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Obama’s blundering incompetence

Published 9:49am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I don’t know who’s more confused about Syria, President Obama or me.

With his alleged use of poison gas against his own people, including women and children, Bashar al-Assad of Syria has crossed our president’s famous red line — again.

But unlike the last time Assad crossed the president’s red line, this time President Obama means business.

No, seriously. He does. Really. He’s not just talking you-know-what.

In the words of The New York Times, the war hawk-in-chief is going to “hold the Syrian government accountable for a ‘moral obscenity’ that has shocked the world’s conscience.”

An attack on Syria’s military assets looks inevitable.

The administration is turning up the rhetoric and lining up our allies to support us. The cruise missiles are parked and taking aim offshore. The news media are on full alert.

It could happen this weekend. But whoever is truly responsible for the use of poison gas in the suburbs of Damascus is still an important question without a credible answer.

The U.S. Department of State, our intelligence agencies and the corrupt charlatans at the United Nations all assure us that it was Assad’s side.

They’re still collecting the evidence but, “Trust us,” they say, “it was the rebels. We’ll have the proof for you in just a few months.”

Is it just me, or do you feel a “Gulf of Tonkin” moment coming on?

A lot of wise people who don’t work for Obama are wondering how Assad would be so stupid.

He’s beating the rebels. He’s already murdered 100,000 of his unfortunate citizens with bombs and bullets. (Was that OK as long as he didn’t use poison gas?)

Why would Assad want to guarantee the military wrath of the United States by using the only weapon short of tactical nukes that could get three ex-peaceniks like Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry calling for military intervention against him?

Even Hillary Clinton could tell you it’s the Syrian rebels who stand to gain the most from Assad’s use of chemical weapons.

And the Russians are not the only ones to suspect that the rebels, in their desperation to get outside help, might have sacrificed a few hundred innocent lives to get it.

It wouldn’t be the first time that cold-hearted calculus was used in that bloody part of the world.

President Obama insists he’s not after regime change in Syria, which is another thing that makes no sense. Is he trying to send Assad some sort of subtle hint?

He’d be better off sending U.S. warplanes on a midnight bombing run to Assad’s favorite palace. That’s what my father did in 1986 to signal Mr. Gaddafi that we were serious about wanting him to cut the terrorist crap — and it worked for the next 20 years.

Obama’s too smooth for that blunt kind of message-sending. And now he’s clearly being suckered into throwing our military weight behind the rebel side in another ugly civil war in the Middle East.

Obama’s overall lack of leadership, his dithering and delaying during the revolutions in Libya and Egypt, his empty blustering, his kowtowing to the United Nations — they don’t inspire confidence for success in Syria.

No one — least of all the White House — knows what will happen after the missiles hit. Will Russia, Syria’s longtime friend and bodyguard, use our intervention as an excuse to reheat the Cold War?

Will Assad say “uncle” and split for wherever island the world’s worst despots retire to? Will the democracy-loving Syrian rebels — whoever they really are — take over?

Will Syrians just choose up new sides for a new and bloodier sectarian civil war between Muslims or between Muslims and Christians? Will U.S. military aid or ground troops be next?

Don’t ask Obama. He’s as confused as the rest of us.

We’ll probably never know who was responsible for using poison gas in Syria. But we’ll always know whose blundering incompetence got us into an unnecessary war there.


Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution.” Visit his websites at and Send comments to


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  • mickakers

    I concur with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assessment of the situation.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Go ahead stupid.
    Three Russian warships crossed Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait Thursday en route to the eastern Mediterranean, near the Syrian coast, amid concern in the region over potential US-led strikes in response to the Damascus regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

    The SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye, accompanied by the two landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk passed through the Bosphorus known as the Istanbul strait that separates Asia from Europe, an AFP photographer reported.

    The Priazovye on Sunday started its voyage from its home port of Sevastopol in Ukraine “to the appointed region of military service in the eastern Mediterranean”, a military official told the Interfax news agency.

    Russia, a key ally of Damascus, has kept a constant presence of around four warships in the eastern Mediterranean in the Syrian crisis, rotating them every few months.

    It also has a naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus whose origins date back to Moscow’s close relationship with Damascus under the Soviet Union.

    Moscow vehemently opposes the US-led plans for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to the chemical attack outside Damascus last month.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that any US Congress approval for a military strike against Syria without UN consensus would represent an “aggression”.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Go ahead stupid.
    What kind of a president could reportedly sleep when four courageous Americans were being slaughtered in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya—but within a week of the first anniversary of the tragedy send the U.S. military to fight side by side with al-Qaeda in Syria?

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Go ahead stupid.
    President Obama arrives in Russia for G-20 summit amid warning from Putin that the country will provide the Syrian government with a missile shield should the US act in Syria without UN backing.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    Michael Reagan; President Obama’s decision to defer to Congress regarding the Syria situation and the action to be taken was wise diplomacy not “blundering incompetence” as you infer. Your father, President Ronald Reagan exhibited the prime example of “blundering incompetence” in his handling of the Air Traffic Controllers Strike. Granted, the Air Traffic Controllers were violating their contract by striking, but this situation could have been handled with a bit of diplomacy rather than the high handed and dictatorial tactic that your father chose by dismissing them. If I were in your shoes and a member of the Grand Old Party, I would be careful when it came to using a term like “the war hawk-in-chief”. Do you let the New York Times do your thinking for you? Iraq and Afghanistan, I seem to recall that the Republican party had a major hand in these fiascoes. Closed mindedness and ignorance never fail to amaze me.

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    How America could go from fighting off al-Qaeda to fighting beside al-Qaeda in the 12 years since September 11, 2001 is mind boggling.

    Why are Republicans like House Leader John Boehner and sidekick Eric Cantor caving in without a fight to every Obama demand? Do they fear personal al-Qaeda retaliation, or does Obama have the goods on them?

    Have the Valerie Jarrett-led unelected Obama czars been working these past five years grooming a civilian national security force for him while Obama has been MIA golfing and holidaying?

    Meanwhile, the big question on Syria should not be why America is going into Syria, but who America is sending into Syria.

    (Report comment)

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