Misplaced Mercy

It was with great interest that I read your extensive coverage of the fall of Aleppo and the ensuing humanitarian crisis, which brought to mind the teaching of the Midrash, that whoever is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to those deserving of mercy.

The vicious regime of the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, as well as of his father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad, is infamous for its exceptional cruelty. The Western world had its chance to remove Assad from power, when rebels controlled much of the country only a couple of years ago. Unwilling to stand up to Russia, and unable to get its act together, the United States and its allies squandered the opportunity, and now it is the civilians of Aleppo, including many women and young children, who are paying a terrible price. The world showed mercy to Assad, and now, through its inaction, is being extremely cruel to the innocent victims of this devastating civil war.

It is high time for the world community to show real leadership on this issue.

Shaya Friedman