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Tim Pawlenty on Syria: What the President Should Do (WEEKLY STANDARD) By DANIEL HALPER 03/29/11)Source: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/tim-pawlenty-syria-what-president-should-do_555923.html WEEKLY STANDARD WEEKLY STANDARD Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Earlier this evening, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty was asked for his opinion of Syria on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. “Bashar al-Assad is a dictator,” said Pawlenty, a prospective Republican presidential candidate for the 2012 election, referencing the Syrian strongman who is brutally murdering his own people. “His father killed thousands – tens of thousands of people. He is also a killer.”

Pawlenty then said what he thinks the president should do to deal with Syria:

I think the President should do the following: Number one, speak strongly and clearly to the people of Syria that we hope and believe and support their drive towards freedom and getting rid of Bashar al- Assad.

Number two, I would recall our ambassador. President Obama made the mistake of sending an ambassador to Syria, legitimizing that country and his regime in ways that I don’t think are appropriate. Recall the ambassador.

Number three, move to invoke further sanctions, both economically and otherwise.

Number four, make sure that people in Syria know where we stand, and that communicate that to the world, and pressure the EU and our allies to do it as well.

Pawlenty argued that America’s interests “are at least as strong – if not stronger – than in Libya.”

Here you have a country enabled and accommodated people to go into Iraq and kill American soldiers. They house Hamas and allow them to exist in Syria as they continue to be a terrorist organization in Israel and elsewhere. And the list goes on and on about the problems that the Syria, and specifically Bashar al-Assad, has caused the region and the world and also the United States of America.

Here’s CNN’s write-up of the exchange. And here’s the full transcript of Pawlenty’s exchange with Hewitt on Syria:

HEWITT: What should we be doing regarding Syria?

PAWLENTY: Bashar al-Assad is a dictator. His father killed thousands – tens of thousands of people. He is also a killer. And we have an individual there who many people in the United States have been duped into thinking is a reformer. Hillary Clinton came close to referencing him that on the Sunday talk shows.

I think the President should do the following: Number one, speak strongly and clearly to the people of Syria that we hope and believe and support their drive towards freedom and getting rid of Bashar al- Assad.

Number two, I would recall our ambassador. President Obama made the mistake of sending an ambassador to Syria, legitimizing that country and his regime in ways that I don’t think are appropriate. Recall the ambassador.

Number three, move to invoke further sanctions, both economically and otherwise.

Number four, make sure that people in Syria know where we stand, and that communicate that to the world, and pressure the EU and our allies to do it as well.

Our interests, by the way, in Syria, are at least as strong – if not stronger – than in Libya. Here you have a country enabled and accommodated people to go into Iraq and kill American soldiers. They house Hamas and allow them to exist in Syria as they continue to be a terrorist organization in Israel and elsewhere. And the list goes on and on about the problems that the Syria, and specifically Bashar al- Assad, has caused the region and the world and also the United States of America.

HEWITT: The New York Times reported that the Obama Administration believes Syria is a partner for peace--

PAWLENTY: It’s a crock. It’s a complete crock. And it shows the naivety of the Obama Administration. And to have the Secretary of State on a Sunday morning talk show implying that he’s a reformer; to have his Administration essentially being embracing in any manner or degree Bashar al-Assad and Syria as a peace agent – or an agent for reform and stability in the region – is either ignorant or frighteningly misguided.

HEWITT: Is it possible it’s just political?

PAWLENTY: That may well be possible, and we don’t know. He should explain himself on this as well. I would hpoe he would take time tonight to speak not just on Libya, but these issues as well. In Syria – in addition to what I described earlier … they won’t admit it, but it appears that Israel demolished a nuclear production facility that was inspired allegedly by North Korea, helping Syria get nuclear weapons. And, thankfully, Israel took it out.


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