Yet again it looks like we are reliving the 1930s as we watch the U.N. sit idly by as the Assad government in Syria continues to make war on its own people with poison gas. The Obama red line of 2013 has come and gone and now President Trump stated yesterday that Assad went well beyond it. We'll see what Trump's apparent reversal of U.S. policy actually means. Hopefully the leadership of U.N. ambassador Niki Haley will prod him in the right direction.
But what is happening is Syria has an eerie parallel from the 1930s. In 1935 Italy invaded Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and the League of Nations instituted sanctions. However in 1936 the British and French in the Hoare-Laval Pact chose to appease Italy and lifted sanctions. Meantime with the war on the ground not going well for the Italians, Italy resorted to the use of banned poison gas on the hapless Ethiopians. The war soon ended, but not before Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie made a dramatic plea before the League of Nations in Geneva. The delegates sat in silence because they knew that collective security and the League were dead.
It looks like the U.N. is going down the same path unless America acts alone as we did with respect to the slaughter in Kosovo twenty years ago.