The carnage in Syria continues. We know how this is going to end. We know how this is going to play out. It will take the world community several more weeks to muster the strength and willpower to forcibly put an end to the violence in Syria. Hundreds if not thousands of innocent lives will be lost while these “delicate negotiations” continue. Yet, we know that the world will soon decide: enough is enough.
Western and Arab nations will demand on Friday that Syria allow aid to be delivered to desperate civilians in the absence of any international resolve to intervene to end a crackdown on a near year-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.
Foreign ministers from more than 50 countries were in Tunis for the first meeting of the “Friends of Syria” group, against the backdrop of a surge in government attacks on the city of Homs and mounting world outrage over violence that has claimed thousands of lives during the uprising.
In Homs, Syrian government artillery fire killed five people in the city’s Baba Amro district, opposition activists said, as the bombardment of opposition-held neighborhoods entered its third week on Friday.
“Baba Amro is being hit with 122mm artillery directed at it from surrounding villages. A father and his 14-year-old son were among those killed. They were trying to flee the shelling when shrapnel hit them in the street,” Mohammad al-Homsi told Reuters.
I don’t get it. If children are our future and we, all, believe that children are the foundation of tomorrow then why are we short changing the most important gift that we can give to our children – their education?
BTW, I don’t care if the president backed down on when he would schedule his speech to Congress. I really don’t. We need jobs now. Not tomorrow or next week. Why couldn’t the Republican candidates debate an hour later or two hours earlier? Why couldn’t the president give his speech today and not next week? I don’t care about these macho contests. I care about jobs. Tomorrow we will have another jobs report. I suspect that this is going to be mediocre – with 60,000 – 75,000 jobs added. We need 10 times that much every month for more than two years in order to put 25 million workers (unemployed and underemployed) back to work in jobs that they want at wages that can truly support them. Shame on the media for pushing this non-story and why isn’t the media showing us a daily segment entitled – JOBS???!?!?
* Libya: “The transitional government of Libya’s triumphant rebels decided Thursday to extend by up to a week the deadline given to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his remaining fighters to surrender, but the fugitive leader rejected the ultimatum and raged at his enemies in a new broadcast that called for the country to be ‘engulfed in flames.’”
* Better, but still too high: “Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said, still pointing to a jobs market struggling to find strength, but well short of a recession signal.”
* Iraq: “Under increased pressure from the United States, an Iraqi crackdown on Iranian-backed Shiite militias has helped produce a previously elusive goal: For the first time since the American invasion of Iraq, an entire month has passed without a single United States service member dying.”
* Maybe someone should do something: “The Obama administration downgraded its forecast for economic growth Thursday, predicting turmoil in the economy will likely keep unemployment above 9 percent through next year’s election.”
* On the other hand, the federal budget deficit will run “20% lower than expected this year.” Tea Partiers will be celebrating the Obama administration’s progress on deficit reduction, right?
* Counter-terrorism: “On a steady slide. On the ropes. Taking shots to the body and head. That’s how White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan described al-Qaida on Wednesday as he offered the first on-record confirmation that al-Qaida’s latest second-in-command was killed last week in Pakistan.”
* The White House’s new “We The People” online petition initiative looks pretty good.