President Barack Obama used powerful historical imagery Tuesday in defending his original call for military action in Syria, invoking memories of the Holocaust to denounce the Assad regime’s purported use of chemical weapons.
“When I stated my willingness to order a limited strike against the Assad regime in response to the brazen use of chemical weapons, I did not do so lightly,” Obama said in an address before the United Nations General Assembly. “I did so because I believe it is in the national security interest of the United States and in the interest of the world to meaningfully enforce a prohibition whose origins are older than the United Nations itself.”
“The ban against the use of chemical weapons, even in war, has been agreed to by 98 percent of humanity,” he continued. “It is strengthened by the searing memories of soldiers suffocating in the trenches, Jews slaughtered in gas chambers, Iranians poisoned in the many tens of thousands.”