Obama blinks, passes the buck to Congress and Kerry looks like a war-monger

Well, I thought that Kerry’s speech yesterday had effectively closed off all options for retreat.

But I had not reckoned with Obama’s risk aversion and his distaste for making decisions.

He blinked, passed the buck to Congress and Kerry now looks like a war-monger! 

He found his exit from the “red-line box” he was in. And Cameron’s slap-in-the-face from his own Parliament probably provided Obama not only with the inspiration to find his own exit policy but also convinced him not to go it alone. Having French support (and the Turkish support does not really count) was clearly not sufficient for Obama to stick his neck out. The “special relationship” with the UK still has meaning – even if Cameron is smarting.

I suspect this deferment to Congress is more due to Obama’s reluctance to take risky decisions rather than his desire to support the role of Congress. Congress will not be recalled especially for this and will resume normally on Monday 9th September. If Congress approves a strike his back is covered – even if a strike achieves nothing. And if Congress rejects any strike he has an “out” and a Congress to berate for lack of moral “spine”. 

Quite clever really. A win-win for him at the cost only of enhancing perceptions of his risk aversion and his indecision. And he has no elections to face any more.

 So probably no strikes for the next 10 days but 10 days is a very long time for anything to happen.


UPDATE! Someone pointed out to me that a delay of 10 days could also be very useful in the collection or manufacture of “evidence”. That may be unduly cynical but I note also that Putin’s call for the evidence to be shown and his statement that evidence which could not be seen could not be considered evidence came before Obama decided to pass the buck.


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One Response to “Obama blinks, passes the buck to Congress and Kerry looks like a war-monger”

  1. Rob Says:

    Another failed administration. Can’t create a job or intelligent tax code, but can fire off missiles based on any half-baked cause. Kerry is a whole story of flip flopping cowardess of his own,,, war is fine of he isn’t the one in it.

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