For a long time, America has tried to ignore and distance itself from its role in making Syria the disaster it is today. Syria stands as a mega-embarrassment that shines a spotlight on America's failed foreign policy. To say President Obama blew it is an understatement. His inexperience took us down a rabbit hole with each turn revealing more ugliness than the one before. Both Obama and Trump pledged to reduce America's role in Afghanistan and Iraq but it has proven easier said than done, it has also had massive far-reaching ramifications.
Aleppo Is Just One Of The Many Cities Destroyed
By reassuring and almost encouraging the people of Syria to rise up and overthrow their brutal leader Obama started a series of events that has taken countless lives and destroyed millions of others. Three of the most damaging developments flowing from this are the development of ISIS, the flow of millions of refugees into Europe, and the bombing and destruction of cities and innocent civilians.
Continued violence in the region over the last decade has spurred the destabilizing mass migration of millions of people from the area.
Many people do not realize the formation of ISIS is rooted in this mess and flowed out of America's meddling. A failed attempt to build an army to fight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad backfired. A report published by Reuters claimed that 200 men were trained and that over 1200 were to be added in a plan to prepare to free Syria from the rule of President Bashar but General Ibrahim al-Douri. who had been on the US most-wanted list since the second Gulf War took over control. This left the group with a problematic leader and a huge war chest at his disposal. Most of the money had come from US allies, including Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, all are Sunni-based countries that originally supported ISIS.
For years, day after day, week after week, month after month, the American people have busied themselves with ignoring the Pandora's box of misery Obama opened and unleashed is his arrogance. Please don't take this as an Obama bashing, he didn't do it alone. The same old group of clowns that have infected American foreign policy for years weighed in and helped bring us to where we are today. America simply can't mind its own business.
While it could be argued a great deal of this is a continuation of President Bush's folly, anyone making such a case should concede that Obama widened the conflict destabilizing the situation even more. In 2011, he and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to undertake a "military intervention " in Libya. Years later in a 2016 Fox interview, Obama said the handling of the military intervention in Libya was his “worst mistake” Today, oil-rich Libya is a violent mess split between rival governments, each backed by an array of foreign countries jockeying for influence and control of Libya’s resources. According to a statement from the UN, the failed country is continuing its long efforts to reach a lasting cease-fire.
Looking back at President Obama’s legacy in early 2017, The Guardian reported that in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. Most of these air attacks were in Syria and Iraq but US bombs were also dropped in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. All seven of these countries have populations where a majority of the people are Muslim. as for the numbers of civilians killed by these bombs it could be in the thousands. We will never know because both the administration and mainstream media remained nearly silent about the civilian toll of the administration’s failed interventions.
Returning to the issue of Syria, currently, around a million Syrians have their backs against the wall in the northern Syrian province of Idlib. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports the number of civilians displaced since December 1 at 700,000. These civilians are trapped, the population is caught under the bombs of a three-way war which now involves the Syrian-Russian alliance fighting Turkey, as well as Turkish proxy jihadists as well as terror group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.
The Syrian and Russian armies are bombing these people while Turkey refuses to let them cross the border partly because once there they become Turkey's problem. Adding to the problem is that the European Union has signaled they don't want them either. The situation has degraded into an almost bizarre state where America and the Trump administration are backing Turkey and its President Tayyip Erdoğan. This is definitely not a marriage made in heaven. Over the last few years, Turkey has bashed the Kurds and played Russia against America while constantly leaning on Greece and the Euro-zone.
Those that have fled the fighting are suffering horrible conditions. A YouTube video is linked to the picture to the right. Clicking on the picture brings up drone footage showing the horrible conditions in a refugee camp covered in snow. Snow blankets the countryside while mothers and their children live in flimsy tents without heat or enough to eat.
Living in the mud, cold and hungry without proper sanitation is far from ideal. The children have no real schools and people have little to do except to suffer. To make matters worse the men have little or no work or any way to make money. Life in the refugee camps is a case of just trying to survive until things get better. It is important to remember most of these were happy middle-class people simply wanting to go about their lives before we stirred the pot.
I started writing about Syria back in 2012. At the time I predicted the country had passed the tipping point and was facing a civil war. That was at a time forces were lining up to supply weapons to both sides of the Syrian conflict. This fueled the fire and turned the Syrian people into pawns in a very dangerous and deadly game. As in Libya, a parade of foreign countries jockeying for influence and control have poured weapons and fighters into the area and it is the people of the region that are paying the price.
Was their government perfect? No, but they were not living under the conditions under which they are currently forced to exist. To make matters worse the vice is expected to tighten. Syria is only one example of how meddling in the affairs of other countries has consequences. Unfortunately, America's history of intruding in the affairs of others has been widespread. To say these people face a bleak future is most likely an understatement because the world is doing little to help them. It could be said that with friends like us these counties don't need more enemies.