Syria: Never Mind!






After coming under intense criticism for his decision to intervene in Syria,  Obama stunned his aides by at the last moment deciding to consult with Congress after all:




After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorization before taking military action in Syria.

The stunning about-face after a week of U.S. saber rattling risked not only igniting a protracted congressional fight, which could end with a vote against strikes, but a backlash from allies in the Middle East who had warned the White House that inaction would embolden not only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but his closest allies, Iran and Hezbollah.

Aides said the decision was made by Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama alone. It shows the primacy the president places on protecting his hoped-for legacy as a commander in chief who did everything in his power to disentangle the U.S. from overseas wars. Until Friday night, Mr. Obama’s national-security team didn’t even have an option on the table to seek a congressional authorization.

The only real discussion was a plan to punish Mr. Assad for what the U.S. and others have called a chemical-weapons attack amid Syria’s grinding civil war. The final question, policy makers thought, was how many targets to hit and when to tell the Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean to open fire.

Go here to the Wall Street Journal to read the rest.  Of course Obama should have obtained Congressional approval, as Bush did on Iraq, before making the decision to move against Assad.  That he did not tells me that he viewed the decision to go into Syria as he has virtually every other decision during his administration:  if it is popular with his base he will do it, and the Constitution and Congress can go hang.  Obama received just enough last minute criticism about his Syria policy from the left wing groups he listens to, that he decided to pass the ball to Congress.  That this is no way to make war and peace decisions should be obvious.  That one should, after five years of this, be completely unsurprised by this turn of events should also be obvious.  May God help this country if a true foreign policy crisis should arise with this man at the helm.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. “May God help this country if a true foreign policy crisis should arise with this man at the helm.”

    If the Russians or Chinese launched their ICBMs, what would Obama do?

    If Israel makes a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities, what would Obama do?

    If Al Qaeda detonates a stolen Soviet-era tactical nuclear weapon in a US city, what would Obama do?

  2. Personally, I think the President’s dithering and weakness are a blessing for us. Think of how bad it could be for us if Obama were actually competent! Obama wants to do what is essentially a punitive raid. These are usually announced after the fact. They are not telegraphed before being undertaken because that would be a risk to the troops conducting the raid and reduce the odds of success. This is a different sort of operation than a full blown invasion whose objective is to take and hold ground. Ronald Reagan didn’t ask for congressional approval before the 1986 raid on Libya. Clinton didn’t seek congressional approval before bombing Serbian troops or ordering cruise missile strikes in Sudan and Afghanistan. Being the narcissist that he is, the Syrian chemical weapon issue is not about truth or effectiveness, but what Obama hopes people will think about him. With this in mind, he won’t take a risk by doing something that might meet with disapproval from fellow leftists. So he will continue to test the waters and do nothing until either the negative opinion from his dithering is greater than the negative opinion of military action, or if he receives approving signals from his fellow leftists.

    His narcissism can actually work in our favor. It means he won’t force his anti-Christian agenda to the point where there is blood in the streets because it would turn some leftists against him. Not all, but some. As long as he worries about what his fellow leftists think of him we are safe. This is because a narcissist hates nothing more than being disliked by those whose approval he seeks.

  3. I see that Obama’s undergrad degree in International Relations is paying off. Obama’s real goal is to use this crisis to turn the screws on the real enemy – those who oppose his agenda.

  4. There are three things to consider:
    – There is no definitive evidence that Assad used the chemical weapons – there is limited evidence that the rebels did it to drag in the US and others to assist in their unseating of Assad.
    -The potential for a wider war in well in contention.
    -The American people arguably do not want further involvement, particularly in that there is no threat, and no benefit to the USA.
    – Obama, along with Kerry and the other merry men (and women) have no strategy, no objective, no purpose than to stroke the president’s ego, and they are all a bunch of dithering, blithering idiots.

    BTW, point four was not something to consider, but a statement of fact – in this country, and many others around the world including Russia and China, Obama is an ineffective, egotistical, incompetent joke of a president, and a threat to the security and continued exceptionalism of the USA.

  5. Five years of being governed by this jumped-up, usurping tyrannicule have made me permanently suspicious that he is less incompetent than it appears, though I do not deny that there is serious incompetence on foreign-policy matters.

    I think we need to look at the broad sweep of his agenda, look at what Congress is facing when it returns from recess next week, and then ask about this decision to go to Congress, cui bono?

    How better to derail a serious threat that Congress — spurred by the folks back home and fears of punishment at the polls if they don’t deliver — will defund O’care than to have them spend time debating military action against Syria? How better to minimize the chance that the Cruz-Lee-Meadows strategy of passing a CR funding everything except O’care (and thus putting Harry and Barry in the position of forcing a government shutdown) will happen? How better to give a way out to the knock-kneed GOP House leadership than by giving them an international crisis to deal with so they can seem to be courageous while using the whole thing as cover for their cowardice on the most important domestic item?

    I think there is a good case to be made that, far from being victimized by an incompetent, we’re being played by a master. And his Master, needless to say, ain’t ours.

  6. You got that wrong, T. Shaw: “Did Moe, Barry, and Curly decide that the distraction was becoming a distraction???”

    It’s “Bo, Barry and Curly” – Bo, the Obamanation of Desolation’s dog who gets his own Air Force jet.

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