"'A lot of different options are under consideration,' he said after being repeatedly pressed for a no-fly zone. 'I wish it was very simple. As you know, we've been fighting two wars for 12 years. We are trying to help in various ways, including helping Syrian opposition fighters have weapons. We are doing new things. There is consideration of buffer zones and other things but it is not as simple as it sounds.'
'You are not abandoned,' he insisted. 'We are very aware of how terrible conditions are inside Syria. I came here today because we are concerned. I promise you I will take your voices and concerns back with me to Washington as we continue to work with our friends in ways that can be helpful.'"
"As we continue to work with our friends in ways that can be helpful"? Come again?
Meanwhile, back in Washington, Samantha Power is seeking confirmation from the Senate as the next US ambassador to the UN, and in an editorial entitled "Samantha Power’s toleration of atrocities" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/samantha-powers-toleration-of-atrocities/2013/07/18/8b149ffe-efde-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_story.html?hpid=z3), The Washington Post declares:
"To be clear: We think the Senate should promptly confirm Ms. Power as U.N. ambassador. She has been a powerful voice for human rights, and she will be an effective advocate of U.S. interests, as President Obama defines them. She is not responsible for the passivity he has chosen in the face of what Ms. Power called, during her confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 'the grotesque atrocities being carried out by the Assad regime.'
. . . .
'We see the failure of the U.N. Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria — a disgrace that history will judge harshly,' Ms. Power testified this week. But as Ms. Power the author wrote, 'America’s leadership will be indispensable in encouraging . . . international institutions to step up.' The Security Council is not some inscrutable, independent actor. It is a collection of nations — most notably, in this instance, the United States and Russia — acting in what they perceive as their interests. Russia will not abandon its ally, dictator Bashar al-Assad, unless President Vladimir Putin believes Mr. Assad is doomed. And Mr. Assad’s downfall seems increasingly unlikely unless the United States provides more assistance to the Syrian opposition than Mr. Obama has favored so far."
Or in other words, Power will be delighted to sacrifice her purported principles in order to receive the appointment. Power, the candidate for the US ambassadorship, would today have us believe that the UN Security Council is responsible for the atrocities in Syria, and Obama does not share in the blame.