I’m not sure I could have come up with a solution to Syria.
I’m also pretty sure I couldn’t have done a worse job than President Obama.
Last year, with his customary self-importance, President Obama laid down his famous red line: If Bashir Assad used chemical weapons, there would be serious repercussions. This stance was applauded by Obama’s sycophants in the press corps (by which I mean the entire press corps) and all of the talking heads at the Washington dinner party circuit.
And then President Obama did nothing.
He didn’t talk to our allies.
He didn’t threaten Syria’s benefactors in Tehran.
He didn’t take a strong stance with Syria’s benefactors in Moscow (remember the “more flexibility” comment caught on a hot mike the media wasn’t terribly interested in during the 2012 election cycle?).
No, the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s force of charisma and dazzling smile were going to be enough to keep the tyrant in Damascus in line.
Until they weren’t.
Chemical weapons have been used—repeatedly.
And Obama’s reaction has been amateurish at best and downright insane at worst.
First, there were the months of waffling after a handful of small-scale chemical attacks. You had numerous reports that intelligence officials were confirming chemical attacks had taken place, but the White House formally refusing to confirm or deny. Then came the August attack that killed more than 1,000. The pictures and video of bodies wrapped in sheets showing no external wounds and video of people foaming at the mouth were too much to continue the “wait-and-see” approach.
Last week, the White House finally said it would act in an “Animal House” sort of way. The chemical weapons use in Syria “requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!” “We’re just the guys to do it.”
How else would you explain White House flack Jay Carney telling reporters that the then-imminent Syria attack wouldn’t have as one of its goals actually killing Assad? Seriously?
Then Obama found out that the British weren’t coming.
And the pollsters started telling him that he hadn’t laid the groundwork for getting the American people’s support for the kind of attack that he was contemplating.
So, how did Mr. Foreign Policy President respond? He made a brief statement Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend as most Americans who weren’t out travelling were watching the first weekend of college football. It’s likely that fewer people bothered watching Obama’s remarks than tune into MSNBC on a typical weeknight.
And what did he say? Did he make an impassioned case for attacking Syria? Nope, he announced that he was going to ask Congress to vote on his little escapade—after more than a week saying he didn’t need their OK.
And Obama’s adoring press lapped it up. Case in point is this guy’s laughable analysis of Obama’s history-defying decision to go to Congress. I suspect Obama’s really constipated with this guy’s head up his rectum all the time. Read that article really closely for any indication that the hated George W. Bush went to Congress for their OK to use military force not once, but twice.
After calling for Congress to vote on this very important humanitarian mission, did President Obama ask for them to come back from their August recess early to vote on this?
Did he get on the phone and start calling members of congress to explain the situation? Did he ask them to the White House to discuss possible military options?
Did he go golfing?
I don’t know what the right answer is. I don’t know what Congress will or should do. What disgusts me is that the mainstream media isn’t pointing out the cheap politics of this maneuver.
If Congress OKs his Syrian adventure and it’s “successful” (however that is determined), Congress’ approval becomes a footnote.
If Congress OKs his Syrian adventure and it goes poorly, it’s Congress’ fault (somehow).
If Congress votes it down, well, it’s all those Republicans fault (yes, they only control one house, but the media hasn’t figured that out after 2+ years).
The best suggestion I saw was that House Republicans should just pull an Obama and vote “present.” Let Obama see how many of his fellow Democrats he can out as feckless hypocrites when it comes to the use of American military power against evil men.
If we’re lucky, right about now Obama is finally beginning to realize that his charm, his “hope,” and his apologetic foreign policy approach is a failure. It’s just unfortunate that we had to get to this point for reality to set in.
If he still doesn’t realize it, then the depth of his narcissism is truly staggering.
On a related note: Anyone heard from Cindy Sheehan lately?