There is actually nothing these people will not do in order to sanitize the record of their own stupidity and incompetence:
A major United States Holocaust Memorial Museum study of the Obama Administration’s Syria policy was put on hold last night after portions of the study given to Tablet were greeted with shock and harsh criticism by prominent Jewish communal leaders and thinkers.
According to a publicity email sent by the Museum, the study was set to be launched at an event at the US Institute for Peace in Washington, D.C., on September 11 and was overseen by a former US intelligence and national security official under Obama, Cameron Hudson, now director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide. The paper argued that “a variety of factors, which were more or less fixed, made it very difficult from the beginning for the US government to take effective action to prevent atrocities in Syria, even compared with other challenging policy contexts.” Using computational modeling and game theory methods, as well as interviews with experts and policymakers, the report asserted that greater support for the anti-Assad rebels and US strikes on the Assad regime after the August 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack would not have reduced atrocities in the country, and might conceivably have contributed to them.
The intervention of the Holocaust Museum in a hot-button political dispute—and the apparent excuse of official US government inaction in the face of large-scale mass murder, complete with the gassing of civilians and government-run crematoria—alarmed many Jewish communal figures. “The first thing I have to say is: Shame on the Holocaust Museum,” said Leon Wieseltier, the literary critic and fellow at the Brookings Institution, who slammed the Museum for “releasing an allegedly scientific study that justifies bystanderism.”
The Museum’s exercise in counter-factual history, he suggested, was inherently absurd. “If I had the time I would gin up a parody version of this that will give us the computational-modeling algorithmic counterfactual analysis of John J McCloy’s decision not to bomb the Auschwitz ovens in 1944. I’m sure we could concoct the f***ing algorithms for that, too.”
I was sort of surprised that the Holocaust Museum had an institutional interest in Syria but, apparently, their charter extends to genocide of all types:
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is working to keep Holocaust memory alive while inspiring citizens and leaders to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity in our constantly changing world.
What strikes me is the exhibit totally ignores the role of the Obama regime in transforming what was going on in Syria from one of the periodic revolts-followed-by-slaughter that are pretty much a standard feature of Syria under the Assads into a full-blown civil war that set off a refugee crisis that threatens the political stability of a lot of Europe.
The major objection was that the study presented conclusions on a war that was not yet finished that seemed calculated to exonerate the Obama administration of all blame.
“I assume the leadership understands that it made a misstep,” said Abraham Foxman, the director of the Center of the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the History. “I served three times on the Holocaust Commission. The institution is very dear to my heart. And I believe that it’s appropriate—indeed, it’s imperative—for the Museum deal with questions of genocide in contemporary current events. But in this case, several things are happening that are problematic. First, the genocide isn’t over. In the case of Rwanda and Bosnia, for example, the genocides were over and the Museum was able to offer its assessment in hindsight. Two, more broadly I just don’t think it’s appropriate for the Museum to issue this kind of judgement—that’s beyond its mandate. This should be a place where one meets to discuss, to debate, to question, to challenge: Could more have been done? Where? How? Not to issue judgment, especially not in this politicized atmosphere.”
And, of course, there were those who were very happy with the study
Holocaust Museum forced to pull study because it found that toppling Assad could have increased atrocities in Syria. https://t.co/NoJbFij7fd
— Max Abrahms (@MaxAbrahms) September 6, 2017
Holocaust Museum Pulls Study That Came to Obvious Conclusion on Syria Genocide https://t.co/znVLXeAaDV
— reason (@reason) September 6, 2017
How did this come to be? Obama salted the Holocaust Museum with his acolytes as he was leaving office.
Some Jewish communal leaders suggested both privately to Tablet, and in conversations with board members and staff at the Holocaust Museum, that the Museum’s moral authority had been hijacked for a partisan re-writing of recent history, and alleged that the museum had absolved the Obama administration of any moral or political error in its response to mass atrocities in Syria. At least one of the architects of the Obama administration policy in Syria, former deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes, was appointed to the museum’s Memorial Council during the closing days of the Obama administration. The Council also includes Obama NSC alumni Grant Harris and Daniel Benjamin. Other Obama NSC alumni, including Hudson and Anna Cave, have joined the Museum’s staff.
It is unsurprising that Rhodes reached out to one of the members of the “echo chamber” he constructed to sell the Iran nuclear deal to deny his involvement in this atrocity.
And it seems like the US Institute of Peace was also in on the game.