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Ed Driscoll

When You’ve Lost Fareed Zakaria…

September 1st, 2013 - 9:34 am

…You should be pretty darn happy, unless you’re Barack Obama, whom Zakaria so desperately wanted to advise on foreign policy. Turns out, Mr. Obama could have used the help:

In truth, Obama and many others miscalculated. They believed that Assad’s regime was near the end, misreading both its strength and brutality, but also the level of support it has from several segments of Syrian society.

Then, just about a year ago, came the off-the-cuff remarks about a red line on chemical weapons, insufficiently thought through but now publicly stated and definitive. Since then, American foreign policy towards Syria has largely been concerned about ensuring that Obama’s threat does not seem empty.

After all, what American national interest is being followed? The administration says it is upholding international law. Except, as Fred Kaplan points out, the institutions that embody international law and consensus – the United Nations and other international organizations – do not support this action. The United States plus France and Turkey cannot be considered the embodiment of international law and global public opinion.

The nature of the strike we are told will be short and symbolic – a shot across the bow in the midst of a civil war in which both sides are in a high-stakes struggle for survival, does anyone think this will make any difference?

And then the strangest twist – an unplanned last-minute appeal to Congress, paving the way for further delay, weakening momentum, erasing what little surprise existed, and setting the stage for a potential defeat at home.

I don’t think that this strike, should it eventually take place, will be as damaging as its critics fear. The Assad regime will likely hunker down, take it, and move on. It will make little difference one way or the other. But the manner in which the Obama administration has first created and then mismanaged this crisis will cast a long shadow on America’s role in the world. That’s my view.

Zakaria has been “a staunch supporter of this president from day one, and his criticism Sunday is significant,” Noel Sheppard adds at Newsbusters. “It is therefore going to be very interesting to see if other CNN anchors and commentators will share his view on the air, or if he will be the President’s lone critic on the self-proclaimed ‘most trusted name in news.’”

On the other hand, I’m not sure what Zakaria’s issue with Mr. Obama is. Zakaria longs for “The Post-American World”;  Mr. Obama is doing everything he can to deliver it.

Update: “Ouch:”

I’d say that’ll leave a mark, but this administration is far too cocooned to be introspective.

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All Comments   (3)
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I'm surprised Fareed has dropped Obama. Obama is merely making Fareeds dreams come true. That smug, grinning jack-o-lantern has made his career eagerly anticipating the decline of American influence.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We continue to pay the price for electing a man so admired by the state media that it declined to do the kind of background search that would be done before hiring a school principal. Yet we are already hearing about the high-spirited antics Ted Cruz pulled off in his college days, yet Obama's background still remains shrouded in mystery. How can a democratic polity survive when the means of news transmission are in the hands of the sympathizers and enablers one of the parties? The unqualified and incompetent (Hillary) pass effortlessly into the highest offices of the land. And then the world turns against us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A "shot across the bow" is what you do to stop the progress of an adversary. It is a warning that you have sighted your guns and will deliver the next one into the broadside of the adversary ship.

After the adversary sails by and out of sight, there is no opportunity for the warning. Our "national interest" now supposedly is to appear strong and support the facile verbal warning by Obama. We can send the message that the deaths of Al Qaeda soliders, and innocent men, women and children, in the Syrian civil war do not affect our vital national interests, as long as Assad blows them up or shoots them. However, it upsets our delicate sensibilities of vital national interest if they are gassed.

Our resolve will be shown by blowing up empty buildings, now cleared of expensive Syrian weapons. Amazingly, each cruise missile will cost $1.5 million, altogether $4.5 million when sending three to each target. This is likely more than the value of the buildings we will be destroying.

The US produces collateral damage, killing men, women, and children who happen to be next to probable Al Qaeda members when we blow them up with drone strikes. This is entirely just, because no gas is used in these collateral incidents, and we only kill five to thirty at a time.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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