In a new interview, President Barack Obama questioned people who have voiced skepticism of his Syria policy.
In the interview on Sunday, Obama sought to defend his handling of the situation in Syria while straddle a delicate balance between committing to more involvement in Syria and justifying U.S. intervention in the first place.
“Unless you’ve been involved in those conversations, then it’s kind of hard for you to understand that the complexity of the situation and how we have to not rush into one more war in the Middle East,” the president said, describing the months of deliberations among his national security staff in the White House situation room.
“Unless you’ve been involved in those conversations…” Shorter President Obama, on Syria: Shut up, and because, is my explanation. You weren’t there!
Was Barack Obama, the senator, “involved” in any of the “conversations” that led to any of President Bush’s foreign policy actions?
Of course not. He was not only not involved, he wasn’t even in the Senate when Bush, with the backing a majority of Democrats at the time, took most of the actions that he took. At that point, Barack Obama was voting “present” in the Illinois Senate. As a senator he was a backbencher whose chief claim to foreign policy was, and I’m not making this up, that he had lived in Indonesia as a boy. But Senator Obama knew everything and was so much smarter than everyone else. That’s what he kept telling us.
The basis of Barack Obama’s election was destroying George W. Bush’s anti-terror policies. That’s what he ran on. The war was unpopular. He ran on that. The war was complex and forced difficult choices. He simplified and caricatured those choices and ran against whatever choices Bush made. He was better at slamming Bush because he is charismatic and was willing to go farther and be harsher on Bush than Hillary Clinton was. Obama articulated very few specifics of his own policies. He believed that Bush’s eeevil was the immediate cause of terrorism, that America was largely to blame for terrorism, that Gitmo somehow reached back into time and inspired terrorists whose modern ideology has been around for decades, and that his own election would by itself change the game.
It has not. It will not. The terrorists mostly don’t care who the President of the United States is, though they’re happy if POTUS is not going to take the fight to them. They’re happy to go back on offense, as they are in Syria and have in Libya. If our president is dumb enough to arm them, even better! And our president is dumb enough to arm them.
Obama is aware that he ran and won the presidency as a harsh critic, in fact, one of the harshest critics in the entire country, of Bush’s anti-terror policies. He was Dennis Kucinich plus Howard Dean plus the charm that neither of them have, plus a racial background that made him irresistible to too many voters. Criticism was his fuel to power. His political prime directive remains Not Being Bush (or Cheney), and Not Doing Another Iraq. He won as a kn0w-it-all armchair general. Now that the armchair general is commander in chief, he resents the input of other armchair generals. You weren’t there!
Senator Obama would never give President Obama a pass on any of the things he is doing with respect to Syria. Senator Obama would question the “red line” and wonder aloud if President Obama is trying to involve America in another unnecessary war. He would slam President Obama for fueling the “cycle of violence” by sending arms to one side. Or he would slam President Obama for being slow to act at all. Heck, he would probably slam President Obama for both and no one in the media would call him on his glaring contradiction.
By the way, remember when liberals blamed the US for “creating” al Qaeda by arming the mujihadeen in Afghanistan when they were fighting against the Soviet Union back in the 1980s? Well, forget all about that. Forget it. Wipe it from your memory. In those days, the US did not know what would result from arming those ragtag fighters in Afghanistan. Now, we know all too well what’s going to result from arming those ragtag fighters in Syria. We no longer have the excuse of ignorance. In Syria, Obama will either help them win a country or he will arm them to the point that even if they lose there they may live to fight elsewhere. Heads, they win, tails, we lose.
But President Obama will do it anyway, against the objections that Senator Obama would have stridently and confidently voiced.
Sadly, in the end, both Senator Obama and President Obama were, and are, fundamentally wrong.