When President Obama gave a speech before the State Department on May 19th concerning the Middle East and North Africa, he made the following remarks about the unrest in Syria:
The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: He can lead that transition, or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests.
Predictably, Assad has ignored Obama and his regime has continued to shoot demonstrators. It is estimated that 77 children have been killed by Syrian forces. Actually, make that 79. Two boys (aged 12 and 13) were killed today in separate attacks in Homs and al-Kasweh.
So what is President Obama going to do to ensure that Assad gets out of the way? Not a damn thing. Assad has no reason to modify his behavior. With President Obama announcing troop withdrawals from Afghanistan before General Petraeus has finished his work and taking a back seat in Libya, Assad has no reason to take anything Obama says seriously. If Colonel Qaddafi is still hanging on Libya then Assad isn’t getting out of the way anytime soon.
Besides it’s not like Assad is doing anything that would truly offend President Obama’s sensibilities like constructing Jewish settlements.