Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley called Bashar al-Assad a “war criminal,” but the administration doesn’t have any interest in toppling him from power.
Here’s Nikki Haley calling Assad a “deterrent to peace” and a “war criminal”:
BUT as ABC News points out, removing Assad is not anywhere near the top of the list of priorities for the administration.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the U.S. approach was being driven by a new “reality” and that Assad’s future had to be a decision for the Syrian people. Similar statements were made earlier by U.S. Cabinet members speaking in Ankara, London and at the United Nations.
“There is a political reality that we have to accept in terms of where we are right now,” Spicer told reporters. “We had an opportunity and we need to focus on now defeating ISIS.”
Hours earlier, Jim Mattis, President Donald Trump’s Pentagon chief, said Washington was looking at Syria “one day at a time,” indicating Assad’s status wasn’t the most immediate question. On Thursday, Trump’s U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, said of Assad: “Do we think he’s a hindrance? Yes. Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No.”
That is what is called a RealPolitik brand of politics. It’ll be interesting to see what other war criminals the United States will put up with while under the rule of Trump…