Obama’s Syria Speech Clarifies Confusion

September 12, 2013

Obama gives confused speech about Syria from White House
Obama gives confused speech about Syria from White House

President Obama’s speech on a possible military strike in Syria Tuesday evening was a mercifully short 15 minutes. It should have been zero minutes. His speech added clutter and confusion instead of clarification on what the United States should do about a butcher in Syria.

Obama announced the oval office address last week. He scheduled  it to calm the voices of derision, not just from our country’s enemies, but from friends in his own political party who were unwilling to countenance another war of “choice.”

It was clear he would lose the vote in Congress in the House and maybe even the Senate to authorize an attack. When the UN would not sign on and his parties of the willing were al Qaeda and France, he probably should have turned off TOTUS and called it a day. We didn’t really need to see him climb down live on national TV and radio. But here we were. Like those American Idol try out shows, we watched to see if he’d forget the words or get a little pitchy. How would he talk his way out of this mess? How could he polish this turd?

The speech had now changed venue from the Oval Office to the White House hall. The man whose speeches usually were met with Ahs! of encomiums for his “soaring rhetoric” now looked weak chinned as he beseeched us to look at You Tube videos of dying children. This crowd really loves its You Tube. 

The hours leading up the speech were filled with interviews decorated with promises of  an “unbelievably small” attack , “no boots on the ground” and general bloodless saber rattling. Then, hours before the speech, words of war were surrendered to the hope of a blooper from the mouth of John Kerry. In answer to a question at a news conference in Europe, Secretary of State Kerry said we might stand down if Syria’s chemical weapons were given up within “a week,” hastening to add, “it can’t be done, obviously.”

Well, at least he knew it was a stupid idea.

You could hear the Fred Flinstone feet of Kerry’s handlers at State rush to microphones to explain the Secretary’s  line as a mere, “rhetorical” flourish, given offhandedly. A White House aide explained it was a “major goof.” One lefty talk show host preferred to think of it as a grand idea showing Obama’s genius and prowess as a foreign policy player. She wasn’t alone. 

Vladamir Putin heard it too. He parlayed the goof into a deal with Syria to collect all the chemical weapons and put them–somewhere. He presented his plan to the world.

White House insiders derided the offer as a ploy to reporters. They didn’t count on the President taking it seriously. Obama received the Russian manna that would feed his ego and save his reputation. He even embraced it, his handlers saying he considered such an idea at the G-20 summit.

The sense of relief didn’t last long. Less than 24 hours after it was proposed–and after the White House began to tout it as a genius ploy by the “smartest man ever” to occupy the White House, the deal was shown for the fraud it was when Russia put conditions on the deal. Putin dictated terms to a desperate White House which had gone from ‘Where do we target our Tomahawks?’ to, “Yes, Vlad, anything you say.”

The President chose to put both messages in his speech. A frozen rope of rationale mixed with the rope-a-dope from the Russians. 

American prestige had sunk to a new low. And that’s what worried people most. You don’t strut gravitas without grenades. For his entire presidency Obama wanted the former without the latter. He cut and run from Iraq which has seen a return to sectarian mass murders. He’s leaving the Taliban in the pole position in Afghanistan. Why would anyone think he would properly finish the job in even an “unbelievably small” act of war?

To buck up his case to bomb something in Syria, the President entreated us to watch the foaming mouths of little girls dying from chemical weapons. These images are horrible but they won’t move a nation to war. Not because someone shouldn’t avenge these crimes against humanity, but these words sound hollow from a man who who is leaving little girls defenseless against acid throwing long beards in 12th 21st century Afghanistan.

Odd that the President didn’t mention we should avenge the murders of Christians in the sacking, pillaging, and burning of their churches in Syria. Unfortunately, some of the Islamist arsonists committing those crimes against humanity are the ones with which he aimed to partner.

Finally, in his speech on the eve of the 12th anniversary of the Islamist acts of war on the United States in Washington, D.C., New York and Shanksville, he said nothing. On the eve of the first anniversary of the Islamist act of war on the United States in Benghazi and the murder of his own Ambassador the President uttered not a word. 

The President is afraid to name our enemy.

Is it any wonder few want to follow him into a war?