Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A change in U.S. policy toward Syria

By
From page A6 | March 06, 2013 | Leave Comment

The issue: By giving ‘non-lethal’ aid, we now have a vested interest in this civil war

U.S. policy toward Syria, ever since civil war broke out in response to Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on demonstrations against his regime, has been relatively straightforward: We wanted Assad, his family and entourage out, to be replaced by an orderly transition to democracy.

ALTHOUGH THE United States strongly opposed the presence of radical Islamists among the rebels, American sympathies clearly lay with the rebels. Even though we donated several hundred million dollars to refugee relief, we could plausibly maintain a certain posture of hands-off neutrality toward the actual conflict.

No longer. As much as we may cloak it in the bland language of diplomacy, we have now, in effect, become participants.

At an international conference in Rome on Syria, new Secretary of State John Kerry announced that, for the first time, we would give $60 million in “non-lethal” aid to the Free Syrian Army, whose numbers we would carefully screen against the presence of Islamic radicals. It is not clear how, in the confusing welter of groups that constitute the Syrian opposition, we would do that.

The Obama administration’s decision was prompted by the growing presence among the rebels of fighters linked to Hezbollah and Iran. We would not see a post-Assad Syria “hijacked by the extremists,” Kerry said.

The initial aid would be medical supplies and food rations. But these things have a way of ratcheting up. In fact, the ratcheting may have already started.

BRITAIN AND FRANCE, perhaps joined by other European nations, have indicated they will begin supplying the Free Syrian Army with “defensive military equipment” — such as armored vehicles, body armor and night-vision goggles, and the training to go with them.

The European Union prohibits supplying either side with arms and ammunition, but that’s precisely what the opposition wants. The head of the rebels’ Supreme Military Council, Gen. Salim Idris, told a Turkish news agency that his fighters need anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

A key opposition leader suggested that the outside nations create protected humanitarian corridors in Syria, which would entail clearing and holding Syrian territory. The conference did not reject the idea.

“Non-lethal,” in the case of the United States, may only be a synonym for greater things to come. With this action, we now have a vested interest in the outcome.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

 
Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 5 Comments

 
We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

 
Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

 
Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8