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MITT ROMNEY’S ADVISER on foreign policy Dan Senor spoke with Andrea Mitchell today and was giving his best pitch for intervening in the Syrian bloodshed. It was a flashback to the bad old neoconservative days of Cheney and Wolfowitz, where Mitt Romney has come down on foreign policy, with the hawk wing of the conservative right given full voice through Senor. Ambassador Susan Rice was also on with Mitchell, giving the Administration’s position. Both videos give you the outline of the debate today.

The hawks are getting louder because Iran is involved and they see an axis of evil whenever the Iranians are present, as well as an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. It’s not like the human rights violations inside Syria aren’t real and very serious, but it gets down to what you consider of strategic interest to America.

Over a dozen Western countries have expelled Syrian diplomats, with special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan having met with Bashir Assad, and remaining in the region today.

Russia’s leaders began signaling that they were growing weary of Bashar Assad’s escalating violence after the massacre over the weekend. However, they remain unmovable on international intervention, so it all seems like lip service.

An interesting piece over at the Daily Beast had one paragraph that is particularly interesting, especially for the many people who don’t have a clue what’s going on in Syria and don’t understand the quickly escalating conversation.

Another bellwether of the Kremlin’s commitment to Assad is the coverage of the conflict by the Russian media. Russian television, which is mostly state controlled, has largely parroted the regime’s line that the insurgency is the work of al Qaeda terrorists. Ongoing violence and anarchy in Libya and Iraq is another recurring theme, emphasizing the Kremlin’s message that pro-democracy revolutions only bring chaos.

The article today on Foreign Policy by Christian Caryl on dictators is as a blast of cold water to the face. Someone should fax it to Mr. Annan, whose diplomatic mission seems to me to have been a futile effort by design and implementation.

Bashar Assad is a butcher, and he should be charged with war crimes now and let that headline ring out. Assad knows very well that the regional challenges are far more complex than the mission the U.S. engaged in over Libya that ousted Gaddafi. He seems willing to take the gamble he’ll surive as long as Russian stands firm.

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