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Doomed if you do, doomed , if you don't

Reader comment on item: Obama's Foreign Fiasco

Submitted by Stonewall Jackson (Switzerland), Aug 31, 2013 at 10:18

Oh boy, the true litmus test has finally come. The test, Biden spoke about, an inexperienced Obama would eventually face. Now we will finally find out the truth about the debate on leadership.

Obama faces the consequences of his naivete, passivity and foreign policy inexperience. And, for the eternal seeker of the compromise, the choices are brutal, as there is no good option here and certainly no compromise.

A "cosmetic" slap on the wrist is the most dangerous and counter-productive choice, as it will not produce anything in terms of benefit to the US.

No clear signal to Iran or Nk, let alone to Russia, that America must be respected or taken seriously. No outcome in terms of strategy or the civil war and likely further stepping over the "red line" by a cynical dictator. It would be almost as bad as doing absoutely nothing. We may as well pursue a policy of isolationism and extricate ourselves totally from the hemisphere. Domestically, that seems to be the preferred MO anyway. However, in that case say goodbye to your legacy or any leadership claim. The Dems would be likely massacred in 2014 and lose the presidential race in 2016 too.

This admin may well go down in history as the admin which ignited the Arab Spring, then left the entire region in chaos and, once it exploded in violence, walked cowardly away from its own creation of a monster. A lot of people in the US would applaude that. After all, " they have a century old tradition of killing one another, thus let's let them kill each other off..." All the while the truly dangerous and for our own direct homeland security critical nations like Iran or North Korea, China and Russia are watching the lame duck, beaten down by domestic problems and scandals, resigned, disillusioned and morally relative. They will appreciate that bad behaviour will be rewarded by the passivity of a weak former order power. They will in fact realize that there are no "red lines" and , they will thus bully their neighbors and us alike. America blinks and the world becomes a dangerous place to live in. Just wait, until Iran declares to have the nukes or NK is emboldened to do something stupid on that peninsula. Take an even longer view on the pacific, where China already today stakes its claims on practically the entire Pac Rim's resources... How do you think will the neighbors from the Philippines to Malaysia, Japan to Thailand, Vietnam to Burma - let alone Taiwan feel, now that America is blinking again?

Already we have lost much credibility throughout the entire globe. We blinked in Georgia, we blinked in Eastern Europe and left some of our staunchest allies in the rain (missile shield), under Obama, we have done nothing, but blinking.
Is it a wonder now, that we lost all credibility when pretending to be a force for good? When we talk about our principles and values, freedom and liberty, the world is laughing at us. In Europe at present a vast majority of once staunch supporters, if not outright admirers now consider us as opportunists and imperialists, big mouths with no follow through, all bla bla but never action. How bad must it be, if even the Brits do no longer trust us?

Obama stumbled naively from one foreign policy disaster to another - the hugest blunder like a cherry on top now to follow with Syria.

Yep, it is hard to convince the beaten down people of America to consider abstract notions, such as reputation, honor, respect, values, principles and long-term perspectives. Albeit, for the sake of my nation, for once I so much hope that this probably weakest of all presidents finds somewhere the testicular fortitude to see the wisdom in McCain's vision against all odds, risks and outspoken opposition from within his own ranks, let alone the libertarian and populist isolationism faction within the Republican party. Not to speak about a majority of the hugely misinformed people. Assads Regime must be hit hard - so hard in fact that no one ever again will consider using Chem weapons anywhere in the world again. So hard, that the Iranians come back to a real negotiating table, before they have nukes and the entire region explodes figuratively. So hard in fact that our allies and friends start believing in us and our principles and values and our will to stick to them , again. And maybe, just maybe, join us again in a coalition of the free and willing. So hard, that the weakening majority of the Free Syrian Army gets time to re-arm and re-train and then beat back the jihaadist minority and influence. So hard, that the North Koreans feel it may be wiser to negotiate again and the Taliban does the same in Afghanistan and Pakistan may find the inner strength to combat their extremists with more vigor again. So hard, that eventually we may see a return on the huge financial investment in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Israel, Jordan and Yemen. So hard, that the Saudis may think twice before escalating their wahabi indoctrination war abroad in western nations, but rather consider loosening up their own grips on their own countries and genders a bit. So hard in fact, that even Dictator & master chess player Putin may come to appreciate partnership rather than conflict with the USA.

Too many bad people do no longer fear us. Too many good people do no longer respect us. And this, my dear friends is very much an issue impacting our direct national security interests. As cynical as it may sound, considering the monstrosities committed in Syria, this nation is not the primary concern. This comparably tiny conflict and our handling of it may well influence the outcome and impact of much greater challenges with much much greater potential risks and consequences in the future, which is why I so hope that Obama will do the right thing and intervene hard and tough,even though it will likely cost him dearly in the short term.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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