Monday, January 26, 2015

Obama's Casual Sacrifice of America's Security and Moral Standing in the Middle East

From Noah Rothman, at Hot Air:
In President Barack Obama’s penultimate State of the Union address last Tuesday, there was no reference to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. This was the first time since 2011 and the eruption of the brutal Syrian civil war that Obama had not mentioned, or even obliquely alluded to, the Syrian dictator’s crimes against humanity.

This was no accident. Little more than one year after the President of the United States addressed the American people in a prime time address aimed at shoring up support for a humanitarian intervention in a war in which Assad had deployed weapons of mass destruction against civilian populations, America’s regional doctrine has evolved dramatically.

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” read a White House statement in 2011. “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Obama later insisted extemporaneously that “Assad must go,” and set his now infamous “red line” for military action in Syria.

For the sake of political expediency, Obama backed off both his “red line” and his insistence that Assad must be removed. The president did not want to invite scorn by taking a necessary course of action that was nevertheless opposed by a majority of the public. Today, 220,000 lives later and following the precedent-setting use of chemical weapons, the White House has essentially conceded that Assad must stay...
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