The Obama administration admits that its regime change project in Syria and his policies to defeat the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) have been failures. Obama has abandoned his program of training "well-vetted moderate" mercenaries, and agreed to start talks with Russia. It is a major admission of doing "stupid stuff" and Obama blames Hillary Clinton, neocons, and Republicans for talking him into it. The main stream media as usual takes no responsibility for being a cheerleader and propagandist for another U.S. debacle---Obama's War.
The Guardian reported that the Russians tried to pursue a diplomatic solution to the chaos in Syria in 2012, but that the Russian's effort fell on deaf ears in the Obama administration. The Guardian reported that "the former Finish president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari said western powers failed to seize on the [Russian] proposal". As a result "tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions uprooted, causing the world's gravest refugee crisis since the Second World War".
Out of hubris, Obama failed to pursue a diplomatic solution because he was confident that the Bashar al-Assad regime would quickly fall, and that he could easily pick up the pieces, according to Phyllis Bennis (here). This was the same kind of smugness that led George W. Bush and the neocons to invade Iraq in 2003. Now, rather than admit his disastrous failure in Syria, Obama instead points the finger of blame on "a group that, in addition to congressional Republicans, happened to include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton", according to the New York Times (here).
So, Obama says that the neocons, Republicans and Hillary Clinton talked him into an illegal war of aggression, a regime change, the destruction of Syria and a war crime that he did not want to do; and that caused the deaths of at least 250,000 Syrians. It has caused over 4 million war refugees, some of whom are now fleeing for their lives to Europe. In the same New York Times article, Obama excuse is that he "reluctantly went along" with the group that included Hillary Clinton, but he "never wanted to do it".
The New York Times further reported that according to Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary: "Mr. Obama has long considered Syria a quagmire that defies American solutions, and aides are hoping to keep him from being held responsible for something that, they argue, he never really had the power to fix".
To the contrary, Obama should be held responsible. Obama is the president, he is in charge of American foreign policy, and his lame whining from Josh Earnest does not excuse him now. Obama's lame excuse for his Syria catastrophe and his "I told you so argument" in the New York Times is a confession of what many have been saying for seven years: Obama is a puppet and the neocons, neoliberals, and the liberal interventionists pull his strings. Obama conveniently forgets that he is the "decider-in-chief" and that the "buck stops" with him. While others may have given him wrong and even criminal advice, all the blame is his.
Obama's astounding admission of weakness, incompetence and failure began to unfold with Obama's Central Commander General Lloyd Austin testifying before the Senate that after spending $500 million in the last year, he had only "four or five well-vetted moderates" trained and deployed inside Syria against ISIL, according to the Guardian (here). General Austin said without intended irony or shame that they had received "terrific training" and he asked the Senate for another $600 million for the program. The Senators were unimpressed with the idea of funding more suicide missions, and Obama announced that he is abandoning the program.