Victor Davis Hanson: Syrian surrealities boggle the mind

Who exercises influence in the Middle East? No one really — although Iran, its Shiite terrorist appendages, Hezbollah, Bashar Assad, China, and Russia all have more clout than the U.S., the U.N., and Europe combined.

Once again we are trying to rally the American people about the dangers of purported WMD use. This time around, the Syrians may be doing to their own what Saddam Hussein most certainly did to the Kurds. John Kerry gave an impassioned speech that the civilized world cannot let this atrocity stand, on the theory that the circumstances that led to 99 percent of the Syrians deaths so far did not warrant action, but that the last one percent have died in a fashion that is intolerable. I don’t know quite what the Kerry-Obama lexicon of “undeniable,” “inexcusable,” or “unacceptable” means anymore, whether in a context of toxic gas or thousands of centrifuges.

But unfortunately, the civilized world never claimed that the use of WMD would not stand — only the U.S. established that redline when Barack Obama repeatedly warned Bashar Assad that he should not only step down but that any use of WMD was a game changer. So the U.N. and the EU will look to Obama to bell the cat that he warned was a generic threat to all mice.

Don’t expect any actions from the United Nations even when lobbied by a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, given that Russia would veto any multilateral action. Anyway, Russia and China hope the U.S. either becomes bogged down after intervening or keeps blustering to intervene.

Don’t expect another Arab League resolution that the Obama administration values more than an authorization from the U.S. Congress.


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