Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Assad -- The Mysterious "They" are at it again

Hillary Clinton said a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy was out to bring down her husband with its lies. Then Monica Lewinsky's blue dress with its stains appeared. Gaddafi says outside agitators including al-Qaeda were behind the unrest in Libya. Now Bashir Assad is getting in on the game.

Sure, there's a grain of truth in the claims made by all of them. So what? The basic issue is the fact that the opposition was right. Bill Clinton's transgressions were insignificant compared with the evil of Gaddafi and Assad. But they all play the game of Escape the same way. Blame some invisible group of people whose existence cannot be proved or disproved.

If Obama wanted to be the final catalyst for change in the Islamic world, he should stand by the rebelling populations and urge them on, letting the tyrants and despots running the troubled countries know that their time is up and the threat of US support for the rebels is real, and therefore, the leaders should go now, and go peacefully, or else.

Instead, our hapless muslim-in-chief president told Gaddafi that all he had to do to stop the NATO attacks on his forces was to stop killing Libyan citizens. Worse, he told Gaddafi that NO US ground troops would enter Libya.

For a tyrant on the run, what better news is there? Now he knows he can hunker down in the desert and wait for the storm to blow over. The best we can hope for is that one of our planes or a NATO jet fires a lucky shot that hits Gaddafi. But even if that happens, there's no guarantee his loyal troops will reveal his death.

Syrian president blames protests on 'conspirators'

DAMASCUS, Syria – Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed a wave of protests on "conspirators" who are trying to destroy the country, giving his first address to the nation Wednesday since the demonstrations erupted nearly two weeks ago.

As he entered Parliament for the speech, legislators chanted "God, Syria and Bashar only!" and "Our souls, our blood we sacrifice for you Bashar."

The speech is seen as a crucial test for his leadership and one that may determine Syria's future.

Assad said security forces were given "clear instructions" not to harm citizens during the protests.

Human rights groups say more than 60 people have been killed since March 18 in a crackdown on the protests.

The coming days will be key to determining whether Assad's concessions will quiet the protest movement, which started after security forces arrested several teenagers who scrawled anti-government graffiti on a wall in the impoverished city of Daraa in the south.

Assad also is expected to announce constitutional amendments and sweeping reforms, including an end to nearly 50 years of widely despised state of emergency laws that give the regime a free hand to arrest people without charges. On Tuesday, Assad fired his Cabinet in another move designed to pacify the anti-government protesters.

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