By Joseph R. Carducci, September 3, 2013.
Anyone who has been reading my column here for any length of time knows how I feel about President Obama. So, instead of listening to my own rantings and ravings, as fun as that usually is, today we will hear from John Bolton.
Mr. Bolton is actually a former US Ambassador to the UN during the George Bush administration. The man is an incredible expert on foreign policy and definitely someone whose opinion should be respected, if not taken into consideration before making a major foreign policy move.
Bolton has been stunned by Obama’s stance and actions regarding Syria. The President has been alternatively hawkish and then helpless. It almost seems like he has no clear plan, purpose, or direction to fall back on for guidance. Allowing myself to interject here for just a second, I think this is because Obama does not have a well developed moral code to fall back on, so he keeps searching for some guiding principle to use instead. Finding none, he switches positions like most people change clothes.
Bolton said during a recent interview that he has been so amazed by the actions of the president that he has been searching for another good example of who to compare him with. He seems to have finally settled on James Buchanan, who was the president that really allowed the country to decline into Civil War. Yep, he has called Obama the ‘worst president since James Buchanan.’
Not only that, but with his recent actions in regard to Syria Obama is presiding over the destruction of American influence in the Middle East. Not only the region, but these actions are really detrimental to our foreign policy all over the world. Obama is clearly giving the appearance of weakness.
This started during the presidential debates when Obama made his now famous ‘red line’ remark. OK, whatever. But then when Obama actually makes public statements that he is going to attack Syria, and do it alone if need be, then back pedals off his hard line stance, it becomes problematic. It tells the other dictators throughout the region (and even the world) that Obama is weak and unsure about what to do and that he can be bullied or egged on. Honestly, if this whole situation were as much of a priority as Obama has indicated then why not immediately call Congress back into session and get this situation handled? It is almost as if he knows that getting the votes is not in the cards.
So, Obama is now committed to seeking Congressional approval for attacking Syria. Not to mention the fact that he has already tipped his hand by saying that the strike will be very limited and with no ‘boots on the ground.’ Way to tell the enemy that there really is not much to fear here! He needs 60 votes in the Senate. And the fact that he has already indicated it is his clear intention to launch this strike, that just might make at least a few Senators a bit irritated about how he is prosecuting this ‘war.’
Mr. Bolton’s comments and ideas make actual sense, unlike our esteemed president at the moment. Obama is presiding over a tremendous decline in American power and influence at a time when we really need to be growing stronger, not weaker. I also thought it was interesting that Mr. Bolton did not talk more about some of the other players that these actions could prompt reactions from. Namely, Russia. But, I think that if Obama sticks with what he has finally said that it will be unlikely Congress ponies up the needed authorization. Perhaps this bit about going to Congress is due to Obama’s realization that he made a mistake and this way he can save some face with the American people? Unfortunately, this saving face will come at the expense of a weakened international influence for the United States.