“No intention whatsoever!”


“… “No intention whatsoever,” emphasized NATO’s secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, earlier this week in Brussels.

The reason is a brew of international political complications, worries over unleashing a civil war and plausible risks of touching off a wider Middle East conflict with archfoes Israel and Iran in the mix. In the end, Assad has more powerful friends and carries far more wild cards than Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya, analysts say….
But some see even greater dangers if Assad falls without a clear successor, such as the transition administration built by Libya’s former rebels. Syria has an array of competing factions and allegiances, including some Sunni groups falling behind Saudi Arabia pitted against Assad’s Alawite minority …
“Israel is more worried if there is civil war,” said Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born regional analyst based in Israel. “During the chaos, Iranian-backed factions could take the opportunity to strike Israel. The last thing Iran wants is a Saudi-allied regime emerging in Syria. Iran will not sit by as spectators.”
Assad also still carries favor in Moscow and Beijing, which on Tuesday vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have condemned Syria… both Russia and China worry that the downfall of Assad will be a severe blow to their interests in the Middle East.
… … no one in Washington or elsewhere is raising the option of airstrikes — such as NATO’s campaign in Libya — or other types of military action to try to cripple Assad’s regime. Libya shows another likely reason why: Gadhafi’s security forces battled for six months against rebels despite being hammered by NATO strikes, and they continue to fight in pockets a month after the fall of Tripoli… “Syria is not Libya,” said Khaled Mahadeen, a Jordanian columnist and former government adviser in Amman. “Any such action will have serious repercussions across the Arab world.”…’

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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