Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Arab Spring, one year late
The Arab Spring began last year and saw Qaddafi as well as Mubarak fall. Assad in Syria, at least for now, remains in power via violence and despite UN resolutions. The US was reminded of this when the NATO conference was held in Chicago. Images of protestors lying down in the streets of Chicago being taken away by police failed to make any real impact on the American psyche. It is thus not surprising that this little gem went largely unnoticed: "United States and NATO officials announced yesterday that the North Atlantic alliance has no intention of intervening on the violence being caused be President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. It was also said that Syria was not discussed during Sunday’s NATO sessions."--press release from the Syrian American Council The US had no problems in convincing NATO to "assume" the lead in the airstrikes that helped bring down Qaddafi. But that was when Sarkozy was still the French president and the EU looked like it might still survive. Now the French have a new President and the Greek and Spanish bailouts may spell the end of the EU. The more jaundiced readers might also point out that Libya's oil fields were a far more compelling reason to launch airstrikes than ousting a vicious Syrian ruler. I personally suspect the proximity to Iran and the backing of Syria by Russia and China has been a much larger factor than the State Department wishes to acknowledge.