President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public pledge to look into granting Syrians greater freedom on Thursday as anger mounted following attacks by security forces on protesters that left at least 37 dead. – Thousands chant “freedom” despite Assad reform offer

You think it’s America’s job to interject ourselves and save the world?

You want to stop humanitarian crises everywhere?

Well, get busy people.


Citing rights activists and witnesses, the AFP news service reported that 100 people were killed when police opened fired in the southern city on Wednesday. However, the report could not immediately be verified.

Thousands defied the deadly government crackdown on Thursday as they took to the streets in funeral marches for protesters killed by police gunfire, an activist said.

As the casualties mounted, people from the nearby villages of Inkhil, Jasim, Khirbet Ghazaleh and al-Harrah tried to march on Daraa Wednesday night but security forces opened fire as they approached, the activist said. It was not immediately clear if there were more deaths or injuries.
Story: 15 dead in new clashes in southern Syria city

Democracy activists used social-networking sites to call for massive demonstrations across the country on Friday, a day they dubbed “Dignity Friday.”

Meanwhile, the State Dept. is “deeply concerned.” That’s the phrase that has helped launched the What are you going to do about it question? for decades.

Pres. Obama has started down a path that reveals the knotted reality of cherry picking carnage to manage, which is threatening to reduce his presidency to rubble. NATO still can’t come to an agreement over command. Via MSNBC:

Quarreling NATO While the fighting raged, NATO again failed to agree to take over command of the military operation “Odyssey Dawn” from the United States, chiefly because of objections from Turkey, diplomats said.

The United States, with its forces already tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, said it wants to give up its lead role in Libya in a “matter of days,” with NATO playing an important role in the command of the operation, although the exact structure of its role was still under discussion. France, which launched the air campaign against Libya with Britain and the United States on Saturday, argues that having the U.S.-led NATO in charge would erode Arab support because of the alliance’s unpopularity in the Arab world.

After starting down a deliberative path, Pres. Obama’s now ventured into no man’s land, because looking at Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, nothing he’s currently doing makes any sense.

The Libya no-fly misadventure now has the dubious distinction of having the lowest approval of any war “kinetic military action” in four decades and that’s before people learn just how little information the Obama administration had on the “rebels” prior to Pres. Obama pulling the trigger.

(h/t Ben Smith on Twitter)