Sunday, September 08, 2013
When I look at Obama's efforts to launch a war on Syria I am struck by the fact that I have never seen a President work so hard to get something done. Realizing that he does not have public support for another war in the Middle East, he has decided to try brainwashing the American people. He has indeed reached a new low. In the days to come, Obama will show Americans previously unreleased video and pictures of dead and dying women and babies from Syria (as if people don't know that there is a civil war there). This is straight out of Psych Ops 101. It is vile and disgusting as a policy. This is akin to anti-abortion activists showing pictures of dead fetuses. It adds shock value by playing on emotions, but it actually does little to advance their argument in any substantive way or to change facts that were already known. All of this effort to start a war? This is why I have no respect for this man whatsoever. Not anymore. In fact, I am ashamed I voted for him in 2008. I no longer tell people I voted...or who I voted for.
No one is disputing that some sort of chemical was released near Damascus on that day and people may have died. But the answer to the question of who did it and what the real impact was is still unclear and may never be determined. U.S. intelligence estimates seem to have inflated the number of dead (1400) in order to sell the idea of jumping into this war. All other news organizations (on the ground) and NGO groups (on the ground), reported far fewer fatalities. (100-200 or so). One of many reasons not to rush into this...and not to jump in at all. One of the many flaws in the Obama Administration's thinking on Syria is that they have created the false choice between doing nothing and war. There are several other options here that could provide a response that is appropriate (IF Assad was even responsible...and I am not convinced that he was...and will never be absent a confession from Assad himself). One response would be (as mentioned several times before) to provide more assistance to the rebels in Syria. While aiding rebels, there should be a simultaneous effort to bring about a political settlement. This is the recommendation of the U.S. military, which Obama has decided to ignore.
This brings me to the realization that not only is Obama not who I (and other Progressives) thought that he was..... that's of course bad enough. But he has turned out to be far worse. In my view, he is worse than Bush. For one, Bush didn't have on sheep's clothing. Bush was a wolf and everyone knew he was a wolf. He didn't wear a costume. Obama, on the other hand, had a sheep's costume that fit so perfectly that he was able to fool almost everybody. I always had my doubts and suspicions, but the Syria mess has confirmed everything for me once and for all. Although my view and support of Obama was already dwindling steadily... I would always try to hold out hope and I would try to suggest that perhaps what I was witnessing was an anomaly. But my suspicions were right all along. He's simply a weak puppet shared between the traditional Washington establishment and corporate America.
I have wondered over the last few weeks how things might be different if Obama were just as motivated and aggressive about launching a war on poverty, improving education, taking care of American Veterans, fixing infrastructure, fixing the economy, helping blighted urban communities (especially communities of color), pushing green energy, immigration reform and so many of the other needs we have here at home. I imagine he would be able to get a bit more done and would help more of our people (I consider the Dream Act folks and the undocumented who have been contributing positively to America as our people). But the Hip Hop President... Mr. Nobel Peace Prize... Mr. "we are turning the page" on war... only gets fired up, motivated and determined now? The only time he has been anywhere close to this cranked up is during his two election campaigns for President... and even then, he needed help to get fired up. The fact that Obama sold himself (quite successfully) as the anti-Bush, anti-war candidate (the Sheep's clothing) and now is selling another stupid war is one aspect that certainly makes him worse and more dangerous than his predecessor.
Another reasons why Obama is worse than Bush is because Obama sold himself as the logical, deliberative, candidate who would make wise decisions, wouldn't rush in, would listen to the American people and to his military commanders, and would always act in the best interests of the U.S. But I just don't see that in the case of Syria. He has abandoned that approach completely here. There seems to be little rational thought here. Instead, he is acting on emotion... because his manhood is being challenged... someone crossed his "red line"...and now he needs to prove he's not a punk. That may be the street code in Chicago and in the disappointing "Black Community", but it doesn't make much sense in the foreign policy arena. This is especially true when proving you are not a punk isn't in the best interest of the Country, and may only make the situation in Syria worse. He has gone completely irrational here.
Lastly, George W. Bush went against international public opinion, and against world leaders, but he had the support of his military and at least tried to make a case to the UN (although based on what we now know was completely bogus information). On the other hand, Obama -- the hawk in sheep's clothing.... (who once criticized Bush's foreign policy for its arrogance)-- has decided that he will go far beyond Bush's arrogance and will defy everyone... international public opinion, world leaders, the American people, The UN and the UN Chief, the Pope, and the military. I want to make this clear to people.... not even George W. Bush was this bad. Neither was George H.W. Bush or Reagan for that matter. At some point, George W. Bush could be reigned in. He, for the most part, listened to the military. Obama is defying all logic, going against benchmarks for action that he himself spelled out (must have broad international support for military action, will go to the UN, won't act without a broad coalition of countries, will wait for an official investigation, etc etc etc). I don't think the U.S. should be involved at all in Syria, but I did get a glimpse of hope from his pledge to stick to his own benchmarks....an effort he has now abandoned. This is what makes Obama worse than Bush. Not listening to the military....pushing them into a war that is opposed from private to General... makes his particularly dangerous. He appears to be a loose cannon.
I have mentioned before, in the commentary "America's Gravest Threat" (is itself...its own foreign policy) that the U.S. would not be able to fix its problems and take care of all of its other needs until there was a new foreign policy based on realism...and an understanding of the limits of American power. I said that the U.S. could not sustain the current path where we are the self designated policeman of the world. The U.S. could not take care of its budget issues with this kind of aggressive, interventionist, global cop foreign policy where it tries to control the Middle East and other parts of the world through military force. If the U.S. continues, it will not be able to fix its fundamental structural problems (debt, economy, economic inequality and competitiveness, etc) and will continue to decline. An excellent posting on Crooks & Liars supports my point. Members of Congress are using Syria as an excuse to cancel military budget cuts... bloating the debt and deficit even more...and in the end, harming ordinary Americans (because they always cut items that benefit ordinary Americans to make up for military spending. We the people are considered "discretionary".)
I have learned more about Obama in the past few months than I have in the previous 5 or 6 years. I have seen all that I need to see. Obama, just like Bush, will be a liability to the nation and for every American. He will do (has already done) damage to this country.... it's just a matter of how much. We can only hope & pray that Obama's damage to us and to the nation are "limited".... as much as possible.
Posted by Brian at 10:24 PM