America and the Solitude of the Syrians

(Wall Street Journal) Fouad Ajami - Nearly a year into Syria's agony, the Syrians' noble defiance of the most entrenched dictatorship in the Arab world has played out against the background of a sterile international diplomacy. Rescue started for the Libyans weeks into their ordeal. Not so for the Syrians. The two big autocracies in the world - Russia and China - have given this regime cover and sustenance at the UN. A toothless resolution brought to the Security Council last October was turned back, courtesy of these two authoritarian states, and with the aid and acquiescence of Brazil, India and South Africa. (So much for the moral sway of the "emerging" powers.) An Arab League "Peace Plan" was signed on Dec. 19, but still the slaughter continued. From the outset of the Syrian rebellion, the Obama administration has shown remarkable timidity. After all, the Assad dictatorship was a regime that President Obama had set out to "engage" (the theocracy in Tehran being the other). Syrian rulers and protesters alike ought to be able to read the wind: An American president ceding strategic ground in the Greater Middle East is no threat to the Damascus regime. The Syrian people are on their own. The writer is a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

2012-01-06 00:00:00

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