Sanctions Bite; Do Not Attack Syria; The Harasta Attack; The Arab League Delays as Damascus Contemplates Observers
Posted by Joshua on Friday, November 18th, 2011
An Aleppine friend writes:
The mazout (fuel-oil) problem in Aleppo is coming from transportation risks. Trucks are being hit as they travel from Homs and Banias and their mazout is being either stolen or destroyed. Without safe transportation routes, Aleppo is finding it hard to get the needed mazout to be delivered.
Another Aleppine answers:
Yes I heard that the pipes serving Aleppo with fuel have also been sabotaged several times. If true, not sure if it’s act of revenge (for inaction by halabis) or terrorist act planned to pressure halabis economically to rise. The Syrian government has reportedly agreed to allow an Arab League monitoring mission in the country in principle.
Bad news for the Assad government came in droves this week as its isolation grew with the Arab League threat of suspension and growing numbers of dead, including soldiers due to ever bolder and larger attacks from rebels. The sanctions have begun to really bite. Upper class Syrians are beginning to feel the pain for the first time, as everyday commodities begin to go missing in the marketplace. It is not clear whether fuel-oil has dried up because the government is running out of money or because the roads are no longer safe, causing fuel trucks to be vandalized. Growing reports of lawlessness, suggest that the military’s grip is loosening and more and more Syrians are taking up arms. The Syrian National Council continues to advise against the militarization of the opposition, but increasingly Syrians are getting arms and fighting back. There does not seem to be much unity to the opposition or deference to the SNC on the part of local Syrian groups. There have been many whispered projections that the regime will fall within months and is near a tipping point of cascading failures, but one must take such predictions with a grain of salt. Many people predicted the fall of the regime by the end of Ramadan. All the same, the pace of bad news for the government has certainly been quickening.
US policy makers seem to be at cross purposes and arguing against each other. When Russia claimed that Syria is slipping into civil war, State Department spokesman, Mark Toner denied it. Hilary Clinton then contradicted Toner to agreed with the Russian assessment. Why did Toner deny tsi vehemently that Syria is moving toward civil war? The US wants Russia to condemn Assad in the UN. Its narrative is that unarmed Syrian protesters are being killed by the bad regime – therefore, the bad regime must go. Russia seeks to contradict this narrative with the civil war argument. It insists that foreign powers should stay out of Syria’s civil war and refuses to go along with a UN condemnation in order to ensure this. Russia insists that foreign meddling and proxy fighting in Syria will only make matters worse. Clinton probably hadn’t been briefed on Toner’s policy statement. Most likely she was simply repeating what her analysts are telling her – Syria is slipping toward civil war.
DJ Clinton Says ‘There Could Be A Civil War’ In Syria
WASHINGTON (AFP)–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Friday of the possibility of a civil war in Syria that either is directed or influenced by Syrian army defectors. “I think there could be a civil war with a very determined and well-armed and eventually well-financed opposition that is, if not directed by, certainly influenced by defectors from the army,” Clinton told NBC.
DJ US Disagrees With Russia View Of Syrian Opposition
2011-11-17 19:49:15.600 GMT
WASHINGTON (AFP)–The U.S. on Thursday disagreed with Russia’s assessment that attacks by renegade Syrian troops risked plunging Syria into civil war, blaming the regime in Damascus for the violence. “We think that’s an incorrect assessment,” U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the assessment. “If it (Russia) characterizes it as a civil war, we view that it is very much the (President Bashar al-) Assad regime carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation and repression against innocent protesters,” Toner said. “We don’t view it as a civil war,” he said when asked again if he disagreed with Lavrov, who was reacting to Wednesday’s attack by Syrian army defectors known as the Free Syrian Army on a military intelligence base outside Damascus…..
Clinton added bluntly, “Assad’s going to be gone, it’s just a question of time.” ..In an interview with CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell today,
Nour Malas investigates the conflicting stories about the reputed Harasta attack of the Free Syrian Army
Arab League Delays Discipline Against Syria
By MATT BRADLEY in Rabat, Morocco, and NOUR MALAS in Dubai for Wall Street Journal
…..Wednesday also saw mounting violence from opposition supporters, with the dissident Free Syrian Army launching what it appeared to be its closest operation to central Damascus, the capital, and announcing it was creating a transitional military council to oust Mr. Assad.
Though reports of the incident vary—as do activist accounts of the size and strength of the dissident army itself—the attack on an air-force intelligence headquarters in Harasta, a suburb just outside the capital, is a defiant strike against one of the fiercest of Syria’s many security arms.
“The air-force intelligence bears the largest part of resentment and anger that activists have for the regime,” said Omar Idlibi, a spokesperson for the Local Coordination Committees, and a member of the Syrian National Council, an opposition group. “It has led the way in quelling the uprising and also recently focused on trying to crush the Free Syrian Army.”
Mr. Idlibi said the intelligence agency had as many as 300 soldiers in detention, some of them defected officers and others who were suspected of sympathizing with the protest movement.
By the committees’ account, a battalion from the Free Syrian Army attacked the building at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, in three separate groups, with rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire, burning it to the ground.
A defected soldier who is part of the dissident army group—but wasn’t involved in the Harasta attack—said the operation was launched after 70 soldiers from that air-force unit had defected and started fighting security guards. Backed by the dissident batallion, they shot RPGs and fired heavy machine guns, killing soldiers and burning down the building, said the soldier. Syria’s government didn’t report the incident on state media.
Other activist groups, meanwhile, gave different accounts. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the building was attacked, but not burned down.
Louay Hussein, a dissident writer in Damascus, said diplomats in the capital “went to the area and didn’t see signs of a major battle.”
The varying reports from Syria, where information on the uprising provided largely by activist accounts and video footage can’t be verified independently, highlight a growing rift among activists, with some accusing others of playing up both the regime’s violence and their own dissident army’s capabilities.
“The desire for international intervention that some have is perhaps leading them to exaggerate some news sometimes to increase the sense of urgency and pressure,” Mr. Hussein said.
Twenty people were killed by security forces during protests on Wednesday, the Local Coordination Committees said.
Analysts said that even if the Free Syrian Army’s recent increase in operations was overstated, it is symbolically significant. With the dissident army’s growing boldness, and rising casualties among Syria’s military and security forces, “the situation is in serious danger of spiraling beyond the regime’s control,” IHS Global Insight said in a note on Wednesday.
The Free Syrian Army’s statement Wednesday that it would create a council appears to reflect a push to organize defected soldiers across provinces in Syria. “We will be uniting all the provinces and coordinating between batallions so we can finally overthrow this regime,” the defected soldier said by telephone from an area bordering Lebanon. The group was also working with the Syrian National Council, the opposition body, on a framework for logistical support.
“There are thousands more who will defect,” the dissident soldier said, “but there’s no support and no weapons.”
—Inti Landauro and Nadya Masidlover in Paris contributed to this article.
Do not attack Syria
BY AARON DAVID MILLER, 19 November 2011, The New York Times
The Arab League suspends Syrian membership; the king of Jordan calls for Bashar al-Assad’s departure; Turkey appears ready for more aggressive anti-Assad measures; defectors from the Syrian Army are attacking regime targets. And all the while the regime continues killing its people with impunity.
Now is the time for America to step up and lead a NATO military intervention to topple the Syrian regime?
No. It Isn’t. Military intervention now will not work. Do not look to Libya for lessons on how to overthrow this dictator. If anything, the Libyan model is a cautionary tale, and potentially a whole lot of trouble if the lesson is ignored.
As painful as it is to watch unarmed civilians killed, sometimes discretion – at least for America, and at least for now – really is the better part of valor.
Libya isn’t Syria. But it was low-hanging fruit – at least from the perspective of outside intervention. A big empty place roughly the size of Alaska with a long coastline, lacking sophisticated air assets or air defenses, and run by a regime of thugs and clowns, Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya offered a reasonable prospect for NATO military success.
It still took eight messy, bloody months to topple Qaddafi. Indeed, there were moments when even the champions of intervention in the Obama administration wondered whether it would work.
Intervention by committee, backed by unorganized rebels, was never going to be easy. But we Americans were wise to resist pressures to finish the job more quickly by taking the direct lead. It was important to involve the Europeans and the Arabs – it’s their neighborhood, after all – and to let the Libyans gain the legitimacy of their own liberation (albeit with a huge NATO assist).
The Assad regime is rotten fruit, but it’s not at all clear whether it’s ready to fall. Unlike Libya, where the opposition was divided, but at least held control of parts of the country, the Syrian opposition is inchoate, and lacks even a rudimentary armed component. It is stunningly vulnerable; it does not control parts of the country from which it can operate or where it can be assisted.
The opposition would like to create such sanctuaries, but there’s no sense that it can do this yet, and the regime is determined to stop it. In Rastan, a key town along a central road to the Syrian-Turkish border, the regime sent in hundreds of tanks to do precisely that.
Then there’s the problem of assembling an international coalition. Yes, the world is outraged and Syria is under sanctions and isolated. But the prospects of mobilizing the United Nations Security Council to sanction a NATO intervention are nill. The Russians and the Chinese are dead set against it; the French, British and Americans are squeamish, and for good reason.
Plus Syria still has friends in the region. None that can save it, to be sure, but some who would do what they can to complicate an allied intervention, including Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Turkey will support tougher rhetoric and sanctions against Assad, but Ankara will not get out in front on any military intervention. The Israelis might be able to help with intelligence, but keeping them at a distance would be critical to any successful intervention in Syria.
The battle for Syria would likely be a long one. The interveners would need a coalition of the truly willing prepared to stick to it, and probably to intercede with boots on the ground.
A coalition of the partially committed would not work. Once military actions began, there would be no turning back. Escalation would be inevitable against a regime that will use every instrument it possesses to survive. There’s no room for encouraging the opposition and then not being prepared to support it.
Last week, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq apologized to the Shia community for the failure of the United States to do more in 1991 after it encouraged Shia opposition to Saddam Hussein. We do not want that to be repeated.
The options on Syria are not happy ones. We can’t stick our heads in the sand, nor can we lose them.
For now, the measures that make sense include tightening sanctions; pushing the United Nations to dispatch human-rights monitors; monitoring the Syrian-Lebanese and Syrian-Turkish borders; and pushing the Arabs and the Turks to start supporting the Syrian opposition with money and clandestine military aid should they want it.
If the time comes to consider military action, politicians and military planners should think it through very carefully. Syria is not Libya; the potential for sectarian violence and even civil war, coupled with the possibility of outside intervention, makes the complexities and rivalries of post-Qaddafi Libya seem mild by comparison.
Inaction by the international community while a brutal regime kills its people has its costs, but so does big-footing by great powers. One thing we know about discretionary, poorly conceived military action is that getting into such conflicts is always a lot easier than getting out.
The devil we knew
BY ITAMAR RABINOVICH
19 November 2011, The New York Times
During the first 25 years of its existence, until Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970, the Syrian republic was a weak unstable state, an arena in which regional and international rivalries were played out. The first Assad reversed this state of affairs by turning Syria into a comparatively stable and powerful state, a player in regional and international politics.
This was part of the unwritten pact between the regime and Syria’s urban population. Stability, prestige and a leading role in Arab nationalist ‘‘resistance’’ (to the United States and Israel) made up for the regime’s authoritarianism and corruption, and the hegemony of the minority Alawite sect.
The outbreak of the revolt against the regime last March marked the end of this unwritten contract, and pushed Syria back to its pre-1970 state. It is once again an arena of regional and international rivalries, reflecting the changes that are transforming the region’s politics.
The Syrian revolt is, of course, primarily a struggle between the regime — now led by Assad’s son Bashar — and its domestic foes over the nature and character of the Syrian state. But it is equally significant as a war by proxy between Iran and its rivals…..
More recently, however, Saudi Arabia came to the conclusion that defeating Iran on the Syrian stage is the dominant consideration. This conclusion is shared by other Arab states, which explains the shift in the Arab League’s position and the extraordinary steps it has taken against the Assad regime.
It is also a prime example of how ‘‘soft power’’ can be used by countries, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, that may not be a military match for Tehran.
The roles played by Turkey and the Arab League are also a byproduct of the modest role played by the United States.
In the Libyan crisis, President Obama sought to ‘‘lead from behind.’’ In the Syrian crisis, Washington does not lead at all. Yes, the American ambassador, Robert Ford, played a courageous role; the administration imposed some sanctions, and has used strong words to denounce Assad. But Washington does not have a coherent policy, and seems content to have regional powers in the driver’s seat in this crisis.
Israel is passive as well. In 2005, when George W. Bush wanted to topple Bashar al-Assad, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon cautioned against doing so, using the ‘‘devil we know’’ argument. Assad was Iran’s close ally and Lebanon’s oppressor, a patron of Hamas and an anti-American actor in Iraq, but the alternative to his rule, according to the conventional wisdom at the time, was the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is not Israel’s policy now. After the discovery of Assad’s secret cooperation with North Korea, and given the threats to its national security by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, Israel came to the conclusion that there is more potential damage in Assad’s survival than in his departure……
There seems to be no real prospect of external military intervention in Syria. But the policies of external actors will have a major impact on the position of the Syrian army and on the middle classes of Damascus and Aleppo that so far have been sitting on the fence.
The United States, France and other powers that traditionally played an important role in the Levant do not need to resort to military action. They have a full arsenal of diplomatic and economic assets that could tilt the current conflict in Syria, put an end to brutal suppression and bloodshed, and help the Arab Spring register another achievement.
From on “intelligence” outfit. I heard that their research came up with 79.51% but they rounded up to 80%
Exclusive Analysis Special Report: Syria Risk Outlook
In the three-to-six month outlook, there is an increased likelihood (80%probability) of collapse of Ba’athist rule and civil war. The probable slide into full-scale civil war would make a limited Turkish military intervention more likely, particularly if backed by an Arab League request and token participation. A civil war would likely become a prolonged proxy war, with Iran backing the Alawi sect while Saudi Arabia and Turkey back the Sunni. We assess that only a successful coup against President al-Assad, if followed by the removal of the Ba’ath from power, can prevent the slide into civil war.
EXTRA: Syria says it is studying Arab League ultimatum
2011-11-17 11:35:20.113 GMT
Beirut (dpa)- Syria’s ambassador to the United States, ImadMustafa, said Thursday that Damascus was looking into an Arab League proposal to send monitors to Syria to protect civilians. “We will positively address matters that serve Syria’s interests,” Mustafa told Lebanon-based Al Manar Television. Arab League foreign ministers on Wednesday gave Syria three days to accept Arab monitors and halt its violent crackdown on critics…..
DJ UPDATE: Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood Open To Turkish intervention
ISTANBUL (AFP)–The leader of Syria’s exiled Muslim Brotherhood said Thursday that his compatriots would accept Turkish “intervention” in the country to resolve months of bloody unrest. “The Syrian people would accept intervention coming from Turkey, rather than from the West, if its goal was to protect the people,” Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Riad Shakfa told a press conference…..
Predictions of Syrian leader’s imminent demise are hopelessly optimistic…..
Syria Runs Short of Cash on Assad Spending
By Massoud A. Derhally – Nov 16, 2011
President Bashar al-Assad is paying Syrians, via subsidies and higher government salaries, to stay loyal to his government as it clamps down on an eight-month uprising. He may not be able to afford that policy for long.
A month after the unrest began, Assad dismissed a Cabinet that had been tasked with curbing government outlays, raising taxes and making the economy more competitive. The new administration increased subsidies on energy and other products. Civil service pay was raised by 30 percent. Syria has spent $3 billion from a $5 billion rainy-day fund defending the pound this year, central bank Governor Adib Mayaleh says.
Opening the purse-strings hasn’t stopped the protests, and their suppression by security forces, at a cost of thousands of lives, has left Syria increasingly isolated. The Arab League has suspended Syria amid calls for Assad to step down, and Turkey — a neighbor and key trade partner — is threatening commercial sanctions to add to those already imposed by the U.S. and European Union. In that environment, Assad’s bid to buy support may backfire as the money runs out and the economy shrinks, alienating supporters among Syria’s business community.
“They’re spending more money and getting less income,” said Chris Phillips, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London. “All of this is exacerbated by sanctions, and allies like the Persian Gulf countries are not providing any financial assistance, as they would have in the past. This position is economically unsustainable.”
Syria’s $60 billion economy, which expanded 5.5 percent in 2010, may shrink 2 percent this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, or at least 5 percent according to the Institute of International Finance. The government expects growth of 1 percent, Finance Minister Mohammad Al-Jleilati said in September.
The Damascus Securities Exchange Index has slumped 52 percent in dollar terms this year, compared with drops of 20 percent and 15 percent on the benchmarks of neighboring Lebanon and Jordan. The pound has slid 6 percent to about 50 per dollar.
Assad’s government plans to spend 1.33 trillion Syrian pounds ($27 billion) in 2012, an increase of 59 percent, according to the official Syrian Arab News Agency. The budget includes 386 billion pounds for energy and other subsidies and for financing social and agricultural aid funds, SANA said.
Syria is already running a deficit of 6.7 percent of GDP this year, almost double the 2010 figure, according to the IIF.
‘Pressure on Pound’
A wider gap will “increase inflationary pressures and the pressure on the pound,” said Nabil Sukkar, a former World Bank official who now runs the independent Syrian Consulting Bureau for Development and Investment in Damascus. The government should “effect across-the-board cuts in current expenditures while increasing investment spending to boost the economy.”
That’s similar to the strategy Assad was pursuing before the start of the revolt, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Syria was seeking external investment too.
Then-deputy premier Abdallah Dardari, visiting France in September last year, said he was seeking bids to build power plants and a new terminal at Damascus airport. A planned auction for a mobile phone license was abandoned this year after unrest spread and companies including Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat Telecommunications Corp. and Turkey’s Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS pulled out.
Turkey, which has turned against former ally Assad, may cut power supplies to Syria after its embassies and consulates were attacked by government supporters this week, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Nov. 15. Further trade sanctions from Turkey could tighten the squeeze on Syria. The northern neighbor bought about 16 percent of Syria’s $2.8 billion of exports last year and supplied 14 percent of its imports, according to data from Sukkar and Turkey’s official statistics agency.
Syria’s economy was strengthened by Assad’s moves toward liberalization before this year, and it’s “not about to collapse,” Sukkar said. Those measures also won support for Assad from business leaders among the Sunni Muslim community, who haven’t abandoned him yet, he said. Assad’s family and many key security officials come from the minority Alawite faith, affiliated to Shiite Islam, while Sunnis make up about two- thirds of the population.
Still, there’s a risk those Sunni elites could turn against Assad if the economy deteriorates, Sukkar and Phillips said. While such groups probably wouldn’t join street protests, they may “consider moves against the regime behind the scenes,” Phillips said.
At the central bank, Mayaleh said that the pound is stable and he hasn’t depleted the country’s $18 billion of foreign currency reserves. Instead, Mayaleh said in an interview last month, he spent money from a fund set aside for a “black day.” Contingencies included a potential yearlong war with Israel in 2012, one person familiar with the fund’s planning said on condition of anonymity.
The government’s worsening finances, with the increase in subsidies and salaries coupled with a 40 percent drop in tax revenue, will make it hard to maintain the stability of the pound, according to two Syrian bankers, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal.
That would amount to a vicious circle for Assad, said Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman.
“The failure of the Assad regime to provide for its people was a major spark for this revolution to begin with,” he said. “Now it’s only going to become worse.”
Syria is now at grave risk of descending into a prolonged civil war of attrition. The Arab League, most Arab states and Turkey have rightly denounced the violence against peaceful protests by many of the Syrian people, but their indignation may not …
Call for David Cameron to Lead Action Against Over Syria
2011-11-16 23:06:04.570 GMT
Nov. 16 (Telegraph) — David Cameron has been urged by at least one Arab state to lead a diplomatic offensive against Syria, after successfully cooperating with regional powers to oust Col Gaddafi, The Daily Telegraph has learned. Britain has been contacted directly and encouraged to act as a “team captain” to coordinate discussion of more robust actionagainst President Bashar al-Assad, and to plan for what isregarded as his inevitable departure.
“The West needs to lead and the international communityneeds to talk about what to do when the dam bursts in Syria,” said a senior Arab diplomatic source, adding that Syria’s neighbours held too many different views to coordinate effectively. “Leaving it all up to us you are going to get a lot of shenanigans. If you need a team captain on this you have got to go to the West,” the source added. The request to Downing Street came as Syrian military defectors attacked Damascus for the first time, striking an air force intelligence compound in a suburb of the capital with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. A spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army claimed an administrative building was damaged in the pre-dawn attack.
The 22-member Arab League meanwhile on Wednesday night confirmed a motion to suspend Syria, in what was a bitter rebuke for a nation that regards itself as a bastion of Arab nationalism. The organisation gave the Syrian regime three days to halt violence against its people or face economic sanctions, Qatar’s prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, said. “We cannot accept that people are being killed in the waythey are now,” said Sheikh Hamad. “We are moving to stop the flow of blood.”
“Protesters in Syria, dealing with a strict media blackout, have rolled out new iPhone and iPad apps to share news, stories, and even jokes. Amid a brutal crackdown, rebels are fighting back on their iPhones. The Arab Spring’s newest weapon keeps …
Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda, member of the Executive Committee of the Syrian National Council:
»There is no agreement between the Syrian National Council and the Turkish government«
KURDWATCH, November 18, 2011—Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda (b. 1956, doctorate in philosophy, married, four children) has been living in exile in Sweden since 1994. In 2003 his book »The Kurdish Question in Syria« was published. In a conversation with KURDWATCH ʿAbdulbasit Sayda spoke about the work of the Syrian National Council, an oppositional coalition that was founded in Istanbul on October 2, 2011.
KurdWatch: Can you tell us about the beginnings of the Syrian National Council and Kurdish involvement in it?
Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda: Before the founding of the Syrian National Council, there were several Syrian oppositional conferences abroad. Everyone hoped that these conferences would help the Syrian revolution succeed. Unfortunately this was not the case. On the plus side, however, Syrians got to know each other at these conferences. Prior to this, this was not the case. Thus, for example, the people from al-Qamishli did not know the people from Dar?a and vice versa. But we were not satisfied with this outcome. In order to achieve better results, we, twenty-five Syrian academics and experts from all over the world, met in August in Istanbul. We became convinced that we should establish a Syrian National Council. At the time this was still a dream. We decided to make contact with all oppositional groups in order to convince them of the idea of the Syrian National Council. I myself had the task of contacting the Kurds. My goal was to reach all Kurdish parties and groups. I spoke with some personally. Others I contacted via friends and email. The Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) and the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî) were the only Kurdish parties that responded positively. Other parties declined to become involved in the Syrian National Council, and still others didn’t respond at all. The Kurdish youth groups also responded positively. Then the Kurdish Future Movement, representing the parties outside of the Kurdish party bloc that later took part in the Kurdish Patriotic Conference, welcomed our plan as well; they became a member of the National Council.
KurdWatch: How strongly are the Kurds represented in the National Council?
Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda: There are a total of 190 seats. The General Secretariat is composed of twenty-six members, seven of whom are members of the Executive Committee. Aside from me, there are three other Kurds in the General Secretariat. One of them is the common representative of the Azadî and Yekîtî. The Kurdish Future Movement also has a representative. An additional seat is not yet occupied. We are working so that the Kurdish revolutionary youth groups will also receive a seat in this body.
KurdWatch: That means that you sit on the National Council as a representative of the Kurds?
Dr. ʿAbdulbasit Sayda: Yes.
KurdWatch: There are claims from people affiliated with the Kurdish parties that you became part of the National Council by way of the Muslim Brotherhood…..
Enterprise Blog: AEI Elsewhere—Obama’s Syrian failure, it’s all your fault, and more, 2011-11-18
By John R. Bolton
The U.S. has the wrong president for a Syrian intervention. “Obama’s Syrian failure”