This time, we all see what’s happening, and someone must do something to stop it.
Susan J. Steel, Annapolis
In his Aug. 12 op-ed, “We’re the ones allowing Putin to be reckless,” David Ignatius said, “In his quest for recognition and revenge, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin keeps defying the norms of international behavior.”
The alleged enabling complicity can be traced to August 2012, when then-President Barack Obama told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to cross a “red line” and use chemical or biological weapons. The implication was that the United States would act if that marker were violated. It turned out to be an empty threat.
What ensued was a period of lamentable U.S. neglect in Middle East policy engagement. As if the resultant genocidal use of the banned weaponry and massive uprooting, deaths and forced migration of millions of people weren’t enough, our passivity served as a welcome mat for Russia to stake out another sphere of geopolitical influence.
In September 2015, Russian airstrikes hit parts of Syria hostile to Mr. Assad. The on-ground deployment of Russian troops followed shortly thereafter. The rest is history — amply conveyed by the headline of Mr. Ignatius’s piece.
Joel Darmstadter, Chevy Chase