The reports out of Aleppo, Syria, are appalling. As Iranian militias backing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad invade Aleppo in coordination with Assad’s forces, rebels are being slaughtered in the streets and women are committing suicide to avoid rape. According to The Daily Beast, “The U.N. had received credible reports of scores of civilians being killed either by intense bombardment or summary executions by pro-government forces.”
The Obama administration has done nothing for years but allow Assad to run roughshod over the country with the help of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Obama, you’ll recall, turned over the country to Putin’s tender mercies after Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, crossing Obama’s self-stated “red line” and forcing Obama to choose between military force in Syria and handing over control to Putin. The result: millions of refugees, hundreds of thousands of deaths, and a massive humanitarian crisis.
That’s not purely Obama’s fault – it’s Assad’s fault. But Obama’s isolationism and “leading from behind” exacerbated the problem. What’s worse, Obama’s pathetic adherence to the Iran deal prevented him from challenging Russia’s Syrian aggression – hell, Obama wouldn’t even condemn Russian hacking of the DNC out of fear of Putin, as CNN reports.
So, what did Obama do in response to the latest reports? He deployed UN Ambassador Samantha Power, who once wrote a massive tome on Western indifference in the face of genocide, to attempt to shame Russia, Syria, and Iran. She complained, to the cheers of the press:
To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran — three Member States behind the conquest of and carnage in Aleppo — you bear responsibility for these atrocities….When one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this assault of Aleppo — and that day will come, sooner or later — you will not be able to say you did not know what was happening. You will not be able to say you were not involved. We all know what is happening. And we all know you are involved. Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later….Three Member States of the UN contributing to a noose around civilians. Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin?
This pathetic sort of virtue signaling accomplishes nothing. Either we care enough to do something about it, or we don’t. “Shame” has never stopped a single genocide. Only moral powers care about such things, which is why Gandhi’s suggestion that Jews engage in nonviolent resistance to the Nazis was so idiotic: it was one thing to sit down strike against the Brits. It was another to do so against people looking for static targets to murder.
So, what should we do? Jim Geraghty at National Review gets it right:
We keep saying “Never again.” And then Cambodia happens, and Rwanda happens, and the Balkans happen, and North Korea continues to be a giant maniacal homicidal prison camp. And then the Taliban rises, al-Qaeda rises, and ISIS rises. And then Syria. The world can have messy American military interventions, or the world can have massacres. Those are the options. Pick one.
Obama did pick one. Actually, he sided with the executioners. Powers neglected to mention one rather key fact in her rant: we support all three of the countries she labeled the monsters in this scenario. We did nothing to depose Assad when we had the chance. We have kowtowed to Putin. We have cut a nuclear deal with Iranian genocidal maniacs.
That’s on Obama, too.