By: Erick Erickson
Barack Obama has made the American political left comfortable with human rights abuses. See a despot engaged in genocide in Obama’s America, blame George W. Bush and move on.
In Afghanistan, American soldiers are being driven out of the military for taking action to stop Afghan soldiers from raping boys. Rape is a war crime. It is a war crime to turn a blind eye to soldiers, including allies, engaging in war crimes. Just over two weeks ago, The New York Times reported that American soldiers are being told to ignore sexual abuse of boys in Afghanistan.
Dan Quinn, a Special Forces captain, had his command taken away after saving a boy. The boy was chained to the bed of an Afghan militia commander and used as a sex slave. Quinn beat up the commander and freed the boy. The New York Times also reported on Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr., who, before he died, told his father that he and other soldiers could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys on their American base. The Obama administration’s political appointees and those they put in command ordered the American soldiers to remain silent and do nothing.
In the Middle East, ISIS has systematically eradicated Christians. Some have been graphically beheaded on the shores of Libya. The Obama administration has done nothing. As ISIS expands its reach, the president has led a futile effort to train Syrian rebels, whom he wants to fight Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and not fight ISIS.
Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who overseas our Middle East operations, testified two weeks ago before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the American government had spent millions, but only trained “four or five” rebels. The White House’s elementary school response was that the president never, ever really wanted to train the rebels anyway.
On September 16, 2015, after Austin’s testimony, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said of the training program, “Our critics who suggest that the administration should invest more deeply in training and equipping members of the Syrian opposition, that that was the recipe for success … that is not something this administration ever believed, but it is something that our critics will have to answer for.”
Back in June of 2014, Earnest told the press of the program to train rebels: “A way to address that, in our view, is to bolster the moderate opposition, provide them additional assistance.” In September of that year, Obama said, “We have a Free Syrian Army and a moderate opposition, that we have steadily been working with, that we have vetted. … At the West Point speech I gave, I said we need to put more resources into the moderate opposition.” But now they are not only running away from that plan, but they are also blaming their “critics.”
Meanwhile, the Russians have sent their military to Syria. Last week, a Russian general arrived at the American embassy in Baghdad and informed the American government that Russia would start bombing ISIS within an hour. He told our embassy that our soldiers, planes, etc. needed to get out of the way. Obama and his administration are now complaining that Russia is not striking ISIS, but the four or five rebels we trained, who are probably dead now.
In fact, Russia has a radical Islam problem, too. Many Chechens have gone down to Syria to fight the Assad regime and, with their training, will return to fight the Russians more aggressively. Vladimir Putin has a real interest in fighting them in Syria.
Obama gave up the moral high ground a long time ago. He repeatedly refused to engage in the Syrian situation. He refused to deal with ISIS, considering them amateurs. The situation festered, and the Russians have taken advantage of the power vacuum left by Obama’s dithering.
Our foreign policy is shameful. Our enemies are emboldened, and our soldiers are censored. Obama has allowed too many Americans to grow comfortable being quiet in the face of evil, and that evil continues to fester and spread while our president twiddles his thumbs and makes kissy face with Iran.