Recipe for Inaction

I watched the press conference of PM Netanyahu and French Pres. Macron from Paris yesterday.  What astounded me, and what garnered more news coverage, was Macron’s statement that the US decision to move its Embassy to Jerusalem was wrong because it cost lives.  He said he would not make any move that might cost lives.  What a nonsensical statement for a leader and supposed decision-maker to state.  In other words, of someone threatened to kill someone else if he makes a decision, such as protecting French interests against terrorism for example, he won’t make the decision.  What a recipe for stalemate and failure.

Let’s be clear, it was not the decision of the US to move their Embassy to Jerusalem that caused the deaths, it was the decision taken knowingly that lives would be lost by the Gazan rulers Hamas, who sent women and children, as well as armed Hamas activists, to the  Israeli border, where they had been amply warned they would be stopped by live fire.  It was the Hamas leadership that caused the deaths!  Are we supposed to do nothing for fear of the reaction of the terrorists of the world?  This is a recipe for blackmail and inaction.

Another example, was the decision by Pres. Obama to declare the use by Syrian Pres Assad of chemical weapons against his own people a “red-line” and then refuse to actually take action.  He stepped back and asked the Congress to help him decide, a sure formula for failure, and he accepted the offer of Pres. Putin to intervene with Pres. Assad to stop the use of chemical weapons.  The net result of this failure to take action because of fear of the loss of life that would be blamed on him, was in fact a much greater loss of life, because Assad, who was at that point about to lose the civil war, was then infused with Russian support.  It gave Russia the entry it need to intervene in the Syrian civil war to support Assad, and it led to the loss of hundreds of  thousands more civilian lives due to the continuation of the civil war for many more years, as well as the fact that Assad has resorted to the use of chemical weapons again and again since then.

It is a proven fact of history that failure to act when a decision is needed is the worst course of action.  It can be called “appeasement,” the disastrous policy used by the British and their allies before WWII to try to avoid a war with Germany because they considered Hitler “an honorable man.”  Boy, were they wrong!  Let’s not allow decisions by democratic governments to be based on the threats and blackmail of those who consider life cheap.