The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Secretary of State John Kerry remarked on Friday in a short piece on Syria:
The Assad government is refusing to register legitimate aid agencies. It is blocking assistance at its borders. It is requiring UN convoys to travel circuitous routes through scores of checkpoints to reach people in need. The regime has systematically blocked food shipments to strategically located districts, leading to a rising toll of death and misery.
The UN statement earlier this month calls on all parties to respect obligations under international humanitarian law. It sets out a series of steps that, if followed, would go a long way in protecting and helping the Syrian people. Convoys carrying aid need to be expedited. Efforts to provide medical care to the wounded and the sick must be granted safe passage. And attacks against medical facilities and personnel must stop.
Merely expecting a regime like Assad’s to live up to the spirit, let alone letter, of the Security Council statement without concerted international pressure is sadly unrealistic. A regime that gassed its own people and systematically denies them food and medicine will bow only to our pressure, not to our hopes. Assad’s allies who have influence over his calculations must demand that he and his backers adhere to international standards. With winter approaching quickly, and the rolls of the starving and sick growing daily, we can waste no time. Aid workers must have full access to do their jobs now. The world cannot sit by watching innocents die.
Good golly. This administration has watched tens of thousands of innocents die. It has decided that, rather than make an example of Bashar al-Assad for use of chemical weapons, it will leave him undisturbed and merely wean him from them during a time of war when complete verification is impossible. And it is this administration that agreed to a U.N. resolution on Syria’s chemical weapons that did not include a provision for use of force; yet Kerry blithely proclaims, “Merely expecting a regime like Assad’s to live up to the spirit, let alone letter, of the Security Council statement without concerted international pressure is sadly unrealistic.”
It is almost as if Kerry is not part of an administration that at every stage in the civil war dragged its feet, washed its hands of the mass murder and did nothing effective to either aid non-jihadi rebels or act itself to prevent slaughter. There may have been administrations with shoddier human rights records (although none come to mind), but there is no doubt that for sheer shameless and empty rhetoric the Obama-John Kerry-Susan Rice-Samantha Power team laps the field. This is the second mass atrocity in which Rice has failed to act decisively; for all the rest it is the single defining moment and a permanent stain on their careers.