Thursday, September 11, 2014


The President spoke.  He looked rehearsed, unconvincing and unconvinced.  His Magnum Opus  left his audience in the cold.  He played the part of Jimmy Stewart attempting to be Churchill. The inspiration was gone, like the bust in the oval office before.  I leave it to others, better informed, to pass judgement.

As an outsider I noticed hints of contradiction, mistakes and strategic "spin":

--To layout beforehand what you might do and how far you might go is a major blunder.
--To call the moderate Syrian opposition a cluster of white collar jobs at first, and mobilize them now is beyond rational understanding.
--To mix party politics with a supposedly existential threat leads to denigrating the latter and to banalize the former.
--The President remains unable to connect convincingly either with Congress or with the public opinion at large which is running for the EXIT doors.
--One felt that the words used received the seal of approval from the usual close sycophants rather than from the politico/military think-tanks at large.
--The partial de-localization effort, to the "grand coalition" (?), to friendly (?) Arab states and, last but not least, to the "Iraq nouveau" is an other toss of the dice. 
--Air strikes on Syrian territory will certainly provoke Assad, not to mention Putin.

Obviously this was a treacherous bridge to cross for the President.  He is entitled to his misgivings and to feel uncomfortable in the current circumstances.  As commander-in-chief he 
has nevertheless the obligation to stand for the principles that are inherent to his call to duty. He tries to convey the impression that he is conscious of the hard choices to be made. His posture still  betrays his reluctance.Likewise, his perceived "detachment" and "defensiveness" are looming in the background. If not checked, they could allow the "ultras" to occupy his territory, so that at the end  the center might not hold!

All this being said, the president deserves respect for trying to do so much...against his own nature.

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