Annan postures, Syrians die, Washington knits

WikiMedia Commons

Kofi Annan delivers a speech during the ceremonial of the Freedom Prize of the Max Schmidheiny-Stiftung in 2006.

Article Highlights

  • Opposition estimates that 1,000 have been killed in the one week walk-up to the Annan plan. @dpletka

    Tweet This

  • Who are #Obama and #Clinton fronting for? What’s their reason to continue to support a plan they were aware would fail?

    Tweet This

  • The devil we know is worse than the devil we don’t know, and the devil we know is also #Iran’s greatest ally

    Tweet This

Former UN SecGen Kofi Annan just wrapped a breathtakingly cynical press conference in Turkey, insisting his peace plan for Syria is not dead despite new demands from the Assad regime and failure to withdraw from major city centers agreed to in the Annan plan. Doubling down on his touching faith in the Assad team of killers, Annan is sure he has not failed: “We still have time between now and the 12th (Thursday) to stop violence,” he said. “I appeal to all, the government in the first place …” Thursday was supposed to mark the ceasefire on the ground that followed today’s (theoretical) withdrawal of government troops and heavy weapons from urban centers. The opposition estimates that 1,000 have been killed in the one week walk-up to the Annan plan.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, the Obama administration continues to observe the Syrian massacre with equanimity. Why the harsh judgment? Because while Annan should be bowed with shame for his role in giving cover to Assad to shed more blood, we must recognize that he is fronting for a myriad group, some of which – Russia and China – would love to see Assad’s stained hands holding the reins for years to come.  But who are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton fronting for? What’s their reason to continue to support a plan they surely were aware would fail? What’s their reason to prolong the massacres? Is there a reason that they insist upon non-lethal aid to the Syrian opposition? And if they are willing to allow Saudi Arabia and Qatar to arm the opposition, why are they so enthused about subcontracting U.S. foreign policy to these Wahhabi dictatorships?

It’s been said many times already, but let’s say it again. What’s needed are:

• Safe corridors for Syrians to leave their country
• Safe cities for civilians in which they can shelter
• Arms for the Free Syrian Army, which is far better organized than many wish to admit.
• Overt support for the Syrian National Council, including assistance with a transition plan, reconciliation among parties, a new constitution and more
• NATO air support

Why do this? Because the devil we know is worse than the devil we don’t know. Because the devil we know is also Iran’s greatest ally.  Because it is wrong to watch the murder of thousands – so many children included – and sit on our hands. Because we have an interest in Assad’s fall. It’s just not that complicated.

Danielle Pletka is the Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

What's new on AEI

To secure southern border, US must lead international effort to stabilize Central America
image The Ryan pro-work, anti-poverty plan: Thomas Aquinas 1, Ayn Rand 0
image Does SNAP support work? Yes and no
image Obama Democrats lose their big bet on health exchanges
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.