Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Obama Campaign Downplays Syria, Soft-Pedals Iran

Obama for America surrogates barely mention Syrian bloodshed during call

Former Obama administration officials were tightlipped about the escalating violence in Syria and declared that there is “time and space” to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program during a press call organized by the president’s reelection campaign Monday.

The call featured Obama for America senior adviser Robert Gibbs as well as campaign surrogates Michele Flournoy, former undersecretary of Defense for policy, and Colin Kahl, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for the Middle East.

Kahl made a perfunctory mention of Syria during the campaign’s conference call, which was intended to criticize Mitt Romney’s upcoming overseas trip.

“The Assad regime appears to be losing control,” Kahl said before quickly moving on to other issues such as Israel and Iran.

The glancing mention of Syria is part of a pattern of White House ambivalence toward the rebel fighters who have been struggling for over a year to topple the murderous regime of President Bashar al-Assad, foreign policy experts said.

“The Obama administration has mishandled Syria for 17 months now, since the revolt began,” said Elliott Abrams, a former national security adviser for George W. Bush.

“Their main goal has appeared to be kicking it down the road until after the U.S. election, rather than helping the rebels remove the Assad regime,” Abrams said. “Of course they don’t want to talk about it much, because they can’t really explain why it was in the interest of the United States to stand back, watch the bloodshed rise, and do nothing but make speeches.”

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