CONGRESSWOMAN JACKSON LEE SAYS THE ASSAD REGIME IS CRUMBLING AND PRESIDENT ASSAD NEEDS TO STEP DOWN NOW
Jul 31, 2012 -
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Homeland Security Committee, released a statement on Thursday that called for the United Nations and the Arab League to step and stop the bloodshed in Syria now:
“After more than a year of bloodshed, the crisis in Syria has reached a decisive moment. The United Nations has declared that Syrian security forces are guilty of crimes against humanity and that more than 15,000 lives have been lost. The kinds of mass atrocities that NATO intervened in Libya to prevent in Benghazi are now a reality in Homs, Damascus and other cities across the country. Syria today is the scene of some of the worst state-sponsored violence since Milosevic’s war crimes in the Balkans. And the bloodshed continues, with no end in sight.
“What is all the more astonishing is that Dr. Assad’s killing spree has continued despite severe and escalating international pressure against him. Despite a year’s worth of diplomacy backed by sanctions, Assad and his lieutenants show no signs of giving up. To the contrary, they appear to be accelerating their fight to the finish. Unfortunately, with each passing day, the international response to Assad’s atrocities is being overtaken by events on the ground in Syria.
“Some countries are beginning to confront this reality, as well as its implications. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are calling for arming opposition forces in Syria. The Kuwaiti parliament has called on their government to do the same. Most importantly, Syrians themselves are increasingly calling for international intervention, including military assistance. The opposition Syrian National Council has established a military bureau to channel weapons and other assistance to the Free Syrian Army and armed groups inside the country.
“To be sure, there are legitimate questions about the efficacy of intervention in Syria, and equally legitimate concerns about its risks and uncertainties. Our current policy is not succeeding, and the current course is no longer strategically or morally sustainable. For this reason, the time has come for a new policy. As we continue to isolate Assad diplomatically and economically, we should work with our closest friends and allies to support opposition groups inside Syria, both political and military, to help them organize themselves into a more cohesive and effective force that can put an end to the bloodshed and force Assad and his loyalists to leave power, which has been the goal of United States policy since August 2011.
“The people who are fighting for freedom in Syria are natural allies. They have expanded the boundaries of what everyone thought was possible in Syria. They have earned our respect, and now they need our support to finish what they started. The Syrian people deserve a chance at freedom, and shame on us if we fail to help them now in their moment of greatest need.”