Syria Engagement, or How America Loses Its Soul

As I remarked earlier this week, the Obami’s Syrian engagement policy aligns with their overall approach to foreign policy: fruitless ingratiation with despots, disregard for human rights, and predictable (horrible) results. Elliott Abrams, former Deputy National Security Adviser, recounts the series of unilateral gestures and offerings that the Obami have served up to Syria — from sending high-level envoys to appointing a new ambassador to removing U.S. objections to Syria joining the WTO. On and on it has gone as the Obama administration has tried to wean Bashar al-Assad from the embrace of the Iranian regime. But this was doomed to fail:

“Engagement” constitutes “appeasement” if it fails to change Syrian conduct, and the failure to change is overlooked while the “engagement” continues and accelerates. This would not just be fooling ourselves but condoning, rewarding, and thereby inducing even more bad conduct by the Assad regime. Which is precisely what has happened during this year of American engagement.

So Syria continues to fund terrorists, to assist Iran in rearming Hezbollah, and to brutalize its own people. Moreover, as we saw this week, Syria delights in hugging the Iranian regime even tighter and whacking the U.S. ever harder — just in case we had any doubt about the Syrians’ contempt for our approach. It seems the Obami misread Assad, not recognizing that he is “a vicious dictator dependent on Iran’s regime for political, financial, and military support” and fantasizing that there is a peace deal with Israel in the offing.

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Syria Engagement, or How America Loses Its Soul

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