Every Dem has his day.
Hillary had her tour. Bernie had his. A number of Dem staffers and media people have done theirs. Now it’s Ben Rhodes’ turn to play Miss Obama. His documentary clips are everywhere. He’s got a new gig with NBC. And he’s churning out a stream of articles, editorials and excuses. As the Obama Whisperer, the manager of the echo chamber, he’s back doing what he loves. Spinning.
This time it’s Obama on Syria.
In an Atlantic piece, Obama’s vizier blames the international community and Republicans. Obama had famously blamed the Euros. Rhodes goes easier on the Euros (after all they’re part of the Kerry #resistance and Obama Inc. needs them now) and bashes Republicans.
How is Syria the fault of the Republicans?
According to Ben Rhodes, they wanted Congress to exercise its constitutional role of authorizing the war. And then Republicans didn’t appear to want to authorize it. So it’s not Obama’s fault. It’s their fault.
Like most Rhodes spin, it’s reductive, dishonest nonsense.
1. The Syria mess sprang directly from Obama’s Arab Spring. Obama’s backing for the Muslim Brotherhood (at no point in time does Ben Rhodes discuss whom Obama was actually backing in Syria) unleashed chaos and violence across the region. It wasn’t a problem that fell into Obama’s lap. Rather Obama backed a Jihadist movement and then wants to blame other people for the mess.
2. Obama had no problem going into Libya. Against the will of Americans and of Congress. Rhodes cites a worthless UN resolution that Obama quickly made a mockery of by turning an operation meant to suppress bombing raids into a regime change war. And, despite Obama’s lie cited by Rhodes, we most certainly had casualties. 4 in Benghazi and at least 1 elsewhere.
Republican opposition did not stop Obama from going into Syria. Fear of failure might have. And more acutely, appeasement of Iran.
3. Obama was terrible at making military decisions. He didn’t understand the military and resented generals (as McChrystal was fired for pointing out) and wanted easy political wins without any pain. His subordinates were able to shove him into disastrous decisions, like Libya, which he then resented and tried to blame on everyone else.
Bottom line, Obama was a terrible leader. Childish, inept, weak, whiny, vacillating and incapable of taking responsibility.
4. Republicans didn’t force Obama to set a red line. They certainly didn’t tell him to accept a fake Russian disarmament deal that Rhodes continues defending, even as it’s been discredited by reality. They’re not responsible for his decisions.
Obama poisoned the well at the UN and with Americans on Libya after he lied about genocide, about intervention, about Benghazi and everything else. No wonder they didn’t believe him on Syria.
They were right not to. Or to believe Ben Rhodes.