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Streetwise Professor

December 11, 2012

Obama Relied on the Kicking Game, and It Will Cost Us

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 3:49 pm

Apropos my post yesterday on Russia’s psychological complexes driving its Russia policy, this long article quotes several Russian commentators drawing similar conclusions.  Namely, Russian policy is driven as much by psychology and need to maintain face as it is by objective calculations of interest-more, in fact; its policy of backing Syria to the hilt is doomed to failure; and this failure will be extremely costly to Russia.

Not that American policy is anything to boast about.  Quite to the contrary.  It is a mess.  Allowing the conflict to metastasize has empowered radical elements, particularly jihadist ones.  So the US formally named one of the Syrian opposition groups, Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization in an attempt to split the most radical elements and the more moderate (by Middle Eastern standards, anyways) parts of the opposition.  Fail: it brought the factions closer together.  Some elements in Syria went all Spartacus, declaring (on a Facebook page) “We are all Jabhat al-Nusra.”

This is just going so swell.  I’m sure it will only get better and better.

The situation in Syria was a colossal mess to begin with, and there was no easy answer at any time.  There were choices between bad and really bad.  A Libyan outcome represented sort of an upper bound.  But it looks like we’re on the way to post-1988 Afghanistan smack dab in the middle of the ME, rather than in the back of buggery in the Hindu Kush.

Obama never had an appetite for such messy interventions  And I sympathize with him that any action would have been messy.

What I don’t sympathize with, at all, is the fact that his instinctual dislike for intervention wasn’t the only driver behind his complete passivity, or even the main one.  It is abundantly clear that he didn’t want any foreign complications interfering with his reelection campaign, so all hard decisions on Syria were punted to beyond November 6.  Well, we’re there now.  And the jihadis didn’t call a fair catch, but are tearing up field like Billy “White Shoes” Johnson.  I think they will take it to the house.  Won’t we have fun then.

Add this mess to the huge pile, foreign and domestic, that Obama pushed beyond the election.  He relied on the kicking game, but it is evident that his coverage is terrible.

It will make his second term hell.  More for us than him, unfortunately.

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9 Comments »

  1. You made Bum Phillips’ corpse cry.

    Comment by Chris — December 11, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

  2. Bum doesn’t yet have a corpse but it is nearly finished.

    As for the Obama electorate-no pain no gain well describes their learning style.

    Comment by pahoben — December 11, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  3. We are fortunate that we do not have to see our idiot president on each and every newscast droning on with complete absurdities. The poor Russian people cannot watch a single newscast without a monologue from the chief klepto. His latest is an endless explanation that the government is to serve Russia and that the people are Russia. He works himself into a real lather about corruption being unaccoetable. Can you believe it. He bests Obama in sheer volume if nothing else.

    Comment by pahoben — December 12, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

  4. Also the guy gets so much botox and filler injections his face is as smooth as a watermelon. From the shoulders up he is ready for his mausoleum bunk in Red Square.

    Comment by pahoben — December 13, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  5. Putin is definitely the czar of cosmetics. The reset of the reset could start with Obama sharing his hair coloring secrets with Vova. The design of our ABM system could be attached as an appendix.

    Comment by pahoben — December 13, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  6. @phaoben. So true. And they are creating a set of wax figurines of “great Russian rulers.” Those are only 12″ high. Putin seems intent on going life-sized.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 13, 2012 @ 9:54 am

  7. None of the Russian citizenry believes what he is saying and he knows that and so what is his intent. I believe it is a message to the GosVor (coined from Gos for government and Vor for thief). The main message is you better toe the line because I am looking for sacrificial lambs like that complete imbecile Serdyukov. The second message may be an order to reduce the standard bribe percentage from say 7% to say 5% for an end of the year corruption sale.

    Comment by pahoben — December 13, 2012 @ 10:38 am

  8. The Putin figurine in judo pose would have moved to the top of my Christmas list.

    I doubt he will be engaging in much judo in the nearest future-it does look like his back may be pretty screwed up.

    Comment by pahoben — December 13, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  9. Fill in the blank,

    “____________’s policy is driven as much by psychology and need to maintain face as it is by objective calculations of interest.”

    Comment by David Hoopes — December 15, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

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