Austin Bay

Asked what he thought of Obama's about face and decision to seek Congress authorization, Desportes expressed extreme agitation. "President Obama's volte-face (flip-flop) shows great contempt by the U.S. for France."

Interjection for Obama apologists still peddling "smart diplomacy": volte-OUCH.

Desportes' damnation continued: "The day before, President Hollande explained to the world why France takes responsibilities seriously. Then the next day, his great ally (Obama) creates an impasse."

Impasse can mean stand still or dead end. Fragments three through five reflect translation variants.

Acknowledging that nuclear-wannabe Iran watched closely, Desportes observed: "Whether we like it or not, the major Western powers are guaranteeing international stability." Intervention in Syria "is more problematic" without a green light from the U.N. Security Council. However, today, the "image of the West, in the minds of our opponents, has seriously deteriorated. Our democracies are (in their minds) weak. And strategy? Strategy is understanding of the state of mind of the other (i.e., the enemy or adversary). Our democracies appear (to our enemies) to be as weak as they were at the end of the 1930s."

Desportes speculated that gaining approval may mean Obama will have "to go (at Assad) hard" and be forced "to set new war goals." Possibly France, too, will be "driven to war."

Sentence fragment one: Expanded intervention in Syria's civil war. Will anti-war protesters, hit the streets? Oh, no, he's a Democrat! Obama promised smart diplomacy. He lied. In his 2013 State of the Union address, he said war was receding. He was wrong. Quagmire? Obama is a living, breathing credibility gap.

Austin Bay

Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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