Obama condemns 'unspeakable assault' in Syria
Syrian anti-regime protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Al-Qsair, near the flashpoint city Homs, on Friday.
February 4th, 2012
10:46 AM ET

Obama condemns 'unspeakable assault' in Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday released a strongly worded condemnation of the government crackdown in Syria, calling on the U.N. Security Council to "stand against" the "relentless brutality" of the regime.

Following is the text of the statement released by the White House.

Thirty years after his father massacred tens of thousands of innocent Syrian men, women, and children in Hama, Bashar al-Assad has demonstrated a similar disdain for human life and dignity.  Yesterday the Syrian government murdered hundreds of Syrian citizens, including women and children, in Homs through shelling and other indiscriminate violence, and Syrian forces continue to prevent hundreds of injured civilians from seeking medical help.  These brutal killings take place at a time when so many Syrians are also marking a deeply meaningful day for their faith.  I strongly condemn the Syrian government's unspeakable assault against the people of Homs and I offer my deepest sympathy to those who have lost loved ones.  Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now.  He must step aside and allow a democratic transition to proceed immediately.

The Syrian people demonstrated in large numbers across Syria yesterday to participate in peaceful protests commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Hama massacre.  They labeled the protests, "We are Sorry, Hama - Forgive Us."  We owe it to the victims of Hama and Homs to learn one lesson: that cruelty must be confronted for the sake of justice and human dignity.  Every government has the responsibility to protect its citizens, and any government that brutalizes and massacres its people does not deserve to govern.  The Syrian regime's policy of maintaining power by terrorizing its people only indicates its inherent weakness and inevitable collapse.  Assad has no right to lead Syria, and has lost all legitimacy with his people and the international community.
The international community must work to protect the Syrian people from this abhorrent brutality.  Earlier this week, our Arab partners called on UN Security Council members to take action to support a political solution to the crisis in Syria and stop Assad's "killing machine."  The Council now has an opportunity to stand against the Assad regime's relentless brutality and to demonstrate that it is a credible advocate for the universal rights that are written into the UN Charter.

We must work with the Syrian people toward building a brighter future for Syria.  A Syria without Assad could be a Syria in which all Syrians are subject to the rule of law and where minorities are able to exercise their legitimate rights and uphold their identities and traditions while acting as fully enfranchised citizens in a unified republic.  The United States and our international partners support the Syrian people in achieving their aspirations and will continue to assist the Syrian people toward that goal.  We will help because we stand for principles that include universal rights for all people and just political and economic reform.  The suffering citizens of Syria must know: we are with you, and the Assad regime must come to an end.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Syria
soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. Benjamin

    Obama wrote: "cruelty must be confronted for the sake of justice and human dignity." Obama calls people who protest at abortion clinics - where 3,000 unborn babies are killed every day in the U.S. - domestic terrorists. Obama voted against providing medical care for a baby who survives the abortion procedure. He supported partial-birth abortion. He has former directors of abortion organizations all through his administration. Obama has blood on his hands.

    February 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • norman

      oh geez-shut up

      February 4, 2012 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jebbb

      The President is right on Syria. The Assad government is nothing but a military dictatorship of the most violent kind. As to taking this as an opportunity to beat your anti-choice drum, you anti-choice folks have quite a bit of blood on your hands: physicians, nurses, receptionists, volunteers. Why don't you stop trying to run other people's lives, and focus on running your own? If you don't like abortion, don't have one. If you don't like contraception, don't use it. Leave the rest of us alone, hate-filled "Christian" busy bodies, self-appointed spokesmen for God. People like you are a danger to freedom everywhere.

      February 5, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      And you have been speaking to God lately? Wow you must be something really special!

      February 5, 2012 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
    • runner305

      OK. We understand that you hate Obama. Probably a racial thing. Now please stay on topic!!!

      February 5, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Ha Ha Ha

      So let me get this right....Obama participates in the invasion of Libya (oh yeah, those were OUR ammunitition, don't kid yourself), but is really, really, really made about how those bad Syrians are treating the peasants. Puhleeeeeze. Every country knows that Obama is a spineless worm. First thing he does when he got elected is to go around and apologize FOR America. He needs to apologize TO America for his 3+ yrs in office. This is what you get when you elect a community organizer with 142 days in the Senate (yeah, that's ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY TWO DAYS!). And here's the question of the day....have you noticed how Michelle has NEVER accompanied him on any trips to Muslim countries????? (Hint: Sharia law doesn't permit it. Look into it).

      February 5, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      I don't care for Obama, but if he's p issing off the fundamentalist Baptist whacko contingent then he's doing the right thing.

      February 5, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Well said Benjamin. You won't get anything but abuse from people who have no respect for human life.

      Obama stated on WORLD TV that he encouraged and praised the people of TEN Middle East countries to overthrow their leaders, simultaneously, in the so-called arab spring. How did he THINK it was going to pan out putting unarmed civilians against armed, professional armies???????? HE'S the community otganizer, he SHOULD have been able to work it out???

      It is NOT racist to accuse an ignorant politiician of irresponsible and downright stupid behaviour. And BTW if you are a card carrying, responsible adult, you DON'T confuse racism with legitimate comment! You LIBERAL Obama groupies blame anything with a pulse for HIS lack of ability.

      February 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. norman

    God, if He exists, doesnt care what happens here

    February 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fistfac

    Obama.. Simply go in and take care of business.... quickly... Its fine... Americans want a dust off with Russia and China anyway.... we Also want to nuke Iran and North Korea anyway... lets just get it over with... and if we are alive... afterwards... we will aim toward world peace.. with less dictatorships and regimes in place.. if we all die... well... then the world will see what we fought against all our lives and eventually revolt against it anyway......

    February 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thunder

      So I gather you are speaking for your self from your rants.

      February 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      So You fancy a "dust off" with China AND Russia, do you???? Well good luck with that!
      Do you REALISE how much and how completely Russia have upgraded their weaponry over the last decade???????? No, thought not.

      Are you one of the armchair warriors so prevalent in America? You fight a war during commercial breaks on TV but wet your pants when you get an 'orange alert' for a POSSIBLE terrorist attack????????

      February 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jcone22

    The Path for Democracy is NEVER an easy one. Try to recall any country that came from complete dictatorship to democracy. The transition takes Time and effort but it surely better then the previous status-quo.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bman

    This Rice diplomatic agent is a bit overwrought, perhaps she should have waited until the next moon phase to grant this interview. Regardless of the issue, I want out of this clique. Cut the Drama. The fact that the USA has a diplomatic representative making interviews about their personal feelings, speaks volumes, but I personally do not want to hear it. Can that.
    It is unsurprising that the Soviets and the Chinese do not want to cede their strategic interests in the region... Bush supported Musharraf, it's only expected.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • runner305

      Really dumb post

      February 5, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Martin Stevens

    Getting a little sick of the unusual amount of time spent on the Republican candidates. How about focusing on some important news like what's happening in Iran, and its implications for the West ??

    February 5, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      In my opinion you right, here are great many other both domestic and foreign that to addressed

      February 5, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jesus Cristo

    We tough the world how to take care of subversives. They are doing what we tough the dictators to do.... If we in America try anything crazy like them protesters in Syria our military and police would be having a turkey shoot!

    February 5, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bob

    A reason why Russia and China vetoed it is because they don't want to eat their words if/when they do their own bloody crackdown.

    Another is that they want the US to continue spending money on conventional wars. Hence the US retooled military strategy of reliance on commandos and other special ops.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Bob – Russia and China have been enslaving, killing and torturing their OWN people for decades. They don't CARE what America thinks about them because you know – and I know that no – one as weak as Obama is going to get on world TV and encourage THEIR people to rise up in a Russian / Chinese Spring.

      I think their veto is a flexing of ther collective muscles, and a pointer to their ascendancy into the superstate bracket. And Mr Obama is NO match for them, even if he had a backbone.

      February 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Leif

    China and Russia believe that they are seeing their own futures taking place in Syria. Their vetoes were cast out of fear.

    February 5, 2012 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      A point worth assessing

      February 5, 2012 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Will

    So what bout the 500,000 + Iraqi children that died as a result of our sanctions during the 90's?

    How many civilians including women and children were killed or displaced during Occupation Iraq?

    I think it's time we shut our mouths and stay out of people's business. Our country is falling apart and we just keep worrying about other nation's problems. If our intervention had a history of success that's one thing, but most conflicts we get involved in backfire on us and costs way too much money.

    Yet the establishment pushes the propaganda and America soaks up the rhetoric.

    February 5, 2012 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
    • txwoodworker

      I agree.

      February 5, 2012 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Groan

      Well seeing as the majority were killed by Saddam anyhow, what's your point? The internet is a powerful tool. Try using it on a sight not agreeing with YOUR propoganda.

      February 5, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Groan

      That was for the sanctions point, the majority of civilians killed in post invasion Iraq were the result of Sectarian/Religious violence. Not saying the US didn't kill civilians, they did. Just don't hurl numbers blanket...specify. Saddam killed between 100 and 200 thousand Kurds and Shiites in April 1991. Those numbers are inculded in your estimate of total deaths from 'sanctions'. Partial truths are fun.

      February 5, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      Groan – are you really so naive that the blanket bombing we ALL witnessed on world TV sorted out civilians from terrorists and only killed the BAD guys???????? See, TV is not much use if you can't understand waht you're watching!!!!!

      And BTW how many of your own and OURS [uk troops] did you kill by "friendly fire???" Just curious,

      February 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. anon

    Doesn't really matter. This "Path To Persia" has been planned since Bush, there were memos about it in the W.H. Also, Obama failed to appear in court in Georgia about his birth certificate. There's about 5 other states suing him as well. Obama is very VERY close to not being allowed on the Georgia Ballot.

    February 5, 2012 at 6:05 am | Report abuse |
    • rick224

      When a "hick judge" obviously backed and controlled by the GOP demands that Obama personally appear in his court in Georgia you have to invoke "Executive Privilege" as his predecessor George W Bush invoked so many time before to more severe charges (crimes) than this idiot is trying to accomplish.

      February 5, 2012 at 6:22 am | Report abuse |
    • AzPatriot

      @anon: that is totally riculous, no way should he
      even acknowledge these idiotic law suits.

      February 5, 2012 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      And what does this have to do with this article?

      February 5, 2012 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
    • shonuffd1

      really,what a nutcase.

      February 5, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      rick – "....a hick judge backed by the GOP.........." I'm English and I love America but I watched you Democrats run the nastiest, personally damaging campaign against the GOP runners and you LOVE it because, of course if YOU do it that's legitimate.

      BUT if someone tries to make Obama accountable in any way, shape or form – out come the em whiners slobbering into their lattes crying "FOUL" Are you clowns for real????

      If you vote in your HERO again all you need to do is move the White House to Beijing! And you'd do THAT if HE conned you into it. Streuth – are you old enough to vote?

      February 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. David Crandall

    The US has no business talking about human rights. Our court system is a sham and a scam.

    February 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
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    February 6, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
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    February 7, 2012 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
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    Leads to the most common queries within what kitty breed suits me test will be echoing of your respective personality and the form of cat will get together with you properly. If you ...pike fishing lures

    February 7, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
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