Meanwhile, in Aleppo, a child sits — silent, staring and bloody

Yesterday, I Tweeted out the headline of an editorial in The Washington Post: “As Aleppo is destroyed, Mr. Obama stands by.”

Today, the above video went viral around the world. It shows a tiny boy, covered in dust and blood after being pulled from rubble, sitting in an ambulance seat that’s far too big. He’s quiet. He seems stunned. He wipes his face, sees the blood, tries to wipe it off his hand onto the seat, then goes back to staring ahead.

This, my friends, is what “as Aleppo is destroyed” looks like. The boy is Omran Daqneesh. He’s 5 years old.

And here’s a Tweet that puts things into perspective:

When I Tweeted that editorial headline yesterday, someone responded on Facebook, “What would you suggest he do, Brad?”

Now? I suppose it’s more a question of what he should have done the last few years (such as some of the things Hillary Clinton urged him to do when she was Secretary of State). I don’t know enough about the details of the current situation even to know what is still possible.

I know what he should NOT have done. He should not have spoken of red lines. He should not have said we would have the Syrian people’s backs in this horrible time. Not if he didn’t mean it…

But I guess my short answer is, SOMETHING. Not that any answers are easy…

All I know is that I look at that child, and see my grandson…

21 thoughts on “Meanwhile, in Aleppo, a child sits — silent, staring and bloody

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    When the child wiped his face and then saw the blood on his hand, he seemed to have a brief moment of panic, as though he thought he would be in trouble for being such a mess.

    That got me…

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      meanwhile Ryan “Douchebro” Lochte and his buds embarrassed us profoundly by cooking up a story about being mugged when they just got into a drunken brawl….

      1. Mark Stewart

        This one sounds a little more complicated than that – but clearly this started with some asinine behavior. One can see that on the faces of the station attendants as the 4 “Olympians” walk out – it’s easy to see “those guys just did WHAT?” on their faces and in their demeanor.

        But the other video showing them sitting on the curb, docile with their hands raised? Would not at all be surprised to read or hear that a gun was pointed at them and money was removed from them. But there may be international differences in the meaning of that – fair punishment or robbery are contextual ideas.

        Lochte on NBC? That’s something he is going to have a very hard time living down.

      2. Mark Splitz

        Point out failings by Obama, deflect to Lochte. Point out failings of Hillary, deflect to Trump.

    2. bud

      Plenty of similar children could be photographed after one of our drone strikes. When children get caught up in military actions they are still children NOT collateral damage. Most offensive term ever invented by the war monger crowd.

      1. Tex

        Tell the enemy to stop putting women and children up as human shields and to stop hiding in schools and hospitals.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Yes, that is the name of a fallacy.
        What is untrue or fallacious about what bud wrote, though? We invaded Iraq on false pretexts, made a huge mess, did not accomplish our mission, jumpsuited W to the contrary, and destabilized the region far worse than it had been. ISIS moved into the power vacuum left by Saddam’s death, and spread into Syria….

  2. Bart

    Maybe it is time to move on from the “Blame Bush” syndrome and look back at the long parade of Democrats who found any and every opportunity to stand before a microphone or any venue possible and decry the horror, terror, inhumane treatment of the Iraqi people, and declare with absolute certainty that Saddam Hussein did indeed possess WMDs and he should be stopped. Even the future first gentleman made a declarative statement after he left office that he knew Saddam Hussein had WMDs. So, if you want to continue to lay all of the blame on Bush, at least acknowledge the fact it was under Clinton’s administration it became the official US policy to foment and support regime change in Iraq. Yes, Bush made mistakes but under the circumstances, he did what he believed was the right thing to do. 20/20 hindsight is always a wonderful thing but when you are the one sitting in the Oval Office and facing the aftermath of 9/11, can you say with all certainty what you would have done under the same circumstances?

    And other than venting one’s spleen, exactly what good does it do to continue with the same blame game? As Hillary famously said, I paraphrase, “at this point, what does it matter anyway?”

    The little boy gives me pause to wonder who he will be in 10 to 15 years from now if he survives. Will he be a friend of America or Russia or will he become a radicalized jihadist who wants to extract revenge against both countries for allowing him to be an innocent victim in a war he didn’t start? Hopefully by the time he is of age to be responsible for the direction he chooses, his desire will be a voice for peace and non-violence and anti-war.

    1. bud

      20/20 hindsight is always a wonderful thing but when you are the one sitting in the Oval Office and facing the aftermath of 9/11, can you say with all certainty what you would have done under the same circumstances?

      I can say with 100% certainty that I would not have invaded Iraq given the information Bush had at the time. I can say with 100% certainty that I would not have continued reading The Pet Goat after being informed the second plane hit the WTC. I can say with 90% certainty that if Al Gore had been in the White House 9-11 would not have occurred.

      1. Mark Stewart

        That’s an amazing statement, Bud. What gives you confidence that the Saudi terrorists cared whether a Democrat or a Republican was President of the US? Or do you think Al Gore would have been the key to ratcheting up our terrorism preparedness in advance of 9/11?

        The first WTC bombing occurred while Gore was VP. No one at the time paid any significance to the event – as a terrorist strike. We did not, as a nation, have that mindset pre 9/11.

        Be mad about the Iraq invasion all you want; but Al Gore would not have made a difference in how we prepared for what was to become 9/11.

      2. Claus

        Maybe I’m losing my mind, but did Bush personally send troups or did Congress?

        What would you have done, jumped up screaming, “THEY’RE ATTACKING!!!! EVERYONE RUN AND HIDE!!!! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!”.

        Al “The Lock Box: Gore would have stopped those planes from crashing into the World Trade Center? I guess he has to do something exciting after inventing the internet and saving the planet from global warming.

    2. bud

      exactly what good does it do to continue with the same blame game?

      It’s important to understand history so we won’t continue making the same mistakes. Folks like Brad who constantly want us fighting some type of war need to be marginalized so we won’t be brow beaten into another Vietnam, Lebanon or Iraq. (Or if you want examples from other nations Russia into Afghanistan, Israel into Lebanon and even Vietnam into Cambodia. The Russians are finding out the hard way now in Syria). I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I didn’t do remind people of the irrefutable evidence that military invasions just don’t work.

      1. Mark Stewart

        WWI and WWII excepted, right? Or should the US been non-interventionistic?

        How about Grenada, or Panama?

        I agree that, in the long run, it is better to be on the defensive at the start of hostilities, generally speaking. However, I don’t see how passivism gets the country anywhere but pushed around on the world stage. Obama’s Presidential low point – so far – was his refusal to back up his “red line” language to Assad. He totally missed out on Teddy Roosevelt’s wise words. That was a strategic blunder – much bigger than whether we become embroiled in Syeria or not.

      2. Bart

        Well bud, we were damn sure “brow beaten” into giving assistance to overthrowing Quadafi and look at what has happened to the people of Libya. Anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos that resulted in the locals being offended by an obscure video and spontaneously attacking over a 13 hour period the embassy compound in Benghazi. I surmise from your 100% certainty statements that this would have never happened under your watch, right? Of course we don’t hear much about the situation in Libya anymore, wonder why?

        Of course Katrina and the severe flooding and damage in Louisana are not on the same level but tell that to the good people of Baton Rouge. Bush at least took time to fly over NO but Obama is still sitting on his ass on vacation and hasn’t bothered to address the situation or take time to visit the thousands of displaced citizens to offer support. But of course, this is Obama and we dare not criticize him for basically doing something similar to what Bush did.

        It is refreshing to know how you would have reacted. At least I can be candid and say for certainty that I don’t know how I would have reacted given the circumstances. Maybe it would be a good idea to read the accounts from the children in the classroom and how they felt about the way Bush handled the situation.

        As I said, 20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing, I use it a lot after the fact when I realize a decision I made was not the right one. Wish all leaders had 20/20 foresight. If they did, the world would probably be a better place to live. Since you seem to possess this wonderful trait, why not run for office and save us all from what awaits us in the future?

        “The future comes one day at a time.” – Dean Acheson

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          “Of course we don’t hear much about the situation in Libya anymore, wonder why?”

          I would imagine that’s for the same reason we don’t hear much out of Somalia — without direct Western involvement in anything going on there, I doubt there are many Western journalists there. They tend to gravitate toward the trouble spot that’s making front-page news at a given moment…

      3. Claus

        How would you marginalize these people… kill them?

        “military invasions just don’t work”… it worked pretty well in Panama.

Comments are closed.