Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The American Retreat

I have therefore asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path.

George Washington once said that ''to be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.''

President Obama evidently believes otherwise.

Under this Commander in Chief, American foreign policy is adrift. The currents of others now control our course. The mafia regime of President Putin has become the arbiter of a corrupted international justice.

Children die while the world spins.

Watching his speech last night, it was clear that President Obama regards his strategy as the modern partner to Teddy Roosevelt's diplomatic mantra- ''Speak softly, and carry a big stick.''

Sadly however, if the stick is made of Jell-O, the metaphorical carrot is also rotten. 

Obama's diplomacy is negotiation without an anchor and the threat of force without a threat. It isn't real, it's just delusional. In fact, it's absurd.

Now, in a looming conference in Geneva, we await the 21st century successor to Munich. A hopeless endeavor in pursuit of an impossible cause. A pretense of peace in service of brutality.

I say pretense, because the cause of peace is only rational when it's real. Devoid of rationality; without the prospect of beneficial realization, peace is injustice cloaked in false morality. Towards Assad, it's a rhetorical abstraction purchased with suffocating children.

Yes, the President might have been passionate in arguing why our intervention is important - how, as he put it, ''Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria.'' But as much as this sounds credible in America, our domestic perception is ultimately irrelevant. In the end, what matters is what our adversaries think. And what our friends think

They think we're weak. No longer can America be trusted.

This is a strategic disaster of epic proportions - a collapse of resolve and influence not seen since SaigonA superpower humbled, uncertain and fearful. Global adversaries emboldened and unconstrained. A peace process full of holes. This is the change Obama has wrought. Its bitter taste will linger for a long, long time.

Twelve years ago today, facing our own Ghouta, President Bush framed the horror with an enduring call to American purpose.

''None of us will ever forget this day,'' he said, ''yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.''

Today, twelve years on, the retreat has sounded.


  1. No longer can America be trusted. It's true, just like our credit has slipped, our credibility has slipped too, but it's not because Obama is a big softy, but rather because we are a nation divided.

    Congress, particularly the house, is wishy washy as hell. Their mantra is to defy Obama, making them ineffectual and making us look to the rest of the world like a broken super power. They moan about the POTUS not seeking congressional approval in Libya, moan about him seeking approval in Syria, moan that he doesn't go far enough, moan that he goes too far, moan that he's painted us into a corner and moan when a way out presents itself - all the while blaming Obama for making the United States look like cats fighting in a bag.

    Does congress have a unified position on Syria? No, so Obama stands on shifting sands.

    Then we have the American people, beaten and bloodied by a financial collapse, buckling under the cost in lives and dollars of decades of foreign wars and a brutal class war at home, struggling to make ends meet on lower wages and higher taxes, a people who flat do not want another war. Is it any wonder that Obama is ready to grab onto a diplomatic solution?

    Syria is not something we can fix, not because our foreign policy is sloppy, not because the president is weak and not because America can't get its own house in order, but because Syria is even more divided and unstable than we are. The rebels are murdering civilians, Assad is massacring civilians, and any arms we send in will eventually be turned against us. It's a mess.

    Your post is well written, but it's idiocy. What do you propose? Let Congress vote and then fire some missiles anyway? Skip the vote and fire missiles? Arm the moderate rebels, fire missiles, send drones into the extremist rebel territories, bomb congress, prop up Assad and gay-marry Putin?

    You are the peanut gallery. Unless you can advocate a course of action and defend its efficacy, shut up.


    1. To some degree, I concur on Congress -

      That being said, mitigating the risk of weapons transfers to jihadists is possible. I personally believe that we need to be doing this (along with other options) -

  2. What hooey.
    After headlines like;

    August 31, 2013
    Syria: Putin rubbishes chemical attack claims
    • Russian president goes on offensive against Obama

    Sept 5, 2013
    Fearful of a U.S. Strike, Defectors Flee the Syrian Army

    Sept 5, 2013
    UK has new Syria chemical evidence

    Sept 7, 2013
    EU: All info on Syria gas attack points to Assad

    Sept 9, 2013;
    Kerry says Syria can avoid military strikes if Assad gives up chemical weapons

    Sept 9, 2013;
    Now Russia urges Syria to hand over its chemical weapons after Kerry gave Assad a week to give them up

    Sept. 9, 2013
    Syria 'Welcomed' Russian Proposal to Destroy Its Chemical Weapons

    Sept 10, 2013

    Putin and Obama discussed idea of putting Syrian chemical weapons under international control on sidelines of G20 last week.

    The Obama administration's diplomacy was brilliant.