Monday, September 9, 2013

Obama's One Potato---Two Potato Foreign Policy

"...John Kerry To Syria: "Hand Over Your Chemical Weapons Or Prepare To Face The #UnbelievablySmall Wrath Of The U.S." Tweet By Kathryn DeLong

  • Kathryn was able to put John F. Kerry's most recent blunder in perspective. But Kerry's statement about our response to Syria being "limited" and "unbelievably small" follows similar statements by the Obama administration and some members of Congress, especially those I like to refer to as the "anti anti-war" Democrats. For example, rhetoric such as our having to send a very strong message that chemical weapons will not be tolerated followed by declaring our response will be punishing but not destabilizing. Really, what the hell does all that mean? All of this points to a confused White House leadership resulting in a confused strategy. That's also the result chronic vacillation on very important foreign as well as domestic concerns. 
  • In the last several months, I've posted a number of pieces summarizing this administration's failed foreign policy. The current conflict in Syria simply highlighted the hyper-incompetence of that policy. It's now being played out for the entire country and globe to see. As I've written in the past, when we witness an administration and Congress abandoning its leadership as a force for good, we get what we see in surrounding this government's response to the Syrian conflict. In fact, Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner said it best: "Blunder after blunder. That's been the story of President Obama's policy toward Syria." But even more disturbing, Barone reminds us that "Undermining the power of even a feckless American president risks undermining the power of the presidency---and of America for years."
  • Last week, I and most pointed out there is no "bad" or "right" side in Syria {"Profiles in Stupidity: There Is No "Bad" Or "Right" Side In Syria."}. We've seen that play out most recently with the so-called "moderate" rebels against the Christian village of Maaloula. While it's undeniable that Assad's regime is replete with murderers, it's becoming increasingly undeniable the Syrian rebels are no better. Moreover, it's also been reported many of the Syrian rebel groups are composed of crazed Jihadists as well as members of al-Qaeda.
  • Even as I write this, Pres. Obama is appearing on many news talk shows and will deliver a speech to the nation tomorrow on the Syrian conflict. He's doing this because any little support he's had on Syria is now collapsing. USA TODAY as well as The Pew Research Center reported this week that the opposition to any strike on Syria is surging (63-28%).
  • Once again, we are faced with the administration tossing around a hot potato. After juggling it himself for a few weeks, he decided to toss it over to Congress. And Congress just might toss it back to Obama. In other words, Obama will re-inherit his red line. If he does---will he continue to act confused, undecided and indecisive? Perhaps Peggy Noonan wrote it best last week: "Wrong War, Wrong Time, Wrong Man." She just might be right.