Unable to win wars, it is a government and an army that excels in harassing women, children and the infirm. The United States must quit passing the buck. Note Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement issued immediately after the rocket attack: “We remain absolute. The United States remains committed to assisting the government of Iraq and UNAMI and implementing the December 25, 2011, agreement to quickly relocate the residents of Camp Hurriya outside Iraq. We must find a permanent and long-term solution that insures their safety.”
Notice that he very quickly passed the blame to the United Nations, to UNAMI and to Iraq. But what about United States commitments and promises? Secretary Kerry, the buck stops with you and President Obama.
Let’s review. All residents who have been killed or injured in Camp Liberty had been living considerably safer at Camp Ashraf. And to date, the United States has accepted zero for resettlement. So much for leading from the front. It’s time for the United States to take action, lest we be guilty of contributing to a very significant humanitarian disaster. We must open our doors to these individuals and, as we promised, provide for the safety of the Ashraf and Liberty residents until we can to pressure an ineffective UN and UNAMI to expeditiously resettle them. To do otherwise is, at worst, to support a pending massacre, and, at best, to accept death by a 1,000 cuts. We must also continue to pressure the U.N. secretary general to get personally involved and not send in another lackey like the departing Martin Kobler.
The Obama administration needs to forego issuing Caspar Milquetoast comments like Secretary Kerry did and get tough with the Iraqis. Quit calling for the Iraqis to identify the terrorists and call a spade a spade. The Iraqis are either the terrorists or they support the terrorists. Either way, they must be held accountable for every action that takes place on their soil.
The U.S. promises and commitments are still as valid today as the day that they were made, and must be honored. Kerry and Obama must use America’s economic tool to get their attention — and not be afraid to use ultimatums. One thing we know about bullies is they understand either-or ultimatums.
Then, when our commitments have been fulfilled, we can get on with the real business of supporting the superb leadership of Madam Rajavi and her efforts to replace the tyrannical and theocratic leadership of Iran with a government based on the democratic principles she espouses. Then, and only then, can we declare victory.
General Hugh Shelton was the 14th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., walks on Broadway after a Future Forum with young entrepreneurs in the Flatiron District of New York City, April 16, 2015. Reps. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., also attended.