How to Win Friends and kill people–strange new respect for Syria’s Assad-

How to Win Friends and kill people–strange new respect for Syria’s Assad–17h.,b12-3

He and his father ruled for generations by the application of terror and violence.” But according to Johnson, “There are at least two reasons why any sane person should feel a sense of satisfaction at what Assad’s troops have accomplished.” First, as bad as Assad and his forces may be, they’re still better than the Islamic State forces they vanquished in the campaign to retake Palmyra. Second, writes Johnson, “the victory of Assad is a victory for archaeology.’ Johnson’s first reason is arguable. Assad’s forces have killed many times more people than ISIS, which entered the war several years after Assad started the conflict by firing on peaceful protesters who took to the streets in March 2011. ISIS is vicious and publicizes Jo its gore on social media, but Assad and allies have done  the same abundantly. Indeed, Palmyra is where the Assad regime built a dungeon in the desert decades ago to  torture and murder political prisoners. Five years ago, Bashar al Assad  emptied that prison Tadmor, . of its Islamist inmates with the purpose of sowing chaos, and many of them became ISIS figures.

Johnson’s second reason for praising Assad—as the champion of archaeology—is evidence that the West has  become undone. The mayor of one of the world’s greatest cities—next in line to lead Britain’s Tories—praises Vladimir Putin for his “ruthless clarity” in helping Assad’s troops rescue antiquities. On Easter Sunday, a delegation of French figures visited the butcher of Damascus. The group comprised a few well-known antisemites and Other right-wing extremists among the visiting politicians, journalists. and intellectuals. They paid their respects, smiled, and posed for selfies with a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands. French diplomatic sources warn that this gruesome caravan may be a sign of things to come, with many French policymakers now leaning toward an accommodation with Assad.

The French president declined to take part in the anti-ISIS campaign in Syria because he feared it would strengthen Assad’s hand. After the massive ISIS attacks on Paris in November, Hollande joined the Obama administration’s halfhearted war on the Islamic State because there was no other choice. ISIS is on the march and the Obama White House will not lead the West and is proud that it will not.

It’s true that Assad’s sectarian campaign against Syria’s Sunni Arab population is responsible for the vast majority of refugees, and Putin is manipulating the refugee crisis to his own advantage. But when death comes to the continent. European officials logically label ISIS the major problem. They’re concerned with their own security, not die big picture—like how to deal ISIS a decisive blow, or contain Iran, or knock Putin back down to size. The Americans are “supposed to do the big picture. They have the military, the economy, the prestige to shape a global strategy. After all, they built the post-WWII international order.

It  was wrong to make too big a deal out of the dereferences between communism and capitalism, Obama told an audience in Argentina shortly after his Cuban excursion. Forget these distinctions and go with whatever works, said the American President. The whole Cold  War was a mistake, Obama thinks, all the ideas that came out of it, like enmity with Iran, like NATO, like the international order that America has at underwritten since the end of WWII. Who needs Europe anyway? As Obama told a journalist, allies like France and the United Kingdom are “free riders.”

source–weekly standard (4/11/16), lee smith, telegraph, boris johnson, francois haollande,

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