Whither Obama?

Whither Obama?
by Stephen Lendman 
A previous article asked if Syria would be Obama’s undoing. Would it be his Waterloo. His legacy’s already pockmarked. His record exceeds the worst of all his predecessors.
Will Syria cause his fall from grace? Will it bring him down? Will it show loyal supporters they backed the wrong man? Will it fully expose his lawless agenda?
In February 2009, Gallup’s three-day rolling average showed around 70% support. Thereafter, it hovered around 50%. In mid-2011, it was around 40%.
On August 19, Gallup headlined “Summer Months Unkind to Obama.” His average August support was 45.6%. In early/mid August 2013, it was 47%.
His economic approval was 35%. His foreign affairs approval was 40%. Overwhelming popular opposition to attacking Syria threatens to head it lower.
Americans know they’ve been conned. They’re tired of permanent wars. They’re tired of waging them for the wrong reasons. 
They want domestic priorities addressed. They reject Obama heading America for more conflict. They want peace, jobs and economic growth. They want promises made kept.
On September 6, The New York Times headlined “Obama Falls Short on Wider Backing for Syria Attack,” saying:
He faces “one of the biggest tests of his presidency.” His war agenda isn’t selling.
“He ordered aides to fan out in coming days with a series of speeches, briefings, telephone calls and television appearances to sway” Congress and constituents.
So far, he’s waging a losing battle. He faces stiff opposition. He disingenuously said he “was elected to end wars, not start them.”
“I’ve spent the last four and a half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on military power as a means of meeting our international obligations and protecting the American people.” 
“But what I also know is that there are times where we have to make hard choices if we’re gonna stand up for the things that we care about. And I believe that this is one of those times.”
Fact check
Obama escalated war in Afghanistan. It rages without end. He waged lawless aggression on Libya. He created charnel house conditions.
He’s waging proxy war on Syria. He plans intervening directly. He wages wars based on lies. He plans regime change in Iran.
Wars are his strategy of choice. They won’t end on his watch. Claims otherwise ring hollow. Americans are fed up. They’ve got good reason to be mad.
A previous article said candidate Obama pledged hope, peace and change. President Obama delivered duplicity, war and betrayal. 
He reflects the worst of America’s dark side (no pun intended). His agenda’s polar opposite what most people want.
He’s waging war on humanity. He’s doing it nonstop. He plans lots more ahead. He prioritizes advancing America’s imperium. He seeks unchallenged global dominance. He’s repressively ruthless at home.
He’s alienating world leaders. On Saturday, the Wall Street Journal headlined “Obama’s Call to Hit Syria Splits World Leaders.” 
He came to St. Petersburg for support. His “lobbying blitz” fell short. He met stiff opposition. He headed home to face congressional and popular “skeptics.”
Ahead of his planned 9/11 eve nationally televised address on Syria, his UN envoy Samantha Powers told Center for American Progress (CAP) ideologues:
“We believe that more than 1,400 people were killed in Damascus on August 21, and the Security Council could not even agree to put out a press statement expressing its disapproval.”
She urged circumventing Security Council authorization. She argued for lawless aggression, saying:
“If we cannot summon the courage to act when the evidence is clear and when the action being contemplated is limited, then our ability to lead in the world is compromised.” 
“The alternative is to give a green light to outrages that will threaten our security and haunt our conscience, outrages that will eventually compel us to use force anyway down the line at far greater risk and cost to our own citizens.”
On September 6, the Washington Free Beacon headlined “Anti-war activists protest Samantha Power’s Syria speech,” saying:
They descended on CAP. They did so to denounce Power’s interventionist advocacy. They held signs saying:
“Obama thinks he’s king but he’s no MLK.”
“No to US military intervention in Syria.”
CodePink activist Medea Benjamin called it “terrible” that CAP invited Power. “At least sponsor a debate, have the other side,” she said.
“Don’t give her a platform.” Doing so endorses imperial intervention. CAP prevented Benjamin from hearing Power’s address. She’s known for powerful anti-war statements. She holds back nothing expressing them.
Power argued that America has a moral imperative to intervene. She claimed US security’s at risk. She repeated other administration lies. 
Her comments preceded Obama’s planned Tuesday night address. Edward Herman once called her a prominent “cruise missile left adherent.”
Francis Boyle calls her husband, Cass Sunstein, a “lethal neo-con.” From 2009 – 2012, he was Obama’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administrator.
Power’s book “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” gained her prominence. She “never departs from the selectivity dictated by the establishment party line,” said Herman.
Terrorism is what they do, not us, she says. Horrendous US genocides are ignored. They’re longstanding. They’ve been ongoing since the republic’s inception. They continue today.
America’s no benevolent nation. It never was. It isn’t now. It’s ruthlessly belligerent. It’s repressive. It’s genocidal. Ideologues like Power pretend otherwise.
Herman called “A Problem from Hell” a “masterpiece of evasion and apologetics for ‘our’ genocides and call for a more aggressive pursuit of ‘theirs.’ “
Ideologues think that way. Power’s not alone. Washington’s infested with imperial supporters. Whether they plan supporting war on Syria remains to be seen.
On September 7, Reuters headlined “Direct link between Assad and gas attack elusive for US,” saying:
“No direct link to President Bashar al-Assad or his inner circle has been publicly demonstrated, and some US sources say intelligence experts are not sure whether the Syrian leader knew of the attack before it was launched or was only informed about it afterward.”
Nothing suggests Syrian military involvement. Credible evidence is lacking. It’s “one of the biggest gaps in US understanding of the incident,” said Reuters. 
Plenty of evidence links insurgents to chemical weapons use. They’ve been caught red-handed multiple times.
After attacking Iraq based on lies, who can believe anything administration officials say. Credibility isn’t Washington’s long suit.
On September 5, The New York Times headlined “White House Looks to Syria Vote as Rudder for Rest of Term,” saying:
“President Obama and his advisers view the coming decision on military action against Syria as a potential turning point that could effectively define his foreign policy for his final three years in office.”
Failure potentially could wreck his presidency. Acting without congressional and Security Council support will leave him increasingly isolated.
Perhaps it’ll encourage Republicans to impeach him. Doing so will be hugely disruptive. Former Obama Defense Department official Rosa Brooks said:
“I think this vote determines the future of his foreign policy regardless of whether it’s a yes vote or a no vote.” 
“If he ekes out a yes vote, he’s beholden to the Republicans. (I)f he gets a no vote and stands down on Syria, he’s permanently weakened and will indeed probably be more inward looking.”
His case for war lacks credibility. He claims failing to act helps Iran. It harms Israel. He’s lobbying for congressional support. He’s using hardball tactics. He’s waging an uphill battle.
He’s trying “to thread the needle at home and abroad,” said The Times. Arguing that stakes are high doesn’t wash.
Claiming world credibility is risked angers opposition leaders. Activist groups like CodePink say “No War with Syria.”
Be on the right side of history, it says. “Take Action: Diplomacy and Aid for Syria, Not Military Strikes.”
Write “your members of Congress calling for peace not war. Tell Obama: Violent intervention in Syria is not the answer to resolving conflict.”
Redirect “military dollars (for) immediate humanitarian aid.”
Prioritize “urgent peace talks, halt sales to authoritarian regimes and honor the voices of nonviolent resistance. We don’t want another war.”
Salon.com’s Gordon Osmond headlined “Obama’s Waterloo,” saying:
His 2012 reelection “was an epic avoidance of accountability.” Syria may be his undoing.
“His face-saving advocacy” for more war faces stiff opposition at home and abroad.
“The isolation of this short-sighted egotist, who sought to draw red (read pale pink) lines and then cowardly sought to deny his artwork abroad shows every sign of discrediting both Obama’s policy and his political credibility.”
His presidency looks more lame duck than ever. It may end up worse than that. Accountability is long overdue. History suggests he’ll muddle through.
Millions Obama harmed deserve much better. Maybe some day. Not now.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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