U.S. editorial excerpts -2-.NEW YORK New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , May 11 Kyodo
Selected editorial excerpts from the U.S. press:
A SHAMEFUL IMPASSE ON SYRIA (The Washington Post, Washington)
The Obama administration has reached an ignominious ig·no·min·i·ous
1. Marked by shame or disgrace: "It was an ignominious end ... as a desperate mutiny by a handful of soldiers blossomed into full-scale revolt" Angus Deming. impasse on Syria. Administration spokesmen now publicly recognize that the United Nations diplomatic initiative it has backed for the past seven weeks has been a failure. They acknowledge -- as they should have long ago -- that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Dr Bashar al-Assad (Arabic: بشار الأسد, has no intention of ending violence against his opposition, or meeting any other condition of the ''Annan plan.''
Yet President Obama refuses to embrace other options. His administration's strategy is one of militant passivity: Officials say they are waiting for U.N. envoy Kofi Annan to agree with them that his diplomacy has failed, and to say so to the U.N. Security Council. They are waiting for the Russian regime of Vladimir Putin, which has been pummeling its own pro-democracy movement in the streets of Moscow, to be shamed into abandoning its support for the Assad dictatorship. And they are waiting for the Syrian opposition to metamorphose into a coherent alternative with detailed plans for governance.
This strategy will allow Assad to go on killing indefinitely. Annan, after all, describes his plan as the only alternative to a Syrian civil war, so he is unlikely to abandon it any time soon. The Russians do not sound at all shamed. The Syrian opposition, like any beleaguered be·lea·guer
tr.v. be·lea·guered, be·lea·guer·ing, be·lea·guers
1. To harass; beset: We are beleaguered by problems.
2. To surround with troops; besiege. resistance to a murderous dictatorship, can be counted on not to reach the high bar set by disdainful dis·dain·ful
Expressive of disdain; scornful and contemptuous. See Synonyms at proud.
dis·dainful·ly adv. desk officers at the State Department.
Three nascent or foreseeable developments stand out. One is that what began as a secular, peaceful and pro-democracy movement in Syria will degenerate into a sectarian war in which the majority Sunni community targets Assad's minority Alawites, while Kurds, Christians and other minorities are caught in the middle.
A second danger is that al-Qaida and other Sunni extremist movements will take advantage of the chaos.
The third and most grave threat is that sectarian war in Syria will jump across borders. Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey all have the same divides among Shiite and Sunni sects. Once that happens, outside intervention by the United States would be impossible and the damage uncontainable.
The administration's experts on Syria recognize the danger. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that ''it's one of the reasons why I said our policy is to try to accelerate the arrival of that tipping point'' at which Assad falls. ''The longer this goes on, the higher the risks of long-term sectarian conflict, the higher the risk of extremism. So we want to see this happen earlier,'' Feltman said.