One of my favorite elements of American popular culture is our tradition of mocking pretentious know-it-alls whose self-importance leads them into blunders. A comedian named "Professor Irwin Corey, the world's greatest expert" experienced great popularity in the 1950s and 60's with a routine that made fun of such people. And Dwight D. Eisenhower, a general who actually won the biggest war of all (so far - who knows what could lie ahead when we have a bumbling president?) won the presidency twice against Adlai Stevenson, a man he described as an "egghead" for his pretensions.
That tradition is due for a revival, as the most pretentious man ever to occupy the Oval Office finds himself in a box of his own making. And who better to deliver the message than Sarah Palin? Governor Palin aims well-deserved mockery at Barack Obama via her Facebook page, with a well-constructed epigram: ""So we're bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I'm the idiot?" Andrew Malcolm of IBD joins the fun:
Her sharply sarcastic statement (scroll down for full text), posted on her Facebook page as usual, followed President Obama's latest global update on his unusually long deliberations over what he describes as a minor reaction to Syria's use of chemical weapons against Syrians. Fifty-three weeks ago Obama drew a red line in the sand, saying:
"We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is; we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus; that would change my equation."
Last winter Bashar Assad used chemical weapons, killing a few hundred of his countrymen, country-women and country-children. No White House action then.
As one result, more than two weeks ago the Syrian dictator once more used these weapons, killing more than 1,400 men, women and children in the capital's suburbs. Again, no immediate U.S. reaction. Only when the public and congressional drumbeat increased, did the administration speak out. Obama consulted with allies. John Kerry talked imminent serious military action. Britain's Parliament said, "Uh, no, not us."
Obama's point has been that there should be some consequences for violating international norms about chemical weapons.
Stuck in his own painted-corner, Obama hesitates further, adding to his perceived weakness abroad and puzzling even sympathetic supporters. So long after the crime, the Democrat's planned punishment, whatever it is, now looks more like a lash-out for his own humiliation by the skinny Syrian.
[Yester]day, Obama said he envisioned only a "limited, narrow act" with no "open-ended commitment" and no "boots on the ground approach." Then, despite the limited, simple steps he has in mind, Obama dithers more, repeating, "I have not made any decisions."
Reminds us of someone's angry mother telling a misbehaving son, "Boy, are you in trouble when your father gets home from his business trip next week." By which time, no one remembers the crime. Or it's been surpassed by new family felonies.
Here is the complete text of Gov. Palin's Facebook post:
LET ALLAH SORT IT OUT
"So we're bombing Syria because Syria is bombing Syria? And I'm the idiot?" - Sarah Palin
* President Obama wants America involved in Syria's civil war pitting the antagonistic Assad regime against equally antagonistic Al Qaeda affiliated rebels. But he's not quite sure which side is doing what, what the ultimate end game is, or even whose side we should be on. Haven't we learned? WAGs don't work in war.
* We didn't intervene when over 100,000 Syrians were tragically slaughtered by various means, but we'll now intervene to avenge the tragic deaths of over 1,000 Syrians killed by chemical weapons, though according to the White House we're not actually planning to take out the chemical weapons because doing so would require "too much of a commitment."
* President Obama wants to do what, exactly? Punish evil acts in the form of a telegraphed air strike on Syria to serve as a deterrent? If our invasion of Iraq wasn't enough of a deterrent to stop evil men from using chemical weapons on their own people, why do we think this will be?
* The world sympathizes with the plight of civilians tragically caught in the crossfire of this internal conflict. But President Obama's advertised war plan (which has given Assad enough of a heads-up that he's reportedly already placing human shields at targeted sites) isn't about protecting civilians, and it's not been explained how lobbing U.S. missiles at Syria will help Syrian civilians. Do we really think our actions help either side or stop them from hurting more civilians?
* We have no clear mission in Syria. There's no explanation of what vital American interests are at stake there today amidst yet another centuries-old internal struggle between violent radical Islamists and a murderous dictatorial regime, and we have no business getting involved anywhere without one. And where's the legal consent of the people's representatives? Our allies in Britain have already spoken. They just said no. The American people overwhelmingly agree, and the wisdom of the people must be heeded.
* Our Nobel Peace Prize winning President needs to seek Congressional approval before taking us to war. It's nonsense to argue that, "Well, Bush did it." Bull. President Bush received support from both Congress and a coalition of our allies for "his wars," ironically the same wars Obama says he vehemently opposed because of lack of proof of America's vital interests being at stake.
* Bottom line is that this is about President Obama saving political face because of his "red line" promise regarding chemical weapons.
* As I said before, if we are dangerously uncertain of the outcome and are led into war by a Commander-in-chief who can't recognize that this conflict is pitting Islamic extremists against an authoritarian regime with both sides shouting "Allah Akbar" at each other, then let Allah sort it out.
- Sarah Palin