An editorial in the Washington Post says: “Devastating and overwhelming.” Those are the conditions in the ancient and once-great metropolis of Aleppo, according to the head of delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Marianne Gasser, who was in the Syrian city recently.
“We hear that dozens of civilians are being killed every day and scores more injured from shells, mortars and rockets,” Ms. Gasser said. “The bombing is constant. The violence is threatening hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, homes and livelihoods.”
War crimes appear to be near-constant also. The air forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his chief backer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, target apartment buildings, bakeries and — this is their specialty — hospitals and clinics. The United Nations is investigating credible reports that Mr. Assad again has used chemical weapons, in this case chlorine gas. Water has been cut off from hundreds of thousands of people.
The last surviving physicians in the rebel-held half of Aleppo a few days ago begged President Obama to help. “The world has stood by and remarked how ‘complicated’ Syria is, while doing little to protect us,” they wrote. “The burden of responsibility for the crimes of the Syrian government and its Russian ally must therefore be shared by those, including the United States, who allow them to continue.”
Why would these brave, forlorn doctors look to Mr. Obama for rescue? Perhaps one of them, through the terrible din of war, remembers hearing the president promise to stand by the Syrian people as they were being “subjected to unspeakable violence, simply for demanding their universal rights.” [Continue reading…]