Answer the atrocities

Embattled U.S. allies in grave need of American leadership
Sick, displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community waited for treatment Tuesday at a camp clinic in Derike, Syria. Kurdish fighters rescued them by carving an escape route to tens of thousands trapped on a mountaintop.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. To Martha’s Vineyard, apparently.

It wouldn’t be so easy to criticize President Obama for embarking on a golf-and-beach outing while our allies in Israel, Ukraine and Iraq fight for their very survival if it were clear he genuinely cared about their plight.

If he does, it’s difficult to see.

We don’t see a president who acts like the leader of the free world. We see a hapless, helpless actor on a world stage, a virtual bystander to the events around him.

We see a president so detached by the genocide unfolding in Iraq that he tenaciously sticks to a two-week vacation plan less than 36 hours after ordering a mostly impotent air strike against the radical Islamic group ISIS, which is literally hacking ethnic Christians to pieces.

Just what does it take to come between Obama and a vacation?

By the way, the group of ex-al-Qaida jihadists responsible for the slaughter is the same one the president dismissively referred to as the “JV team” earlier this year. This is much the same group he referred to as
“decimated” during his 2012 reelection campaign.

The crises in Israel and Ukraine undoubtedly are matters of American concern, but the horrors in Iraq beg for a whole new level of attention – the kind that can’t be given while on the back nine at the Farm Neck Golf Club, or during a motorcade ride to a $15,000-a-ticket Democratic fundraiser in Tisbury, Mass.

The ISIS barbarisms against the people of Iraq include crucifixions, beheadings, executions and mass burials. Those who managed to dodge bullets and swords are left to die slowly of thirst, starvation and exposure.

“The world hasn’t seen this kind of atrocity in generations,” Mark Arabo, a Chaldean-American businessman told CNN. “They are literally enjoying the act of killing and the fear and suffering experienced by others. This sadism may be the purest manifestation of evil witnessed since the Rape of Nanking during World War II.”

We have a moral obligation to help these people. And it’s going to take more than a few token air strikes.

The United States helped create the circumstances for their suffering when Mr. Obama declared victory and pulled our troops out, creating the vacuum filled by radicals whose declared goal is to create a terrorist state – a caliphate.

In 2011, current CIA Secretary and then-White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennen called fears of a terrorist caliphate “absurd” and a “feckless delusion.” Who’s feckless now?

But quiescence is one thing; callous disregard is another. And that’s what this president is showing the genocide in Iraq.

No one wants to re-engage in Iraq, but if not us, then who? If not now, when? This is a preventable slaughter, playing out in slow motion in front of all our eyes.

The president is no doubt further loath to go back in after claiming mission accomplished and pulling out – perhaps letting personal pride or reputation interfere with good judgment, while ignoring the rather obvious point that a war does not end simply because one side lays down arms.

Moreover, he now bizarrely tries to claim no part in the decision to leave Iraq – so much for “the buck stops here” – while still boasting repeatedly that he ended the war.

Such feats of mental gymnastics in the face of people dying are possible only on the decks of a rudderless and listing foreign policy ship.

This president’s detachment even gives “bystanders” a bad name, as many of them are willing to step in when needed.

More

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 22:21

Letter: Time to solve problems

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 22:20

Letter: Comparison was unfair

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 22:20

Editorial: Expect the expected