President Obama is using his last months in office to take a few victory laps. He is confident that he has won the war he wanted to fight: the war against Republicans. And he has martialed his troops to fight the good fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia, white privilege and white police officers.
As for defending America’s interests in the world, Obama has been AWOL. He seems to believe that surrender is more noble than victory or engagement. As for standing up to an increasingly emboldened and aggressive Vladimir Putin, Obama has never had the stomach for the fight.
The Daily Beast reports on the administration policy: pusillanimous fecklessness:
There is an unspoken understanding within the administration that despite the many provocations Russia has carried out in Syria, there will be no major American response, a position that increasingly is drawing the ire of top national security officials, three U.S. officials told The Daily Beast.
Adding to these officials’ frustration is that Russia’s aggression isn’t just contained to Syria. There is mounting evidence that Russia has been behind aseries of computer hacks that intelligence officials believe are designed to meddle with U.S. elections in November.
Officials said they feared that the White House’s inaction could devolve into acquiescence in Syria, in Ukraine, and in cyberspace. On Wednesday, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations reportedly laughed when asked about the hospital attack.
Obama has systematically diminished America’s standing in the world. He has weakened the nation and empowered its opponents and its enemies:
“Of course we are concerned about how far Russia will go,” one U.S. official explained to The Daily Beast. “And just as worrisome is what this is doing to U.S. credibility.”
Obviously, no one believed that John Kerry had negotiated a real ceasefire in Syria. The Russians were playing with him. Putin has been treating him and the president he works for as wind-up dolls:
In the last 10 days, since the collapse of the latest ceasefire in Syria, Russia and Syria have mounted what residents call their most aggressive air campaign to date to reclaim Aleppo from opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Should the regime, with Russian help, take the city, it would be a major psychological and tactical victory for the Assad regime.
Members of the U.S. intelligence community are concerned about the implications of seemingly abandoning the opposition forces it backed in Syria, these officials said.
Call it the Obama legacy. We have not yet begun to pay the real price for this failure.