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The U.S. election and the price of sitting out Syria

The U.S. election and the price of sitting out Syria
An injured Syrian woman rides to a hospital after an airstrike by regime forces in Aleppo on Tuesday.
October 16th, 2012
11:48 PM ET

This is part of a series on foreign policy issues Christiane Amanpour is analyzing in the-lead up to next week’s presidential debate on foreign affairs. 

By Christiane Amanpour, CNN & ABC

For the last 19 months Syria has fallen deeper and deeper into civil war. What started in March 2011 as another offshoot of the Arab Spring, the demand for freedom and reform, was met so brutally that ordinary Syrians decided that Assad had to go.

Left to fester, with the United Nations deadlocked over how to end the fighting, the death toll has reached 29,000 according to the Syrian opposition, and the most horrific massacres of women, children and old men have taken place. Extremists and foreign jihadists are joining the battle. With 1.2 million people displaced, the approaching winter poses as much of a threat as the relentless violence.

As worrisome as this is, recent history has shown us that when people are battling for survival, they end up taking help wherever it’s offered. When I covered the 1990s genocide in Bosnia, the people pleaded for years for the West to help. They did not. Instead the U.N. imposed a similar arms embargo that only ensured the superiority of the better-armed. So all sorts of foreign Mujaheddin came in. The parallels are eerily similar in Syria.

Will whoever wins the U.S. election make any changes to this policy of ‘Sitting Out Syria?’ 

U.N. still has no plan for Syria

Obama’s policies

Up until now, President Obama has said that his administration will only provide the Syrian opposition with non-lethal support. The Administration says it doesn't want to add fuel to the raging Syrian fire.

But all these months later, the decision to sit on the sidelines is causing unwanted blowback. The wrong fighters are getting even those small arms that are being sent by Arab countries, the New York Times now reports.  It also reported that the United States has asked Arab partners not to provide the heavy anti-tank weapons, nor the missiles the rebels need to down Assad’s attack jets and helicopters.

My reporting and interviews with world leaders leads me to the conclusion that the United States never intended to get involved, with or without Russian or Chinese agreement at the U.N.. After all, this is a U.S. election year and President Obama is focused on ending wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, not getting into a new one in Syria.

But the policy of providing non-lethal aid, such as communications equipment, training and humanitarian aid, is not working.

Without U.S. leadership, other leaders in the region say they cannot take the lead. The prime ministers of Turkey and Qatar both told me they would have helped with much stronger action, such as safe areas for the Syrian opposition and a no-fly zone for the Syrian military, if the United States were on board.

Qatar's PM: 'We have a Plan B for Syria' 

Romney

Governor Mitt Romney’s position came into slightly sharper focus during his foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute on October 8.

Were he president, Romney says, he would “work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and ensure they obtain the arms they need to defeat Assad’s tanks, helicopters and fighter jets.”

This goes further than what the Obama administration has said, by ensuring a whole new weapons pipeline would open at least to parts of the Syrian opposition.

Contrast

When it comes to Syria policy there is a difference between Romney and Obama.

Romney has openly said in a speech what Obama hasn’t said: The rebels should be armed with heavy weapons, to defeat the Assad regime.

Again, Romney’s statement was short on specifics, and like President Obama, Governor Romney is not talking about U.S. or NATO airstrikes, nor a no-fly zone, nor a safe area to be carved out in Syria. And neither the President nor Governor Romney has ever talked about putting boots on the ground there.

However other Republicans have taken a stronger position. Senator John McCain has repeatedly said he wants Washington to arm the Syrian rebels and make a safe zone inside the country. McCain has even gone as far as saying there should be airstrikes. Just this week he, Senator Joe Lieberman and Senator Lindsay Graham renewed their calls to arm Syria's rebels.

Iraq and its role in Syria

Conclusion

The only question now is whether there will really be a change in the U.S. position after this election.

The nightmare scenario is unfolding: The festering civil war is drawing in all the worst elements, which are not friendly to the West and likely not friendly to the idea of democracy either.

The war is now spreading outside Syria’s borders with fire and counter-fire between Syria and neighboring Turkey.

And hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are straining the capacity of Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon.

Sitting out this war, experts say, could leave the U.S. without allies in Syria when Assad falls, unable to shape the future, and facing a generation that will grow up embittered by the fact that in the Syrian people’s direst hour, the United States sat back and watched the slaughter.

Assad's lifelong friend: 'The crisis has changed him'


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Syria • U.S. Politics
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Joe Zrnchik

    In Syria there are 20 million people and only about 35,000 have died. In the US Civil War there were 30 million and 600,000 died. While the US population was only 1/3 bigger than that of Syria, the death toll was amost twenty times higher. The US said nothing after it gave Saddam chemical weapons and then turned him loose to kill 700,000 Iranians in an unprovolked war and heinous crime against humanity. Now the US media wants Americans to back al Qaeda militants in Syria so the Sunni jihadists can carry out ethnic extermination of Christians, Shiite, Druze and Alawite. The Zionist media must think all Americans are plain stupid. Well, maybe they have a point.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:05 am | Reply
    • a slozomby

      and that was without modern weaponry.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • alain

      You said it all.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • David

      You nailed it All we have to do is look at Iraq, afghanistan, and now Libya to see our errors. Best to keep our nose out of other peoples conflicts.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • Kara

      Russia, China and the Iranians have never seen a human rights violation that they didn't like. Are the Syrians too stupid to know that their world disdain should be targeted at these three countries? The only thing that the world body needs to know is that Assad is a dictator. His father handed him an entire country on his death bed. This sort of thing doesn't happen in the civilized world. Assad does not allow international journalists into Syria. We must come to the conclusion that his narrative concerning terrorists is false and that he has much to hide. If he was on the side of truth, then allowing international journalists into his country would bolster his story. His story can not be substantiated, so the journalists will not be going in any time soon. It is past time for the Middle East to try and solve their own problems. We have played referee long enough. We have spent our treasure and a generation of soldiers on the cause. We have gotten nothing in return. The governments of Iraq and Afghanistan will turn on us in a heartbeat once we leave their lands.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • Fawaz

        Kara,
        I totally agree with your analysis about Syria, but allow me to disagree on the comparison between Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria. We went to Afghanistan and Iraq uninvited. There were no popular uprisings there. We lost tens of thousands of our sons and daughters, and billions of dollars, only to see unfriendly and corrupt governments taking the power. Now compare this to what happened in Egypt and Libya, where people rose against their tyrants and asked for help. Thousands of innocent lives were saved, the US has a strong influence on the new governments, democratic values are slowly, but consistently, are taking hold, and, more important, not a single American soldier was killed. Some may think the attack on our consulate in Benghazi as a proof otherwise, but what happened after that is actually more revealing. The popular backlash was so strong that it led not only to the driving of extremist elements out of Benghazi, but also to put even the non-violent Islamist parties on the defense. Let alone the fact that it is known now that the attack was actually an Al-Qaeda one and not the result of some anti-American sentiment. This is exactly the situation we are facing in Syria now. The people of Syria are crying for help against one of the worst tyrants in the world and a long-term sponsor of terrorism. The Syrians are not even asking for military intervention, JUST PROTECTION FROM AIR RAIDS, which are leveling their houses, schools, hospitals, everything. But the whole world suddenly discovered that it cannot provide air protection–like it did in Libya, or no-fly zones—like it did in Kurdistan and Kosovo, or even providing anti-aircraft weapons to freedom fighters (for fear that they will go to the wrong hands). Suddenly, the murderer who is the closest ally to Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and N. Korea is ok, the freedom fighters who yearn for freedom, democracy and justice, and pay dearly by their blood every day for these values are the "wrong hands"!

        October 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
      • Kelly

        It's disgusting the way people like you throw around the word 'civilized'... Most of the countries where a monarch passes the nation to a son or daughter are in the West, which I am sure is fine by you.

        There has been a strong and prosperous civilization in present-day Syria for thousands of years, even way back when your neaderthal ancestors were bashing each other over the heads with clubs.

        October 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • Joseph Zrnchik

        If handing a country over to family does not happen in the civilized world, then I guess Saudi Arabia is not part of the civilized world. Why is it you said nothing about the Saudi military going into Bahrain and crushing and slaughtering the uprising there? Your propaganda shows you are another Zionist plant who trying to instigate to get ignorant Americans to fight Iran for Israeli interests. The fact is that the Jews want Iran to be defenseless. Iran can hit Israeli chemical weapons stockpiles and its nuclear power plants if Israel attacks. The Israelis want the Iranian GPS guided missiles taken out and that is not going to happen. The world would be better off if "the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem vanished from the pages of time." Ahmadinejad never said anything about "wiping Israel off the map". That was just more Zionist propaganda.

        October 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • EVELYN CONNAWAY

      JOE ZRNCHIK, YES JOE, WE HAD OUR OWN HOLOCAUST, AMERICAN AGAINST AMERICAN IN THE CIVIL WAR. PART OF THAT WAR IS STILL GOING ON. WE ALSO HAD OUR OTHER HOLOCAUST BY THE IMMIGRANTS AND MILITARY AGAINST THE NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS, KILLING THEM TO TAKE OVER THEIR LANDS AND HUNTING GROUNDS, THAT TOO IS STILL GOING ON. ONCE PEOPLE GET CONSUMED WITH THE TERRIBLE DISEASE OF AVARICE – OUR WARS NEVER STOP, UNLESS WE THE PEOPLE (AS WE ARE THE ONES WHO DO THE FIGHTING) SAY TO OUR GOVERNMENT, "WE WILL NO LONGER GO TO WAR FOR YOU AND FIGHT YOU BATTLES". A QUOTE BY MY DECEASED HUSBAND -"THE WORST ENEMY OF ANY COUNTRY IS THEIR LEADERS AND GOVERNMENT". IF WE REFUSE TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK – THE LEADERS OF EACH COUNTRY THAT HAVE A DISAGREEMENT, CAN GO OUT BEHIND THE BARN AND FIGHT IT OUT BETWEEN THEM – LEAVE US AND OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS OUT OF IT – LET THEM GO BACK TO FARMING TO FEED OUR COUNTRY – BECOME TEACHERS TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN – GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL TO LEARN TO HEAL OUR SICK. EVERYTHING IS ABOUT MONEY AND IT IS A GOOD TOOL, IF USED FOR GOOD IN LIEU OF EVIL. LET'S TRY IT.

      October 17, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • Fawaz

      You got your facts sitting on their head. It is the regime-which is but a bad copy of the N. Korean one-who has been spawning terrorism all over the region. It is the regime who has recruited jihadists for years and sent them to Iraq to kill our soldiers. It is the regime who is the closest ally to Hizbullah and Iran. The Syrian uprising is against one of worst dictatorships in the world and the Syrian people have taken to the streets demanding freedom, democracy and justice. The most progressive elements of the Syrian society lead the uprising, including Christians, Kurds and even Alawites–the Assad's minority. The danger of extremist elements seeping into the country is because of the continued inaction by the world while the regime's army is using tanks, heavy artillery and air force to shell residential neighborhoods and massacring civilians by the hundreds EVERYDAY. And this is what must be prevented by helping the Syrian people ousting this murderous tyrant. Finally, your use of math in calculating proportions and percentages of victims is just sick (maybe you want to provide the p-value to prove that the difference between the proportions of Civil War and Syrian revolution victims is statistically significant).

      October 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Joseph Zrnchik

        Are you really that stupid? Why would Syria want to overthrow the Iraqi government when it is exactly that Iraqi government that is not only the biggest Iranian ally in the Middle East, but is also helping to support Syria? So a Shiite Syria wants to overthrow the Shiite government in Iraq and re-install a Sunni government? Are you really that stupid? And, the Iraqi government that now rules had its key leaders living in Iran waiting for Saddam's overthrow. Saddam's overthrow was the biggest present we could have given Iran. Not to mention the fact that Iran talked Iraq into telling the US it would not allow its country to be used as a base of operations for any war on Iran. It was the Iraqi politicians supported by Iran that told the US it would not grant immunity to Us forces and also kept Saddam's oil deals in place with the EU which ended up freezing US oil corporation out of any oil deals. Now Iraq is allowing Iran overflights to provide weapons to Assad in Syria. What I hate is listening to idiots like you who understand nothing about what is going on the the Middle East make foolish comments that show your ignorance to those of us who have worked as intelligence officers.

        October 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
      • Bassam

        Fawaz, what you said is very true!

        November 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Dave

      The Syrian Civil War only really began in earnest this year, while the American Civil War went on for 4 years and the Iran-Iraq for 8. Your comparison isn't really fair: We have no idea how many Syrians could be dead in 4 years, but the prognosis isn't good if all we keep doing is talk and talk but no action(remember also Assad has chem weapons just like Saddam).

      October 17, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • chaz8181

      Let's get one thing straight...Romney is pro military and is willing to send other people's sons to war. but not his.
      Surely it is an all volunteer force , however, during the draft, in 1966 Romney supported the Vietnam War, but did not enlist. Instead, he got draft deferments and worked as a missionary ["minister of religion"] for 31 months, for the Mormon church, in France, one of those "European countries" that he often tries to tie President Obama to. I would never vote for a draft dodger. He lived in a mansion in France while i served in Vietnam twice..in 1965 and 1971.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • Don P

      Sadaam's chemical weapons were Soviet design not US. The US has never given chems to another nation, not even the UK. Other than that good comment.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
      • doc

        seriously???? not true

        October 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • you are both wrong

        we never gave saddam chemical weapons, we provided Saddam and his regime's scientists the technology and knowledge of how to produce chemical/biological weapons

        October 19, 2012 at 1:44 am |
      • Joseph Zrnchik

        Right, the US never gave Saddam WMDs. They gave him the money and diplomatic cover to get the precursors and production capability from the EU primarily. Then the CIA lied and said it was Iran that killed Iraqi Shiites to cover Saddam's atrocities.

        October 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • anon

      The media also has forgotten to look at the larger picture here. Russians have a military base in Syria. That is why there is deadlock in the security council.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • Ambrose

      I believe now is the time to right our wrongs. Helping people should not be this hard..We have the greatest power(arguably) in the word. These children know not of there fathers sins, and people deserve protection everyone can't get out. Turning a blind eye to what is right makes us no better. U said when we interfere we mess things up, but what about the world wars and even the civil war made an impact on how people should be treated. To me a man that doesn't fight for the weak when u see it is not a man at all. U say u don't want more arms in their hands...well take control of Syria until the battle is won and take everything u gave back and if another conflict arises we will be there...with great power comes great responsibility.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
      • Joseph Zrnchik

        If we are the greatest power in the world, why are we losing a war in Afghanistan? Why can't we beat a country that has no army, navy or air force, no tanks, rockets or missiles systems, artillery, ships, bombers, subs, armored personnel carriers or fighter jets? But yes, we are the greatest power. Ha.

        No nation ever had an army so poweerful that it could prevent war in times of peace, or ensure victory in times of war. Afghanistan proves this truth.

        October 19, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Reza

      you should also keep in mind, civil rights happened in 50s-60s, this is happening now, the world has turned in to a global village now compared to 50s. These numbers might be smaller but the impact is more. I also agree that you have to pay a huge price for what you are going to get.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • you right

      i agree with you, especially on the media part.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • ummm

      it was also without modern medical aid as well. Gun shot wounds in the torso were a likely death sentences for most people.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:40 am | Reply
    • Hassan

      You are aware that pretty much the entire world was on saddam's side during the Iraqi-Iran war. I advise you to read history properly and get educated a bit before making claims that are not only stupid. but shows lack of critical thinking skills.

      October 19, 2012 at 5:45 am | Reply
    • milesstoneman

      Joe, ease up on the "Zionist" media stuff, huh? However, I can agree that we are being pushed to provide weaponry and support to our enemies. We simply do not have a dog in this fight. And which ever dog does eventually win will probably have to be shot. We don't want it shooting back with guns we've provided.

      October 25, 2012 at 7:06 am | Reply
  2. Wayne

    Regardless on whether or not you think the US should arm the rebels, the biggest difference is that Obama has to live with his decisions and Romeny is free to say whatever he thinks will help him get elected.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
    • TonyInNYC

      Agreed. For all we know, President Obama might be covertly doing what Romney said, but a sitting president has to keep his mouth shut about such things.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • Greg C.

        It's pretty clear, Obama hasn't done anything to arm these rebels and it's pretty clear that our rhetoric comes in mixed messages from the Obama administration. Amanpour's point was our inaction or "leading behind" has actually made things worse and parallels the Bosnian crisis which was yet another case of U.S. failure to understand what the repercussions are/were by not supporting specific factions that are seeking our help rather than rely on Al Qaeda or other extremist cells for help which only further distances these people from us.

        October 17, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Felix

      Greg C; Pick a faction any faction. There are quite a few in Syria at this moment.

      October 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  3. Vet21

    If we have not learned lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc., then our foreign policy is futile to the future of the US. AS we know, most, if not all midde eastern countries, do not want the infidel in their country. This will only foster more resentment. In addition, maybe it is time for wealthy neighboring countries, like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc. to step up to the plate, sacrifice their money and soldiers and take tare of Syria themselves. Let us stay home; stay out of futile conflict where we are not wanted anyway. Lets work on us! US first. It is time to let the middle east solve their own problems. They hate us anyway. If we get involved, no one will not appreciate our efforts, and they will only try to kill us and tell us "we should not be there". Do anyone remember this lesson? We need to stand watch hereto protect ourselves, mind out own business, re-build our economy and get this nation back to work.

    October 17, 2012 at 7:44 am | Reply
    • tmb

      Love your response. Couldn't agree more.

      October 17, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
      • Googman

        Well said...

        October 17, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Fred

      Well said..

      After helping them, they would just shoot us in the back anyway.

      Been there, done that. Good luck to them.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
    • wab

      RIGHT ON ,BUT NEVER HAPPEND ,IF THE MONGERS GET BACK IN

      October 17, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • Sacmar

      Great comment. The same thing goes for the Israel/Iran thing. I'm so sick of my tax dollars going to fight wars when we have problems here at home. The American government tries to police the world at the expense of the American citizens.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:10 am | Reply
      • Cheetahe

        Amanpour's logic to send the youth of our country to die in a civil war does not represent the majority opinion of the US public which is to keep out of any ME conflict. We have overthrown Saddam in Iraq at the urging of all of our allies in the area and the approval of the foreign affairs establishment of the US with disastrous results and unintended consequences.
        The people of Syria with or without Assad will determine their friendship with us according to their national interests and not whether or not we have intervened in their civil war.
        This lady has no concern what the overthrow of Assad will mean to the well being of the minorities in Syria which are about 40% of the population.

        October 17, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • scrut

      >> It is time to let the middle east solve their own problems

      You forget that a significant part of the problems the Middle East is facing today is "Made in America" to begin with.
      America killed democratically elected leaders and installed dictators, America armed the Taliban, trained Al Quaeda, supported Hussein, later illegally invaded Iraq – the list could go on for pages.

      All this is not "history that should remain in the past". Instead is "history that is shaping the present".

      You can't first burn down a house and then tell the owner to "deal with his own problems".

      This is not to say that America is the only one responsible for the mess these countries are in. But at least in the past 6 decades, America has been primarily "part of the problem" than "part of the solution". That is what really has to change.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • smarta33

      stop being a simpleton. where do you think your money is coming so you can pay YOUR taxes. look at the facts.
      Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year. that is why we get involved and have our men fight on foreign soil; not because we are the bank of charity. so stop complaining unless you have another way to make 66billion dollars a year.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • EVELYN CONNAWAY

      I CONCUR – MANY OF OUR REPUBLICANS WANT TO GET INVOLVED AND START ANOTHER WAR. YET NONE OF THEM WILL REALLY GET INVOLVED AND FIGHT TO GET OUR OWN COUNTRY BACK ON IT'S FEET. ALL THEY DO IS FIGHT AGAINST PRESIDENT OBAMA. THEY LIKE WARS, AS MOST OF THEIR BACKERS ARE INVOLVED IN THE WAR MACHINE BUILDING INDUSTRY AND THE BIG CONTRACTORS THAT MAKE MONEY FROM THE WARS, LIKE THE ONE WE STARTED IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ. AS A COUNTRY WE ARE STRONG ENOUGH AND IF WE HAVE PATIENCE, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO SETTLE OUR DIFFERENCE WITHOUT WAR. WE ALWAYS NEED TO HELP OTHER COUNTRIES WITH HUMANITARIAN DURING WAR AND NATURAL DISASTERS – BUT NEVER INTERFERE IN OTHERWISE. IT IS SORT OF LIKE INTERFERING IN A FIGHT BETWEEN A MARRIED COUPLE – THEY BOTH WILL TURN AGAINST YOU.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • Pat

        Is there some reason you ALWAYS USE CAPS ?

        October 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • Bobo

        Evelyn, Your jaded, "it's always our fault", approach to everything you've said is sad. The "keep America first" crowd will keep you from harming yourself, but you do do damage. Develope every possible form of natural energy in the sweet earth under the USA, and water along our shores. Stop building wind up cars and windmills. Once energy independant, deal with the middle east as they would like to deal with us. Once respect is restored, peace will return and yes.........Our goal is to keep America superior to all.

        October 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • Briyani

        Why Obama lied? Please watched Obama's speech at the UN where he said the attack was caused by the anti Muslim faith film...

        October 18, 2012 at 6:57 am |
    • Fawaz

      One question: How many American soldiers have been killed in helping the Libyans and the Egyptians topple their dictators and start their journey to democracy. The answer is: zero. This is the problem with our foreign policy, when people resent our intruding in their affairs and refuse our presence, we go anyway. When people, who are fighting for the same values we hold dear, get massacred by the thousands and are begging for our help, (and when the potential gains are enormous compared to the cost,) we are suddenly the most pacifist nation in the world (should I say inept?). Somebody help me understand this logic. What is even more wrong with this reasoning is that the Syrian opposition never asked for soldiers on the ground—they categorically refuse any foreign force intervention for two reasons: they do not want to give any chance to the regime to portray itself as a victim of a foreign invasion, and because they are confident and willing to do the job themselves. They only ask for protection from, or arms against, the regimes air force. So, all this talk about sending our sons and daughters to fight others wars and die for others causes is irrelevant. Just help these brave people get their freedom for they deserve it.

      October 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
    • GGala

      Couldn't agree with you more. Seems when these countries start their wars with in themselves, they call on the U.S. to intervene. Then when we do, we are told by the same countries that we are invading, or occupying them. I would like to add: We can't fix something that's been broken for 1400 years. But we can fix the U.S. :)

      October 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Reply
    • Andy C

      I agree with some of your sentiments and comments, but not all of them. The american foriegn policy is in some parts one of heavy handiness, domination and dictation of terms. The middle east do not, as whole, dislke or hate the US people or nation, what they dispíse is the way things are carried out/through with contempt, disrespect and injustice.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
  4. Johnnie99

    Well, let's face it .. a reporter certainly MUST know more than the President.... hilarious article.

    October 17, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
  5. Kirk Harrington

    Is it me, or are neighboring countries just making the US out to be the scapegoat? I think the biggest problem is China and Russia not moving an inch on their support for the brutal Assad regime. They are more to blame than the US in my mind. We have been given grief for acting unilaterally and without UN support before, and now we're given grief for trying to work through the UN–I mean–its like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • beowulf

      They usually are depicted that way when most of the blame should reside at home with the Arab countries. Most of them are too locked down to prevent anyone from knowing there's blame to their government.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  6. Fred

    There is no point in supporting either side. Let's face it as much as the Syrians and middle easterners want it to be true, we just don't care what happens nor does our government.

    A Syrian government that kills it's own people VS a group of islamic terrorists that want to turn the country into the next Al Queda training ground. Hmmm.. which one do I side with? How about NEITHER!!

    I'm sorry but we choose to sit this one out. There is no value in getting into the middle of a civil war. We helped Lybia and they thanked us by killing our ambassador and security team.

    Good luck there!

    October 17, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Maurice

      I completely agree with your comment! The so called "freedom fighters" are nothing but a bunch of Islamists who can do no good for Syria if they ever won. Both sides are bad, and the US should stay out.

      October 17, 2012 at 9:38 am | Reply
      • Covey Leader

        George Carlin said it best....

        If fire fighters fight fire and crime fighters fight crime, what do freedom fighters fight?

        October 17, 2012 at 9:59 am |
    • Fawaz

      What about the point of removing one of the most atrocious enemies of the US with very little cost? What about handling a severe blow to Hizbullah and Iran without sending one soldier to the battleground? Your assertion that the opposition fighters are Islamic terrorists is totally false. The Islamic terrorists are actually being used by the regime to tarnish the revolution. But the danger of Islamic terrorists gaining hold in Syria is real, however, only it will be caused by the inaction of the Free World not because of helping the Syrian people gain their freedom.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  7. Fred

    "Experts say sitting this one out could leave the US without allies"

    Well THIS expert says your experts will say anything to get an islamic government installed in Syria. So tell your experts to stuff it. If their so interested, your experts can pick up a gun and go fight for whomever they want.

    October 17, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
    • palusko996769

      The expert should also say how many allies we now have in the Middle East after the Arab Spring. More than before? Less? The same? Or...are there any at all?

      October 17, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
  8. CNN = Joke

    CNN says Obama "aced" the debate? BAHAHAHAAAAA!!! I am not REP or DEM, but I know Obama is a pure coward and no way he deserves to be President of the US. Romney gets my vote hands down.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
    • Dwight

      If you think the middle east is in a mess know, just let trigger happy Romney in the WH and the killing will be of Biblical proportions

      October 17, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • tony parkinson

        you "got that in one" as the English say.....

        October 17, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • Insider1001

        Or let Obama Bin Laden stay in office and we can destroy ourself from the inside out. Who needs homeland security, just give that money to fund more government handouts to lazy America.

        October 17, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • waheid

      Sending the USN SEALS in to kill Osama bin Laden took courage. If the mission had gone wrong, like the mission to rescue the Iranian hostages in 1980, the Republicans would have crucified Obama. He had plenty of reasons for not approving the mission, including the uncertainty that bin Laden was actually at the location, the extreme danger to the troops involved, diplomatic repercussions from Pakistan and others, etc. Instead, he chose to approve the raid. The difference is that Republicans talk tough, but their rhetoric has no real consequences. I would also note that the decision to stay out of Syria took some courage too. It would have been easy for Obama to play the commander-in-chief role and use the humanitarian angle to send American troops to fight one group of Islamists for the benefit of another group of Islamists. Obama made the right decision.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • EVELYN CONNAWAY

        I AGREE AND IT TOOK COURAGE FOR OBAMA NOT TO BE BULLIED INTO INTERFERING IN SYRIA BY THE BUNCH OF WAR MONGERS WE HAVE IN THE US.

        October 17, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • Fawaz

        For the thousand time: NOBODY IS ASKING TO SEND ANY TROOPS TO SYRIA. The Syrians never asked for troops and actually refuse a foreign intervention. They only ask for antiaircraft weapons to protect their cities and towns from the brutal, relentless bombing of the Syrian regime's air force (now it is using cluster bombs on civilian areas–a war crime). All this talk about sending our soldiers in the harm's way is just an excuse for doing nothing to stop the massacre.

        October 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  9. obamaphone

    Vote Obama because he gave me my free obamaphone so I can call all my homies! I have all these gov't handouts and now I don't have to worry about working at all for my 8 kids! Thanks Obama! I would vote for you, but I'm a convicted felon. So I'm counting on you America to keep these tax payer funded handouts coming my way!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • BO swagger

      Obama does have that swagger! Holla!

      October 17, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Enlightened

      Perhaps, you would rather felons get the equivalent handouts from your friends', families', or neighbors' night table!

      October 17, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
      • Tyrone212

        Obama has luv for the streets. Vote for the O in two oh one two.

        October 17, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • EVELYN CONNAWAY

      I SEE A LOT OF STUPID COMMENTS, BUT YOU JUST MADE THE BIGGIE! YOU REPUBLICANS ARE GREAT ABOUT MAKING THIS ONE – ANY THING TO TRY AND MAKE A CERTAIN CLASS OF PEOPLE LOOK BAD. HOW SAD THAT THIS IS ALL YOU HAVE TO SAY.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • Briyani

        You must watched Obama's speech at the UN, he lied about the Libyan attack...You've been deceived big time.

        October 18, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • amazed

      Not sure what this has to do with the story, but yo do realize that the federal government subsidized cell phone program began in 2005 right?

      October 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  10. Al

    Wow, bonfide war propaganda from Amanapour. What a piece of work.
    CNN says what, the US should get involved in a war it helped start and is already involved in to further
    Zionist Israel's interests and help them with their natural gas pipeline.
    That explains Amanapour.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
  11. Dave

    The Libya issue is such a lie. Perhaps Obama made an indirect reference to terrorism in the rose garden, but then he went on the View and Letterman (taking advantage of crises like he always does) to blame America by stating that the attack was due to some video no one has seen. Then, Clinton repeats the line along with the White House Spokesman several times. Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., went on five networks' Sunday shows and cast the attack as hardly a coordinated strike by terrorists. She said:
    "We are obviously investigating this very closely. The FBI has a lead in this investigation," Rice said Sept. 16 on "Fox News Sunday." "The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack. That what happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent and those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya and that then spun out of control.
    "But we don't see at this point signs this was a coordinated plan, premeditated attack. Obviously, we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don't want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it's important for the American people to know our best current assessment."
    Meanwhile, Biden suggests in the VP debate they didn’t know what happened and Clinton takes responsibility for the fiasco. I give CNN some credit for standing up to the administration when they retrieved the Ambassador’s journal. However, they and the rest of the media have been quiet about the congressional hearings. PATHETIC COVERUP and embarrassing journalism!

    October 17, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • Enlightened

      Cicero once wrote "Excitabat fluctus in simpulo". Let me translate, in the Benghazi affair we are looking at "a tempest in a teapot". We have paid and are still paying a heavy price for what proved to be misleading information about the existance of WMD in Iraq under the last Republican administration. There is definitely no comparison here. The Republicans are making a mountain out of a molehill, and since they(at least most of them) love their "Bibles", they should turn to LUKE 6:42, "Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye".

      October 17, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  12. Protect America

    Do you really feel that Obama is a man that will Protect our country firmly and secure our borders? No way! Do we need another 9/11 to show us that we are always vulnerable? Romney gets my vote because I will sleep a lot better at night knowing my family is safe and being protected. He has a game plan. Obama just goes with the flow. He cuts military spending to fund lazy welfare leaches. Romney 2012!!!

    October 17, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • EVELYN CONNAWAY

      TO PROTECT AMERICA – YES, WE ARE THE 47% OF LAZY WELFARE LEACHES, WHO HAVE WORKED, FOUGHT IN OUR WARS, DISABLED AND DRAW OUR SOCIAL SECURITY AND PENSIONS AND DISABILITY CHECKS AND THE PEOPLE WHO DRAW WELFARE AND FOOD STAMPS – THE ONES DISENFRANCHISED DUE TO LOSS OF JOBS BY COMPANIES BEING OUTSOURCED FOR A BIGGER BOTTOM LINE FOR THEM – AND NO NEW JOBS AVAILABLE – YOU MIGHT SAY TO YOURSELF, "BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOOD, THEIR GO I". DOES IT REALLY MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER ? IT IS EASY TO GET CAUGHT UP IN THE TYPE OF WOLF-PACK MENTALLY THAT ATTACKS THE WEAK AND HELPLESS. DEALING FAIRLY WITH OTHERS WILL BRING YOU SELF-SATISFACTION AND STRENGTHEN TIES. MAYBE YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE GOOD CHRISTIANS WHO THINK ONLY YOU DESERVE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING AND THE OTHERS ARE BENEATH YOU AND WORTHY OF ONLY NAME CALLING.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • ezduzit757

        Evelyn, please shut off your caps lock.

        October 18, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
      • Ambrose

        Your right and wrong. Peace is fought for in speech or in battle and when it is all done peace between mankind can never happen because of our complicated lives and history. By saying that the U.N and the U.S.A should treat the world as if they were children. Not to say they should pacify them or treat them like actual kids, but they have to discipline and use good judgement when dealing with people unlawful threats and actions should not be tolerated. Some people might say u can't tell grown ups what to do. I laugh at that because some grown ups need the most schooling. Naive and stupid kids should not lead a nation...with great power comes great responsibility.

        October 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Let's be Serious

      Then, Sir, I must assume you have no sons or daughters to be put in harms way. Warmongering is unbecoming, but seems to be the Republican way, even if you have to lie to the American people to get us there.

      October 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • GGala

      Obama has kept this country safe for 4 years. He's got my vote for another 4 years of safety. I can't say that about Romney. Can you?

      October 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • anon

      If that is the only thing you are basing your votes for either on then you have very small minds. Neither cares about you in the end.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
  13. tony parkinson

    Without a doubt this is an extraordinary humanitarian challenge ...and it is one which the UN was originally built to contain. With the failure of the UN we as a nation alone can NOT again step in and attempt to take sides which we have done so unsuccessfully over the last several decades....
    Libya was about as successful as we could have been in avoiding" defeat" at the hands of success....and even that situation has its negative nuances.

    After achieving a draw in Korea what have we accomplished?.... failure in Vietnam, successful ouster of intrusion from Iraq in Kuwait ( and we left it at that, thank you very much) useless incursion in Iraq when the Iraqies and the Iranians were well poised to take of the threat by fighting eachother without our involvement..... even "Cyprus" Vance could not have solved this middle east conunbrum...

    Ms Amanpour we do love your reporting, your sincerity and your passion....we feel the pain but being drawn into a religious world we do not understand is not tenable ..... the premise that we have friends anywhere inthe region is absurd... Mubarak ?.... sure because we paid for his military- purchased friendship stops when the funding does.

    That region needs to take care of itself... do you think Palin's "USSR" will stand idly by as we go to the aid of the rebels without the strong imprimatur of an arab coalition.... Qatar, are you kidding?.... we are not any longer the world's policeman.... Putin is waiting to malke a stand against america if theoption of Syria was granted and with our banker -China- the two of them could really make a tidy meal of war and sanctions against us which we wuld be hard pressed to digest...

    Christine...you can do bettter than this..... you need to put your thinking cap onand go out on a limb.... not just sell your good name
    tony -

    October 17, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
  14. a slozomby

    damned if we do, damned if we dont.
    so the lesser of the 2 evils is dont. at the very least there will be less of them when they decide its time to hate us again.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • a slozomby

      also it appears the syrian people are mostly sitting this out. why should we help again?

      October 17, 2012 at 10:34 am | Reply
  15. Caner

    USA invaded Afghanistan and Iraq not because the people over there needed help. It was US acting for its own interest. People started to hate US because of misbehavior and mistreatments. In Bosnia (Also Muslim) people asked for help for years, when they finally get it they were grateful. And now Syria ask for help. I say as a citizen of an allied county which has an understanding of the mentality in ME , Dont miss this opportunity to draw a positive image.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
    • a slozomby

      what positive image would we draw? we'll always be infidels.

      October 17, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
      • Caner

        Maybe you do not remember but I remember the days some politicians promising their people being the "little America" The image of US is disturbed by US again. People hate you today because of your mistakes. If you do the right thing like you do in old days things change.

        October 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  16. waheid

    American involvement in Syria, with one group of Islamists fighting another group of Islamists, would be disastrous. There will be no winners in Syria, but many losers. My heart goes out to the innocent victims, but I'm not willing to send my grandchildren to Syria to fight for a cause that cannot be won. Have we not learned the lessons of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan? If anyone is eager to fight for freedom in Syria, then by all means go and help, but leave my grandchildren out of it. And if you are not willing to go or to send your children or grandchildren, then shut up.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • Fawaz

      Egypt and Libya taught us lessons too. Try to learn because Syria resembles these examples not the ones of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. You have every right to protect your grandchildren from going to war–only the Syrians are asking for help with weapons not soldiers.

      October 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
      • Upasana Sharma

        Mr. Fawaz is a terrorist who killed many children and women in Syria in the name of freedom. The US has been supporting many terrorists and tyranny in the world. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Quatar, Baharain, UAE all are dictators who stop women from their right. Those countries are fully supported by the US and the EU. But The Syrian government is more liberal and democratic than those terrorists countries. The US is the single country in the world which has been sponsoring terrorism in the name of human rights and freedom. It is trying to creat puppets in the world.

        October 19, 2012 at 1:33 am |
  17. Charlie

    What a crock of BS. As soon as she mentioned "civil war" I knew that Amanpour is either ignorant of the situation, which I don't believe, or that she is a liar. Sadly, the latter is true. The truth is that Syrians wanted change and reform, but not at any price. Where they willing to go out and protest, yes. Which they did and there was no violence. However, Saudi Arabia and Qatar the two biggest cowards and curropt regimes in the middle east took advantage of the situation. They funded, trained, and assisted with the help of Turkey and other Western Nations these terrorist to infiltrate Syria and wreak Havoc and cause the Regime to strike back and then the Western and Corrupt Middle Eastern Media pick show the retaliations as viloence against the syrian people which it is not. And when she says that they are left alone and take "help" from foreign Jihadists. That is all BS, 90% of the "rebels" are not "rebels" at all but Foreign TERRORISTS. SO TO HELL WITH YOU AMANPOUR YOU ARE A DAMN LIAR AND BS ARTIST.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Fawaz

      And your point is...?

      October 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
      • Joseph Zrnchik

        The point is this is an external proxy war and not a Syrian civil war. Assad caved to the demands, but the Saudis decided they would not compromise because it believed its Sunni radical jihadists could carry the day, but the truth is they are wimps when it comes to fighting real military forces and would much rather attack civilians...

        October 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  18. luvUamerica

    nightmare scenario...
    festering civil war....
    spreading war....
    sitting out the war....

    First Ms. Amanpour did a fair treatment of what goes on with Syria. The sad part is she did not address, why Syria is in this spot, and why outside intervention is not possible.

    1. Iran, which is supporting the Assad regime, is funneling armaments and support
    2. Russia has vetoed every step international community has made to intervene.
    3. China has vetoed, and continues to block any intervention. Mainly to protect themselves when they have to deal with their own people uprising against them.
    4. The Arab league cares less. So those bordering states, need to get involved.
    5. NATO, does not want to get involved. Because if they do, the Germans have to spend money, and Europeans have to send troops. Which means Prime Ministers will not get re-elected,

    This push to force the US to do something unilaterally, pushed by media hogs like Amanpour is a terrible thing. I think the US has done enough. Let those people deal with it themselves.

    Finally, this is proof positive the United Nations as it stands, does not work. The single veto system does not work. The US can't get rid of it because of Israel. And the other security council love it, because they can stop the US with a single vote.

    Now what do we do?

    October 17, 2012 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Fawaz

      Keep calling ourselves the greatest nation in history and the leaders of the free world, and continue to watch these brave people get slaughtered...

      October 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • scrut

      Unfortunately, your list and assessment is very one-sided and typical "western".

      Iran may be supporting Assad – but at the same time, Katar, Saudi-Arabia and other nations are supporting the militants. BOTH is equally bad and BOTH is the reason Syria is in such a mess.

      Have you ever read the reason Russia and China vetoed the resolutions? It was ALWAYS because the resolution drafts did two things: 1) it only condemned Assad and not the militants (even though both sides are responsible for the atrocities), 2) all draft resolutions called for outside military intervention and left no space for peaceful attempts such as Annans 6 point plan.
      So you are sitting here complaining about Russia and China for NOT being war-mongering, one-sided and unfair? Wow! Shows your real mindset.

      As far as the United Nations goes: you do realize that the US is the nation that is using and abusing the veto system more than all the other 4 veto powers together, right? No other nation has vetoed more resolutions than the US – most of the vetoes went entirely against the international community. It is not primarily Russia and China who want to keep the veto system, it is actually the US.

      But the most important question remains: "Now what do we do?"

      I think if the international community really wants to stop the atrocities committed in Syria, there is only one way:
      Go to the United Nations, get all 5 veto powers to sit on one table and draft a resolution which is not one-sided.
      That resolution must condemn the atrocities committed by Assad as well as those committed by the FSA. It must request that all nations stop supporting Assad or the FSA. It must request a cease-fire during which both parties meet for UN supervised peace talks. (unfortunately, the FSA has refused all talks thus far) It must re-instate the UN monitoring mission effective immediately. And it must clearly state that if the cease-fire is being breached or if negotiations fail, UN troops will come in and protect the civilians – which will include the disarmament of the FSA but which will also allow for all means necessary to stop the Assad army to use their weapons, too.

      Such resolution points at all parties that created this mess: Assad, the FSA, Russia & Iran for supporting Assad, Quatar, Saudi-Arabia and some western nations for supporting the FSA.
      All are respontible for the mess the Syrians are in – not only Assad.

      Such resolution also paves the way for a peaceful transition – if Assad and the FSA want that

      But such resolution is also not toothless by clearly saying that if Assad or the FSA can't deal with a transition peacefully, the UN will come in and deal with the situation for the Syrian people (not for Assad, not for the FSA).

      October 18, 2012 at 5:22 am | Reply
  19. joan

    That is the problem with the GOP, they think that Ameririca should control the entire World. And that was reason why the World hated the USA. These country must solve their problem themselves. It is costly to the American taxpayer to fund these wars and obstruction by the GOP. Then they blame the deficit on Obama. Wise up people. America go put their nose into these countries affairs and then after the wars they have to keep sending money to the countries surrounding these places to keep off attacks.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
  20. NoTags

    Let us not forget, we supported Bin Laden before we were against him. We supported Saddam Hussein before we were against him. How about we just let the middle east solve their own problems and we take care of problems here in the U.S.

    October 17, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • GGala

      I agree with you, but let's not forget that the US had no idea that Bin Laden, or Saddam would do the evils they did after they were supported. No one can predict the future of anyone's outcome. But the US has always been the blame, and it's constantly getting the blame for all the evil mishaps with-in the Mid-East countries, even if the US doesn't have boots on their ground. To hear propaganda-est tell it, it's always America's fault. I truly feel if the US were to go in their to help these people, they will only be branded an occupier and be blamed again. I say let Syria work out their own differences. Don't get me wrong, If the mid-east wouldn't throw the blame on the US, I would say, go for it, put boots on the ground and help the innocent victims of their war. But we all know that would never happen. We have learnt by our past mistakes in other so-called mid-east wars. I truly hope they work out their OWN problems. And I am not the American who thinks this way!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  21. rene of mandeville

    not our problems elites. we are coming home.time for the arabs and the persians and those close to the action to take responsiblity. said what has become of the honor of the middle eastern people. We are going home
    end of story

    October 17, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
  22. nick

    It's plain as day . If you believe we should help the rebels in Syria and get militarily involved in Iran,then Romney is your man.
    If you;re tired of war, want to re build America then Obama is your guy. Yes it;s that simple

    October 17, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply
    • Jane

      Nope. That's not true. Both are warmongering idiots. Obama got us involved in Libya causing death and destruction and siding with ethnic cleansing rebels and is now aiding the Islamic Syrian rebels clandestinely through its allies Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and openly by supplying them with logistics, communication equipment and aid. The US government could even be providing more aid to the rebels but this is all they are admitting to and only after the press found out about US involvement. Don't kid yourself that Democrats are any better than Republicans when it comes to their insatiable lust for war.

      October 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • GGala

      You said that one right!! Obama's the man!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  23. Albrecht von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha

    It would be curious to know how Mr. Romney would proceed to identify the good rebels from the bad. The man is always bombastic in his declarations but short in specifics.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
  24. Kris

    We can no longer afford to police the world. It is just that simple. If you want to continue the disastrous policies of Bush and Obama viote for Obama or Romney.

    If you want a non-interventionist (NOT isolationist) foreign policy that is defense-focused, vote Gary Johnson/Jim Gray.
    Yes, it's that simple.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  25. ronjayaz

    As one who has always believed in karma ("Every dog gets his/her day") I have never believed in getting revenge. I walk away & expend real energy on the next project, although I keep an eye on my "enemy" waiting for the bad karma to happen to him/her. Lebanon, the Jewel of the Middle East, was destroyed by a civil war (1975-1990) that involved Syria greatly. Even though Lebanon rose from the ashes it did not get real redress until Syria's current civil war.I have no sympathy for the Syrians.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  26. alpg49

    Any heavy weapons brought in, especially anti-aircraft weapons, will eventually be turned on Israel. Another situation with no non-violent resolution.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
  27. Jeff

    On a humanitarian level I understand the problem we are facing here; and on a security level I understand we are creating another Afghanistan by waiting. That said, we are in no financial shape to bankroll another war, our military is stretched to the breaking point with veteran suicides at record levels, and we'd be ignoring the UN yet again. It doesn't set a good standard if we keep ignoring the UN because we don't get the answer we like. If the countries around Syria want this thing contained and want our help doing it, they need to pressure the Russians and Chinese into stepping up. Those two will never listen to us, but if some of the countries they do business with put some pressure in them, maybe they will wise up.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
  28. Sid Airfoil

    Getting involved in Syria only a LITTLE bit is like being a LITTLE bit pregnant. Once we're in, we have to be in ALL THE WAY, including airstrikes, boots on the ground and trillions to rebuild the country. Anything less than our full commitment will end in failure. No rebel group can overthrow Assad, secure its own position against rivals, and rebuild Syria in a way that the U.S. approves of WITHOUT our direct, full, long-term intervention. Romney and McCain are either dreaming or are angling for a full-scale war without actually saying so.

    Is that what we want?

    October 17, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
  29. Pat

    Why do people continue to believe it's the responsibility of the American taxpayer to fund one side or the other in every civil war on this planet?

    October 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  30. Bob

    Amanpour is failing to point out the obvious – that this is not the mass of the Syrian people against Assad, rather that the war represents a sectarian split. Assad, whether one likes it or not, has his supporting factions in the population. Secondly, Saudi and Qatar are supporting the Salafist component of the anti Assad grouping. These people are extreme. This reminds me of the Saudi support of the rebels in Afghanistan which lead directly to the Taliban and Al Quiada, and thus 9/11. Indeed, even John MCCain was recently in Saudi encouraging the Saudi's to continue ( the mouse has left but the cage is apparently still turning ) support of their surrogates. Turkey supports and cross border assists the FSA, and according to all reports allows the extreme/mercenary like jihadists to cross their borders ( plenty of reports of Libyan mercs involved and crossing ) – while continuing their own brutal oppression of the kurds. So their motives are in doubt, as are the consequences for themselves ultimately. We should stay out of this mess, and certainly not supply arms ( of which there are plenty anyway ), as it is apparent that neither Turkey, Saudi or anyone is in control or accounting for these items ( you cannot put them back in a box ) and thus they could well end up pointed at us given the type of groups involved. As for the numbers of civilians killed, it is indeed sad, but we did not flinch in regards our invasion of Iraq which killed between a quarter of a million and three quarters of a million Iraqis ( mainly civilians ), for no reason as it turns out, perhaps just a whim. There is also no such thing as humane killing as opposed to inhumane killing – it is all inhumane. So the ultimate question is what is evil or bad, or unacceptable? We certainly have not set a standard by which what is happening in Syria could be seen to even rise to our level of what was acceptable for us.

    October 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Reply
    • Momo

      Agree totally. US should not be part of a Sunni assault against Shiites, Alawites, and Christians led by Sunni Salafists!. The Sunni regimes of the Gulf and Turkey are arming jihadists while manipulating the Syrian population legitimate grievances in order to encircle the states where Non-Sunnis dominate ( Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon).

      October 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  31. The Woof

    Why is it that when any kind of war, civil strife, etc., other countries want the US to get involved/lead? Turkey is getting shelled by Syrian forces not the US so why are they waiting for US leadership? The Arab league or whatever it's called have enough weapons and soldiers to do their own peace keeping in the region, why do they need the US to show them the way? And that is why this country always finds itself in a catch 22 situation. We give humnaitarian aid and we're told to give weapons. But in Syria now that it is known that terrorist organizations have become part of the liberation forces now what do we do? Let that region solve it's own problems and then we deal as best as possible with the winner.

    October 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • Volk

      The Arab league is divided just like the UN on how to deal with sanctions and how to come up with a unanimous decision, even though the Arab league in most of its members is our Ally, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are openly arming and financially baking the Rebels, of course with US's consent.

      October 17, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  32. Andrew

    I'm not saying the world shouldn't intervene, but there's no real indication that taking Assad out of power would change anything. it would leave a power vacuum, which will come eventually no matter what we do, and all sides will scramble to take power. The rebels are not a unified group, they simply have the same enemy at the current point in time. Once Assad is gone, that will fall apart, and it's likely fighting will continue.

    Of course, leaving Assad in power is not a great idea considering the harsh human rights violations his regime have perpetrated. But the issue is far more complicated than the US news gives it credit for. I don't hear CNN talking about what will happen when Assad is gone at all, they just keep complaining that we haven't jumped into another war.

    October 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  33. Volk

    How can you compare what both candidates would do if elected?
    if one of the candidates is the commander in chief now and all along the 19 months of the conflict has done almost nothing, so no matter who comes next cannot do less.

    October 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  34. Roberto

    30,000 Syrians have been killed with the majority of those civilian casualties. And some of the worse massacres of innocent civilians has taken place which has not been seen since Bosnia and yet the US remains on the sidelines. As has been posted, the Syrians do not want foreign armies in their country. They simply want a fighting chance to topple the Assad regime and need more than small arms to fight the well equipped Syrian Army. The US used to take a leadership role when human right violations on this scale occur. Not one prominent Democrat has voiced concerned about the mass atrocities taking place. Teddy Kennedy, who was a lion in the Senate that spoke up for human rights, would turn over in his grave at the travesty taking place while the US remains silent. And the US is telling other countries not to ship the arms to the rebels as they may end up in the wrong hands. Of course the US should help the rebels. Provide arms as some have stated by vetting the rebels groups. Provide a safe zone as Turkey is requesting to allow Syrians to flee safely to bordering countries. The fall of the Assad regime would deal a blow to Iran who has used to the country to facilitate Hezbollah in Lebanon. The President said we had to intervene in Libya because the US could not stand by while a government kills it own people. Yet only 1000 deaths had occurred in Libya when the US and NATO intervened. In Syria, 30,000 have been killed.

    October 18, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
    • scrut

      >>They simply want a fighting chance to topple the Assad regime and need more than small arms to fight the well equipped Syrian Army.

      The FSA is not representing "the Syrians". "The Syrians" want peace, not war. They don't want "more than small arms" – only the FSA does. These arms deliveries that have already taken place are the reason why bloodshed of this scale was even able to develop. A German war reporter (Peter Scholl-Latour) said in an interview recently that without that external support, there would be no such bloodshed and no civil war in Syria now. Left to their own devices, the Syrians would have already settled the matter themselves.
      But no, some countries such as Katar, Saudi-Arabia, the United States and some countries in the EU as well as Russia and Iran had to step up and fuel the war on both sides. THAT is what cause the scale of this civil war.
      But again: the FSA is not "the Syrians". They are militants, nothing more. If you ask "the Syrians", they want neither Assad nor the FSA.

      >> The US used to take a leadership role when human right violations on this scale occur.

      Sorry, but that is complete BS. The US has even CAUSED greater human right violations in the past (e.g. in Iraq). To say that America (by that I mean Washington) is concerned about human rights is simply a lie. In an interview last week, Paul Ryan said that under Romney, American troops will ONLY ever be sent to countries if American Interests are at stake. The interviewer asked "so human rights violations are no sufficient reason?" to which he replied "No. Human rights violations may result in Sanctions and Diplomatic efforts but for American troops to be sent, American Interests have to be at stake".
      That has been the policy of America for decades. Many military actions may have looked like the trigger were human rights violations – but it is always only about American Interests.

      Look at Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Libya now. Latest polls and studies show, that people are worse off now than before US/coalition engagement in many cases.

      What is really needed in Syria is a UN intervention – because the United Nations should not have their own "agenda of interests" in Syria – and should therefore act on behalf of the Syrian people.

      October 18, 2012 at 4:38 am | Reply
      • Alex279

        Actually you have said it all. Thanks.

        October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  35. Very Concerned

    Thank You Christiane Amanpour !

    October 18, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • Arthur D

      Sic of these dame middle eastern wars, let them fight their own battlles... If Christian Amanpour is so concern about thoes people, then perhaps she should finance the wars with her own resources ! and that includes THE CNN NEWS MEDIA !

      October 18, 2012 at 5:33 am | Reply
  36. Don P

    I think they are both wrong. Obama because he is getting involved by just giving what he is giving, Romney because he wants to do more. This is an Arab and or Muslim problem. The US has taken constant heat for getting involved in Arab/Muslim affairs so why get involved again. Let the Arab world stop this. They have plenty of military assets to set up a peacekeeping force and they don't necessarily have to go to the UN to do it.

    The US has to stop pushing our way of life to others.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
  37. Sammy

    I'm a Syrian... I want to live... I want my kids to live... I didn't ask for a Taliban-like state... I wanted freedom but now I just want to live... However, the regime is bombarding us indiscriminately... it has already killed my friends and neighbors... I've cried & begged for the "Free World" and "Western Democracies" to save me & family but I got no help.... I only got a promise of a cell phone! The only one that came to help me is a jihadist.... Not sure if he's associated with Al-Qaeda or not but he offered to save me & my family... what should I tell him? Tell me now.. I don't have much time left... the jet is already over my head!

    October 18, 2012 at 10:00 am | Reply
  38. Timothy

    The US should not get involved in Syria. This nation has long been reclusive, Islamic and has frequently fomented terrorist attacks against Western elements. Their people have no proclivity for our culture and ways. Now that they have fallen on hard times is their fault alone. Nothing is to be gained here by getting involved. Just another backwards Moslem country. Leave them to their miserable fate

    October 18, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • anon

      Timothy have you ever been to Syria?? No because had you of been you would know while they were not an islamic nation. That may be the major religion there but last time I checked islamic run governments didn't allow women to walk around with their hair showing or uncovered completely nor drink alcohol and other activities banned by islamists. Syria was actually very westernized. Sure that's not to say there weren't bad things going on there or issues with the governments themselves but if the west truly wants to end the overall disdain that fuels terrorism they can start by going back to a proven strategy called winning the hearts and minds of foreign nations people. No people in the world should have to suffer watching their own children be blown to pieces no matter what side they may sit on an issue. Get a heart and a clue.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  39. GregW

    The humanitarian situation in Syria is horrible. Many people are suffering.

    There are 22 nations in the Arab League.

    They have financial and military power. They understand the culture much more than we pretend to.

    What is the Arab League doing?

    They don't need to sit around waiting for the US, China, Russia when they have the resources.

    October 18, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
  40. rightospeak

    Christiane got the job in the US probably because she was good at propaganda in Europe. She has an agenda and serves the oligarchs.Truth ? Investigative journalism ? forget it-those days are gone and that is why we are in endless wars. She will try to brainwash us into more wars and eventuly will get to Iran-all disaster for the US. Not much has changed from prior to WW II ,when the media was beating the drums for war with Press Terrorism to keep people in constant State of Alarm as Wyndham Lewis put it in "Count Your Dead:They Are Alive". He warned of the upcoming slaughter in the millions ,warn the politicans that it will be all for nothing,to make the world safe for Communism and predicted the outbreak of WW II in 18 months of his writing. He was a visionary.
    In our time beating the drums for war may just confirm the Mayan prophecy-the end of us. The politicians need to wake up this time or worse than WW II is in the making.

    October 18, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
  41. NoConfusion

    More propaganda from cnn. One of the strafor hacked emails from a year ago said Turkey with help from U.S. Special forces wanted to start a civil war in Syria. Big surprise people are dying left and right in a so called civil war.
    Obama believes in proxy wars while Romney believes in direct wars. That's the difference between the two. If you want to stop the wars you aren't going to get it by voting for these guys

    October 18, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Joseph Zrnchik

      If you study the situation in Syria you will see the funding of a foreign invasion and proxy war goes back to Hezbollah knocking the snot out of the IDF. Israel and the Zionists had decided to attack Hezbollah by attacking Syria. Israel admitted it could not defeat Hezbollah militarily.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  42. Dan

    Right why would the sates help out a country that has no oil to gain. Lmao pethiteic, we sit around watching people starve so why not watch them get attacked!! sad sad world of greed

    October 18, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  43. Jon

    I feel for the Syrian people, I really do... That said, it's hard for my to support any sort of military action from the U.S. because they will just end up resenting us for it. It's been said so many times of U.S. interventionism, but they hate us when we go in and get upset when we sit it out. Still, I think we should do all we can to help them short of supplying weapons or putting boots on the ground (humanitarian aid, intel, etc.).

    October 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  44. Athena

    I am sorry that this civil war is going on, but WHY does the U.S. have to be in charge. These other countries won't help without U.S. support??? PLEASE.. spare me. you won't help because you don't have balls. and you want the U.S. to get in but when something goes wrong, you will turn on the U.S. and blame them. I think that we should not help them with arms, air strikes, but help them only with aid, and a safety area. Maybe push for a no fly zone. but nothing violent or aggressive. Most of the middle east already despises us. Let's not add Syria to the mix.

    October 18, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  45. Alex279

    So, according to Christiane Amanpour, both Obama and Romney are wrong on Syria. Sure, they have differences, but they also have one thing in common: THEY BOTH ARE WRONG.

    Looks like Christiane Amanpour knows better WHAT IS RIGHT for Syria, let's see...

    "....What started in March 2011 as another offshoot of the Arab Spring, the demand for freedom and reform, was met so brutally that ordinary Syrians decided that Assad had to go..." - the problem with this is that some Syrians want Assad out, and some see him as a protector. Demand for freedom? Or demand for enforcing ancient Sharia Law? Besides, the word "freedom" itself sounds like the second most devalued term (with "democracy" being the first. After all, journalism itself is commonly referred as the second ancient profession. And guess which one is the first?

    Arm rebels? Which rebels? Some of them are "sane" defectors from Syrian Army, some are even handsome looking colonels in their late 40s. Some are freedom fighters who believe in "traditional values" (a politically correct word for radical Islam). On what criterion do you single out some of them and designate them being "good guys"?

    No Fly zones? Protected zones inside Syria? Protecting whom from whom?

    The point is that Obama is the president, while everybody else (incl. Romney) can sit back and criticize knowing that they bear no responsibility. This is easy: I would do this, I would do that... But at least does anybody understand the situation on the ground, before advocating an intervention.

    October 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  46. Mittens of Sittens

    LET THEM EAT BINDERS!!!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  47. ezduzit757

    Sadly the Syrian's are vitims of bad timing. This is a war weary nation with an upcoming election. Where are all of the other nations of the world? Why are we expected to do everything?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  48. indy299

    It amazes me that this article is written by a woman who has been highly critical of US attempts to intervene in other Middle East conflicts. What makes Syria so unique that we should risk US servicemen and women to save it? She says herself that there is no love for democracy there, and that's what we inevitably would try to install. Democracy is hard work, and only succeeds when the majority of the populace badly wants it.

    We should try to counter interference by other nations. If that means arming the rebels to balance out the support the regime is receiving from Iran, Russia, and North Korea, that's fine. But that's as far as it should go.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  49. Steve

    This is the same idiocy that we were dealing with in Libya. There is NO reason for America to be involved in these conflicts. We have already lost over 7,000 young American lives and over a trillion US taxpayer dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with very little to show for it. We have major problems right there in the US which the government is overlooking, while we keep wasting huge sums of money on these idiotic Middle Eastern conflicts. We already wasted a billion in our idiotic quest for "regime change" in Libya, and now we have a situation where Libya may very well fall into the hands of people who may turn out to be far worse than Gaddafi ever was. Our foreign policy can be summed up in just two words... Pure stupidity.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  50. sandra

    When it comes down to it, do any of you truly care about what happens in Syria or are you just jumping on a political bandwagon. Before this happened most Americans had not even heard of Benghazi. Who are you kidding?! And while we are it let me make you aware of something, I travel a lot and I mean a lot and the consensus out there is that every single rebel and or extremist is hoping that Romney wins because they like most of the world know he is not ready to be President and will be a disaster. Our world will never be the same after the events on US soil on September 11 and there will always be some kind of threat looming out there, thats just the world we live in now. We have to steel ourselves to that fact. But  I trust our sitting President more on these matters, above anything else. You think you are not safe now? Elect Romney and see what happens. His mouth alone will seal our  fates. Give me a Laconic man who thinks before he speaks versus a bullying loud mouth any day. Read an International Publication once in a while.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  51. I'm not a war monger

    John McCain will not rest until we are at war with Syria.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  52. I'm not a war monger

    I care about Syria, but not enough to go to war.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  53. I'm not a war monger

    I wish we could air lift the innocent people out of there and let the radicals destroy themselves.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  54. swordfish

    We are already the worlds largest arms dealer, but now we need to add to the killings?

    Yes, Syrians are dying – it's a civil war, and nothing civil about it. But to expect that contributing US forces or arms to this cause will improve things, I have to ask what past experience can we use as a guide that supports this? What military intervention by US in past 20-yrs are contributed to the betterment of those citizens? Yugoslavia – we sat on the sidelines until the slaughter was about done. Rawanda – same. Middle East – nothing positive except maybe Kuwait (boots on the ground there), and even a "win" like we are told Libya represents has an indeterminate outcome.

    As for this: "The prime ministers of Turkey and Qatar both told me they would have helped with much stronger action, such as safe areas for the Syrian opposition and a no-fly zone for the Syrian military, if the United States were on board.". Really? Any UN resolutions related to such actions are being held up by China/Russia, who got burned on Libya. To blame the US for this just means they want/need US forces to perform this role, and why should we? And to expect unilateral action – unrealistic.

    And this: 'Sitting out this war... facing a generation that will grow up embittered by the fact that in the Syrian people’s direst hour, the United States sat back and watched the slaughter." Hypothetical of course. Alternative theory – we can arm the rebels and contribute to even greater slaugter, and have even more embittered Syrians against us becuase we contributed to the slaughter. Or perhaps some we'll be happy that for once we didn't kill anyone in another country's conflict, and they will be happy we showed restraint.

    The idea that more US weapons will improve the lot of the Syrian people – I have trouble seeing it.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  55. Frank

    Naturally both are in favor of the Confederate rebellion but the free army does not deserve the weapons. Nope, you can't airlift the civilians out because they will be illegal immigrants and it's their own countries responsibility. We are not accountable for them. If you want to airlift them then you pay for it with all of your money. You work for the rest of your life and pay their food & housing. The U.S gov. shouldn't even be involved in the civil war. They like being in a civil war, they like those things & if you bring them to the U.S dumb-a– what do you think they are going to do here? They talk bad about Americans stupi-.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  56. sense 34

    I Have a Great Idea: Let the American People decide whether or not to commence with military action in Syria.
    At the polls in November when we vote for the presidency let us also have the option to vote whether or not we go to war in Syria. Since it is our sons and daughters who will be in harms way, not the politicians', let us for Once decide if we should send US Troops.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      "I have and idea..." - This is merely equivalent to average random oppinions based on luck of information.

      The truth is that most American people do not know what is going on in Syria, except what is shown on TV, which is pretty much nothing: just random sampling of snapshots of event with superimposed general axiomatic that Assad's regime butchering its people.

      The second thruth is that, contrary to popular belief, American People actually like wars, provided that wars are quick, decisive, and "cake walks" with happy faces of liberated people cheering advancing American troops on both sides of the road.

      American people start disliking wars only when wars became long, boring, annoying, expensive, and inconclussive.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • sense 34

        Alex,
        First off this country was founded on someone having a "Great Idea".

        Second politicians, have known far less about a situation before giving the go ahead for military action. For once let the american people decide.

        October 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  57. sinan

    Your messege is kind of funny.someone cant calculate 1/3 of 20 millions is claiming to know how many Syrian died. Aspect of the Americans and Europians is remind me Srebrenica and rwanda because of this i cant comprehend that why Eu and Obama took nobel peace award. Maybe they took it because Eu sold weapons to Serbia for helping another genocide.and Obama isnt gonna do anything because his buddy Putin is helping another genocide.

    October 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  58. James

    Christiane Amanpour wont discuss how Israel lobby is pushing Syrian regime change to weaken Iran!:

    http://america-hijacked.com/2012/02/12/israel-lobby-pushes-for-us-action-against-the-syrian-government/

    Humanitarian Buffer Zones in Syria — How misinformation obscures the Israel lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy:

    http://thepassionateattachment.com/2012/10/14/humanitarian-buffer-zones-in-syria-how-misinformation-obscures-the-israel-lobbys-influence-on-u-s-foreign-policy/

    October 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  59. James

    Pandering Romney pushes Israel lobby line vs Syria & Iran!:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEtASJOjDU8&w=640&h=390]

    Active Duty Navy C-SPAN Caller Warns: Mitt Romney is a Neocon Republican Risking World War Three:

    http://tinyurl.com/romneypushingworldwar

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  60. James

    PS: Please copy and paste the youtube links above into your browser as the following is another youtube version of it about Romney pushing neocon wars vs Syria & Iran:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyD20wngY20&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  61. James

    Active Duty Navy C-SPAN Caller Warns: Mitt Romney is a Neocon Republican Risking World War Three!:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=390]

    October 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  62. magneticink

    "If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." 1Corinthians13

    October 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  63. James

    Above youtube via http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF1Mqv9xZ1w&list=PLuf794ZZ4y0sOel-5_iUnxxBlirYgNRSW&feature=plpp_play_all about active duty Navy C-SPAN caller on Romney pushing world war three won't go through as a link here at CNN but http://tinyurl.com/romneypushingworldwar via youtube should play okay!

    October 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  64. Nick Montana

    What's been transpiring in Syria is a direct consequence of Western support, arming, and enabling of these "rebel" groups and militias that are largely Sunni Islamists and foreign mujahideen doing the dirty work for an American and Israeli geopolitical agenda, through the Turkish and Jordanian borders. Don't kid yourselves, the US and its allies have been participating directly toward ousting Assad's government to install its own endorsed Syrian Transitional Council that has already announced its intentions to cut ties with Iran, arguably Assad's closest ally, and Hezbollah in Lebanon that receives its financial and paramilitary support from Iran. This is not a coincidence.

    What has been happening in Syria is much more a violent insurrection against the government waged by armed militias of Sunni Islamists and foreign fighters funded and enabled largely by foreign powers. There is no surprise Assad would use his military resources to quash such an insurrection that has outright killed thousands of state security personnel and exploded bombs that have killed more. Without making a defense of Assad's penchant for violent retribution or the violence committed by thugs affiliated with his supporters, this exact scenario would have been expected and has been sanctioned by regional dictators whom the US had installed, funded, and maintained. Because Assad is not an ally of the US, we have undergone another manifestation of hypocrisy by beating the drums of military intervention, meddling, and direct participation of an exponentially more violent and deadly situation to fan the flames of a civil war to achieve our own goals.

    There is a precedent of consequences that were born from our active meddling, overthrows, occupations, and support of dictators in the region that have greatly harmed our security, our interests, and the freedom of the people we had subjected to these things. The Afghan mujahideen and the Pakistani ISI's close relationship was at least partly but profoundly forged and enabled by US funding and arming to the former via the latter to wage a proxy war against the USSR. The Islamic Revolution in Iran was arguably ignited and boiled over directly from our overthrow of their democratically-elected Prime Minister in 1953 and subsequent installing of Shah Pahlavi, a dictatorial autocrat, and his SAVAK gestapo terrorizing Iranians for decades. Hussein massacred and tortured innumerable numbers of his own people and Iranians directly from backing, arming, and encouragement from the United States to quash his own homegrown insurrection and aggressively invade Iranian territory. We have also supported and maintained awful dictators such as Mubarak in Egypt and Salehi in Yemen.

    History has told us that Western meddling in this region has only earned us bloodshed, economic ruin, less security, and radicalization against our culture and interests. There are options to pursue an end to the violence and bloodshed in Syria today, but we instead continue to push such options aside to explore ways to overthrow another government in our interest, at the cost of blood, regional stability, and a critical refugee crisis. We should instead spearhead a diplomatic pursuit that enables a brokered ceasefire, peace plan, and subsequent domestic reform in Syria promised and ratified by the Syrian government that has been ignored and rejected by the armed opposition. The priority should be to cease the massive bloodshed, violence, and displacement of Syrians and enable freedom in Syria rather than stoking a civil war just to make vulnerable the obstacles in our way from cementing our geopolitical goals.

    October 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  65. James

    Be sure to scroll down to the comments of the following blog entry as well!:

    Humanitarian Buffer Zones in Syria — How misinformation obscures the Israel lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy:

    http://thepassionateattachment.com/2012/10/14/humanitarian-buffer-zones-in-syria-how-misinformation-obscures-the-israel-lobbys-influence-on-u-s-foreign-policy/#comment-6228

    October 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  66. dadomac

    Stop the war ! Divide Syria into pro-rebel and pro Asssad !

    October 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  67. palichampion

    "Arab League" are puppets of Zionist/US cabal. Syrian Death squads are Mossad-CIA-MI6 mercenaries murdering for Israel.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjggGc8kagQ&w=640&h=390]

    Also, in order to understand ALL violence in the region, one needs to read this Israeli strategy paper:

    http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0005345.html

    October 18, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  68. jj

    I support President Obama.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  69. palichampion

    Israel's regional strategy is backed and implemented by US neocon Zionists in a score of DC think tanks that control US foreign policy via US Congress which is owned by AIPAC (please see: http://www.alanhart.net/the-best-congress-aipac-can-buy/ ) The Syrian people's legitimate revolt has been usurped by Israel, as Israel undermines and fractures all challengers to its regional belligerence and continuing expansion goals:

    http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2010/04/28/the-map-shows-palestinian-loss-of-land/

    October 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  70. dragan

    no matter what country we come from, we can all say that our politicians are morons... some worse than others... with this whole issue, everyones looking at the rebels which my syrian mate told me that most of them aren't even syrian... the world has to stop helping little terrorist organizations grow with their support just so they can destabalize a country in order to get rid of their leader to make the country more "west friendly" meaning where the west can just go in there and profit or stratigically use that country as a base...its called negotiations... and if you don't like the deal then don't make it and wait for a day when the deal is more appealing to them... but i guess getting rid of every non friendly to the west president is much easier than waiting around for them to die lol or in some cases voted out... because they've destabalized countries without dictators just to get rid of their leader

    October 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  71. palichampion

    This three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist knows the truth about Syria and the REAL cases of violence in the Middle East: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFDC7zmJgQg

    Also keep this in mind,re: attempts to undermine and demonize Iran:

    Iran has never attacked another country.
    Israel has repeatedly attacked numerous countries.

    Iran has not illegally developed nuclear weapons.
    Israel has developed an illegal secret nuclear weapons program that has produced hundreds of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons.

    Iran has signed the UN Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    Israel refuses to sign the NPT.

    Iran's spies haven’t been caught stealing
    nuclear secrets from the US.
    Israel's spies have been repeatedly caught, and Israel's current Prime Minister smuggled US nuclear triggers into Israel.

    Iran hasn't sold US weapons and secret weapons technology to a US adversary.
    Israel has been selling US weapons and secret weapons technology to China for decades.

    Iran hasn't gotten thousands of US armed forces personnel killed and maimed in expensive wars for Iran.
    Israel has repeatedly pushed the US to costly wars for Israel.

    I could go on...but the point is this:

    One who had not sworn an oath of peace could reasonably conclude that the US should be threatening to attack Israel, not Iran.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  72. Denied

    Yes, because getting involved in wars that are none of our business for our own benefit is exactly why people hate us, and call us imperialists. Maybe we should sit this one out, because clearly getting involved in wars that we have no stake in has definitely not helped in the past. and if an unfavorable government is set up, don't worry, because some future president will find a reason to invade and set up another government anyway.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  73. we can't tell from here.

    we can't tell what is going on over there from here. we don't know whether to believe what we are told or if it is propaganda. we simply can't tell what is going on over there. our media is mostly jewish owned and they are biased.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
    • we can't tell from here.

      plus, the oil industry has a lot of ads.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  74. SuckitCNN2

    wow. so you all gona start talking smack about those airstrikes, when the US Drones killed nearly a million iraqi and couple thousands of afghan and paki civilians..LMAO, you all brainwashed very good...

    October 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  75. James

    Oil, oil, and oil! ! ! Syria no oil no aid. All with oil get aid and help for humanaterian reason. Our own selfish humanaterian needs. Oil Syria has no ports or leaverage to affect oil flow. Goverment let them kill each other.

    October 19, 2012 at 12:03 am | Reply
  76. Majav

    The price for sitting out Syria is avoiding an all out war with Russia, Iran, and China.

    Sorry, but the Syrians have been under a repressive and autocratic regime for decades. This is an Arabic and Muslim problem to be solved by her neighbors, or ideally, internally. The US owes nothing to Syrian people anymore than we owe to the Burmese.

    As far as Myanmar- where is India and Thailand to sort out any moral obligation? Oh I see. China is propping up the likes of North Korea and Myanmar. No surprise that China has her puppet strings inside Syria too.

    Just because we have the means to blow up Syria to kingdom come just to liberate her people, certainly does not mean we ought to. Let it be. Civil wars sort themselves out best without foreign intervention. Case in point: Sri Lanka and the heavy hand of India. What of it? Carnage regardless.

    Isn't it interesting that in the Philippines that a long and bloody civil war with a Muslim insurgency was sorted out all on its own? If people are forced to confront their own conflicts instead of relying on Super powers maybe patriarchal myths of superiority will subside. The will of the Filipino people prevailed. The same will of the Syrian people must ferment to the surface.

    Where was the Pope in Rome and the Swedes when American frontiersmen committed genocide on native Americans?
    Sorry, kids. Syrians are going to die just like the Cherokee. Blame the armaments industry and colonial meddling a century ago. We must act more like the Vatican and Sweden. Condemning actions on moral grounds and remaining militarily neutral didn't happen overnight in Rome or Stockholm, but it is exactly where we ought to head.

    October 20, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
  77. sally

    Why is Assad still sitting in his office so comfortable?
    NO EXCUSE, everybody thinks we should help and do something! People in Bosnia died because Germany and Europe thought they needn't help, because Balkan countries always had trouble, additionally there were Muslims! Who cares about muslims, if Europe was blessed traditionally by christianity alone! Cynic excuse: and wrong!! It was the same with jewish people in the 1930! The authorities: church, bible and priests ought to have a deeper knowledge?! (They don't – might, but not knowledge!) An insight in god's almighty? And simple people in the street carry their prejudice out of religious thinking along with them and superficially stigmatizing a person because of faith! What a pity: They are not interested to learn to know the individual and are curious about a different culture!
    In a form of mind-setting people are all at the same time prepared to kill and let their hate come up and others are ignorant and don't do anything against it. There was a book for children of a German author: Hans Peter Richter: 'In former days it was Friedrich', it is called, about two german boys, one the son of a jew and the other a christian. The boys are friends and splitt up because of the rise of the Nazis. The book was highly praised and even used more than fifteen years as a kind of school-lecture. It is determinism, there is no individual action and resistence. People don't move, they don't act! There is no real friendship, that goes further. The single individual seems overrun by a stronger truth, that exists in religious thinking: a world order of a stronger might. An example for this can be seen at the webpage schavanplag. There you can see that 'consciousness' in a christian interpretation finds its final conclusion in the christian faith. All the other forms of psychology, sociology and what ever don't manage to reach such high degree of common sense accordance: the truth, all forms of bonum and the devine blessing meets in a single person's head! WAu! (Let's get rid off religious fundamental thinking in government and science, it harms the freedom of individual people)! It was god's will to kill the jews, don't resist, this is written in the Bible! And muslims are enemies of evangelic christianity!

    October 22, 2012 at 3:46 am | Reply
  78. M

    @AMANPOUR

    These US calls, for free will and democracy and rights and so one are all abject propaganda masking the largest thievery committed by both democrats and republicans against the 98% of Americans.
    Both parties reap huge amounts of public money to secure militarily the so called “influence zones” in which American corporations can operate at minimum costs, and returning to society nothing.
    That is all it is, huge contributions to both parties, a whole lot of circus, and ignorance served with ladle to the people. Moreover, because these corporations with special privileges pickpocket at will while our chosen “representatives” are preaching, we have made so many enemies.
    Thank you, Amanpour for your invite to new expansionist horizons. You are free to talk all charities into helping whomever you think needs help, but leave US alone. We should be concerned much more with cleaning our own house of the 2% representatives.

    October 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
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