CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed a man who managed to survive Syria’s Friday protests, but as his shaky cellphone video shows, he was one of the lucky ones. Reports that dozens of protesters being killed are substantiated in this clip, as the witness describes how regime agents cold-bloodedly gunned down unarmed people in the streets. “They were aiming at heads and chests,” the witness tells Cooper, “not at legs or in the air.”
As Allahpundit noted, Barack Obama issued a “strongly worded statement” that still somehow failed to include a demand that Bashir Assad and his regime relinquish power. Recall, if you will, that it took Obama eight days to demand Hosni Mubarak’s resignation in Egypt, even though Mubarak’s security forces hadn’t opened fire on protesters at all. It has now been 30 days since Assad’s regime started firing on peaceful protesters in Syria, and Obama still wants to work through Assad:
President Assad and the Syrian authorities have repeatedly rejected their calls and chosen the path of repression. They have placed their personal interests ahead of the interests of the Syrian people, resorting to the use of force and outrageous human rights abuses to compound the already oppressive security measures in place before these demonstrations erupted. Instead of listening to their own people, President Assad is blaming outsiders while seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens through the same brutal tactics that have been used by his Iranian allies. We call on President Assad to change course now, and heed the calls of his own people.
So if Mubarak had just opened fire on protesters in Cairo, would Obama have resisted calling for his ouster? It’s not as though Assad will leave just because Obama tells him to hit the road, but our allies in the region have to be scratching their heads and wondering exactly what incentive they have in aligning themselves with the US.