Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Geithner Urges "Maximum Financial" Pressure on Assad Regime

They are ratcheting up pressure on Syria. It's only a matter of time before there is some sort of U.S. military intervention.

The Department of the Treasury today hosted the "Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions" as part of the international effort to increase the financial and economic pressure on the Assad regime. According to the Treasury, more than 55 countries attended the meeting, which was co-chaired by Qatar, Turkey, and the United States. This second meeting follows the inaugural meeting, which was held in Paris on April 17.

“More than 55 nations are represented here today – united in our condemnation of the Assad regime’s brutality…We gather in the shadow of a massacre. Nothing we say can adequately respond to such an event. Nor can sanctions alone bring about the change we seek. But sanctions can play an important role,” said Secretary Geithner in remarks to open the meeting. “Strong sanctions, effectively implemented and aggressively enforced, can help deprive the Syrian regime of the resources it needs to sustain itself and to continue its repression of the Syrian people… And strong sanctions can help hasten the day the Assad regime relinquishes power.”

He continued: “We, the United States, hope that all responsible countries will soon join in taking appropriate economic actions against the Syrian regime including, if necessary, Chapter 7 action in the UN Security Council, as called for by the Arab League last weekend. Absent meaningful compliance by the regime with the Annan plan, that is the direction in which we are soon headed….as Friends of the Syrian People, our task is to impose maximum financial pressure on the Assad regime and its supporters, as quickly as we can and as effectively as we can, to stop their violence and to yield to conscience and to peaceful political change.”

In the lead up to the meeting, a number of participating countries announced new sanctions against the Assad regime. Last week, the United States, in consultation with the Government of Qatar, took action against Syria International Islamic Bank, which has helped the Commercial Bank of Syria evade international sanctions. The Government of Qatar took corresponding actions.

Additionally, the Arab League issued a statement this weekend calling for the U.N. Security Council to secure immediate implementation of the Annan Plan by invoking Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter. At the meeting this morning, Turkey announced an expansion of its sanctions regime, adding a significant number of Syrian regime-affiliated individuals to its sanctions list.


  1. Yeah, sanctions, that'll work. Just ask Fidel.

    I would ask, "how stupid do they think we are?", but I don't really want to know their answer.

  2. It was the lack of this kind of aggressive war like posture that ultimately kept Treas Sec Paul O'Neil out of the W Bush admin.

  3. This is the definition of Orwellian.

    "Friends" of Syria are Enemies of Syria.

    "Peaceful Political Change" is Terrorism, Bombing and Occupation.

  4. Do any of you personally know of any non-political types that know this is going on, or even care if told?