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Belmont Club


August 31st, 2013 - 12:51 pm

Obama has surrendered. NBC reports, “Obama will seek Congressional approval before any military action against Syria”. Strikes would be “effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now,” the President was quoted as saying.

As I wrote upon hearing that the British had pulled out of his ‘limited but decisive’ symbolic gesture: “it’s over. … Now, with Britain out of the operation, Obama faces the prospect of going into Syria almost literally alone, without the UN, NATO, Congress, or even the UK to back him up. Two courses are now open to him. He can climb down as best he can and pretend he’s changed his mind or he can go forward risking a wider war for nothing.”

It just took him that many more hours to realize that Steiner was not coming.

But the crisis has not yet ended. It’s just moved from Syria to Washington. There is now a power vacuum in Washington. For either there’s a new President Obama — one who has learned to share power not only with the other branches, but also with other points of view within America — or a new President in the manner of Gerald Ford after Nixon left. The old omnipotent President Obama, able to make the seas fall, the child of the world uniquely equipped to build bridges everywhere, answerable only to himself, is gone.

As America’s leader the old Obama handed Syria, Russia and Iran and huge victory. Gave it to them on a platter with his vaunting, invincible stupidity. In the process, not only has he shot America in the foot on the world stage but he will have emboldened the Ayatollahs to forge ahead with their nuclear ambitions. He will have encouraged Russia to make a comeback in the region. We will shortly feel these effects in Egypt, Iran and even in Europe.

He has also destroyed himself. It was painful to watch, even to those who had no particular fondness for him. There is always something inexpressibly sad about seeing a great thing die, whether it is a ship, a whale, an enfeebled giant, or a puffed up fantasy. And his “friends”, so obsequious in his salad days, were silently tiptoeing toward the door has he self-destructed. Nile Gardiner at the Telegraph mused over why Hillary Clinton was “remarkably silent on Syria”.

One voice in Washington that has been remarkably absent from this week’s Syria debate has been that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Mrs. Clinton hasn’t said anything at all about President Obama’s plans for military strikes against the dictatorship in Damascus. As someone who dominated the US foreign policy landscape over the past four years, Clinton’s silence on Syria is striking. What explains this?

What explains it is she could see the ship going down, as Gardiner himself concluded. ” Her own handling of the Syria crisis was a spectacular failure, as has been President Obama’s. The last thing she needs in the lead-up to her inevitable White House run is a reminder to Americans of her poor track record as Secretary of State, from the Syrian debacle to the farcical Russian reset. Syria is a liability for Clinton in 2016, and with good reason she is nervous about what happens next.”

What happens next? That is indeed the question. If Obama can reinvent himself as the President of the United States of America; if he can throw out all the hacks in his office who have led him to this sorry pass; if he can learn from his mistakes and start to think strategically, then the setback will be merely temporary. He will emerge much more formidable than he is now.

But if he persists then this is merely the first and the smallest of an unending string of defeats. If he continues with the pretense no one now believes he will only succeed in making a fool of himself. But until a new Obama emerges or he heads for the links, the Oval Office is only half tenanted; there’s no one in the White House — and the enemies of America will scent this.

Nobody ever beat arithmetic. Nothing has ever beat reality. The Narrative 0, The Truth 1.

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Top Rated Comments   
I had a dream that one day I will open the Belmont Club and see a thread titled "All That Jazz" with following threads to be titled "Denial" "Anger" "Bargaining" "Depression" and "Acceptance" as listed by Kübler-Ross. If my dream becomes reality, and it seems as close as the dreams or nightmares of the Elves, then when I open the BC and see "Depression" I will not wait for "Acceptance". That will be the last signal to forget about calling in sick and to write off the last paycheck when heading for the hills. May we all meet in a greener cleaner place.

Of course Obama's big flop may mean that better times are coming. Perhaps now that the air is leaking from his balloon the wolves, or more likely the jackals, may close in on Obama. If CJ-SCOTUS Roberts steps up to a microphone and disembowels the administration by confessing how his Obamacare ruling got reversed and what else he knows then I may break out in song, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

And so goodbye to what seemed truth
To all the dreams and hope of change
To all the coolness of his youth
To think of it is passing strange
How proud so many cheered the while
He strode the world with sceptered rod
So different from the cowboy’s style
So cool and mannered, nature’s god
Who knew that fate had such in store
To see the fall of dreams so vast
To see the clothing stripped and more
To see the dream that went so fast
And so goodbye to all that was
To all the dreams and hope of change
To where we think now, why the buzz
For such as he, 'tis passing strange

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Assuming Obama was competent, how should he have played this?

IMHO, he should have first made it clear that while he deplored the Assad regime, he could never align the United States with al Qaeda who are evil incarnate (the choices in Syria were Satan versus Beelzebub). Secondly, when the chemical weapons story came out, Obama should have initially deferred to a chemical weapons forensics expert for public comment (deal directly with Russian propaganda). Obama should have made it clear that we were waiting for solid evidence concerning chemical weapons use and not simply YouTube videos. Finally, Obama through third parties should have been arming both sides with conventional weapons that had limited use towards al Qaeda terrorism, e.g. no MANPADS or chemical weapons. The level of arming should be sufficient to maintain hostilities until both sides were utterly exhausted. This American policy should be quietly leaked to the MSM so the combatants in Syria would know that they were being played as suckers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (88)
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Excellent perspective. Thorough as well. And the one guy left holding the bag is Francois Kerry. For the first time in my life, I actually feel sorry for the bag of wind. And look at those chubby ankles under the table. Hillary!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"... to realize that Steiner was not coming."

This line stopped me in my tracks.

FYI - "Where is Steiner?" was the last transmission from Hitler's bunker.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
apropos nothing at all, I do like the way Mr Fernandez broke Godwin's Law and only two people caught the reference. As for the subject at hand, Charles Krauthammer is right; this is amateur hour and the Illinois Incitatus is playing way out of his league.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If Al Quaeda takes Syria, then Iraq and Israel will face even greater danger. It would probably be better to stick with the devil already in power. Albert
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you feeling powerless because of a weak leader? It wouldn't be the first time that wavering caused a world war. See It isn't the Devil who is responsible for our powerlessness, but our ignorance of international relations and the past.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
" ... It shows the primacy the president places on protecting his hoped-for legacy as a commander in chief who did everything in his power to disentangle the U.S. from overseas wars."

Arm drug cartels, assassinate Khadafy, abandon the US mission in Benghazi, pivot the troops to land locked Afghanistan, forbid voter ID, prosecute states upholding immigration law, sic the IRS on political enemies, ignore laws, write executive orders that debauches immigration law. Yes, what ever the president does will ensure his legacy whether he personally enters into a war that violates both international and US law.

"Senator, I knew George W. Bush and you are no George W. Bush."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If he continues with the pretense no one now believes he will only succeed in making a fool of himself."

Correction: If he continues with the pretense no one now believes he will only succeed in CONTINUING TO MAKE a fool of himself.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The first step is to acknowledge that the Narrative was wrong, theRE is EVIL in the world.

Via Marie Claude's link Let's go back to yesteryear...

"On 17 March 2011, I was with a group of people preparing for a protest. The next day we went to al-Omari mosque in Deraa. The Syrian revolution started from there. We thought our protest would annoy the regime but we didn't expect government forces to use gunfire from the start to kill protesters.

When we came out of the mosque some people started chanting: "God, Syria, freedom." The regime saw that as defiance against them, because people had replaced the last part of a slogan, which was supposed to be [President] Bashar al-Assad, with the word freedom. So the regime reacted by killing and injuring many protesters.

I was taking photos. It surprised us that Bashar al-Assad's forces were heavy-handed from the beginning. They didn't try to issue any warnings, they just charged us straight away. They didn't use tear gas or water cannon. They fired at us from the start."

So the Vogue "A Rose in the Desert" attitude was BS!

Nancy Pelosi ought to just shut up. We've finally read it and found out what crap was in it.

Undoing an Obama mistake, we ought to conclude a status of forces agreement with Iraq. Make it really hard for Iran to re-supply Assad through Iraqi territory. We've got Sixth Fleet forces in the Med and Fifth Fleet forces off Iran. We ARE the World's Only Superpower, we can be in two places at the same time. If we help Iraq cut off the Iranian FAE weapons being used against civilians in Syria, we would be in conformance with the Geneva Conventions. We would dominate the moral high ground.

Military action against civilian targets is TERRORISM. Assad is a terrorist.

And then we publicly rub Putin's face in his support of terrorists. As M-C suggests, he is vulnerable regarding the Sochi Olympic Games. No photo ops with Lindsey Vonn for you, Vlad. Straighten out and maybe we can get you a guest shot on MSNBC as a sports commentator. Yes, I know their audience is in the dumpster, but that only means they would be desperate enough to use you.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
O achieved (thru chaos and incompetence) a run up to the cold war stance he is aiming for. O's agenda plods slowly and surely FORWARD.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is almost too painful to make light of but two things came to mind when I watched a pouting and petulant Obama make his surrender speech today. One was from an episode of Psych when a character asked Sean Spencer, "Have you been tested for idiocy?"

The other one came to me later like a flash. Now I know who Obama reminds me of, Brave Sir Robin! From Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the minstrel's song of Brave Sir Robin:

"Brave Sir Robin ran away.
Bravely ran away, away.
When danger rears it's ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes Brave Sir Robin turned about
He gallantly chickened out.

Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat.
Oh bravest of the brave, Sir Robin."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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