President Barack Obama’s Saturday address regarding the Crisis in Syria may have been meant as a stern warning to Bashir Al-Assad.
"We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual. And this morning, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy." - President Barack Obama, speaking to reporters on the Syria Crisis Saturday.
"The hesitation and the disappointment is so obvious in the words of President Obama yesterday, The confusion was clear as well." -Syrian Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad, speaking to reporters Saturday.
President Obama needs to face facts; he is sorely missing the diplomatic disciplinarian that was Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Bashir Al-Assad is the just the latest problem child who needs to be taken out of "timeout" and given a knockout.
Give the former Secretary of State credit for one thing; leaders actually respected her. Many even feared her. Clinton’s style was simple – she was Winston Churchill behind closed doors, but Jackie Onassis in public. Foreign dignitaries crossed her at their own risk. When she told North Korea to get their act together, Kim Il Sung would whine, holler and rattle sabers, but they would, ultimately, back down. Ditto for Iran and Venezuela. When Clinton left, Obama lost his franchise player.
As much as it galls Republicans to admit, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the foreign policy equivalent of Michael Jordan.
Right now, President Obama faces what may be the greatest diplomatic crisis on his career. With Hillary in the fold, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Demetri Medvedev may have screamed, whined, and moaned, but they understood Clinton meant business, and probably would have told Assad to shut up, sit down, and behave. Kim Jong Un would be taken to the diplomatic woodshed by China thanks in part to Hillary’s intervention. Even Mahmoud Ahmendinejad understood he would be the one wearing a burqa if he went toe-to-toe with Clinton.
When Clinton left, that all changed.
Regardless of how aggravating she could be, Clinton brought an intangible to the President’s cabinet, the ability to get world leaders behind controversial policies. When Obama stepped in political dog poop, Clinton seemed to always have a big spray bottle of diplomatic Febreze at the ready. No matter what the situation, it was Clinton, not Obama, who was “old school” enough to do what her boss couldn’t do – keep the bad guys guessing.
Sadly, nobody really has to guess with this cast of characters, and what's scary is what sort of nasty things will the next problem child bring to class.