The American Interest. "Fecklessness 101." Did the Obama administration miss a chance to solve the Syrian crisis in 2012?
Apparently the Obama administration turned down a Russian offer to dump Assad… because the Administration was sure he was going to fall on his own. The Guardian reports:
[Former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti] Ahtisaari held talks with envoys from the five permanent members of the UN security council in February 2012. He said that during those discussions, the Russian ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, laid out a three-point plan, which included a proposal for Assad to cede power at some point after peace talks had started between the regime and the opposition.But he said that the US, Britain and France were so convinced that the Syrian dictator was about to fall, they ignored the proposal.
Glenn Reynolds. USA Today. "The Obama-Hillary Mideast Debacles."
Obama initially called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, only to back down in the face of opposition from Vladimir Putin. Since then, the United States has postured a bit, but done nothing of consequence. The signal to our enemies: It’s safe to ignore us. The signal to our friends: It’s foolish to rely on us.
Now, as the war in Syria has expanded — with the U.S. arming and supporting various groups that have shown a disturbing tendency to take our guns and then switch sides — refugees are flooding Europe. It is, as Ron Radosh correctly states, Barack Obama’s refugee problem.
This would be bad enough if Syria were the Obama administration’s only foreign policy misstep, but instead it is merely representative of a larger problem. President Obamabragged about Yemen as a showpiece of his administration’s anti-terror program’s success; a few months later, Yemen was taken over by terrorists and now an ugly civil war, featuring Saudi troops, rages there. The administration’s responses, as even the Obama-friendly Vox.com notes, have been ”cringe-worthy.”