Should the US intervene in Syrian massacres? Should it have toppled the butcher Assad, who waged war against his own people? Some people think so, and that the US showed cowardice in not intervening, or in failing to build an international force to intervene.
“Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later. Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica, and, now, Aleppo. To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes. Your barrel bombs and mortars and airstrikes have allowed the militia in Aleppo to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in your ever-tightening noose. It is your noose. Three Member States of the UN contributing to a noose around civilians. It should shame you. Instead, by all appearances, it is emboldening you. You are plotting your next assault. Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you? Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin, that just creeps you out a little bit? Is there nothing you will not lie about or justify?” — Samantha Powers, US Ambassador to the UN yesterday at the Security Council Emergency Briefing on Syria
Obama’s reluctance stemmed from the disastrous US intervention in Iraq, where we toppled the dictator Saddam Hussein, only to pour trillions down a rat hole, destabilize the country and the region.
Should the US intervene in Crimea, in Ukraine, both now under the thumb of the Russian bear? Should it protect the Baltic states from Russian invasion or domination?
With European allies, the Obama administration intervened in Libya, and toppled the dictator Qaddafi, sparking events that led to the murder of US diplomats. Libya, and the region, have not recovered.
In the mid-2000s, President Bush responded to a group of activists about the genocide in Western Sudan (Darfur), and promised action, but it never much materialized.
If conducted today, the Mogadishu raid would have been done more efficiently, Bowden suspects. He says there also would be better intelligence about the risks ahead of time. But that’s not to say there wouldn’t be hiccups.
“The men who conducted that raid [in ’93] were extremely professional, and they didn’t do anything wrong,” he says. “The fact is that when you go into combat, it’s very not only possible but very likely that … unanticipated things will happen and you’ll end up in a much bigger fight than you would prefer.”
Clearly the US should have gotten into WWII or stopped Germany much sooner, as early as 1935. And we probably could have ended WWI in 1915 if we hadn’t been so slow to arouse, isolationist until 1917.