Any decent parent knows that there are four keys to the effective disciplining of any wayward child:
1) Maintain clear boundaries
2) Be consistent
3) Be united (mom and dad must maintain a united front before their child)
4) Impose effective punishments
If a parent cannot do these things, he, she, or they will raise a little tyrant who will ultimately become a monster.
A monster like Bashar al-Assad has turned out to be (in spite of both of Obama’s handpicked Secretaries of State’s incredibly naïve and morally idiotic assessments to the contrary).
Notice I’m not trying to denounce Obama according to some “right wing talking points.” I’m just trying to use an approach that any halfway decent mother or father ought to recognize as being true so you can begin to see just how wildly Barack Obama has failed America.
In regards to Syria, let’s see how Obama has fared in these four things that, as I said, any CHILD should be able to understand.
1) Maintain clear boundaries.
Well, let’s see how well you’ve done there, Obama. I remember you saying:
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”
And as I pointed out: YOUR “calculus,” YOUR “equation,” YOUR RED LINE.
That was fine. Dumb to say, maybe, but fine.
But a year later, and you’re saying before a stunned and incredulous world:
Did you maintain clear boundaries, Obama?
Not given the fact that Syria crossed your damned red line FOURTEEN TIMES before you showed so much as a tiny hint of the balls necessary to do anything about it whatsoever – and then only because the most recent and blatant use had the world pretty much stating as a categorical fact that you looked like the weak fool that you are.
You set a clear boundary, then allowed Syria to cross it over and over and over. You said there was a red line. But there wasn’t one. You said you were going to attack, and that you didn’t need Congress or the United Nations or anybody else to approve, and then you decided that hell, you were completely wrong and that you DID need Congress, the United Nations and the international community to approve when you saw that pretty much everybody on earth saw through your weakness and your fragile, trampled-on ego. You said you were going to attack and then you tossed it like a live hand grenade to Congress because you didn’t have the balls to make a decision. And of course that meant that there was no attack and now that there almost certainly never will be an attack.
You couldn’t have been more INCONSISTENT, Obama. And that’s why Syria kept getting bolder and bolder and bolder while you dithered.
What was the second rule?
2) Be consistent
The first rule of parenting is to be consistent. The way you have never been, Obama. Such as when you demonized your predecessor George W. Bush for being some kind of rogue cowboy who didn’t go to the United Nations only to prove that you are a complete an abject hypocrite without shame, without honor and without any shred of decency or integrity first in Libya and now again in Syria.
Are you consistent, Obama?
You went from saying a) you didn’t need Congress to attack to saying that b) you DID need Congress’s authorization to attack to saying that c) you weren’t going to attack and please don’t vote because you’d lose and look stupid and weak. You sent your Secretary of State out on a Friday to tell the world that it was urgent that we act immediately and then the very next day told the country that there was no urgency and a day, a weak, a month, whatever, it made no difference.
Let’s see how (note, NOT some right wing think tank) the über über liberal Los Angeles Times put it:
WASHINGTON — In the last two weeks, President Obama has brought the United States to the brink of another military operation, then backed off unexpectedly. He went abroad and tried to rally international partners to join his cause, but returned empty-handed. He launched one of the biggest public relations and lobbying campaigns of his presidency, then aborted the mission. He called the nation to its televisions to make the case for using force, but made the case for more diplomacy.
The White House‘s stop-and-start response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria three weeks ago could at best be described as deftly improvisational and at worst as impulsive and risky.
By either analysis, it has been the handiwork of a foreign policy team that, just months into its term, has presided over shifts in strategy, changing messages and a striking countermand from the president.
“This has been a roller coaster. And there have been enough sudden turns where you weren’t sure if the car was still attached to the rails,” said Philip J. Crowley, former State Department spokesman and now a fellow at the George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication.
The ride reflects the difficult standoff with Syria over chemical weapons, a crisis with a cast of unpredictable and hostile foreign leaders and few good options. The shifting picture has left the Obama team to call “audibles,” Crowley said. “I do think that there’s a more coherent strategy than the public articulation of that strategy.”
The president and his advisors faced harsh criticism this week as they lurched from one decision to another. Many outsiders viewed the president’s last-minute move to seek congressional authorization for military strikes in Syria as naive and dicey, given his toxic relationships with many in Congress. His subsequent outreach to Capitol Hill was blasted by lawmakers as insufficient. He faced a near-certain defeat in the House.
His quick embrace of a surprise diplomatic overture from the Russians only demonstrated his desperation, some lawmakers and political observers charged. “I think it’s about a president that’s really uncomfortable being commander in chief,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), explaining the administration’s “muddle-ness.”
Let’s see how the even more über über liberal New York Times put it:
But to Mr. Obama’s detractors, including many in his own party, he has shown a certain fecklessness with his decisions first to outsource the decision to lawmakers in the face of bipartisan opposition and then to embrace a Russian diplomatic alternative that even his own advisers consider dubious. Instead of displaying decisive leadership, Mr. Obama, to these critics, has appeared reactive, defensive and profoundly challenged in standing up to a dangerous world.
Why did Obama suddenly change his mind and take this decision to Congress? Because he’s an incredibly cynical political weasel, that’s why. Obama thought he could pin the decision on REPUBLICANS and if they didn’t vote his way, demonize them. The only problem was that his complete lack of leadership and his total incompetence meant that he hadn’t won over his own Democrats. And so all of a sudden it went to Congress but Obama had nobody to blame because both parties were UNITED AGAINST HIS FECKLESS AND INCOMPETENT WEAKNESS.
Yeah, let’s cross that “consistent” thingy off your list, Obama. Because both friend and foe alike agree that you’ve been as all-over-the-damn-board as you possibly could have been. NOBODY knows what the hell you’re going to do – even your weak, gutless SELf – because your policy and your position shifts with every breeze of every wind.
What was third? Oh, right:
3) Be united
Obama sent John Kerry out to tell the world that America could not wait for the United Nations report because we had to act right away. It was hypocritical as hell for Kerry of all people to argue that, given what he’d said when Bush was president, but that’s besides the point.
Then Obama came out the very next day and said, ah, what the hell, sure we can wait. We can wait a day, or a week, or a month, it doesn’t matter.
Here’s a great write-up on that “united front” of Obama and his Secretary of State in what may be the worst “husband and wife play” of all time:
On August 26th, 2013, at the request of the President, John Kerry made one of the greatest speeches ever delivered by a Secretary of State. In that scathing speech against the Assad regime in Syria he said, “”Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders, by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity,” Kerry further said. “By any standard it is inexcusable, and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.”
Then the oddest thing imaginable happened. Just hours later President Obama made a second speech that completely undermined Kerry and made him look like a fool. Obama took the approach that it was not that urgent and he could wait until Congress reconvened on Sept. 9th so he could present his case for a limited strike against Syria. He would then seek their vote of approval. I’m paraphrasing Obama, “They are the representatives for the people (of America)” Apparently Obama was inferring that if he carried out a strike with the approval of Congress then the American people would be responsible for whatever followed because he was only doing their bidding. Not only that, but Obama would be let off the hook for his “red line” remark that he has failed to follow through on. He’s putting the responsibility for military action on the Congress, not him.
Following his low keyed Syrian speech, Obama left for a round of golf, which greatly accented the division between Kerry’s urgent call for military action in Syria and Obama’s, “Let’s wait for Congress to come back and we’ll discuss it” speech.
To the world, they both looked the fool, both being completely out of synch with each other! How could Obama have approved Kerry’s speech only to let him twist in the wind hours later and then go golfing? This is the most amazing diplomatic blunder I’ve ever witnessed in the last 40 years, even during the Carter years!
To recap, Obama put in place his red line policy. Then Syria violated it and he did nothing. Then he dispatched warships presumably to launch an attack of his red line policy and when they were in position… he did nothing. Then he allowed his Secretary of Defense to make an impassioned speech calling for the necessity of immediate military action…but he still did nothing and worse, he made a request for Congress to make the decision. Essentially he left Kerry to hang as he went to play golf.
So Obama did a really crappy job maintaining clear boundaries after his “red line” blathering. He utterly failed to be consistent. And there is no “united front” in this incompetent White House (I mean, Obama can’t even present a united damn front with OBAMA, let alone his top officials).
How about that fourth thing:
4) Impose effective punishments
I’ll just sum that one up in the words of Obama’s Secretary of State:
“That is exactly what we are talking about doing — unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”
Let’s get back to the parents confronting a child who has just done something unbelievably evil: “we’re going to have to punish you, but don’t worry: it will be an “unbelievably small” punishment.
But, oh, you won’t EVER misbehave again after we finish with our “unbelievably small” punishment.
If anybody believes that Obama’s threat of an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort” scared anybody into doing anything, that person is simply an idiot without the first clue. Because “unbelievably small” is another way of saying “unbelievably ineffective.”
Yeah, all I’ll do is give you a stern look if you cross my red line. But you mark my words, it will be such a stern look that you will never dare defy me again.
It reminds me of a line of dialogue from the movie Yellowbeard:
“Yes, and when the invaders reach the throne room, my men will rise up and dispatch all with majestic heavenly force.”
Let me assure you that the plan didn’t work out. And neither will Obama’s equally stupid and equally arrogant plan.
Any parent who has ever spent three seconds with their own kid – let alone the snot-nosed little brats that run around like hoodlums in most any store today – knows that Barack Obama has failed America in the most fundamental way there is.
We need to understand what the boundaries are, and Obama doesn’t have a damn clue. We need consistency and clarity, and we don’t have any. We need to have a united front that we can rally around, and instead we get talking points that change with every wayward breeze. And we need to know that we can trust our president to do something that will actually ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING. And we have no such confidence.
Barack Obama is a disgrace to the United States and to the presidency. Period.