Oh don’t feel so bad Mr. President for all of your predecessors have them as well. George W. Bush has often been criticized for his decision to invade Iraq as his great failure. As a Marine Veteran of that war myself, I have come to the conclusion that it indeed was a bad call but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a moral failure. Bill Clinton has personally admitted that he thought his great moral failure was to sit back allow the genocide to take place in Rwanda during the 90’s. Bush Sr., well I don’t know about him as he seemed to be pretty savvy. He used to be criticized for not going all the way to Baghdad during the Gulf War, but I think now seeing what happens if you go all the way to Baghdad that daddy did indeed know best. Reagan had Iran Contra, Carter had the failed attempt to rescue the hostages, and truly the list goes on and on. As it turns out, running the free world is a hard job and it is just not possible to walk away without an epic failure. Except Bush Sr. perhaps, so someone help me remember what he screwed up. The point is that as I type this article some 50,000 civilians in Aleppo are being bombed, women are being raped, children are being murdered in the streets, and men who once believed in freedom are posting videos like this one.
The Red Line that Runs Red with Blood
I know atrocities take place across the world and America simply cannot come in and play superman every single time. However, the moral failure of the Obama administration is that the prolonged Syrian war is fight we goaded the citizens into having. In December of 2010, the Arab Spring kicked off its revolution world tour in Tunisia. Spreading there to Algeria, Yemen, Egypt, and to Libya and beyond, it appeared change was in the air. Shortly after Syria decided to get in on the action, they watched Mubarak resign with the approval of Obama, Gadhafi toppled with the military assistance from Obama, and the verbal approval of one Barrack Obama for all who sought to pursue a transition to Democracy. Hip hip hooray cried out the Syrian people.
The only problem is that Bashar Al Assad wasn’t have any of it. Peaceful protests were met with violent reprisal by the regime and yet again, the Syrians looked to America. In his continued support of the Arab Spring, President Obama came out and said with academic certainty: “We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside… It is time for the Syrian people to determine their own destiny, and we will continue to stand firmly on their side.” Hell’s to the yeah the Syrian people said again, Team America is on our side! To Arms they cried aloud, to arms! Then 2011 gave way to 2012 and by the middle of that year the UN declared it an official Civil War. The rebels gained ground and it certainly seemed like Assad’s days were numbered. And yet again, President Obama made it clear Assad had to go and even offered a shield to the rebels that should the tyrant use chemical weapons that it would be a red line for American intervention. Rock on said the rebels, to Damascus we are a going! Then 2012 gave way to 2013 and cornered Assad used chemical weapons on his own people.
Oh snap, they did it said the rebels. They done went and crossed Obama’s red line, someone grab the popcorn! And then with stroke of a pen, Obama allowed Assad to remove his chemical weapons and continue the onslaught. Perhaps it was at this time that the rebels said, “You know what, I’m beginning to think that red line was some bull*$#%.” Then 2013 gave way to 2014 as ISIS entered the world stage. Raping women, burning people alive, and selling children into sexual slavery, the rebels surely thought, “hello, Obama anybody home?” Then 2014 gave way to 2015 and in comes Russia to bail out the down trodden and lowly, Bashar Al Assad. “Well surely the United States will not let Russia commit atrocities against us, right” the rebels said laughing nervously. Then 2015 gave way to 2016 and Russia is bombing civilians indiscriminately, children are being shot in the streets, and last bastion of freedom in Aleppo is falling. Finally the rebels said in the streets of Aleppo as they hung on for life, “Hey guys, I don’t think Obama’s coming.”
Yes, Obama Owns This
If President Obama never intended to back up his words, he never should have spoken them. That is the plain and simple bi-partisan truth. If he never intended to stand by the Syrian people in their effort to oust he ought not have to have goaded them into revolution thinking they had it. If there was nothing more than a tsk tsk and fart on the other side of Obama’s red line he never should have told the rebels America had their back. They watched as Obama intervened in Libya to prevent genocide and then wondered why there genocide was somehow less worthy.
Meanwhile, Russia watched from the sidelines for over 5 years before coming to the conclusion America is really not going to do anything. “Green light,” thought Putin and in he comes to save his buddy. Russia will control the fate of Syria and Assad will continue to slaughter the people President Obama once said he stood beside. There was a time where Obama could have tipped the revolution post chemical weapon use, but he let academia prevail. There was a time where the rise of ISIS would have posed an opportunity to bring definitive forces to bear, but he chose “degrade and destroy.”
The past 16 years have shown us that there are consequences to non-intervention as much as there is intervention. Whatever you want to make of Obama’s policies on Syria, please just acknowledge they are his alone. Obama is not a bad man, but as President of the United States the failure at Aleppo was his making. The whole, “Well W. Bush caused this with Iraq” dog just doesn’t hunt anymore. But I’m sincere when I say to Mr. Obama, don’t beat yourself up too bad as all Presidents screw the pooch from time to time. You merely spoke words you didn’t mean and as a result, the citizens of Aleppo are speaking their last. This wasn’t meant as a politic attack on Obama, because what’s the point in that during his last month. But rather, this is just my way of expressing my frustration over what I am seeing play out today. After all, it’s my blog and I can rage if I want to.
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