Picture this in your mind for a moment:
Donald Trump is in the Oval Office and is advised by his Cabinet that there is a dire event unfolding across the world. He has to take action! He takes to the airwaves and there is breaking news all over the television and radio.
“I, and every American in this country, condemn this series of attacks that this thug leader has perpetrated on his own people. I am drawing a line in the sand as of this moment. If it is found and confirmed that you have or are using chemical weapons in this civil war with your fellow countrymen, I will be forced to take further action, up to and including military engagement.”
In a stunning act of defiance, the thug leader does, in fact, use chemical weapons in a series of assaults on the people of his own nation. Armed soldiers enter the city under martial law and go door-to-door, gunning down whole families suspected of colluding with the rebels.
Breitbart: “The situation in Aleppo is harrowing. Activists on the ground say they are not allowed to leave. The New York Times quotes French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault describing the scene as ‘coldblooded murders of entire families on the ground who were deemed close to the opposition; summary executions, including of women and children; people burned alive in their homes; the continuation of systematic targeting of hospitals, their staff and their patients.'”
Through all of this, Trump does nothing. He is utterly silent. The entire Cabinet does not respond to these hapless individuals who are begging for the US to intervene. Russia has been helping with these raids as well.
Breitbart: “Those with access to the internet in Aleppo are posting their final goodbyes on social media, urging the international community to acknowledge their genocide and intervene, better late than never.”
Now, stop and imagine that all this took place under a Trump Presidency while further picturing a docile, complacent media that says nothing. No negative commentary. No forlorn opinion. No indignant outrage. Just crickets.
The reason you’re having such a difficult time imagining this comical scene (one where a Republican president, more reviled and repudiated than even Benjamin Netanyahu, getting a free pass from the mainstream media on such a pivotal historical moment in American national security politics) is that this actually took place. All one needs to do is replace the name of Donald J. Trump with Barrack H. Obama.
Breitbart notes that both Reuters and the Wall Street Journal propose various takes on this situation from the point of view of the rebels:
Many Syrian rebels blame President Obama for this tragedy. “History will never forgive Obama for what he has done to the Syrian people… [Obama] abandoned the Syrian people and gave Bashar the green light,” Syrian rebel leader Riad Hijab told the Wall Street Journal last week. A Syrian government official, in a way confirming that President Obama’s inaction on Syria benefits Damascus, told Reuters last week that “The Russians want to complete the [Aleppo] operation before Trump takes power.
Interestingly (and perhaps tragically) a similar mistake was perpetrated on the Rwandan people during Bill Clinton’s reign where, due to inaction on the President’s part, more than a million people were murdered in genocidal proportions. Warnings were issued by many different sources, but without so much as a yawn, the Clinton Administration opted to ignore the cries for help.
For his part, some have even gone so far as to suggest that Obama’s inaction was seen as a weakness by the enemy and, therefore, the rise of ISIS was quantified.
Of course the two situations differ significantly…those committing the Rwandan genocide were Rwandans, killing their countrymen; in Aleppo, Putin has as much blood on his hands as Assad does. Yet the foreign policy principles that triggered a U.S. failure to intervene in Rwanda are alive and well in Syria: the blunder of promising to be present before a tragedy occurs and reneging. Years after leaving office, Clinton himself seemed to agree with his critics on Rwanda. “If we’d gone in sooner, I believe we could have saved at least a third of the lives that were lost,” he told CNBC at the time. The best the residents of Aleppo can hope for now is a similar statement from President Obama two decades from now, if they survive the carnage.
Hearken back for a moment to what was mentioned above, regarding a Trump Presidency having committed the exact same mistakes as the current administration. You may say to yourself that this will justify any missteps in the future for Trump. After all, he deserves the same kind of indifference from the mainstream media about national security blunders as Obama. Right? But mark my words…Trump will make mistakes far less often and far less egregious than those committed by Obama and you can bet money (and win) that the media will absolutely lose their minds over any small transgression. It’s a guarantee.