Time for Obama to admit he has failed in Syria

The human tragedies of the refugee crisis are beyond anything one could bear. The photographs of drowned Syrian children whose bodies washed up on Libyan coasts and Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year-old boy found dead on a Turkish beach, shocked the world last week, as if no one knew how many people had to flee Syria to neighboring countries since the conflict started and who left those children to this fate.

U.S. President Barack Obama publicly praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her leadership in dealing with the so-called chaotic migration crisis but forgot to mention his policy on Syria has been a failure and that he paved the way for such a crisis.

For years, the U.S. government has publicly lauded Turkey's efforts to provide shelter for Syrian refugees who number almost 2 million in the country. The U.S. promised to help Turkey shoulder the burden many times but did nothing. The Obama administration said Syrian President Bashar Assad needed to go as this was the only way to resolve the crisis in Syria, but it was just words. When Obama's self-declared red lines were crossed and the Ghouta chemical massacre was perpetrated by the Assad regime, the U.S. appeared for the first time as if it was finally about to do something, but reaching an agreement to disarm Syria of chemical weapons and intimidating Iran to sit at the nuclear deal table were the only results. The red lines were ignored and ever since then Obama has argued that there was nothing the U.S. could do and that they would only make things worse belittling the Syrian opposition who were previously supported and promoted in the Friends of Syria meetings by the countries led by the U.S. Meanwhile, Assad has continued to shell, starve and find other ways to systematically murder Syrians.

The U.S. has only succeeded in sweeping the issue under the rug, but another problem was at the door, which Turkey had already warned about many times - the threat posed by extremism. Washington finally understood, but it was a misunderstanding. There has again been no clear strategy and road map to solve the problem in Syria, only a war against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). If there was nothing the U.S. could do then it should have stayed out of it and let the others do it. But no, Washington can never stay out of it even though they admit they could only make things worse.

Although the U.S. government is leading a war against ISIS and has abandoned the people of Syria to their fates knowingly and willingly, the Assad regime has killed far more people in Syria this year alone than ISIS has. But all we talk about is ISIS with its shocking brutality. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, forces loyal to Assad killed 7,894 people between January and July while ISIS killed 1,131. Only in 10 days in August, regime airstrikes killed more than 250 people in the Douma suburb of Damascus, including 50 children, or 50 Aylan Kurdi-s. At least 250,000 civilians have been killed while more than 11 million people have been forced from their homes accusing mostly Assad's barrel bombs. The photos of at least 11,000 people who have been tortured to death by the regime are still there waiting for an international reaction.

In law, when you see someone lying on the street, you have no obligation to help. But if you do help, then you have to complete your action since you incurred a duty because other would-be helpers pass by thinking that help has already arrived. The U.S. repeatedly put itself at the scene of Syrian crisis as a rescuer. Even now, when Obama says they could do nothing, they are still at the center of it. And other countries pass by and stay out of it thinking the U.S. is already in and will eventually do something when it is not planning to.If the U.S. government was not going to do anything about it, it should have said so. If Obama started to do something or talked as if he was going to do something, and we know he did at times, playing the hero, then he must be held liable for failing to complete his promises. He should not have confused other governments first calling on them to stand together under Washington's umbrella and then saying that it is not his problem.

Isn't it time for Obama to admit that he has failed in Syria?
Source http://www.dailysabah.com/columns/merve-sebnem-oruc/2015/09/09/time-for-obama-to-admit-he-has-failed-in-syria


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