Syria

On Syria, Get Ready for the Big Stall from the Big O

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You've got to assume that President Barack Obama, who has yet to convince his wife, along with about 80 percent of Americans, is looking for a way out of the Syria mess he brought on himself. Remember (as in "never forget") that Obama ad-libbed himself into this situation, with loose and unscripted talk about "red lines" (which, incidentally, Syria apparently crossed in July 2012 – before Obama issued his declaration). For Obama, the best thing you can say about the Syria episode is that it's drawing attention away from all the other issues at which he and the federal government more generally are failing (budget, debt-limit, implementation of Obamacare, immigration, economic recovery…).

So it's kind of fitting that Secretary of State John Kerry's improv act about Syria turning all of its chemical weapons over to an international body may give the president a chance to stall on any sort of military action. He's getting help from two Democratic senators who are pushing for a 45-day cooling-off period to give Bashar al-Assad time to get rid of his chemical weapons. According to one of the idea's sponsors, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), after that, Obama do whatever he wants (including bombing Syria). A month and a half from now there's a good chance that nobody will even remember Syria (think about it, when's the last time the American media or politicians spent time talking about Egypt or Libya or even Afghanistan for that matter?).

Sure, a stall would really put a pin in all those stupid analogies to Munich, Neville Chamberlain, Abyssinia, and more (Sen. Harry Reid, who is more tone deaf than Linda ever was, is even quicker to pull out Nazi death-camp allusions re: Syria than he was to raise the specter of a nation deprived of federally funded cowboy poetry readings during budget talks). And Obama has been clear in his stentorian manner than the whole point of the strike is that it will send a message blah blah blah that nobody can use chemical weapons—so what kind of message does it send to allow one or more chemical weapons attacks? But such credibility gaps are small beer to worry over compared to the wave of revulsion—at home and abroad—if Obama insists on following through with an "unbelievably small" strike (in the words of John Kerry) that is designed to have no actual effect on the Assad regime (according to advisor Susan Rice).

In a way, a huge stall on the matter—covered over in a lot of high-falutin' language about letting diplomacy work and the power of threats backed up by military might!—would be a fitting end to the whole thing. Obama claimed that he had total authority to act and that he must do so to preserve international "norms." And then he did nothing and eventually called for a congressional vote without urging Congress to come back from vacation to vote on war. And he is now ready to dawdle again. He's not the guy you want around if you're choking to death, that's for sure. It's the president as lazy grad student, which also explains his inability to hit budget and Obamacare deadlines with any sense of urgency or real follow-through. There's always time, don't you know, to wrap up incompletes after the semester is officially over.

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  1. We need to immediately take action so infinitesimally small that it will not be noticed by anyone, because failure to do so could be so dire it might change the very course of the universe.

  2. And as a convenient little bonus, spending months “debating” attacking Syria is also more time distracting people from Benghazi and the I.R.S. persecuting Obama’s political enemies.

  3. Michelle woke to a jostling motion and the familiar feeling of furtive grinding against an exposed patch of her lower back. “God dammit Barry,” she said without rolling over. “We’ve talked about this.”

    “I don’t need your authorization,” Barry said breathlessly. “I don’t need Congress’ authorization. I don’t need anyone’s authorization. I’m the President and I can do what I want.” Michelle felt a hand fumble over her in the dark, missing the bulge of her breasts by three full inches as it gripped the pillow she lay on.

    Michelle sighed and resigned herself to let this play out. Once she had hit the panic button on the nightstand to summon the Secret Service detail, but Barry had assured them that she had been mistaken. Whether they actually believed him, or just wanted out of the room since he refused to pull his pajama bottoms back up was unclear. All she knew for sure was that she had to wait almost three years until they could move back to Chicago, and the house with a second master bedroom.

    Ten minutes later Barry’s frantic gyrating slowed and stopped. Once again, no amount of agitation could stir his withered pride. Once again he had failed to follow through. “I love you, Barry,” she whispered to him as he rolled his back to her.

    “This would be a lot easier if you lost some weight,” he replied in the dark.

    1. “This would be a lot easier if you lost some weight,” he replied in the dark.

      Or had a penis.

      1. Are you sure she doesn’t? I mean, we really have no data about the genitalia of Wookies. Too much fur. For all we know they could be a race of hermaphrodites.

    2. I don’t suppose there’s any way you could explain to my co-worker’s why I’m laughing my ass off? They’re probably starting to become concerned.

    3. You missed a great opportunity to work in an “unbelievably small” reference here.

      1. Next time, Citizen. Next time.

    4. Not quite as sick as Saccharin Man, but then that means I won’t spend the next ten minutes puking in my trashcan.

      Well done!

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