Barak Obama, Nobel Laureate, is now busily building consensus, in stark contrast to his nearly two years of unilateral pronouncements (but no action), concerning the crisis in Syria. At stake is not only the credibility of an increasingly dithering president, but also the reputation of a diminishing world power.
Whatever the stakes for Obama personally, don’t for a single second think whatever he has in mind will ease the suffering or save the life of a single Syrian innocent in the murderous conflict raging unabated. No intervention on the ground is either contemplated or is within the realm of political possibility.
Instead, Obama wants to “send a signal” about the appropriateness of Assad using chemical weapons on the population at large. Now, unless Obama has been assured by his advisers that he has the capability to lob a Predator strike from his real-life game console in the basement of the White House directly onto Assad’s pointy head, the “signal” that is sent will be a weak one indeed, largely because it won’t actually punish or harm those responsible for the chemical weapons atrocities that were committed.
Inevitably, a cruise missile strike would destroy some military ordinance, kill some Syrian soldiers and likely a pile of civilian bystanders. With all the advance warning about the plan, Assad’s WMD capability is now undoubtedly safely protected from harm.
Following the sending of the signal, Obama could retire to the golf course, comfortable in the notion that he was not just a speaker of pretty words and lofty principles, but a man of action (albeit belated).
The Chinese, Russians, North Korean command and numerous Muslim extremists are undoubtedly smiling in quiet satisfaction at just how effectively the president of the once most powerful nation on earth has boxed himself, through his lofty and purely self-serving rhetoric, into a totally impotent policy of response that will accomplish nothing.