"We all know that what is happening in Syria ... is unacceptable," Obama told a summit on refugees on the sidelines of the annual gathering of leaders at the United Nations. "We are not as unified as we should be in pushing to make it stop."
I'm so old, I remember when President Obama said Syria's dictator Assad had to leave office.
I'm so old I remember when the world was united around the red line against Assad's chemical weapons usage (remember that our president said "the world" set the red line and not him!).
I'm so old I remember when Secretary of State Kerry compared Assad to Hitler.
I'm so old I remember when we finally passed that "global test" Kerry has long gone on about when France was willing to join America in military action to make Assad pay a price for using chemical weapons on civilians.
And I'm also old enough to remember the time when (several hundred thousand casualties ago) when the White House said that we didn't want to further militarize the conflict in Syria and make things worse.
It got worse. Much worse.
And now on his way out, our president calls the situation he was happy to accept for 5 years as long as he didn't have to do anything effective (and no, serial deals between Kerry and Lavrov don't count as "effective") is "unacceptable."
UPDATE: By all means end cooperation with Russia over Syria:
The Obama administration threatened to pull out of talks with Russia over a collapsed cease-fire in Syria and has renewed an internal debate over giving rebels more firepower to fend off a stepped-up Russian and Syrian assault on their Aleppo stronghold, U.S. officials said.
Other than deconflicting our air power, we should not deal with Russia and simply pursue our interests of fighting ISIL and getting rid of Assad.
Russia wants Assad to win and we want to fight ISIL, and while on the surface that provides room for cooperation, in practice Russia has leveraged American attempts to cooperate into a practical alliance to save Assad by fighting all the opposition groups and by causing rebels to doubt our commitment to them.
UPDATE: For all the talk of how our actions cause Moslem anger at America (as if liberating Moslems in Iraq from a thug murdering regime was awful by the standards of Moslems!), remember that failing to act in Syria as we pass the 400,000 dead mark isn't something that makes Moslems think highly of us.
That's one of the problems of being the most powerful country. People assume that we have the power to do anything, so can believe that if we don't do something it must be on purpose and for bad reasons.