Sunday, October 02, 2016

Stunning Sanctimony in Spades

"And just as failure to act in the past, for example, by turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany is a stain on our collective conscience, I believe history will judge us harshly if we do not rise to this moment."
"We must recognize that refugees are a symptom of larger failures -- be it war, ethnic tensions, or persecution. If we truly want to address the crisis, wars like the savagery in Syria must be brought to an end, and it will be brought to an end through political settlement and diplomacy, and not simply by bombing."
U.S. President Barack Obama

"The primary question is no longer: what do we know? The primary question is: collectively, what are we going to do about it?"
"In other words, this is a moment of truth. It's a moment of truth for President [Vladimir] Putin and Russia; it's a moment of truth also for the opposition; and it's a moment of truth for the people who support the opposition."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

As statements of moral positions go, the above are stunningly incongruous given the backgrounds that preceded them. Years of vacillating, of moral vacuity, of failing to recognize the need for action to forestall the slaughter of a significant proportion of Syria's Sunni population by a barbarous regime for whom carnage and wholesale infrastructure destruction and the routing of millions of citizens of Syria from their homes merely represents a state response to "terrorist" action.

That Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, like his father Hafez before him, had no scruples about destroying the lives of their citizens who had the effrontery to state their dissatisfaction with the sectarian inequality of a regime that disqualified them for equal rights on the basis of their version of Islamic principles, should have represented an incentive to the Arab League to step in and bring order to Syria, but the Arab League awaited the arrival of American measures to do their work for them.

After all, it had always been so in living memory, and the American president did leave the indelible impression that he was prepared to commit himself and his administration to sheriff's duty should Assad venture beyond the bonds of what was humanely permissible in putting down an insurrection. To now state, after years of uncertainty how to react, that the world was failing Syria as the regime in conjunction with Iran, Hezbollah and Moscow's forces have abandoned all moral judgement and principles of civil conduct, is to give comfort to the devil.

Threats that were never carried through simply convinced Damascus and Moscow that there would be no repercussions for barrel- and chemical-bombing, starvation sieges and the bombing of hospitals and aid workers; with no consequences to these actions other than the satisfaction of killing greater numbers of innocent civilians and those desperate to aid them, inaction encouraged ongoing and greater episodes of barbarity.

The Obama administration as good as blinked a go-ahead green light to the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus triumvirate to rid Syria of its 'malcontents' posing as terrorists. Even while John Kerry sincerely emphasized the vital importance of diplomacy leading to extended peace negotiations, Russian bombers and jets continued their destruction while the delivery of food and medicines to Aleppo remains an illusion and people starve while children die in bombing attacks.

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