Dogged by overwhelming public opposition to American military intervention in Syria – and staring down the certain defeat of a congressional resolution authorizing him to strike – U.S. President Barack Obama retreated on Tuesday evening.
In a nationally televised address from the East Room of the White House, Obama seized on a last-minute proposal offered by Russian leader Vladimir Putin that would facilitate the transfer of Syria’s cache of chemical weapons to international monitors.
“Over the last few days we’ve seen some encouraging signs,” Obama said, adding that the Russian deal “has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force.”
But is this really about a “deal?” Or is Obama’s decision to press the “pause” button on a congressional vote he was destined to lose more about saving face?
“Everybody was looking for an off ramp,” U.S. Rep. Buck McKeon (R-California) said, “because they knew they didn’t have the votes. Putin dangled the hook and they bit. Now that they’re on the hook he started pulling.”
Obama and his “neoconservative” allies – most notably U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham – tried to force America into a war we have absolutely no business fighting and were roundly rebuked for it by the American people.
No amount of global “diplomacy” is going to change that basic math …
Obama has managed to make Putin the peace broker in the Middle East, and I am willing to bet this will end up with us financially backing Assad (we cannot secure any WMD in a warzone, and who do you think will pay for the monitoring/removal program?) in his civil war against the rebels he used these weapons against. Just an embarrassing sequence from start to finish for US diplomacy.
I disagree. Anything to avoid putting us in another war makes US look good. Obutthead looks like a moron all the time.
I would have voted no on the strikes if I was in Congress (unhappily, for reasons I have set forth in other threads), but an even better way to avoid war is to avoid drawing redlines you aren’t prepared to enforce (which makes you look weak and invites challenges down the road) on issues that don’t impact US security. Especially when you are only drawing the redline to try to look tough during an election.
But once Obama got us here, I could have gotten on board with strikes if he could articulate a threat to the US from Assad and/or a moral imperative for war. He disclaimed the former and backed away from the latter when he tried to disown his own redline. His entire approach to Syria has been transparently about him trying to save face rather than protecting US interests. This “deal” just puts a nice exclamation point on President Narcissism’s Syrian farce.
Excepting boarding this ship, I agree 100%. Obutthead did it to him self ‘…with a little help from his friends…’ :)
And when you say “anything”, does that include financially backing the guy that was just gassing his own people? Because that appears to be where we are headed.
It’s an internal conflict. None of our business. We are not the world’s police force.
I agree we should let the UN take the lead on this one if the only interest being vindicated is an international mandate rather than a US mandate, but this deal will likely require us to get involved. If we end up funding or providing personnel to enforce some sort of program to control the weapons, we will be taking sides. And we will have chosen the side of the monster who gasses his own people.
Why does Assad look more Presidential than Obama?
Assad looks like Beaker from the old Muppet show (sans red hair).
Perhaps you meant to say Putin?
No argument there
It won’t do much to save face, he pushed hard for military action before someone else came in with a diplomatic solution. It aborts what could have been a very unpopular war, but it doesn’t erase how he went about dealing with Syria. It also won’t be an end to US meddling in the Syrian conflict, or the Middle East in general.
Hopefully this means much more scrutiny of military actions made in the future, by Obama or anyone after him. Hopefully America will vote out the Congressmen who went to bat for his crap, too.
He is an absolute amateur among seasoned professionals. He is a mere child in a grown man’s game. And we all have to suffer the consequences of his actions. Sad, pathetic, and frightening as hell.
You had one of those “Buck Fin Laden” bumper stickers, didn’t you?
The irony of Putin brokering a peaceful solution between our warmongering Nobel Peace Prize winner and Assad is so friggin funny & unbelievable that I’m waiting for someone to jump out and scream “Punk’d Biatch!”
I like the idea of our president going the extra mile to avoid war. It’s downright statesmanlike.