Syria is the question the Obama doctrine must answer if it is not to be reduced to the point of meaninglessness. NYTs

Even the New York Times is having second thoughts about the Obama foreign affairs doctrine as do I.

Roger Cohen has this to say.

Syria will be the biggest blot on the Obama presidency, a debacle of staggering proportions. For more than four years now, the war has festered. A country has been destroyed, four million Syrians are refugees, Islamic State has moved into the vacuum and President Bashar al-Assad still drops barrel bombs whose shrapnel and chlorine rip women and children to shreds.

For a long time, those who fled waited in the neighborhood. They wanted to go home. They filled camps in Turkey and Jordan and Lebanon. When it became clear even to them that “home” no longer existed, nothing could stop them in their desperate flight toward the perceived security of Europe. The refugee crisis is the chronicle of a disaster foretold.

The refugees do not care what “Christian” Europe thinks. They are beyond caring about Europe’s hang-ups or illusions. They want their children to live. In their homeland, more than 200,000 people have been killed. Statistics numb, but less so when you know the dead. This evisceration of a state is a consequence of many things, among them Western inaction.

Here is the full article.

Three years ago Obama drew a red line in Syria, but only over chemical weapons. What good did that do when 200,000 people have died by other means? Either we care about people or we don’t. Exactly what does this Administration stand for?  Oh I know, the war on women by those of us who believe “free” birth control is a waste of other people’s money. Do we turn our backs or go all in? Ignoring the problem is the worst option  

And then we have Thomas Friedman in the NYTs

Historically we’ve counted on empires, like the Ottomans, colonial powers, like Britain and France, and autocratic strongmen, such as kings and colonels, to hold artificial states together and provide order in these regions. But we’re now in a post-imperial, post-colonial and, soon, I believe, post-authoritarian world, in which no one will be able to control these disorderly regions with an iron fist while the world of order goes about its business as best it can with occasional reminders of the nasty disarray on its frontiers.

Your heart aches for the Syrian refugees flocking to Europe. And Germany’s generosity in absorbing so many is amazing. We have a special obligation to Libyan and Iraqi refugees. But, with so many countries melting down, just absorbing more and more refugees is not sustainable.

If we’re honest, we have only two ways to halt this refugee flood, and we don’t want to choose either: build a wall and isolate these regions of disorder, or occupy them with boots on the ground, crush the bad guys and build a new order based on real citizenship, a vast project that would take two generations. We fool ourselves that there is a sustainable, easy third way: just keep taking more refugees or create “no-fly zones” here or there.

Will the ends, will the means. And right now no one wants to will the means, because all you win is a bill. So the world of disorder keeps spilling over into the world of order. And beware: The market, Mother Nature and Moore’s law are just revving their engines. You haven’t seen this play before, which is why we have some hard new thinking and hard choices ahead.


Categories: Politics

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8 replies »

  1. Your world view is idiotic Reich-wing nonsense. Our president is to be blamed for tribal Middle-Eastern wars for that have been raging for 1,400 years? – the comments of billmtchell1 are pure idiocy and you are not far behind, Quinn
    How much treasure do you want to waste and how many young Americans do you want to die in unwinnable wars to “bring peace” to animals who hate the US and who do not ever want peace?
    Our president is completely right to place the onus on Saudi Arabia, Turkey, et al to police their own insurgents and to fight their own wars
    Here is the military power of Turkey which they refuse to engage:
    Here is the military power of Saudi Arabia which they refuse to engage:
    If the Middle-East is ever to be at peace, they must earn it themselves, as we do constantly
    Muslims and Arabs are destined to kill each other until the end of time. So be it. Our United States has other more pressing concerns here at home and abroad.
    Stop your nonsensical blaming of progressive America for the bloody Middle-Eastern conflicts. If your bombastic loud mouth hero Trump has a better idea, I haven’t heard it. Nor have I heard anything but nonsense from the other16 passenger in the Teapublikkkan clown car. Your statements are unreasoned and your opinions are bigoted, partisan and racist.


    • Oh Wilson, enough already. Look around you. Read what others are writing. Most of this post is from the NYTs not me. The legacy of this president will ultimately be among the worst in history and we will pay the price of his inability to lead for many years after he is gone. He should be the leader of the Western world instead he is the target of jokes among our allies.

      It would be nice to just talk our way to a peaceful world and ignore the evil in it, but the lessons of history show that is not possible. Just when do we say enough when it comes to the atrocities in the Middle East? Or do we just wait until it comes to our shores once again.

      You can rant and call names all you want, history will be the final arbiter and I have no doubt that Obama will be shown to be the naive incompetent he his.


      • This is always a high price to pay for freedom. I agree that the Middle Eastern countries only know war and will not be happy until they kill everybody but themselves. However Mr. Wilson you are forgetting your American history. America has been fight wars in the Middle East since our founding and was the reason the US Navy was founded in1798 to meet this threat. Does the lyrics “To the shores of Tripoli” meaning anything to you? As a American who service in the USAF, even I fully understand the meaning of those words that are the proud history of the USMC. I much rather keep those anti-American animals in a cave than let them back on US soil to cause another 9/11.


      • This is the same warmed over Reich-Wing nonsense that has failed miserably for so many years. “We need leadership”? What the f**k does that really mean, specifically? What should our president have done differently and when and be specific? Reprint one time that one of our significant world allies has said that our president “is a joke”.  You are well-read and you know that our president is more highly regarded among our world allies than in our Teapublikkkan racist House of Representatives. Just one example? There are 1.57 billion Muslims in this world and killing more of them will demonstrate leadership and our allies will applaud those actions and not think that our president is “a joke” any longer????You right-wing war mongers are all disciples of the Bush / Cheney regime that invaded Iraq after 19 Saudis brought down the World Trade Center 14 years ago. How has that worked out for the world and for the thousands of disabled American veterans? Your heroes created the Middle Eastern power vacuum that created ISIL. “Stop Communism now before it comes to our shores” is a ludicrous slogan from the Vietnam era and that war was also unwinnable. We killed a lot of people and then we left in defeat. In Iraq, we killed a lot of people, destroyed the balance of power in the entire Middle East and then we left a vacuum for ISIL to exploit. However, Dick Cheney and Halliburton reaped enormous profits from that war. The next Republican war on a credit card was in Afghanistan. The Bush administration ignored the fact that Russia had failed to control that country for 10 years and invaded it anyway. Shear lunacy, but very profitable for the military-industrial complex and enriching both Halliburton and Dick Cheney once again.I think that you are an intelligent person and I remain amazed that your mind is so decayed by your ideology while ignoring the facts of history? I have repeatedly read that Ted Cruz is very intelligent. That tells me that, when he says things that are completely and unequivocally untrue, he is lying. I am not sure about you?I hope we both live long enough so that I can tell you that I was right and that you were wrong.Regards,Wilson 


      • Wasn’t it Kennedy and Johnson who gave us Vietnam? They are the ones who activated my guard unit for Vietnam? Don’t take my word for anything, but given your perspective on things I would think you would pay attention to the NYTs


    • Here you go Wilson, yet another example of lack of leadership and indecision. Given the history of Russia and Syria and Al- Assad would you think this should be a surprise or that a contingency plan would not have been in place? Look at the last paragraph especially.

      From Bloomberg View

      The Barack Obama administration and the U.S. intelligence community have concluded that Russia is set to start flying combat missions from a new air base inside Syria, but there’s disagreement inside the U.S. government on what to do about it.

      Thursday at the White House, top officials were scheduled to meet at the National Security Council Deputies Committee level to discuss how to respond to the growing buildup of Russian military equipment and personnel in Latakia, a city on the Syrian coast controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime. Obama has called on his national security officials to come up with a plan as early as next week, as intelligence reports pour in about the Russian plans to set up an air base there. The options are to try to confront Russia inside Syria or, as some in the White House are advocating, cooperate with Russia there on the fight against the Islamic State.

      The State Department had already begun pushing back against the Russian moves, for example by asking Bulgaria and Greece to deny overflight permissions to Syria-bound Russian transport planes. But the president didn’t know about these moves in advance, two officials said, and when he found out, he was upset with the department for not having a more complete and vetted process to respond to the crisis. A senior administration official said Thursday evening that the White House, the State Department and other departments had coordinated to oppose actions that would add to Assad’s leverage.

      For some in the White House, the priority is to enlist more countries to fight against the Islamic State, and they fear making the relationship with Russia any more heated. They are seriously considering accepting the Russian buildup as a fait accompli, and then working with Moscow to coordinate U.S. and Russian strikes in Northern Syria, where the U.S.-led coalition operates every day.


  2. The Affordable Health Care Act, Welfare recipient increases, pulling out of the middle east, offending Israel and other alies, Cutting back our military, failing to act on economic issues, allowing money to flow to failed enterprises, allowing ISIS to prosper with our equipment and above all the failure to act in the Syrian crisis are just a few items that come to my mind. He and his administration have done more to weaken the image and ability of the United States to maintain itself as a major influence in the world.


    • Sadly, I agree with you. I try to be as objective as possible, but this administration has done irreparable harm to America and the world. I genuinely fear for our future and the really sad part is that so many people buy into the populist rhetoric, scapegoating and tax anyone but me nonsense. I’m no tea party fan, but the far left is just as dangerous or worse.


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