February 12, 2014

Why Won't Obama Act on Syria? It's Iran, Stupid

Aaron David Miller, Foreign Policy

The Associated Press

Aside from another al Qaeda attack on the homeland, Iran is the only foreign-policy issue that has the power to mess up the remaining years of Obama's presidency. If diplomacy fails and Iran moves to break out and weaponize, or even come close to being able to make a deliverable weapon, the risks of three very unpleasant things happening go up: first, Obama getting blamed for being the leader on whose watch the mullahs got the bomb; second, Israel striking Iran; and third, America having to do the same thing, or getting dragged into an Israeli-Iran fight. The first development would leave Obama looking poor in the legacy department, weak and outfoxed. The latter two events would open up a box of very bad juju -- and would risk things like plunging financial markets, rising oil prices,...

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TAGGED: Middle East, Iran, Barack Obama, Syria


February 2, 2014
Obama's Iraq-Haunted Thinking on Syria
Alec MacGillis, New Republic
When it comes to the question of intervening against Bashar al-Assad, it’s simply the case that Syria pretty much is Iraq for the Obama administration. The particularism that the administration claims to apply everywhere... more ››
February 5, 2014
Obama's Syria Chemical Claims Challenged, Again
Jean MacKenzie, GP
“We are not saying that the Syrian government did not do it,” Postol said. “But the intelligence cited by the administration was wrong. It was a fortunate escape from a catastrophic error.” more ››
February 4, 2014
The Cost of Obama's Syrian Disaster
Jonathan Tobin, Commentary
When President Obama made the case for U.S. strikes on Syria last year and then backed down in the face of congressional opposition and wound up agreeing to a deal giving the Russians responsibility for cleaning up that... more ››
February 10, 2014
To Move Putin on Syria, Reference Leningrad
Trudy Rubin, Inquirer
A Russian veto might convince the White House that it needs to revisit its Syria strategy, and add more muscle, if it wants Putin to take the Geneva talks seriously. If the memory of his mother's suffering doesn't move Putin,... more ››
February 11, 2014
Syria: The Wages of Inaction
Julie Lenarz & Michael Miner, TNI
Three years ago, President Obama and his foreign-policy team were right to be skeptical about forceful intervention and how that might compound an internal problem in lieu of any comprehensive international solution. The... more ››