Obama Versus Obama

This isn’t Kramer vs.Kramer, this is an examination of one of two things – 1) a serial liar or 2) a mentally ill person exhibiting cognitive dissonance of a severity hereto unknown in the annals of human existence.

I tried to get at this here but Victor Davis Hanson does it better here:

One of the problems that Barack Obama has in mounting an attack against the Assad regime is that the gambit violates every argument Barack Obama used against the Bush administration to establish his own anti-war candidacy.

The hypocrisy is so stunning that it infuriates his critics and stuns his supporters.

Deriding the Iraq war was Obama’s signature selling point. He used it to great effect against both Hillary Clinton (who voted for the war) in the Democratic primaries and John McCain in the general election. For the last five years, disparagement of “Iraq” and “Bush” has seemed to intrude into almost every sentence the president utters.

And now? His sudden pro-war stance makes a number of hypocritical assumptions. First, the U.S. president can attack a sovereign nation without authorization from Congress (unlike the Iraq war when George W. Bush obtained authorization from both houses of Congress). Even if Obama gets a no vote, he said that he reserves the right to strike.

Second, Obama assumes that the U.S. must go it alone and attack unilaterally (unlike the coalition of the willing of some 40 nations that joined us in Iraq).

Third, it is unnecessary even to approach the UN (unlike Iraq when the Bush administration desperately sought UN support).

Fourth, the U.S. president must make a judgment call on the likelihood of WMD use, which is grounds ipso facto to go to war (unlike Iraq when the vast majority of the 23 congressionally authorized writs had nothing to do with WMD [e.g., genocide of the Marsh Arabs and Kurds, bounties to suicide bombers, harboring of international terrorists, violations of UN agreements, attempts to kill a former U.S. president, etc.]).

So review for a moment the Old Obama case against the New Obama.

On the perils of going it alone without allies

“Where the stakes are the highest, in the war on terror, we cannot possibly succeed without extraordinary international cooperation. Effective international police actions require the highest degree of intelligence sharing, planning and collaborative enforcement.” (2004)

So far no European or Arab nation has offered military support for our planned effort against Syria.

On the need to obtain UN approval before attacking another country

“You know, if the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, do we have the coalition to make it work, and, you know, those are considerations that we have to take into account.” (2013)

After misleading the UN in obtaining no-fly-zones for Libya (and then bombing troops on the ground), Obama is not even approaching the UN for a resolution to bomb this time around.

Hanson elaborates on more duplicity at the link – I can’t excerpt it all.

Dr. Barack and Mr. Hyde

So why is there such a disconnect between what Obama once declared and what he subsequently professed? There are four explanations, none of them mutually exclusive:

A. Candidate Obama had no experience in foreign policy and has always winged it, now and then recklessly sounding off when he thought he could score cheap points against George Bush. As president, he still has no idea of how foreign policy is conducted, and thus continues to make things up as he goes along, often boxing himself into a corner with serial contradictions. Trying to discern any consistency or pattern in such an undisciplined mind is a futile exercise: what Obama says or does at any given moment usually is antithetical to what he said or did on a prior occasion. He is simply lost and out of his league.

B. Candidate Obama has always been an adroit demagogue. He knew how to score political points against George Bush, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain, without any intention of abiding by his own sweeping declarations. The consistency in Obama’s foreign policy is his own carefully calibrated self-interest. Bombing or not bombing, shutting down or keeping open Guantanamo Bay, going or not going to the UN or the U.S. Congress — these choices are all predicated not on principle, but only on what a canny and unprincipled Obama feels best suits his own political interests and self-image at any given moment. In a self-created jam, he flipped and now goes to Congress in hopes of pinning responsibility on them, whether we go or not, whether successful or unsuccessful if we do.  He is a quite clever demagogue.

C. Obama is a well-meaning and sincere naïf, but a naïf nonetheless. He really believed the world prior to 2009 worked on the premises of the Harvard Law School lounge, Chicago organizing, and Rev. Wright’s Church — or least should have worked on such assumptions. Then when Obama took office, saw intelligence reports, and assumed the responsibilities of our highest office, he was shocked at the dangerous nature of the world! There was no more opportunity for demagoguery or buck-passing, and he had to become serious. In short, it is easy to criticize without power, hard with it to make tough decisions and bad/worse choices.  He is slowly learning.

D. Obama is the first president who genuinely feels U.S. exceptionalism and power were not ethically earned and should be in an ethical sense ended. As a candidate, he consistently undermined current U.S. foreign policy at a time of two critical wars; as president, he has systematically forfeited U.S. authority and prestige. There is no inconsistency: whatever makes the traditional idea of the U.S as a superpower weaker, Obama promotes; whatever enhances our profile, he opposes. He is often quite angry at what could be called traditional America — seen often as a downright mean country here and abroad.

My vote is A, B and D. A man who has engineered so many career political victories and been elected to the Presidency not once – but twice – cannot be a “well-meaning and sincere naïf”. It simply isn’t possible.

If this isn’t devastating enough, you need to go see what Ace does to Chuck Todd and Ben Smith  for claiming that Obama’s climbdown and initiation of Operation Enduring Hesitation was “extraordinary”.

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4 thoughts on “Obama Versus Obama

  1. I think I’ll go with “all of the above.” The man has little knowledge of foreign policy, has surrounded himself with people who have the same or lower level of understanding that he himself has, and is entirely too arrogant to admit he needs help understanding both the issues at hand and the options available. I’m not sure which is more frightening, his ignorance or his arrogance. Peace be with you, Joe – thanks for the post. – Kelly

  2. Obama is not a leader he is a follower. He has almost zero management skills and if you noticed is not even a good public speaker without his TelePrompTer. I submit all of his college records are sealed so it is not revealed he completed nothing and was passed along by directives from his handlers to the schools attended.

    He is narcistic, arrogant and a user. His own pleasure drives his every moment and for this we should be thankful. If he was a lot more shrewd he would be doubly dangerous. As it stands now the polish is wearing very thin and he has less and less support form many that voted for him. By the time the mid term elections roll around in 2014 hopefully this will equate to support from less tha 40% of the voters. His last two years should relegate him to the golf course or on a vacation somewhere.

    The bigger problem we face is the moral decline of the nation and loss of our nationalistic spirit embodied in “One Nation Under God”. When we get to the point most of our people want to be like the rest of the world then there is little hope of maintaining our status as the freest, most moral and productive nation in the history of mankind. Without America the Beautiful the world would be a desolate collective of dictatorships and false utopian democracies.

    Will we be able to elect a Godfearing President that is a real American in 2016? We know what the Democrat Party will throw at us so the only question remains is in the hands of the failed Republican Party. For me personally, I will not cast a vote for the lesser of two evils anymore. My litmus test will be the following: a true belief in God demonstrated by his past moral history. If he supported gay rights, abortion, higher taxes (theft), is a demonstrated liar count me out. If he believes in the one world government and want’s to get entangled similar to our actions of the last 50 years count me out as well. If he won’t put the USA 1st I’m not interested.

    Internally there is so much to be done and the best way is to defund as much as possible and return those powers to the States. Taxes, welfare, social benefits, health care are where our time needs to be spent redesigning a system that works for the producers of wealth creation. Not galavanting around the world trying to reshape countries to some quasi state of democratic rule. If we do the heavy lifting here at home the world will have to move our direction to keep up. Our example will bring more freedom to the world than all the bullets and bombs ever will. Since WWII all of our adventurism has had disastorous effects. Even I have to admit my lack of wisdom as well. At the time I supported most of it but reflecting back with 20/20 hind sight can see the abject failure of these past policies.

    Just a few random thought.

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