Just in case you were wondering if President Barack Obama is any different from, say, “President Mitt Romney” or some hypothetical “President Neocon,” the answer is: Yes. Proof: Syria.
Just take a glimpse at the hysteria of the neoconservatives about what ought to be done in Syria.
To be sure, at the outset there’s this disclaimer: since the start of the Syrian uprising, I’ve been extremely critical of Obama’s actions. When the protests against President Assad were still relatively peaceful and only limited government repression was reported, and when moderate, establishment-leaning (and non-Islamist) opposition figures were beginning to gather steam, Obama jumped the gun and called for Assad’s ouster. That was stupid enough. Since then, though, he’s placated Assad’s external enemies—among them Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who’ve backed Islamism from Tunisia to Afghanistan, and of course Israel—by encouraging, allowing and facilitating the supply of increasingly deadly weapons to the rebels. Some in the Obama administration seem enchanted by the idea that the fall of Assad will deal a huge blow to Iran, even though the United States ought to be fearful of a Sunni-Shiite war in the region that will spark renewed civil war in Iraq and Lebanon. And, of course, OP has seemed unwilling to truly engage Russia (and Iran) in search of a transition in Damascus.
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