American Elephants


“They’re Coming” and “Another 9/11 is Imminent” by The Elephant's Child

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An editorial from the Washington Post last Friday was headlined “Obama’s authorization of Iraq airstrikes isn’t connected to a coherent strategy.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA was right to order military action to prevent a potential genocide in northern Iraq and to stop forces of the al-Qaeda-derived Islamic State from advancing on Baghdad or the Kurdish capital of Irbil. However, the steps the president authorized on Thursday amount to more of his administration’s half-measures, narrowly tailored to this week’s emergency and unconnected to any coherent strategy to address the conflagration spreading across the Middle East. …

Yet by the White House’s own account, the measures ordered by Mr. Obama are not intended to defeat the Islamic State or even to stop its bloody advances in most of the region. Instead they are limited to protecting two cities where U.S. personnel are stationed and one mass of refugees. The hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere threatened by the al-Qaeda forces will receive no U.S. protection.

That’s the Washington Post’s Editorial Board, not usually leading the charge in criticism of the president.

President Obama is trapped in his self-created bubble. He was elected, he believes, to end the war in Iraq, and sees doing so as possibly his greatest achievement. He regarded getting out as the goal, rather than a gradual turnover as Iraq became more able to deal with problems on their own. Even now, he doesn’t understand that there is a genocide in progress, that is endowed with billions stolen from all the banks in Iraq, the world’s best and most modern weapons which which we outfitted the Iraqis, and gullible jihadis are flocking from all over the world to join up in the bloodletting.

Europe assumed that it was a good idea to replace their declining birthrate by admitting immigrants, for they had seen how immigration enriched America. But they didn’t get the assimilation part. They got a lot of Islamist immigrants, but they didn’t turn them into real citizens. It looks like over 900 French nationals have answered to call to jihad in Iraq, and volunteers in significant numbers are coming from Britain and most European countries. Even young women are flocking to become ‘jihadi wives,’ unaware they will end up as sex-slaves and either dead or in the brothels of the Middle East.

I cannot imagine what visions of “the Caliphate” attract them— the opportunity to kill with abandon, long trains of battle-hardened jihadis bristling with guns and tanks, flying the black flag of the Islamic State? Is it an ideal of suddenly being powerful? Too many romantic movies?

We see the primitive blood-lust, the sheer barbarianism and fail to take it seriously at our peril. The Middle East is more unstable today than it has been in years. Global energy supplies are at risk and with that, the entire world economy. The Islamic State seizes vast swaths of land and resources, murders and terrorizes whole nations and recruits thousands of new fighters with Western passports and plots another attack on the United States. Its much more comfortable to blame the failures of your own society on the west than to fault your own backward society.

Ali Khedery is an expert on the Middle East, CEO of the Dubai-based Dragoman Partners, and previously worked the U.S. State and Defense departments, and served as an American official in Iraq from 2003 to 2009, special assistant to five U.S. ambassadors and senior advisor to three commanders of U.S. Central Command.

When he says “They’re coming” and “another 9/11 is imminent” we need to pay attention. He wrote a letter to President Obama in Politico on Tuesday, attempting to warn the president that he needs new advisors, and a “Middle East Czar.” “Someone who can help contain and quell separate conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq before they merge into a full-fledged regional war.” This is not the J.V. team, but the most virulent form of transnational jihad the planet has ever seen. Here he is, being interviewed by Jake Tapper.



Some Are True Believers, Some Are Skeptics, Nobody Is “A Denier.” by The Elephant's Child

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Here’s a new video from the White House, (sorry, I can’t embed it.) President Obama’s Science Advisor Dr. John Holdren explains—in less than three minutes — how climate change is making America’s wildfires more dangerous and why we must act now.

President Obama is deeply in awe of Dr. Holdren. He said breathlessly the other day that when he had a question about anything about science, he could just call up Dr. Holdren and he would explain it. “And he’s a real Physicist,” Obama said.

From the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho: “Outside of the West Coast, there is very little forest fire activity in the U.S. this year. Burn acreage is much less than half of normal.”screenhunter_1655-aug-04-06-59

(click to enlarge)

Forest fires are caused by lightening strikes, or occasionally by careless campers. They are not caused by global warming.



Recovery? What Recovery is That? by The Elephant's Child

In January, 2009, when Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans of working age who were not in the labor force was 80.529.000. Since that time, that number has increased by 11,472,000 to 92,001,000 as of July 2014.

The participation rate measures the percentage of the civilian non-institutional  population that participates in the work force by either having a job, or actively seeking one. It’s just a snapshot, and subject to revision, but at this state in a supposed “recovery” it should be far better.

President Obama tries to put a good face on it and speak as if the recovery is chugging along just fine, but it really isn’t. Microsoft announced the layoff of 14,000 workers in July. The Army is shedding another 1,500 captains and majors.

A lot of coal-fired power plant workers are going to lose their jobs because of ridiculous regulations that will accomplish nothing at all, and a lot of coal miners as well, as this president tries to shut down the industry that produces nearly half of America’s electricity cheaply and dependably under the illusion that solar and wind can produce a significant amount of expensive energy, if some unexpected miracle just makes the sun stop being diffuse and the wind stop being intermittent.

And just to help out the faltering job market, Obama has issued an executive order allowing the spouses of workers here on H-1B visas to go to work. The next executive order is expected to allow the “children,” who are mostly young men of working age, arriving at our southern border to receive work permits. Doesn’t anyone notice that all these things are connected?

We’ve had lots of recessions in the past. There is a business cycle. As things get better and unemployment eases, the economy starts to grow and offers more opportunity — the better things get, the more risks businesses take. Overworked people get assistants, a new wing is added to the building, new machines are purchased, and so it goes.  (I should add here, that also in the news today was the nugget that many of our civil servants are so bored in their jobs that they are spending their days watching porn.)

Most people are probably unaware that we had another Great Depression in 1920-1921. It was just about as deep as Roosevelt’s depression, but Warren Harding treated it a little differently. World War I had left the nation with runaway inflation and a soaring debt. The national debt had increased from $1 billion in 1914 to $24 billion by 1920. (Yes, it was a long time ago)

So what did Harding do?  A “stimulus”?  A jobs program?  “Targeted” tax cuts?  Government bailouts for ailing companies?  Nope—he cut government spending sharply and rapidly (by almost 50 percent), began cutting tax rates across the board, and allowed asset values and wages to adjust freely as fast as possible.  Harding’s administration, Paul Johnson observed, “was the last time a major industrial power treated a recession by classic laissez-faire methods, allowing wages to fall to their natural level ….  By July 1921 it was all over and the economy was booming again.”

If you remember your history, it was called “the roaring twenties.”



The President Met With Governor Perry. Perry-1, Obama-0. by The Elephant's Child

Texas Governor Rick Perry met with President Obama today in Dallas. After the meeting he released the following statement.

DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today met with President Barack Obama to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and national security crises occurring along the Texas-Mexico border. In the meeting, Gov. Perry urged the president to undertake the necessary steps to secure the border and ease the crises.

“Five hundred miles south of here in the Rio Grande Valley there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding that has been created by bad public policy, in particular the failure to secure the border,” Gov. Perry said. “Securing the border is attainable, and the president needs to commit the resources necessary to get this done.”

Among the requests Gov. Perry made to President Obama to secure the border:

  • Visit the Texas-Mexico border to witness firsthand the impact of the border crisis;
  • Deploy an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to immediately enhance border security operations;
  • Direct the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the National Guard to utilize Predator drones along the Texas-Mexico border for identifying and tracking human and drug trafficking;
  • Medically screen all illegal immigrants to ensure their health and the health of our citizens;
  • Direct the Centers for Disease Control or another appropriate federal agency outside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct, in conjunction with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), inspections of facilities in which illegal immigrants, including UACs, are being housed to ensure accepted international and national emergency sheltering standards are met;
  • Modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration, including:
  • DHS Catch and Release policies by which DHS issues an illegal immigrant an NTA before an immigration judge and releases them. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 33 percent of those released on their own recognizance failed to appear in FY 2013.
  • Deportation policies and procedures that prohibit UACs from countries other than Mexico and Canada from being immediately repatriated back to their country of origin. After DHS processes these UACs, they are issued an NTA and delivered to a sponsor or relative in the United States, regardless of the relative’s immigration status.
The president said “Right now, there are more Border Patrol agents and surveillance resources on the ground than at any time in our history.  And we deport almost 400,000 migrants each year.” Which is not quite accurate. We have really boosted the funding for the Border Patrol, but according to reports, most of the Border Patrol agents have been called from the border to processing the UAC (Unaccompanied Alien Children), and the border is essentially wide open.
Obama, of course, takes responsibility only for the good things, and the problem at the border is, somehow, the uncooperative Republicans. It would all go smoothly if we had more administrative judges,more administrative capacity and lots more money.
We’ve asked Jeh Johnson to contact his head of Health and Human Services when he comes down for the sixth time at the end of this week to coordinate and make sure that some of the suggestions that the Governor has are technically feasible and what kind of resources might be needed. But what I emphasized to the Governor was the problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem.  The challenge is, is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done.
Another way of putting it — and I said this directly to the Governor — is are folks more interested in politics, or are they more interested in solving the problem?  If they’re interested in solving the problem, then this can be solved.  If the preference is for politics, then it won’t be solved.

The president was asked why he won’t visit the border. He said:

Jeh Johnson has now visited, at my direction, the border five times.  He’s going for a sixth this week.  He then comes back and reports to me extensively on everything that’s taking place.  So there’s nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on.This isn’t theater.  This is a problem.  I’m not interested in photo ops; I’m interested in solving a problem.

Obama has asked for $3.8 billion to feed, house and clothe something like 50,000 UAC, but then as soon as they are “processed” they are put on a bus to take them to their “relatives,” and only 20% will ever turn up for their deportation hearing. Senator Coburn said you could send them all back home, first class air to Guatemala City for just $20 million. So somebody has some problems with math.

What has drawn the sudden influx of unaccompanied alien children, is President Obama’s very own “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), This was created with an executive order. Obama could rescind it any time he wants. Yet he says now that he cannot act without Congress.



Unintended Consequences: by The Elephant's Child

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Unintended consequences. Someone speaks, or takes an action, advocates a policy, and aside from the immediate political response, the world shifts a little, and all  you can do is hope that if there are unintended consequences, they will not be too bad. President Obama famously said “he has a phone and he has a pen” and even today, announced at Monticello that “He is President of the United States and he can do whatever he wants to.”

That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. There is the oath of office, and a long history of presidential terms in office, and the assumption that a president, any president, will struggle mightily to do the right thing for the people of the United States. Why else did he run for office? President Obama had something quite different in mind. He ran a nebulous campaign full of theatrics and empty words like “yes we can” and “we are the ones,” and people fell for it. But finding that now that he no longer has a Democrat-controlled Congress, but has to actually attempt to debate, discuss and compromise with Republicans in the House, like a petulant child, he announces that he will not compromise on anything, but will just act independently— with his pen and his phone.

Well, if the President of the United States can just act on his own, why not governors? Why do we need laws and customs and rules and tradition? Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, noted empty suit, has decided that while he is in office “During my term we will not be executing people.” He has the authority under RCW  10.10.120to commute a death sentence to life in prison at hard labor, and upon a petition from the offender, to pardon the offender, or to offer a reprieve which is to be issued “for good cause shown, and as the Governor thinks proper.”

Washington State does not have a particularly high murder rate with the exception of a couple of really bad serial killers. Ted Bundy’s case was famous. But the one that raised questions about the death penalty was that of the “Green River Killer,” Gary L. Ridgway. King County prosecutors gave up on capitol punishment  in exchange for his cooperation with providing details that helped solve dozens of open murder cases. He pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first-degree murder  in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison. Forty-eight murders seemed like a good reason for a death penalty, though there were 48 families who deserved some kind of closure.

Governor Inslee’s actions are again reminiscent of President Obama’s efforts to escape blame for anything. Inslee doesn’t want to be blamed for any executions, and will shove them off on his successor.



The State of The Union: Lawless and Only Selectively Enforced. by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama has curiously made a habit of saying things that it is clear are merely designed to please some voting group, but not to be understood as actual fact. “If you like your health insurance you can keep it, period,” If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, period.” And then on a number of occasions he claimed that “the average family of four will  save $2,500 a year in premiums.” He didn’t think it mattered whether it was true or not.

Now he is approaching the State of the Union Speech with an announced declaration of “universal presidential authority.” Astonishingly, that oath of office he took didn’t matter either. He didn’t mean it — the part where he solemnly swears that he will to the best of his Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. “Mr. Obama” yesterday’s Wall Street Journal tells us, “will emphasize his intention to use unilateral presidential authority —bypassing Congress when necessary — to an extent not seen in his previous State of the Union Speeches.” The “when necessary” part means when Congress does not do what he wants them to do. This is not only astonishing, but deplorable, unseemly and disgusting.

The president intends to explain to his hosts (he is their guest) how he intends to circumvent their power. He is not an elected monarch. The Constitution is designed to be a slow-moving machine in which the president is just one cog. It is intended to be slow to force honest debate and clear thought. With only a few exceptions, the machine cannot legally work without the House and the Senate whose status is equal to that of the president.

At the Philadelphia convention, with exquisite care and with delicate nuances, they devised a complex constitution that would generate the requisite power but would so distribute its flow and uses that no one body of men and no one institutional center would ever gain a monopoly of force or influence that would dominate the nation.
Bernard Bailyn: The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

If I were running the show, which I am not, when the president announces that he will circumvent the power of Congress, in the interest of getting his own way, because he “has a telephone and he has a pen,” the Republicans would rise in a body and respectfully leave the chamber.



“Obama’s Imperious Presidency” From the White House Dossier by The Elephant's Child

Those of us who are troubled by the policies of the Obama administration spend far too much time trying to figure out why President Obama does the things he does — semi-psychoanalysis by the unqualified. This president is remarkably reticent about himself, and we end up trying to figure out what he can possibly be thinking.

Keith Koffler, veteran White House reporter offered his bit of pop psychology recently to discuss one of the reasons why Obama wants to rule, to the greatest extent possible, from the Oval Office, and I found  his take really interesting.

Sure, contempt for Congress and the Constitutional process – as well as the absolute certainty that his motives and agenda are unquestionably right and just – all plays into it. But there’s another critical piece to this: Obama is, for a politician, a relative loner who doesn’t want to be bugged by members of Congress. Of either Party.

He has no famous chums in Congress. He has few relationships of any sort with lawmakers. Really what he wants to do is make his decisions in the Oval Office, have a few meetings, give some speeches on college campuses and at high schools, and play golf. And then send Jay Carney out to talk about how Republicans are intransigent, politically motivated hacks who don’t even wear deodorant. …

Unfortunately, Obama’s temperament will now have serious consequences for the nation. We’ll be in a constant state of Constitutional subversion for the next three years as Obama issues edicts and bullies the private sector into doing his bidding. At any point, with some particularly outlandish act, he can kick things up to a major Constitutional crisis. It’s a sad thing to see.

Messy as our system is, the Founders designed it that way so our representatives would have to argue and debate issues and spend time thinking deeply about them. It’s a lot better than having the nation run by a loner who wants to do it all his way because he thinks he knows what is best for us.



Spend It All. Spend It All. Tax the Rich and the Poor, Spend It All by The Elephant's Child

“The U.S. has become the single largest debtor nation on the planet, as welfare dependency rises, government spending continues to increase and economic growth slows. However, what is ironic about this situation, is that it is the continuing increases in debt which is directly responsible for the decreases in economic growth. ” This chart shows government debt as a percentage of GDP compared to the annualized rate of change in economic growth:  From Zero Hedge.           (click to enlarge)

Debt-vs-GDP-101713

“The most disturbing sentence uttered during the debt ceiling debate/government shutdown, that should raise some concerns by both political parties is:

“We must increase our debt limit so that we can pay our bills.”

“Since the beginning of 2009 very little of the increases in government debt, which was used to fill the gap created by excess expenditures, returned very little in terms of economic growth. In fact, as of the second quarter of 2013, it required $5.61 of debt to create just $1 of economic growth.”        (click to enlarge)

Debt-vs-GDP-Obama-101713

In other words the Keynesian idea of pumping money into the economy to breed and multiply is horsefeathers. Janet Yellen, newly nominated to head the Federal Reserve is, we are told, a devout Keynesian.

President Obama said in his remarks following the resolution of the shutdown, that one of the three things the government should focus on in the short term is budget reform. I think he means raise taxes so he can spend more. I just don’t think he can conceive of a presidency where he does not generously spend. I hope I’m wrong.

U.S. debt jumped a record $328 billion on Thursday, the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under the deal President Obama and Congress sealed this week. The debt now equals $17.075 trillion, according to figures the Treasury Department posted online on Friday. The $328 billion increase shattered the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.

The giant jump comes because the government was replenishing its stock of “extraordinary measures”— the federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.

Under the law, that replenishing happens as soon as there is new debt space.

I’m not big on charts in general, but these two are pretty explanatory and reward a little study.  The real battle lies ahead.



“I Will Not Negotiate!” by The Elephant's Child

Heard a lot of congressmen interviewed briefly on the radio today, about the meeting with the president. The sticking point seems to be that the President simply does not understand negotiation. When two groups have irreconcilable positions in government, the object is to do a little horse trading, — each gives a little here and there, painful, but something they can give a little on — if they get a little from the other guy. That’s how progress is made.

This is the same process that is the very basis of trade as an economic concept. If Barg, whose tribe lives near the seashore covets a pot made by Jrak whose tribe lives far inland, they can probably arrange a trade of fish for pot. Barg has plenty of fish and jrak can make another pot. Each leaves the negotiation richer by something they didn’t have before, and pleased with the trade. And so economics was born. OK, silly example.

But Obama seems to understand only “I win.” Not that if both parties cannot walk away feeling that they won, but simply that they got something that they value in the exchange. Even if both sides end up feeling that they lost a little, it can work as long as both believe the trade to be fair.



Common Sense, Briskly Expressed! by The Elephant's Child

A short piece by Bob Krumm caught my eye this morning. titled “IT’S NOT BUSINESS; IT’S STRICTLY PERSONAL”

Republicans want a delay in Obamacare.  Because of the many significant problems with the rollout of Obamacare, and because he has delayed parts of the law himself some 19 times, President Obama should want a delay in Obamacare too.  One year gives Democrats an opportunity to fix systemic errors in the software, the regulations, and the law.  One year gives nothing at all to the Republicans–nothing–except the opportunity to crow a little bit.

That the President can’t compromise in a way that gives him everything he wants, plus the extra time he needs, is not about business.  It’s strictly personal.

I love it when someone sums up all the arguments of the past few weeks, wraps it up in a brief package and sums it up in a quotable manner. Nice going.

 



War and Empathy and Unbeliveably Small Strikes. by The Elephant's Child

It is 9/11. and the mind goes back twelve years to that terrible day, and to Benghazi on 9/11. The President and Vice President and their wives and the entire White House staff were photographed on the White House Lawn where they observed a moment of silence, and then the president went off to pass out food to the needy — in his continuing push to make 9/11 a “Day of Service.”

I don’t get it. I see no relation between mourning those we lost and doing some volunteer work. But then I’m not much on “moments of silence,” which I guess are to be seen as a one-minute collective observance of sorrow. If we do it collectively it is more meaningful? I’ll just go on mourning all day, the images don’t stop replaying in my head. I guess if you are a collectivist, you think collectively.

It is another day in the War on Terror. Yes, terror is a tactic, not the producer of terror, but that is simply semantics. What do you want to call it — a war on jihadists?

Americans are confused by World War II, when we had clear enemies — Germany, Japan and Italy. They expanded into conquered territory and we had to drive them out. The War was a total effort. Civilians did war work, bought war bonds, raised victory gardens and did without a wealth of things to which we were accustomed. The war lasted a neat four years, the victory was clear and surrender abject and total, followed by occupation.

Now there remains for Americans an expectation that a proper war will have those characteristics. In World War II people were thoroughly weary of war, but they knew that it had to be won and the enemy defeated utterly. There was no talk of “war weariness.” You even heard people during the War in Iraq or in Afghanistan complain that civilians weren’t asked to buy bonds or accept rationing. They weren’t proper wars because the home front just went on with ordinary life, undisturbed.

Richard Cohen, liberal columnist for the  Washington Post, asked plaintively “Where’s the moral outrage?”

The civil war in Syria has cost more than 110,000 lives. It has produced a humanitarian calamity — well over 2 million refugees.

Bashar Assad has massacred his own people by conventional means and is accused of using poison gas several times, most recently on Aug. 21, when his military murdered 1,429 people, including more than 400 children. …

I pick on the American left because it is liberal and because that suggests empathy, concern and internationalism.

The American right is now going through one of its periodic bouts of lunacy, reverting to a comfy isolationism-cum-selfishness that has often characterized it. (I should note, though, that back in the late 1930s, Norman Thomas, the six-time socialist presidential candidate, supported the isolationist America First movement.)

Isolationism-cum-selfishness? Hardly, but then empathy, concern and internationalism are not reasons to go to war either. War is a serious business, and with Iran in full-fledged support of Assad, must be considered seriously. An “extraordinarily small ” strike is not a serious response. And the president’s speech last night indicated that he is not serious.

My point is that the more military action departs from the example of World War II as it exists in memory, and movies, the more reluctant the people. You need the Draft, War Songs, Bond Drives, and some kind of deprivation for the people so they feel involved.  Americans want to support their president, but when offered only an “extraordinarily small” reprimand, the people sense that there is no clear strategy there at all.



The Consequences of Drawing Red Lines by The Elephant's Child

I have been an opponent of President Obama’s policies from the beginning. I didn’t believe he had the necessary experience for the highest office in the land, and he has lived up to that expectation. He does not understand economics, even the most basic economics, and his attachment to Keynesian theory and pump-priming have waged disaster on our economy. He has been sure that just spending more money is the answer to most any problem. It’s not.

His early statement that we were “five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” sent chills down my back. His view of what is wrong with this country and needs to be transformed is completely at odds with my views. His insistence that the United States is not an exceptional country — or at least no more exceptional than any other — shows an unusual unfamiliarity with our history.

I will excuse quite a bit in most people because we are only imperfect humans, vain, ignorant, self-important, conceited, occasionally clever, jealous, greedy, the list goes on and on. There are no perfect people — even those we love most dearly have flaws which we choose to ignore. We speak and all too often say things we shouldn’t have said. But a president does not have that option.

The United States remains a powerful nation, and the words a president uses have consequences. That’s why presidents have many speechwriters, and senior advisers, and teleprompters too. To keep them from making clumsy international mistakes.

The President is now saying that he was elected to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don’t recall that. He was elected to be the first black president, and hope and change. We just didn’t know what he meant by change. He even mentioned his laughable Nobel Peace Prize today as some sort of resume enhancement. I do remember his claim that Iraq was a “dumb war” and his apparent belief that the only reason we were in Afghanistan was to “get Osama bin Laden.” Which he (The Seals) did, so now we’re done over there and we should just quit? Well, you don’t just “quit” wars. You win them or you lose them.

Yes, the President clearly opposes war. I don’t know of anyone that wants wars, but nations have interests and through misguided policies and ill-defined statements, and red lines, and bumbling, and dithering — wars have started that nobody wanted.

The Secretary of State also has speechwriters, but he wandered off track to say that we weren’t going to War in Syria, we were just going to do something “unbelievably small,” which prompted John McCain to note that was “unbelievably unhelpful.” Kerry added that Assad could turn over his chemical weapons to an international authority within the next few days ,and then we’d see. So Vladimir Putin immediately jumped on that and demanded that Assad turn over his weapons, then Hillary, forgetting that she no longer is the Secretary, chimed in to urge Assad to turn over the weapons, and blathered something about “holding Assad and the Russians to account.” The usual Hillary talk. President Obama may see an “out” in Putin’s demand. Another flip.

I believe that in international affairs you have to support your country, and keep  your policy disagreements with the president at home. President Obama is not making that easy. He’s all over the map, and as usual, it is all about him, not the nation. He has destroyed his credibility with his own party, he never really had any with Republicans, and he is losing what credibility he had internationally.  He is sending a message that he is not serious.

The president needs to learn that his words have consequences internationally. His statements are reported internationally. When he dithers, that is reported internationally too.  This time it isn’t about you, Mr. President. It is about America. There are consequences. When you find yourself in a hole, the best advice — is to stop digging.




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