Why Aren’t We Stomping Syria’s Guts Out?

Obama couldn’t wait to bomb Libya using the flimsy excuse of “protecting civilians”. Well, Bashar al-Assad has killed at least as many civilians as Moammar Gadhafi ever did and today Assad backed mobs attacked the U.S. embassy in Damascus, arguably an act of war. Why aren’t we bombing Syria and demanding that Assad leave the country? What’s Obama waiting for, another Iranian hostage situation?

Demonstrators storm U.S. embassy in Damascus

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost the legitimacy to rule after pro-government demonstrators stormed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Monday in what U.S. officials described as an orchestrated attack.

Regime supporters hurled rocks, smashed windows and tore down the American flag at the embassy, triggering the strongest U.S. condemnation yet of the Syrian government. Clinton suggested that the United States is contemplating the prospect of a post-Assad future in Syria nearly four months into a brutal government crackdown on pro-democracy activists inspired by the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

See also:
U.S. accuses Syria of unleashing mob attacks on U.S., French embassies
Syrian protesters attack U.S., French embassies
Syrian protesters attack U.S. Embassy in Damascus
Syrian protesters attack US, French embassies
US Embassy In Syria Attacked
Assad’s Embassy Raid
Deeply disappointed by the attack on American soil?
Clinton condemns US and French embassy attacks in Syria
U.S. Official: Syria’s Failure To Protect U.S. Embassy Is ‘Outrageous’
Assad Has ‘Lost Legitimacy,’ Clinton Says After Embassy Attacked
U.S. says Assad “not indispensable” to Syria

Is this what passes for consistent foreign policy in the Obama administration? The leaders of both Libya and Syria have killed thousands of civilians. Syria is infinitely more of a threat to U.S. national security than Libya is. Yet we’re bombing the [expletive deleted] out of Libya and trying to kill Gadhafi or drive him out of Libya at the same time we’re politely, diplomatically “condemning” Syria and giving Assad a total free pass. WTF?

/if we have a legitimate reason to be doing what we’re doing in Libya, we have even more of a legitimate reason to be doing even more of it in Syria and, by corollary, if we’re going to do nothing concrete about Syria’s brutal crackdown on civilians, we have absolutely no business whatsoever bombing Libya and we should get the hell out immediately, we’ve already done enough human and infrastructure damage there without any tangible results

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Libya Circling The Drain

The anti-government fever that has so far infected Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, and Bahrain, has now spread to Libya.

Protesters die in Libya unrest

At least two people have been killed in clashes between Libyan security forces and demonstrators in the town of Bayda, east of Benghazi, the second largest city, as activists plan major anti-government protests throughout the country on Thursday.

The victims’ names were: Khaled ElNaji Khanfar and Ahmad Shoushaniya.

Wednesday’s deaths come as hundreds of protesters have reportedly torched police outposts in the eastern city of Beyida, while chanting: “People want the end of the regime.”

At least 38 people were also injured in the clashes, including ten security officials.

“All the people of Beyida are out on the streets,” said 25-year-old Rabie al-Messrati, who said he had been arrested after spreading a call for protests on Facebook.

Inspired by popular and successful uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protesters are seeking an end to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year-old rule, one of the longest and most repressive leaders in the world.

Online calls of dissent have been growing rapidly over the past few days, with Facebook groups calling for “Uprising on February 17” doubling in popularity.

See also:
Protests flare as Libya arrests activists
Protests Spread To Libya
Anti-government protests spread to Gaddafi’s Libya
Gadhafi next? Anti-government protests spread to Libya
Rioting hits Libyan city of Benghazi
Libyan police stations torched
‘Day of rage’ to confront Libya’s Gadhafi
Libyan online protesters prepare for “day of rage”
Gaddafi sweats as protest fever reaches Libya
As ‘day of rage’ tests Gadhafi, Libya’s future rests in military’s hands
Gadhafi’s regime is braced for a day of anger
Libyans Plan Rallies After One Is Quashed
Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured
Libyan forces take action against demonstrators
Protesters, Police Clash In Libya
Riots spread across Libya overnight
SNAP ANALYSIS-Riots break out in Libyan city of Benghazi
Unrest continues to sweep Arab world

So, now the street chaos has come to Libya. Well, here’s one country where I can, in good conscience, heartily root for the rioters. If anyone in this world deserves to be dragged through the streets, it’s Muammar Gaddafi. We still owe him big time for Lockerbie.

/of course, the rioters will first have to fight their way past Gaddafi’s infamous Amazonian Guard

Bahrain Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve had anti-government unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Algeria. Add Bahrain to the ever growing list.

Protesters take over square in U.S. ally Bahrain

Thousands of demonstrators poured into the symbolic center of this key U.S. ally late Tuesday in a raucous rally that again demonstrated the power of popular movements that are transforming the political landscape of the Middle East.

. . .

In Bahrain, the small but strategically important monarchy experienced the now familiar sequence of events that has rocked the Arab world. What started as an online call for a “Day of Rage” progressed within 24 hours to an exuberant group of demonstrators waving flags, setting up tents and taking over a square in the heart of the capital city.

Tuesday began in sorrow and violence, when mourners who gathered to bury a young man, killed the night before by police, clashed again with the security forces. In Tuesday’s melee, a second young man was killed by police.

But as momentum built up behind the protests Tuesday, 18 members of parliament from the opposition Islamic National Accord Association announced they were suspending participation in the parliament.

See also:
Thousands of protesters march to Bahrain capital
In Bahrain, protesters bridge Sunni-Shiite divide to challenge monarchy
Bahrain’s Shiite Protesters Gather as Unrest Spreads
Bahrain Protests Update [VIDEOS]
Bahrain Demonstrators Gather Despite Crackdown
Antigovernment Protesters Seize Main Square In Bahrain
Protesters take control of main square in Bahrain
Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain
Angry protest follows second death in Bahrain
Another killed in Bahrain as funeral for fallen protester devolves into clashes
Bahrain mourner killed in funeral march clash
Bahrain Protests Swell With Second Death, Tear Gas at Funeral
Bahrain protest deaths point to excessive force
Bahrain protests: King announces probe into two deaths
US expresses concern over Bahrain unrest
UPDATE 2-US concerned by violence in Bahrain protests
US ‘very concerned’ by violence in Bahrain protests

Country to country it spreads, where it will stop, all the regional despots dread. The fact that Bahrain’s now in play is somewhat unnerving for at least two reasons. First, the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. The Fifth Fleet strategically controls the entire region and somehow having the command displaced from Bahrain would be a humiliating military disaster. Also, the unrest is now sweeping into countries that border Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia were to descend into political chaos, Western oil supplies would be threatened and oil prices would skyrocket.

/although, I must admit, after all their years of financing worldwide terrorism, I wouldn’t shed many tears if the Saudi royal oil ticks were being dragged through the streets of Riyadh

Egypt Circling The Drain

Here we go again. First Pakistan, then Lebanon, Tunisia, and now . . . Egypt?

Three Dead in Egypt As Protestors Demand Mubarak’s Exit

At least three people have died as tens of thousands of protestors continue to pack the streets of Cairo in what has become the biggest protest in recent Egyptian history.

Two protestors died in the city of Suez and a security officer died in downtown Cairo as protestors calling for an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign clashed with police. At least 100 protestors were injured in Cairo, where police used tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and dogs to try to disperse the crowds, and Twitter has been blocked.

The Associated Press said that 10,000 people had flooded downtown Cairo, where demonstrators shouted “Down with Mubarak” and “Tunisia, Tunisia” as part of a protest called “Day of Anger” that was purposely scheduled for “National Police Day.” Earlier this month, protests in Tunisia sparked by the self-immolation of a disgruntled job seeker and spread by social media brought down the government of President Ben Ali.

In Egypt, the protest remained nonviolent for most of the day with marches in the square and around the capital. However, by late afternoon a large group began to move towards the Ministry of the Interior, home of the police force, and security forces responded by using rubber bullets, tear gas and water hoses.

See also:
Rioters Jolt Egyptian Regime
Egypt: Protest Against ‘Repressive’ Mubarak
Protestors shake Egypt’s streets
Egypt Protests Leave 3 Dead; Cairo Rally Broken Up
Egypt Police Disperse Anti-Mubarak Protesters
A dam breaking in Egypt
Egypt protesters report live bullets used
Egypt: President’s son and family ‘have fled to the UK’
Update: Egypt protests
U.S. urges restraint in Egypt, says government stable
White House keeps eye on Middle East protests
Twitter blocked in Egypt as thousands of protesters call for government reform [Updated]
Twitter blocked in Egypt after political unrest
Twitter confirms it is blocked in Egypt

Boy oh boy, you can bet the ranch that the Muslim Brotherhood are just salivating at the prospect of toppling the Mubarak government. Another Western domino would surely fall under the control of radical Islamists and it would be arguably the largest domino in the region. These developments do not bode well at all for U.S. and, especially, Israeli interests. And I don’t think these protests are going to stop either, the masses have a real taste for it now.

/is Obama just going to sit back and watch as the Middle East burns to the ground?

Tunisia Circling The Drain

First the government of Pakistan breaks down, then the Lebanese government, and today, Tunisia’s government. See a pattern here? These are all Muslim countries and the toppled governments were all friendly to the United States.

Tunisians drive leader from power in mass uprising

Protesters enraged over soaring unemployment and corruption drove Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power Friday after 23 years of iron-fisted rule, an unprecedented popular uprising in a region dominated by strongmen who do not answer to their people.

Tunisians buoyant over Ben Ali’s ouster immediately worried, however, about what’s next: the caretaker leadership of the prime minister who took control, and the role of the army in the transition.

The upheaval took place after weeks of escalating unrest fueled partly by social media and cell phones, as thousands of demonstrators from all walks of life rejected Ben Ali’s promises of change and mobbed the capital of Tunis to demand his ouster in the country’s largest demonstrations in generations.

At least 23 people have been killed in the riots, according to the government, but opposition members put the death toll at more than three times that.

See also:
Tunisia: PM Takes Power Amid Deadly Riots
Exit Ben Ali – but can Tunisia change?
Tension Grips Tunisia’s Capital After Leader Flees
Tunisia in turmoil as President flees from the anger of the dispossessed
Tunisia: President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali forced out
Constitutional debate after Ben Ali
Arab activists hope Tunisia uprising brings change
Tunisia: a ‘wake-up call’ for Arab leaders
Patrick Cockburn: Troubles like these are brewing all over the Middle East
Al-Qaeda supports the events in Tunisia and Algeria
France did not prepare to welcome Tunisia’s Ben Ali: Foreign Ministry
Montreal eyes possible arrival of ex-Tunisian leader
Obama calls for free and fair Tunisia elections

That’s three governments in three Muslim countries in about as many weeks. How far will this trend spread and what government will be next to fall? It looks like we have a fast paced game of geopolitical dominoes going on here and it’s being played for keeps. And it could end up with Islamic interests being the eventual winners.

/it almost goes without saying that, chances are, the successor governments will be more hostile to the United States and Western interests