28 April 2011

Syria The Humanitarian Nation

The Syrian regime has intensified its campaign against anti-government protesters; some 400 protesters have been killed so far and many hundreds have been wounded by live rounds the Syrian police and military use against the protesters; dozens of people suspected of harboring anti-regime sentiments have disappeared -- apparently abducted by secret service agents and sent to remote prison camps; the military has surrounded several cities in a move reminiscent of Bashar al-Assad's father, Hafez, who, in February 1982, ordered the destruction of the city of Hama in a scorched-earth policy against the Muslim Brotherhood; the grim news from Syria notwithstanding, the UN is scheduled to vote on 20 May on Syria's membership in the UN Human Rights Council.

Syria’s admission as a member of the UNHRC is an embarrassment for the Obama administration. Under the Bush administration, the United States bolted out of the UNHRC because of that body’s obsession with criticizing Israel while ignoring flagrant human rights violations by other states. The Obama administration decided to re-join the body in the hope of making it into a true global human rights watch dog, but results so far have been disappointing.

Anne Bayefsky of Hudson Institute told Fox News that “Syria knows a good deal when it sees it and the like-minded countries in the Asian regional group that nominated Syria are just as enthusiastic about the UN’s idea of a ‘human rights’ body. So the question for the Obama administration is not how do we keep Syria out, but why is the United States in?”

According to Jacob Sullivan, director of policy planning at the State Department, there are no plans to withdraw the newly installed US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford or otherwise cut off contacts. He noted that the Syrian ambassador in Washington had been summoned to the State Department after the most recent attacks on civilians, and that Ford had held several conversations with top Syrian officials in recent days.

More at HLS Wire

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1 comment:

Glenn B said...

U.S. policy on the mid-east is a disgrace. We help out an ally in Egypt, maybe not the best of people, but a staunch ally and one who made things better for Israel too. Then we start a third war in libya all so we can oust a single leader. All this as we ignore the thousands killed in total in places like Yemen, Syria and the one other place to which the Saudi's sent troops to help kill the protesting populace recently. (I can not think of the name of that one right now, maybe Oman, just having momentary brain freeze).

It will certainly come back to haunt us and to haunt Israel - our best and strongest ally in the region. A disgrace and a shame.

All the best,
Glenn B


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