Senators push for military aid for Syrian rebels | ReutersU.S. senators, including some of President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats, pushed the White House on Thursday to shift its policy and provide lethal military assistance to rebels waging a civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad...
"Shouldn't we do something to prevent this massive slaughter that's going on?" Senator John McCain asked during a heated exchange that ended with the Arizona Republican walking out of the hearing. He did so while Elizabeth Jones, the acting assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs was replying to one of his questions.
Several questions are applicable:
1. Have the anti-Assad elements provided a framework by which Syria would have a government that would respect the rights of all citizens?
2. Have the anti-Assad elements provided credible guarantees that they would not engage in retribution and other abuses should they prevail?
3. Have the anti-Assad elements provided tangible guarantees that they would govern in a fashion compatible with U.S. regional interests?
4. Have the anti-Assad elements committed to distancing themselves from Iran and severing ties with such regional terrorist organizations as Hezbollah and Hamas?
5. Have the anti-Assad elements pledged to adopt a flexible approach and to seek a peace agreement with Israel?
The answer to every one of those questions is negative. They have provided no such commitments or assurances. Consequently, one simply cannot make the argument that aiding the anti-Assad elements would serve U.S. interests any status quo Syria does. Hence, I do not believe the U.S. should intervene directly or indirectly. No critical U.S. interests or those of its regional allies are at stake.