Obama, the anti-Theodore Roosevelt:
U.S. and Russian negotiators reached an agreement Saturday calling for an inventory of Syria’s chemical weapons program and seizing all of its components within a year. The plan includes imposing penalties if Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government fails to turn over its stockpile.
Mr. Obama called it “an important step” toward ridding the world of chemical weapons. But critics in Congress said the deal was toothless because the administration agreed to withdraw from a proposed U.N. resolution the threat of military action if Syria fails to comply.
“It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a matter of whether it will be enforced or not,” Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “[Russia] will not agree to the use of force no matter what Bashar Assad does.”
“Not one ounce of chemical weapons came off the battlefield, but we’ve given up every ounce of our leverage when it comes to trying to solve the broader Syrian problem, because we’ve taken away a credible military threat,” the Mr. Rogers said on CNN.
Go here to read the rest at The Washington Times. So let’s get this straight. Obama was willing to go to war because Assad used chemical weapons on his own people and because Assad is a butcher. Now, Obama is satisfied with a promise that Assad will relinquish his chemical weapons in a year, and there is no more talk of a military strike. I oppose intervention in Syria because the main factions opposing Assad are no improvement on him. However, Obama thought differently and put American prestige on the line to remove Assad. He did this without making any attempt to ensure that Congress or the American people were behind his policy. In the face of opposition he has grasped on to this “face-saving” fig-leaf proffered by the Russians. All this fig leaf does is to ensure that our enemies know they have nothing to fear from this administration and our friends know that they can rely on the US at most until the next press cycle or poll. American weakness sends a clear message to every bad actor in the world that now is the time to act. This brings to mind what Churchill said after Munich:
I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week. I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defences; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies.
And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning.This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.
Folly and weakness are always paid for in the end, and this episode will be paid for in some new crisis where our enemies, having taken the measure of Obama, assume that they can be safe in making any attack, any outrage.