Bashar al-Assad's efforts to crush the opposition are getting bloodier by the day, fueling chatter that extreme measures are needed to stop the killing
Last month, President Obama vetoed a proposal by France and Saudi Arabia to wipe out Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle with a massive airstrike on Syria's presidential palace, the Israeli intelligence site Debka File recently reported. While leaving military intervention on the table, Obama reportedly said that targeting Assad would only "increase the carnage." But the United Nations says thousands of Syrians have been killed since Assad's military began trying to forcefully put down a pro-democracy uprising last year, and now observers say government forces are attacking opposition strongholds using helicopter gun ships. Is a surgical strike against Assad and Co. needed to end the violence?
Taking out Assad is the least bad option: In the last 15 months, Assad's forces have killed more 13,000 people who were merely trying to stand up for their rights, says Melissa Stusinski at The Inquisitr. Assad will never respect the ceasefire he signed: His enforcers have massacred civilians at Homs and Houla, used innocent people as human shields, fired on U.N. observers, and now they're unleashing flying gun ships? Enough. It may sound "harsh," but assassination is the "best way" to end the killing.
"Solving the Syria conflict: We should assassinate President Bashar al-Assad"
Targeting Assad will make matters worse: We've known Assad was a monster since his forces murdered women and children at Houla, says Peter Gelling at GlobalPost. But now that opposition supporters are talking about assassinating Assad — a Saudi Islamic scholar put a $450,000 bounty on his head — "this is really getting medieval." Sadly, such talk backs up Assad's claim that he's fighting foreign troublemakers, not Syrians, giving him cover for "more brutal attacks on his own population."
"Syria: $450,000 bounty issued for killing President Bashar al-Assad"
Assassinating foreign leaders is illegal ... but we already do it: Assassinating Assad would set "a worrisome precedent," says Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast, and violate an executive order against killing foreign leaders. But we're already in the "assassination business," provided the targets are al Qaeda leaders. When you consider how much we've changed what we're willing to do in recent years, targeting Assad "doesn't seem radical at all."
"Trying to kill Bashar al-Assad not so radical given U.S. security interests"
Other stories from this topic:
- Opinion Brief: Is Russia abandoning Syria's Assad?
- Instant Guide: Could Syria's WMDs fall into terrorists' hands?
- Analysis: Is Syria's ceasefire officially dead?