Moral Disgrace: Obama Staffers Use Holocaust to Justify Inaction in Syria


Disgusting and revolting.

That is the only way to characterize a report in Tablet, which describes how Obama administration officials sitting on the board of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum are using the memory of the Holocaust to justify their president's inaction in Syria.

That inaction led to thousands of deaths of Syrian civilians and the advance of Iran and Russia into Syria, which will pose a mortal threat for the world in the years to come.

The report attempts to "game out" how a strike on Syria might have changed the calculus of the Syrian civil war.

Using computational modeling and game theory methods, as well as interviews with experts and policymakers, the report asserted that greater support for the anti-Assad rebels and US strikes on the Assad regime after the August 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack would not have reduced atrocities in the country, and might conceivably have contributed to them.

In response, Jewish writer Leon Wieseltier said:

The first thing I have to say is: Shame on the Holocaust Museum,” said Leon Wieseltier, the literary critic and fellow at the Brookings Institution, who slammed the Museum for “releasing an allegedly scientific study that justifies bystanderism.”

The Museum’s exercise in counter-factual history, he suggested, was inherently absurd. “If I had the time I would gin up a parody version of this that will give us the computational-modeling algorithmic counterfactual analysis of John J McCloy’s decision not to bomb the Auschwitz ovens in 1944. I’m sure we could concoct the fucking algorithms for that, too.”

Jewish leaders were critical of the study, which has now been withdrawn by the museum.

“If the reports are saying that nothing could have been done for Syria, this is something that every Syrian American I know considers grossly incorrect,” Shlomo Bolts, a policy and advocacy officer with the Syrian American Council noted to me. “There was a lot that could have been done and that can still be done to stop the mass atrocities in Syria. There are still thousands of civilians in Syria who are being tortured in Assad’s jails or fear imminent attacks by Assad forces and there is much that can be done to help them.”

Disgusting and revolting.

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