Syria and the cold indifference of Team Obama

Reuters

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sits beside U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) as he addresses a news conference after the Geneva-2 peace talks in Montreux January 22, 2014

Article Highlights

  • Rice herself, who despite protestations to the contrary, is reliving Rwanda.

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  • Samantha Power has already shared her own deep, but apparently bearable pain.

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  • You’ll only feel embarrassment at the Obama administration’s pretense that it could provide a solution for a war that has spiraled into an almost insoluble human catastrophe.

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The Syria peace conference now taking place in Montreux, Switzerland is reportedly not going well. As this is news to precisely no one, let us for a moment pass — from the debacle of a Syrian “peace process” that presumes the abdication of a dictator who is winning on the ground — to the Obama administration. The indifference of Barack Obama and his senior foreign policy team is well-established. This is, more or less, the group that has sought no justice for the murder of a US ambassador in Benghazi, done nothing for the human rights of the people of Iran, nothing for the rights of persecuted minorities in post-Mubarak Egypt (women, Christians, secularists, anyone?), and stood by observing Russia’s regression to dictatorship, Ukraine’s suppression, Venezuela’s human disaster… aw, why go on? So, to be fair, the Syrian people and their tortured children, their hundred-plus thousand dead, and all those plaintiffs should get in line. While we all scoffed (rightly) at Sarah Palin’s foolish recommendation to let “Allah sort it out,” the former VP candidate actually summarized de facto Obama administration policy.

Not fair, you claim! Look at the peace process. Better still, look away. You’ll only feel embarrassment at the Obama administration’s pretense that it could provide a solution for a war that has spiraled into an almost insoluble human catastrophe. Our charge is to remember the names of the people that couldn’t be bothered to help in Syria, not then, not now, not ever. Moralists like Samantha Power, who lambasted Susan Rice for her own complicity in the Rwandan genocide and now sits by doing nothing. Rice herself, who despite protestations to the contrary, is reliving Rwanda. Kerry, who believes his highest calling is to rekindle the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and concede a managed nuclear capability to Iran. And Obama, who leads them all, and is reportedly the leeriest of any forward-leaning foreign policy.

Doubtless all of them are already prepping memoirs that detail their private anguish in the face of the immensely powerful and grand Bashar el Assad. Samantha Power has already shared her own deep, but apparently bearable pain. But just as so many asked Bob Gates earlier this month in the face of his own revelations of unhappiness with the Obama team, we will have to ask these indifferent souls why they stood by if indeed they cared so much. Of course, we know the answer.

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About the Author

 

Danielle
Pletka

  • As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.


    Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


     


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