Former President Barack Obama won’t stop appearing in the public eye. This time, he decided he won’t be beaten by Trump, and claimed to the media that his ineffectiveness actually took more bravery. He described his own experiences with Syria, saying that “not bombing Syria, takes more courage”.
Tell that to the civilians dying in the tens of thousands.
“But I actually think that the issue that required the most political courage was the decision not to bomb Syria after the chemical weapons use had been publicized and rather to negotiate them removing chemical weapons from Syria,” Obama said, after initially discussing his decision to boost and lower U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
The Daily Mail reports:
Obama was facing pressure from both sides after forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are thought to have used chemical weapons on Syrian civilians in 2013.
The president had issued his famous ‘red line’ statement warning Assad against the use of chemical weapons in 2012.
‘We have been very clear to the Assad regime — but also to other players on the ground — that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus; that would change my equation,’ the president warned in 2012.
He told Schossberg: ‘Now, we know subsequently that some [chemical weapons] remained, so it was an imperfect solution. But what we also know is that 99 percent of huge chemical weapons stockpiled were removed without us having to fire a shot.
‘The reason it was hard was because, as president, what you discover is that you generally get praised for taking military action, and you’re often criticized for not doing so,’ Obama said, according to a transcript posted on medium.
He continued: ‘And it wasn’t a slam dunk, but I thought that it made sense for a variety of reasons for us to see if we could actually try to eliminate the prospect of large-scale chemical weapons use rather than the political expedience of a one-time shot.’
His remarks only glancingly referenced the latest chemical weapons attack.
Obama also mentioned the decision to send military SEALs on a dangerous mission against Osasma bin Laden. Although he has talked up the stakes in the past – Obama was living in a compound inside Pakistan, which didn’t get a warning of the raid, and a failure could have been a fiasco – the president minimized the decision.
‘The Bin Laden decision was difficult as well, but that one was one where I felt enough confidence in our men and women in uniform and our Navy Seals that once I knew that I could get them back out, I felt like it was worth a shot,’ Obama said.
Obama’s statement about faith in his Syria policy came on a day when yet another grim report came out of the war-ravaged country.
The State Department said it believes Syria’s government is carrying out mass killings and burning the bodies of its victims in a large crematorium, the Associated Press reported.
State said about 50 detainees each day are being hanged at the Saydnaya military prison, with many bodies burned afterward.
‘We believe that the building of a crematorium is an effort to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place in Saydnaya prison,’ said Stuart Jones, the top U.S. diplomatic for the Middle East.