Can there be a group anywhere in the world today more disappointed in United States foreign policy than those fighting the Syrian regime?
On Sunday, just after the international conference on Syria held in Tunis, Secretary Clinton delivered her view of the current situation in a series of television interviews, conducted even as Assad’s regiments shelled Homs and added to the civilian death toll. Clinton used the occasion of Assad’s slaughters to smear the Syrian opposition, explain why they should not be armed — and then amazingly add the demand that Syrians step up their opposition to Assad if they are to be worthy of our help.
First comes the smear. To the BBC, she said, “We have a very dangerous set of actors in the region, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and those who are on our terrorist list, to be sure, supporting — claiming to support the opposition . . .” With CBS, she went further: “And to whom are you delivering [arms]? We know al-Qaeda. Zawahiri is supporting the opposition in Syria. Are we supporting al-Qaeda in Syria? Hamas is now supporting the opposition. Are we supporting Hamas in Syria?”
Second is the explanation of why it is futile. To the BBC, she said “I think that there’s every possibility of a civil war. Outside intervention would not prevent that; it would probably expedite it.” For CBS, she explained that “the problem for everyone is you have a ruthless regime using heavy artillery and tanks that are war weapons of the greatest impact against defenseless people. So there will be — and I’ve said this before — there will be those who are going to find ways to arm these Syrians who are under attack. But even if they are given automatic weapons against tanks, against heavy artillery, the slaughter will go on.”