While executing its bombing campaign in Syria and Iraq, the Obama administration has exempted itself from its own standards drafted to tightly restrict civilian casualties. Twitter users shouted “hypocrisy.”
After an errant U.S. Tomahawk missile hit a home for displaced people in Syria’s Kafr Daryan village early last week, resulting in the deaths of women and young children, an Obama administration official confirmed its new relaxed policy on civilian casualties in a written statement, Yahoo News reported.
Last year, President Obama made a much-publicized announcement that U.S. drone strikes would only be employed in instances when there existed a “near certainty” it would not result in civilian casualties. The president described the policy as “the highest standard we can meet.”
But those standards will not apply to airstrikes directed against ISIS militants operating in Syria and Iraq, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden confirmed in an email Tuesday.
The “near certainty” standard is applicable “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” she said. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”
She added that trikes against Islamic State terrorists “like all U.S. military operations, are being conducted consistently with the laws of armed conflict, proportionality and distinction.”
As soon as the news hit, the inevitable double standards question was raised. Florida GOP consultant Rick Wilson tweeted:
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) September 30, 2014
And self-described “reactionary wisenheimer” and “community disorganizer” Anthony Bialy agreed, tweeting:
You can trust the White House on Syrian civilian casualties. This has been this hour’s edition of What If Bush Did It?
— Anthony Bialy (@AnthonyBialy) September 30, 2014
But comparisons to the Bush administration weren’t the only demonstrations of hypocrisy in this situation. Time Magazine political reporter Zeke Miller tweeted the White House’s criticism of Israel a little over two ago:
. @rhodes44: “We do believe that Israel can do more to avoid the types of civilian casualties that we’ve seen”
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) July 22, 2014
This didn’t sit well with a user with the handle RBPundit, a Pocket Liberty contributor:
HOLD UP. So the White House is waiving standards for civilian casualties a mere few months after lecturing Israel about it?
— RB (@RBPundit) September 30, 2014
Conclusion? The Conservative Underground offered this:
— TCUnderground (@TCUWriters) September 30, 2014
Yeah, right. Like that’s going to happen. When has the Obama administration ever apologized for anything, except, perhaps, for being too cool and awesome.
Read more tweets on this at Twitchy.