Five years of horror in Syria-

Five years of horror in Syria—17h.,b12-3

In their hometown of Deraa the slogan of the Arab spring: “The people,” they wrote, “want  to topple the regime.” Syrian security forces caught the boys and tortured them.  When news of the regime’s crime spread, thousands around the country filled the streets of their cities. towns, and villages to make their voices heard. Their protests were peaceful, but the response of Bashar al-Assad’s troops was not. They slaughtered unarmed demonstrators and tortured others in jail. Eventually, the people picked Up arms to defend themselves. Those whom President Obama later deprecated as “former doctors, farmers. pharmacists, and so forth” with no chance against “a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah.” none the less fought back. The clerical regime in Tehran was i helping its Syrian ally Assad to crush the opposition like insects. If he helped the farmers and pharmacists to defend themselves and their families, Obama reasoned, it would  damage his chances of doing a deal with the cruel regime  that was Assad’s partner in slaughter.

Because the White House saw no strategic logic to arming the opposition, or setting up a no-fly zone or a buffer zone to protect them, malign forces filled the vacuum. First there was the Islamic State and later Russia, and the death toll mounted. Five years and hundreds of thousands of deaths into what has become the most devastating conflict of the 21st century, the war shows no sign of ending. Five years later, it’s still difficult to see the magnitude of it clearly. And some of the key figures are either confused or obfuscating.

Nowhere in John Kerry’s statement listing ISIS’s gruesome I s crimes against Christians, Yazidis, Shiites, and others is there any mention of Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian despot and his allied forces, including Iran, Hezbollah, assorted Shiite militias from around the region, and Russia, are responsible for the vast majority of deaths in the conflict. most of them targeting the country’s Sunni Arab population. To obscure the Syrian butcher’s bloody role is to participate in a cover-up of war crimes on a massive scale.,  It is not difficult to see why the Obama administration chooses to divert attention away from Assad’s gory campaign—the president wanted a nuclear deal with Iran, and to get it he had to play nice with the clerical regime, which includes, as Obama explained, respecting Iran’s “equities” in Syria.

Five years on and the Syria conflict has become a three headed monster—a genocide, an increasingly large multipower war involving states and nonstate actors, and a refugee crisis. The world has seen nothing like it since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. What makes the Syria conflict even more dire, even more consequential is that it affects two major regions of the world, the Middle East and Europe. Indeed, according to some European officials, the Syrian refugee crisis is an existential threat to the EU.

Where the White House has not actively partnered with the regime in Tehran and its allies, it has chosen to excuse Iranian actions. Ballistic missile tests? No big deal. The kidnapping of 10 American sailors? They were treated really well and released the next day. Laying waste to two of Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic missions in Iran? Riyadh was asking for trouble. A genocide in Syria perpetrated by Iran’s ally Assad with a huge assist from Iranian forces? That’s the price you have to pay for a historic nuclear agreement. Obama says he has as much to lose as anyone if the Iran deal goes wrong. It’s got his name on it, he says. So does the war in Syria.

source–weekly std-3/28/6, lee smith,

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