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Thursday, September 12, 2013

 

"Lucked out?" Luck for whom?

 
Tony Macrini, morning drive-time radio host on our local talk station, responded to a caller who said that "wasn't it a good thing" what Obama did by not bomb Syria and that the whole thing ended peacefully.  He yelled that Obama "lucked out."
 
I guess that if you view the events of the last few weeks entirely from a domestic political perspective you can reasonably say that Obama was rescued from his own folly by the Russians.  Russians who used the Syrian contretemps as a way to insure that their Syrian client, Assad, remains in power and to degrade America's stature in the Middle East. 
 
So, if the MSM goes along with the farce (and why not; Obama's their man) Obama lucked out.  The only loser is America.  But that's been the case since 2008.
 
Glenn Reynolds comments:
AS IOWAHAWK NOTED ON TWITTER, with this September 11th oped in the New York Times deriding the “American exceptionalism” that he invoked last night, Putin is basically just doing doughnuts in Obama’s front yard now.

And while there may be some pleasure in seeing Obama’s foreign-relations fecklessness chickens coming home to roost, there’s nothing good about seeing our greatest geopolitical foe putting it to an American President this way. Such are the wages of “smart diplomacy.”

Just don’t say we didn’t warn you. . . .

Stanley Kurtz believes that Obama's Syrian adventure  was an effort to put Samantha Powers' ideas into action, and it ended in disaster.

Power complains in her book that when faced with humanitarian catastrophes in the past, American diplomats have said there isn’t much we can do to stop them. Her reply is that we’ve never really tried, never made a serious effort to ascertain what a systematic application of diplomatic and military pressure could achieve on behalf of humanitarian ends. Well, we’ve finally put Power’s policy prescriptions to the test. The consequences have been ascertained, and they are disastrous.

If we do strike Syria, it will not stop Assad, and will likely only provoke him further. Moreover, the price we’ve paid for the mere appearance of a humanitarian solution is the near-collapse of our strategic position in the Middle East.

A foreign policy that intentionally subordinates traditional calculations of strategic interest to humanitarian ends will inevitably sacrifice our strategic interests. And having lost strategic position, our ability to sustain humanitarian ends, insofar as we can do so consistently with out interests, will be correspondingly reduced. This is what happened in Libya and Syria when we put Power’s policies into practice. So not only are we now facing a substantial reduction of our influence in the Middle East and the rise of Russia in our place, but the Syrians are unlikely to give up their chemical weapons in the end.

All of this follows logically from Power’s theories. Move humanitarianism to the center of our foreign policy at the expense of traditional strategic concerns, and strategic disaster follows. In the end, that means more humanitarian problems, not less.

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