Thursday, October 3, 2013

An Appalling Absence of Leadership

Well, it appears that the Free World has a new leader.
No, Barack Obama has not stepped down as our
president (darn it!), but he has been replaced, or so
it seems, as the Leader of the Free World --- by, of
all people, Russian President Vladimir Putin. You
know, the fellow who was the KGB chief during
Russia's Soviet days who next jumped into Russian
politics and climbed to the pinnacle of Russia's
government, establishing a government with some
sinister overtones and leaving one to wonder whether
or not Russia will come under totalitarianism again,
albeit a different version than the communist regime
which oppressed this nation for 74 years in the
previous century.

Let your faithful Peasant explain. Obama has been
searching for a way for us to intervene in Syria,
where their dictator Bashar Assad had been waging
an especially bloody civil war. He has seen fit to
attack the opposing forces and even innocent civil-
ians with chemical weapons, causing the most painful,
horrible deaths. Women and children were not exempt;
they died in ghastly fashion as well. But the other side is
backed by Al-Qaeda, the folks who brought us 9-11
over a decade ago. As terrible as things have become
for the people of that war-torn country, the U.S. has
nothing to gain and lots to lose by getting militarily
involved. But Obama wanted to play knight-in-
shining-armor and ride to the rescue, so he could
show the world (and his detractors at home) that his
foreign policy is robust, forceful, and decisive;
not weak, wimpy, and muddled, as many observers
at home and abroad have concluded.

However, Putin and Russia have an interest in Syria
themselves; they have a military base there, serving
not only their military objectives but their political
objectives as well. While Obama has babbled about
a "red line in the sand" concerning getting Syria to
turn over their remaining chemical weapons to the
international community lest they face sanctions and
a military strike, Putin set his diplomats to work in
helping the Assad regime to turn over said chemical
weapons and head off any attack by U.S. forces.
And Obama could not muster any allies to back him
up in making a military strike to punish Assad for
killing hundreds of his people with the chemical
weaponry. So, the resulting equation was formed:
no international cooperation for the U.S. plus
Russia blocking any attempts to levy sannctions
against Syria equals Obama being made to look like
a fool. His subsequent move? Ask Congress for a
war authorization to strike Syria. This would be a
sort of a CYA move if Congress gave this permission,
and a handy out in the form of blaming the Republicans
if this permission were denied. And Obama is
exposed as a poor leader who couldn't make a tough
decision, and all too eager to take any way out to
avoid responsibility. The deadlines and timetables
Obama had set for Syria to comply with the demand
to turn over their chemical arsenal? Disappeared in
a puff of smoke. Putin took advantage of Obama's
weakness and let it be known that he would only
allow rules for conduct that would not threaten
Assad's rule in Syria, including demands that the
U.S. promise not to attack Syria or help the rebels.
Obama is now in the subordinate position to Putin,
and all because of a community organizer finding
himself in over his head in the world of international
politics. Putin successfully backs a bloody tyrant
who thinks nothing of slaughtering his own people
in the most hideous way that he can, orders the U.S.
about like a naughty child in need of disciplinning,
and the rest of the world sees all this and wonders
"What the hell happened here? What did we just see?"

What the world saw was the abdication of leadership
by the lone military and political superpower on Earth,
committed by a naif who never should have been
elevated to the highest position of power in its
government, a position far beyond his abilities and
competency. And the world, especially the Middle
East part, is a lot less secure as a result. And Putin
makes sport of the U.S., ridiculing our country
and our president to anyone who will listen, even
writing a guest editorial piece in the New York
Times to this effect!

Ah, hope and change abroad.


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