June 14, 2013 |
On Thursday, the White House announced that President Obama has decided to send military aid to Syria's rebels. By Friday morning, several facets of the policy change have become clearer. As White House aide Ben Rhodes hinted, the aid will indeed include weapons and ammunition. He wasn't explicit because the CIA still wants to keep the supply program formally covert, partly for legal reasons. But early indications are that the rebels will mostly get small arms, not the weapons they wanted most: antiaircraft missiles.
June 12, 2000 |
Rumors of Syrian President Hafez Assad's demise were so prevalent in the last decade, the premature mourning--and celebrations--so commonplace, that when death finally came to the strongman, the Lebanese simply could not believe it. Shock, fear and uncertainty hung over this humid seafront capital Sunday as Lebanese Muslims and Christians struggled with what the passing of Lebanon's de facto ruler would mean for their country.
July 7, 2000 |
Late at night in a cramped apartment outside Damascus, a small group of Syrians discusses the death of Hafez Assad and the prospects for the country under the leadership of his son Bashar. "We're all upset that Hafez Assad died," was the sarcastic comment of one intellectual. "We're all upset that he wasn't murdered." The thought is, of course, heresy, and it is impossible to know how widely such sentiments might be shared among the population of 17 million.
September 11, 2013 |
President Obama faced a tall order in addressing the nation about Syria on Tuesday: to convince war-weary Americans that taking military action against Syria for using chemical weapons is not only the right thing to do, but also in our country's interest. Before Tuesday's speech , his administration's efforts to win over Americans hadn't been working. Polls have shown that the public is overwhelmingly opposed to getting the country involved in the Syrian civil war, and the opinion of our readers has been similarly weighted against Obama.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 12, 2000
The death of Syria's President Hafez Assad brings new uncertainties along with new opportunities to the country he ruled for nearly 30 years and to the region where his influence vastly exceeded the military and economic resources at his command. The uncertainties stem from the threat to stability that arises when any autocrat dies. In his final years Assad acted to assure a dynastic succession, grooming his son, Bashar, to follow him.
January 8, 2013 |
TEHRAN - Iranian officials again threw their support to Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday, backing the peace plans the embattled Assad laid out in a rare televised speech. While European leaders dismissed the speech as nothing new and the U.S. State Department panned the Sunday address as “detached from reality," Iranian officials and some pundits said just the opposite. The ideas raised by Assad are “based on the realities in the Arab state,” Hossein Naqavi-Hosseini, spokesman for an Iranian parliamentary committee on foreign policy, was quoted as telling the official Islamic Republic News Agency on Tuesday. Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi also praised the plan laid out by Assad to end Syria's 21-month-old civil war, saying it “rejects violence and terrorism and any foreign interference in the country and outlines a future for the country ... through a comprehensive political process," state media reported Monday.
April 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama defended his administration's work to prevent mass atrocities Monday while speaking to Holocaust survivors. The U.S. government has worked with international partners to protect civilians in Cote D'Ivoire, Libya and South Sudan, Obama told an audience at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. And he has sent American advisors to central Africa in an effort to contain Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army and secure the region, Obama noted. Obama said those advisors would continue their efforts to “bring this madman to justice” and that the world must continue to stand with the people of Syria under the oppression of the regime of Bashar Assad.
November 3, 2005 |
Perched in an old city cafe scented with apple-flavored tobacco, unemployed lawyer Mohammed Kroma ran through a list of the West's criticisms of his government. First it was the U.S. alleging that Syria wasn't doing enough to stop insurgents from crossing into Iraq. Now it's the United Nations, threatening possible sanctions if the country doesn't cooperate fully with an inquiry on the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. "Why does the West threaten sanctions on us?"
March 5, 2005 |
President Bashar Assad stands nearly alone today in a world that is calling upon him to yank Syrian troops and intelligence agents out of Lebanon. The crisis may serve as a defining test for a leader thus far seen as a tentative version of his father, Hafez, who ruled Syria with a steel fist for decades. Diplomats and analysts say that Bashar Assad is sometimes kept out of the loop by his father's former advisors and tries to avoid running afoul of them.
August 29, 2013 |
So you say the Syrians have it coming for gassing their own citizens? OK, let's skip that debate, then, and get down to the nuts and bolts: How much is this “measured response” gonna cost? Call it “Bang for Our Bucks.” Now, it's hard to predict what a war will cost. Just ask the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld boys; remember their estimates that the Iraq war would, in essence, pay for itself through increased oil revenue and recovered assets? But we can put a price tag on the U.S. military assets in the area , which consist mainly of the Harry S. Truman battle group in the Mediterranean plus the aircraft carrier Nimitz in the Indian Ocean.