Obama created the Syrian disaster, so it’s fitting he’s not there to end it

Putin Erdogan
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Obama created the Syrian disaster, so it's fitting he's not there to end it

Today, a truce has been bro­kered in Syria that will hope­fully turn the cor­ner on the worst human­i­tar­ian cri­sis in mod­ern his­tory. With the coun­try torn to pieces, refugees have been flood­ing into Europe and some parts of the Mid­dle East, cre­at­ing a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion for the entire region. Amer­ica, under the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Obama, was not a part of the talks.

Amer­ica, under the lead­er­ship of Pres­i­dent Obama, didn’t deserve to be part of the talks.

Let’s take a quick look at recent his­tory in Syria. It was a chain reac­tion of hor­ri­ble mis­takes. First, Obama drew his “red line” of chem­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal weapons, claim­ing that if Bashar al Assad used them it would change the cal­cu­lus for the United States to take action. Assad crossed the red line. Obama didn’t take action, let­ting the win­dow of oppor­tu­nity close before Rus­sia stepped in.

Then, Obama went with the plan of arm­ing and train­ing Syr­ian rebels to take on Assad’s army. As many will recall, much of the sup­port that Obama gave to ene­mies of Assad ended up being trans­ferred to the Islamic State and other rad­i­cal Islamic mil­i­tants. They were sup­posed to be the force that drove back the Islamic State and got rid of Assad. Instead, they were neutered from the start by the poor plan before being oblit­er­ated by Rus­sia, Iran, and Syria.

Finally, Obama attempted to nego­ti­ate peace while bick­er­ing with Rus­sia over who would be involved. He tried to work through Turkey to get one done. His “smart power” pol­icy would share the credit for clean­ing up the mess he cre­ated. Instead, Turkey found a bet­ter part­ner in Rus­sia and they got it done with­out him.

With 22 days before Obama is out of office, it’s fit­ting that he’s been excluded from clean­ing up the mess that he cre­ated. As a par­ent, I’ve used with incred­i­ble effi­ciency the non-​involvement tac­tic when the kids leave a mess behind. I draw their atten­tion to the mess they made, then I pro­ceed to clean it. When they offer to help, I tell them that I’ll take care of it because if they were con­cerned about the mess, they would have cleaned it up before. The guilt they feel as they watch their mess being cleaned has more of a last­ing impact than mak­ing them clean it up them­selves. Today, they clean up their messes before I see them.

Obama is being treated like a child by the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity because he’s acted like a for­eign pol­icy neo­phyte for eight years. He can­not take credit for fix­ing Syria and will get most of the blame for allow­ing the sit­u­a­tion to explode. Amer­ica is meant to be strong, to lead. Obama wanted to lead from behind. Instead, he’s being left behind. The result is a world that is much worse off today than when he became President.

Today, a truce has been brokered in Syria that will hopefully turn the corner on the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history. With the country torn to pieces, refugees have been flooding into Europe and some parts of the Middle East, creating a dangerous situation for the entire region. America, under the leadership of President Obama, was not a part of the talks.

America, under the leadership of President Obama, didn’t deserve to be part of the talks.

Let’s take a quick look at recent history in Syria. It was a chain reaction of horrible mistakes. First, Obama drew his “red line” of chemical and biological weapons, claiming that if Bashar al Assad used them it would change the calculus for the United States to take action. Assad crossed the red line. Obama didn’t take action, letting the window of opportunity close before Russia stepped in.

Then, Obama went with the plan of arming and training Syrian rebels to take on Assad’s army. As many will recall, much of the support that Obama gave to enemies of Assad ended up being transferred to the Islamic State and other radical Islamic militants. They were supposed to be the force that drove back the Islamic State and got rid of Assad. Instead, they were neutered from the start by the poor plan before being obliterated by Russia, Iran, and Syria.

Finally, Obama attempted to negotiate peace while bickering with Russia over who would be involved. He tried to work through Turkey to get one done. His “smart power” policy would share the credit for cleaning up the mess he created. Instead, Turkey found a better partner in Russia and they got it done without him.

With 22 days before Obama is out of office, it’s fitting that he’s been excluded from cleaning up the mess that he created. As a parent, I’ve used with incredible efficiency the non-involvement tactic when the kids leave a mess behind. I draw their attention to the mess they made, then I proceed to clean it. When they offer to help, I tell them that I’ll take care of it because if they were concerned about the mess, they would have cleaned it up before. The guilt they feel as they watch their mess being cleaned has more of a lasting impact than making them clean it up themselves. Today, they clean up their messes before I see them.

Obama is being treated like a child by the international community because he’s acted like a foreign policy neophyte for eight years. He cannot take credit for fixing Syria and will get most of the blame for allowing the situation to explode. America is meant to be strong, to lead. Obama wanted to lead from behind. Instead, he’s being left behind. The result is a world that is much worse off today than when he became President.