It’s been the goal of all U.S. presidents since the end of World War II to limit Russian influence in the Middle East…until today.
Now, Obama welcomes Russia in so that they can annul the results of his own foolhardy statements.
In the last week, our president first asked Congress to authorize acts of war against Syria because of the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Then, he spun 180 degrees and essentially said, “scratch that – Syria’s number one ally, Russia, has changed my mind.”
These endless verbal acrobatics are the result of one Obama sentence. During the heat of the 2012 campaign, when he was preening his tough guy image, Obama blurted out: “We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is when we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.”
Now, Obama’s inept foreign policy is being guided by a sentence most experts consider a gaffe. He didn’t set a red line so much as he painted the United States into a corner.
The outcome is increased Russian influence in a dangerous region of the globe. I expect frightening consequences. Putin is now in charge of disarming chemical weapons in Syria… the same country Russia has spent the last half century arming. Meanwhile, Putin is actually escalating the shipment of conventional arms to Syria, ensuring that Syrian civil war continues.
While Obama has been pontificating about chemical weapons, over 100,000 Syrians have been killed by the conventional weapons that Putin continues pouring into Assad’s waiting arms.
In addition to what he’s doing in Syria, Putin is using the cover from Obama to double down in Iran. The Russians announced this week that they’re selling sophisticated S-300 air defense missiles to Iran and are also ready to help build a second nuclear reactor for the Bushehr nuclear plant.
Abject Failure at the Highest Levels
And yet, in spite of all that Putin is doing, my real revulsion is for Obama’s alleged opponents in D.C. John Boehner isn’t even a good foil for Obama, let alone a respected opponent that can force improvements in the governance of the country.
Every political leader can benefit from a well-matched opponent who constantly pressures an administration to improve policy. Ronald Reagan had Tip O’Neill, Bill Clinton had Newt Gingrich and Richard Nixon had Hubert Humphrey. These men made each other better politicians and statesmen.
But Boehner schemes to keep his job by not making waves. If he does nothing, then nobody can dislike him. Therefore Boehner rallied to Obama’s side during the Syria flip-flops.
As Congress returns to Washington this week, the issues are mounting up. In less than 17 days, the Federal Government will shut down unless appropriations bills for the new fiscal year, starting October 1, are passed.
For the last few months, the Ponzi schemes in the U.S. Treasury Department have had to be doubly complex to keep us from defaulting on our national debts. Unless radical spending cuts are enacted, another extension of the debt ceiling is now overdue.
Does anyone besides me think the United States is a three ring circus, and all the acts are clowns?
The congressional agenda now includes budgets way behind schedule, default or worse, and war. Obama and our dysfunctional government have given new definition to the words, “crisis management.” There isn’t a single issue plaguing America that’s being solved through dispassionate debate and cool-headed management.
My job is to help Capitol Hill Daily readers make sense of this madness, but sometimes the players are so maddening that even I can’t make heads or tails of the chaos.
Boehner is now pushing for a continuing resolution to keep Obamacare funded, and I expect him to help Obama get the debt extended again with nary a peep of resistance.
Meanwhile, the world is inching closer and closer to a bigger war. America’s finances are stretched beyond breaking, and while both Boehner and Obama may be retired before the reckoning comes, the pain suffered will be greater for their malfeasance.
Your eyes on the Hill, Floyd G. Brown
This commentary was originally published at CapitalHillDaily.com and is re-published here with permission.
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