Mitt Romney photo

Romney Campaign Press Release - The Obama Record: Leading From Behind In Syria

October 22, 2012

President Obama Has Left Syria's Oppressive Regime Emboldened And Allowed A Human Tragedy To Unfold Inside The Country

President Obama And His Administration Attempted To Woo Syria's President Assad, Despite Ongoing Violence:

The Obama Administration Initially Attempted To "Woo" President Bashar Al-Assad And Establish A Diplomatic Presence In The Country. "Mr. Obama sent Mr. Ford to Damascus in January 2011 as the first U.S. ambassador in Syria in over five years. The Obama administration also initially eased some trade sanctions on Damascus in a bid to woo Mr. Assad. Mr. Assad's crackdown on Syria's political opposition, however, ended Washington's outreach." (Jay Solomon, "U.S. Moves To Shut Embassy In Syria," The Wall Street Journal, 1/21/12)

President Obama, In February 2009: "We're Gonna Have To Involve Syria In Discussions." OBAMA: "We can't kick the can down the road. We're gonna have to take a regional approach. We're gonna have to involve Syria in discussions. We're gonna have to engage Iran in ways that we have not before. We've gotta have a clear bottom line that Israel's security is paramount." (President Barack Obama, CBS Interview, 1/14/09)

  • In 2009, President Obama Restored The U.S. Ambassador To Syria After A 4-Year Hiatus. "President Obama has decided to return a U.S. ambassador to Syria after an absence of more than four years, marking a significant step toward engaging an influential Arab nation long at odds with the United States. The acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Jeffrey D. Feltman, informed Syria's U.S. ambassador, Imad Mustafa, Tuesday night of Obama's intention, according to a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the decision had yet to be made public." (Scott Wilson, "Obama Will Restore U.S. Ambassador To Syria," The Washington Post, 6/24/09)

Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton "Was Widely Criticized" After Referring To Assad As A "Reformer." "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday Syria's government could still make reforms despite mounting political violence that has sparked worldwide condemnation. ... Clinton herself was widely criticized in March after she called Assad a reformer, citing the views of congressional leaders who had met with the Syrian leader." (Andrew Quinn, "Clinton Says Reform Still Possible In Syria," Reuters, 5/6/11)

"It Took Months For The President To Call For Mr. Assad To Go—And That's Despite The Assad Family's 40-Year Track Record Of Hostility..." "That's one of the many mysteries of the Administration's policy toward Syria. Unlike with Egypt, where Mr. Obama was quick to call for Hosni Mubarak's departure despite his 30-year alliance with the U.S., it took months for the President to call for Mr. Assad to go—and that's despite the Assad family's 40-year track record of hostility to the U.S. and its support for terrorism." (Editorial, "If Assad Survives," The Wall Street Journal, 4/9/12)

The Washington Post, On Secretary Clinton's Reformer Comments: "A Piece Of Wishful Thinking To Which The Obama Administration And Its Congressional Allies Have Tenaciously Clung..." "'Thus did Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton respond to a question on Sunday about Bashar al-Assad, the latest Arab dictator to respond with fusillades to calls by his people for democratic change. At the time she spoke, more than 60 Syrians had already been massacred by Mr. Assad's security forces; others have since fallen. Ms. Clinton was only reflecting a piece of wishful thinking to which the Obama administration and its congressional allies have tenaciously clung: that Mr. Assad, despite his brutality, sponsorship of terrorism and close alliance with Iran, can somehow be turned into a Western ally." (Editorial, "Assad The Reformer?" The Washington Post, 3/29/11)

While President Obama Has Failed To Lead, The Assad Regime Has Massacred Tens Of Thousands Of People In Syria:

President Obama's Strategy Of "Minimal And Indirect Intervention In The Syrian Conflict" Has Failed To Help In Toppling Assad And "May Be Sowing The Seeds Of Future Insurgencies." "That conclusion, of which President Obama and other senior officials are aware from classified assessments of the Syrian conflict that has now claimed more than 25,000 lives, casts into doubt whether the White House's strategy of minimal and indirect intervention in the Syrian conflict is accomplishing its intended purpose of helping a democratic-minded opposition topple an oppressive government, or is instead may be sowing the seeds of future insurgencies hostile to the United States."  (David E. Sanger, "Rebel Arms Flow Is Said To Benefit Jihadists In Syria," The New York Times, 10/14/11)

President Obama's Inaction Has Left A "Human Tragedy" In Syria, With An Estimated Death Toll Exceeding 30,000. "Aside from the human tragedy of the many lives lost in Syria's civil war — activists estimate the death toll has now passed 32,000 killed — there is the staggering damage to the country's infrastructure, economy and cultural treasures." (Zeina Karam, "Civil War Leaves Syrian Economy, Cities In Ruins," The Associated Press, 10/9/12)

Al Qaeda Is Becoming Increasingly Involved In The Violence In Syria. "It is the sort of image that has become a staple of the Syrian revolution, a video of masked men calling themselves the Free Syrian Army and brandishing AK-47s — with one unsettling difference. In the background hang two flags of Al Qaeda, white Arabic writing on a black field." (Rod Nordland, "Al Qaeda Taking Deadly New Role In Syria's Conflict," The New York Times, 7/24/12)

The Washington Post's Jackson Diehl, On President Obama's Syria Policy: "Serial Miscalculations Have Had The Consistent If Unintended Effect Of Enabling Syria's Bashar Al-Assad..." "But his serial miscalculations have had the consistent if unintended effect of enabling Syria's Bashar al-Assad — first to avoid international isolation, then to go on slaughtering his own population with impunity. Obama's Syria policy began in 2009 with the misguided idea of reaching out to the dictator. Within a month of his inauguration, Obama reversed the Bush administration's approach of isolating Assad. He later reopened the U.S. Embassy and dispatched senior envoys, such as George Mitchell." (Jackson Diehl, Op-Ed, "How Obama Bungled The Syrian Revolution," The Washington Post, 10/14/12)

And Even President Obama's Allies Have Called For A More Assertive Role For The United States In Syria:

Senator John Kerry Has Called For The Obama Administration To "Step Up Its Efforts" To Topple The Assad Regime. "The United States needs to do more to protect civilians in Syria, including considering setting up safe zones inside Syria and potentially arming the opposition, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA) told The Cable in an interview Tuesday. Kerry also warned that if the balance of power is not tilted in Syria in the opposition's favor, it's unlikely that President Bashar al-Assad will step down. A political transition that sees Assad removed from power remains the goal, he said, but the United States must step up its efforts to make that goal a reality." (Josh Rogin, "Kerry: Time To Consider Safe Zones And Arming The Opposition In Syria," Foreign Policy, 5/8/12)

Former Secretary Of State Madeline Albright Has Called For The United States To "Get More Involved" In Syria. "Madeleine Albright, who was secretary of state under Clinton, told me: 'I'm for intervention, but it doesn't have to be on-the-ground military intervention. We do have to get more involved in this.' Albright said that the American intervention should be multilateral, but that the inability to achieve a Security Council resolution shouldn't block action any more than it did in Kosovo in 1999. "We can't afford to be in a cul-de-sac while people are being killed," she said." (Nicholas D. Kristof, "Obama AWOL In Syria," The New York Times, 8/8/12)

Mitt Romney, Romney Campaign Press Release - The Obama Record: Leading From Behind In Syria Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives