Washington Post: Say, This Obama Guy Is A Pretty Passive President


Had it been a Republican acting in the manner we’ve seen from Obama, vis a vis foreign policy, members of the liberal media, including the Washington Post, would have excoriated that Republican. With Obama, they simply wag a finger with a tsk tsk tsk. Even so, it’s interesting to note that the Washington Post Editorial Board notes Obama passivity and weakness

Syrian death toll and extremist threat increases, but the U.S. does little

Is it American which is doing little, or this President? One of the dangers is finding fault with America for the actions, or, rather, lack thereof from Team Obama, particularly Obama himself, who seems to have a singular lack of vision on foreign policy, nor plans, nor does he really seem to, frankly, give a damn. He doesn’t seem to want to take the field himself. He’s disinterested.

Anyhow, the WP spends a few paragraphs discussing the issues in Syria, linked to the issues in Iraq, and moves into

The Obama administration, however, appears to be doing little to address this crisis. Secretary of State John F. Kerry is camped out in Cairo in pursuit of a Gaza cease-fire, but no senior envoy is trying to work out a political formula that would unite moderate Syrian and Iraqi forces against the Islamic State. President Obama, who has devoted a large part of his schedule in recent weeks to political fundraising, had nothing to say about Syria or Iraq during recent appearances to discuss Gaza and Ukraine.

Obama has little to say about most things foreign policy related, and little to offer when it comes to any domestic issue beyond his talking points about building bridges and roads and a 21st century economy, the same things he’s been yammering about since 2009. Mostly from the fundraising trail.

Even more disturbing are reports that the sole initiative undertaken by the administration on Syria since the collapse of an ill-conceived peace conference last winter is foundering. According to The Post’s David Ignatius and the Wall Street Journal, a promised $500 million effort to arm and train moderate rebels has emerged from the Pentagon as a pathetically underpowered scheme that would produce a force of just 2,300 over 18 months – and might not begin until next year.

Here’s the kicker on that

Senior congressional staff consulted about the plan told the administration to go back to the drawing board. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), usually an administration ally, pointed out at a hearing that the White House was making little effort to sell its own policy. Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army forces the administration proposes to support are steadily losing ground to the regime and the Islamists. There’s a real risk that by the time the program gets off the ground – if it ever does – there will be no units left to support.

One has to wonder whether this is a case of Obama simply not giving a damn, or whether it is a case of Obama doing his Ramses schtick: you know, “so let it be written, so let it be done”, where he speaks and thinks people are going to run around like kids on Red Bull to make His Pronouncements come to fruition. Which never happens.

It’s not easy at this late stage for the United States to intervene in Syria or Iraq in a way that would be constructive. But if one principle seems obvious, it is that moderate forces willing to fight the Islamic State should be aided – and quickly. Foremost among these are Syria’s secular rebels. The independent militia of Iraqi Kurdistan, which faces the Islamic State along a 900-mile front, is another clear candidate. Mr. Obama’s decision to stand back from Syria and Iraq has done much to create the present threat to the United States. Continued passivity will only make it worse.

Is it passivity, or just that Obama couldn’t give a rats patootie about these issues? Perhaps he realized that he’s just not good at this foreign policy stuff, so he’s decided that he can’t be bothered. No matter what the reason, the world sees a United States Of America that is unengaged, unreliable, and can’t be counted on.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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