Sudan to Syria, Obama Protects 'Odious' Regimes

Kristof: US should be 'crystal clear about which side we're on'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2012 9:58 AM CDT
US President Barack Obama leaves after speaking the Press Briefing Room of the White House on June 8, 2012 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – In both Syria and Sudan, President Obama's "dithering" is "lame, ineffective, and contrary to American interests and values," writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. Worse, by "taking prudence to the point of paralysis," he's protecting two of the most "odious" regimes in the world. In Sudan, the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is bombing its own people and blocking aid in an attempt to crush rebels in the Nuba Mountains. But even though Bashir has been charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide, the White House envoy to Sudan recently said that the United States did not "want to see the ouster of the regime, nor regime change."

Similarly in Syria, the United States has refused to arm the rebels and is trying to stop other countries from arming the rebels, too. "In both Syria and Sudan, the Obama administration seems stuck behind the curve," writes Kristof, who thinks the US should do all it can to encourage a coup in Syria. In the Sudan, he recommends bombing the military's runways, so they cannot bomb Nuba anymore, and giving South Sudan some anti-aircraft capabilities. "When governments turn to mass murder, we may have no easy solutions, but we should at least be crystal clear about which side we’re on," he writes. "But our existing policies in Syria and Sudan alike are failing to stop the bloodshed, and they also are putting us on the wrong side of history." Click for Kristof's full column. (Read more Bashar al-Assad stories.)

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