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Friday, June 14, 2013


It seems more than coincidental that the Obama administration announced they would aid the Syrian rebels just one day after Bill Clinton said that Obama risked being thought of as a "wuss" if he sat by and did nothing.

Clinton is a master manipulator, and as such, understands that the best way to manipulate men is by telling them that their masculinity depends on doing whatever it is you want them to do. And Obama seems particularly vulnerable to that sort of suasion.

(The more manly response would actually have been to laugh at Clinton's comment and then ignore it.)

There is absolutely no upside to our getting involved in Syria. Assad has always been a repressive dictator, and more recently has been a murderous one; but he has also provided the kind of stability which suits our interests, The rebels are for the most part Muslim extremists who will merely install another theocracy. Their new government will undoubtedly be sympathetic to, and possibly even provide shelter for, al Qaeda.

The Arab Spring would have more aptly been termed the Sharia Spring. We have only just begun to reap its "benefits."


bluffcreek1967 said...

Im curious, John, in your opinion why would Bill Clinton want Obama to get involved in another conflict such as in Syria? What benefit would it serve for Bill to place this kind of pressure on Obama? Something's not right about this entire picture - aside from the fact that the U.S. shouldn't get involved in the Syrian fiasco/

When I first read what Clinton told Obama, I wondered if Bill was trying to entangle Obama in a conflict which he knew Obama could not be successful in? I know Bill has been pissed with Obama since he had reportedly reneged in his support of Hillary in 2016. I'm wondering if he's trying to sabotage him in some way?

John Craig said...

Ambrose -
Very good question. The scenario you outline is certainly a possibility; Clinton has disliked Obama for some time, I'm guessing dating back to '08 when Obama originally thwarted Hillary. But still, what does he have to gain by doing that? Not much that I can see. Maybe he wants the world to fall apart so that it looks as if Hillary was somehow holding it together while she was Secretary of State.

My first thought, though, was that Bill was himself being manipulated by Israeli interests, and wanted more US involvement in the Middle East for that reason. But that doesn't quite make sense, either, since the israelis would have nothing to gain from another Muslim theocracy in the area. Hezbollah, no friend of Israel, recently threw in their lot with Assad; maybe that would have influenced Israel. But I still see no gain for them.

The real answer to your question is, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe he wants the world to fall apart so that it looks as if..." Bill was orders-of-magnitude more competent, by comparison.

John Craig said...

Anon --

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Israel has wanted the Assad regime to fall for some time, probably because Assad is allied with Iran - Israel's biggest nemesis. It was Israel who initially claimed Assad had used chemical weapons.

It has been pointed out that it is extremely difficult to prove who might have used the chemical weapons - the Assad government or the rebels, who would pin it on Assad in hopes of getting direct US assistance.

In a conflict with 90,000 deaths, about 150 of which are attributed to chemical weapons - which scenario makes more sense?

Syria is of strategic importance to Russia. Are the Russians going to let Assad fall without a fight?

Is Iran going to stand idly by?

This seems a powder keg the US should best stay away from. But NO. And for what official reason? Because the US is the world's policeman, and can make definitive judgement in an ambiguous situation, and decide to arm a foreign army? An army of foreigners who are actually hostile towards us.

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
I have no doubt that Israel disliked Assad, but what do they expect in his place? A modern, functioning democracy where there is separation of church and state? It seems to me that they, like the US, are being somewhat naive about the out-of-the-frying-pan nature of the Arab Spring.

Good point about the chemical weapons. I hadn't realize what the numbers were.

I couldn't agree with you more about there being no upside for us in this war. Our recent involvement in the MIddle East has been likened both to the Crusades and to Vietnam. It seems to me to be both wrapped up in one. Except the weapons are a lot more deadly than they ere during the Crusades and there are a lot more Muslims in the world than there were North Vietnamese. This is just a disaster.

Pete said...

The picture of the two sociopaths seems instructive. The younger, less experienced one is watching the old hand and taking mental notes as to how to play it, how to manipulate and deceive others effortlessly. His ego tells him he can outdo the past master but will never, in his own mind, give credit to anyone else for having helped him learn the subtler tricks of his trade.

John Craig said...

Pete --
My guess: Obama figures he knows it all already, and is merely resentful of Clinton for hogging the stage. (He looks petulant and resentful to me in that photograph.) From all accounts, those two hate each other.

Pete said...

Yup, I think you nailed it. Obama looks as if he is being forced to pretend to be respectful but really wishes Clinton would just leave already. There's not enough room on one stage for two bloated egos, both the size of the Hindenburg.

John Craig said...

Pete --