Friday, March 9, 2018

Trump’s World and the Retreat of Shame - The New York Times

Image result for guernica paintingBundesarchiv Bild 183-H25224, Guernica, Ruinen.jpg

 When the Luftwaffe and their Italian fascist allies destroyed the town of Guernica in 1937 there was outrage - memorialized by the great Spanish painter Pablo Picasso.  There was outrage during the Vietnam war - over napalm, carpet bombing, defoliants, the Christmas bombing of Hanoi, and the slaughter of innocents.  But such shame and outrage are scarce commodities today.

Trump’s World and the Retreat of Shame - The New York Times
by Roger Cohen
After Aleppo, now comes the agony of Eastern Ghouta. This suburb of Damascus, the last rebel-held enclave close to the Syrian capital, is bombarded by Bashar al-Assad’s forces for weeks on end, with Russian air support. More than 900 people, including many children, are killed. Hospitals are targeted in what François Delattre, the French ambassador to the United Nations, has called “a siege worthy of the Middle Ages.” Pregnant women bleed to death. Some 400,000 people are trapped.
France and Britain convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council and press for enforcement of last month’s Resolution 2401, calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities. In this effort, the United States is nowhere, silent, AWOL, as President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian sidekick do their worst. The message to Moscow is clear: Donald Trump’s America does not care about Syria, or war crimes, or human rights. Russian cynicism and American absence produce disaster.
Yes, it has come to this.
Emmanuel Macron, the French president, calls Putin. He dispatches his foreign minister to Moscow and Tehran in an attempt to stop the slaughter. Trump, to whom moral indignation — indeed morality itself — is a stranger, does not care. His Middle East foreign policy has two components: Back Israel, bash Iran. With respect to Putin, he is compromised, or enamored, to the point of incapacity. Let Syria burn.

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