The Last Gasp of a Dying Empire

The Last Gasp of a Dying Empire
by Michael Goodell

Perhaps the best indication of our nation’s decay was a recent Rasmussen Poll in which 47% of Americans gave Barack Obama good to excellent marks on foreign policy. This despite the fact that this man, as close to a pacifist as we have ever had in the White House, has, by a path more crooked than his Attorney General, brought us to the point of World War III.

We stand on the brink because this self-absorbed peacock, who doesn’t understand that his much vaunted “international community” won’t give him the same kitchen pass as his besotted media-based courtiers, declared the use of chemical weapons in Syria to be “a red line.” Why did he say that? Because it made him sound tough? Certainly, and not just thuggish Texas Cowboy tough, but wise, nuanced, Harvard intellectual tough. This was not just any red line, this was a red line which would alter his “calculus.” As he heard the words spill magically out of his mouth, he must have thought, “Wow, I sound almost Kerry-esque.”

Had he understood that what he said had meaning, he might have ordered up contingency plans, in case the chinless dictator actually crossed that line. But he didn’t. He went on to the next big thing, which was pivoting back to the economy, or blaming Republicans for the Obamacare train wreck, or pivoting back to renewable fuel sources, or blaming Republicans for the deficit, or pivoting back to the economy, or whichever other butterfly flitted past this intellectual waif’s play pen.

When Assad crossed the red line the first time, months ago, this man, as close to a stoner as we have ever had in the White House, dithered and dallied, and repeated, “If in fact he did use these weapons, we will have to do something, I’m sure.” He repeated it so often that when proof came through, he felt he had to something. There was talk of punitive strikes, no fly zones, or arming the rebels.

One by one the options were dismissed. The most delicious came when the man in charge of the world’s most powerful military air force allowed his beribboned minions to declare that Syria’s “sophisticated air defense system” was impenetrable. Mere hours later, Israeli jets destroyed a shipment of Russian missiles in Damascus. Which act essentially posits, if our enemies don’t respect us, why should our allies?

After the red line was first breached we announced, finally, we would send arms to the rebels, or suicide vests, whichever they preferred, and then our president went golfing, or pivoted back to the economy, or banned the use of coal, or something. Strangely, our muscular reaction failed to deter Assad, and he used chemical weapons again, and again, until finally he killed so many people that even the Ostrich in Chief had to admit it.

He still had plan to act, yet act he must, because, it seems, even his fawning acolytes found this transgression too difficult to ignore. His credibility was as stake. He needed to figure out how ”to act just muscular enough not to get mocked,”as one aide put it. He wanted to “send a shot across the bow,” not realizing to send a shot across the bow and then go home, is worse than doing nothing at all;. you are putting our soldiers in harm’s way solely to save face.

This is wrong. This is abhorrent. This is the sort of behavior which seriously self-indulgent psychopaths engage in. What he is proposing is essentially a drive by shooting. This is what happens in places like Chicago when somebody feels disrespected. He goes home and gets his gun and drives by the offender’s house, or a house that looks like the house where the offender lives, and empties a magazine. If a little five-year-old girl playing with her dolls on the porch takes a bullet in the head, no problem. Life is cheap in the hood, and you have restored your manhood.

Having pushed us to the brink, however, Obama blinked. Suddenly he realized this wasn’t a game of golf. He couldn’t improve his lie, he had to play it as it lay. He began looking for a way out. Then the British Parliament threw him a line. They denied Prime Minister David Cameron’s appeal to act. So after repeatedly claiming he didn’t need Congressional approval, he decided to seek it. Then he went golfing again, and unleashed his political attack dogs to warn the Republicans not to play politics with national security.

Win or lose, he can’t lose. After all, as he announced in Sweden, he never drew that red line. Somebody else did. It’s not his credibility at stake, he said. It’s somebody else’s. “It’s America’s credibility at stake.” How passing strange it is to have a president who believes his actions can destroy America’s credibility yet not harm him. How is this possible?

It is a terrible place our Gangbanger in Chief has placed us, where the only people willing to support us are the French. Once action is threatened, having declared an attack is imminent, it is very difficult to back down without looking feckless at best, more likely foolish, frail and falling to pieces. Yet how can one justify a drive-by shooting? This is not how Great Powers act. This is not how Great Leaders act. When they misbehave this badly and nearly half the country thinks they’re doing a great job, then, truly, our day is done.

Bring on le deluge.