Saturday, 23 April 2011

Western inaction with regard to the killings in Syria is shameful

The Washington Post rightly points out in its editorial that the Obama administration´s response to the killings in Syria is shameful:

FOR THE PAST five weeks, growing numbers of Syrians have been gathering in cities and towns across the country to demand political freedom — and the security forces of dictator Bashar al-Assad have been responding by opening fire on them. According to Syrian human rights groups, more than 220 people had been killed by Friday. And Friday may have been the worst day yet: According to Western news organizations, which mostly have had to gather information from outside the country, at least 75 people were gunned down in places that included the suburbs of Damascus, the city of Homs and a village near the southern town of Daraa, where the protests began.

Massacres on this scale usually prompt a strong response from Western democracies, as they should. Ambassadors are withdrawn; resolutions are introduced at the U.N. Security Council; international investigations are mounted and sanctions applied. In Syria’s case, none of this has happened. The Obama administration has denounced the violence — a presidential statement called Friday’s acts of repression “outrageous” — but otherwise remained passive. Even the ambassador it dispatched to Damascus during a congressional recess last year remains on post.

As a moral matter, the stance of the United States is shameful. To stand by passively while hundreds of people seeking freedom are gunned down by their government makes a mockery of the U.S. commitment to human rights. In recent months President Obama has pledged repeatedly that he would support the aspiration of Arabs for greater freedom. In Syria, he has not kept his word.

The European Union has been as passive as the Obama administration. EU "foreign minister", Baroness Ashton used some strong words of condemnation, but also appears to think that the bloody dictator Assad still is part of the solution:

"The Syrian authorities must immediately stop their violent response and fully respect citizens' right to peaceful demonstrations," Catherine Ashton said. "The killings are appalling and intolerable."

"I call on the Syrian government to carry out profound political reforms, starting with the respect for basic rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law," she said. "That process can only be made possible by putting an immediate end to all repressive

Read here what this blog thinks about Assad.

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