The Beclowning of American Foreign Policy

Big Red Car here.  The Boss is back home and the weather is a bit milder.  No connection.

Boss was in conversation with an old pal of his.   Both interested in politics and got to talking about the sorry state of American foreign policy in the aftermath of the Syrian debacle.

Don’t get a Big Red Car wrong, there is much to argue for the elimination of Bashar al-Assad from the face of the Earth.  Oh, yes.

There is, however, much to shake one’s head about in the conduct of the affair.

The Campaigner in Chief

First, we have the problem that our Commander in Chief is really a Campaigner in Chief.  Whenever anything happens to threaten his sense of order, he responds with a speech and a campaign event.

In the aftermath of the Syrian red line – no red line – Vlad as Statesman imbroglio there was a big campaign style speech full of righteous indignation and posturing.  There were also more than a handful of campaign style interviews with anyone who has a Sony camera and a microphone.  Well, seven minutes each.  Then there was an almost obligatory interview with Georgie S — George Stephanopolous.

Vlad the Diplomat and Political Pundit

The Big Red Car really wants to call Vladimir Putin — he formerly of the KBG and a man of questionable character by any intelligent observer — Vlad the Impaler.  Cannot explain that urge but when a guy is a former blood thirsty spy, an invader of countries and a murderer of his own people — well, the Big Red Car says a pox on him.

So Vlad writes an Op-Ed in the freakin’ New York Times, apparently now the newspaper of record of Russian Presidents in addition to American Presidents, in which he takes the United States and President Obama, he of the Nobel Peace Prize, to task for our poor handling of all things Syria.

Old Vlad failed to mention that Syria may have actually acquired those chemical weapons from, well, him.  Yes, Syria is a Russian client state — the last one left in the Middle East.  Nobody likes losing their last client, no?

Who’s on first now?

The Big Red Car admits to not being able to follow any of the following:

Can the President bomb Syria without Congressional authorization?

Will the Congress even consider it?

Is there a snow ball’s chance in Hell that it could pass both Houses?

Do we trust the Russians as an honest broker for their own client state and ally?  Really?

Will the United Nations undertake this Russian – Syrian chemical weapons cataloging, compiling and destruction plan?  Really?

How long will this all take?

Will the United States agree to forego support to Syrian rebels as a part of this plan?

Will the United States agree not to bomb Syria?

Will the United States inflict a “incredibly small” punishment on Syria given its reluctance to “do” pinpricks?

Does the United States really want regime change?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

Are the Syrian rebels really Jeffersonian democrats?  Of are they al Qaeda?  Or just jihadists?

Is Iran watching?

Who made that damn red line in the first place?

Just when you thought it could not get worse

So now comes Secretary John Kerry, one of the historically and hysterically most ardent anti-war critics in the history of the United States, with his new warrior garb fitted and tailored and warning Iran that while we may have clowned it up in Syria, we will definitely be using military force against them if they cross any damn red lines.

Oh, yeah, forgot to mention that red line in Iran.

Funniest thing — guess who’s going to Iran to “help” them just a bit — you got it, Vlad the Peacemaker.

Both of our Hermes tie guys — President Obama and Secretary Kerry — warn the world that the United States has not lost its credibility.  [Hey, why would anyone think that, sayeth the Big Red Car.]

If you have to tell the world you have not “lost your credibility” — guess what?  Yes, you have lost your credibility.  Sorry, Old Sport, that’s the way it is.

This is what is called the “Beclowning of American Foreign Policy”.  Beclowning is a new word that has come to be identified with the Obama administration.  Bit picky and mean, really.  Fits well, nonetheless, no?

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.

  • Kevin Billingsley

    Sounds about right. Is Obama a leader or a constant campaigner?

    • JLM

      .
      President Obama is one of the most accomplished technical campaigners in the history of American politics. His command of the Internet for fundraising and GOTV is second to none.

      He just doesn’t like the messiness of governing.

      BRC
      .

      • but on the other hand…..your “great state” delivered us GW. thanks so much for that….from all over the world, thanks so much.

        • JLM

          .
          There is nothing that has made George W Bush look so good as President Obama and his inept administration.

          The world, for whatever reason, feared American might when W had the helm. Today they don’t even pay attention. I am so tired of speeches from Guys in Hermes Ties.

          I do not buy into the notion that W was bad for the world. Our Congress did much of what is laid at the feet of W though it was on his watch, no excuses for that.

          Our country and the world were a better place during the Second Bush administration. I’d make that trade right now.

          BRC
          .

          • the most appalling inept – yes totally inept – joke for a president. if you were to literally step outside of the texan bubble and pretty much go anywhere on this planet wearing a truly objective hat, the signal you would hear would unfortunately be one that you would not like. The man was a clown by any measure.

            …And i am no obama fan either.

          • JLM

            .
            In the assessment of foreign policy, much like domestic electoral politics, I find it useful to focus solely on results.

            A bad idea held by a majority does not become a good idea even if it becomes President of the United States. President Obama won those elections, make no mistake, but was simply unable to deliver on, well, anything. The American economy is worse today six years later.

            W, on the other hand, oversaw a pretty damn good economy until the missteps and interventions of the US Congress on housing unlimited overwhelmed the markets. As I said, apolitically, I would take the W economy over the O economy.

            The US does not depend on goodwill to conduct its foreign policy and W was able to build coalitions is Iraq (not a smart war), A’stan and the War on Terror.

            W led, the world followed. O talks. Nobody follows. Nothing gets done.

            FWIW, W was not a “good” Texas governor, he was an incredible Texas governor. The economy we enjoy today is the result of his policies and programs. Gov Rick Perry has simply continued them.

            BRC
            .

          • Cam MacRae

            Looking from the outside in I think it’s fair to say the beclowning began with W, but the tooth extractions began in Obama’s first term, and took on a new urgency in his second. It’s a worry when a KGB thug dances a merry jig around the POTUS.

          • JLM

            .
            I may have a blind spot for W as he was a fabulous Governor of Texas and I saw him operate up close and personal. We used to go to the same gym for a while and he is a totally approachable and nice guy.

            Whatever advantages Texas enjoys today can be attributed to his administration.

            I was not a fan of the huge Medicare drug benefit and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

            BRC
            .

  • Yup. When you’re late to a party, you’re late. You’ll see the mess and leftovers that others have made before you got there, and you can’t do too much about it, especially if you don’t understand what went on during your absence.

    • JLM

      .
      When you lead from behind, all you can see is the elephant’s butts and droppings.

      BRC
      .