A Vacuum of Leadership: the President’s un-Syriaous speech
I’ve had time to digest the President’s speech on the Syria crisis from yesterday evening. Count me among those who think this was one of the strangest speeches to date, from anyone on any subject. When the President loses one of his biggest cheerleaders at The New York Times, the incomparable Maureen Dowd, “Who Do You Trust?“, he should realize that as Pastor Jeremiah Wright once said, “the chickens are coming home to roost.” Narcissism and phoniness can only be carried out for so long before people catch on that the emperor has no clothes.
Amateur hour started when Obama dithered on Syria and failed to explain the stakes there. It escalated last August with a slip by the methodical wordsmith about “a red line for us” — which the president and Kerry later tried to blur as the world’s red line, except the world was averting its eyes.
Obama’s flip-flopping, ambivalent leadership led him to the exact place he never wanted to be: unilateral instead of unified. Once again, as with gun control and other issues, he had not done the groundwork necessary to line up support. The bumbling approach climaxed with two off-the-cuff remarks by Kerry, hitting a rough patch in the role of a lifetime, during a London press conference Monday; he offered to forgo an attack if Assad turned over “every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community” and promised, if they did strike, that it would be an “unbelievably small” effort.
A State Department spokeswoman walked back Kerry’s first slip, but once the White House realized it was the only emergency exit sign around, Kerry walked back the walking back, claiming at a Congressional hearing Tuesday that he did not “misspeak.”
The president countered Kerry’s second slip with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Monday night, declaring that “The U.S. does not do pinpricks,” which Kerry parroted at the hearing Tuesday, declaring that “We don’t do pinpricks.” For good measure, Obama, in his address to the nation Tuesday night, made sure the world knew: “The United States military doesn’t do pinpricks.”
One hundred thousand Syrians dead through bombs, bullets and beheadings haven’t spurred action on our part, but 1000 killed by Sarin gas, with emphasis placed on women and children, requires a response. Maybe.
The first 12 minutes of the President’s speech led you to believe he was making a case for a military strike. But wait, in the last few minutes he’s now decided to pursue a peaceful solution, and tells Congress they can delay their vote on authorization for the strike. As shown on Fox News last night (h/t PowerLine), the mis-steps, the off-the-cuff remarks, only too blatantly show a community organizer who’s in over his head.
As Obama blunders and blusters his way through this crisis, “my credibility is not on the line”, he succeeds in only endangering our collective national security by showing the world that the US is not only not willing to lead, but will sit back and let the vacuum of leadership be filled by those who seek our destruction. Obama’s grabbed the farcical lifeline that Putin’s thrown him, but will soon discover that either no one is holding the other end, or that we’ve been reeled into the net, plunging us deeper into the abyss of mediocrity and irrelevancy on the world stage. Ronald Reagan is turning over in his grave.