.D., S.P.J.

      Was this post paid for by the Syrian Intelligence Service?

      May 23, 2012 at 12:25 am | Reply
  16. ML

    Okay seriously for all the "outraged" posts, there are a lot of very important differences between Syria and Egypt. Political (to Syria and Egypt), cultural, geographic, etc... And Egypt produced, what 2% of the world's oil?? Not a factor.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Reply
  17. Ash

    I find it hypocritical that there is so much condemnation about Syria while little is mentioned of the brutality of the western-backed Bahranian government.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply
    • keo saengsay

      by Allah for Allah leave them alones why any of us one to be in betwins the loving hearts of Muslims and Islams loving ways or do you wanted to be love like them . kill youself in where you're to make your relatives help you with nice fernerals .Keep $$$$$ and smarts bombs at home use them later where is need.

      May 23, 2012 at 5:28 am | Reply
  18. Miami11111

    NATO will never attack Assad, because he has been really good and calm towards his Israeli neighbors. He is a fake pan-Arabist. Therefore Syrians must stop asking help from the West and start looking for help somewhere else. The West only acts in Israel's interests.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  19. Khagaraj Sommu

    The NATO countries have pulled a fast one in Libya grossly misusing the concerned resolution of the UNSC.They are therefore checkmated on Syria.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  20. Anthony

    It is not our war. Best to stay out.

    May 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • 12ax7a

      I tell ya all, if everyone would think like Anthony this world would be a better place to live. This is the most intelligent comment i saw here today.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
      • Socrates

        The US is not out, it is never out. The US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Quatar are giving weapons and money to the mercenaries. They are not interested in peace or democracy. The usual suspects.

        May 22, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • dou44

      Too bad the US is helping run weapons and getting KLA (!) to help in the terrorist car bombings. US gov't sociopaths are the largest to civility.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  21. brokenarrowstuff

    All other things aside, I wonder what al-Assad is going to do with his country when he has destroyed every city but Damascus?

    May 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • acutemind

      Rebuild.

      May 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
      • Socrates

        Rebuild with British or American companies. Business is business.

        May 22, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  22. JMR

    If the world would move on Syria then they would topple the last line ally that Iran has in the world. The easiest way to close in on the Iranian nuclear game is to bring the Assad regime down ideally using pan-arab forces.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • CCCP

      So far we just sit back and let the world see what happens when we don't get involved. For all of China and Russia's stalling to block us from interventing (thinking they were smart), they lost big in this. They lost tons of credibility and the world now knows what a planet without the US looks like.

      So we just sit back and watch the fireworks. Hey, don't blame us. Blame Russia and China for deliberately sabotaging a condemnation of Assad's violence.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
      • David Miller

        Then stop arming the terrorists.

        May 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
      • 12ax7a

        I totally agree with David.

        May 22, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
      • Sodomite

        David, when WE armed them, they were 'allies'.

        May 22, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
      • AngryAmerican

        This is a loss for the American/Israeli war machine. It was never about protecting civilians. We were looking to overthrow Iran's biggest ally for Israel.

        May 22, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  23. Politik

    The thing that is preventing war with Syria is IRAN, RUSSIA AND CHINA. Russia and Iran have military ships docked in Syria and soldier on the ground. War with Syria means War with Russia, China and Iran. This means WWIII and Nato is not looking to start WWIII at this time. I gurantee that if Russia and Iran were not there, Syria would already be at War with Nato and looking like Libya.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • 12ax7a

      Touch Syria and you might have a small chance, touch Iran today and tomorrow there won't be anything left alive on this planet anymore.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • AngryAmerican

      I'm glad they're there. It's preventing more war.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  24. Kiptum

    Then comes the ICC bug!!!,is it relevant anymore?was it meant for Africa alone?nearly 85% of the cases come 4rm africa,soon we'l hear even chicken theft being handle there.let them leave africans(black monkeys)'as they call' handle there issues alone.

    May 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  25. Caspar Weinberger

    Syria probably doesn't have enough oil worth stealing. That's why we've never attacked North Korea.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • 12ax7a

      Here's another one who knows the truth. I agree.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  26. CNNuthin

    Is it too late for us to join the League of Nations? Even they got better press than NATO.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  27. Tony

    TO MR. ANALYST ,coptic christians in Egypt are not getting massacared as YOU CLAIM. More than 10 millions coptic christians live in Egypt. They own more than 40% of the national resources of Egypt economy. Many of them are patriotics and died in the wars with Israel. Most of the intellectuals and the highly educated are christians .So shut up and stop your filthy propaganda. Look what happen to muslims and jews in spain , look what happen to the jews in the european holocast that is a massacre.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  28. Tony

    CNN POST COMMENT is becaming a forum of hate and propaganda. This is not any more a free speech. Profane language, false facts, venom spilled from the mouth of zionist, fanatic christians and Assad thugs are all over. CNN to be held accountable to such reporting. Syrian revolution is not made of retarded people.All the element of syrian society are participating. Syria does not need NATO intervetion or the west charity; syrians are capable of gettting rid of ASSAD regime and is comming soon.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      All the forums are composed of mostly uncivil people that can't tolerate anyone thinking or believing anything they don't. The end result is hate and propaganda. The very concept of civil discussion doesn't exist.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • AngryAmerican

      lol your post is quite ironic. People are pissed off and they have every right to be.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  29. Everett Wallace

    No, assad is well aware of who is coming to syria. We have been monitoring syria for a while, so yep I am coming, be it in my sweats or uniform it does not matter I'm still the TRINITY!

    May 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  30. mfung

    you would think that a writer on CNN would get his article proofread. it's just disappointing to see grammatical errors from a professional

    May 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • 12ax7a

      If you would focus less on grammatical errors and more on what this world is heading toward to then you would do this world a big favor. Who cares if someone makes grammatical errors, as long as the message go thru.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  31. palintwit

    I think it would be absolutely hilarious if Sarah Palin filled her anus with quick drying concrete.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • James

      if the moneys right, $ister $arah is down for anything.

      May 22, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • JV

      Are you going to spout the same line on every CNN article or just a few? I am in no way a Palin fan but get some hew material moron.

      May 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • 12ax7a

      Sound like a 12 years old to me.

      May 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
      • UB Mow Ron

        Six.

        May 23, 2012 at 8:01 am |
  32. Teluu

    They have mess up in Libya and the cost of keeping their troops is rising in Afghanistan. Their reputation is tarnished in the face of the world and no one will support NATO in any move to fight again in Syria. NATO is irrelevant.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  33. Kiptum

    US should stop westernizing the world.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
    • Person of Interest

      Please quit using our western stuff than. Like oh, the internet that you are using to communicate your feelings. "Westernization" is something that occurs because people like something about the west. Whether it be the music, movies, or McDonald's for the most part westernization will occur whether or not the US pursues democratic ideals in different regions.

      Heck I say go for it if Eygpt thinks they can have a Democracy based on Islamic Principles. It will fail because there are many different philosephies of Islam, Sunni and Shia are just the best known.You can't have freedom based upon religion, you can have religion based on freedom. This is simply due to the fact we all believe something different than eachother, including our own parents.

      May 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • 12ax7a

        Oh yeah democracy, a fiction word. Wake up US we here you talking about how good is your democracy is, but the fact of the matter is you don't have any so called freedom anymore. You have your own government spying on it's citizens, you have drones that flies above your cities and about to blow one of your houses down on a false flag that you are making bombs. You cannot even go to an airport without having a bunch nymphomaniacs searching you and touching your genitals That's what your democracy brought you.

        May 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  34. Windy

    The silence of the Lambs=NATO.

    May 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  35. xyz

    Is NATO even relevant anymore? I believe that it is time for revision.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  36. skippingstones

    If you dance with the devil, expect to get scalded by devilcum..

    May 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  37. true

    No oil in Syria compared to Libya oil rich fields.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  38. Spectator

    Need an air war, then get the rebuild work after he's gone. Win-win.

    May 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  39. Rajiv Shaw

    A drone should do the trick.

    May 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • mister alex

      http://www.change.org/petitions/nato-liberate-syria

      May 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Jack O'Brien

      Duh! Why didn't I think of that! lol – It isn't that simple Raj, as much as some people that want war make it to be. It is very complicated, and one drone would be shut down within the first 60 minutes over Syria trying to do reconnaissance. Besides that might set of a war that no one wants, but a handful of politicians in foreign countries, and oh yeah, and McCain! Is he still breathing? He must be a fossil by now, I know his ideologies are a thing of antiquities. He needs to give it a rest and go into retirement.

      May 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • Politik

      Yes a drone will do the work, but will NATO risk a hit on Russian troops. Russian also has the S300 anti-aircraft or missile defense system in Syria that will bring down the Drones. They also have capabicity to control the drone like how they did in Iran.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • qf

        YOU ARE TALKING A LOT ABOUT RUSSIAN ARMY ,I WAS FOR 3 YEARS IN RUSSIAN ARMY,THEY ARE NOTHING CAMPARE TO US ARMY.

        May 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  40. John M.

    Syrians should "Saddam" Assad before he gets a "Gadhafi"

    May 22, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Jack O'Brien

      That's almost funny if it wasn't so medieval..

      May 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  41. TheAnalyst

    The West couldn't care less about Russia or China. As it says in the article, any outside intervention would just bring even more bloodshed. Besides if Syria falls into radical Muslim government, the non-muslim minorities will be massacred. So let them kill each other. Any doubt about this just look into Egypt or Libya. Christians in Egypt are being massacred and the government just watch, and Lybia is in the brink of civil war. So, yes, Western intervention does not solve the problem instead making it worse for the peaceful minorities.

    May 22, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • alumette

      it certainly seems that way as we look back into our history. Our interventions have not solved anyone's problems. The oil supply is dwindling and thank God for that....populations are exploding as many people embrace their religions to a radical extreme. Where is the sensibility ? the wisdom ? the peace movements ? we seem doomed to weed the garden with toxicity and destruction. Humans are a complicated breed.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  42. juggalo

    we won our own freedom 200 years ago from a nation that was a superpower in that era. i cant see why other nations cant help them selfs. If we can do it so can you! Im tired of the U.S. Trying to police the world and stop ruliers killing there own ppl. If they cant fight for them selfs, why the hell should we die for there freedom? eather learn to fight dirty or just sit there and take it. But dont send our sons and daughters to fight a battle for a ppl that will one day curse our names for not intervineing sooner.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • Lee S

      We couldnt have done it without france. Dont hurt meh! But this is not like our revolution at all. These people are going ot turn their system upside down and get rid of everyone serving a major govt post. NTM it will be a big change from a secular govt to a theocratic one. The US kept most major govt institutions in place, and most govt officials probably got to keep their jobs. i.e. it wasnt a shakedown from the bottom up.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Widow

      Yeah because we had missiles and rockets and tanks and helicopters and mortars back in 1776... The French didn't help and it didn't take 3-4 months for the British to cross over the Atlantic.. It is not like the British had super secret powerful weapons besides it's massive navy...the Syrian people are using ak-47 and RPGs against tanks, fighter jets, bombers, and a host of other weapons.. Are you seriously that naive to say it is comparible?

      May 22, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
    • The Woof

      Then the US needs to get out of the policy of trying to change the world to our standards and proping up dictators like the Shah of Iran, Batista in Cuba, Noreiga in Panama, and a few other so say "democratic leaders" that turn out to be ruthless scum. As you stated, if they wnat to be free then let them strive for it but again we don't need to interfere. As for our fight for freedom, we had help from the Spanish and the French and that is only because they had their own bones to pick with England, not just because they loved freedom.

      May 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • 12ax7a

      The problem is nobody is waking up, an election would be coming and everyone jump on the wagon and go voting. People are blind by nature, Thats what you get when you elect psychopaths. Can't you see it, even the police is a club med for attracting psychopaths. When a cops kills someone and the news help those cops covering it up and other cops help in covering it up and the police chief lies on TV right in your face. What you end up with is, being a police officer is an open playground for serial killers to do whatever they want without the fear of being arrested and paying for their crime. No better place for dangerous people to get into. Same thing goes for politicians and world leaders. That is you see rise of people ganging together and becomes terrorist, the system is making them. People who are being controlled and have no more freedoms will become terrorist because they can't survive anymore. They nothing left. My predictions is it will not be a war within two countries, but a war in each and every country soon, people against the system. And that will not be something nice. The world governments is asking for this and that's what they will get, because they were too money and power hungry that, they never thought of that being a sure thing. to come in he future.

      May 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  43. Robert

    "Is it now the policy of NATO that we will stand by as rulers kill their people by the thousands and our alliance won't even discuss what we might do to help stop them?"

    Not our problem, never was.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
  44. sam kohen

    Syria and Israel signed a tacit peace agreement in 1974 that has stood solid. Now with Al Quada getting more involved in the uprising in Syria, and most likely to take charge of it, President Assad now has a real enemy on his hands which will be very difficult to take on. Israel now has good reeason to worry with Al Quada on their very doorstep.

    Most dictators are basically stupid. President Assad is no exception with the way he handled this uprising in a clumsy idiotic way. What he should do right now is make a real peace agreement with Israel. With that the US and their allies would be on his side all the way.

    May 22, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
    • Alan S

      Sam: I don't know why you think most dictators are stupid. I have not seen any evidence of that. You wrote of Assad handling the uprising in a clumsy way. I am not sure I agree with that, either. His goal was to suppress the uprising and retain power. He seems to be succeeding. As to Assad making a treaty with Israel: that's hard to imagine. Even if Assad and the Syrians wanted such a treaty, I'm not sure that Israel would. And why would Assad want Israel and the U.S. with him? He seems to be doing pretty well without us.

      May 22, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
      • siroos

        I would like to add, its not just the dictators that are stupid some of these commentators like this guy, don't have that many marbles to work with neither,
        I think we should make a museum with all the idiotic comments, that turn up here and there, specially the admiration comments for the assads and the ghadafis of this world !!!!

        May 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Lee S

      If he made any move towards making peace with Israel Iran would have cut them off comepletely and his ability to suppress the uprisings would have been cut off at the knees for an extended period of time. NTM he would have had many mnay more defectors in the military and upper levels of govt. I really think you underestimate the blind hatred for Israel by these people.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
  45. gingersrule1

    Assad is a war criminal now. There's no way we can let him lead his people after this. With the advanced weaponry widely available today the Syrian people don't stand a chance. The West just watches and does nothing out of a fear of angering Russia and China. If you refuse to help people in their hour of need resentment might just be the enemy that comes back to bite us in the end. That's what makes a suicide bomber. Resent and hate. Peoples families are being murdered and we send people to watch.

    May 22, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • Lee S

      No , hopefully we are starting to learn a lesson. Dont just help everyone that asks for it. They will end up hating you for some reason in the end. We cant win. The only countries that have been successful after a conflict with the US are the one we completely decimated. Maybe we should go back to that tactic.

      May 22, 2012 at 11:15 am | Reply
      • 12ax7a

        Lee S. please would you tell me which countries you guys have decimated, it surely wasn't Vietnam because at the rate you guys were dying if that lasted 1 year more there wouldn't be any male left alive in US at the time. Iraq or Afghanistan? I don't think so, there's more killing there than ever, more terrorist now than ever. Korea? No not that one either. Cuba? It brought you close to a nuclear war and Russia had more nuclear missiles pointed at you than you could ask for.. Now tell me, which country or countries you guys have decimated.

        May 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  46. Matt

    The UN may be forced to leave yet, they have had some close calls, it is only a matter of time. In my humble opinion is the best thing for Israel who was not involved in the uprising is to see the mercenary army bogged down and culled and for Assad to survive and take his revenge on those that did.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:43 am | Reply

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