Last summer, the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof declared that “Anne Frank today is like a Syrian girl.” Such comparisons have become quite commonplace over the past week. But, wonders Lee Smith, if, according to this analogy, Syrians civilians are like Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and Donald Trump is like Franklin D. Roosevelt (whose government turned away many Jews fleeing Europe), then who are the Nazis?
Sunni Muslims have been the target of a campaign of sectarian cleansing and slaughter since the earliest days of the nearly six-year-long Syrian conflict. [They] make up the preponderance of those seeking refuge the world over, from Turkey and Lebanon to Europe and North America. At first the Sunnis were fleeing the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, but Assad has become a relatively insignificant factor in the war. In this scenario, Assad is rather like Mussolini, a dictator in charge of incompetent and dwindling forces incapable of holding ground. . . . Hence, Assad needed to mobilize his allies, especially his regime’s chief protector, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iran sent in its crack troops, the Quds Force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ expeditionary unit led by Qassem Soleimani. Also at Iran’s disposal was a large number of regional organizations, ranging from the elite Lebanese militia Hizballah to less prestigious fighting outfits. . . . It was these groups, later joined by Russia, that hunted Sunni Arabs like animals and slaughtered them, or sent them running for their lives. These are the Nazis [in the present analogy].
It is terrible that Syrian refugees are suffering. It is wrong that the Trump administration has cruelly shut America’s doors on children who have known nothing during their short lives except running from the jaws of a machine of death. But America’s shame is much, much worse than that. For in securing his chief foreign-policy initiative, Barack Obama made billions of dollars and American diplomatic and military cover available to Iran, which has used both to wage a [ruthless] war against Syria’s Sunni Arab population.
Not only have we failed so far to protect “today’s Jews” by stopping today’s Nazis, the 44th president of the United States assisted the latter in their campaign of mass murder. That’s why, when people liken Syrian refugees to Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, no one dares to complete the analogy and identify Iran as today’s Nazis. America’s shame is worse than anything that the protesters at airports imagine.
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