„What a difference two decades make! Sarajevo was headline news through much of its 44-month encirclement. NATO planes patrolled the skies to prevent, at least, aerial bombardment of the population. Blue-helmeted United Nations forces were deployed in a flawed relief effort. President Bill Clinton, after long hesitation, authorized the NATO airstrikes that led to the lifting of the Serbian siege and an imperfect peace in Bosnia. Belated American intervention worked.
Aleppo lacks such urgency. It’s bombarded: What else is new? How often does the word ‚Aleppo‘ fall from President Obama’s lips (or indeed the lesson-freighted word ‚Sarajevo‘)? At which dinner parties in London, Paris, Berlin or Washington is it discussed? Which Western journalists are able to be there to chronicle day after day their outrage at a city’s dismemberment? Who recalls that just six years ago Aleppo was being talked about in Europe as the new Marrakesh, a place to buy a vacation home? Aleppo is alone, alone beneath the bombs of Russian and Syrian jets, alone to face the violent whims of President Vladimir Putin and President Bashar al-Assad. (…)
Obama has said the Libyan intervention was his worst mistake. He has said he is ‚very proud of this moment‘ in 2013 when he decided to resist ‚immediate pressures‘ and not uphold with military force his own ‚red line‘ against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. No, Syria has been Obama’s worst mistake, a disaster that cannot provoke any trace of pride; and within that overall blunder the worst error was the last-minute ‚red line‘ wobble that undermined America’s word, emboldened Putin and empowered Assad. (…) No outcome in Syria could be worse than the current one. Assad’s bomb-spewing jets and his airfields should have been taken out early in the war, before ISIS. The red line should have stood. The consequences for the European allies of Obama’s let-Syria-fester policy have been overwhelming.“
(Roger Cohen in der New York Times: „From Sarajevo to Aleppo“.)