B LOG 315 August 15, 2016
This past week the world discovered that the Assad regime used chlorine gas in the battle for Aleppo. Since World War II and before, the entire world has recognized that the use of chemical warfare is a war crime. The Syrian government has done this a number of times and once again has struck babies, women, and children as well attacking the military. They are guilty of a criminal offense against humanity.
And who will bring them to justice?
As readers of Wise On The Middle East know, this blog attempts to avoid political partisanship and reports an objective understanding of every situation occurring across the region. My goal is an unbiased reading of events. Of course, no one can claim absolute neutrality, but at the least, that’s the objective. The following is such an attempt.
On April 26, 2013, President Barrack Obama declared that if Syrian used chemical weapons in their civil war, they would be crossing a red line, a line drawn in the sand. They did. He did nothing.
As a result, Putin invaded Crimea and then the Ukraine. Current reports indicate the Russians are increasing their troops in the Ukraine. In response, the USA gave a slap on the wrist to key Russia oligarchical leaders. But did nothing about chemical warfare in Syria.
The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Corker said Syria used chemical weapons to slaughter 1,200 people and predicated Putin will escalate military aggression in the Ukraine if the U.S. does not nothing.
So far, nothing has followed.
Previously promised arms from America, Syrian rebels are now complaining that they are running out of weaponry and none is on the way. Apparently, the Obama administration is pursuing a diplomatic rather than military approach to the problem. Secretary of State John Kerry said 54% of the chemical weapons had been removed.
Fifty-four percent? After all these years and months? Really? That only leaves 46% of one of the world’s largest stockpiles of chemical weapons. How many more citizens can the Assad regime kill with their mountain of chemicals? Probably the rest of the country.
One of the worst legacies that Obama will leave behind is the deteriorating status of the United States in the Middle East. Israel doesn’t trust the US. Egypt doesn’t trust America. And Russia apparently no longer fears us.
Are we weak? Incapable? No, just frighteningly indecisive and uncertain. For the good of the world and the goals of democracy, the next American president must reverse the lack of trust that now exists.
In the mean time, who will stop Syria from gassing babies, women, children, as well as soldiers? Doesn’t appear that America’s ready.
This is a decisive moment for action. President Obama could reverse the situation at the snap of his fingers by reacting decisively against Syria for crossing the line that he has drawn in the sand. Will he?
That’s the question.