Conservatives urge 'immediate' U.S. action on Syria
February 18th, 2012
02:28 PM ET

Conservatives urge 'immediate' U.S. action on Syria

By CNN's Joe Sterling

Prominent U.S. conservatives want the Obama administration to "take immediate action" against the Syrian regime, including "no-go zones" for President Bashar al-Assad's military and "self-defense aid" to resistance forces.

Fifty-six foreign policy experts and former U.S. government officials signed a letter dated Friday calling for proactive U.S.-led steps against the government. It comes as Syrian citizens and activists plead for world powers to help stop the government's bloody crackdown.

They include Karl Rove, the former Bush administration adviser; Paul Bremer, in charge of the U.S. occupation in Iraq after the 2003 invasion; R. James Woolsey, former CIA chief; Robert McFarlane, former Reagan national security adviser, and Dan Senor, a former Bremer adviser and spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

The letter can be found on the Foreign Policy Initiative website.

"We believe that the United States cannot continue to defer its strategic and moral responsibilities in Syria to regional actors such as the Arab League or to wait for consent from the Assad regime's protectors, Russia and China," the letter said.

Russia and China have vetoed strong action against the al-Assad regime at the U.N. Security Council.

The letter calls for Syrian safe zones and no-go zones for al-Assad's forces around "Homs, Idlib, and other threatened areas, in order to protect Syrian civilians.

"The United States should work with like-minded countries like Turkey and members of the Arab League in these efforts," the letter said.

The group wants to "establish contacts" with the Free Syrian Army, the fledgling resistance force of military defectors. It called for a "full range of direct assistance, including self-defense aid to the FSA" and wants to do so with Middle East and European allies.

The letter calls for improving "U.S. coordination with the political opposition groups" and to "provide them with secure communications technologies and other assistance that will help to improve their ability to prepare for a post-Assad Syria."

It wants the administration to work with lawmakers to impose "crippling U.S. and multilateral sanctions" on the Syrian government, specifically the energy, banking and shipping sectors.

The letter cites the Syrian government's bloody siege in the city of Homs, and says the regime "poses a grave threat to national security interests."

Syrian activist groups say well over 7,000 people have died in the unrest, now in its 12th month.

It notes that Syria has maintained "a strategic partnership with the terror-sponsoring government of Iran, as well as with Hamas and Hezbollah" and it has "facilitated the entry of foreign fighters into Iraq, who killed U.S. troops."

It says foreign powers intervened in support of the al-Assad regime, citing Russia's supply of arms and supplies, and reports of Iran and Hezbollah operating in Syria.

"The lack of resolve and actions by the responsible members of the international community is only further emboldening the Assad regime," the letter said.

"Unless the United States takes the lead and acts, either individually or in concert with like-minded nations, thousands of additional Syrian civilians will likely die, and the emerging civil war in Syria will likely ignite wider instability in the Middle East."

The United States, the European Union, the Arab League and Turkey have initiated a range of sanctions against Syria.

The Obama administration has also denounced al-Assad's regime. 

"Assad has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community," Obama said February 4.

"A Syria without Assad could be a Syria in which all Syrians are subject to the rule of law and where minorities are able to exercise their legitimate rights and uphold their identities and traditions while acting as fully enfranchised citizens in a unified republic."

Despite a General Assembly non-binding resolution endorsing an Arab League plan for al-Assad to step down, world powers haven't been able to stop the bloodshed.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Friday said the United States has not been "deterred" by Security Council vetoes and is moving forward with a group called the Friends of Syria, a coalition of Arab, Western and others countries.

The group, which will meet Friday in Tunisia, was formed after Russia and China stood in the way of a Security Council measure to deal with Syria.

"We are doing all we can to determine ways forward, to strengthen the opposition, to help them convey to the entire Syrian population that they are seeking an inclusive, peaceful, democratic transition," Clinton said.

Victoria Nuland, State Department spokeswoman, said Friday that the president doesn't rule out "any option."

"That said, we do not think that more guns into Syria ... or international intervention in Syria is the right answer. We don't think further militarizing the situation is going to bring peace and stability and a democratic transition to the people of Syria," she said.

"We are instead focused on strengthening and unifying the opposition so that it is prepared and ready for that day when Assad cedes power, which he will eventually, so that the Arab League proposal or something like it can be implemented. And we're in the short term very focused on strengthening our humanitarian support to those suffering in Syria."

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Filed under: Assad • Syria
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. dude007

    The liberal communist brainwashing of America has been going on for decades.
    1985 interview with ex -KGB agent reveals succesful psychological warfare heavily financed by Soviets

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    March 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  2. Random2012

    the world is acting like a bunch of idiots right now my crazy plan is unfolding syria is allying with iran to get israel off the map. yall are dumbasses. any americans or antizionists who resist US intervention in middle east should should go and stick a match to their private parts you f*** shitheads.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
  3. Iranacockuptheirass

    I really like the ragheads that I always have to listen to. They are full of tails about weathered Arabian men who will sweep you off your feet and they are supremely well hung at that!!!!!! I actually think I might move to Oman and become a Persian pederast.

    February 21, 2012 at 2:45 am | Reply
  4. Iranacockuptheirass

    Man, the confusion when washing Towels and Rags.....

    February 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  5. Iranacockuptheirass

    Damn they all look the same....I think I see two Iraqies, an aghgan and maybe a few palestinians in there. BURAKK! BURRAK! Ive found you!!

    February 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  6. CriticalMassIntelligence

    Sorry "conservatives", You don't control media anymore. There is no centralized media, and thus no centralized control of populations... and there never will be again. The Internet was born and the new currency is knowledge, not money. Get used to the new world you live in today. WE will not fight against armies or security forces. These are our own people. WE will come directly to YOU, at your mansions, and destroy the mechanisms of your wealth.

    February 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Random2012

      ya and youll get arrested dumbass. hey everyone listen to criticalmassintelligence he's a real idiot. Sorry when it comes to war the people dont have much say especially people like you have low iq's

      February 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
      • CriticalMassIntelligence

        Arrested? by who? Look at the ratio of people who try to enforce their will upon others to the number of people who are not enforcing so called laws. They do not have the resources to police everyone. Just look at Iraq for an example. Most heavily armed force in the world could not win a simple war against men with old Russian equipment. High velocity projectiles are so 20th century. *yawn*

        February 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • SGT D

      critical, you cannot push violence on them, you must force them to indure the violence they ask us to commit...i.e. make them serve in the army as a grunt even if its only for a week hell i have seats in my truck on a day. If half of them could see the stuff we do on a day to day basis in a combat zone never again would they ask for war. Hell just make them wear my gear for two hours let alone the 12 to 14 i wear it on a day to day basis. Instite a draft of the upper class if your family makes over this much a year, or is an ellected offical you have to go to your own reform government if you havent served in our millitary you cannot apply to be a congressman, senitor, house or reps, or president. With all this change i bet there would be alot less war and wars would be fought to win not to occupy and re-build.

      February 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
      • Random2012

        so if i heard you correctly israel should deal with this one themself?

        February 20, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
      • CriticalMassIntelligence

        No need for violence. This is a problem that can be solved by intelligence and creativity. Disrupting the functions of malevolent war mongers in suits is easier than one might think. There are not that many of them. They have human bodies and are not invincible. They are more vulnerable because of their public status in the world. The point I am trying to make is that they are outnumbered and it only takes a decision of the collective intelligence of humanity to destroy them completely.

        February 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm |

    it might go a long way if imediate action is taking.

    February 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • fiskenmann

      Screw you, phisher!

      February 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  8. Random2012

    im 19 i dont know much about the democratic response currently to the situation in syria. but thank god for the conservatives response to advocating some kind of intervention in syria. i beg every democrat and republican to link arms and do something about syria. Please.. I believe if they dont syria will join iran in the effort to enilate israel. The united States must intervene in syria before they go to iran i think its a good military geographical plan of action. Its for the well being of israel. i pray.. God bless america and israel.

    February 19, 2012 at 4:34 am | Reply
    • I hate you

      CNN propaganda machine just keeps on pushing for war.

      Blow yourself up CNN.

      Or at least I hope some zionists will blow your building up and claim it was the Iranians that did it.

      I don't care who does it, but CNN is a target too.

      Come on WW3 Baby!

      Let's nuke everyone – mostly israel.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
      • Random2012

        dont underestimate the power of the israeli military they will ef sh** up. Ever heard of the yom kippur war. ya shut up dumbass

        February 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
      • Random2012

        CNN is not advocating for war. Fox is advocating for war to some respect. Let me guess your either a us soldier, an 8th grader, or you work at mcdonald bcs thats the only place that would hire you..

        February 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
      • Random2012

        US soldier is good thing but i could see why you would respond that way if you were as i said i appreciate the USA.

        February 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • J. Edgar Homo

      The first six words of your opening sentence says it all.

      February 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply
    • Scottm66

      Due to the Rebublican spending limits, America will no longer fight new wars. Consevatives want Obama get totally
      so they can vote against the raising the DEBT CELING this Novenber.
      Any and all wars are now suspended due to the lack of greenbacks.
      All new wars will be fought with American trained rebels

      February 20, 2012 at 3:00 am | Reply
      • Random2012

        answer this honestly do u care about israel?

        February 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • duckforcover

      Your first step is to join the military so you can experience what you are advocating.

      February 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
      • SGT D

        Hell yes duck, send them my way all the politicans want war come join me in Afghanistan ill even train you to fight these wars see how you react to an ied blowing your freind up in the gunners turret. Then because of your ROE (rules of Engagement for all my none mil) you cant go shoot the dirty terrorist that did it or you will go to jail. Please come and try it out for a week see how you like your own rules!!!!

        February 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • Random2012

        which military US or Israel? Well if i did i'd go into IDF. The US will always intervene get used to it. We're talking about a group people who have been hated on for hundreds of years. If US doesnt who will. There is no possible way that your an israeli....

        February 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • Random2012

        oh by the way afghanistan had nothing to do with israel except it had to do with our pirogative of oil prices economic stability and terror threats etc. nothing with israel. I like the US military a lot. but im very concerned for israels well being thats all.

        February 20, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • fiskenmann

      Make up your mind!!!
      ("Random2012.....yes sir! its best for israel and the united states trust me im 18...)

      February 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  9. will laing

    Just yankees being yankees, sending themselfs broke fighting other people's wars. Start paying off your debt, and build some bridges, and roads and schools, and hospitals. Start looking after yourselves. From an allay.

    February 19, 2012 at 3:36 am | Reply
    • Random2012

      ya they should improve education instead of improving our military so people like you can go back to school. Israel will always be an ally to the United states. im guessing your an american and a dumb one probably in your mid 40s with like high school degree.

      February 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  10. what1ever

    Let's create a four man army of Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Santorum then let's send them over there to fight the war by themselves. Let's also give them fake guns and not tell them that till it's too late.

    February 19, 2012 at 1:44 am | Reply
    • Random2012

      what1ever their guns will be loaded and btw i have no idea what your IQ is but Paul wouldn't go over there especially if it was in the interest of israel. so let me break it down for you hypothetically speaking if you like metaphors i hope the republican presidential candidates do go over their with our army i hope they lead the front line to get the US into another war. If israel goes down its bad for The US capish?

      February 19, 2012 at 6:14 am | Reply
  11. RagMcmuffin

    I am ever so greatful for being on the side of the trigger that makes you rag heads run! I hope Israel fucks you up

    February 19, 2012 at 12:27 am | Reply
    • Random2012

      RagMcmuffin we are definately on the same page. Thankyou that means a lot to me. Israel has had some of the best military generals ever since the creation of the state in 1948. its in the united states interest to do whatever they have to do to protect israel. for as small as israel is.. They really f*** shit up. I love israel.

      February 19, 2012 at 4:37 am | Reply
  12. Patiat

    If Obama were planning to intervene, the GOP would suddenly turn into doves and skewer him for it, saying we shouldn't get involved, just like they did with Clinton and Serbia.

    February 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  13. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    The GOP solution: Start a war with Iran (totally unfunded of course). Get the poor people to fight/die in the war while giving "no bid contracts" to the rich people (thus killing two birds with one stone). Then use Iran's oil to pay for the war. And when the war is over, Iran will sell us cheap oil. Just like in Iraq.............Oh wait.........never mind.

    February 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • Random2012

      wow you really like oil do u drink it have you heard of israel its located in the middle east? you might not have learned about it in your geography class..

      February 19, 2012 at 6:06 am | Reply
  14. Hahahahahaha

    Oh please!!! Since when have republicans EVER been conservatives!!! Hahahahahahahaha

    February 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • RagMcmuffin

      Lets send all the illegals over there in exchange for their citizenship. You wanna be a citizen, fight for your country.

      February 19, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
      • Mooney

        You think this isn't happening already? Look at the large number of Hispanics currently serving in our military.

        February 19, 2012 at 12:46 am |
      • Ranger830

        Not a bad idea!!!! We have done this in the past! My ancestors came over on the boat from Ireland in 1863 and were offered citizenship for their service! They served in the NY. and Mass. units of the union army and earned their citizenship! So why not?

        February 20, 2012 at 11:51 am |
      • Ranger830

        Hey if it was good enough for the Micks it should be good enough for the Spics!!!!! LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!

        February 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  15. bobcat2u

    You warhawking conservatives raised all kinds of hell when our president decided to back up NATO in Libya. Now you're crying the blues for him to get us involved in Syria. That's hypocrisy in motion. Here's an idea for you guys. How about you take a poll of we the people, to see how many agree with you ?

    February 18, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Bullshit-O-Rama

      Carnage is porn to these mirthless pricks.

      February 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Random2012

      Its all about israel baby! 🙂

      February 19, 2012 at 6:04 am | Reply
  16. doc

    So wait we just got out of Iraq, are leaving Afganastan and "conservatives" want another war?

    February 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Reply
    • Random2012

      yes sir! its best for israel and the united states trust me im 18 and your probably like 45 the US needs Israel theyre badasses. you should think about watching some c-span do you know what that is?

      February 19, 2012 at 6:01 am | Reply
      • Beelzabubba

        You desire war, do you? Then enlist you little chickenhawk bastard. The army always needs cannon fodder.

        February 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • Random2012

        i bet u get horny to hitlers mustache you rotten idiotic coward

        February 19, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
      • joep199

        I've been in the US Army, and served in combat. Before you start advocating that we get involved in another war, get your 18 year old butt off the couch and enlist, then do a tour of duty in a combat zone. After that, your opinion will count for something, but not until you've done it.

        February 20, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  17. renjikuchiki1

    Wow, the U.S. gets mad every time someone else ignores a U.N. ruling, and now they seem so fixed on violating one themselves.. if an action gets vetoed, then live with it

    February 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      It's not the US as a whole, It's just that conservative factor. You know, the one that got all pissed off when President Obama took the initiative in Libya, because they didn't suggest it. Now to make themselves look like protectors, they're all for it.

      February 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
      • Buzzer

        The Obama adminstration certainly did not take the initiative in Libya to act...that was France and the UK at the front advocating intervention, with the U.S. following...get your facts straight.

        February 19, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  18. No more wars for the dirty evil zionists

    Urgent: More crap propaganda from the dirty evil zionists who want the U.S. to take out Syria and Iran.

    How's that for our BBF.


    No more wars for the dirty evil zionists.

    Vote Ron Paul.

    February 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • RagMcmuffin

      Eh...nice try rag fag...we will kill you to, dumb ass...dont you get it?

      February 19, 2012 at 12:25 am | Reply
      • Mooney

        Spoken like a true gutless, war-loving chicken hawk.

        Miserable little piece of shit.

        February 19, 2012 at 12:48 am |
      • ceciel


        Spoken like a true gutless, muslim loving terrorist supporter

        February 19, 2012 at 7:13 am |
      • Dumb Goyim in Spain

        Better than a dirty evil zionist dog caca eater and dog pp sucker.

        February 21, 2012 at 3:13 am |
    • Random2012

      hey bud, ive been thinking things out pretty hard.. im pretty sure ron paul is not going to win. you sound really smart.. not the US and israel will eff up syria and iran. i dont think you understand how small is and how much they kick ass! im a super mega zionist! god bless american and god bless israel. good luck! to you or whoever you support

      February 19, 2012 at 5:54 am | Reply
    • ceciel

      No more wars for the dirty evil zionists

      how about no more war to save them muslims from themselves

      February 19, 2012 at 7:10 am | Reply
  19. Souri

    To the US administration: Would you send humanitarian aids instead of talking about your filthy politics? I don't think that medical assistance needs more than 11 months of thinking.

    February 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Cindi

      So many Americans are crying and whining that the United States is always running to another countries rescue when they should be taking care of their own people first. That's what these posts ever seem to be about. With that being said, I honestly think that we should of helped the Syrians along time ago. Yet everyone is all concerned about money, the costs. Now it will cost America even more, than say the months and months back when it would of cost so much less in aiding the Syrians. Besides, a lot more lives would of have been saved if they did.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Reply
      • Souri

        I agree with you about the cost.. but still there are a lot of humanitarian organisations who are willing to help but they can't enter Syrian borders because the regime does not allow them. Here comes the role of the US to force the thugs ruling Syria to allow them to just drop these medical aids, btw the majority of these donations are coming from Arabs and Syrian businessmen and businesswomen but they couldn't 'smuggle' them into civilian areas being shelled by the heavy artillery 20 hours a day.

        February 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  20. mipolitic

    well thats the topic for today, i wonder what it will be tomorrow??

    February 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  21. Voice of Reason

    Okay, so re-reading this shows that all of these "experts" were the people who got us into a number of jams during past presidencies like invasion of Iraq, and the Iran-Contra affair. Can somebody tell these guys they aren't relevant anymore? The only people who give these guys any credence are the cronies at Fox News and somebody needs to update THEM that the presidency isn't theirs to control either. If these guys were the original bunglers of the middle east, why should they have a say in anything that we do over there?

    February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Thirsty

      Squeaky wheel get's the oil?

      February 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  22. Brian Smithen

    Arm the Syrian and Iranian People, let them rise up and overthrow their murdering Tyrant Governments.

    February 18, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • Voice of Reason

      And subsequently kill eachother off? To be replaced with a highly centralized authority that will either be a direct dictator or an eventual one? sorry, been to Iraq, been to Afghanistan, had friends in Libya, this train of logic was derailed a long time ago

      February 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • Random2012

      i like the idea but not sure if its a good military strategy

      February 19, 2012 at 5:57 am | Reply
  23. Voice of Reason

    Go figure, conservatives trying to get the president to hand out guns to the Syrian people so when they get independence and start killing eachother again, they can blame it on the black guy come election season

    February 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • beendissed

      Come on lib's. Why don't you just accept the fact that Barry is gone come Nov. 6th 2012. Just try to accept it!

      February 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • Chickenhawk Newt

        Were you one of those stunned, dismayed and bewildered wretches, tears streaming down their faces as the realization that the new president was a..........'darkie'...... in Alexandra Pelosi's documentary; "Right America Feeling Wronged"?

        February 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  24. Beelzabubba

    Someone should advise these......"experts"....that they're no longer in charge. After all, where were these chickenhawk scumbags when Assad's psycho dad was slaughtering 20,000 civilians in Hama, back in 1982?

    Not a peep from the Reagan administration.

    February 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Voice of Reason

      Yeah, chances are that Reagan probably handed them guns to do it too

      February 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  25. What Is

    The USA would be a whole lot better off in the Middle East if it took immediate action against Israel.

    February 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Brian Smithen


      February 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • Beelzabubba

        Hey, wasn't that Gen. McAuliffe's line?

        February 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Random2012

      wow im 18 and i hope the USA bombs the f***** hell out of every country in middle east except israel turkey jordan egypt and i think that its it. but otherwise nuclear enrichment for USA! god bless america and god bless the state of israel! i could give a flying f** about anyone else. And i dont care so much about you either but your beliefs are your beliefs that fine? im guessing you live in the United States?

      February 19, 2012 at 5:48 am | Reply
      • Beelzabubba

        Israel laughs at idiots like you.

        February 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
      • Random2012

        are u an israeli jew?

        February 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • What Is

        Just stating what is. Look at most any poll of the people in the Middle East, a number of such polls have been taken. The US position in the Middle East could be immensely improved if the USA would do the logically and strategically right thing. That is all.

        February 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

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