Why Does America Still Support Assad in Syria?

(New Republic) David Schenker - Three weeks and hundreds of casualties into the Syrian uprising, resurfacing is the atavistic U.S. attachment to a regime that not only has killed thousands of its own citizens, but contributed to the deaths of dozens if not hundreds of U.S. troops and contractors in Iraq. Since 2006 alone, Assad's Syria has exponentially increased the capabilities of the Lebanese Shia militia Hizbullah, providing it with advanced anti-ship and highly accurate M-600 missiles, top of the line anti-tank weapons, and has allowed it to establish a Scud missile base on Syrian soil. At the same time, Assad continues to meddle (and murder) in Lebanon, harbor and support Hamas, and subvert Iraq. Damascus remains a strategic ally of otherwise isolated Tehran. And in 2007, it was revealed that Assad's Syria was progressing toward building a nuclear weapon. Given the pernicious effect of Assad's policies on U.S. interests and the region, it's difficult to imagine that a successor or replacement regime could be worse. It's time to revise the assumption that Washington somehow has a vested interest in Bashar Assad's political survival.

2011-04-11 00:00:00

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