OP-ED: Obama Changes Military Rules of Engagement to Justify Killing of Innocent Civilians
BY: CLIFF WEISS
Only a few months after the Obama Administration used terms like “appalled” and “disgraceful” in reacting to the deaths of Palestinian civilians used by Hamas as human shields during Israel’s recent war against Hamas in Gaza, President Obama has now loosened his restrictions on preventing civilian deaths arising from American military operations.
The loosening of the U.S. standards on civilian casualties was revealed after reports emerged that dozens of civilians, including innocent women and young children, were killed on September 23 when a U.S. Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province. Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said that while civilian deaths were being reported, the bar set by President Obama, prohibiting air strikes, unless there is a “near certainty” that there will be no civilian casualties, does not apply in the current war on ISIS.
I ask, why not? I certainly understand Obama’s loosening its rules of engagement. When an enemy hides among civilians, the resulting civilian deaths are the enemy’s moral and legal responsibility, not ours. However, this creates a clear double standard between the U.S., when it takes the offensive and attacks militants who are seemingly fighting against a third party, murderous dictator like Bashar al-Assad of Syria on foreign soil, and Israel, when it defends itself from direct attacks on its own soil.
Please understand, ISIS is bad news, and I am not trying to minimize the threat of ISIS or justify their actions, but to simply draw the comparison to Israel’s situation. If Israel’s acts of self-defense are “disgraceful,” then how does the Obama administration describe its own air strikes that kill countless innocent women and children in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan? Although this is a rhetorical question, I urge any of you Obama supporters to write in to the AJT with an answer or opinion.
I am clearly not the only one who is disturbed by our President’s attitude toward Israel. The growing realization that the Obama administration may be holding the IDF to higher standards than the U.S. military drew a sharp response from many pundits. As an example, one prominent Middle East analyst, Michael Doran, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush Administration and now a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, stated it very well, “the speed with which the Obama administration lifted restrictions from itself was equaled only by the speed with which it demanded that Israel place restrictions on itself.” Doran continued, “the U.S. should demand no more from Israel than it demands of itself.”
As I have said before, I am sick and tired of the Israel bashing and biased reporting (or convenient lack thereof) in the mainstream media, and I am appalled at Obama’s treatment of the U.S.’s only true ally and democracy in the middle east.
Whether you agree or not, tell us what you think!