The White House is considering sending sympathy cards to Syrian rebels, officials said, but no arrangements have been made.
A decision to supply sympathy cards would indicate a change in the Obama administration, which has resisted repeated requests to expand its concern in the Syrian conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people, mostly civilians.
The administration is also considering supplying chocolates, fruits, and other comforting goodies along with stuffed animals for the Syrian children that are tending to their wounded brothers, sisters, and parents.
The decision reflects a growing dilemma for the president and his administration as they struggle to show perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of other human beings while seeking to avoid getting drawn into another conflict in the Muslim world.
“We continue to consider all other possible options that would accomplish our objective of doing something, if anything,” said National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.
At a White House news conference, Obama appeared to add to the criteria needed for any U.S. involvement.
“If evidence conclusively continues to show that Syrian people are in distress,” he said, “ we will rethink a range of options that might not include doing anything.” He also suggested that the burden of response is not on the U.S. alone.
“What’s happening in Syria is a blemish on the international community,” he said. “If this continues for, oh, let’s say another two years, it will be a game changer not simply for the United States, but for the international community.”
When asked if that meant his administration would eventually send sympathy gifts, he responded, “By ‘game changer’ I mean that we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us. It means there are some options that we might not otherwise exercise that we would… strongly consider.”
The recent considerations came after a large explosion in Damascus, a car bomb targeting the Syrian Prime Minister, several reported mortar strikes, and the alleged use of chemical weapons against the Syrian rebels. There was no immediate claim that the U.S. will send their condolences.