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Why Obama Won't Move Against Assad

He fears angering Iran.

3:05 PM, Mar 22, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
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Obama’s 2008 campaign promise that he was singularly capable of engaging the Iranians was self-refuting: It only placed him firmly within a presidential pattern stretching back to 1979. Since the dawn of the Islamic revolution, every administration, Democratic and Republican, has not only sought to engage Tehran, but also—by refusing to stand up to Khomeini, Khamenei and the IRGC, as they have killed Americans and our allies across the world—has effectively appeased the clerical regime. 

If the Obama White House is capable of sympathizing with Iranian interests, it has failed to take into consideration our own interests in Syria. The conflict is spreading and afflicting American allies bordering on Syria—Israel, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, where earlier this week the Syrian air force bombed a town in the Bekaa valley. If the administration fears angering the Iranians by backing Assad’s enemies, then shouldn’t we be angry with Iran for backing Assad to the hilt? If the Iranians are playing to win in Syria, then what kind of deal can Obama hope to get at the negotiating table?

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