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This article, written by Jeffrey Goldberg, appeared on The Atlantic on July 08,2012
Secretary of State Clinton has again stated that it is only a matter of time before the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad collapses. Speaking in Tokyo to reporters, she said: "The sand is running out of the hourglass," and went on to say, "There is no doubt that the opposition is getting more effective in their defense of themselves and in going on the offense against the Syrian military and the Syrian government's militias. So the future, to me, should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime: the days are numbered."
But what is the number? And could the Administration be doing more to move that number down? When it comes to Syria, this administration has a very elastic sense of time.
Right now, U.S. intelligence is helping the Syrian opposition in doing what for it is a nearly impossible task -- coordination -- but it seems that now would be the time to actually come to the aid of the Syrian people by protecting the safe havens they are already carving out for themselves on Syrian territory. Yes, of course, intervention of this sort has enormous risks -- and of course what follows the Assad regime could be very unpleasant. But: If the Administration's empty words on Syria have some truth to them (and there have been so many empty words that some of them must be true), which is to say, Assad's downfall is inevitable, it follows axiomatically that something -- a Sunni extremist government, some sort of fragile coalition among different ethnic groups, a softer-seeming Alawite regime with Assad's family gone, or generalized chaos and civil war -- is going to follow.
READ MORE AT The Atlantic
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