Farewell, 2016. You’re not a year that’s likely to be missed much considering the deaths, tragedies and various calamities for which it will be most remembered. The following are a few items in its lengthy catalogue of horrors.
The terrible slaughter in Syria got worse. It has now claimed nearly half a million lives, made refugees of millions, reduced that nation’s largest city to dust – a symbol of conscienceless brutality — and destabilized not just the Middle East but the unity of Europe.
The chief culprits are the Assad regime, ISIS, Iranian ambitions to be the dominant power in the Middle East, and Vladimir Putin’s determination to resurrect Russia’s Cold War rivalry with the U.S. and the Kremlin’s reputation as the world’s leading malevolent power.
Less culpable but far from excusable is the Obama administration’s deliberate impotence in response to the bloodbath’s threat to America’s values and interests in the region.
Despite some progress in combating terrorism, Islamic extremists managed to murder innocent people regularly in 2016, in Brussels and Berlin, Istanbul and Orlando, and scores of other places where blood ran to please the sociopaths who pervert a religion of peace.