George F. Will: Without British defeat, Obama may not have gone to Congress

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  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 6, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    A year ago, pundits were saying Assad was toast, that it was just a matter of days until he was killed or ousted. It seemed low risk then for Obama to say Assad had to go. But Assad surprised the pundits making them look foolish by hanging on and coming back strong. Now the U.S. plays a totally reactive game because too much was left to chance. The only one who looks good is John McCain who can say I told you so.

    So now it’s gone from non-intervention to intervention in Syria. It’s gone from the President needs no Congressional authorization to asking Congress to authorize military action. The Administration keeps scrambling to get its act together.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Sept. 6, 2013 5:58 a.m.

    So much for all the loyal lemmings who constantly declare that Obama is some kind of visionary leader with all kinds of rare insight and wisdom regarding any given subject. If you want to know how all this will end, all you have to do is take a good hard look at every other position he's taken and cause he's championed. And of course there are those who complain that we're too "partisan," too involved in "labels," and should support our wonderful universal guru regardless of the facts or the risks. This situation just illustrates how much trouble we are in here, and how much we could stand to lose in the next 1,200 days or so before we can try another new "leader."

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 10:54 p.m.

    Sheesh! Bush was wrong, and now Obama is wrong. What's with this need to intervene all the time? Every intervention starts out to be "limited" and "precise" but ends up being indefinitely long and messy. Just stop!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 9:04 p.m.

    Good to hear SG in SLC. If there's something I respect it's someone being objective and non-partisan. There's all too much blame one side and give the other a pass going on now days.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    2 bits,

    Sure, it goes both ways . . . at least, in my view.

    For my part, I was pretty silent about President Bush's foreign policy and military actions. I didn't necessarily agree with them, but I didn't condemn them with the hateful invective that others did, either. I don't have much use for that kind of uncivil discourse, nor do I have much use for extreme partisan dogma -- either from the radical far-left, or from the reactionary far-right. Those who said that everything that President Bush did was wrong (just because it was President Bush, or a Republican, doing it) were just as mistaken as those who say that everything that President Obama does is wrong (just because it is President Obama, or a Democrat, doing it).

    So I stand by my original post. Please also note that I did not make specific reference to any commenter by name, nor to any specific comment prior to mine, just a general observation about those in agreement with Mr. Will's column.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    It sure is a comfort going to war knowing we have such an astute commander and chief in charge.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 5, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    Mike Richards,

    "Let's hope that Obama reads George Will's column."

    What the President needs right now is clear-headed advice from dispassionate advisors who have the nation’s best interest at heart. George Will has nothing to offer these days except bitter invective and vitriol.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Sept. 5, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    Maybe we should have let the British win.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    Obama needs a distraction so he's pursuing something that is even more unpopular than he is? There's no logic to that.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    SG in SLC,
    So... was it "smug and Church Lady'-esque" when the politicos on the left kept insisting a good leader should be able to negotiate and not resort to bombs (when Bush was President)?

    Was the smug "unilateral", and "Go it alone", and the "they didn't attack us", and "America is not the world's police", type rants at Bush only because he was a Republican? Or does it go both ways?

    Seems like the "smug" was on the other foot just a few years ago. What happened to you guys since then?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    We have history on Obama. He has shown us exactly what he will do when someone criticizes his actions. He will fight back without thinking whether that "someone" was right or wrong. He has shown us that he see nothing but his opinion, no matter how flawed that opinion is. He has proven that he will lie to cover up his actions, as he did in Benghazi. He has proven that he expects others to cover for him.

    What he has never shown is leadership. He is a follower, not a leader. His poll numbers are falling so he wants to drop some bombs. Is there a worse reason to bomb a country? Over 100,000 people have been killed in Syria before either side used gas, but that didn't bother him. All that bothered him is that nobody would march in his parade when he called for bombing as the solution for Syria.

    Does he have any concept of what happens with a bomb explodes? Does he understand that children will be killed? Is his ego so pronounced that he doesn't care?

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    Oh man! Obama is the worst! I wish we could have had Bush or Cheney again. We all know everything would be much gooder with them.

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Gotta love the smug, "'Church Lady'-esque" (Google "SNL Church Lady") self-righteousness and assumed moral superiority of an armchair politico, as well as those who sycophantically praise his "insight" . . .

    I readily admit that I don't know what the best course of action is with regard to Syria. The "Greater Middle-East" (by which I mean, roughly, from Morocco to Pakistan, and from Turkey and Kazakhstan to Somalia) is a quagmire, with complicated present-day dynamics and a nuanced history that we have little hope of fully comprehending; and Syria is certainly representative of this.

    I'm not in the "Big Chair", tasked with making consequential decisions regarding Syria (nor are Mr. Will or the other commenters on this board), but the President is. In fact, he is really in a no-win situation, because any action or inaction with regard to Syria will have undesirable consequences, and will be viciously condemned by his detractors, simply because he is the one doing it.

    I am certain, though, that neither Mr. Will, nor the President's detractors here, have the wisdom or the gravitas to navigate the situation in Syria and the surrounding region to the best possible outcome.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 5, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    I agree he probably wouldn't have gone to Congress. Until the UK rejected the request to go in with the USA Obama and Kerry had no intention of going to Congress (when asked about it by reporters all Kerry said was they didn't have to go to Congress).

    I think when Brittan and France surprisingly did not give Obama cover... that made it imperative that they at least go to Congress or risk the campaign wrath of Republicans mocking Obama for "Going it alone", "Unilateral action", "Being the world's police", etc (the exact tactics Democrats used endlessly to keep Bush and any Republican that dared support him on the defensive in any future political campaign where voters don't like America being involved in wars with countries that have not attacked America.

    Imagine anti-Iraq-war Democrats seeking election after Obama took us to our third new war during his administration with countries that hadn't attacked America, and we went it alone, didn't get UN security council approval, couldn't get an international coalition, didn't even ask the US Congress for cover. That would be the epitome of "unilateral" action.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 5, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    Mr. Will accurately described Obama's character. He accurately described Obama's conduct as a State Senator. He accurately described Obama's duplicity.

    Let's hope that Obama reads George Will's column.

    Let's hope that Obama is teachable (doubtful) and that he has applied to himself the "change" that he expects from everyone else (even more doubtful).

    After all the insults he has hurled at the Republicans, why should Obama even expect them to return his phone calls as he goes begging for their "blessing" to bomb Syria? If they give him that "blessing", then they are made of the same "cloth" as he is and they deserve the wrath of the voters because they will have the blood of innocent men, women and children on their hands, just like he will.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 5, 2013 6:54 a.m.

    This isn't about children in Syria, its about Obama. His approval numbers have been sliding in nearly every poll so he needs a distraction! He will fire a few Tomahawk missiles into Syria and the fawning news media will whistle and cheer and declare it a "brilliant success". What you will not see or hear in the news media will be the actual accomplishment nor the collateral damage of dead women and children (just like his drone attacks)The war in Syria will go on but Obama can thump his chest and tell the world he is the great "moral" Obama. Meanwhile, "HE didn't draw a red line and HIS credibility isn't at stake, the world community and congress did that. Thus Obama will tell us HE is saving the world's and congress' credibility, not his.