#7—HESITATION, DELAY, AND UNRELIABILITY—NOT THE QUALITIES ONE LOOKS FOR IN A WAR PRESIDNET.
War presidents don’t quibble, don’t leak, of AWOL, aren’t dispirited or downbeat, they aren’t ambivalent about the mission and never irresolute. On Syria Obama disregards all of them. Being resolute—that is steadfast and determined—comes first. As the death toll mounted he opposed intervention. He said his policy would change if the Assad regime crossed a “RED LINE” and used chemical weapons. A bombing assault was planned for Labor Day weekend. Obama abruptly jettisoned that plan and announce he would seek the approval of congress, jeopardizing what’s known as “peak” military readiness. It would send small arms and munitions to the Syrian rebels. By early Sept. no weapon yet!
So hesitation, delay and unreliability are the hallmarks of Obama’s approach to Syria.
This amounts to presidential “fecklessness re Steven Hayward. “a strong war leader need on quality about others, “a ruthlessness to see it through, couple with a touch of legerdemain to keep our enemies off balance and fearful of what the US might do’. Obama insists a bombing attack in Syria would be solely to stop further use of chemical weapons. He’s publicly ruled out a wider assault aimed at regime change or deployment of troops. Regan had one important rule that Obama has already flunked: “never say never”. Obama believes correctly he has the authority as president to order the bombing and dispatch troops, congressional consent is optional. American people have the good sense to know we cannot resolve the underlying conflict in Syria with our military. I’m tired and I can’t achieve much in Syria anyway. Number one has to look confident, self assured, positive without conveying an impression of irrational optimism, above all he cannot feel sorry for himself. He still hairsplitting case that he hadn’t drawn the “red line”, he claimed citing the treaty banning chemical weapons. Forget the option his credibility is “on the line” in Syria. Nope it’s congress and the “international community” whose credibility is according to Obama. Why was he in Sweden when all of this is being discussed? The visit to Sweden could have been rescheduled. The president left to subordinates the task of lobbying antiwar Dems in congress without whose votes the resolution many fail, handed Kerry the lead role—the presidential role, I’d say—in promoting the resolution and defending “limited” bombing of Syria. (CAN YOU SAY BENGHAZI)
Sources—weekly standard, fred barnes
#8—THE MUDDLE EAST—EVERY IDEA PRESIDENT OBAMA HAD ABOUT PACIFYING THE MUSLIM WORLD TURNED OUT TO BE WRONG.
Obama like Iran-sanctions-supporting liberals and conservatives who don’t want to intervene in Syria, skip this Levantine war and nevertheless come out swinging against the nuke-seeking mullahs of the Islamic republic. When it comes to the Middle East, obama presidency has largely been predicated on two ideas: a hegemonic America is a bid thing and the second Iraq war was a serious mistake. The fight against Al Qaeda and support for the Israel-Palestinian peace process—once and perhaps still the epicenter of the presidents understanding of the region—would both advance if Washington were more dovish and reticent in the Middle East. His 2009 Cairo speech was the personal outreach of a man who really believed that he, with his mixed race and religious pedigree was an ambassador to a new age of better relations between Islam and the West. The America withdrawal from Iraq has not left that country better off. Political violence has risen as the US mitigating influence on internal politics especially Maliki’s authorization proclivities, evaporated. Sunni terrorism led by al Qaeda has skyrocketed. If America airpower were still in Baghdad, Tehran could not resupply Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah by air and the Assad regime would lose the tow resource most critical to its survival. Al Qaeda now boasts along with Iran and its militant Iraqi allies, that is drove the Americans out of the country. The Great Arab Revolt which has discombobulated the adm.
The fall of Mubarak, the coup against Morsi has left America seeming hapless, duplicitous and weak. His reluctance to apply pressure to authorization Muslim rulers and his obvious discomfort with the moral challenges of American power made him particularly diffident. He wanted Middle Eastern Muslims to stop viewing the US as a looming hegemon maintaining a certain order. He didn’t envision however how messy things could become. Ask an American, European or Middle Easterner to identify an American national security interest form Morocco to Iran that Obama would unhesitatingly fight for. Take away drones and substitute American Special Forces and even the battle against al Qaeda wouldn’t be sure thing. Given the size of the continuing military cutbacks under Obama its not clear that the US could successfully repel such an act of aggression. He told the Syrian dictator in august 2011 that he must go but failed to authorize the CIA, let alone the US air force to do anything untoward. He ignored his first self-imposed red line on the use of chemical weapons then declared in June 2013 that in response to Assads use of the weapons the US would start delivering weaponry to the Syrian opposition—but didn’t follow through. The president wants t diminishes American power in the Middle East while making demands of a dictator who was weaned on Machttpoltik.
It’s the frontline in a struggle between two blocs: conservative Sunni Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the united emirates and turkey versus Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah and somewhat reluctantly Shiite Iraq. If Iran lose Syria it loses 34 years of westward-looking foreign policy that sought to make the Islamic republic a player in eh war against Israel and more important the war against the West’s. it loses its all-critical life line to Hezbollah. Spiritually it’s impossible to overstate how important the Syrian dictatorship and Lebanese Hezbollah are to the Islamic regime’s self-worth and unquestioned supremacy over Iranian society. Putin has comparatively little at stake in Syria: it’s merely the last outpost of the soviet unions Arab client states and Russian aid to Assad diminishes the US something Putin acutely enjoys. The Syrian civil war is as international as was the Spanish conflict. It started as a rebellion against a savage dictatorship and the Assad regime successfully turned it into a battle between two religious communities. The Syrian Sunnis are strongly backed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, two Wahhabi states that have done untold damage to the modern Middle East with their well-funded Islamic missionary activity. The Assad regime has done its best to destroy the Sunni social order. The next government, whatever its shape will be over-whelmingly Sunni in composition, the future for holy war riots in Syria isn’t at all bright.
The display of American power has always made the clerics and the Islamic Revolutionary guards who oversee the nuclear program take notice. Obama ignored the Quds Force role in an attempted bombing operation against the Saudi ambassador in a DC restaurant in 2011—a serious mistake. Both
Syrian and Iranian leaser already view Obama decision to go to congress as confirmation of weakness. They are probably not wrong to see obama caution as timidity. The odds are excellent that Assad will use these weapons again and again until the opposition cracks.
Source—weekly standard, reuel marc gerecht