SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. For months, the world has borne witness to the Asad regime’s contempt for its own people. In peaceful demonstrations across the nation, Syrians are demanding their universal human rights. The regime has answered their demands with empty promises and horrific violence, torturing opposition leaders, laying siege to cities, slaughtering thousands of unarmed civilians, including children.
The Asad government has now been condemned by countries in all parts of the world and can look only to Iran for support for its brutal and unjust crackdown.
Only to Iran ... and to our close ally Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq, who has gotten very friendly with Asad's government lately.
Mr. Maliki last month hosted a delegation of Syrian government officials and businessmen to discuss closer economic ties, including the construction of a gas pipeline that would run from Iran through Iraq to Syria. A month earlier, Syria’s foreign minister visited Baghdad.
In a television interview this week, Mr. Maliki said that the protesters should use the democratic process, not riots, to voice their displeasure, though Syria does not allow competitive, free elections.
He put most of the blame on the protesters and said little about the government’s ending the bloodshed.
Somehow that source of support for Asad's government got overlooked in Hillary's remarks.