Beltway Insider: Obama, Pope Differ on Syrian Exodus; EU Overburdened; Child Drowns; ISIS and Assad

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President Obama, after years of tough talk and defiant rhetoric, has grown increasingly silent on the deposition of Syria's Basher al-Assad even as the mass exodus has done little to remind the President of his former attempts to depose the despot.


According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, increased four percentage points to 46% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President decreased three percentage points to 50%.

Obama, Pope Francis Differ on Syrian Exodus

President Obama and Pope Francis have each reached a tipping point on the current Syrian exodus, with the world leaders voicing different ends of the debate. While Obama continues to beat the drum for Assad's removal, Pope Francis is imploring the world to find a way to meet the very present need.

"When we talk about this issue, to acknowledge the terrible humanitarian tragedy that's unfolding in the Middle East, particularly in areas like Iraq and in Syria that is causing widespread bloodshed, and is causing millions to flee their homes with little notice.  And it puts people in an, understandably, desperate situation. And obviously, even as we sort of talk about some of the policy details here, it's important to not lose sight of the humanity of these people," said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary.

Throughout the recent Press Briefing, (September 03, 2015) Josh Earnest, the official voice and spokesperson of the President made it crystal clear this White House, even in the face of "tragic images" and the instability of the situation, is inherently concerned about U.S. policy issues.

Earnest spoke little of the people, the human toll. He was clear the U.S. is the largest financial donor and believes President Obama's policies concerning Syria were, even as those decisions and the inability to exact substantial changes fundamentally contributed to the present, and are the best for the people of the United States.

He did, however, acknowledge the possibility of the assistance of Russian President Vladimir Putin in ending the continuing political drama.

"The United States has been the leading advocate of trying to reach a diplomatic transition in the political leadership in Syria, and we certainly would welcome Russia's positive contribution to that diplomatic effort as well," Earnest said.

Pope Francis Addresses The Human Tragedy

Pope Francis, who is visiting the United States in September to address the United Nations General Assembly, has beseeched Catholic believers and citizens of the world to open their homes to those in need, especially European Catholics as the Syrian Humanitarian crisis escalates into hysteria.

"War is the mother of all poverty, a vast predator of lives and souls," Pope Francis, through his Twitter feed said.

Differing on the management of the crisis, Pope Francis is leading by example and has opened the Vatican to two Syrian families. He is urging citizens across Europe to do the same.

Confident the United States has done enough, even as horrific pictures have surfaced and galvanized a world to step up President Obama's team refused to address any particulars of the human toll or tragedy. Humanity appeared secondary to policy.

Obama through his spokesperson Jay Earnest, has reiterated at every juncture, the United States is the largest dollar donor, giving nearly 4Billion in Aid packages, undergirding those countries who have taken on the burden of care of Syrians fleeing their homeland.

Syrian Exodus Numbers Burden EU

The Syrian migration has been ongoing over the past three years with the last three months, beginning June 2015, coupled with the failure of simple living conditions within Syria to improve, no electricity, no food, starvation, no medicine or doctors, and a complete breakdown of all systems of service and need, escalating to unfathomable numbers.

By January 2014, nearly 3M Syrians had already migrated into Europe. Millions are continuing to flee. Neighboring countries, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq, the five initial points are overrun with the increase in population taxing the systems, causing a strain on the economies as the leadership, saw the need and offered assistance without thought.

The continued mental duress of the emigrant, who has no opportunity to integrate into the foundation or society within the country, has created an even greater migration which is drawing the desperate to making the water journey from Damascus to Turkey and then to Greece or from Damascus to Italy.

The unprecedented exodus from Syria in recent weeks has increased to a panic, even with recent water tragedies, as more than 3Million Syrians have continue to flee the oppressive, dictatorial regime and civil war that has entered into its sixth year.

Current media attention has placed a spotlight on the existing situation, which is out of control. European Union nations have responded and opened their borders to the immigrants. Austria has opened its borders. Macedonia, also.

Italy as a landing point is, under EU law, responsible for all asylum applications which results in other northern EU and non-EU nations denying asylum requests to those who have reached an end point in the journey. In this case asylum seekers return to Italy to file the request.

Syrian Child Drowns; Body Washed Ashore in Turkey

A horrific image has galvanized the world to the plight of the Syrian refuges. The inhumanity of governments who have essentially turned a blind eye to the hundreds of thousands of refugees attempting these treacherous crossings to reach safety and betterment was softened by the single image of a dead toddler, a three year old boy, washed ashore, lying still, face down in the surf on the Turkish beach.

Scooped up by a Turkish solider, the lifeless body of Aylan Kirdi became the symbol of the plight of the refugees. The dangerous undertaking is not without risk.  

The Obama policy over the last two years has been very generous in assisting in the humanitarian effort by sending financial assistance packages to the five nations that border Syrian, including Turkey. The Turkish government, though the agreement with the United States, has an obligation to the Syrian refugees.

Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned and washed ashore on the beaches of Turkey, has become the symbol of human suffering in the plight of the Syrian refugees.

Aylan, his mother, and his older brother, Gabriel, 5, had been crossing from Turkey to Greece in an inflatable raft when it capsized. The father was also with the family survived. The other bodies have not been found.  Turned away by the Canadian government, the family with relatives in Canada, believed they had no choice but to continue the trek across the sea.

Government Stops Assistance; Pope, People Galvanize

The dilemma of the Northern Africa exodus, which is primarily comprised of Syrians, fleeing persecution on some level either religious or political or those who have no intention of returning to their bombed and gutted former homeland, and are willing to make the extremely dangerous sea journey.

The death toll from the armed fighting in Syria is estimated at approximately 100,000, including 10,000 children. The conflict has also trapped an entire generation of children, an estimated 4.3million children living in conditions of desperate need inside Syria.*

Entire towns are under siege with medical care non-existent. Disease from unsanitary conditions, there is a severe lack of food. Children and the elderly, the most vulnerable are living in deplorable conditions without food, medical care and still suffering under the effects of civil war. Polio is again resurfacing in Syrian children after being eradicated in 1995. Many have had limbs amputated.

Human Traffickers, similar to the South American or Asian smugglers, provide, for a fee, a promise of safe passage with others who are in similar situation. The passengers are herded, like cattle, the more people in one vessel the more money made.

With the assurance "the boat is safe" sincere hearted families, trusting, honest caring individuals are increasing being preyed upon by those who use the vulnerability of the situation to make astronomical financial demands, and worse. As in all smuggling situations violence is common.

The Syrian Conflict  

The Syrian Conflict began from a wave of democracy identified as Arab Spring 2010 and continuing through December of the same year. Nearly two dozen countries across the Middle East and Arab Peninsula saw changes in leadership as citizens had the courage to rise up and demand a voice.

Syrian became on the few countries who fought the protestors creating a civil war which, from leadership and advisement outside the country it was a perfect time to initiate a coup to topple Basher al-Assad, a tyrannical leader with no thought or concern for his people.

In March of 2011, he initiated a chemical weapon attack against his own people. Social media carried widespread images of men, women, and children suffering the effects of nerve gas and other outlawed weapons of war.

The effort to have the authoritarian leader removed and replaced by a working democratic government was supported by every level of international rule. Voted on at every level including the G8, G20 and United Nations General Assembly, the world unilaterally condemned Basher al-Assad over the use of chemical weapons and agreed to end his reign of terror

Obama Remains a Tough Talker Even as Foreign Policy Action Goes Soft

President Obama has through the years, and especially his second term, had ample opportunity to act on his extremely tough talk directed at Basher al-Assad as the alienated leader has increasingly become a pariah with only Russia's President Vladimir Putin available to assist.

That was before the rise of Islamic State of Syrian and the Levant, ISIS/ISIL, Assad has now braided himself into the rise of the most hated and evil terrorist organization. Normal thought would have a belief the White House would be overjoyed finally with enough reason to use the air strikes and coalition to cripple both organizations.

Assad and ISIS/ISIL

The anti-Assad rhetoric coming from the White House has clearly softened over the past year as the administration reevaluates the value or position Syria and Basher al-Assad will play in the dismantling of ISIS/ISIL.

Over the last two years President Obama has shifted his Syrian Foreign Policy from total condemnation over the use of chemical weapons against Basheer's own people and a commitment to have the dictator removed from office to a reevaluation that has yet to be articulated.

The White House issued a statement on Syria during the week of June 13, 2013 after the release of chemical weapons, in addition to arming vetted Syrian opposition groups, the president was urged to act with a sense of urgency as the humanitarian crisis was escalating rapidly.


Mr. Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, "We already have provided an enormous amount of assistance to both the Syrian people, through humanitarian assistance, as well as to the opposition."


Carney explained, "The President has been evaluating his policy options on Syria repeatedly for some time.  There are a number of issues that we've discussed here that have to do with the use, potentially, of chemical weapons by the Assad regime and the need to build on the evidence that we have already accumulated, that that in fact has taken place." Beltway Insider June 13, 2013


One year later President Obama, through his spokesperson, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, presented during the week of May 18, 2014, "in the strongest language possible" the convictions that al-Assad should be removed.

White House Statement on Syria May 18, 2014


"We are constantly reviewing our policy options when it comes to Syria and constantly working with our partners, including the Syrian opposition, in an effort to assist the Syrian people, assist the Syrian opposition, and press forward towards a negotiated political settlement. 


There is no question that this conflict has gone on far too long and has cost far too many lives.  The responsibility for that is unquestionably with Syrian President Assad and his regime that has engaged in a conflict against its own people with horrific brutality," Carey said.

Basher Al-Assad remains in power. – Beltway Insider May 18, 2014


With the coalition building in the region, and the United States spending billions of taxpayer dollars to assist in the humanitarian effort including arming the vetted Syrian rebel groups this White House seems to have back peddled on previous statements, conclusions and determinations.

For more information on President Barack Obama:


Syrian Numbers (*) based on Save The Children Booklet – "The Boat is Safe and other Lies: Why Syrian Families Are Risking Everything to Reach Europe."

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