President Obama declared on Monday that “we have to do everything we can” for the people of Syria. I’ll be curious to know how he reacts to the latest news from that hellish part of the world:
Syrian regime forces unleashed an artillery barrage on a neighborhood of the city of Hama and executed residents who spoke with United Nations peace monitors, according to several residents, one day after protesters in the city took to the streets to welcome the observers. . . .
The violence—among the worst in the city in several months, and perhaps the bloodiest day nationwide since a nominal cease-fire was to have taken effect on April 12—casts fresh doubt on the future of a monitoring mission proposed by the U.N., and on the ability of the observers to protect those with whom it comes in contact.
Casts fresh doubt? Or confirms the obvious travesty in the name of “diplomacy,” perpetrated by Kofi Annan with the approval of the U.S. president?
This would be comical if it were not so tragic and so disgraceful:
But the U.N. appears intent on pressing ahead with the monitors’ deployment, as U.N.officials hope a more robust peace-monitoring team can help stem violence they say has now left 10,000 dead.
“The Syrian regime should make no mistake,” said Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told the Security Council. “There will be consequences should the Syrian regime continue to ignore this council’s decisions.”
But it isn’t clear what those consequences might be
No, it never is clear — maybe because there aren’t any.
The New York Times observes: “President Obama moved to tighten sanctions on Syria and Iran on Monday by taking aim at those who provide their authoritarian governments with technology to track down dissidents for abuse, torture or death.” We are supposed to conclude that this “underscored the role that computers, social media and cellphones have played in the recent political upheavals in the Middle East” and that Obama “continues to search for a more effective response to the killings in Syria.” Actually, it underscores how entirely insufficient is the response to the ongoing slaughter of Syrians.
I have an effective response: Deployment of the U.S. military to, at the very least, provide, as Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute urged:
Safe corridors for Syrians to leave their country.
Safe cities for civilians in which they can shelter.
Arms for the Free Syrian Army, which is far better organized than many wish to admit.
Overt support for the Syrian National Council, including assistance with a transition plan, reconciliation among parties, a new constitution and more.
NATO air support.
That would approach doing “everything we can.” Right now Obama’s passivity is enabling a mass murderer. Or to put it in Obama’s platitudes about the Holocaust: “It’s a bitter truth -- too often, the world has failed to prevent the killing of innocents on a massive scale. And we are haunted by the atrocities that we did not stop and the lives we did not save.” You think Obama will be haunted? I’m not so sure; he’s already decided we are doing everything we can.