The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. Psalm 55:21
There are many things that are difficult to explain about the Obama administration. An apparently free and independent people not only elected him president of the United States, but also re-elected him even as it was apparent that his administration was mostly a miserable failure-- even by the measure of liberals.
Historians will long ponder how a president who spent as much money and legislated as much produced very little that actually helped the man on the street…and then was re-elected. Obama’s very own rhetoric about jobs, wages, and the economy since his re-election has been a confession of failure more than a domestic program.
But while we have been focused on the ruinous domestic side of Obama’s policies, it is perhaps on foreign policy that the results will travel farther with us.
The Middle East is ripe for the next world war, as we go into the sixth year of appeasement policies aimed at getting our enemies to think we are really swell guys. It’s the first time since 1944 that the geopolitical conditions in the Middle East are so unstable that it’s hard to predict with certainty how it will all play out.
And a stable foreign policy doesn’t thrive on that type of uncertainty.
Revolutions do though, as we are witnessing.
The situation in Syria, we’ve learned this week, is so bad and so unstable that even Al Qaeda is beginning to disown the effort and their allies.
“Al Qaeda appears to have had enough of one of its affiliates fighting in Syria: the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,” says CNN. “The group has been locked in conflict with other Islamist factions and gained a grim reputation for abuses in parts of Syria it controls, including summary executions and mass killings.”
The last time we checked in with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, they were busy plundering the Iraqi Anbar province.
Imagine what you must do to gain a reputation for savagery so bad that even Al Qaeda is put off by it.
Because while Al Qaeda is the most visible participant in the coalition fighting in Syria, make no mistake: It’s Obama that’s given groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant the guiding hand and the support the terror coalition needs to make a fight in Syria and Iraq and in Libya.
If there was any one thing the White House could do to make Syria’s Baathist dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad look like a more appealing alternative to the terrorists supported by the U.S., they must have just overlooked it.
Because they have done everything possible to prop up Assad, while apparently attempting to topple him.
From a blood-thirsty dictator, they have turned him into a kind of martyr, who while not possessing saintly attributes, is a better devil that we know than the devils Obama is supporting.
Which leads us to the eternal—and internal—question of the Obama administration: Are the people behind the Obama policies really this dumb—along with their president—or are they doing this on purpose?
It will be a question that historian will wrestle with, and perhaps the legacy that Obama leaves for his presidency.
Because while liberals like to cite Bush as “stupid,” his policies and goals were clear to allies and enemies, even when they lacked in execution.
Clarity, indeed, is actually a central goal of any good foreign policy, if foreign policy is meant to avoid war.
World War I was started because all parties misunderstood the goals of every other party. Before the outbreak World War, II Hitler misunderstood England’s resolve to fight, because English leaders were too busy assuring Germany that they wouldn’t fight under any circumstances. Stalin underestimated Truman at Potsdam, while Truman was unclear about American commitment to Korea, resulting in the Korea War-- a war that we carry with us today.
War is made more possible by pusillanimous, covert and unintelligible foreign policies.
And I’m just saying that war is probably not what liberals signed up for.
But war, very possibly, is what they will get.
In fact, they have it already.
Obama either meant to do it, or he didn’t.
And historians will be left sifting through the rubble to ask why.