Samantha Power, President Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, loves to talk about protecting human rights and preventing genocide and other horrible atrocities. Having witnessed horrific carnage as a journalist covering the Balkan wars of the early 1990s, Power went on to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning book in 2002 titled, “A Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide,” which offered a heavily researched examination of how the U.S. government had failed to act in the face of mass slaughter.
And yet, as one of the Obama administration’s top diplomats, Power has presided over one of the most passive U.S. foreign policy regimes in recent memory, and remained at her post as President Obama repeatedly declined to take action to prevent atrocities like the ones she documented in her book.
Human rights groups estimate that more than 430,000 Syrians have died in the civil war that erupted in 2011. Millions more have fled, resulting in a refugee crisis in neighboring countries and in Europe. Civilians are being massacred in Aleppo after government forces finally broke through into rebel-held territory. President Obama famously set a “red line” in 2012, promising military retaliation if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons, then did nothing when Assad used chemical weapons against his own people.
After mocking Mitt Romney in 2012 for suggesting Russia was a “geopolitical threat,” President Obama and his foreign policy team watched as Russian forces seized Crimea and instigated a civil war in eastern Ukraine. Thousands have been killed or wounded, and more than a million have been displaced. In July 2014, Russian-backed rebels shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, killing all 298 people on board.
Thousands have been killed and wounded since civil war broke out in Yemen in 2015. UNICEF estimates that more than 2 million children in Yemen are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance to prevent a malnutrition crisis.
4) Christian Extermination in the Middle East
Earlier this month, the ISIS bombing of St. Mark’s cathedral in Cairo, the largest church in the Middle East, made headlines around the world. Yet the attack was just the most recent in an intensifying campaign of violence carried out against Christians across the region, which has prompted the New York Times to ask: “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?”
5) Yazidi Extermination in Iraq and Syria
In August 2014, ISIS militants massacred 5,000 Yazidi men in Northern Iraq, and enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and girls, part of the terror group’s broader campaign of violence against minority religious groups. Earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that ISIS was committing “genocide” against the Yazidis, but the Obama administration has failed to take meaningful action beyond declarations of “grave concern” at the United Nations.
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