Obama obamablunders Syria

J.E.DEYER: THE OBAMA CAMP WILL BUSILY SPIN SYRIA FIASCO AS A ‘JFK MOMENT’……….

 

You’ll soon recognize his canonization when he’s referred to as simply, ‘BHO’.

The U.S.Democrats and Arab M.E. mindset in this regard, are amazingly similar. Historically, they’ve spun every kind of boneheaded decision or disastrous defeat, into an amazing act of brilliance and achievement.

The Russians are moving lightening speed around the Obama administration’s head, so much so, that even it’s more avid supporters are starting to wonder about the fearless leader’s supposed incompetence.

obama wave

We need not fear that Russia and Assad won’t go through with a UN-inspectors proposal.  Of course they will: doing so gives the UN a stake in the status quo in Syria.  It’s brilliant, for them: it leaves Assad in control of how much the UN gets to look at and take custody of, while creating the perfect pretext for freezing lines of confrontation and bleeding off momentum from the rebels.
With the rebels known to have chemical weapons of their own, it officially puts them on the same moral footing as Assad, and makes the potential of their chemical weapons arsenal an unresolved issue: one that might just remain unresolved, and keep redounding to Assad’s strategic benefit for as long as he needs it to.
It guarantees, moreover, that, if the UN steps further into the Syria quagmire – and that may well be next, if it seems like a good idea to, say, France, the EU, Saudi Arabia, etc. – Assad will have a seat at the table and be taken seriously in any negotiated resolutions.
A UN inspection proposal is leverage to legitimacy for Assad, changing the whole character of his dynamic with the rebels overnight.  Yet it would be very hard for diehard rebel supporters like John McCain to complain effectively about it.  The prospect of negotiating something seemingly concrete, rather than bombing weapon storehouses and air-defense sites for no good reason, will look very attractive to a lot of constituencies out there.

Obama’s Cuban missile crisis

White House official photo

White House official photo

What a coup it would be, for Team Obama to turn two weeks of dithering and squandering American credibility on the Syria question into a narrative of courage under fire and successful brinkmanship.

Could it happen?  It happened for John F. Kennedy.  Granted, he had Arthur Schlesinger to write a narrative for him afterward.  And his administration did a better job of keeping secrets than the Obama administration does.  It was only years later that the public began to realize how big a concession it was to Nikita Khrushchev to resolve the Cuban missile crisis by secretly removing U.S. theater ballistic missiles from Turkey.

The missiles of October

The missiles, which had barely arrived at their bases in Turkey in October 1962, were intended to function as a deterrent in the NATO defensive posture vis-à-vis the Soviet Union.  The script of the movie Thirteen Days (Beacon Pictures, 2000) gratuitously added an erroneous adjective about the “Jupiter” missiles – “obsolete” – to suggest that what was being traded for the Soviets’ removal of theirmissiles from Cuba was a meaningless gesture.

But the Jupiter missiles weren’t obsolete.  Production had started in 1956, and deployment of the missiles had first begun (in Italy and Turkey) in 1961.  They were intended to protect NATO Europe for at least the next decade.  They used liquid-fueled rockets, at a time when the U.S. had decided that the next generation of medium-range weapons would be designed to use solid fuel.  But in 1962, they were our only land-mobile medium-range missiles.  (The Thor missile, also liquid-fueled and with a similar range, was installed in the UK in the same time period, but used fixed launch installations only.  Being deployed from the UK, its reach into the Soviet Union was much more limited.)  Removing the Jupiters from Turkey meant removing the deterrent they represented, with nothing to replace it.  Khrushchev got a major concession from us, in his horse-trade for the missiles in Cuba.

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