The civil war in Syria is now more than a year old, with estimates putting the civilian death toll at the hands of the Syrian army at 9,000 people in the past 13 months. As the slaughter continues, President Barack Obama has offered little more than promises of nonlethal aid to the Syrian opposition and intonations about establishing “a process” to transition to a “legitimate government.”
Inaction in the face of such butchery is easy to criticize, of course, and America cannot intervene everywhere. Nonetheless, Obama’s inaction in the face of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutality is especially glaring in light of the U.S. intervention in Libya just a year ago.
Recall that in announcing his decision to attack Moammar Gadhafi’s forces, Obama declared, “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, . . . where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.”