Belmont Club

Another Fine Mess

Private citizen Hillary Clinton talks about Syria. Why? In what capacity? Well of course when you’re Hillary you never really stop being Hillary.

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Who’s on first? Hillary, Kerry, Obama or Vladimir Putin?  Readers will recall the recent post The Voyage of the Nikolai Filchenkov, where it first became apparent that the Russian President was getting ready to pull the rug right out from under Barack Obama. It was speculated that the ship was heading for Syria to remove the chemical weapons so that Obama would have no further pretext to attack Assad.

Putin looks to be inside the Administration’s OODA loop. Once he saw Obama commit his prestige to defending a self-inflicted Red Line, he painted a decoy target and then promptly erased it after first watching the President marshal his entire stock of political capital to engage it.

And now there’s another target all glittering in the radar return: the offer to withdraw the chemical weapons.

Hillary is trying to salvage the situation by attempting to take credit for developments. “We’ve got ’em on the run boys,” she seems to say. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that just as soon as the administration gets its ponderous narrative machinery pointed in another direction it will be gone again like a will ‘o the wisp. As for Hillary’s role the question must be, who’s she doing a favor? Is she someone’s idea of good salesmanship, if so, her renewed public presence can only remind the public of painful memories.

The administration, already tied up in knots, is in the process of being twisted like a pretzel. Forbes writes “The Syria Vote: Why Obama Wins If He Loses”. Glenn Reynolds writes in USA Today: Obama is a laughing stock. John Kerry is being mocked for saying the planned strikes will be ‘unbelievably small’. And now with Putin offering to sail away with the sarin and Hillary — Hillary speaking where Kerry should be — it’s back to the drawing board for that whole scurvy crew.

Now they’ll have to adjust Susan Rice’s course who is out and about pushing the President’s strike on Syria.

Syria is becoming the La Brea Tarpit of Democratic ambitions. It’s pulling one dinosaur after the other into the quagmire, as each tries to help the other out. Before the end of this the entire top tier of the party will be in the morass. Obama, Kerry and Hillary, the whole lot of them.

It used to be a safe assumption that if Obama were ever forced to resign in disgrace like Nixon then his chosen successor would be one of the Presidentials — like Hillary or Kerry — Al Gore being a little too long away from the scene to contend. At the rate things are going, a resignation in the Oval Office will mean a President Biden. Yet that might actually reveal an awful truth: that stripped of the glitz, spin and makeup, pitiful Joe Biden is the strongest player on that miserable bench.

Maybe God really does look out for America. The Syrian crisis has done the nation the incredible favor of exposing a potential system failure early, like having a mild heart attack and finding that your arteries are nearly 99% blocked and only a miracle saved you from the Big One. But warnings only work when they are heeded. The administration and its supporters are heedless. Timothy Egan wroting in the New York Times on Sept 5th maintained the belief that Obama is in a bind because Bush ruined American credibility for international action.

The voice that stands out most by his silence, the one that grates with its public coyness, is Bush himself. He has refused to take a side in the Syrian conflict. The president, he said, “has a tough choice to make.” Beyond that, “I refuse to be roped in.”

This is cowardice on a grand scale. Having set in motion a doctrine that touches all corners of the earth and influences every leader with a say in how to approach tyrants who slaughter innocents, Bush retreats to his bathtub to paint.

Egan doesn’t get it. Obama is in a bind because he goofed big time. “Roped in” as Bush the ostensibly stupid put it offhand. But there are none so blind as they who can’t accept they’ve been outsmarted.

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