Watching Obama and Secretary of State Kerry repeatedly fumble the ball while tying to address the crisis in Syria is akin to being trapped in an endless loop of “Dumb & Dumber” movie replays.
It was obvious from the beginning that Obama’s choice to head up the government entity responsible for the implementation (or lack of) of American foreign policy was predicated on finding a straw man who would not present the problems of a marginally effective – but politically powerful – Hillary Clinton. John Kerry, the successful gigolo who was restricted to minimal damage while representing Massachusetts in Congress, presented perhaps the perfect complement to Obama’s weak and ineffective current presence on the world stage in that he was deemed not to be a political threat to The King.
And that has proved to be the case. While Obama dithers, Kerry flails about making portentous statements that have all of effect of flatulence in a hurricane.
Not the case? Consider, please, the current bid of Russia’s Vladimir Putin to replace the American Presidency as the maker and shaker of world politics. The Russian Premier is sufficiently confident in his new role to not only refer to Kerry as “a liar”, but to lecture Obama and America in general on how world powers should proceed in dealing with Syria’s chemical weapons threat (which the Russians engineered by overseeing Sadam Hussein’s chemical weapons stockpile transfer to Syria). And worse still, while Obama vacillates on his request to Congress to approve a “surgical strike” against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Putin has advanced a plan to remove the threat of those weapons from the world stage which appears to be gaining momentum.
There is no simple and effective way for the United States to remove the threat of those WMD’s through military action. There is the problem of “collateral damage” (we are going to bomb the weapons storage sites and kill surrounding civilians so that they will not fall prey to death by sarin gas?). There is no effective way to determine if the weapons have been destroyed without “boots on the ground” to verify the effect of air strikes (which will require concerted action against Syrian antiaircraft defense systems and aircraft). And of course Syria has already threatened retaliatory action against Americans at home and abroad, adventures that would no doubt attract enthusiastic participation from any number of anti-American factions.
Barack Obama’s woeful lack of experience and intuition regarding military operations and his fumbling attempts to shore up his foreign policy inadequacies can only result in embroiling us once again in a Middle East war that we cannot win.
Even more unfortunately, many Republicans and even some “conservatives” are in favor of backing Obama in his naive and ill-considered plans simply because they feel that political gain will be theirs because Obama will then own the responsibility of such a predetermined failure. It is not in their plans to consider what is best for America, but only to gain political advantage in the upcoming elections. Thus are the true goals of the pampered political class vividly on display.
It is one hell of a mess and one that the utter incompetence and fecklessness of Obama has made even worse. The image of our country throughout the world has been greatly damaged during the past four and one half years and there is no indication that any improvement is imminent.
America is in dire need of competent leadership and that particular component is in short supply in Washington these days. It is way past time to rid our political structure of the corruption, ennui and self-interest that has become its modus operandi.
The American people have made it clear that they are tired of spending lives and treasure in a part of the world where dislike of our country and our people is predominant. It is unfortunate that this message is mostly lost on those who consider themselves our rulers.