If dramatic reversal matters, Obama's legacy headline as our first minority president is fast fading. Not when this one-time peacenik, alleged war skeptic, and Nobel Prize Winner in his second term turns moralistic warmonger with a vengeance. By what drone-assassination illogic does Obama propose to deter lawless, poison gas attacks with what fellow-hawk, John McCain, dismisses as a "pinprick" strike? What top foreign policy pro worth his yellowcake wouldn't rail against this triumph of empty symbolism over strategy? With or without reams of warning shots.
In a revealing act of pathos and descent to the dark side, Obama now entreats McCain -- among our most discredited washouts, who never met a war he didn't like -- for political, if not military advice. By what reason does Obama the drone master turn crusading, high-risk bombardier? Is McCain, or Speaker Boehner, the redemptive venue by which Obama escapes his own rash mouthiness about "red lines" on poison gas?
Let me get this: our wariest, pragmatist-in-chief, the cautious-to-a-fault "devout non-ideologue," singles out Syria as the moral hill he wants to die. Then, displaying real class when pushed to win Congressional support, he declares in advance no commander-in-chief is beholden to representative government. Is the Obama bubble so thick no White House staffer dares mention the implicit and explicit, massive moral contradictions?
How can a poll-driven politician halfway to lame duckery, despite months of noise-making on Syria, start another war without having corralled backup? After all, only vast throngs of Americans refuse to touch Syria with an aluminum tube. Perhaps like Nixon, Obama has a secret, anti-gassing peace plan so undercover it's not yet born. At this rate Obama places Dubya's throne as reigning national nincompoop in some jeopardy.
Obombardier in Action
Further, there's a matching logical contradiction when "surgically" attacking an installed government the U.S. declares its enemy (without influencing the winner of the civil war). This enters the Bush-Cheney zone of audacity and delusion married to hypocrisy. How could this politician not realize that picking the wrong fight with the wrong tools turns any claimed moral high-ground into quick sand -- indeed, so loose even Britain won't come to our rescue?
Where was this sensitive moralist when judging not one demonstrable Bush-Cheney violation of law, if not the Constitutional, worthy of investigation to establish facts, let alone liability? Where was today's principled sage when caving to that half a loaf on decent medical care reform? Or the war critic not bothered by the morality of war or the violence of militarism, just unwinnable, "dumb wars" like Iraq? Where was Obama the righteous for years on gay marriage, way behind public opinion, legal decisions, and respect for minority rights? When did noble Obama advance minorities rights, for his immigration "morality" surpasses Dubya's by revving up deportations?
On gun control, Obama talked action but his trifling fixes are countless dollars short and infinite murders too late. On financial reform, this moralist scorned Main Street while defending criminal Wall Street bankers and mortgage hustlers. I don't berate this president for being no more moral than a fistful of predecessors (excepting Carter, looking better every month). But why does a seemingly amoral pragmatist comes out of his hard, non-ideological shell to moralize idiotically on Syria, compounded by bad timing and badly misreading the electorate?
Why Oh Why, Obama?
Sure, Mid-east stability is a perennial dilemma, but what's the likelihood of gas attacks in Israel or Egypt, Jordan or Lebanon? Just attacking a contiguous state will bring down the house, plus hundreds of missiles, on the aggressor. Would someone explain how gratuitously smacking the hornets' nest in Syria makes Israel, or Egypt, or key allies, like Turkey, more secure, less prone to mayhem?
Yes, there's the knee-jerk Bush-Cheney ploy that when about to face domestic brawls (today on debt ceilings, budgets, sequestration, immigration, energy/climate issues), go foreign. Hunt up some poor country to abuse, like Iraq, incapable of effective counterattack. Perhaps a scathing act of revenge terrorism by an outraged Syria will incite glorious Obama calls to arms that then justify his belligerence. Recall Dubya's fervent cries in lower Manhattan after 9/11.
Let's have Obama don his own special cruise missile suit to signal solidity with bombing crews. An Obama with steadily falling approval ratings must welcome a boost as newly-recharged "war president." But why against Syria and gas attacks that we can never stop, especially since our conspicuous threats guarantee that war criminals have buried contraband in every Syrian grammar school closet? How in the world does Obama bullying persuade the vast opposition, here and abroad, that America's national mission is to stop foreigners from committing atrocities?
Finally, where's the defensible gameplan after lording over a snubbed, hostile Congress? Won't overt contempt play into the hands of impeachment nutcases who'd indict this mongrel president just for getting elected, if not coursing African blood? 50 House wingnuts would love nothing more than an impeachment circus that would make Obama little more than token president, a notch below lame-duck.
Reason Not the Need
In desperation emerges one notion, though so outlandish I disown it upon declaration. To wit, Obama somehow invites impeachment on the absurd logic it will restore his squandered political capital. Well, not wholly absurd, if you recall Bill Clinton's return from the dead and his current canonization.
1 | 2