William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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AS THE CALENDAR CHANGES – AT 9:25 A.M. ET:  We will be ushering in a new year tonight.  In Syria they will be ushering in more hell.  We avert our eyes.  After all, this couldn't be our problem, could it?  Don't we have Mr. Outreach in the White House?  Don't we have Mr. Coddle coming in at State?  They'll take care of things.   From the Washington Post:

ANTAKYA, Turkey — The Syrian civil war could claim 100,000 more lives over the next year if the government and the rebels fighting it do not negotiate a settlement, the international peace mediator warned Sunday.

“What is happening in Syria is bad, very, very bad,” said Lakhdar Brahimi, who is charged by the United Nations and the Arab League with seeking a peaceful end to 21 months of hostilities that have killed 44,000 Syrians. Speaking at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Brahimi added: “It is also escalating. If we have 50,000 killed in almost two years and the war stays another year, we will not have 25,000 more, we will have 100,000 more killed.”

Please note the deep interest of the Obama administration.  Please note the deep interest of Jimmy Carter, the Nobel laureate in nothingness.  Please notice the anguish of women's groups over the horror facing Syrian women. 

There are some journalists who are interested, but most of the mainstreamers are far more interested in defending Chuck Hagel or remaining as flacks for Obama, come to save us. 

Brahimi issued his chilling prediction after one of the deadliest 24-hour periods in the conflict, which began in March 2011. Opposition groups that monitor the death toll said as many as 400 people — more than double the typical daily death toll — were killed Saturday. About half of them were civilians slain in an alleged mass killing carried out by government troops at a petrochemical university in central Syria, opposition groups reported.

Where are the usual suspects who are so quick to lecture the United States or Israel?

In Cairo, Brahimi said he hoped for a resolution to the conflict in 2013. He proposed a cease-fire that would be followed by a transitional government until elections could be held. Without that, he said, Syria would “become hell.”

The civil war in Syria is being fought with increasing ferocity. Anti-government rebels control large swaths of the country, particularly in northern Syria. The government has sent warplanes to bomb villages and cities where rebels have made gains, including parts of the capital, Damascus.

COMMENT:  The Middle East is in flame.  We learned yesterday that Al Qaeda has put a bounty on the head of the U.S. ambassador to Yemen.  We had one ambassador murdered just a few months ago, and the president of the United States tried to blame a YouTube video.

And how did Obaman Washington treat the new threat to an ambassador?  With a big yawn.

I think 2013 will be, as the Chinese say, an interesting time.

December 31, 2012