Contemplating three years without a President
Having been mostly away from the internet these past two days, I’ve watched from afar how quickly things have turned on Syria.
It’s amazing how Obama has gone from being backed into a corner to being on a ledge where his presidency is just a vote away from being over all but in name.
It’s not that Obama was wrong to want to react to the use of chemical weapons.
I was willing, at the outset, to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because the stakes were so high if the large-scale use by the Assad government of chemical weapons was proven.
This goes far beyond the usual bloodletting when Syria, one of if not the largest stockpilers of chemical weapons, uses chemical weapons strategically. That Syria is in the heart of the Middle East, bordering three of our friends, and a puppet of Iran and Hezbollah, made the situation more dire and in our national interest to address.
I guess I stand almost alone in that assessment, but not completely alone:
Rep Tom Cotton: No one benefits from chem weapon ban more than U.S. soldiers — supports authorization
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) September 4, 2013
But with each passing day, the real Obama — the one conservatives and the Tea party always saw — has emerged in full force, while the Obama liberals thought they knew disappeared before their own eyes. Victor Davis Hanson observes:
How did Obama get himself into this mess? It was bound to happen, given his past habits. All we are seeing now is the melodramatic fulfillment of vero possumus, lowering the rising seas, faux Corinthian columns, hope and change, the bows, the Cairo speech, and the audacity of hope. Hubris does earn Nemesis.
The embarrassing and sometimes shrill performances by John Kerry weakened the case. And now Obama is staking everything on convincing the public next Tuesday night in a speech to the nation.
The matter has been so mishandled it’s almost hard to know where to begin. But the end is becoming clear.
Walter Russell Mead (via Leather Penguin) poses the problem for our country of being without a President internationally for three more years:
We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.
Hanson similarly observed:
In our new Vienna-summit-to-Cuban-missile-crisis era of danger, I fear our enemies and rivals are digesting the Syrian misadventure and calibrating to what degree they might soon turn our present psychodrama into a real American tragedy.
I would not be surprised if Obama, when he accepts that he will lose a vote in the House, pulls the political equivalent of Styrofoam Greek Columns. Maybe some diplomatic fig leaf, a tribunal. Or some half-measure in Congress. Or an announcement that we will finally really will arm the non-al-Qaeda rebels.
Even if Obama finds his way out of the corner or off the ledge, we have lost as a country because we will spend the next three years facing emboldened enemies internationally without a President
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to the full extent allowed by law.
Obama is, and ever shall be, the pre-eminent danger to right and true interests of the United States.
‘Political structure’ arguments about preserving the integrity of the office, no matter who holds it, are just pure piffle.
Ruin Obama, and do it now. How could hobbling Obama possibly be worse for the country than allowing him to do what he wants?
In fact, it would be so much better for the country, as key elements of his domestic misrule might well totter and fall along with his trumped up aura of authority.
And it is not remotely credible to extrapolate the use of chemical weapons on US troops from a refusal to play along with this absurd buffoon lurching us into World War III.
Don’t ask me how I really feel.
The idea that Congress is more concerned about
Obama saving face vs us doing what is right, is appalling. People take the saying “lesser of two evils” too lightly. In the case of Syria, Obama is supporting the “greater of two evils.”
PS: Its too easy for Americans, who often don’t get the truth about what’s going on the world stage (because of the MSM filter), to confuse or not know the difference between a totalitarian government and an authoritarian government. Obama has willfully aided in destabilizing Middle Eastern countries, only to have them fall into the hands of the radical Islamic extremists or chaos.
“Obama has willfully aided in destabilizing Middle Eastern countries, only to have them fall into the hands of the radical Islamic extremists or chaos.”
“Obama has willfully aided in destabilizing Middle Eastern countries, with the intent that they fall into the hands of the radical Islamic extremists or chaos.”
Yes, and it is time Americans start using their brains to come to the same conclusion.
To paraphrase a reply to Mr. Axelrod:
There will be war. We need to clear the decks as much as possible. Congress should still vote on this and make every Demo register a vote.
If O had any smarts in his speech he should for sure make it clear that an attack on Israel is an attack on the US. Then gracefully defer to Congress on this operation.
I doubt that Obama would tie the US to an attack on Israel, given that he is not pro-Israel by any stretch of the imagination. The other thing to consider is this: Once Congress gives approval they have no control over what Obama does. Congress approves and the President executes.
gee, there hasn’t been much talk lately about Scandalpaloosa, the destruction of the US economy or obamacare , has there? Why, it’s almost like some fake crisis has been genned up to distract tha 15% of us who pay attention to that kind of stuff.
[…] Obama’s Incompetence Now Threatening Us All: If one were into conspiracies, one might think this has all been intentional. That is, the international weakening of America. Better hope no one really wants to test how far we have declined under Obama’s “leadership”. […]
“Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence” – Napoleon
Naaaah. If it had been mere “incompetence”, somebody somehow would have incompetently done something that had a positive result.
*THIS* mis-Administration is definitely acting out of malice.
(Although I’ll grant you that Dear Leader is not a shining beacon of competence and accomplishment …)
When it comes to questions of competence, I always give our leaders the benefit of the doubt; after all, they are our best and brightest, graduates of the finest schools our nation has to offer. Surely the results of their actions are what they intended.
when somebody flips 50 heads in a row, you might consider the possibility that the flipper knows what he is doing.
>>”We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”
I would expect WR Mead to say that.
No — let Obama fail and let us suffer the pain. We need the pain and failure. It’s the only cure, the only way out. We’ll never shake off the ague of Leftism without it.
Our country is better off with no president than with Obama. While we will have increased threats from abroad, perhaps Obama’s reign of terror on America, from inside America, will be slowed.
We’ve practically have had no president since January, 2009 as it is Reid and Pelosi that pushed through all the legislation that is ruining the country.
The little puppet emperor is merely a “useful” tool of those in the background that want to see America reduced to third world status. And we have nearly reached that destination!
The “Grinding Down of America,” continues unabated…
Either way the vote goes, Obama’s credibility on the word stage is already trashed. Tossing some bombs on Syria or not, the world will scorn him anyway. However, voting yes is like enabling a drug addict who is slipping deeper into the depths. Most times it is best to let the addict hit rock bottom and pray like hell that he/she wakes up to see what he/she is doing to those who care.
The left needs to learn what tough love means. A yes vote continues to enable Obama, but a no vote would show tough love. We could only pray that Obama gets it.
One other thought – how can we save another’s country when our own is in such disorder? If we wish to be the world’s champion of democracy, we cannot do so with the shaky structure and morals that DC has foisted on us in the last 20-30 years
“we will spend the next three years facing emboldened enemies internationally without a President”
We’ve already been without one for 5 years. What’s a few more?
If Congress declines to support what even proponents of a Syria strike must agree is a massively screwed up policy, then the President will face another choice. He can do a “Clinton” (President Clinton bombed Serbia in the teeth of congressional disapproval), or he can fold like a cheap suit. If he chooses the latter course, Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” stunt at the 2012 GOP convention will look eerily prophetic.
The Obama PR machine has out done the French to take over the position of the party most likely to be as useful to a military campaign as an accordion.
If Obama had just done the strike and then informed Congress, it all would have been over in time to watch the rollout of the ObamaCare enrollment, but the endless rollout of the campaign with more leaks than a screen door must be unprecedented.
What worries me is that this could escalate. These countries see a weak president who doesn’t know what he’s doing. They have been emboldened. Their whole existence is about hatred and war. There is very graphic evidence that the rebels are just as bad as the the people we consider to be our enemy. They could have used those chemical weapons. Who are we to believe? Kerry? Obama? Their credibility went down the tubes ages ago.
Galrahn at Information Dissemination has been discussing the situation, and the scenario he posits, while unlikely, isn’t pretty.
Essentially: what if Syria and/or Iran take their best shot at U.S. Navy assets off their shores, immediately after Champ lobs a few missiles at Syria?
And what if they succeed? Define success as sinking one or more U.S. surface combatants.
What then would Champ do?
I think he’d fold like the proverbial lawn chair and try to blame it all on Bush and the Republicans. Maybe Israel as well. But whatever he did he’d be faced with tens of millions of people on the streets in the Middle East cheering at the American loss.
There are worse things then not having a president the next three years. This would be one of them.
Then we stick it out. We’re not really going to have a President the next there years anyway. If he “recovers” from this debacle he’ll just redouble his energies on his grand schemes of domestic economic and human ruin.
This is what we bought and now we have to pay the price.
Listen to the emerging new Narrative from the morally rotted Left as Obama starts to circle the drain, this from an NPR host — “What about the prestige, the credibility of the United States and of the president himself? Do you worry about that?”
Now we’re supposed to worry about that? Like they worried about the “prestige and credibility” of George Bush, who they smeared and savaged for eight years? Or like they’ve ever cared or worried about the institution of the Presidency or even America itself?
We can’t give in to this rank emotional extortion. His credibility and prestige needs to be pulverized, turned to dust. We’ll survive. What we won’t survive is another Leftist regime.
Now is the time to Embrace the Suck.
Someone has to hold out the olive branch in all this mess. I say it should be the US. I think instead of Obama boring the masses in the US with another speech next Tuesday that we send Obama and Michelle on a peace and good will mission to Syria (they should also take Biden).
Obama and Michelle always love a new vacation spot. I think the US should give them 100 million for this trip like the grand African tour. I would donate money. I am sure our allies would donate money (the Queen could write a check).
We send them off to give speeches of hope and change to Syria. It could last 3 plus years. I think that would be exactly what Syria deserves.
Offering the fundamentalist moslems (no, I will not use the new, PC spelling) anything at all will be taken as tribute or an attempt to appease. They have a serious case of superiority complex (and cannot figure out that their own actions and attitudes are why moslem countries are mostly impoverished while unbeliever Jews and protestants thrive).
I have too much love in my heart for both side of the Syrian Civil War to subject them to Michelle Obama.
The Big Mo is a burden that we Americans must endure alone.
On a serious note. I am boycotting Obama’s speech. I am turning off my tv so there is no chance I have to see it. I would love for the airbag to give a speech and no one shows up. I will be sure to watch TV before and after so that it makes his audience attendance for the night look as bad as possible. That is my vote – No more listening to hope and change (or is that hoax and fraud).
I have been unable to watch or listen to ANY Obama speech beginning with(and including)January 20, 2009. Cannot do it. It hits me squarely in my oversensitive GAG reflex for bullshit.
Obama truly is the living embodiment of VTC:
VAST Testicular Concavity.
For me it was the campaign trail when he was out there in the MidWest giving a “speech” and just making stuff up, just saying whatever off the top of his head. And the crowd swooned. So articulate. So wonderful. I didn’t listen to the whole speech then, just caught him in full scat mode, and haven’t listened to him then. Low tolerance for lying BS.
Does anyone know who the other guests will be on Tuesday night? The other guests on the Jay Leno Show!
“We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”
This makes no sense. Whether or not Congress and the American public support Obama on Syria, he will still be the same indecisive, reluctant, weak President then that he is now. How could anyone realistically think the world’s leaders will be fooled? Obama’s weaknesses are not going away simply because the American people or Congress supported him on Syria.
Castrating Obama politically can only be a good thing for our country, given his best intended efforts of Stimulus, Obamacare, EPA, IRS, chronic unemployment, chronic economic malaise, etc., etc., and his advertised hopes for immigration, energy, etc.
If something happens on the international stage that truly imperils the US and/or our closest allies, we can only hope that the neutered Obama will be convinced, behind the scenes and out of embarrassing public view, to accept the counsel of those who know what they are doing in the military & intelligence firmament.
I think if, I dunno – pick a crisis – say, Russia put 2-3 carrier groups off the coast of California, the pants-pissing Obama would be only too happy to have skilled nat’l security and military experts and selected congressional leaders step in and tell him what to do, people who would not exploit it politically because, hey, we’ve got Russian carriers on our coast (or whatever unimaginable true crisis might arise). I think. I hope. No, that doesn’t sound like President Narcissus, after all. He’d see it as his chance for redemption. *sigh*
Impeachment brings the initially nightmarish specter of a President Biden, but given he is an old hand in the senate, he might be competent in accepting his shortcomings and by accepting counsel for the good of the country in a way Obama may not.
Yeeeaaah, I think maybe just to be safe I’m gonna park some goods and materials in a storage facility in Canada till January 20, 2017.
As Russia currently only has one rather old aircraft carrier in service this might only scare Bo rather than Barry.
Thou shalt not suffer a nit to live.
I would be more concerned about Russia parking a few Ballistic Missle/Guided Missle submarines off the coast of California and Maryland. If they decided to launch the missles would reach their targets in a few minutes, what would Obama do then other than poop his pants.
Since 9/11 the saudi’s have played us like a string instrument! And, ya know what? The saud’s introduced chemical weapons into the syrian field! They thought we’d bite, the way we did following 9/11.
We haven’t had a war against terrorists at all!
We’ve had a war against our US Constitution. And, the day Homeland Security passed, our Freedoms went up in smoke!
Obama’s “nightmare” ahead will have more to do with the N.S.A. revelations than just about anything else! Let it all unravel.
Syria? They’ve been led by the Assad Family for decades. It’s not up to us to choose the leadership that reigns in other countries. The saud’s, however, have had big eyes on a number of prizes. Spilling good American blood in the process!
Yes, they wanted the oil fields in Basra. Okay. We got rid of Saddam. And, the Chinese are now picking up the wealth from all the contracts to rebuild thatthey give out.
We made a mess in Libya. Things there were better under Gaddafi. Can’t fool me.
John Roberts added the cherry on top, by creating FISA. With gag rules. And, bullying. On a scale not to be believed.
The “favor” is that Obama is incompetent. He’s doomed to fail. It’s just a question of how we’re gonna tackle the bad guys that have all risen to the top.
I keep hearing that the Syrian gov’t was winning so they had no need to use poison gas. Both sides, IMO, would use poison gas if they thought they could blame the other side. If Saudi money is behind the rebels, then they rebels could easily hire someone to mix the Sarin gas for them. (From what I hear, it is an easy process. The difficult part is surviving the mixing.) (Followed shortly after by avoiding being killed by the employer.)
If Obama loses, he will be a cornered rat, striking out blindly, doing as much damage as he can to anyone in reach. The Pres of the US has a long reach. He may have to be placed under arrest, or whatever it is called. “Coup” for sure.
THere were vids on the net of Al Qaeda trying out poison gases on dogs. Wouldn’t be surprised if the “rebels”, aka Al Qaeda, did the poisoning, if anyone was actually poisoned. With the Arabs, you never know, and I’ve seen a lot of Arabwood vids in which a bill of goods were being sold.
Some of those Pallywood productions are hilarious, with the “dead” climbing back on the stretcher after being dropped, or jumping up to direct the next scene.
I read that Leon Panetta said that al-Qaeda types took control of a cache of chemical weapons last summer, so yes, it is just as likely that al-Qaeda unleashed those chemical weapons that are being pinned on Assad now. I say stay out of it and let Allah figure it out.
This scrawny leftist punk has gutted the American armed forces. He’s played Big Nanny Santa to the slugs, takers and bottom feeders of our country. He’s been ruinous for the national debt and economy.
I have NEVER come close to fearing for my country the way I do now.
Two very important things have to be noted here.
The first is that Syria has never used, or attempted to use, chemical weapons strategically or even tactically, out side its own borders.
The second is that no evidence has been provided, to the public, that the Syrian government released the gas in this instance.
Third, even if the Syrian government did release the gas, it is not a signatory to any treaty dealing with chemical weapons.
Unless Syria uses chemical munitions against its neighbors, there is no legal justification for the U.S. to attack that country.
It is a very dangerous position to take that because a number of sovereign nations do not like how another sovereign nation conducts itself internally, that they have carte blanche to attack and, possibly, invade that nation. If the U.S. can do that to another country, than other countries can do it to us. Thus are wars born.
Spoken like an advocate of the Treaty of Westphalia.
Appeals to sovereign integrity fall rather flat. The Hutus in Rwanda didn’t hack anyone outside their borders. Pol Pot didn’t murder people outside of Cambodia.
I don’t think we’d give them a pass just to preserve their “sovereign” status.
The use of chemical weapons should be beyond the pale. Bill Jacobson correctly pointed this out at the beginning.
That isn’t the issue now. The issue a simple one: do we have confidence that President Obama has the correct strategy for dealing with this, and will he make the right decisions?
I say no, but I’ve been saying that all along.
Islam preaches that the world is Allah’s and national boundaries are a human construct. Especially if the boundaries are drawn by unbelievers. Anything done to frighten or punish unbelievers for insulting Allah by refusing to convert to (the “correct” branch of) Islam is blessed by Allah and earns the perp a free ticket to the virgins, especially if he dies in the doing.
Odd how the facilitators and those who preach this loudest do so from hiding, where they will not be sent to their reward. (Sigh) Such sacrifices they make. Continuing to live while the suckers, ah, “believers” go to their reward.
Back to the point: Assad is not likely to use chem weapons outside his boundaries because they are HIS boundaries, the “rebels” are because they do not recognize boundaries.
“…because we will spend the next three years facing emboldened enemies internationally without a President.”
I love ya, Professor… I really do, but we’ve been without a President for the last five years… what’s three more? What we are seeing being played out now was completely predictable given the current administrations handling of policy both domestic and international for the last five years. It just happens to be Syria, but it could have just as easily been Iran or North Korea. Backing the President’s plan to hastily strike something somewhere in Syria to save the current administration’s ‘credibility’ is a fool’s errand… you can’t save what didn’t exist in the first place.
We often hear that “elections have consequences”.
After the last five years it is being proven that Obama is not incompetent at what he set out to do which was to fundamentally transform America as a domestic terrorist, traitor, and usurper. We will not be without a president the next three years. Nope. We will have our Enemy-of-the-State President. Bad for America, but so good for her enemies.
It seems simply absurd to give anyone fighting Assad character credentials better than his. How naive to think that just because they’re rebelling against his authority they are all humanists searching for democracy. It’s a power play of killers and criminals. The U.S. is trying to break up a fight between two guys who enjoy destroying each other. I can’t imagine that it won’t become a bigger mess and cost this country billions of dollars that won’t be repaid. Unfortunately O-imbecile even with his pompous manipulation doesn’t have the cellular composition to handle extreme evil.
I bet he’s never been in a fist fight.
Or “cat fight”. Considering. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
The way to save face, and credibility, is to honorably retreat when the facts emerge or change. If our enemies or competing interests subsequently choose to confront or exploit us, then we will arise with the full force of an advanced society with over 300 million people and defeat their arrogance.
When you are dead, you are separated from this reality and it only hurts the living.
It is the same with stupid.
Professor, what is your opinion on bombing Syria? A go or no go? Why or Why not? I get your comments on the results of Obama’s behavior and this situation but do you believe Syria used chemical weapons on its people? Do you think that if O. had not botched things we could, because we should, deal with Syria because they have a massive stockpile of chemical weapons? Do you see the matter as ‘mishandled’ because if it had not been handled by Obama, the US could go in and deal with Syria for merely having their chemicals? Respectfully asked,
Psycho-Bama is far too dangerous to be allowed to further add to his long list of distractions in an attempt to weasel out from being impeached or perhaps removed from office for treason as a result of the damage he’s already done to America……this particular ‘squirrel’ is far too dangerous for him to be permitted to use just save face in the rest of the world.
Ignorant and/or stupid people only learn by feeling pain. The sooner Obama is seen as the failure he is and always was the sooner we can get on with the business of cleaning up he mess. Rush was right when he said “I hope he fails”.
Another thought on this. http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/175482/ If the comment at the end by Glenn Reynolds is not immediately clear then google it.
The world doesn’t have leaders. It has clowns and buffoons. I fear what seems to have become a personal animosity between to prime examples of ineptitude, Obama and Putin, are going to start events rolling that could rival WWI.
If you don’t think Putin is a bufoon, talk to people in Russians. Putin is wrecking his nation’s economic prospects.
There is an unintended false dichotomy involved with assigning responsibility for deploying nerve gas weapons in Syria. It needn’t be an either/or choice between Assad or the rebel coalition as the chem weapon agents. Both could have used gas. I suppose even neither is possible, that some third party ran an op to stir up exactly the turmoil it has caused.
Which of these Syrian civil war players would we say must be innocent, couldn’t possibly have deployed nerve gas:
Coalition of Secular and Democratic Syrians
Syrian Democratic People’s Party
Supreme Council of the Syrian Revolution
Assyrian Democratic Organization
Syrian Turkmen Assembly
Free Syrian Army
And so on.. (this is far from the full list)
Who on the above list is or is not a ‘suspect’?
Who can show me evidence that it was definitively this party or that party and no other?
Who could conceive of Iranian intel agents deploying nerve gas? Or Hezbollah? Russia? Or… ?
Why are we focusing on whether or not to save ‘credibility’, whether America’s or Obama’s, by attacking just the one party, Assad, when we’ve never nailed down exactly who the bad guys are here?
Why do we presume Obama, or America under his presidency, have any credibility left to save in the first place?
If Obama had concrete evidence it was definitely Assad, do you think he’d hesitate to announce it – or have it leaked?
Real people will die. Some/many of them will be American military personnel. To personalize it, flesh it out, explain to me why my two nephews, active US military and married family men, ought to have their lives risked. They’ll go if ordered, make no mistake, but explain to their uncle why?
American people to Obama: “We’re sorry, Barack, but you’re out.”
Obama: “But, why am I out?”
American people: “Forget it! You’re just not a war time consigliere, Barack.”
He’ll get bailed out. Senator Joe Manchin of WV has floated one trial balloon already. His idea is to order Syria to sign a chemical weapons ban within 45 days. That will give Obama time to brow beat us into submission and build an international coalition.
It seems dire to us now. But whatever shield this guy has around him is better than Teflon. Nothing sticks to him. He’s had the NSA scandal, IRS, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the AP snooping, and now Syria. But I bet he’ll still be at around 42% in the polls. That’s the tragedy of building a coalition based on identity politics rather than ideas and policies that are good for the country as a whole. The young people, gays, blacks, single women, Hispanics, and hard left pseudo-intellectuals that voted for him simply will not abandon him under almost any circumstance.
We haven’t had a president since January, 2008, and most of the world knew it, including our nation’s enemies. They learned it almost immediately, with Obama’s apology tour, with his ill-mannered arrogance on everything from his brazen egocentricism regarding the 2016 Olympics to his failed first G-20 summit. The few who hadn’t caught on (the UK, for instance) began to quickly as Obama fumbled everything from the Fauklands to the missile defense shield in Poland (it didn’t help that he also “misspeaks” constantly; remember “Poland’s death camps”? Ugh!).
The real evidence for any still in doubt was Iran, 2009 contrasted with his response to the Islamofascist “Arab Spring.” Anyone still in doubt about Obama’s totalitarian, pro-Islamofascist (not just al Qaeda, but the MB, too, and the latter works just as easily w/Hezbollah as AQ) stance had to begin to wonder. And speaking of Iran in 2009, where was an American president as they slogged forward with their nuclear ambitions? Sending sternly worded, empty, threats. Iran had his number out of the gate (they probably got it from Valerie Jarrett, an Iranian herself, after all–she’s been known to self-identify as an “Iranian-American”; we all know that hyphenation tends to skew loyalties, render the hyphenated torn between their “primary” identity and the second, tacked-on one “American”).
If Obama were in the least bit serious about stopping serious WMD’s, Iran’s nuclear program is the place to go, not Assad’s chemical weapons (not when NATO, the UN, and countries with demonstrably superior intelligence to our own these days, have stated over the past 2+ years that the “rebels” are the ones using the Sarin. Don’t forget, Russia warned our agencies about the Boston jihadis, we did nothing. Hell may have just frozen over because I am really starting to believe that Obama has so hobbled our intelligence community and our military that we may well be, for now, trailing in these departments.). Why didn’t he take out Iran’s nuke program? Why let it go for years and years? Why suddenly care about chemical weapon use when it’s been being used in Syria, specifically, for well over a year? Why provoke what will become WWIII–with Iran, Russia, China on one side, and the United States and France on the other–over this now? Assad won’t use those weapons against America, Obama himself said so. Al Qaeda darned sure will, and they will absolutely use them against Israel.
Congress votes whether or not to support al Qaeda in Syria on 9/11. It’s beyond surreal, it’s inconceivable.
As to three years without a president: as long as the president we are without is Barack Obama, I see only win there.
Ooops, make that January, 2009.
Terrific analysis! Spot on. You just had a multi-homerun game.
Yeah. After five years of Obama’s presidency, three years of no president seems awfully appealing.
With the luminaries of the GOP leadership in Congress already persuaded to authorize military action, I have a sinking feeling that we’re in the midst of a grand act of theater, and that all the “oh no!” wailing that many House Dems will join the Repubs to vote the resolution down by 300+ to 100 is a setup. If the Dems close ranks behind the President, as I expect, and if the GOP caucus folds, as I expect, then the result will look like a resurgent Obama has revived his momentum and re-established his mastery of Washington. The story will be how his strength, savvy, strategy, and unmatched powers of persuasion have whipped a discordant, paralyzed, and fraidy-cat Congress into line. Even if no military strike is ultimately made against Syria, President Obama will nevertheless obtain renewed stature and leverage heading into the upcoming domestic battles over Obamacare, the debt, and the scandals.
So sending a few cruse missiles to targets in Syria is going to do what exactly? Send a message?
Hey Syria! We have missile and we will shoot them at you!
Tactically this would be a idiotic move. Obama punted it back. Crafty move.
We could really use input from some of our former foreign policy experts like Sheryl Crow and Barbara Streisand.
Unlike Nixon, come Tuesday, Obama doesn’t have to resign.
On the other hand, he may have to let some heads roll. Letting Clapper’s head roll, would be a good idea. And, telling Kerry he can have a medal if he runs very fast … off the ship.
Oh, by the way, on Tuesday, in a “let me clear about this” moment, I bet he’ll compliment Putin. And, tell the nation that the two countries are working on a deal.
What kind of deal? Well, one that doesn’t involve flying missiles. While if a Tomahawk should “zoom” … that’s a million and a half dollars right there.
I think there are bonus points in Obama’s incompetence. Since the “patriot act” got established we’ve let our Constitution go down the drain. After this fever breaks, perhaps we can get back our freedoms?
Be a good idea if John Roberts also resigned.
Do you know what the biggest secret is?
Believe it or not, when you see Obama’s numbers crashing … you are seeing pockets of money drying up.
In politics, money is needed every single day. When your approval ratings tank … that means you get get to “da juice.”
That’s the real problem democrats, ahead, face. (Oddly enough the republicans won’t gain any ground because most people don’t want to vote for their candidates.) I have no idea why this is. But it is there.
America listened to the Democrats, bought their BS, elected this bastard and it deserves everything that is coming for that act.
I warned till I was blue in the face… blogged relentlessly for four years to keep a lid on it and stop his reelection.
I have no sympathy for the enablers for what is coming.
We have been preparing for a possible SHTF scenario in order to survive.
Strongly disagree that Congress must pass a resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria to maintain the President’s “credibility.”
What is needed is a strong vote by Congress rejecting the authorization to use force, thereby signalling Congressional disapproval of this President’s failed foreign policy not only concerning Syria, but the entire Middle East and North Africa.
The outrage that people have over the Syrian army’s use of chemical weapons is not a valid reason for going to war against Syria.
Syria has not attacked America, and we face no imminent threat of attack by Syria.
Yes, Syria’s stock pile of chemical weapons pose a potential threat to our national security should some or all of this stock pile fall into the hands of Al Qaeda or Hezbollah.
However, to prevent that from happening, America would have to invade Syria, seize control of these chemical weapons stock piles, destroy them and then get out.
Is anyone talking about this? No.
Despite the spin by those who support going to war, a failure to launch an attack does not mean we are signalling our approval of anyone else using chemical weapons in the future.
So, what should be done?
Presuming that the UN Inspectors report shows that the nerve agent which was used was of a kind that was likely manufactured by the Syrian Government, we should take that fact, along with all the supporting circumstantial evidence that we and the other Western Intelligence Agencies have and go to the UN Security Council asking for two resolutions.
The first would forcefully and strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government.
The second would refer the case against those responsible within the Syrian Government and Army to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.
Now, if the UNSC would grant an additional resolution authorizing the use of force to enforce any arrest warrants issued by the ICC that would be ideal, albeit unlikely.
Why is military action unwarranted?
See the position of Ryan Crocker, the former Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan; and
The sound guidance previously given by General Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the Senate Armed Services Committee and to the House Foreign Relations Committee, which the politicians who advocate a military intervention are now rejecting.
See the August issue of the CTC Sentinel, amonthly newsletter published by the Combating Terrorism Center, an adjunct faculty at Westpoint.
The newsletter is focused on Syria. The cover reads:
Syria: A Wicked Problem for All
Two gems found in the cover article of the August CTC Monthly publication by Bryan Price:
Retired Ambassador Ryan Crocker, former chief diplomat to Syria from 1998-2001 and no stranger to challenging situations after serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, likened the current crisis in Syria to the massive wildfires raging in the American West: “You can’t put them out. You can’t stop them…That’s kind of like Syria. We can’t stop that war…What we can do, or should do, is everything possible we can to keep it from spreading.
– and –
Many who side with Crocker’s assessment suggest that the urge to “do something” should be tempered by the United States’ first-hand knowledge of the tradeoffs, limitations, and uncertainty associated with military intervention during the last decade of war. In a recent letter to Congressman Eliot Engel, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs commented that “the use of U.S. military force can change the military balance [in Syria]…But it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious, and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict.
The correspondence by General Dempsey to Congressman Engel is of import.
At his nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Senator McCain used the hearing to make a big fuss about General Dempsey’s recommendations on Syria, which Senator McCain disagrees with.
In response, Senator Levin asked for an Assessment of Options for Use of U.S. Military Force in Syria.
See the following press release with the response dated July 19, the day after the hearing;
Gen. Dempsey Responds to Levin’s Request for Assessment of
Options for Use of U.S. Military Force in Syria
Then, based on this letter of July 19 on July 22 we have this press release:
Levin, McCain seek Gen. Dempsey’s assessment on Syria,
Afghanistan policy questions
Upon receipt of the classified reply, on July 25, Levin issues a Press release indicating that the Committee would proceed with the nomination, i.e. McCain had released his earlier hold:
Levin Statement on Dempsey Nomination
Now, here is were it gets interesting:
Congressman Engel, the ranking member on the House Foreign
Affairs Committee, sent a letter to General Dempsey dated August 2, 2013:
In turn, Martin E. Dempsey, General U.S. Army sent a reply dated August 19, 2013.
Then we have Congressman Engel’s press release dated August 21, 2013 concerning additional military options in Syria.
I urge people to read the July 19 by Dempsey, along with the letter of August 2 of Engel to Dempsey, Dempsey’s reply of August 19 and Engel’s press release of August 21.
Dempsey’s letter generated the following story by the AP dated August 21, 2013:
Dempsey: Syrian rebels won’t back U.S. interests
In a letter to Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Gen. Martin Dempsey wrote that the U.S. military could destroy Syria’s air force, negating the Syrian president’s ability to attack rebels. But Dempsey warned that such a move “would also escalate and potentially further commit the United States to the conflict.”
“Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides,” Dempsey wrote to Engel, whose office released the letter Wednesday. “It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not.”
The dour assessment from Dempsey comes as Syrian rebel groups made fresh claims Wednesday that government forces loyal to Assad carried out a “poisonous gas” attack near the capital Damascus that has left hundreds dead. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States was “deeply concerned” about the reports and called for the United Nations to investigate the latest allegation.
Dempsey’s pessimism about the rebels also comes more than two months after the White House confirmed that it had determined that the Syrian government has deployed chemical weapons against opposition groups, crossing what President Obama had previously called a “red line.” After the confirmation of chemical weapons use in June, White House officials said that the U.S. would provide the rebels some direct military aid for the first time.
The simple reality is that the Military is opposed to this war:
A war the Pentagon doesn’t want
Oh, one other point.
The attack on Dempsey by McCain, the requests by McCain and Levin, then the lifting of the hold by McCain? All orchestrated in an effort to intimidate Dempsey to change his views.
Now, why is Engels involved?
Meet the Syrian Islamist Organization Controlling Senator McCain’s Agenda
And who is the key player?
Read the article for more, but look what we find near the end of this article?
And these are the politicians he [Moustafa] claims are most helpful to his cause:
Among the legislators who have been most helpful to his cause, he said, are McCain, New York Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, Democratic Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, as well as Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Bet you that Dean Obeidallah got his marching orders from Moustafa, because now that the Muslim Brotherhood’s name is mud, the Muslim Brothers must hide behind cover groups, front organizations and their lobbyists.
Wonder if Moustafa is a registered lobbyist under the appropriate legislation?
P.S. According to the article concerning Moustafa, he claims to have White House access as well. On Engel’s website, there is a picture of Engel, with a smiling Susan Rice, the President’s National Security Adviser. Want to bet?
P.P.S. Sorry Professor, but on this one, my vote is no to war.
P.P.P.S. As to General Dempsey’s point about having no one to support:
Get a load of the Syrian rebel boy scouts Obama wants us to provide with air support
The video shows FSA Battalions Merge with al-Qaeda in Damascus and Aleppo
Published on Sep 3, 2013
The footage from May and June 2013 shows battalions from the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) declaring their unification with al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) in the eastern Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta and in Aleppo, both strongholds of the rebel forces. Although some instances have occurred where clashes between the two groups have taken place, for the most part, the FSA and al-Qaeda unite under the banner of Islamic monotheism.
Videos show joint Al Nusrah, Free Syrian Army attacks in ancient village
Internal Syrian Opposition Group Rejects US Strike
While the rhetoric used by these individuals speaks for itself, one has to ask the obvious question, what the heck is the administration doing even talking about going to war against Syria?
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we just didn’t have a Federal Government for 3 years? The thought of that just makes me giddy.
The Armed Forces will do their jobs, in spite of the paper tigers in the administration.
It’s a damn shame that none of the alphabet networks have the balls to present even the possibility that these WMDs came from Iraq.
I believe there are satellite photos (available to the media) showing a convoy of trucks, owned by Uday Hussein, motoring into Syria right before Bush “lied” about WMDs. The media is complicit in this whole debacle.
We lost as a country when he was first elected and we’re losing as a country because no one will stop his lawless reign as he continues to fail upward.
We deserve everything that’s coming.
Obama trashed his own credibility long ago. Maybe it’s time we stopped pretending he’s anything more than a miserable failure.
I’m less interested in giving him an “out” than I am in holding him accountable for the last 4 1/2 years. At this point, Syria is just a distraction. There is a very real chance that anything he does will just make the situation worse. He’s already screwed up Egypt and Libya… maybe it’s time for the USA to take a pass on this.
Mead certainly has some strange ideas. Suppose we continue to pretend that we have a president who is competent to handle America’s foreign relations. Such a pretense won’t make him competent. It’s like pretending that the fire extinguisher is fully charged when we all know it’s empty; those who know it’s empty won’t be impressed, and actual fires won’t be impressed either.
Following the model of other internationally incompetent Dem presidents of the recent past, I expect O to make things worse before he gives up. Perhaps he’ll make some demand for Syria to make a public declaration that it won’t blah blah blah. Of course Syria would just ignore the demand (since it would be just another bogus Obama red line) and O will look even more feeble and useless than he does now.
Maybe he should send Assad a reset button. It can’t help, but it probably can’t make things worse, either.
MLK gave us a dream.
Obama gave us a nightmare. (When the MSM crowns you messiah but you are messiah material with an oversized ego, under whelming experience and a racist bent this is what you get.)
Obama should take his lameduckedness to Duck Dynasty and get himself fixed.
Now we need to hamstring Eric Holder. (I use the word “hamstring” as a metaphor for making him ineffective just in case the IRS, the NSA and the networks are watching.)
Well, I, and I suspect many like me, are NOT willing to give Obama the “benefit of the doubt”.
Really, haven’t we all learned that lesson?!
In fact, I seldom give any lefty a pass these days. And that includes our rino repubs who should all be voted out of office. I consider anyone who still supports Obama to either be on the same evil trail as Obama or just plain dumb.
The inherent inadequacy of rule by a single person, or small group of persons was meant to be addressed by the form of government adopted by our founding fathers. The placement of fools and scoundrels in power is an inherent weakness in a democracy, hence our elaborate system of specialized and divided power.
The whole world is watching at how the United States of America deals with a fool in office.
The question being asked at this time is, “If the American President decides to go to war in an unreasonable fashion, can the rest of the American government, and its people, put a stop to his nonsense?
I understand John McCain’s position, and that of Lindsey Graham. Both of them support action in Syria, with the proviso that the plan be changed to something resembling the recommendations by the military to achieve a military objective. This distinction seems to be lost on all sides.
Professor, you have pointed out what looks to me like exactly the same basis for invasion of Syria as existed in Iraq. Indeed, there has been an actual use of chemical weapons in Syria, just as in Iraq, and the same type of weapons (and maybe the same munitions) as in Iraq. There are differences that, in Syria, John F’n Kerry’s current certainty to the contrary, we don’t really know who used the weapons, and we do know there is a substantial risk that we would end up supporting an Islamist takeover, substituting a much worse, chaotic failed state for one that had been at least marginally functional.
Supposedly, we are trying to put an end to the use of chemical weapons by a country against its own people. The means of doing this, as proposed by the current United States President, is to launch a bunch of cruise missiles, after warning the targets that this will be a limited engagement. This is a recipe for barbecued camel butt, a course of action rejected by a certain prior President who was vilified by the current President and Secretary of State, not to mention all of their fellow-travelers.
So, what happens after we make camel barbecue? The Pentagon said that it would take 75,000 troops to secure the chemical weapons. The cruise missiles are not going to accomplish that mission. We may, however, have a dictator with less ability to keep control of the chemical weapons. We may succeed in helping Al-Qaeda reach a years-long goal to get some chemical weapons. What then?
If we are not going to take effective action, we should not take action that we know is going to be counter-productive, just in order to DO SOMETHING.
Here’s a link to the views of some people who have had the responsibility to carrying out Presidential orders whether they follow the advice of our professionals, or not. An underlying link goes to a current Washington Post story about the way the current administration is trying to reinvent the wheel.
Then Obama should resign for the sake of the country.
[…] PROF. JACOBSON: Contemplating Three Years Without A President. […]
[…] are concerned that if the congress votes down the Syrian authorization we will be without a president for three years – that is cause for rejoicing, not lamentation.… In late August we made the argument that It’s Barack Obama In Crisis, Not America. A week later […]
Pick you President from a faculty lounge and what do you get?
A tenured vacationer on the run from men made of sterner stuff.
“If Obama loses, he will be a cornered rat”
He’s got the RAT part down already. >:-(
“Even if Obama finds his way out of the corner or off the ledge, we have lost as a country because we will spend the next three years facing emboldened enemies internationally without a President”
Better to face those enemies without a president than with a really, really bad president.
Many we’re opposed to military action after the atrocities of 9/11. Now we’re supposed to go to war so as not to embarrass a snot-nosed, socialist punk. Surely Americans aren’t that obtuse.
“the problem for our country of being without a President internationally for three more years:”
We survived 4 yrs without a President (Carter), under worst circumstances than today. Really? Really? We need to spend blood and treasure in Syria, to save Obama’s face? How about instead of Congress authorizing military action in Syria, they give Obama a blank check to hit our real threat, Iran, as hard as he wants? The next Prez can finish the job.
It is far too late to think of rescuing Obama’s credibility. It has been gone since the Green Revolution in Iran. A weak action would be useless. What I worry about is that this fool might do something that will light the powder keg.
I consider Obama a greater danger to the USA than Putin. This is not hyperbole.
I’ve never thought that obama is a muslim, but it is passingly strange that every single foreign policy decision the menace makes seems to advance the caliphate. Maybe it can be explained by the fact that he is irredeemably opposed to doing anything that forwards the best interests of the United States.
Parse out all of the smoke and mirrors, and the one thing that remains is rigorous consistency in the pursuit of the destruction of our country.
Obama made 53 speeches to “sell” ObamaCare. It was less popular after the last of the speeches than before the first, so I don’t hold out much hope.
I don’t actually favor a full AUMF, he hasn’t earned the trust for such a blank check and frankly it isn’t needed. But Assad needs to feel the pain for using WMD. As Tom Cotton notes, in the long run it is the best conventional military that benefits from the taboo on WMD. That would be us.
At Hot Air someone proposed a name for the foray, but it can’t be anything dramatic like Desert Storm because Obama just isn’t into that, you know. So the suggestion is for Operation Syrian Hysterical Intervention Time – if the military uses their customary acronyms, it would be OSHIT.
We’ve defended Muslims in Kuwait (GHW Bush) and Bosnia during their civil war (Clinton); offered liberty at great cost to Iraq and Afghanistan (GW Bush)… all to no avail. They still hate us and attack us.
Why should we spend a nickel or wear out a single expensive war machine defending either side of a Syrian civil war that offers us 1) the Iran puppet Assad or 2) the Al Qaeda rebels?
Bottom line, this has nothing to do with American credibility. We’ve known for decades that Muslims have chemical weapons and that they will use them…on their own people.
The fact is, Muslims are not to be trusted. Too bad about the Muslim children. Sucks to be living in a Muslim land.
But to your question, we have not had a real president for five years, unless you count czars, golfing and vacations to Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii as being “president.”
What difference, at this point, does it make?
“It’s amazing how Obama has gone from being backed into a corner to being on a ledge where his presidency is just a vote away from being over all but in name.”
On a ledge? May I join my voice with that of tens of millions of Americans who are all urging,
“Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump!”
“We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”
Or, Obama could do what two far better men did when they realized they had lost all credibility as President: Lyndon Johnson declined to run again, and Nixon resigned. And, yes, I understand that when Nixon and Johnson count as “far better men,” I’m not setting the bar very high.
I am sorry, Professor, but I think that Hillary summarized my disagreement with your suggestion perfectly–“At this point in time, what difference does it make?”
I believe the biggest error being made is believing the so-called evidence showing Assad giving orders for a Chem Weps strike.
NO SUCH EVIDENCE EXISTS.
Obama and his current gaggle of minions are consumate liars and are using this event to distract from the NSA, IRS, Obamacare, Fast & Furious and the Benghazi gun running op.
Obama is the greatest security threat to the US since 9/11/01.
Have to disagree. My President, right or wrong, makes as little sense as my buddy, drunk or stupid; to paraphrase PJ O’Rourke.
“we have lost as a country because we will spend the next three years facing emboldened enemies internationally”
what makes you think we have not spent the last 5 years with our enemies emboldened ?
Bombing Syria will not reverse that calculus …