So what has Obama wrought?
A mess. Yes, a gold-plated, only-Obama-could-manage-it, mess. All because he has absolutely no leadership experience and still hasn’t figured out you have to be careful what you say when you’re the president.
It’s not like he hasn’t had enough time on the job to figure that out, but apparently he’s a slow learner.
This is all about him putting himself in a box. He shot his mouth off, his “red line” was crossed and now he’s stuck trying to back up his words with no support. The problem is then compounded by his not having the diplomatic skills or relationships to put any sort of coalition together. Nor did he really try to put one together. He assumed it would just happen, like with Libya (Europe led that one, he just tagged along).
And, arrogantly, he claimed he had all of the authorization he needed to pretty much do whatever he wanted. He’d just use his army.
Then the UK parliament said “no” to PM Cameron, Russia said “no” in terms of the UN security council and he was left twisting in the wind with … just France on his side. And they made it clear they wouldn’t act alone.
So how to get out of the pickle? Well, of course, he reverted to the only thing he seems to really half-way understand.
It was the parliamentary vote in the UK that brought the idea to mind. After essentially dismissing both “the people” and Congress, Mr. Obama suddenly decided both were critical to policy (or lack there of) on Syria.
So he “took it to the people” in a Rose Garden speech (on a Saturday afternoon, on a holiday weekend and the first weekend of college football) and announced that he was going to ask Congress for authorization to strike Syria. And then he immediately hit the links.
Wow … so much for immediacy. Congress is in recess and won’t be back for another week. The Syrian rebels are hung out to dry (not that I mind that at all, but again he’s the one spouting off about immediacy).
Now he’s set up something that can help ameliorate the total fiasco he’s fostered. At least at home. Sort of a win-win. If Congress says “ok” then he attacks and he can claim leadership (or if something goes terribly wrong, he can point to Congress and try to blame them). If Congress says “no”, then he can back down and immediately politicize the decision claiming his favorite whipping boy, the GOP, doesn’t care about Syrian children … or something.
Not that any of that will change how the world views him … weak, timid, unreliable and incompetent.
I can’t imagine how long it will take to rebuild the image of the US in not only the Middle East, but the world. When you have other leaders openly mocking yours, well, that’s not much of a sign of respect, is it?