EU imposes arms embargo on Syria

May 10, 2011

…Move comes as Assad continues violent crackdown against protesters; embargo goes into effect on Monday night.  The European Union has decided to impose an arms embargo on Syria, which went into effect on Monday night.  The move came as Syrian President Bashar Assad continued a violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters in which human rights groups claim more than 800 have died over the past seven weeks.  The EU arms embargo received a preliminary green light at the end of last month. via jpost.com

No reporter has seemed more in the pocket of Hizballah and the Syrians than the New York Times’ Anthony Shadid. His reporting on Lebanon often quotes mostly or exclusively their supporters, under a variety of labels, as if they are objective observers or represent a range of opinion.

While his latest article includes some material on how bad the situation is in Syria–350 people identified as killed so far by the regime–his latest article reads like a press release by the dictatorship.

 Not since the days of the Cold War–probably in the 1970s–has a U.S. government become such an apologist for a repressive dictatorship. What makes the situation truly amazing is that the Syrian government is no U.S. ally but an enemy repressive dictatorship.

Shadid quotes Bouthaina Shaaban, a notorious Assad regime crony as saying, “You can’t be very nice to people who are leading an armed rebellion….” Yet there is no evidence that the opposition has used weapons. Nevertheless, he reports without comment the regime’s claim that demonstrators have killed 100 soldiers and police even though not a single such case has been even minimally documented.

Shadid quotes U.S. officials as saying, essentially that Shaaban and Administration officials have said that Ms. Shaaban and Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa are the good guy reformers while President Bashar al-Assad’s brother, Maher, is the bad guy hardliner. Poor Bashar is supposedly caught in the middle. What’s a dictator to do?

Shabaan ridicules international “sanctions” against Syria and is right to do so. They amount to nothing, nothing except a license for the regime to murder its citizens without fear of repercussions.

Some day the Times coverage of Syria will be compared to its terrible reporting on the Stalinist Soviet Union and its largely ignoring the Holocaust.

Media_httpwwwjpostcom_fkqga

“In the European Union, there exists the will to adopt sanctions quite rapidly,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told reporters earlier this week, after a meeting of an international contact group ranged against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Earlier US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini also discussed sanctions against the Syrian leadership because of its violent suppression of unrest in the country.

“We are currently finalizing the list of persons whose assets will be sanctioned and France wants [Syrian President] Bashar Assad to be on it,” Juppe said. via jpost.com