- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
- ‘127 Hours’ author Aron Lee Ralston, who amputated arm in canyon, arrested in Denver
- Men posing as cops break into home of former deputy
U.S. not considering arming Syrian opposition
WASHINGTON — The White House said on Tuesday that the U.S. is not considering arming opposition groups in Syria, deflecting calls from some lawmakers to explore such a possibility as one way to quell the violence in Syria.
However, U.S. officials said no option would be completely ruled out as the Obama administration grapples for a way to end the bloodshed and facilitate a political transition.
Carney said current deliberations inside the administration are focused on how the U.S. could provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian people, though he wouldn’t say what form such assistance might take.
“We should start considering options, arming the opposition,” McCain said. “The bloodletting has got to stop.”
McCain was a staunch advocate last year for the U.S. to arm rebels in Libya in their fight against Moammar Gadhafi and forces loyal to his regime. The U.S. and NATO did ultimately provide military help under the cover of a U.N. mandate.
The U.S. and other Western powers have met repeatedly with members of Syria’s emerging political opposition, but they are leery of engaging closely with would-be rebel forces without the legal protection of a similar U.N. resolution.
But in the wake of last weekend’s defeat of a Security Council resolution calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, western nations have little appetite for another run at the U.N. And there is even less interest in trying to find ways around the U.N. to help anti-Assad forces militarily.
While the double-veto by Russia and China at the Security Council Saturday put diplomatic efforts at an impasse, the U.S. says it is still loath to consider a military option.
“Not every situation is going to allow for the kind of military solution we saw with Libya,” Obama said in an interview that aired Monday on NBC. “I think it is very possible for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called for “friends of democratic Syria” to unite and rally against Assad’s regime, previewing the possible formation of a group of like-minded nations to coordinate assistance to the Syrian opposition. Speaking in Bulgaria on Sunday, she said the world had a duty to halt the violence and see Assad out of power.
The contact group is likely to be similar, but not identical, to the one established for Libya, which oversaw the international help for Gadhafi’s opponents. It also coordinated the NATO military operations.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- WWII vet, 90, en route to Pearl Harbor event booted from flight
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow