Crying crocodile tears over Aleppo

Syrian civilians flee Aleppo

Syrian civilians flee Aleppo

The world is bewailing the horrific events in Aleppo, Syria – the vicious bombardment by Assad’s regime and his willing executioners, the Russians, of the city of Aleppo. Having utterly destroyed every hospital and clinic in the area, they are now aiming directly at anyone left alive in the city, even if (or perhaps specifically because) they are women and children.

Scene of devastation in Aleppo

Scene of devastation in Aleppo

The pictures coming out of Aleppo are indescribable in their horror. The utter devastation of the city, the terrified faces of fleeing civilians, the despair of those left with nowhere to go and unable to flee. The stories too are equally stomach-churning: descriptions of bombings, shootings, summary executions, orphaned children left to die with no one to take care of them.

After the Holocaust the world swore “never again” – but here we are – yes, again. No, it’s not a Holocaust, but most certainly multiple war crimes. And if it is not yet a genocide this is merely a matter of scale, not intention.

And like during the Holocaust there was so much the world could have done, but didn’t, in order to prevent this mass-murder.

Yesterday, the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, slammed the Russians and Syrians for their murderousness, and yet, how hypocritical of her. As Israeli writer Sherri Oz writes on her Facebook post in reaction to Powers’ speech:

While everyone was counting houses Jews built, people were being killed in cold blood and today the cries and photos coming out are horrid enough to make her stop pointing fingers at Israel and talk about shame! Hypocricy at its most cynical.

Watch Samantha Powers’ speech. It’s very powerful and yet – the hypocrisy:


What we can see in the West’s wailing and gnashing of teeth is not only hypocrisy but mind-boggling stupidity, lack of statecraft and a severe lack of self-awareness. After President Obama set red lines, threatening intervention in Syria if Assad used chemical weapons against his own poeple, Assad duly went ahead and gassed his civilians. Obama then blinked and backed off, aided and abetted by pathetically limp responses from Britain and others, while gratefully accepting the “generous” offer of Putin to take care of business.

What did Obama and the west THINK would happen after that? How could anyone have thought things would turn out any different to how they have turned out?

Lee Smith, writing in The Tablet back in February, slams the failings of Ambassador Samantha Power: (Again, I stress that this article is from February 2016, almost a year ago. How many lives could have been saved if America had stepped up to the plate while there was still time?)

There can be no doubt that the murderous campaign of sectarian cleansing that Assad and his allies Russia and Iran have been waging against the Sunni Arab population of Syria is a crime of historic proportions—the first genocide of the still-young 21st century, or, if you prefer the language of a recent U.N. report, state-sponsored mass extermination. Power herself has documented it all on Twitter:

Power’s tweets are a legitimate response to a horror that is unfolding daily. What’s so odd about them is the Twitter account they come from belongs to the American Ambassador to the United Nations, who has been a member of Obama’s inner circle since before he hit the campaign trail in 2007. Hence, Ambassador Power’s doe-eyed outrage against the policies that she helped to shape in her time in the White House and whose current public face is literally Samantha Power leaves a casual observer a bit slack-jawed.

As Ignatieff and Wieseltier suggest, Power is a handmaiden to war crimes. And no number of righteous tweets or broadsides against Russian diplomats can hide how the White House has used her monumental 2002 classic, A Problem From Hell, as a how-to manual in how to enable genocide and still maintain your soulful cred. From the very beginning when Assad opened fire on peaceful protesters, to the present, as Russia bombs hospitals, the United States has done nothing to stop Assad and his gory friends—and all the faux-outraged tweets and Putin-blaming in the world will not distract a single Syrian from the plain facts that the United States was not only indifferent to the destruction of their country, but has also diplomatically enabled their horrific suffering.

Lee Smith then describes how the US Administration weaseled its way out of its responsibility (emphases are mine):

… How have the president and his aides managed to avoid being held accountable for their complicity in a five-year-long orgy of mass murder that has now taken an estimated 470,000 Syrian lives? In her book’s conclusion, Samantha Power lists a number of popular and relevant tactics that U.S. policymakers have used over the last century to avoid being tagged as accessories in crimes of war.

In the past, she notes, one of the key ways to shirk responsibility was to claim that no one really knew what was going on. But that doesn’t work in the age of the 24-hour news cycle and social media. In fact, long before ISIS became known for its depredations, the Assad regime posted YouTube videos in order to terrorize opponents and keep them from trying their luck against regime forces. So, everyone knows what’s happening in Syria.

One way around that inconvenience, as Power shows, is to “overemphasize the ambiguity of the facts.” The White House has used this strategy to great effect, especially early on, when it claimed that there were “no good guys” in Syria. Sure, they’re victims of a genocide, yes, but when they fight back to save themselves, they kill people, too.

Yet there were—and are—clearly other options. In A Problem From Hell, Power suggests that the United States “should set up safe areas to house refugees and civilians, and protect them with well-armed and robustly mandated peacekeepers, airpower, or both.” Lots of people did argue for a no-fly zone or buffer zone to protect Syrians fleeing from Assad’s killing machine. But the White House said no. Mighty Syrian air defenses were too much for the U.S. air force, said former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.

There was a time when virtually all of Obama’s national security staff advocated arming the rebels to take down Assad. The president was against it.

The entire White House, from the president on down, is complicit in the crimes that Power tweets about. As the person who quite literally wrote the book on how the American superpower must stop genocides when it has the power to do so, why hasn’t she resigned?

The incomparable Melanie Phillips also slams the pathetic response of the West to the slaughter in Syria, accusing it of “virtue-signalling and myopia”: as they completely miss the point (emphases are mine):

The hand-wringing by western politicians and commentators over the appalling humanitarian catastrophe in Aleppo reveals something far worse even than the nauseating virtue-signalling of pointlessly blaming themselves for having decided not to bomb Syrian President Assad’s forces. It reveals they still don’t understand just how morally culpable they actually are.

…People were, however, totally missing the point then just as they are doing now. Assad is the puppet of the Iranian regime whose infernal purposes, in gaining regional power in order to perpetrate genocide against Israel and jihadi terrorism against the west, he dutifully serves. Iran needs Assad in power. Without Iran, Assad would not be committing these atrocities. To stop him, the west needs to stop Iran.

The hand-wringing over the involvement by Russia’s President Putin, who is providing Assad with the military might to crush the Syrian people, also totally misses the point. Putin has merely stepped into the vacuum left by the collapse of western power and resolve in the world. The Obama administration ended America’s historic role in defending western interests in the developing world. Instead it empowered the west’s enemies, principally Iran, and infamously promoted a supposed “reset” with Russia – which Putin unsurprisingly took as a green light to stomp all over any territory useful to his imperial ambitions.

It was the US, UK and EU which between them empowered Iran and turned Russia into the most powerful kid on the block. The slaughter in Syria is the result.

Thus we have arrived at a stage where desperate residents of Aleppo post emotional goodbyes via Twitter and other social media. And the world stands by and does nothing besides offer mealy-mouthed words of condemnation.

Only Israel offers practical help with its field hospitals and generous free medical treatment of Syrians, whether civilians or fighters or even terrorists – no questions are asked.

It’s time the world copied Israel instead of constantly condemning it, and started taking practical action to help the civilians of Syria, if it is not already too late.

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16 Responses to Crying crocodile tears over Aleppo

  1. Pingback: Crying crocodile tears over Aleppo – 24/6 Magazine

  2. Elise Ronan says:

    It was all about the Iran deal. Obama and the EU wanted that deal and sacrificed the Syrian people in order to get it. They would have sacrificed Israel too if they could.

    Syria is a horror of biblical proportions, much like Sebrenieca and Rwanda. The issue is what does an average person do other than give money to relief groups and lobby their government. A government that doesn’t want to listen and under the new president, Trump is apt to do even less than Obama in these situations.

    And the opening for Russian power and the Iranian Shiite crescent will be tighter and more endangering to the world than ever before. The only thing that will stem the tide is what will the Sunnis do in the end. Will they hold their line or think they can buy their way out of this nightmare? That will decide the extent of the war to come. And that war frightens me because I know it is not an “if” but a “when and to what terrible extent.”

    I do know that people hold Powers responsible. But the final call is never hers. It is Obamas. We do not know what went on behind the scenes and what she fought for. That she hasn’t resigned, I chalk that up to thinking she could do more good as part of the administration than not being part of that group. I am awaiting her book on the truth of what went on behind the scenes.

    • anneinpt says:

      I absolutely agree with you that the origin of the fault, the station where “the buck stops here”, is Obama. And yes, possibly Power thought she could do more from within the UN than resigning in protest.

      We will never know how much she protested ro tried to persuade Obama to change his decision anyway.

      I share your fears abotu what comes next in Syria, especially as we are sitting on the front lines. In that respect Bibi is probably doing the right thing in keeping lines of communication open with Putin, keeping relations friendly, so as to avoid a backlash from the Shiite sector.

      At the same time relations are warming up, or shall I say “defrosting” with Saudi et al, as they gear up to fight the Iranian threat.

      Bibi is leading Israel on a tightrope over a very dangerous chasm. I hope we all make it to the other side unscathed.

      As for the rest of the world, probably as Israel goes, so does the West. Everyone should pray for the safety of Israel, for their own sake.

  3. Earl says:

    This is merely another aspect of the ummah’s Thirty Years’ War playing out. Best to contain it and let them fight it out. No exceptions.

    And I’d missed Russia’s immediate response, smacking Power and O right in the teeth with an anvil:

    Churkin, the Russian UN envoy, countered that it was “very strange” that Power issued a statement “as if she was Mother Teresa.” He added, “Please remember what country you are representing. Please remember your country’s track record, and then you can start opining from the position of any moral supremacy.”

    Game, set and match to The Tsar (TM)…

    • anneinpt says:

      Yep. But they’re still murderous thugs who would sell us all out, despite their professed friendship, at the drop of a hat if they deem it necessary for their purposes.

    • Elise Ronan says:

      This nonsense from the Russian ambassador reminds me of the time Kruschev derided the US for castigating them about human rights by bringing up the Dred Scott decision. It was nonsensical then and the Russian response is idiotic today.

      Forgetting that there are rules of war specifically about the protection and targeting of civilians, at no time except by apologists for Saddam Hussein, Islamists, Iran and those wishing to extend Russian hegemony into MENA, has anyone said that the US has committed war crimes anywhere in the Middle East, especially war crimes on the level that Russia has been complicit in, in Syria. And Stop the War Coalition, and other Leftist bourgeois sociopaths, which have not protested the slaughter in Syria ever, don’t count as arbiters of what is and is not a war crime.

      So the only ones who think that the Russian ambassador scored any salient points either has no knowledge of the conflicts raging in the Middle East, no understanding-not one iota about international law, is a Russian-Syrian-Iranian troll, or all of the above.

      No the Russian ambassador did not score any salient point for the Tsar. If anything it only reinforces the truth that Putin’s reign is the epitome of a machiavellian and evil empire that has taken hold of this very strategic part of the world and threatens western democracy and freedom.

      • Earl says:

        @ Ronan: Nice try, but nyet.

        Putin’s Russia is near-bankrupt, only being kept afloat with $50+ oil. But he’s proven to be a master tactician with his intermeddling in Syria whilst O sat by with his vacuous red line. Power/O needed a good public smack; Putin has nil interest in following “international law” when its results are the mass butchery of Yazidis by Dark Agers, incipient Iranian hegemony throughout the ME and beyond, and mass, documented salafist war crimes in Iraq and Syria.

        Unquestionably, Putin is a machiavellian kleptocrat. But he has saved at least a portion of Syria from jihadist onslaught, in exactly the same manner as the US is (fitfully) doing in Iraq (Mosul). Your position is the result of the reportage that passes for balanced now in too much of the Western media, and which credulous, unlettered readers seem immeasurably capable of absorbing.

        • Elise Ronan says:

          The US is not committing mass murder in mosul. If your was the reports coming out of Mosul you would recognize several of the tactics used by the US troops as what Israel did to protect civilians in Gaza. So to compare their actions to Putins butchers is an insult to American troops. Unless of cause your ink Israelis are war criminals akin to Putin and Hezbollah forces.

          That somehow you think that that evil SOB Putin is some kind of savior is sad. He is a butcher, a war criminal no different than Molosevic. He is not stopping the jihadists. He is attacking the antiAssad forces only leaving ISIS alone. He is not there to save Syria from he Islamist he is there to keep Assad in power because it behooves him and his business partner Iran.

          Also considering you do not know me or my background I would suggest you not insult me as some kind of effet westerner ignorant of the Middle East and the machinations of the area.

  4. Reality says:

    So wait,isnt the ICC going to threaten Powers and Obama with a war crime trial?And if not ,why not?Here in Israel,with every newly built balcony,the left scream that all Knesset members,and soldiers will be arrested in European airports and hauled off to the Hague for a trial.Why can’t the Americans,Europeans,and British be hauled there too?This time they really are responsible for this terrible slaughter being allowed to occur and continue.

    • anneinpt says:

      Because in the eyes of the left, passivity is never as bad as activity. So even though Israel’s defensive actions save thousands, and the west’s passivity killed millions, Israel is still seen as worse in their eyes.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the ICC though. It’s a non starter.

  5. DP-PT says:

    I’ve been wondering for a long time who will Assad actually be ruler of, once he finishes butchering his own people, with the efficient help of Iran Hezbollah and Russia. No-one has commented that one good thing that has come out of this for Israel is that when we are next (still?) urged to hand over land to any Arab/Muslim and/or trust their peaceful intentions and the guarantees of the West, we can point to the track record in Syria and say “No thanks Guys”. BTW, if this is how Arab treats Arab, Muslim treats Muslim, what can anyone possibly expect from Arab/Muslim vs Jew/Israeli?

    • anneinpt says:

      I think Assad just wants to survive at this stage. He and his family and friends. He doesn’t give a damn about the actual people of Syria.

      As you say, Israel can point to Syria and the general Muslim-on-Muslim violence as an object lesson in how not to give away strategic land.

      And yet, that hasn’t stopped the UN and foreign governments from demanding that Israel return the Golan to Syria (which Syria?!) and to cease its “occupation” there forthwith, besides not recognizing our annexation.

      So common sense לחוד and anti-Israel bias מאידך.

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