Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Syrian Rebels Root for Romney in Hopes of US Military Intervention

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Syrian Rebels Root for Romney in Hopes of US Military Intervention

Article excerpt

Seldom do you find Arabs anywhere in the Middle East who have warm feelings about Americas most recent war with Iraq, especially in Syria where many people were actively involved in supporting the Iraqi insurgency.

Yet as Syrias upheaval nears the two-year mark, many of those who are increasingly desperate for a foreign intervention to end the conflict now reference Iraq as a seemingly positive example of why America might decide to help. With an eye on the US elections, they say they hope the party that brought them the Iraq war might also bring America to Syria.

The Republicans prefer using the military. Like Bush, he entered Iraq and Afghanistan. They use the military in all cases so maybe they will try to intervene here, says Mustafa Abu Abdu, who used to be a psychology student before the war. Obama will keep saying that [President Bashar] Assad must stop and that America is sorry about civilian deaths, but he will not do anything to help here.

A number of Syrians like Mr. Abdu say they hope Tuesdays election in America will bring Mitt Romney into the Oval Office because they say he is more likely to change the US policy in favor an intervention in Syria.

Though Romney is an unlikely candidate for long time enemies of Israel to favor he maintains close ties to Israel and promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem the potential for him to take military action in Syria trumps any other controversial stances he has for many Syrians.

Obama has had almost two years to help here. What more can he do? says Abdul Kareem Islami, a tile shop owner in Aleppo. Obama didn't help us so maybe Romney will be better.

Romney has said the US should help to organize the resistance and work with allies to supply arms to those fighting President Bashar al-Assad who share "our interests and values," according to his website. …

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