This morning, the White House released a statement regarding further atrocities committed by the Syrian regime.

“The United States is deeply disturbed by credible reports that the Assad regime continues to indiscriminately kill scores of civilians and army defectors, while destroying homes and shops and arresting protesters without due process,” the statement reads in part. “While Syrian security forces have also taken casualties, the overwhelming majority of the violence and loss of life in Syria stems from the actions of the Assad regime, and we call on all parties to put an end to violence.”

Syrian security forces have suffered casualties because, for more than nine months, they have hunted opposition figures with the intent to torture, rape, and murder those they catch. And still administration officials plead with the opposition not to pick up arms lest it jeopardize the international support its peaceful protests have earned it. The administration warns that, should the opposition not turn the other cheek, it will be playing into the regime’s hands. But in reality, it is only the administration that is drawing this equivalence between the regime and the opposition.

By calling on “all parties to put an end to violence,” Obama supposes that the opposition will be spared further bloodshed if it puts down the arms it picked up in self-defense. But because the White House will do nothing to protect the opposition, the president is effectively calling on them to stand and die with dignity, until Bashar al-Assad gets tired of killing.

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