President Obama’s policy in Syria has failed. And now he is quite predictably pointing the blame at everyone else but himself.
By any measure, President Obama’s effort to train a Syrian opposition army to fight the Islamic State on the ground has been an abysmal failure. The military acknowledged this week that just four or five American-trained fighters are actually fighting.
But the White House says it is not to blame. The finger, it says, should be pointed not at Mr. Obama but at those who pressed him to attempt training Syrian rebels in the first place — a group that, in addition to congressional Republicans, happened to include former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Constitutional expert and Army veteran David French weighs in at National Review:
President Obama famously binge-watched Breaking Bad a couple years ago. So he should know that “No half measures” was a classic refrain of fictional high school teacher turned drug kingpin Walter White.
There was never going to be an easy way forward in Syria. While there may — may — have been a window early in the Syrian Civil War when more-secular rebel forces could have made a difference, that time is long past. And even then, offering support for unproven rebels on the ground would have been fraught with risks (see, for example, Libya). But the Obama administration has made a difficult situation nearly impossible by pursuing one half-measure after another — red line/no red line, train/don’t train, bomb/don’t bomb. And it’s certainly not the critics’ fault when these half-measures fail.
Timidity and failed leadership have all-too-real consequences in the real world of geopolitical terror. If only President Obama at least had the courage to realize the fundamental truth of his fellow Democratic Commander-in-Chief Harry S. Truman: The buck stops at the Presidency.
To President Obama, the buck seems to always stop at the previous president and potential future presidents.
Sorry, Mr. President. Being President doesn’t just mean fun Buzzfeed and Jon Stewart interviews and adorning the White House in rainbow-colored lights. You also have to actually lead.
For more from David, read his full article here.