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Daytona Beach News-Journal: U.S. Should Establish Harder Line on Syria

May 16, 2011 | News

More video is pouring out of Syria, the Arab state ruled with an iron fist for almost 50 years.

The video shows times have indeed changed in that country. More Syrians are demanding reforms and freedoms in this “Arab spring,” which also saw wider freedom promised to Egyptians and Tunisians.

Video also shows death and bullying. The Syrian regime has killed hundreds and detained thousands in reaction to demonstrations and protests.

The regime is clearly using a brutal strategy to keep control, perhaps fearful it could end up in the dustbin of history, the same place other Arab dictatorships have arrived at recently. The regime could also be counting on a war-weary world being too tired to take on yet another out-of-control state.

It should not be allowed that delusion.

On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined with U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent Democrat from Connecticut, to introduce a resolution calling for stiffer penalties aimed at the regime of Syria. The United States has already imposed sanctions. Rubio wants more sanctions, but he emphasized that military action is not the solution.

Rubio is right. The United States and the United Nations need to step up sanctions against Syria and pressure the Arab state to move in the direction of democratic elections. The U.S. government should also call for an end to the rule of the Assad family, which has ruled Syria since a 1970 coup.

Read the full editorial here.