Aleppo: Russian Barbarism and American Dereliction

By Emile Nakhleh

Dr. Emile Nakhleh is a retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer, a founding director of the CIA's Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program and the Global and the National Security Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico. Since retiring from the government, Nakhleh has consulted on national security issues, particularly Islamic radicalization, terrorism, and the Arab states of the Middle East. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The “complete meltdown of humanity” in Aleppo, as recently described by the United Nations, is an indictment of Russian/Syrian/Iranian barbarism, Arab indifference, and American dereliction and policy failure in the Levant.  The horrendous human tragedy, which is barely causing a yawn in the West—and across the Arab world as well—will always cast a shadow on the legacy of President Barack Obama. The President’s failure to face down the Russians, the Iranians, and the Syrian tyrant, long before Aleppo started to burn and empty of its inhabitants, belies his constant touting of American values and empathy with human suffering.

As the Syrian barrel bombs and the Russian barbaric indiscriminate bombing turn Aleppo into rubble, and as its inhabitants are being slaughtered, the world is awestruck by this administration’s seemingly detached indifference and convoluted war-avoidance logic.  America’s failed leadership has emboldened Russia, not only to bomb Aleppo into smithereens but to wage an unprecedented cyber attack on the U.S. electoral system—America’s most precious constitutional guarantee.

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