Press representatives at the White House and the State Department are using the same vague phrase, “additional measures,” to describe the administration’s mystery plan for addressing the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
What measures, exactly? No one knows, perhaps not even those speaking the phrase, but The Associated Press suggests that foreign powers with or without U.S. assistance could arm the rebels trying to topple Bashar al-Assad’s regime:
In coordinated messages, the White House and State Department said Tuesday they still hoped for a political solution. But faced with the daily onslaught by the Assad regime against Syrian civilians, officials dropped the administration’s previous strident opposition to arming anti-regime forces. It remained unclear, though, what, if any, role the U.S. might play in providing such aid.
Neither [White House Press Secretary Jay] Carney nor [State Department spokeswoman Victoria] Nuland would elaborate on what “additional measures” might be taken but there have been growing calls, including from some in Congress, for the international community to arm the rebels. Most suggestions to that effect have foreseen Arab nations such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — and not the West — possibly providing military assistance.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel from a conference on Somalia in England on Wednesday to a conference on Syria a few days later in Tunisia, a country that only recently dispatched its own corrupt dictator. —PZS