SYRIAN AGONY – AT 9:46 A.M. ET: As John Batchelor, the great ABC radio talk-show host said last night, when decades hence we look back on the Syrian massacre taking place, we won't be able to say we didn't know. We know.
Despite a phony ceasefire arranged by Kofi Annan, the murders in Syria continue. The world is doing very little. From Foreign Policy magazine:
Two top Obama administration officials said today that the diplomatic initiative to end the violence in Syria, led by U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan, "is failing."
Under intense questioning during Thursday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, both Kathleen Hicks, the current deputy under secretary of defense for policy, and Derek Chollet, National Security Council senior director for strategy, said that the Annan plan was headed toward collapse and that new options for confronting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were being prepared.
Asked by the committee's ranking Republican, Arizona Sen. John McCain, if Assad had complied with the six points of the Annan plan for Syria, which charts a path away from violence toward political negotiations, Chollet acknowledged that violence is actually increasing.
"Do you believe the Annan plan has succeeded or failed?" McCain asked both officials.
"I would say it is failing," Chollet said.
"I would say it is failing and that Annan himself is extremely worried about the plan," Hicks concurred.
Annan lamented reports of increased violence Wednesday but said he still wanted to increase the number of monitors on the ground.
"If confirmed, this is totally unacceptable and reprehensible," said Annan. "Equally, a credible political process is required if we are to sustain any long-term calm on the ground."
As The Cable reported last week, Chollet was added recently to the senior leadership of the Syria policy team and is coordinating the interagency process to look for a "Plan B" for U.S. policy for if and when the diplomatic initiatives break down.
COMMENT: There apparently is no "Plan B." At a time when America should be leading, we're just one of the boys. We know that if the current Syrian regime remains in power, the big winner will be Iran, for whom Syria is a major ally. And yet we continue to do essentially nothing.
We were so quick to push Hosni Mubarak, an American ally, out of power. We seem to be more reluctant about an American enemy.
April 27, 2012