As the presidential election dominates the daily headlines, it might have been easy to miss that recent developments in Syria are leading the United States slowly toward a possible war with Russia.
At an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting called to discuss this weekend’s stepped up bombings in the city of Aleppo by Syrian and Russian warplanes, U.N. envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said Russia’s aiding the Syrian government to bomb the city may constitute war crimes.
That was seconded by British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft: “It is difficult to deny that Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes.”
U.S. ambassador Samantha Power said Moscow’s actions in Syria were “barbarism, not counterterrorism.”
The United States and Russia had brokered a cease-fire, but the plan fell apart last week, and the bomb strikes in Aleppo have been reportedly targeting largely civilian areas where the Syrian government claims rebels are hiding.
At this point, most countries seem to have given up on a peaceful resolution in Syria, including the United States.
Rycroft said the U.S.-Russian peace effort was “nearing the end of its life.”
Russia’s Ambassador Vitaly Churkin admitted that peace “is almost an impossible task now.”
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged the members of the Security Council to redouble their efforts to put an end to the violence in Syria.
“What excuse is there for anything less than determined action to stop the mayhem?” Ban said. “How much longer will all those with influence allow such cruelty to continue?”
So naturally, when it was time for the Syrian ambassador to speak about the situation, the ambassadors for the U.S., Britain and France walked out.
And there you have it.
The Obama Administration getting huffy about the situation in Syria demonstrates perhaps the ultimate extent of hypocrisy, considering that it is President Obama’s foreign policy that armed and funded the Syrian rebels for years, and his State Department’s use of former al-Qaida mercenaries that helped create and arm ISIS, which in turn has fanned the Syrian political dispute into a blossoming war whose extent seems to be growing daily.
The Arab Spring policy, devised by Obama and Hillary Clinton, overturned several Islamic governments in the Middle East and North Africa as Obama sought to carve his legacy into the troubled region by installing his apparently preferred flavor of Islamic rule — Sunni/Muslim Brotherhood. The results were predictably disastrous, but the biggest hurdle Obama has wanted to clear and has thus far been unable to conquer is Syria, where President al-Assad is a member of the Shiite sect called Alawis.
The difficulty lies in Syria’s firm alliance with Russia.
Obama found himself forced to at least give lip service to cooperating with the Russians, meanwhile playing both sides of the table by still funding “rebels,” and darned if U.S. bombs haven’t been doing much damage, unless it was “accidentally” to Syrian government forces.
So now we take another step toward direct confrontation with Russia, thanks to Obama, even as we look forward to the first presidential debate tonight between Donald Trump and Clinton, the former secretary of state who helped the president sow chaos in the Islamic world and bring us to the precipice of war in the first place.
I wonder if Clinton will be asked about that aspect of her record of “public service” tonight?