When Obama finally leads from the front, no one wants to follow him

Last year, Obama and his acolytes were boasting about his “lead from behind” approach, one that saw him place America (and her interests) behind a UN-led line when it came to the Arab Spring.  At the time, people at home and abroad wished that America, which still had something of a reputation for leadership, would in fact take the lead, and exert some control over the explosive Arab spring.  All Obama did, though, was whisper words of love to the Muslim Brotherhood, and engage in gun-running in the Libyan desert.  Leadership it was not.

Now, though, Obama is leading with his chin.  He’s huffing and puffing about Damascus, bravely warning Assad that, at a date, time, and location to be announced well in advance, Obama will use the might of the American military to blow up some vaguely strategic buildings that, thank heavens!, will be empty.  (Or, if the Syrians are looking for a little strategic martyrdom, that will in fact be packed to the gills with women and children.)

Should we be celebrating the fact that Obama has finally decided to lead?  Most emphatically NO!!!  For it’s becoming clear that no one wants to follow him.  It would be one thing, of course, if the naysayers were all overseas and if Obama had made a credible case that America’s national interest desperately required a strike against Syria, regardless of the feckless Europeans.  But that’s not what has happened.

Obama has failed to articulate any reason whatsoever that would implicate an American interest in bombing Syria.  Since it’s been embroiled in its civil war, Syria has nicely left America alone and, as a byproduct, it hasn’t had time to bomb Israel lately either.  Both sides in the civil war are enemies of America.  (And don’t get me started on the fact that, back in 2011, had Obama sided hard, even if just in speeches, with the original rebels against Assad, he could quite possibly have kept that crew pro-American, rather than created a vacuum that al Qaeda happily filled.)

No matter which side wins or loses, they’ll still hate us, and that’s true even if we help them to victory.  (Exhibit A:  the “rebels” in Libya, who were actually al Qaeda fighters, and who were happy to use us and then to attack us.)  Obama has failed even to make a convincing argument about the nerve gas.  Experts are now waffling about who really did it.  Was it Assad?  Was it al Qaeda that was willing to kill its own supporters in order to force Obama to fulfill his “red line” promise?  We don’t know, but our president is still talking war.

As far as I can see, there is no benefit to our going into Syria.  We have not even a pretense of a dog in this fight.  The president has been sitting on his hands while 120,000 people or so have died, and at least that number have been turned into refugees, and we’re suddenly rushing off to war because 1,500 more died?  I don’t mean to minimize the horrors of toxic gas as a weapon of warfare, but the fact remains that Arabs are not constrained by polite rules of warfare (as Saddam Hussein showed when he gassed thousands of Kurds).  There is no way we can police the Arab world every time its members lapse into profound inhumanity to their fellow man.

What I do see are downsides.  If it’s a nothing of an attack, we’ve proved we’re a nothing of a nation. If it’s a middling attack, it could be enough to spark another maddened Muslim uprising, with Israel as its first target, and every American as its second.  And if it’s a total war attack, then we’ve engaged in total war for no reason, spending down our national capital, and proving us to be brutes of the type every fevered American hater has always claimed us to be — and that will be with America led by a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Obama has managed to get himself and, by extension, America into an absolutely untenable position.  No wonder he won’t go to Congress.  If Facebook is anything to go by, Congress will listen to the people and will not support Obama.  I’ve seldom seen such unanimity on my “real me” Facebook:  Everyone, no matter their political views (or absence of political views) is opposed to engaging in Syria.  This is 2003 in reverse:  Just as Congress in 2003 voted almost unanimously to go to war in Iraq, this time around, Congress and the American people (except, of course, for Obama’s love slave, Nancy Pelosi) are resoundingly opposed to a foray into the Middle East.

My favorite post ever of all my own posts is the one I wrote about God’s seeming cruelty in allowing Pharaoh to continuously break his word to Moses, thereby resulting in Pharaoh people getting struck down by terrible plagues.  I wrote that this is not an example of God’s capriciousness or cruelty.  Instead, it is a necessary lesson:

Sheltered in his lavish palace, Pharaoh might worry about a populace starving and frightened, but that was irrelevant as long as that same populace continued to fear and worship him.  The people’s suffering, ultimately, was irrelevant to his goals.  It was only when the price became too high — when Pharaoh’s power base was destroyed because his citizens were destroyed — that Pharaoh was convinced, even temporarily, to alter his evil ways.

Assad is Pharaoh, but Obama is no Moses.  On this one, he has no people who want to “go.”  It is up to the poor beleaguered people laboring under the tyrannies in the Middle East to stand up on their own, for their own, and insist that their many Pharaohs let the people go.

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  • 11B40

    Nobody seems very interested in my theory that President Obama’s forthcoming attack is mostly about President Assad making Obama look like a jerk. The Chicago-style narcissist in Obama now must do something vindictive to restore his piece of mind before the world realizes even more so what he really is as both a leader and a human being. Of course, having hoisted so many on their own petards, especially his predecessor, that’s turning out to be a little bit trickier than his cabal pre-imagined.
    I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that his biological parents did the right thing in separating themselves from young Barack. I don’t even think that a Jesuit education could have saved him. Or, that Austrian-speaking doctor back in old Vienna of a century or so ago, Freud something or other.
    And, lastly, has anyone heard anything from the accounting department? The last word I got was that all that was left in our treasuries was a bunch of “We Owe Whos”.
    Islam is the millstone.  If your plan doesn’t include constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam, you don’t have a plan. What you have is a hope. 


    “…lead from behind” approach”
    Lead (Pb) in his behind is more apt. Ego and narcissism preclude any decision that doesn’t fit into his small world. He was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth – the spoon and his reputation are both tarnished.
    You’re spot on Bookworm, he’s no Moses … he is the anti-Moses. He took his staff and divided the country.

  • Charles Martel

    Hey, NSA, read this, rubes. Go Google the translation: Islam delenda est. Obama presidency delenda est.

  • Call me Lennie

    Funny thing about the horrors of nerve gas — If I had ever gone to war during my enlistment and had to pick my poison (no pun intended) I might have chosen nerve gas.  From what little I was told, the onset of nerve gas poisoning is painless: So much so that you actually have to be instructed in the tell-tale symptoms, so that you’ll be able to react in time.  And even then, you barely have enough time to grab your auto-injector of adrenaline and hit yourself in the thigh with it before you’re completely incapacitated. There are more painful ways to die in a war, to include other forms of gassing which really are horrible 
    Basically, nerve gas kills by seizing up the autonomous nerve complex that causes you to breathe. Actually, it’s causing everything to seize up, but its effect on stopping your breathing is what kills you. Which is one reason I was puzzled by reports of nerve gas “injuries”  I was thinking “What injuries? You either counter it quickly with adrenaline, or you die.”  But then I considered the possibility that the gas used (probably Sarin) was originally from Iraq, which would mean that it might be 30 years old and lost some of its lethality

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/102427392960537405774 Kevin_B

    Well, I actually remember reading about the nerve gas attack by that Japanese sect in the Tokyo subway in 1995 – and I seem to remember reading that at least some of the deceased victims died in great suffering and agony, and that some of the survivors suffered horribly. I believe in the Tokyo subway attack, sarin gas was used. 
    I’m not sure and I’m not medically trained, but I doubt whether any nerve gas works painlessly. Of course, in terms of chemical warfare with gasses, some really horrible examples exist (musterd gas comes to mind). 
    As to what was used in Syria, I read somewhere that suspicions exist that the Assad regime (and possibly the rebels, who knows) have stuff like sarin, tabun and VX in their arsenal. It is of course possible they have other stuff stocked somewhere and used that, or used a combination of horrific chemicals. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Syria’s chem munitions were supplied partially from Iraq. What a coincidence.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    ” It is up to the poor beleaguered people laboring under the tyrannies in the Middle East to stand up on their own, for their own, and insist that their many Pharaohs let the people go.”
    Iran has been under the Islamic heel for 1500 years. They haven’t “stood up on their own” yet.
    Those who hope that leaving the Middle East alone will solve anything, need to review their history. For while leaving the ME alone is one option, it cannot be supported by the excuse that Islam will be shattered by the “Muslims” or indigenous population. They haven’t done so in 1500. Who, here exactly, is going to wait that long for their expectations?