is the Obama White House & administration sensitive about complaints that they didn't do enough about the Russian hacks? Yes, yes they are.
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) December 15, 2016
Is Obama still even our president? Has he said anything about Aleppo – a tragedy and a disgrace which, yes, his policies enabled?
— Shadi Hamid (@shadihamid) December 15, 2016
Two styles of impotent hand-wringing seem to be in fashion in my virtual circle: over the apparently unexpectedly successful Russian intervention in liberal-democratic political processes, culminating in the election of a uniquely unpopular, deeply disrespected president; over the moral and global-political catastrophe in Syria, whose key turning point occurred in September 2013, and which is climaxing now in the devastation and de-population of the city of Aleppo by a Russian-supported alliance. The Russian challenge is not the only one that we have not brought ourselves to face, yet find facing us both from far away and right at home, but it is in more ways than I will pause to point out here the perfectly typical challenge. Our inability to see ourselves in the Syrians, among others – for which, it must be said, the Syrians and others share significant blame – and our inability to find ourselves and see any way forward, are the same blindness in two different dimensions. The Fall of Aleppo and the virtual second Fall of Washington are linked not just by the prominence of one nation or its security services in sponsorship of both, but by a long, apparently far from finished history of failures and omissions that, removed from context, provide illimitable opportunity for internecine partisan assault, and therefore for circular reinforcement of the same underlying conditions of political paralysis and strategic hypochondria that made them possible and that they make possible, and that have made events like the two falls, and new ones, all but certain.