Syria and Obama – Thomas Sowell

Clark GableThis is an excellent explanation about Syria and hopefully you will take the time to read it, as I could not have said it better myself! Thomas Sowell is a brilliant thinker and writer and it is too bad that Oblahma hasn’t had the capacity and/or intelligence to consult with and read much of what Thomas Sowell has had to say since his inauguration. It seems like he only likes ignorant advisers who agree with his idiocy and then they go about doing whatever they damn please. The best example of this is certainly Hillary Clinton!

We will be damn lucky to get rid of Blah Blah Oblahma before he gets us involved in a 3rd World War!

T SowellSerious About Syria? – By Thomas Sowell

Why are we even talking about taking military action in Syria? What is that military action supposed to accomplish? And what is the probability that it will in fact accomplish whatever that unknown goal might be?

What is painfully clear from President Obama’s actions, inactions and delays is that he is more or less playing it by ear, as to what specifically he is going to do, and when. He is telling us more about what he is not going to do — that he will not put “boots on the ground,” for example — than about what he will do.

All this is happening a year after issuing an ultimatum to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria against the use of chemical or biological weapons. When the President of the United States issues an ultimatum to another sovereign nation, he should know in advance what he is going to do if that ultimatum is rejected.

But that is not the way Barack Obama operates. Like so many people who are masters of lofty words, he does not pay nearly as much attention to mundane realities. Campaigning is his strong suit. Governing is not.

With the mainstream media ready to ooh and aah over his rhetoric, and pass over in silence his policy disasters as President, Obama is home free as far as domestic politics is concerned. But, on the world stage, neither America’s enemies nor America’s allies are hypnotized by his words or his image.

Nations that have to decide whether to ally themselves with us or with our enemies understand that they are making life and death decisions. It is not about rhetoric, image or symbolism. It is about whether nations can count on the realism, wisdom and dependability of the American government.

Make no mistake about it, Barack Obama is a very clever man. But cleverness is not wisdom, or even common sense.

When he was in the Senate, Obama — along with Senators Joe Biden, Chuck Hagel and Hillary Clinton — was critical of the Bush administration for not being favorable to the Assad regime.

Hillary Clinton said that she and other lawmakers who visited Assad considered him a “reformer.” Back in 2007, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, both Senator Biden and Senator Hagel chided her for not being more ready to negotiate with Assad.

Senator John Kerry in 2009 said, “Syria is an essential player in bringing peace and stability to the region.”

Some people said that having Joe Biden as Vice President meant that President Obama had someone with many years of foreign policy experience. What they ignored was that Biden had decades of experience being wrong on foreign policy issues, time and time again.

Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup that countered the Soviet Union’s buildup, and helped bring about both the end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union. General David Petraeus’ “surge” strategy that greatly reduced the terrorist attacks in Iraq was opposed in 2007 by Senator Biden, who said, “We need to stop the surge and start to get our troops out.”

Senator Hillary Clinton not only opposed the surge from the outset, she was among those who refused to believe that it had succeeded, even after all the hard evidence had convinced most other people.

The grim reality is that key people in positions to shape our foreign policy during the Obama administration — the President, the Vice President, two Secretaries of State, and the current Secretary of Defense — all have a track record of grossly misconceiving the issues, our enemies and our national interest.

This is the administration that is now asking for a blank check from Congress to take unspecified military action to achieve unspecified goals.

“Military action” is a polite phrase for killing people. It would be nice to believe that this has some larger purpose than saving Barack Obama from political embarrassment, after having issued an ultimatum without having thought through what he would do if that ultimatum was ignored.

He has the authority to take military action if he wants to. The question is whether he can sucker the Republicans into giving him political cover by pre-approving his unknown actions and unknown goals.

Syria and Obama – By Thomas Sowell

I cannot see why even a single American, a single Israeli or a single Syrian civilian should be killed as a result of a token U.S. military action, undertaken simply to spare Barack Obama the embarrassment of doing nothing, after his ill-advised public ultimatum to the Syrian government to not use chemical weapons was ignored.

Some people say that some military response is necessary, not to spare Obama a personal humiliation, but to spare the American presidency from losing all credibility — and therefore losing the ability to deter future threats to the United States without bloodshed.

There is no question that the credibility of the presidency — regardless of who holds that office — is a major asset of this country. Another way of saying the same thing is that Barack Obama has recklessly risked the credibility of future presidents, and the future safety of this country, by his glib words and weak actions.

Some people who disagree with Obama’s issuance of a public ultimatum to the Assad regime in the first place, and who also disagree with his recent threat of military action against Syria, nevertheless say that we must back up that threat now, simply to forestall future dangers from a loss of American credibility in the eyes of other countries, including both our enemies and our allies.

But will a transparently token military action preserve American credibility? And dare we risk an unintended escalation, such as began both World Wars in the 20th century?

Since so little real history is taught in even our prestigious colleges and universities, it may be worth noting how World War II — the most catastrophic war in human history — began.

When a weak and vacillating leader, Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, belatedly saw Hitler for what he was, after years of trying to appease him, he issued a public ultimatum that if Germany carried out its impending invasion of Poland, Britain would declare war.

By this time, Hitler had only contempt for Chamberlain, as Putin today has only contempt for Obama. Hitler went ahead with his invasion of Poland. Chamberlain then felt he had to declare war. That is how World War II began. Britain’s action did not save Poland, but only jeopardized its own survival.

Unintended consequences are at least as common in military actions on the world stage as they are in domestic policies that start out with lofty words and end with sordid and even catastrophic consequences.

Assurances from either President Barack Obama or Senator John McCain as to the limited nature of the military actions they advocate mean nothing. As someone said, long ago, once the shooting starts all plans go out the window.

If a purely token military strike will do little or nothing more to preserve our national credibility than will a failure to act at all, why get people killed to spare Barack Obama a personal humiliation?

This man’s runaway ego has already produced too many disasters at home and abroad, and nowhere more so than in the Middle East. A personal humiliation may be all that can make him stop and think before shooting off his mouth in the future, without thinking through the consequences beforehand — as he clearly has not done in this case, as shown by his recent delays and vacillations.

Nor is it at all clear that his previous policies and actions in the Middle East were well thought out, unless he was deliberately trying to weaken the position of the Western world, including Israel.

Whatever the Obama rhetoric, the reality is that his policies in Egypt and Libya have led to replacing stable regimes, at peace with Israel and the West, and tolerant of their own Christian minorities, with chaotic regimes in which fanatical anti-Western terrorists have played a large and growing role, with hostility to Israel and murderous attacks on Christians in their own country.

Barack Obama will try to salvage his policy and his presidency with a speech to the nation. Rhetoric is his strong suit. The big question is: How many Americans have learned to distinguish between his soaring words and his sorry record? Matters of life and death can hinge on the answer to that question.

Syria and Obama: Part II – By Thomas Sowell

Chickens are coming home to roost for Barack Obama, both at home and overseas. When he first entered the White house, to worldwide acclaim, and backed by huge majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, he could do whatever he wanted — and could do no wrong, in the eyes of the mainstream media.

People believed whatever he said, whether about how he would cut the federal deficit in half during his first term or how people could keep their current insurance and their current doctor under ObamaCare, which would also insure millions more people and yet somehow lower the costs at the same time.

If he could have done these things, it is hard to know what he could have done for an encore. Walking on water would have been an anticlimax.

Of course he did none of these things. The Obama administration added more to the national debt in his first term than President Bush had in both his terms put together. As for ObamaCare, which has not yet fully taken effect, health care costs have already gone up, and many people’s hours of work have already gone down, as employers seek to escape the huge costs of ObamaCare by hiring part-time workers, who are exempt.

As for foreign policy, President Obama began by betraying a pre-existing American commitment to allies in Eastern Europe, to supply them with an anti-missile defense system. These nations had risked the wrath of Russia by allying themselves with the United States, but Obama blithely talked about pressing the “reset button,” as he flew off to Moscow to try to cut a deal with the Russians behind their back.

His boorish behavior toward one of our oldest and most important allies (Britain) and his insulting behavior toward the Prime Minister of our staunchest ally in the Middle East (Israel) were more of the same.

Meanwhile, Obama fawned over the rulers of other nations, bowing deeply from the waist before the king of Saudi Arabia and the emperor of Japan, in a gesture of subservience that no other President of the United States had ever stooped to. But the adoring media never asked the most obvious question: “What kind of man is this, who feels a need to lower his own country?”

President Obama was caught by a microphone that he did not know was on, telling Russian President Medvedev to assure “Vladimir” that he could be more “flexible” with him after he was past the 2012 elections, and was no longer constrained by the American voters.

Far from getting Putin’s respect, he deservedly earned Putin’s contempt. When Obama’s new Secretary of State, John Kerry, went to Moscow for the first time in that official capacity, Putin kept him waiting for hours before bothering to see him.

At home, when Republicans in Congress tried to suggest some changes in the ObamaCare legislation, back when it was being rushed through Congress too fast for the Congressmen to read it, Obama’s response was to remind the Republicans that he had won the election.

Now these and other chickens are coming home to roost.

Today, President Obama needs Republican votes in Congress to get a majority that will put Congress on record as backing his planned military actions against Syria. And he is by no means certain to get all the Democrats’ votes.

Obama also wants international political cover for his planned military action against Syria. But our old ally, Britain, failed to give us even political backing, much less troops. British Prime Minister David Cameron lost the vote on that issue in Parliament — the first time a British Prime Minister has lost such a vote in Parliament since the 18th century.

Some other nations have given us verbal support — and only verbal support. When it comes to actual military action, some of the Europeans will fight to the last American.

Finally, Barack Obama will try to drum up support from the American people whom he has lied to and deceived, time and time again. On Tuesday night, will he be able to rekindle the old magic again with his rhetoric? Or have those chickens come home to roost as well?

Will President Obama be able to convince the people of the urgency of what he wants to do, when he has already delayed so long that the Assad regime has had ample time to hide the chemical weapons and otherwise prepare to minimize whatever Obama does?

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About geneb527

Retired, but still spending an inordinant amount of time thinking about all things big and small. I am proud to be a strong constitutional conservative. I am also proud to have been married over 56 years to my wonderful wife, Louise. I continue to be amazed that she has put up with me for such a long time, but have been happy that she decided to do so. "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not," warned Thomas Jefferson.
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