Skip to comments.Climbdown!
Posted on 08/31/2013 12:26:48 PM PDT by nathanbedford
We have just witnessed one of the most stunning and humiliating climb downs of any president in the history of the United States. Obama's humiliation is entirely of his own making.
He unilaterally threatened to wage war, however limited he said it would be, for no clear purpose, with no clear strategy and with no clear outcome. He did so thoughtlessly by proclaiming a "red line" and thus backing himself through inadvertence and, more important, his country into an untenable position. He pushed the country out onto a limb only to find he was alone, without allies, without Congress, even without his own party. He bumbled and dithered away is friends and allies and in the process squandered the prestige of the United States of America.
His humiliation is not, alas, his alone but it is the mile marker for a journey of fecklessness and incoherence in American foreign policy which has resulted in an Islamicist threat running from China to the North African shores. He has made our country look weak in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, and in Egypt. Most important, he has made us look impotent with respect to Iran and it is Iran, not Egypt, which is the fulcrum of the Middle East. Who can now believe that the United States under President Barack Obama will actually "do what it takes" to stop Iran getting the bomb? No conservative has believed that for years but now the nations of the Middle East which line the Persian Gulf and the Arab Peninsula must be afraid, very afraid. Iran will, of course, be emboldened. The Russians and the Chinese are smirking. Our allies in Europe are beginning to wonder if they should cut their own deals with the threat of Islam because they cannot rely on the United States.
So before we conservatives rejoice over the personal humiliation of Barack Obama, let us consider as patriots the harm to our country. The irony is that no one will now hear us say, "we told you so;" it is human nature not to want to hear that kind of truth. We conservatives are always being shot as messengers.
Short-term it is obvious that the entire campaign to sting Syria for the use of weapons of mass destruction will now be allowed to simply wither away. By the time Congress returns many new headlines will have diverted the attention of the nation. The Congress will not sustain a strike. Obama will somehow change the subject.
Our leaders in the House and the Senate are paid not to let Obama off his own petard.
The question for conservatives is how to use this situation for domestic political advantage. We have an objective to prevent any kind of immigration bill being passed by the House and sent to conference committee where conservatives will be sabotaged and outvoted by Rinos and Democrats when the bill is returned. The result will be amnesty and it is therefore vital that no bill at all be passed by the House. This is Boehner's chance to wiggle out of his dilemma and use the breathtaking mismanagement of the president to consume Congress and prevent the house from taking up immigration. That, of course, assumes that Boehner is smart enough to take that way out instead of rupturing the party by passing amnesty, as seems to be his plan.
Boehner has also got to handle both the campaign to defund Obamacare and the overall extension of the debt. Boehner should recognize that the president has been weakened as well as humiliated, but one would have to recklessly rely on hope rather than experience in nurturing that kind of optimism.
If we had decent Republican leaders in the House or the Senate, we could see this as a real turning point. I am not holding my breath.
Would you regard Isaiah 3:1-4 as fulfilled prophecy at this point?
I don’t care if we’re humiliated at this point ,, any action would have meant $8-10 gas and that would mean my family would have been crushed.
Bammy should have started a case against Assad in the The International Court of Justice or in a NYC Federal Court.
Wow. That was a chilling read. Frightening days ahead.
DU disagrees with you..LOL
“The President’s speech just now was a brilliant political move. He not only advanced his agenda to attack the Assad regime, he also gave himself an out, should he choose to use it, by including the Congress in his decision to strike. If the Republican House votes not to approve an attack, our President can then, should he choose to do so, cancel his decision and announce he is bowing to the will of the people as represented by their elected representatives. He has given himself an exit from the corner he painted himself into.
I do not agree with the President’s decision to attack Syria, and I do not know how the House and Senate will vote, but I can only admire the deft manner in which he handled one of his most important speeches. That is the man I voted for. He was brilliant today.
I have emailed both of my Senators and my Congressman to vote NO. US intervention in Syria is unjustified and fraught with untold danger to Israel and the entire Middle East, not to mention the world economy. Just say no.
“I dont care if were humiliated at this point ,, any action would have meant $8-10 gas and that would mean my family would have been crushed.”
More importantly than your personal circumstances, we don’t pi$$ away more of our borrowed money, and put our military personnel in needless jeopardy!
Actually, while no one would wish harm to you and your family, you are essentially making the same case that the GOP tries, saying that near-term personal survival trumps doing what’s right for our country. In this instance, both you and your country win, but it isn’t always that easy.
Well. Lets don’t put ALL the blame on Obama.
Bonehead and McConnell could have had a joint press congress to demand a vote. They didn’t. They could have asked for a slow down.
They didn’t. The could have demanded more intel be released to the
public. They didn’t.
Only now do these gutless non leaders come out and say a vote in necessary. Most of us here know why. They were behind this strike
without having to share responsibility. That is not leadership.
I bet they are now crying knowing they are going to have to put their
vote on record. Let’s see how the RINO’s end up voting for this nonsense.
As was predicted, the African communist piece of sh** again voted “present” and kicked the decision over to congress.
“The uh, buck stops... over there.”
It’s amazing how they twist him backing down into a brilliant political move..
It is the Democrats who will have some trouble with their votes.
Can you imagine if someone like Newt Gingrich were in power again in the house? He would drive this, he would wedge Democrats away from Obama, he would make it legitimate for both Republicans and Democrats to deify Obama. He would change the entire debate and change the course of history. If you don't like Gingrich as an example, how about Cruz, Lee or Paul?
Instead we have Boehner and McConnell and we don't know if we trust them less than we trust Obama. What a squandering of opportunity! What a hell of a mess.
Well written, but the above misses the mark for some, at least I don't rejoice in humiliation of 0bama, but in avoidance of lives being lost for now.
In reality, this is anything but a complete loss for 0bama, for he has not only taken his scandals off the front page, he has indeed inflicted additional "harm to our country" as you state.
Seems to be his primary goal since entering office, IMO.
Impossible to discern if this is pathetic bumbling or calculated Machiavellia. In any case loss of US credibility helps those who wish to do us harm. It fuels such division here and with our allies.
A good article Nathan, but I disagree with you on this point:
“So before we conservatives rejoice over the personal humiliation of Barack Obama, let us consider as patriots the harm to our country. “
What harm? I say we count our blessings as the psychopaths weren’t able to start WWIII today. They’ll try again, of course. And soon. But frankly, having my family burnt to a cinder or having other American families burnt to a cinder or blown up or poisoned or irradiated ad nauseum is a high price to pay so dear leader can look butch.
“Only now do these gutless non leaders come out and say a vote in necessary. Most of us here know why. They were behind this strike without having to share responsibility. That is not leadership.”
Tell it FRiend, they’ve been AWOL so they could avoid being “for the war before they were against it.”
A larger view, which I think you probably share, is that Obama's foreign policy has been a muddle for the last five years which has been extremely dangerous but because he is superficially nonconfrontational it has not appeared to be so. Where he should have been aggressive, with Iran when the people were on the streets and just about any other time to stop them getting the bomb, he has been pusillanimous.
I have a vanity going back some years arguing that it is a mistake to conceive of Obama as another Jimmy Carter. Obama is a radical ideologue who sees foreign policy myopically through that filter. History shows that leftists from Trotsky to Pol Pot have been bloodthirsty in the extreme when it comes to advancing or protecting their ideological agenda.
That is why there does not seem to be any identifiable connection between Obama's foreign policy and America's national interests-Obamas interests are ideological.
Like Carter, the damage this man will cause will plague us for a hundred years... if we’re lucky.
What really upsets me is every time he mentions the use of military he says my, not our military. What kind of self involved arrogance must a man have to think he’s a king and not an executive with a board of directors.
I wonder if Assad’s son will laugh at him on Facebook
Boehner nothing but crickets. Now he is forced to come clean. WHERE’S Boehner.
Yep. Where in the world is Waldo Boehner?
Or perhaps that of the puppet masters.
“So before we conservatives rejoice over the personal humiliation of Barack Obama, let us consider as patriots the harm to our country.”
General Forrest, is it ok for me to revel in Obama’s humiliation AND consider the possible harm to the country? I can do both.
Our weakling president talked tough and ultimately passed the buck to Congress. We should recognize that he actually did the proper Constitutional thing here, if for the wrong reasons. Jimmy Carter teaches us that the humiliation to the nation will be ongoing.
But I get to call my liberal relatives war-mongers, chicken-hawks, and tools of military - government - industrial complex. The irony here is richer than the best cheesecake.
The harm was already done in 2008. This is just the end result.
I’d be shocked if Obama has the fortitude to attack Syria in that manner. But either way, that fate is coming on Damascus indeed.
I have yet to decide if this man is a naif, or a sophisticated Machiavellian operator.
For example, back when he was teaching constitutional law, and then when he first entered the Senate, Obama made quite a point of his conviction that Presidential war-making powers needed to be dramatically trimmed back, especially in the case of military interventions not explicitly authorized by Congress.
Assuming he actually believed it, and was looking for a way to establish a such precedent, what better way to do it than to announce an unpopular intervention, let Congress get all riled up about it - with members on both the left and right demanding a say in the matter - and that once Congress was irrevocably committed in this way, announce that though he believed he had a unilateral right to order such action, he *also* believed that as a practical matter the president ought to put the matter to the legislative branch for a vote?
Or take the example of his budget negotiations with Congress:
Is he a naïve and inept negotiator who gets regularly hoodwinked by the Republicans (This is the dominate complaint on the left).
Or is he an extraordinarily devious politician?
One who knows that the way to establish his credentials with “moderate” and “independent” voters is to appear to be flexible and even willing to alienate the left.
While the same time knowing that he will not have to make substantial concessions because the Republicans will block any compromise was does not substantially achieve *all* of their objectives... all the while knowing that “gridlock” actually allows his programs to move forward?
IMO, before deciding who’s been playing the fool, look at who has *actually* been getting the results they seek.
My guess he is out buying Kleenex.
I would like to think that he has realized his limits, but I doubt it.
LOL. He and a bunch of other RINO’s support this nonsense but did not
want to share responsibility by voting. Guess what, they will have to put
their vote on record now.
Let’s see how they vote. My prediction. The RINO’s will head for the tall
grass and vote no.
I understand all the arguments about politics stopping at the water’s edge, etc. but NOBODY will rob me of the pleasure of gloating at Obama’s humiliation.
“A larger view, which I think you probably share, is that Obama’s foreign policy has been a muddle for the last five years..”
I would agree that our foreign policy has been a muddle since January of 1989.
“...which has been extremely dangerous but because he is superficially nonconfrontational it has not appeared to be so. Where he should have been aggressive, with Iran when the people were on the streets and just about any other time to stop them getting the bomb, he has been pusillanimous.”
I’m no fan of our involvement in the middle east at all. We should have left years ago and let the shia and sunni kill each other off as they’ve been doing for the last 1,000 years. We have nothing to win there and plenty of American lives and treasure to lose. At best, our long term involvement will keep Israel going. But at what point does Israel have to more or less stand on it’s own? The biggest threat to Israel in the long term is not it’s neighbors, rather the threat is it’s own internal demographics. Jews are slowly becoming a minority in Israel. We can’t resolve that problem for Israel unless, of course, we’re going to make it our policy to send Americans there to live to help stave off Israel’s demographic suicide. I just see the whole area as a major cluster that a wise nation should avoid. And more to the point, we simply can’t afford it anymore.
To paraphrase Geo. Washington: honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
“Obama is a radical ideologue who sees foreign policy myopically through that filter.”
Of course he is. It’s unfortunate that there is no counterweight within Congress. But as I’ve pointed out countless times on this website, what we have is a one party system mimicking a two party system. The rhetoric differs somewhat, but the policies don’t. Until that dynamic changes, if it ever does, then we will be doomed to endure successive kakistocracies until the American experiment sees it’s official, and quite final, end.
Emperor Bokasa is only a few years away from his big payday. I suspect he has negotiated for gold. Time to not embarrass his bosses by pushing for the collapse too quickly. I’m sure that the possible response of the guy with the babes and the miniature giraffe were part of the decision.
So all the billions he’s spent on NSA surveillance didn’t help to find the truth?
Maybe if it had been focused there instead of on U.S. citizens he may have learned something.
Please take a look at my other posts on this thread concerning is foreign policy.
I think the same ideology motivates him concerning domestic policy. His victories on the budget and with Obamacare have come by virtue of his dominant majorities in the House and the Senate for the first two years, the shining incompetence (or Rino-ism) of the Republican leaders and their abject fear of the race card.
By way of example, if one looks at the sequester, which was Obama's idea which he now denies, it fits his ideology perfectly. It did not substantially cut the budget, indeed it did not cut it at all, but only very slightly the rate of growth but it did massively cut in real terms the defense establishment which is repugnant to his ideology.
I would not put this down to deviousness or sophistication but merely slavish devotion to ideology. All of this is masked from the public which sees him, as you observe, to be moderate. Because of his race the media has carried his water and made him look good but I don't credit Obama himself for political acumen.
yet a victory for the American people. If regular folks out in flyover country had not SPOKEN UP, they were ready to go through with this.
I agree but I am ashamed to admit that I have come to that conclusion late as one who was in support of the Iraq war and now realize that it was strategically impossible to bring democracy to a culture which is not ready for it. Ditto Afghanistan.
I agree with your views about Israel and have posted to that effect for years. I am unaware of the demographic difficulties-do you mean that they are simply admitting to many Palestinians?
I share your overall pessimism but I also believe in white as well as black swans.
Lest anyone doubt the gravity of the problem, there’s Putin, sneeringly referring to obama as “Nobel Peace Prize laureate;” a very rare display of fangs from one world leader to another.
I am right there with you....my eyes have been opened.
“I agree with your views about Israel and have posted to that effect for years. I am unaware of the demographic difficulties-do you mean that they are simply admitting to many Palestinians?”
No. Israel has a large population of indigenous Arabs. The Palestinians are the descendants of the Arabs who left during the wars in the 1940’s. Some Arabs chose to stay and stick it out within Israel and are Israeli citizens today. Although they are currently a minority of the population, their birthrates are much higher than those of the Jewish population.