Obama’s Humanitarian and Moral Obligation in Syria

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


obama inept

What is truly strange about Obama Inc’s reaction to the allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria is the sheer fumbling incompetence of it. If you didn’t know better, you might assume that the minions of the administration had no idea that this day would come and had no reaction planned for it.

Once Obama had laid out his red line, his people had months and months to come up with a fallback strategy. The team that can spin anything from his mentor screaming hate for America after September 11 to class warfare from a crony capitalist regime seems to be completely inept when dealing with real world problems.

After fumbling for a week, Obama has given one of his patented “smart” responses which says nothing of any relevance whatsoever while acknowledging how “complex” the issue is.

“My job is to constantly measure our very real and legitimate humanitarian and national security interests in Syria, but measuring those against my bottom line, which is what is the best interest of America’s security,” Obama said at the White House.

He added: “I think we have both a moral obligation and a national security interest in both a) ending the slaughter in Syria and b) ensuring a stable Syria.”

Obama pointed to past intelligence failures suggesting Iraq had developed weapons of mass destruction.

“It didn’t work out that well,” Obama said.

“I don’t make decisions based on ‘perceived’ and I can’t organize international coalitions around ‘perceived.’”

But a coalition in Libya had formed around the perceived threat of a future massacre in Benghazi without any WMD being involved. And Libya would be a much better example considering that it was Obama’s war in defense of an Arab Spring civil war that proved disastrous. But Obama predictably defaults to the Bush era while denying that his Libyan War was even a war.

Like in Libya, Obama is invoking humanitarianism as a principle of national interest. This point is debatable at best. Obama isn’t entirely retreating from that point, but he selectively demands a higher standard of proof in Syria, when he didn’t demand any standard of proof whatsoever in Libya.

The issue isn’t really civilian casualties. It’s a series of political calculations that have nothing to do with whether Syria uses WMDs or not.

  • onecornpone

    If we stipulate that the current regime's goal is rendering the U.S.A. totally and completely impotent, why would one need a fall-back strategy? Their definition of "stability" in any M-E nation means only one thing – deference to The Brotherhood. It's not supposed to make sense to patriotic Americans with this nation's traditional 'best interest' at heart.

  • Waterman

    This is a no-win situation. Murabek in Eygypt is gone and what do we get, anti US thugs. Both sides here are thugs. Let them fight it out, we can't help. We did lots in Iraq and they still cannot keep a democracy. Don't let the Europeans drag us in like Libya, we now have enough domestic energy to ignore them. Once they find out we can and will ignore them they will straighten out.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "“My job is to constantly measure our very real and legitimate humanitarian and national security interests in Syria, but measuring those against my bottom line, which is what is the best interest of America’s security,” Obama said at the White House."

    You're not doing your job, bozo. What color is that "bottom line?" I doubt it's etched in stone anywhere.

  • Flowerknife_us

    Too many here think the Presidents words are worth something. The man lies like a rug and everyone's tripping over it.

    Whatever Obama planned for Syria is now dead in the desert of Benghazi. It's not that we couldn't come to their aid. The Administration didn't want to re-take that crime scene for the FBI. Best it be looted thoroughly first.

    Does the the book Clear And present Danger ring a bell with anyone?

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The Pyromaniac-in-Chief has an obligation to stamp out the fires he started! For if not for his illegal R2P war in Libya, Syria would not be a cauldron of fire. In fact, for over 40 yrs the Golan border was quiet, but not now. Why?

    Here are some proofs: http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/03/10/a-hellfire-un

    However, in order for him to "enter the fray", but leading from the front, he would expose the "rebels" he empowered – Al Qaeda linked Muslim Brotherhood Mafia terrorists, and this is a non-starter. Hence, he sits on the "sidelines".

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Looking4Sanity

    If stability of Syria is the goal, just let Israel handle it. NOTHING unites a bunch of bloodthirsty Muslim radicals quite like having their @$$es kicked by Israelis! It doesn't really matter who is left running the government. The end result is going to be the same, regardless.

    This is why U.S. Middle East policy has always failed. There is a fundamental refusal on our part to see the truth of who and what we're dealing with. You do not negotiate with a hornet's nest. You wait for nightfall and burn them out without warning.

  • digdigby

    A government that uses chemical weapons against its own people or Muslim lunatics who eat human hearts online. Like the jury in the old Jewish joke, "Your honor, after days of deliberation we have unanimously decided………. we shouldn't mix in."

  • Horace

    Obama (antisemite like Reverend Wright)) wants to find a way to help the Saudis and Turks and Muslim Brotherhood Islamists (Sunni Jihadis and their financiers) take over Syria without an immediate bloodbath of Christians and other minorities to make him look bad. The murder and exile of said minorities needs to be quieter and slower to maintain the ignorance of the Liberal Democrat dupes. The plan is to eventually destroy Western Civilization and Israel. Israel is making a miscalculation if she thinks the overthrow of Assad is in her interest. Golan border was quiet. Hezbollah is not sending rockets and suicide bombers into Israel (yet), the Sunni Jihadis in Gaza and Judea & Samaria are. The minority Alawites and Christians of Syria are not much of a threat really .Assad needed Iran to help shield Syria from the murderously intolerant Sunnis. Assad hasn't established a reputation for harassing Jews, has he. Maybe certain Israelis are using Syria as a time waster to avoid dealing with Iran's idiotic threats directly. Assad is harmless compared to what's coming after him. Try to come up with a realistic better description for a harmless neighborfor Israel than the old Lebanon, or Assad.