"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, June 21, 2013

Syria and the Serious Problem of an Unserious President

George Will eviscerates Obama today, particularly on the subject of his dithering naivete about Syria:
In Northern Ireland before going to Berlin, Obama sat next to Putin, whose demeanor and body language when he is in Obama’s presence radiate disdain. There Obama said: “With respect to Syria, we do have differing perspectives on the problem, but we share an interest in reducing the violence.” Differing perspectives?  
Obama wants to reduce the violence by coaxing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, who is winning the war, to attend a conference at which he negotiates the surrender of his power. Putin wants to reduce the violence by helping — with lavish materiel assistance and by preventing diplomacy that interferes — Assad complete the destruction of his enemies.  
Napoleon said: “If you start to take Vienna — take Vienna.” Douglas MacArthur said that all military disasters can be explained by two words: “Too late.” Regarding Syria, Obama is tentative and, if he insists on the folly of intervening, tardy. He is giving Putin a golden opportunity to humiliate the nation responsible for the “catastrophe.” In a contest between a dilettante and a dictator, bet on the latter.
Even if I grant liberals their good intentions (and I don't -- I think many are rent-seeking and power-hungry and, in the case of Obama's Chicago cronies, fundamentally and deeply corrupt)... but even if I grant their good intentions, the problem with even good-hearted liberals is that they believe that other people share their good intentions.   Obama wants a nice frictionless transition in Syria to a democratic utopia of Kumbaya-singing, Che-poster owning, fresh-faced, brown and shiny-skinned "rebels."   It's the 1960s vision of the world that never learns anything from history.  But Putin doesn't want that... he wants power and wealth and revenge on America.   He's a fundamentally evil ex-KGB murderer.   We don't just have "differing perspectives" on the world, we have, as the philosopher Isaiah Berlin would say, ultimate values that are "incommensurable."  

Will hits the nail on the head here:
Obama’s vanity is a wonder of the world that never loses its power to astonish, but really: Is everyone in his orbit too lost in raptures of admiration to warn him against delivering a speech soggy with banalities and bromides in a city that remembers John Kennedy’sIch bin ein Berliner” and Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down this wall”?
Obama is a vain child.   No one has ever told him to be quiet, or told him that what he's saying is nonsensical.   He's been stroked by his mother and his grandparents and his teachers and his professors all his life, telling him how wonderful he is.    But where the rest of us who were spoiled or pampered "smart" kids get our comeuppance in the real world, Obama has essentially been "socially promoted" to the next grade and the next throughout his life, until we find that we've got a naive college kid who never grew up as our President.    

At some point after he's out of the White House, we are going to get a raft of books about his Presidency where people finally tell the story of how vapid Obama really was.

I.  Can't.  Wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment