White House Stops Short of Calling for Assad’s Ouster

Syrian army continues attacks on civilians as some hawks call for intervention

At least 27 more civilians were killed in Syria as Bashar al Assad continued his attacks throughout the country. The deaths occurred mostly in Hama, where the military siege has surpassed ten days. Mosques and civilian infrastructure were shelled by tanks as citizens fled.

Around 1,730 civilians and 406 security personnel have been killed since the pro-democracy protests started in Syria in mid-March.

The Syrian military briefly withdrew from Hama as Assad faked a concession to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose foreign minister, Ahmed Davutogluhad, met with Assad to give him a “stern message.” But once the visit was over, tanks rolled back into the crippled city.

White House officials stopped short of calling for Assad’s ouster, saying that Syria “would be a much better place without him.” Still, many hawks in Washington’s foreign policy community are trying to pressure for a U.S. intervention, in part by framing the problem as having no other solution.

But this same crowd of people has laid the groundwork for, and cheered the progress of every unnecessary military intervention of the last two decades. And though they insist on shaping the debate as lacking any other humane solution, some have laid out peaceful alternatives. What is clear, at least, is that a Western intervention will not be a humane solution.

For now it seems Washington has decided against military intervention against the Assad regime, resorting instead to sanctions as the primary response. A U.S. diplomatic official told the New York Times the United States increasingly believed that Assad could not hold out indefinitely and that plans were being made for a post-Assad era, without endorsing any direct intervention.

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.