December 15, 2016
Despicable attempts to dodge Obama’s responsibility for Syria ‘red line’ default
As the world watches the largest city in Syria destroyed and totals up hundreds of thousands of deaths in that country, Barack Obama and his toadies are desperate. They know that his empty threat, the “red line” over use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, gave a green light to Russia to increase its support of Assad, gaining a precious naval base in the Mediterranean and thereby altering the balance of power in Middle East waters. And unleashed even more war on Syrians.
As his presidency winds down, President Obama fears that his legacy will include responsibility for not preventing genocide. His own U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, made her career on the basis of a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on genocide, A Problem from Hell, which was very critical of U.S. inaction in the face of Rwandan genocide. Yet she did not resign in protest over her boss’s failure to act in Syria. In fact, by staying in office, she became an enabler of that which she denounced.
That hasn’t prevented further hypocrisy, as her remarks at a Security Council briefing Tuesday indicate. CNN summarizes:
Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, unleashed a scathing attack on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies on Tuesday.Power slammed her Syrian, Iranian and Russian counterparts for the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Aleppo, in a speech at a UN Security Council Emergency Briefing on Syria."To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran -- three Member States behind the conquest of and carnage in Aleppo -- you bear responsibility for these atrocities. By rejecting UN-ICRC evacuation efforts, you are signaling to those militia who are massacring innocents to keep doing what they are doing," Power said.
As they say, the best defense is a good offense. And ignoring your own book and entire previous career.
The New York Times is doing its part to cover up Obama’s responsibility, with an editorial that is shameful in its hand-wringing, garment-rending wailing over the poor victims of Aleppo, with zero mention of inconvenient truths of the Obama failure to establish refugee havens, no-fly zones, or red line enforcement. No, the responsibility lies elsewhere, as the title of the piece indicates:
Aleppo’s Destroyers: Assad, Putin, Iran
Oh, the victims! The Times just love to sympathize with the plight of victims.
Watching the fall of the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo has been excruciating. Civilians who survived weeks of intense shelling have reportedly been slaughtered by the forces of the Assad government as they have fled the battle zone, some shot in house-to-house searches. Thousands more are trapped with no food, water or shelter. “This is a message from someone saying farewell and who could face death or arrest at any time,” a medic wrote on a messaging service. The United Nations called the catastrophe a “complete meltdown of humanity.”
But don’t you dare blame Obama:
After calling on Mr. Assad to “step aside” in 2011, Mr. Obama was never able to make it happen, and it may never have been in his power to make it happen, at least at a cost acceptable to the American people or to Congress, which has refused to authorize military action against the Assad government. Mr. Obama, reluctant to approve direct military intervention, was restrained in supporting the rebels and struggled to mold them into an effective fighting front. (emphasis added)Mr. Obama worked with Russia to remove most of Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons from Syria. But other attempts at cooperation — especially the search for a political deal that would end the civil war and enable a unified focus on fighting ISIS — all failed. There is little doubt that Mr. Putin used diplomacy as a feint to enable Mr. Assad’s military victory.
Unfortunately, future historians are likely to read New York Times archives for a sample of contemporary commentary, as Obama and the Times editors know.
Update from Ed Lasky:
Ambassador Robert Ford – ambassador to Syria – is the only Obama official to resign in disgust over Obama and the administration’s complicity – and that is the right word – in the charnel house of Syria.
Some Nobel Peace-Prize winner Obama turned out to be! He could have imposed no-fly zones and safe havens, as presidents – both Democrats and Republicans – have successfully done with zero American fatalities.
Whatever happened to Obama and Power and their Atrocities Prevention Board, so grandly announced at the Holocaust Museum years ago? The board never met. They were “just words.” But then again, Obama is “just words.”