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Politics Trumps Policy on Syria

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obama talks syria

As a matter of foreign policy it’s impossible to understand the president’s demented dithering on Syria but it’s easy to comprehend his partisan political strategy.

Since Republicans are sincerely split on the right approach to the Middle East, sending decisions to Congress will highlight those divisions – and re-enforce Obama’s master narrative that the GOP is too divided to lead the nation.

He’ll tell voters in 2014 that the only way to repair dysfunctional, paralyzed government is to return united Democrats to control of the House. This represents Obama’s only hope to save his badly broken presidency, and by asking Congress to shape Syrian policy, he’ll also be able to blame them for unfolding disasters in the region. The president has so little confidence in his own Mideast policies that he’s eager to share “credit” with the despised opposition.

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Comments (18)

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  1. Jim Dewey  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    Until all–or at least a sizeable majority–of eligible voters actually go to the polls at election time, we will continue to be burdened by the quarrelsome and inept government we have had during this administration and before. A good example of government run amok is Illinois, where only democrats bother to vote. The result? A one-party state with the worst debt, lowest credit rating, next-to-highest unemployment rate, crime on the rise, and more politicians populating the prisons weekly. Americans can get out and vote, and demonstrate who’s really in charge!

  2. Mary Dohrman  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    According to Pew research the American people say they don’t want strikes on Syria. My hunch is that is the reason for his inaction. Add that to the fact that Obama’s foreign policy is so weak. He’s leading from behind.

  3. Jeff  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Michael seems to ignore the fact that the dems are also divided on Syria. Also, I detect a growing public weariness with BO blaming others for his mistakes. The most recent example is the media’s skepticism of his disavowing of his “red line”. The man’s arrogance is only exceeded by his incompetence.

    • Bonnie Pierce  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Jeff you are 100% correct. Obama’s narcissism, arrogance, and incompetence are shocking. I do not believe that he actually sees any reality in the world anywhere at any time. He sees only his own “TV”.

  4. Icorigin  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm
  5. Greg Crown  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    The only good thing to come out of this mess is a growing realization by Democrats (Republicans already know this) that the President is an empty suit, void of leadership qualities and focused primarily on partisan politics and gaining political advantage.

  6. Rex Thornhill  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    The man’s lack of any experience at all is evidenced by his overall cluelessness in this and all matters. Even in his glory, I think Solomon himself would have his hands full running this government in these times, and God knows, our president is no Solomon.
    In Syria, both sides are evil and innocent people will be victimized no matter who is in charge.

  7. John Tobias  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Sadly for our nation, BarachO is just the latest “Scum to rise to the Top” without the slightest idea of how to preside effectively, and I think that he will, in the end, be remembered as the only guy to ever give Jimmy Carter a run for the money in the “Worst President Ever” catagory.

  8. Dr. Jeff  •  Sep 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    This would be a great time for the GOP to come toghether, clarify a position and show leadership. I sympathize with the attrocities being committed in Syria, but our nation is in crisis. It seems arrogant from our perspective to always think we can right the wrongs of the world. Our economy is a disaster, national debt is out of control, and another sequester will further erode our military capabilities. The world will respect us more if we get our act together than if we continue to joust with windmills like Don Quixote. Help the refugees and surrounding friendly countries, but let the radicals destroy themselves.

  9. John D. Fiat  •  Sep 7, 2013 at 1:30 am

    So what’s the policy, Medved? Oh yeah, ignoring what the American people want and waging another war at the behest of Israel. Well, don’t worry Zio-warmonger, the ships are already on their way! And it appears that this decision was made before the August 21 Chemical Weapons Attack. According to Naval records, the guided missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55) departed Naval Station Norfolk, Va. on August 18, 2013, for deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. And remember, non-intervention is never playing politics (especially when both so-called parties are agreeing), but what your saying is the quintessential example of it.

  10. Bonnie Berk  •  Sep 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Although the Republicans are divided on this issue, I believe that Obama will have a difficult time using that against them in 2014; the Dems are just as divided!
    What we should really do is work with Israel to execute a surprise attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran is still the main problem. Such a move might create some chaos for Hezbollah and the Red guards, possibly helping the Syrian rebels, balancing the fight a bit. It avoids any problem of a direct hit on Russian citizens in Syria, and might disrupt Iran’s support of Assad.
    Sounds like a win to me. Of course, Obama could never consider it given his political perspectives. And for him this is ALL about politics. Americans deceive themselves if they think anything else.

    • John D. Fiat  •  Sep 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      Huh? Iran hasn’t led an offensive military strike against any other sovereign nation for over 200 years now (something Israel does often). Iran is a member of the NPT, Israel is not. Iran has had numerous inspections by the UN and IAEA, Israel refuses all. Iran has zero nuclear weapons, Israel has several hundred. Can you add 2 + 2?

      • jose  •  Sep 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

        Hey moron, what part of evil vs good don’t you understand ?

  11. Brant Spencer  •  Sep 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Good thinking John! Lets wait until Iran uses nuclear weapons so we can be sure they have them. Then we’ll show them who’s boss. Just because a couple million innocent people will be killed doesn’t matter does it John, since they would be Israelis. Do you think if Iran had several hundred nuclear weapons Israel would still be there? Moron.

    • John D. Fiat  •  Sep 10, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Brant, don’t make me laugh! Let’s examine your pathetic Israel-firster zio-logic. Israel has hundreds of nukes, they are war mongers, and they hate Iran, but Iran is still there. So what makes you think that if Iran had as many nukes (or even one), that they would take Israel out? Again, they haven’t led a military offensive in hundreds of years, unlike your precious (can do no wrong) Israel. And if Iran does aspire to own a nuclear weapon, it’s only to protect themselves from those warmongers whom harbor hundreds of illegal and undeclared nuclear weapons, refuse to join the NPT, and refuse all IAEA inspections. And unlike Iran, Israel has attacked the US on several occasions. The attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 and the Lavon Affair (aka Operations Susannah) in 1954 are merely a few of them.

  12. Larry Vitagliano  •  Sep 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Syria-wrong man, wrong reason, no strategic threat to USA

    Why would any American support this President to bomb or punish a country’s leader under the rationale that we must hold Assad accountable when this President did nothing to punish those responsible for killing Americans in Benghazi. This President has no real foreign policy that considers America first.

  13. Mike Krasnoff  •  Sep 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Our president abdicated his position as commander in chief because he does not want to launch even a toothpick at Syria. I am hoping that congress will vote force him do something he should have done on his own two weeks ago, before Assad could bury his chemicals. His words are meaningless, his actions non existent and our allies have no respect for him nor do they trust him. If congress does not vote for an attack, he will blame the congress for his failure to act. Failing to act, emboldens Iran and may be forcing Israel to make a self defensive attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Base on his performance on Syria, do you think Netanyahu can trust Obama for any support?

  14. JGUY  •  Sep 17, 2013 at 5:07 am

    It seems to me that The President is attempting to NOT GET DRAWN INTO ANOTHER
    UNWINNABLE WAR. Could the middleeastern anti-american forces plan to keep causing
    situations designed to draw us into widening conflict? Is this their Game Plan?

    Would it be correct for the President to have jumped into Lybia, Egypt, and Syria to have
    exercised our manifest destiny of spreading freedom and democracy? This seems to be
    what many would desire…..would this not manifestly weaken the US military and cause economic distress? Maybe the President is thinking ahead rather than attempting to
    look good only in the present. It would be prudent to look at what he does with some kind

    of attitude that he might be more informed and well briefed than those of us who
    have no access to the information that comes into Washington each day.

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