ANALYSIS: President Obama’s ‘Atrocities Prevent Board’ Has Failed to Prevent Atrocities

  1. Home
  2. Politics
By Andrew Stiles | 4:41 pm, December 13, 2016

The situation in Aleppo, Syria is not good, and getting worse.

Meanwhile, the American media is obsessing over President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting with woke music icon Kanye West, and has long forgotten the fact that Barack Obama is still the actual president of the United States.

It was in August 2013 that Obama famously declared a “red line” in the Syrian civil war. If President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons against civilians, the United States would intervene to stop it.

Assad did use chemical weapons, and the United States was prepared to launch a series of “unbelievably small” airstrikes in retaliation, until Obama decided against it. The situation in Syria continued to rage out of control.

Weeks later, Obama tried to deny he ever “set a red line” in Syria. “I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line,” Obama said. “My credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line.”

As a result, Obama was praised as a foreign policy genius by expert pundits.

Years before Obama’s “red line” comments, the president had taken steps to “prevent atrocities” in the most bureaucratic fashion imaginable. In August 2011, Obama issued Presidential Study Directive 10 (PDS-10), which ordered the creation of a new “interagency body” to established a “comprehensive policy framework and a corresponding interagency mechanism for preventing and responding to mass atrocities and genocide.”

It was called the Atrocities Prevention Board, and it officially created in April 2012. According to an analysis, it has not been very successful at preventing atrocities.

Obama proclaimed the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities to be a “core national security interest and core moral responsibility” of the United States. The Washington Post editorial board recently explained with this was a heaping load of bullshit.

“The regime and its allies,” Mr. Obama observed at a Pentagon news conference this month, are engaged in “vicious attacks on defenseless civilians, medieval sieges against cities like Aleppo, and blocking food from reaching families that are starving.”

But the administration’s response has not changed: a combination of halfhearted support for the rebels, who increasingly gravitate by necessity to more extremist groups; requests to the Russians to behave better; and finger wagging.

“It is deplorable,” the president said during his visit to the Pentagon. Small comfort to the people of Aleppo.