Ohio congressman Steve Chabot, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, expressed his frustration with the Obama administration over its handling of Syria at a House hearing yesterday. "I continue to be extremely frustrated with the Administration’s Syria policy," Chabot said at a hearing on "Iran and Syria: Next Steps." "President Obama’s recent suggestion that Bashar al-Assad could remain in power if he makes the appropriate reforms is disappointing. By ruthlessly cracking down and indiscriminately killing peaceful protesters, Assad has betrayed his people and has lost all legitimacy. No piecemeal reforms can wash away the blood on his hands. And yet, the Administration still refuses to say aloud what the entire world sees so clearly: Assad is not a legitimate leader."
"I have to confess that I find this baffling," Chabot continued. "For years Bashar al-Assad has allowed Syria to function as a freeway for terrorists. Countless jihadis travelling to kill American soldiers in Iraq entered that country via Syria. Similarly, Iranian weapons have flowed freely across Syria’s borders and into the hands of Hezbollah. It is horrifying to stop and consider how much blood--American, Syrian, Iraqi, Lebanese, and Israeli--the Assad regime has on its hands. And yet we continue to confer legitimacy. Engagement has failed and leading from behind is not leading at all. It is high-time for the Administration to stand up and say what we all know to be true: Bashar must go."