Monday, August 22, 2016

The poster child of Obama’s foreign policy


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Indeed, the babies are dying in Aleppo, as Robin Wright posted today:
Last month, four newborns in incubators fought for their lives in a small hospital in Aleppo, the besieged Syrian city. 
Then a bomb hit the hospital and cut off power — and oxygen to the incubators. The babies suffocated. 
In a joint letter to President Obama this month, fifteen doctors described the infants’ deaths: “Gasping for air, their lives ended before they had really begun.” 
The doctors are among the last few in the eastern part of Aleppo, the historic former commercial center where a hundred thousand children are now trapped.
The photo of the bloody 5 year old boy, is one of the ugliest ones I’ve ever seen. We learned more about him later:
More than a third of all casualties in Aleppo are now kids, according to Save the Children. 
Among them is Omran Daqneesh, the toddler with the moppish Beatles haircut whose picture captivated the world this week. He was shown covered with blood and dust after being dug from the debris of a bombing in Syria on Thursday. Rescuers placed him, alone, on an orange seat in an ambulance. His stunned, dazed expression mirrored the trauma of a war-ravaged generation. (On Saturday, we learned that Omran’s older brother Ali, who was ten, had died from wounds sustained in the attack.)
I understand that war is hell, as any veteran will tell you. However, this picture is more than the byproduct of bombs. It is the consequence of a foreign policy that has made the world a heck of lot unsafer than it was in 2009.   
It started with a reckless withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. It was followed by tough talk about “red lines” that were never followed up. It did not take long for the bad guys in the region to find that President Obama was all about getting reelected in 2012 rather than U.S. national security.      
Two terms later, we see the result. Ukraine dismembered. Eastern Europe on edge. 
Syria a charnel house. Iran subsuming Iraq. Russia and Iran on the march across the entire northern Middle East.
And two terms later, we know that Mr. Obama’s successor will have to clean this up. The next one, he or she, won’t have the luxury of “hope and change” and a media willing to overlook President Obama’s pathetic performance. He or she will have to face the facts and make extremely painful decisions, such as sending ground troops.
And worst of all, one of the authors of this mess is leading in the polls to inherit the problems.
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