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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thomas Friedman, "Friends and Refugees in Need": "Obama Did Not Cause This Syria Problem"? Yeah, Right!

Declaring in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Friends and Refugees in Need" that Obama, in his last year as president, "has much to be proud of," Thomas Friedman proceeds to lament the refugee crisis affecting Europe, which could go "from a giant humanitarian problem to a giant geostrategic problem that shatters America’s most important ally: the European Union." Tom Terrific goes on to say:

"The meltdowns of Syria, Somalia, Eritrea, Mali, Chad and Yemen and our takedowns of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan — without proper follow-up on our part, NATO’s part or by local elites — has uncorked the worst refugee crisis since World War II. This tidal wave of migrants and refugees is a human tragedy, and their outflow from Syria and Libya in particular is destabilizing all the neighboring islands of decency: Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Kurdistan and Turkey. And now it is eating away at the fabric of the E.U. as well.

Why should Americans care? Because the E.U. is the United States of Europe — the world’s other great center of democracy and economic opportunity. It has its military shortcomings, but with its wealth and liberal values, the E.U. has become America’s primary partner in addressing climate change, managing Iran and Russia and containing disorder in the Middle East and Africa."

Yup, the EU sure as heck helped manage Russia when it annexed Crimea and invaded Ukraine . . . not.

European "liberal values"? Consider how naked statues were covered up when Iranian President Rouhani visited Rome on Monday in order to sign business deals worth $18 billion with Italian companies. Needless to say, these deals were all made possible by the removal of sanctions resulting from Obama's unsigned nuclear deal with Supreme Leader Khamenei. Additional billion dollar deals will also soon be signed by Rouhani, a leader of a country with the highest per capita rate of executions in the world, with "liberal" Germany and France.

Friedman's conclusion:

"Obama did not cause this Syria problem, and he can’t fix it alone — but it’s not going to get fixed without U.S. leadership. I have shared the president’s caution about getting involved on the ground in Syria. But I now believe we need to take another look at establishing some kind of U.S./E.U./NATO safe zone inside Syria and Libya to create space for refugees to remain in these countries. It’s not a panacea or cost-free, but letting this refugee disaster fracture the E.U. will be a lot more expensive."

"Obama did not cause this Syria problem"? Oh really? At an August 20, 2012 news conference, Obama declared with regard to potential American intervention in Syria:

"A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus."

Well, Assad started "moving around" a "whole bunch" of chemical weapons, so Obama drew a new line in the sand. Speaking at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction symposium in Washington on December 3, 2012, Obama stated:

"The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences, and you will be held accountable."

Obama further warned, “I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command, the world is watching.” Well, Assad used chemical weapons against civilians, and Obama, who also likes to watch, did absolutely nothing, further exacerbating the Syrian refugee crisis.

Create a safe zone inside Syria, as suggested by Friedman? A "little" too late, especially with Russia now in control of the skies over that country. Herd nine million Syrian refugees into that safe zone? I don't think so.

Go back to sleep, Tom.

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