EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

September 7, 2013

Column: 'Obama Doctrine' lacks seriousness

Can a possibly war-bound USA survive the unbearable lightness of being Obama? As Americans debate potential military intervention in Syria, the true grit of our fighting men and women is unquestioned. But their hesitant and erratic commander-in-chief renders worrisome the notion of attacking Damascus.

On Wednesday, for instance, President Barack Obama declared: “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line.”

In fact, on Aug. 20, 2012, Obama said, “We have been very clear to the Assad regime ... that a red line for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

Obama installed the trip wire for war with Syria. Now, on the brink of combat, he disowns it.

Last week Friday, Obama had an uncharacteristically bellicose Secretary of State John Kerry virtually announce that “bombing begins in five minutes.” One day later, Obama virtually announced that “debate begins in five minutes.” Obama said he wanted Congress to permit hostilities. But rather than summon lawmakers to Washington, Obama let Congress’ summer vacation go on.

Still, Obama could have spent the rest of Saturday lobbying legislators. That would have signaled his single-mindedness and steely resolve. Instead, Obama played his 141st round of golf as president.

Such a lack of seriousness seems to be the Obama Doctrine’s active ingredient. Consider:

Obama last June authorized the CIA to provide arms to the Free Syrian Army. “As of right now, they haven’t received one weapon from the United States,” lamented Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “Reports are that the United States has constrained other countries from giving them the kinds of things they need.”

Last September, Obama met with precisely zero heads of state at the U.N. General Assembly, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who virtually begged to see his American counterpart. However, Obama did find time to offer himself as “eye candy” on the daytime talk show “The View.”

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