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Published on May 29th, 2012 | by Ali Gharib

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Romney Calls On Obama To Adopt A Syria Strategy Administration Has Already Reportedly Adopted

via Think Progress

After a massacre of civilians on Friday night in Syria — including dozens of children — which the U.N. strongly hinted was perpetrated by government forces, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney blamed the Obama administration for not taking decisive enough action against the Syrian regime.

The plan Romney and his aides proposed to deal with the crisis, however, sounds a lot like the one Obama administration officials discussed with press just a few days before. “The United States should work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves,” the campaign said in a release on Sunday. On CNN this morning, top Romney aide Andrea Saul echoed the call, saying that Romney would “work with our allies to help arm the Syrian opposition.”

Watch it:

If all that sounds familiar, it might be because, three days before the Romney statement, that’s exactly what Obama administration officials told the AP they were setting a plan in motion to do. The AP reported:

[T]he Obama administration is preparing a plan that would essentially give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters.

The effort, U.S. officials told the Associated Press, would vet members of the Free Syrian Army and other groups to determine whether they are suitable recipients of munitions to fight the Assad government and to ensure that weapons don’t wind up in the hands of al-Qaida-linked terrorists.

As for the goal of pushing for a transition in Syria, the New York Times reported on Saturday — the day before Romney’s statement — that ” President Obama will push for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad.”

The Romney campaign “doesn’t want to really engage” on foreign policy issues. Perhaps that’s because so many of his proposals sound like what the Obama administration is already doing — albeit with more hawkish bluster. Last month, Vice President Biden, while criticizing Romney’s “loose talk of war,” noted that, other than the rhetoric, the policies were the same: “Governor Romney has called for what he calls a ‘very different policy’ on Iran. But for the life of me it’s hard to understand what the governor means by a very different policy.”

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About the Author

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Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



One Response to Romney Calls On Obama To Adopt A Syria Strategy Administration Has Already Reportedly Adopted

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  1. avatar scottindallas says:

    We’re already moving weapons and money into Syria. Did you miss the report? Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US are all coordinating “assistance” to the armed rebellion.

    As to the attacks, most of which were at close range, in rebel held territory; why do you assume the military ran in and perpetrated these attacks? There is a much more nuance narrative that is emerging in the international media. Look to Asia Times, where Jim also writes, or Eric Margolis, or MoonofAlabama.org.

    You’ve effectively affirmed the propaganda, and ignored the facts. Obama isn’t implementing such a program, it’s a fait accompli. It’s in the free press, you can divulge it.

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