12:16 PM, Mar 15, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The AP is reporting that:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he would be willing to talk with Syrian President Bashar Assad to stem that nation's violence.
Seems that wants:
... to seriously discuss a transition strategy to quell the Arab country's four-year civil war.
Mr. Kerry is, of course, presently negotiating with Iran. Like most of the rest of the world, Mr. Assad will be studying the outcome of those talks. After four years, what new incentives can Kerry offer, except perhaps a better – and personally safer – arrangement that Assad could expect to get under a Republican administration.
1:10 PM, Sep 25, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
In the wake of President Obama’s speech yesterday at the U.N. General Assembly, there were reports of another chemical weapons attack near Damascus launched by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. If true, Assad is just drawing the logical conclusion from the president’s speech and the administration’s actions over the last several weeks. The policy of the Obama White House is to target Sunni extremism.
And the White House campaigns for Assad.1:25 PM, Apr 23, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Monday the Syrian regime announced that presidential elections will be held June 3. The State Department dismissed the news. “The fact that you would even think you can hold free and fair elections in the middle of a civil war,” said a State Department spokesman, “is absurd.”
A close reading of the red line.Sep 23, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 03 • By JEREMY RABKIN
It now seems to be the general consensus that President Obama’s Syria policy is a contradictory mess. But that’s only how it appears on the surface. Probe a bit deeper and it’s very seriously deranged.
First, don’t count on Washington.Sep 23, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 03 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Americans watch our tragedy-of-errors Syria policy from the safety of houses and apartments in suburbs and cities 5,000 miles from the conflict. Israelis are next door, and two weeks ago—when an American strike and possible Syrian counterstrike at Israel seemed imminent—they were lining up for gas masks.
There are no such lines in Tel Aviv today. But what can Israelis make of the Syria crisis now, after the Obama speech and with action moving to Geneva and to the United Nations? What are the lessons they may learn?
How not to be a war president.Sep 23, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 03 • By FRED BARNES
When President Obama abruptly called off the bombing strike on Syria and decided to seek the approval of Congress, he surprised no one more than French president François Hollande. France, the only country set to join the United States in the raid, was left in the lurch. Hollande was humiliated and isolated. Now, if an assault on Syria occurs, France is unlikely to participate.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:10 PM, Sep 12, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on a resurgent Russia's growing appetite for influence in the middle east.
9:24 AM, Sep 7, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
Get up to speed on the latest developments in Syria with senior editor Lee Smith in this edition of THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast.
Sep 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 02 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The statesmanlike case for voting Yes on the congressional resolution to use force against the Assad regime has been made widely and well by conservative foreign policy thinkers. At the end, the case boils down to this: As a policy matter, a Yes vote may be problematic in all kinds of ways. But a No vote would likely be disastrous for the nation in very clear ways. Statesmanship requires choosing the problematic over the disastrous.
Vital U.S. interests are at stake.Sep 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 02 • By FREDERICK W. KAGAN
American interests in Syria are clear: preventing terrorists from acquiring chemical weapons; depriving Iran of its most important ally and staging-base in the Middle East; and preventing al Qaeda from establishing an uncontested safe haven in the Levant. Reasonable people can disagree about the extent to which President Obama’s proposed “limited strike” will secure these interests, but not about whether the interests are real or vital. Bashar al-Assad has one of the largest chemical weapons arsenals in the world.
10:11 AM, Aug 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Barack Obama's former defense secretary, Leon Panetta, says the president has a "responsibility" to act in Syria.
3:00 PM, Aug 30, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Mugged by Middle East reality, President Obama and Secretary Kerry seem finally to have awakened to the necessity to act—unilaterally and un-apologetically. That's heartening. Still, do they understand that the American action has to be decisive? After all, as the late Mike Scully put it, liberals sometimes get mugged by reality—but then fail to press charges. Will Obama press charges? And pressing the appropriate charges in this case means removing Assad.
Obama isn’t angry at Assad, just disappointed.1:33 PM, Aug 29, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
The week started with the White House seemingly determined to punish Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for his use of chemical weapons, but on Wednesday Obama let the air out of the ball. Last night on the PBS Newshour he explained he may yet choose not to pull the trigger. “I’ve not made a decision,” said Obama. “I have gotten options from our military, had extensive discussions with my national security team.”