Ominous new White House warning on Syria calls the situation a 'humanitarian crisis'; sound familiar?
Maybe coincidence, but....
When President Obama launched missiles and warplanes against Libya's longtime dictator Col. Kadafi in March, it came after a series of public warnings from both the president himself and his press secretary, Jay Carney, in support of pro-democracy demonstrators and against the regime's violent reactions.
The ongoing attacks against Libya, which Obama said would last days not weeks, began as the president launched several days of travel around South America.
Obama later justified the aggressive U.S. and NATO action against Libya as necessary to snuff the "threat" of a humanitarian crisis in Benghazi where the ruler had vowed to kill protesting civilians.
At that time critics pointed to Syria, Yemen and elsewhere as places where violent repressions were already occurring and wondered about possible U.S. actions there, as well as an over-commitment of U.S. forces, now involved three military conflicts.
Remarkably, no use of the word "threat" in today's short and stern White House statement by Carney. Scroll down for the full text.
Carney flatout calls the deadly crackdown by Syrian security forces an existing "humanitarian crisis." Rights organizations estimate more than 1,000 civlians have died there in recent weeks at the hands of security forces of President Bashir al Assad.
One other coincidence: Obama is spending the weekend at Camp David. After his Sunday return the travels to another jobs event in North Carolina, fundraisers in Miami and then offshore to an official visit to Puerto Rico.
-- Andrew Malcolm
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The Syrian government’s offensive in northern Syria has created a humanitarian crisis.
The United States calls upon the Syrian government to stop this violence, and to give the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) immediate, unfettered access to this region to care for the needs of wounded individuals, detainees, and internally displaced civilians.
Syrian leaders have no excuse for denying humanitarian assistance by a neutral body like the ICRC. If Syria's leaders fail to provide this access, they will once again be showing contempt for the dignity of the Syrian people. ####
Photo: ICEF Roderick Eubanks / U.S. Navy (a U.S. Tomahawk missile heads toward Libya from the USS Barry, March 19).