Susan Rice: Arab Spring Could Take 'An Ever Darker and More Ominous Turn'

September 10, 2013 - 10:46 AM

Ambassador Susan Rice

National Security Advisor Susan Rice (UN Photo by Paulo Filgueiras)

(CNSNews.com) – National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Monday that if the United States does not act in response to the Syrian regimes use of chemical weapons against it own people it could lead to an "ever darker" Arab Spring.

"Standing up to the Syrian regime's barbaric use of chemical weapons will affirm the most basic of principles: that nations cannot unleash the world's most horrific weapons against innocent civilians.

"And failing to stand up to these weapons," she said, "could compel the Arab Spring towards an ever darker and more ominous turn."

 

Speaking at the New America Foundation, Rice urged Congress to pass a resolution in support of a “limited” military strike in Syria to degrade the chemical weapons capability of the Bashar al-Assad regime, which is alleged to have ordered the attack that killed some 1,400 people in Damascus.

“We seek a Middle East where citizens can enjoy their universal rights; live in dignity, freedom and prosperity; choose their own leaders and determine their own future, free from fear, violence, and intimidation,” Rice said.

“Standing up to the Syrian regime’s barbaric use of chemical weapons will affirm the most basic of principles: that nations cannot unleash the world’s most horrific weapons against innocent civilians, especially children,” she added.

“And failing to stand up to these weapons could impel the Arab Spring towards an ever darker and more ominous turn,” Rice said.

As CNSNews.com reported earlier, in September 2011, Obama spoke at the United Nations in New York City, praising the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, all part of the “Arab Spring” movement.

“One year ago, Egypt had known one president for nearly 30 years,” Obama said. “But for 18 days, the eyes of the world were glued to Tahrir Square, where Egyptians from all walks of life – men and women, young and old, Muslim and Christian – demanded their universal rights.

“In those protestors, we saw in those protestors the moral force of non-violence that has lit the world from Deli to Warsaw, from Selma and South Africa,” Obama said. “And we knew that change had come to Egypt and to the Arab world.”

On Sept. 11, 2012 the White House posted a video of Obama addressing the Arab Forum in Doha, Qatar. In it, Obama said the U.S. and its partners at the G8 summit planned the forum to support the Arab Spring.

“We called for this forum to make sure we’re working together to recover stolen assets that must be returned to the people of countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya,” Obama said. “This money, potentially billions of dollars, does not belong to those who wielded power.

“It belongs to the people,” Obama said. “Now it’s needed to help stabilize economies and create jobs and growth.

“It’s needed to help advance transitions to democracy,” Obama said. “It’s needed to help answer the aspirations for opportunity and dignity that are at the root of this Arab spring.”