SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

Syria and Russia 'tweaked' President Obama's nose

'President Obama made a speech, President Putin said 'gotcha' and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad simply smirked'
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WASHINGTON, DC – Syria, with the help of our former Soviet foes, "tweaked" President Obama's nose, adding insult to injury, Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, concluded.

"The plan, offered by Russia's President Putin, for an international lockdown of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons may have temporarily postponed a new showdown in the Middle East, to the relief of most Americans.  But it embarrassed the nation because it was exactly the kind of solution that has eluded the administration's military brain trust ever since Mr. Obama declared that Syria crossed his personal Red Line when it used its weapons of mass destruction."

Weber said the president was "apparently caught off-guard by the Russian solution and wasted no time making yet another flip-flopping course correction.  Mr. Obama immediately took to the airwaves and made a speech while President Putin whispered 'gotcha' to himself and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad simply smirked."

Pollsters report that the majority of Americans oppose military intervention in the Syrian crisis.  A survey this week of more than 10,000 AMAC members and visitors to its website produced only 716 votes in favor of the president's attack plans – barely 7 percent of respondents.

Mr. Obama's saber rattling scared the heck out of most war-weary Americans – not because we don't have the right, the might or the will to win, but because it is the wrong fight at the wrong time.  It is a tactic in search of a strategy," Weber said.

He pointed out that very few people, including the experts, believe the Russian proposal is viable in the long-term for any number of reasons.  But, he said, it may provide a respite. 

"Certainly it offers President Obama a short-term, face-saving device.  Realizing that he'd gone too far out on the limb of war, he quickly dispatched his spin doctors to claim ownership of the Russian solution.  They insisted, with straight faces, that it was his threat of an 'unbelievably small' military action, as Secretary of State Kerry put it, which scared the Russians and the Syrians into making the proposal."

Meanwhile, Weber added, instead of degrading al-Assad's military capabilities, the president has degraded the standing of the U.S. in the global community. 

"Throughout this whole affair, President Obama has shown indecision, hesitancy and a lack of self-confidence and leadership, so much so that all he could get from our allies was a statement condemning Syria's use of gas against his own people.  Even our closest ally, Britain, nixed military support.  In the Arab world, the president is 'seen as feckless and weak,' a man whose 'word cannot be trusted,' according to Salman Shaikh, director of the highly regarded Brookings Institute's Doha Center.  And, the president's performance in dealing with Syria was described as a 'fiasco reminiscent of the Carter days' by former Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman."

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