Different Thug, Different Policy?

I must admit that I don’t quite understand this one yet, because while we entered the fray in Libya on the basis of the Samantha Power argument of a “Responsibility to Protect,” the idea that nations had a duty to protect a people from a tyrannical regime, this same theory doesn’t apparently apply in Syria.  Instead, after a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Hillary Clinton said in a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Ahment Davutoglu that there would be no troops sent to Syria without the consent of the Syrian government.  Why is one brutal thug’s regime exempt, while the other was not?  While leftist protesters marched under the banner of “no blood for oil” in successive wars initiated by Republican presidents, there’s no similar outrage now that it has become patently obvious that this is the only justification for the differential in policy: Syria has no oil. Libya has plenty.  It’s either that, or something more nefarious.

This is another example of the apparent contradictions in Obama’s foreign policy.  When the people of Iran were rising up, Obama said nothing, and did nothing.  In Syria, we’re getting some words from the State Department, but nothing of substance, and it seems there’s no intention on the part of this administration to have a consistent policy.  We surely didn’t wait for Gaddafi’s consent before bombing in Libya.  We were trying to bomb him!  Meanwhile, Assad is every bit as monstrous as Gaddafi, and perhaps worse, yet there we are wearing kid gloves.  This doesn’t make any sense at all unless one begins to account for the differences between the two countries, or leaders.

Is there some reason the Obama administration favors Syria’s Assad?  If one applies the principles of the idea called “Responsibility to Protect(R2P,) one must wonder as thousands of civilians in Syria have been murdered in the streets over the last few months.  If Gaddafi was a rabid dog who needed to be removed for the safety of his country’s people, why not Assad?  Why is he exempt from a similar fate?

Don’t misunderstand: I am not advocating an attack by NATO on Syria, but I find it curious that the same people who less than one year ago could not wait to pound Gaddafi into submission before he was slaughtered at the hands of a mob(as he deserved) are now reluctant about treating Bashar al-Assad in similar fashion.  This discontinuity in policy means something, just as the reluctance to criticize Ahmedinejad in Iran meant something, but it’s not yet clear what the meaning is.  Cynical folk would point to the Libyan oil, but even if that is a factor, I don’t think it’s the only one.  Something else must account for this differential in policy.  Could it be that Assad has something else Obama wants?  Could it be related to the proximity of Syria to Israel?

Time will tell, but when one sees such distinct and different actions by lefties in similar circumstances, one knows there’s something more to the story.  Leftists are simply too stuck in their ideological ruts to act this way without ulterior motives.

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