The president’s speech confirms that he is committed to taking significant strategic risks on behalf of strictly humanitarian goals. That is not typical of American foreign policy, which is precisely what U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power aims to change, and precisely why we’ve run into trouble.
We did see an earlier humanitarian intervention with Clinton’s campaigns against Serbia, but that was a rare case, and fraught with far less strategic risk than a strike against Syria.
This speech was a close reflection of Power’s views. The overwhelming emphasis was on humanitarian goals, with a brief, secondary, and noticeably weak effort to buttress that case with talk about threats to our interests.
It’s foreign policy as wishful thinking wrapped in naiveté, and smothered in ignorance.
Powers got her trial run in Libya, which seemed to go well enough — right up until Benghazi. Now the country has more or less ceased to exist. But you can get away with that kind of failure, you can sweep it under the rug, in a low-population backwater like Libya. But Syria is important enough that the big boys like Putin will come out to play, and expose Wiggleroom’s and Powers’ thinking for the muddled mess it really is.