Sunday, August 25, 2013

With Syria, President Obama could learn from FDR

As we see what is going on in Syria, President Barack Obama could learn something from the experiences of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

From a New York Times book review (by David Oshinsky) of Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman's FDR and the Jews:
In their conclusion, the authors rightly note the squeamishness of America’s modern presidents in dealing with genocide. Woodrow Wilson, a true idealist, virtually ignored Turkey’s slaughter of a million or more Armenians, while Jimmy Carter, a human rights crusader, did nothing to prevent Pol Pot from exterminating 20 percent of Cambodia’s population. The Clinton administration took several years to respond militarily to the “ethnic cleansing” of Muslims in Bosnia, which required only air power, not soldiers on the ground, and it never confronted the mass killings in Rwanda. More recently, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama employed little more than words to condemn the atrocities in Darfur. Historically speaking, Roosevelt comes off rather well.

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