Whenever we notice domestic news outlets blasting en masse on topics like transgender bathroom rights or how Donald Trump treats women, we know it’s time to seek news you can use elsewhere. And what we found was a damn sight more important than who’ll be sitting in the adjacent bathroom stall at school and the movies or if “The Donald” can’t keep his hands to himself. We may have finally gotten to the bottom of the U.S./Russian stalemate over Bashar al-Assad in Syria. And why is this so important, you should be asking?
It’s important because more than 470,000 lives have been lost (mostly women and children) in Syria with millions more displaced and looking for safe spaces to settle until the shooting stops. But it’s because the shooting won’t stop, millions of the displaced are filling up refugee camps in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and now crawling all over Europe. It’s important because the Europeans are now venting their frustration over facing the consequences of the Obama administration’s misreading of Russia’s determination to keep Bashar al-Assad in power.
Why is it so important to focus on this stuff and not the goofy stuff? It’s important because after five years and nearly a half million dead, the Obama administration should’ve understood that Bashar al- Assad was a “Red Line” for the Russians and when Russia draws a Red Line, you can bet your last ruble they’re gonna defend it. This is important because it appears the Obama administration learned nothing from its engagement with Russia over the Ukraine conflict.
After facing down international economic sanctions for annexing Crimea and retaliating to a recent NATO buildup in Poland and the Baltic states with three new divisions to shore up its western and southern flanks, the Obama team should know by now Vladimir Putin doesn’t respond to pressure. After investing hundreds of millions in military and monetary aide to support the Assad regime during a Russian economic downturn, the Obama administration should’ve understood by now, Russia is in this for the long term.
So why was it so important for President Obama and his advisors to have fully understood Russia’s motives and rational for taking sides in Syria’s civil war? It was important because the Obama administration could’ve saved hundreds of thousands of Syrian lives by telling the so-called Syrian opposition the truth from the very beginning. And the truth is, the United States never had any intentions of committing the costly resources it would take to dislodge Assad from Damascus. Moreover, now that the Russians have entered the picture, the United States will never chance an accidental escalation with Moscow.
Other inconvenient truths are, no matter how many are suffering as a result of the Obama administration’s incomprehensible foreign policies concerning Syria, Americans will allow very few if any Syrian refugees into the United States. Also, letting the full truth be known, besides bread, bottled water, blankets and a few Band-Aides, the American people couldn’t give a shit about Syria. If the Syrians were made aware of these realities three years ago, the existing death toll could’ve been cut in half.
Bottom line: Why is all of this stuff so much more important than transgender bathroom rights or how Donald Trump treats women? It’s because Barack Obama will be leaving this problem on the desk of the Oval Office for the next person taking over as President of the United States. It’s important because no matter who that person is (and we know who’ll that will be, but it’s a secret), they’ll have no more idea how to deal with Vladimir Putin than President Obama did. And that’s important to know because Vladimir Putin knows it.