web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



President Obama and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

“What is being done in Homs [Syria] . . . is simply appalling and shouldn’t be allowed to stand in our world,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron in Washington. The British, he said, are cataloguing “these crimes,” and Assad should “always remember that international law has got a long reach and a long memory.” Standing next to Mr. Cameron, President Obama demanded that Bashar al-Asad step down while reassuring him that the U.S. is unlikely actually to do anything about the problem. “The best thing we can do right now is to make sure that the international community continues to unify around the fact that what the Syrian regime is doing is unacceptable.”

Really? That’s the best we can do? Who out there doesn’t think what the Syrians are doing is unacceptable? The Russians? They know perfectly well it is morally unacceptable; they just don’t care because a larger Russian interest is involved. As in Chechnya. As when the French and Germans said they were opposed to the Iraq war for moral reasons while they were taking Oil-for-Food kickbacks from Saddam.

But despite the fact that PM Cameron is “appalled” by things Mr. Obama has called “unacceptable,” the President and various American officials have recently offered a host of reasons no one should expect us to do anything about them:

  • The US needs “permission” from the UN and the Arab League, along with NATO agreement (though perhaps not the agreement of Congress)
  • It would take 75,000 soldiers to contain Syria’s chemical arsenal
  • There could be a civil war. [In support of Mr. Obama, the French government added yesterday that, "If we give arms to a certain faction of the Syrian opposition, we would make a civil war among Christians, Alawites, Sunnis and Shiites."]
  • Al-Qaeda is part of the Syrian opposition
  • Russian-supplied Syrian air defenses are formidable.

Most of those points are debatable (there’s already a civil war, while there’s no proof of al-Qaeda involvement). All are largely irrelevant if, indeed, there is a responsibility to stop the perpetrators of what, by most accounts, amounts to war crimes. The United States and our British ally have to determine whether R2P (Responsibility to Protect) is actually only R2PATF (Responsibility to Punish after the Fact).

There is something to be said for the trials of Slobodan Milosevic and Ratko Mladich after the Bosnia war, and the 92 indictments that followed the Rwanda massacres. There is less to commend about the indictment of Omar Bashir of Sudan, who remains in charge of Sudan after the depredations in Darfur, Nuba, South Sudan, and the Beja people in the east. And there is nothing that helps the victims of any of the above.

The administration should want al-Asad and other despotic leaders – not to mention our friends – to believe that the United States and its allies in the West mean what they say. At the moment, the bad guys, at least, have no reason to.

In the wake of charges against American pro-democracy workers in Egypt and revocation of their exit visas, Congress determined to withhold U.S. aid until the State Department certified that the country was “making progress in basic freedoms and human rights.” Although one would be hard-pressed to see progress, The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Clinton is close to announcing that she will bypass Congress and hand over $1.5 billion in mostly military aid.

She will, according to sources in the article, claim “national security” grounds, fearing that continuing to withhold the money will make the military junta and the Muslim Brotherhood even angrier with the U.S. than they already are. That, and most of the money is tied up in existing defense contracts with U.S. firms.

So, U.S. aid no longer serves the goals of U.S. foreign policy may have, it is a) a blackmail payoff against further Egyptian anti-Americanism and b) a “shovel ready” jobs program. Neither shows American backbone.

If Syria and Egypt have nothing to fear from the President of the United States, what will the Iranians fear? Still standing with Mr. Cameron, President Obama followed up on his determination not to inconvenience al-Asad with what The Washington Post called a “stern warning” that Tehran “must meet its international obligations or face the consequences.”

Yeah, right.

 

Originally published by Stonegate Institute www.stonegateinstitute.org

About the Author: Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of The Jewish Policy Center. She was previously Senior Director of JINSA and author of JINSA Reports form 1995-2011.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “President Obama and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF map of Gaza City launcher sites centered among high schools.
Israeli Cabinet Cowed Back Into ‘Tit-for-Tat’ by Obama?
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Shoshana Bryen
Gaza

Proportionality Doctrine:The greater the military gain the greater the justifiable collateral damage

International Security Assistance Force Commander Gen. John R. Allen.

It appears not to have occurred to Condoleezza Rice that Palestinian statehood was incompatible with Israeli security.

The 686 men who expressed their desire to run in Iran’s presidential election were whittled down to 8.

Does Kerry think it would be better for Israel to approach negotiations from a position of precarious poverty?

Neither Secretary of State Kerry nor the president he serves seem to understand Russia’s goals in the Middle East.

The fourth Great War is less ‘Islam against the West’ than it is Sunni expansionists vs. Shiite expansionists.

This is the functional equivalent of agreeing not to swing the wrecking ball after you’ve set the house on fire.

President Obama, perhaps inadvertently, made the case for U.S.-Israel relations grounded in the most fundamental shared values.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/president-obama-and-the-responsibility-to-protect/2012/03/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: