Will U.S. sanctions really hurt al-Assad?
Top U.S. and European leaders called Thursday for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, shown here during a 2009 interview with CNN, to step down. CNN Photo
August 18th, 2011
09:30 PM ET

Will U.S. sanctions really hurt al-Assad?

ANALYSIS: From Jill Dougherty, CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

At first glance, the economic sanctions announced Thursday by the Obama administration look draconian: freezing Syrian assets under U.S. jurisdiction, banning Americans from doing any business with Syria, banning U.S. imports of Syrian oil or petroleum products, identifying five Syrian state-owned companies that are most involved in Syria's petroleum sector.

A senior administration official who briefed reporters on the sanctions, speaking on background because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue, said the new sanctions "strike at a crucial stream of funding in hard currency for the regime," potentially damaging the regime's ability to carry out its bloody repressions.

(Global Public Sphere blog on 'What it will take to get al-Assad to step down)

At the State Department briefing Thursday, spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, "The net effect of the sanctions that we have imposed today is to close the U.S. financial sector to Syria."

But to really hurt the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Obama administration's allies will have to take similar steps.

After all, even though Syria gets approximately one-third of its income from its oil exports, that administration official confirmed that approximately 90% of Syria's oil exports go to the European Union, not to the United States.

"Action taken by the E.U. or by E.U. member states to cut off the import of Syrian oil will significantly enhance the pressure on the Syrian regime," the official noted.

That, certainly, is what the Obama administration is hoping, said Nuland: "I think our first priority is to see other countries around the world with companies operational in Syria take national measures. And I think our hope and our expectation is that in coming weeks and months, and weeks and days, more countries will take such action."

Thursday the Obama administration heard some encouraging words from E.U. High Representative Catherine Ashton, who said the E.U. is adding more names to the list of Syrians targeted by restrictive measures already in place and is "moving ahead with discussing further restrictive measures that will broaden its sanctions against the Syrian regime."

But sanctions can run into problems, said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

"We've seen in places like Sudan where America has placed sanctions and China has come in and picked up the slack."

"China is desperately in need of energy," Landis told CNN, and it sees Western sanctions as an anti-China policy because the measures drive up oil prices.

Landis also questioned whether sanctions could end up hurting the Syrian people. He outlined a possible scenario in which subsidies are slashed to keep the Syrian poor fed. People will begin to starve, creating outflows of refugees, he said.

"The idea is that will undermine the regime and it will collapse," he said, but if it doesn't happen "we'll be on the slippery slope toward military intervention."

The Obama administration vowed to try to avoid hurting Syrian citizens.

"We will work to minimize the collateral effect of these sanctions on the average Syrian citizen," the senior administration official said. "But it is our firm belief that the international community must join the U.S. and act now to choke off the financial lifelines to the Syrian regime and its supporters."

"We look forward to the time when the resources of the Syrian government are used for the benefit of the Syrian people, not to brutalize them and to try to crush their legitimate aspirations."

CNN's Joe Sterling contributed to this report

Post by:
Filed under: Assad • Diplomacy • Security Brief • Syria
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. rajeev


    August 28, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  2. Odysseus Wirtes

    This is what it will hurt :



    August 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • Odysseus Wirtes


      August 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  3. rajeev


    August 23, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • Odysseus Wirtes

      Unfortunally this is what is going to happen The world Nato or Brics can't stand for Violence for political or reglion issue.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  4. rajeev


    August 23, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
  5. helenecha

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad needs to go. We can say that again.

    August 20, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  6. rajeev


    August 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  7. ArizonaYankee

    Syria won't even notice......America under Obama is the laughing stock of the world.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  8. marcia

    why can't we stay out of everyone elses business. Obama plainly wants another war. What a jerk!

    August 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • pfauenauge

      Do you really think that any leader is listening what the USA has to say? Of course not. Look whom we have in the West, they are all pussy cats. Now Assad has joined the ranks of US hateres, Russia and China and he will get what he needs from them and China will get more oil.
      We have enough problems in the USA to last us for the next 50 years, yet we have to stick our nose into Syria. Hillary, why don't you retire and cash in on your position in teh State department. That is what you wanted anyway, use the Gov position to enrich yourself. BS serving the public !

      August 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  9. Brokke

    I hope our government is not using all these foreign interventions, as a tool to distract us from our own problems at home and their inability of tackle them.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  10. Johnny

    Letter from Syria, via Eileen Fleming – veteranstoday.com

    “First what is happening here is not sectarian Shia Sunni Christen Alawie , it is fighting terrorist funded outside by Saudi Arabia the U.S and supplied by Israel. The Sunni majority are very much behind the government,,

    “You have been to this area too many times, do people walk around Palestine saying such things as what are you shia sunni druze christan no they don’t and it’s the same thing here,, a fantasy crated by the west,-what bull shit!

    "Here in Latakia were watching the news saying O’M’G’ look at what’s happening in London, its 100 times worse than here. And then the news comes out with something stupid and false like 'there are tanks in the streets and Battleships off the coast shelling civilians in the city.'

    "Girl, since this all started, I have not seen one tank in the street, yes there are soldiers to keep the peace, people come out of there houses to give them water and juice and fruit, ME INCLDED. Does this sound like a suppressed society?

    “This is all a build up before the U.N. vote for Palestine, there will probably be another war in Gaza before the end of the month…”

    August 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • JC

      Shut up...! Assad is a murderer. People are being shot by the snipers. Murder of innocent unharmed protesters.
      Now go and lick his boots, you slave.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • Liberal87

        I agree, Assad is a murderer. He must be stopped!!!!

        August 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  11. AGuest9

    BTW, the button here. It should say "Publish", not "Publicar". This is the US, not Mexico!

    August 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  12. AGuest9

    It's simple. It's cheap. Shut down USAID.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  13. AECSRet

    N O P E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  14. AlongTheWay

    Sancations only mean something when there's true clout behind them.
    Clout from reputation, good and solid actions, and being the best role-model out there.
    Unfortunately, this is swiftly becoming a case of "do as I say and not as I do".

    No matter the problem the other countries are having, good/bad/otherwise, we are swiftly losing the right to have that say.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  15. jt_flyer

    US sanctions will accomplish exactly what they've accomplished every, single other time we’ve implemented them since we began our current military policies soon after WWII. Other countries will increase their business and profit by filling the void and we -the little kid holding his breath in the room –will be left with nothing…. Again.

    August 19, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
  16. Whoops!

    Well said Joe. Popcorn anyone?

    August 19, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
  17. LVInsane

    France and many others will sell them anything at anytime while saying they do not do that. We are wasting our time. And, for the few American firms doing any business there, all this means is free money for some French intermediary.

    August 19, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
  18. Gaddffly

    What a brilliant idea !!! With the U.S. economy going down the tubes we WILL NOT sell any goods to Syria. We will shoot ourselves in the foot over Syria but say nothing about the abuse in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain because they are "friends". Hypocracy at its finest!!

    August 19, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
  19. Tom


    August 19, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Odysseus Writes

      come on Assad stand ! come on quaddafi stand against the all seeing eye : against corporation against the financial society Yohhhhhhh come one stand the Russian are with you! when ever you r ready !


      August 19, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
      • Odysseus Writes

        even venezuela mexico UK will step in we ll stop them come on islam now is the future now is the time to resist against who provoke poverty against sauron come on assad! stop the real terrorist

        August 19, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  20. Rick

    See comment number 4 in this article. We spent ONE BILLION DOLLARS in the first four days in Libya on bombs. I know because I'm the first one to report it on CSPAN on Mar 22. Guess what, Ghaddfi is still sing Elton John's " I'm Still Standing".

    August 19, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Odysseus Writes

      all supposed to be as per plan From kennedy to the all seeing eye inside the UN in the meditation room half men half gods http://wheresgodinallofthis.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/un-room.jpg

      August 19, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
  21. Odysseus Writes


    August 19, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
  22. Odysseus Writes


    August 19, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
  23. Odysseus Writes

    soon in Syria http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68I3j2luW64

    August 19, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  24. mazen

    the fashist syrian regime will play dead – it would have been wiser to do a swift and limitid military strike on the syrian presidental palace and the few tanks serounding it–just enough to give the soldiers on the ground a peek if you will of the coming events and make them think hard before attacking syrian people on the ground- as many of those soldiers are in reality airin boys for those in high offices anyway-and most of them are inlisted as soldiers not because they want to-but because they cant afford to pay 5000 usd instead as that regime requires,,this will be a great opertunity for president obama to be realected–it will stop all nonsence coming from iran and it will certainly silance russia,well all you will hear is a few complaints,,wich they can send to the complaint box down the hall...it will just be a grave error for america to be halted by a small underpaid underarmed undertraind fachist regime such as this.

    August 19, 2011 at 10:41 am | Reply
  25. JOE

    Thanks Rick!

    August 19, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
  26. Rick

    I'm glad you guys seem to respect my views. However, I am neither republican nor democrat. I'm an independent. This allows me to look at the issues with a balanced view. As for racism and bigotry, some of my besT friends and coworkers are black and hispanic.

    August 19, 2011 at 10:23 am | Reply
    • AECSRet

      You're a picker aren't you? C'mon fess up!!!

      August 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  27. must stop

    For the love of god... Let them mow each other over. Who gives a crap. Stop policing the world when you can't even police your own borders. President Omoron al Douchebag

    August 19, 2011 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Jen

      You have no compassion, and obviously are not enlightened on this situation. I saw a two year old child shot in the face when watching international coverage of this regime. Do you have children? Do you have any concern for the most vulnerable in our society? I look at my own two year old son, and cannot begin to understand how any human, or any government, could have such hatred and evil. I am extremely proud to be an American, and although I am not a democrat, I am proud of our president and hope the world follows our lead.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
  28. JOE


    I disagree with you that president Obama should be impeached for our involvement in Libya or for any other legislation that he has authorized because everything that this president has so far done has been legal and no Americans have died in the process. But I commend you on admitting that GWB should be tried for war crimes. Rick, at least you have convinced me that not all people of your political affiliations are bad Americans. You're one of the good ones. God bless you Rick!

    August 19, 2011 at 10:06 am | Reply
  29. JOE

    I'm glad to hear that you're not a racist and a bigot with hate but I disagree that you actually use facts when judging president Obama because it seems no matter what this president does, he is still being rediculed, attacked and scrutinized for his leadership. And even when OBL was killed, many in your base Rick seem to give the impression that president Obama should be impeached for authorizing our Navy Seals' secratative mission into Pakistan.

    Furthermore, when GWB was in office, I personally had no problems at all giving him credit for some things that he did and respecting him for some things that he supported and I never did come to the conclusion that everything that GWB did was wrong. But since president Obama has taken office, people in your neck of the woods seem to wish that slavery and segregation were still the law of the land in America and that America should no longer be a democracy where all of it's people have a chance to be who they want to be. You just can't tell me that everything about president Obama is wrong or bad. That's plain bigotry and racism. Not facts.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply
  30. Rick

    Congress did give Bush the power to make war. To answer your questions, yes I am in favor Of Bush and company being tried for war crimes and impeachment of Obama.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:54 am | Reply
  31. JOE


    You still didn't answer my question. I agree with your assertion that Bush was a bad president but when you say that he did go through congress for the Iraqi war, you seem to be saying that he didn't do anything wrong in Iraq. Let me clarify..., The War Powers Act in question gave GWB the authorization to intervene militarily in Iraq ONLY if Iraq did not comply with United Nations resolution to relinquish their weapons and disarm peacefully. And with that being said, the Iraqi government was in full compliance with that resolution as UN inspectors were on the ground in Iraq, disarming and dismantling the Iraqi military peacefully and without bloodshed. Subsequently, Iraq was no longer a threat to it's neighbors and neither was it an imminent threat to the United States. But the war criminal George W. Bush told Secretary General Coffie Annan and UN inspectors on the ground that they had fourty eight hours to leave Iraq, that is before the bombs started dropping and the worst war atrocities of the 21st centurt were ignited.

    Rick, should George W. Bush and his cabinet be sent to the ICC in the Hague for war crimes? Please take into account that this illegitimate war campaign continues to take lives today in both Iraq and Afghanistan and please take into account that half a million Iraqi civilians have since died as a result of the tribal unrest and terrorism that this war has caused when that country was destabilized.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
  32. Rick

    I'm sorry for have to address this, but the hatred, bigotry, and racism argument is a very poor substitute for facts. Especially since none of these things apply to me.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
  33. Rick

    I completely agree with your assertion that Bush was a bad president. However, Bush did go through Congress for these wrong wars based on bad foreign Policy. As for reading hundreds of posts, you only have read the posts in this article to understand what is really going on.

    August 19, 2011 at 9:27 am | Reply
  34. JOE


    So where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction? And why shouldn't George W. Bush and his cabinet be tried for war crimes? He has murdered over 4,000 US soldiers in Iraq over lies about bogus WMD's and many in Afghanistan as we speak because he and his war mongering cabinet abandoned and prolonged the Afghan war to start their illegitimate Iraqi war. Putting your hatred, bigotry and racism aside, what should be the faith of GWB and his cabinet?

    August 19, 2011 at 9:12 am | Reply
  35. Rick

    If I Had a vote, it would be for impeachment. On the promise issue, Obama has broken every campaign promise he made. On the Libyan issue, Obama has violated both UN resolutions that he, himself sponsored. The no fly resolution, and the arms embargo resolution. As for the war powers act, Obama is in clear violation at this very moment. Only congress has the power to make war. Unless Obama has decided he is a dictator like the ones he wants to topple, he need to understand this. In addition Obama has spent almost 3 YEARS blaming everybody else for everything. It's time for him to take responsibility for his own actions.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:44 am | Reply
  36. FedUpwithLA

    Sanctions will usually hurt "the little people" – those under Assad. It never hurts those in power. Kind of like the Chinese "whipping boy." Can't touch the emperor – just let the common people get hurt. Has there ever been anything in Syria that has come close to justice?

    August 19, 2011 at 8:42 am | Reply
  37. JOE

    So who in the US should propose or authorize sanctions on Seria? President Obama? And what would the GOP and the republican owned and operated mainstream media say about president Obama's sanctions? Would they support these sanctions or rather call for the impeachment of the president for taking unilateral actions against Seria? If I were president Obama, what I would do to avoid the deliberate flip flopping on the issues by the GOP is to have the GOP write down on paper their position on every issue to be dealth with or I'd record their stated position on the issues. This way, when the president takes action on these issues and the GOP flip flop and change their position to score political points and make the president look bad, the American people can weigh in on the recorded facts and put the GOP on notice. That is the American people who really care about the future and progress of this country.

    Remember the Libyan conflict? Yea, the president was dragging his feet while civilians were being murdered by the Ghadaffi regime. But when the president took unilateral action to intervene, the GOP and their mainstream media turned around and accused the president of foreign aggression then they asked what is the mission and end game in Libya? I find this hypocritical and outrageous. But what is the mission and the end game in Afghanistan? And what is the mission and end game in Iraq? And speaking of Iraq, what I find outrageous is that after the George W. Bush regime didn't find any WMD's in Iraq, without any conscience they decided to change their seek and find mission to what they eventually called "Iraqi Freedom." But did the Iraqi people come to the United Nations asking for a change of government or any sort of freedom? Of course not!

    And while the GOP and the mainstream media continued to redicule president Obama, asking to state the mission and the end game in Libya, I may point out that it was president Obama who had to decide the mission and end game in Afghanistan ten years later, authorizing our Navy Seals to kill OBL and it was president Obama who decided the end game in Iraq eight years later as he set a deadline for troop withdrawal from these conflicts. And as usual, the president kept his promise as our troops started to depart Iraq a few months ago, uniting with their families once more.

    So if president Obama was to take action against Seria, would you people support him or rather call for his impeachment?

    August 19, 2011 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • DAM

      First, they ALL Flip flop, Second it is Syria, third, WHY would you want this president to get points???????? You want a record for BS and flip flopping, go to youtube and watch all of Obama's campaign speeches. Hours of BS for you.

      August 19, 2011 at 9:24 am | Reply
  38. ted

    Assad is another mad dog, same like Gaddafi. He and his late father never care about legitimacy.
    The two criminals came to power by killing their own friends and comrads.

    August 19, 2011 at 8:04 am | Reply
  39. Rick

    Check your history on the cold war. Truman started it by threatening Russia with nukes. Did we intervene in Russian oppression or Chinese oppression. How has that worked out.

    August 19, 2011 at 7:16 am | Reply
  40. pudding

    we're broke and giving billions to foreign nations, we can't win a war with a country that has no navy or one aircraft carrier. obama vacations when the country is in despair, yes bush took vacations on his own ranch not flying around the world, paying 14 million for a bus tour out of tax payers pockets, still lieing to the in fedels.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:30 am | Reply
    • Martin

      The vast majority of what we give as foreign aid is in the form of U.S. goods. So foreign aid is mostly domestic government spending that goes to American businesses and that stimulates the economy. We don't just sent piles of cash... So, relax!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:02 am | Reply
  41. Navyguy1978

    Here we go again... poking our noses where they don't belong..

    August 19, 2011 at 6:30 am | Reply
    • Jen

      I appreciate our military and the sacrifices they make for our safety. But I saw a two year old child shot in the face when watching international coverage of this regime. Do you have children? Do you have any concern for the most vulnerable in our society? I look at my own two year old son, and cannot begin to understand how any human, or any government, could have such hatred and evil. I am extremely proud to be an American, and although I am not a democrat, I am proud of our president and hope the world follows our lead.

      August 19, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  42. Rick

    You are absolutely right. Our best coarse of action is to stay out of their internal affairs and let them sort them out.

    August 19, 2011 at 6:21 am | Reply
  43. Paul NYC

    The Syrian government spent years trying to soften its image to the world and has flushed that down the toilet in just a few months time. Al-Assad is done and it's only a matter of time before people in his government, especially in the military, do something about it. He is being propped up by the Iranian government which is sending their most violent and vicious shocktroops to Syria to assist in the murder of citizens. How long before the real Syrian military, those who are loyal to the country and not a person, get fed up?

    August 19, 2011 at 6:07 am | Reply
    • veljo

      100 years at least

      August 19, 2011 at 7:10 am | Reply
  44. Rick

    Keep your eye on the ball. This is just a continuation of very bad US Foreign policy. We started this mess in the first place. I don't support or condone the leaders in the middle east. But none of this madness happened in these countries for the last 40 years until we got involved. Additionally many of the same things are starting to happen (to a lesser extent) in our own country. See my collective posts. After Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, who is next. Pakistan, India, Venezuela, China, or perhaps the US. Think about it.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:57 am | Reply
    • Martin

      Oh, yeah. I'm going to sort through hundreds of posts so I can read all of yours. Why don't you pull them all together and pay a publisher to print them. I'm talking about a VANITY publisher, which sounds right up your alley!

      August 19, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply
  45. random

    Ok So when the world stands still while people are being killed, Obama is blamed. When He enforces sanctions, He is blamed more. If he ever decides to help by stepping in physically to throw out al ASSAD, he will be blamed even more. So what magical solution is he expected to perform? Most people here are extremely retarded. Their jobs is to just complain about any political decision that the world is in great need for. It is not you that decides what is best for Syrian people, Watch TV to see infants being shot! geez

    August 19, 2011 at 5:20 am | Reply
    • Tony

      Very good point. There is no worst blind that the one that don't want to see.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:56 am | Reply
  46. Rick

    On a personal thought. I think many countries are viewing their relationships with the US are dangerous. Two weeks ago, the president of Bolivia said he was nervous about flying to the UN, because the US(unnamed agency) might try to plant drugs on his plane.

    August 19, 2011 at 5:17 am | Reply
    • Tony

      The President of bolivia is a punk. He is aligned with Chavez and a coke producer. In other words a nut head. Now, if you tell me that the Prime minister of Britain or Russia have fears then I would be concern.

      August 19, 2011 at 6:59 am | Reply
  47. Rick

    I suggest you read your news. The CIA involvement was admitted in mainstream news. Then check your history about the CIA Iran-Contra affair. Then add to the fact the CIA admitted this year that it has operatives in 130 countries. US agencies don't always have good plans. Eg. The ATF's bungled Fast and Furious program.
    Everything I write, I find in mainstream news, then I cross check it.

    August 19, 2011 at 4:32 am | Reply
  48. Rick

    I'm sorry to tell you this, but a bankrupt company can't hire (create jobs) people. Obama has spent 12 trillion (12,000,000,000,000) dollars in 3 years, and the US IS bankrupt.

    August 19, 2011 at 3:26 am | Reply
  49. Rick

    You should forward that thought to B.S.Obama.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:52 am | Reply
    • Calvin

      This will be Obama's job creating as will reported by Nov 2011. let go to military so that US has a chance to destroy all their equioments and we will sell them the new stuffs. This is a good opportunity for couple hundreds of billion dollars. LET GO TO WAR NOW.

      August 19, 2011 at 3:04 am | Reply
  50. Rick

    You have to since all of these Arab Spring Protests were organized, promoted, and funded by our own CIA. Ask yourself, Exactly who funds all of these groups on both sides of these conflicts.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:33 am | Reply
    • cheese

      Go to school. I'd suggest that you start from kindergarten.

      I'm pretty sure that everything is a CIA plot, even when it doesn't suit American and CIA interests.

      The Arab spring deprived the US of some allies. So why would the CIA do that? It's doesn't even make sense.

      What a moron. What next? Are you going to change your story to reptilians or the new world order?

      August 19, 2011 at 4:11 am | Reply
  51. Rick

    Let's start with Kent state. Four protesters shot dead. We hope Obama doesn't do anything militarily in Syria. Again, our cost in the first four days of Libya was ONE BILLION DOLLARS (122 tomahawk missiles X 8,446,000 dollars apiece). Exactly who are we supporting in this change. As for the Hitler comparison, we have TSA, NSA, ATF, CIA, Homeland security, the (un)Patriotic act, and now BART TRANSIT in SF. This sounds pretty NAZI to me. Good morning America.

    August 19, 2011 at 2:10 am | Reply
    • treasure123

      Let us not compare the lybian with the syrian case. Lybians asked for international military intervene. Syrians prtoested for five months (2000 confirmed dead and more than 10000 arrested) and did not ask for miltary intervene.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:15 am | Reply
  52. cklutch

    A legitimate government does not kill it's own people for protesting. You're a moron dude.
    Obama placing sanctions doesn't mean we're going to war, or that we will. It's going be just like Libya where the UN takes over bombing operations until the government is crippled against those wanting change take over.

    Stop assuming troops are going anywhere. I'm sick and tired of all you blind haters than think any country should standby and allow a government to kill it's own people. Ever hear of Hitler and what he did? I'm an American and as an American I have to say you all suck. You forget too fast and place the blame on anyone that's in control.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:42 am | Reply
    • treasure123

      I agree with you cklutch, this is a great move by Obama. Not doing anything and just standby mean that the US is OK with such crimes against peaceful protests. A big difference between the Syrian and Lybian case is that syrians did not ask for a military act by the US. Lybians did ask for military intervene. This administration's move will help these protesters to achieve their goal and willl help to encourage syrian soldiers and business men to defect after realizing that the regime is losing international acknowledgment.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:10 am | Reply
  53. Rick

    I call Sierra Leone a product of western intervention. It was populated with ex American-West Indies slaves. It had an American style Constitution. It was a Democracy from its inception till approximately 1968. Problems with the DeBeers from south Africa and Liberias civil war caused the start of its civil war. The UN intervened. Does this sound familiar. Its civil war has been going on since 1985.

    August 19, 2011 at 1:07 am | Reply
  54. JimmyP

    Obama........No US Military Involvement

    August 19, 2011 at 1:05 am | Reply
  55. beastybeauty

    Yeah use sanctions to kill all the Muslim children like Iraq, block all medicines etc and then call yourself the champion of human rights.... LOL

    August 19, 2011 at 12:33 am | Reply
    • JimmyP

      I agree

      August 19, 2011 at 1:03 am | Reply
    • Josh

      How exactly is cutting off the purhase of Syria's oil supply (of which I'm sure close to zero goes towards the people) equate to withholding medicine from sick children? Your utterance is pure emotional dribble. Offer something constructive or don't bother posting.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:25 am | Reply
      • Foo


        Where does the Syrian govt. get those medicines, from money from their exports -no? Or were you supplying those medicines?

        August 19, 2011 at 2:57 am |
    • Calvin

      Do we care about Syria democracy? This is their own problems? All I care is that if it is unstable then oil price will be up again.

      August 19, 2011 at 2:56 am | Reply
  56. peter

    So what do u call the event of sierra leone? As presidents after presidents use gold and diamonds for there own political gain. Oh the west is profiting from that and who realy care for africa right? Shame on all of you, I wonder what kind of discount the west is lookin at when libya gets a new leader?

    August 19, 2011 at 12:12 am | Reply
  57. Rick

    The Syrians, Libyans, Yemenis etc. Are all fighting for their lives thanks to the subversive efforts of CIA since 2003 via facebook and twitter. I would like to reserve my right to protest for here in the US. If Obama comes for me in the middle of the night to place my in a FEMA camp, then I'll do my best to fight. PS According to the (anti)Patriot act it would be legal.

    August 19, 2011 at 12:10 am | Reply
  58. john

    S1N: So how is that X-BOX lesson working out for you? I doubt you are a REAL soldier, because a REAL soldier won't wish or want anyone to go through the hell they experience. Do you truly understand the logistics of war? Aside from the "lock and load" mentality you have, I highly doubt it. How exactly should we pay for this one should it happen? Maybe we can start selling states to the highest bidder right?! Look, people aren't spineless cowards as you suggest, rather smarter and thought capable. Sure there are drones/grunts out there that only want to fight, however there are those that have brain power to lead. It's time to lead this country with intellagence and grace rather than with muscle and adrenaline. Brutality exist because of humans that only want to use a weapon to speak. Then there are humans that actually use words. Which one are you?

    August 19, 2011 at 12:02 am | Reply
  59. jason

    here we go again another war this will not stop there will be a draft libs repubs your children are going to have to shed their blood against their will in the middle east wake up please vote for ron paul together we can take our country back i have a daughter and im genuinely scared of what this country is going to look like when she is a teenager please stop the wars stop killing people im begging all of you!!

    August 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Reply
    • S1N

      Another draft? Good. It's about time you cowards are forced to fight. After all, you've raised most of your children to be spineless cowards. It's time they learned a lesson in the brutality of the real world.

      August 18, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Reply
      • CDag

        Dude lay off the juice. You are wound a little to tight. To fight for your countries morals and belief is one thing. Thats being an American, but to force anyone man to do something they don't want well that sounds very un american to me.

        August 19, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • JimmyP

      Young people have no idea about what the draft means, it's been over for 38 years. I hope it's not neccessary to reactivate the Draft

      August 19, 2011 at 1:10 am | Reply
  60. chris

    nobody is afraid of Obama. especially one that has Iran behind it. this is why Obama stayed away from Syria all these months while hundreds to thousands of Syrians were being slaughtered.

    August 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  61. Rick

    Apparently you can't teach an old dog new tricks. These so called sanctions will cause the oil speculators to raise the price of oil above 100 dollars a barrel (In the words of Forrest Gump) AGAIN... These sanctions will only hurt Syrian and American CIVILIANS ...AGAIN. Obama claims to be on the right side of history. Since when does might make right. Obama has turned the US into a criminal rogue nation with his actions against Libya and Syria. Its no wonder Venezuela is removing its gold reserves from western banks. Is Obama going to invade Syria and lie about the cost again. PS I was the one who estimated the initial cost of libya based on 8,446,000 dollars per tommahawk missle.

    August 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Reply
    • JimmyP

      I hope not. If we get involved in a major war....they will have to reinstate the draft

      August 19, 2011 at 1:13 am | Reply
  62. Henkv

    These sanctions will give Syria the opportunity to secretly complete its nuclear program. It worked for North Korea, it is working for Iran, so why not for Syria?
    That's how useful sanctions are. An other Washington 'pretend' fix. Maybe we should give them a bailout also.

    August 18, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  63. davey

    Soetoro, stop encouraging the overthrow of the legitimate government of Syria. You are no different than the Bush. Attend to the affairs of the Us and not soverign nations.

    Go Home Soetoro.

    August 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • Frank Marino

      And you "davey" should think a little before opening your mouth because what you are doing here is display your support for an all out criminal anti-democratic regime, and surely there are two reasons: you're scared about the repercussions of your relative in Syria or you are a clown of the Syrian government

      August 18, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  64. Massive Marbles

    Will US Sanctions Really Hurt al-Assad? The people under his rule will suffer, his dictatorship opinion would most likely follows Marie Antoinette's, "let them eat cake"...

    August 18, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Reply

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