When it comes to foreign policy, President Barack Obama is the anti-Teddy Roosevelt. Instead of “Walk softly, and carry a big stick,” Obama gives us non-stopping talking, threatening and mouthing off, with NO stick.
are understood to have concluded that the regime of Bashar al-Assad is almost certainly responsible for the assault that is believed to have killed as many as 1,400 people in Damascus in the middle of last week….
A spokesman for [Great Britain] said: “The prime minister and President Obama are both gravely concerned by the attack that took place in Damascus on Wednesday and the increasing signs that this was a significant chemical weapons attack carried out by the Syrian regime against its own people.
The consensus is that Assad has launched several small chemical weapons attacks over the past year or so, but despite President Obama repeatedly saying that the use of such weapons crosses a “red line” or is a “game-changer,” nothing in fact has changed.
Which is why it is time for President Obama to shut the bleep up.
At the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol and I discussed this the other day: Obama is giving Assad’s enemies the worst of all worlds. If Obama would just tell them America’s too chicken-snot to get in, then the rebels could make decisions with that knowledge. The citizens of Syria would know America isn’t going to save them from Assad’s savagery.
Or if President Obama were serious about intervention, Assad could make decisions based on a rational fear of our response to his actions. He might flee, or abdicate or as for a multi-billion-dollar bribe to go away, etc. etc. But if you were the Syrian regime, would you take this seriously:
President Barack Obama has tried a lot of ways to get the attention of Syrian President Bashar Assad: International pressure, a “red line,” and assistance to the rebel forces fighting him. On Friday, Obama threw down another card from his deck: gunboat diplomacy.
Starting with targeted leaks and then a murky official statement from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the administration warned Damascus that it has ordered U.S. Navy warships to close their ranges with Syria just in case Obama decides to order an attack.
Quaking in his boots, right? Obama’s finally giving realistic hope to the Syrian opposition that Assad will be punished? Yeah, until you read this part from President Obama:
“There are rules of international law,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, do we have the coalition to make it work, and, you know, those are considerations that we have to take into account.”
In other words, even if Obama has proof positive Assad has unleashed neurotoxins on his own people, America would still need permission from the UN or “international community,” we will continue to allow Syrians to be gassed to death without taking any action.
Every time Obama makes another “let me be clear” statement, every time he leaks out a “we’re gonna attack something, somewhere,” he gets more people killed. People dumb enough to believe in him.
By the way, I wouldn’t be surprised if the US took some negligible action ala the Clinton Era–blowing up an empty aspirin factory or Syrian office building. But that will just remind the world of how pathetic we are. We have the power to strike, to cripple Assad militarily at very little risk of American life–and Obama still does nothing.