I have been arguing for months now that the Syrian genocide and the way the Obama Administration has (mis)handled it are bound to inspire similar developments across the region and far beyond. I believe that the situation in South Sudan promises to be a case in point. Yes, the potential for such tragic developments there is inherent and organic, but this can be said of myriad instances across the world, which is exactly why the Administration needed to quickly contain developments in Syria and not allow them to devolve to where they are now. Apathy in the face of mass atrocities and genocide cannot but inspire more of the same. Before Obama leaves office, we will probably have a dozen such conflicts unfolding simultaneously.
In fact, that the Sudan would be the first state to provide us with a similar implosion was something that comes as no surprise to me. In an interview with the Portuguese newspaper, El Publicó, on November 3, I have indeed noted the potential:
Now, Ammar fears the worst, for Syria, for Europe, for the U.S. and for everyone. “There will be more conflicts and more countries will implode, Sudan, for example. The reaction that this ‘it is not our problem’ solves nothing. When we let ethnic cleansing happen somewhere in the world the message is ‘the sheriff is not at home’. There is actually no sheriff. President Obama says he wants the UN to be the sheriff but he did nothing and offered no vision to reform the UN, to enable it to play that role,” the activist accuses.
Indeed, I agree with the proposition that the United States should not be the world’s sheriff, but for decades, it was, and you cannot just flip the switch on that without consequences. A process is needed, one that allows for a viable alternative to emerge. Otherwise, we will have mayhem where the ultimate beneficiaries are autocrats, rogue regimes and transnational terrorist networks. How can allowing such devolution not be harmful to U.S. interests?