With 1,700 peaceful protesters now dead in the streets of Syria, the Obama administration is ramping up its rhetoric. Now they are getting really tough. They won't stand for this kind of violence, these murders, this repression. Assad is, you see, “running out of time.” Our secretary of state was emphatic: “It is absolutely clear that the Syrian government is running out of time. There isn't any question about that.” Then she got even tougher: “It doesn't appear that there is a coherent and consistent message coming from Syria,” she told reporters after meeting with the president of Lithuania in Vilnius.
Did she denounce the murders? This is what she said: “I am disheartened by the recent reports of continued violence on the borders and in Aleppo, where demonstrators have been beaten, attacked with knives by government-organized groups and security forces.” And she added “We regret the loss of life, and we regret the violence.”
These are not action verbs: She did not condemn, denounce, attack, rebuke, demand. She regretted. She was disheartened — as if the bloody Assad regime cares about hurting her feelings.