Is it an ingrained American attitude: battling the symptom while embracing the disease? Creating beautiful façades behind which to hide something that is deeply rotten and festering? If so, if this is indeed the truth, what does it really say about America? More specifically, what does is say about America’s political, economic, intellectual and artistic elite – because no matter how democratic a nation is, it’s always this elite that is ultimately responsible for shaping its image and molding its moral fabric.
There is something deeply troubling here: a country that is still wrestling with the legacy of slavery more than 151 years after the signing of the emancipation proclamation is simply not normal, or healthy. And the fact that people are still talking about the issue purely in terms of race, rather than acknowledging the socioeconomic and developmental dimensions of the problem does not augur well for an effective handling of the situation.
Moreover, a nation that believes in her manifest destiny at times, and in realpolitik at another, always in accordance to its own particular calculations and never caring about the impact of its policies on the rest of the world is definitely not walking on the side of God, even when its policies tend to offer a measure of redemption to the world, as was the case in WWI and WWII, and many instances afterwards. For the lapses when they happen are unforgiveable.
Consider Syria, for instance. No matter how many lies of omissions, President Obama and his acolytes in the liberal press commit in the course of justifying a policy of aloofness and indifference, the fact of the matter remains: America stood by and watched as hundreds of thousands of mostly innocent civilians were slaughtered and millions displaced in the 21st Century worst humanitarian disaster to date. And yes, despite all the justifications proffered by the Obama Administration and its apologists, America had it in her power to foresee and prevent this tragic development. There was definitely no paucity of warning signs and cries each step of the way. Syria’s was a slaughter foretold and well-publicized. A no-fly zone imposed on the country back in 2011 would have prevented the mass slaughter and facilitated a more peaceful transition of power. And the costs of it all in economic and material terms would have been far less than those now required to combat ISIS and other extremist groups, which did not exist back in 2011 or even 2012.
But the failure here is not simply a failure of the Obama Administration. Obama’s Republican critics never took him to task for his failure to impose a no-fly zone, but for his failure to support moderate rebels. The reality is we may not have had any rebels to contend with had there been a no-fly zone.
What’s even worse than all the of above are the growing calls in Washington for working with the perpetrators of mass slaughter in Syria in order to combat ISIS, despite the existence of credible evidence of ongoing collaboration between the Assad regime and ISIS ion the fight against moderate rebels. With Iran and Russia backing Assad, and the Obama Administration’s misguided belief in the possibility of reaching a workable nuclear deal with Iran, and even, in Iran’s role as a stabilizing force in the region (!), we have been returned to the age of Faustian deals that predated the emergence of UN and the plethora of international conventions and doctrines that have been elaborated in the last century, culminating in the Responsibility to Protect. The U.S. has, in effect, turned its back on the very international order it sought so hard to create for over a century, and made tremendous strides in this regard.
Or, was it all a façade that is now crumbling, both at home and abroad?