Barack Obama’s own Middle East experts have raised a red flag. They’ve made their case heard: if we don’t act quickly, we will leave behind a legacy of inaction comparable to Rwanda under Bill Clinton.
The president has forcefully ignored this advice and performed inconsistently with Middle East policies. In Libya, Obama proved that he has an effective way of doing things: getting in and out of a conflict zone quickly, without ground wars or extended military occupation. This defined a successful U.S. mission that prevented mass murder in Tripoli.
But as Brookings Instiution fellow Michael Doran and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Max Boot wrote in the New York Times in late September, the president is not applying his own doctrine where it would benefit the United States the most — in Syria.
The results have been horrifying. The Kansas City star reported this week that “it’s likely that more than 40,000 civilians and fighters on both sides have died violently since March 2011, when the conflict began.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s deputy editorial editor Jackson Diehl claims Obama’s passivity has given radicals linked to al-Qaeda “room to rise” in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Thousands of jihadist terrorists are at the forefront of the critical battle for Aleppo.
Diehl wrote recently in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that “on YouTube, videos show the residents of areas taken over by the rebels waving [a jihadist organization’s] flag and chanting its name.” Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed by the Bassad regime, and because of U.S. inaction, leading oppositionist rebels are anti-American radicals. The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, and it continues to pose a growing national security threat to the United States.
If Syria is taken over by anti-American radicals, we’re screwed. If Bassad holds onto Syria, the media, not to mention the Syrian people, will continue to place blame on the United States.
Syria’s civil war has already disturbed the lives of people living in Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. U.S. leadership in Syria could improve relations with key allies like Turkey and Qatar. Both the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Qatari counterpart have criticized the United States for offering only nonlethal support to the rebellion.
As of this week, Syria and Israel are entering a military conflict. President Obama’s inaction isn’t the only thing to blame for the situation in the Middle East, but his administration’s idle stance certainly isn’t working.
Syria is unraveling, thousands are dying, conflict is spreading and America is doing nothing.
The New York Times and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette served as important sources for this article.
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