You are what you reap. And the president must be patting himself on the back for successfully selling a foreign policy of retreat to the American people and to Congress. When was the last time we had such partisan agreement on any issue?
For the past 6 years, he's done a phenomenal job of telling us why we are no more special than any other country, even got elected twice on the premise that we must take a backseat on the world stage. No wonder he can't sell going to war with Syria! He's had us on a fast-track to
decline isolationism and now he wants to slam the train in reverse, not just slow it down. It doesn't work that way Mr. President.
Now based upon the first gaffe, the red-line remark he made a year ago, he was finally forced to make good on his promise after the horrible deaths of so many Syrians. It's strange that he decided he had to act now since even Kerry said they had proof that Assad had used chemical weapons some 11-13 times in the last year, not "just moved a bunch of CWs around". Weren't all the other times Assad used CWs an imminent threat to our national security? Why now?
And now, we have the second gaffe from Kerry that Assad could avoid the miniscule force and mini-might of our military. Oops, put that rabbit back in the hat ASAP as it was just rhetoric and not a serious proposal. But now it is? It was planned before it wasn't planned and it's now a viable plan, since it may be Obama's only plan and way out of this mess he created? My head is spinning and just think of the optics to the other world leaders.
So I guess it's time for Putin to give the U.S. a "reset" button as to who is the real boss. Don't forget that Hillary mistranslated "reset" to "overload" in Russian and that's exactly what we have going on now. Will Obama genuflect to Putin to genuinely thank him for this surprise gift? Which of course may turn out to be a dead fish in a box.
So how did the president get here. The president said that Osama is dead, AQ is on the run and the tide of war is behind us. He said that we can't insert ourselves into a Syrian civil war two years ago. This year's Inaugural was strange against today's backdrop, but there's always the "but" in his speeches (bold my emphasis):
Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.
I'm not sure what enemies turned friends he is referring to since clearly AQ and its hydra of off-shoots clearly still hate us, no matter how much we tried to help their Muslim brothers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He's railed against the Iraq war for so long and the Bush policies that no one can count anymore but it was Obama that failed to get a Status of Forces Agreement that could have proved to be a deterrent in deposing of Assad and stopping the flow of arms from Iran.
He said that Afghanistan was "the good war" and promptly declared when the war would end, right after he pulled a Bush-style surge. He never speaks of winning the war there and it saddens me to no end that he has stranded our men and woman in the desert there without proper physical and moral support. He's done as little as possible to effect a successful outcome and basically has ignored that the war there is still on-going. Just pull the plug now and get our forces home safely if you're not going to support it.
And just this May, he gave one of the most bizarre speeches I've ever heard from a president. He gave it at the National Defense University. It was his speech on the future of the war on terror, and proclaimed it's basically over (my bold emphasis of familiar words).
[...snip] Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. Fewer of our troops are in harm’s way, and over the next 19 months they will continue to come home. Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.
...In the 1990s, we lost Americans to terrorism at the World Trade Center; at our military facilities in Saudi Arabia; and at our Embassy in Kenya. These attacks were all deadly, and we learned that left unchecked, these threats can grow. But if dealt with smartly and proportionally, these threats need not rise to the level that we saw on the eve of 9/11.
...Nevertheless, this ideology persists, and in an age in which ideas and images can travel the globe in an instant, our response to terrorism cannot depend on military or law enforcement alone. We need all elements of national power to win a battle of wills and ideas. So let me discuss the components of such a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy.
...It is also not possible for America to simply deploy a team of Special Forces to capture every terrorist. And even when such an approach may be possible, there are places where it would pose profound risks to our troops and local civilians– where a terrorist compound cannot be breached without triggering a firefight with surrounding tribal communities that pose no threat to us, or when putting U.S. boots on the ground may trigger a major international crisis.
Unless we discipline our thinking and our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states. So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.
I wonder if he wants a do-over on that speech! He wiped his hands of the whole war on terror, as if he can unilaterally stop a religious war against us, and told us it was time to move on. Many Americans thought it was a fine idea as he tried to pivot back to jobs for the umpteenth time and his domestic agenda of fundamentally transforming America.
And now we're to stop on a dime and trust him to start an unjust war, based upon a gaffe he made a year ago? Leading from behind is an understatement in the case of Syria; it's more like leading with his behind. It's asinine for him to think the public will be on his side after he told us the war on terror is over. And it's insane to call it "limited and proportional" or just a "shot across the bow" or "incredibly small", while transmitting the details to your foe ahead of time, and not expecting return fire. Unless Assad really isn't his foe?
God only knows what Obama will say tonight, since even Obama probably doesn't know yet as the situation changes hour to hour, literally. UPDATE: And now we know, he outsourced his job and that of America's of being the world's leading diplomat to Russia. He got punked by Putin, (the bored kid in the back of the room) and punted to him to broker a deal with Syria; the same Syria that Russia has been selling arms to fast and furiously. I have never seen a person so conflicted with himself and one that has a perpetual tug of war with himself, let alone a president on national TV asking for what? A hurry up and wait strategy for Syria and Russia to delay a deal? I think this might be of help to him: "How To Stop Arguing With Yourself And Make A Decision". He is indeed, all hat and no cattle, and he has left no doubt in the eyes of our allies and enemies.
The only thing that is clear is that he has muddled Syria, his response, and his sales pitch for action, beyond recognition. Biden is probably glad it's not him this time that made the gaffes!
The crackpots running this country are more like Larry (Obama), Mo (Biden) and Curly (Kerry) and it's Putin doing the head-banging of all three stooges. How sad that he got us here and has made a laughing stock of this country.
Maybe some day we'll find out if this administration is governing like the Monty Python skit "Run Away", intentionally or unintentionally. Because today, even that's not clear either.
What is clear, is that his days of governing are spiraling out of control. And to think he did it to himself when he pushed the first domino of a policy of retreat and now they're all crashing down on him. His own fall is all because of the seeds he successfully sowed. Oh the irony!