When history of the Obama adm is written, there will be a chapter on its immense humanitarian and strategic failure in Syria. Nor have we yet confronted the dangers that are arising there form the vast jihadist presence. The US had an obvious interest in seeing the Assad regime replaced. After all this was an enemy regime, tied to Iran and Hezbollah and brutal in its repression of all dissent and it had a good deal of American blood on its hands. It had facilitated the travel of jihadist to Iraq to kill Americans.
The population is 74% Sunni, so Assad as an Alawite was always going to have to rule by the gun; a Sunni-led government might be able to rely on the ballot box or a least on less repressive system.
His reaction was to crush the opposition with any force necessary. He used chemical weapons, air attack on civilian neighborhoods, artillery assaults on medical facilities and dense civilian housing. In other words Mass Murder. 200,00 dead—some estimates are double that—and one fourth of the population is homeless, now refugees or displaced persons. Iran and Hezbollah aided his killings—with arms supplied by Russia.
Clinton, Kerry and Gates urged support for the rebels. With America leadership, especially early on, we could have organized a coherent international effort t to back non-jihadist Sunni rebels make them stronger that their rivals. Indeed the vacuum that sucked in jihadist from all over the world would never have been created.
Advice and warnings form his subordinate’s fell on deaf ears, as the jihadist grew. In fact they led to an Obamas threat—his famous “RED LINE”—and then his eleventh hour reversal on a decision to strike some of Assad’s assets by way of punishment and deterrence. Instead obama fumbled and grasped the helping hand of Putin, who concocted a chemical weapons deal between obama an Assad.
The international community works with him to remove them, we have no idea if he is declaring 10 or 40 or 70% of those stocks. The chemical weapons deal gave
Assad license to continue killing by any means other that chemical weapons. The American strike that Obama decided against at the last minute could have destroyed some of Assad’s helicopter and fixed wing aircraft, ands damaged their bases.
Excuses would a jihadist victory be better that Assad? We can’t after all allow al Q to take over, so perhaps Assad is a necessary evil?
It matters deeply to the credibility and the future interest of the USA and our allies. It matters because a lot of other countries whose policies challenge these international norms are watching. It is directly relate to our credibility and whether counties still believe the US when it says something. They are watching to see if Syria can get away with it because then maybe they to can put the world at greater risk.
The American reaction is pathetic. Here is what the White House spokesman said in response to the murder and “barrel bombs” in Aleppo at years end—“the US condemns the ongoing air assault by Syrian government forces, the use of SCUD missiles and barrel bombs. Syrian government must respect it obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population. The Syrian government must fulfill its November commitment to do more to facilitate the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance. To bring the suffering of the Syrian people to an end. Syrians reach a comprehensive and durable political solution to end the crisis in Syria. The USA remains committed to advancing a political settlement to help end the bloodshed in Syria.
Obama directive of 2011 said: “preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the US. Our security is affected when masses of civilians are slaughtered, refugees flow across border and murderers weak havoc on regional stability and livelihoods. America’s reputation suffers and our ability to bring about change is constrained when we are perceived as idle in the face if mass atrocities and genocide.” (NO SHIT)
Obama established the “ATROCITIES PREVENTION BOARD” in a brave speech at the Holocaust Museum in 2012 where he stated—“ never again is a challenge to nations. It’s a bitter truth—too often, the world has failed to prevent the killing of innocents on a massive scale. And we are haunted by the atrocities that we did not stop and the lives we didn’t not save. (CAN YOU SAY PHONY BASTARD)
And where are we on the jihadist front? “the rate at which foreign fighter, both seasoned jidhadist and inexperienced young men, have headed for Syria eclipses that of recent conflicts in AFG Somalia and Yeman.” Estimates are that there are 10,000 jihadist fighting in Syria.1,000-2,000 are western—mainly from Europe. This large body of jihadist surpasses the number who ever gathered in AFG and of course here they are not near the border of Pakistan but on the borders of Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. When the Western jihadist go “home” it will not be to Islamabad or Riyadh but to Amsterdan and Paris and Madrid, perhaps to NY, DC, or LA, even Chicago.
He is presiding over a humanitarian disaster where war crimes and atrocities occur each day and he responds with speeches. He is conceding a strategic victory and has rejected the line that “there is not military solution”
He is endangering our safety by allowing jihadist to turn Syria into their world center of activity.
Source—weekly standard, elliot abrams