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March 21, 2011

On Our Spectator-In-Chief

Steven R. Berryman

Did you happen upon the presidential news conference on Friday concerning events in the Middle East, and Libya in particular? It was a classic “donut hole” presentation – up until three quarters of the way through.


Donut hole is advertising lingo for a canned, pre-prepared speech that is nebulous, generic and innocuous in content to fill the void of time, set a stage, and then affords an opening for the real content at the end. The hole at the end of this speech was, against my best bet, best summarized as:


At this time, we are not launching a pre-emptive strike against Libya and the Col. Gadhafi Forces, [that would be too “Bush doctrinal”] but due to the level of my annoyance, I have done the next best thing, and am deferring to the French Military for leadership. The logic of this should be apparent based upon their performance in that last world war, and the necessity to pay back foreign munitions suppliers, not to mention that IOU from the Revolutionary War.


At this time, and assuming we get really, really mad and there is no golf planned, our combined military forces may attack; well, probably.


That is, unless a Gadhafi spokesman promises to be on their best behavior, with no shooting, shelling, bombing, etc.


That is, unless I’m out of the country in a junket to South America to visit all of our allies, except those enforcing our essential “War on Drugs” in Colombia.


Why lead when you can follow? [It works for Twitter!]


Sounds silly? Well, this is America’s current posture, against a backdrop of having encouraged revolts by “freedom fighters” in general since our Hillary Clinton-led policy got cornered in Egypt.


And this after the same trap we inadvertently set for Iran…


I get that we don’t want to fall into a “tar baby” position by over-promising, but our national credibility is about to go extinct with these policy decisions; seemingly on purpose!


Yes, just like the retail policy of “your break it, you own it,” there is real danger, but don’t start with the tease of being a real democracy supporter at any price; America under President Barack Hussein Obama is proving to be an unreliable partner.


This harkens back to our foreign policy during Pol Pot genocide in Cambodia, or the Hutu’s vs. Tootsies murders, also in Africa…


“You can’t change the world, but you can change a little piece of it” harkens back to a UNICEF commercial of years past, but can we please pick our international and political policy fights with a little more discretion?


We are potentially wasting years of positive American reputation as a world stalwart of national prowess and super-power status we once owned “for the right reasons.”


Comments by former Speaker of The House of Representatives Newt Gingrich as reported by The Hill on Wednesday:


"Well, I think what is increasingly clear is that we have a spectator-in-chief instead of a commander-in-chief," Gingrich said on Fox News.


"It is maybe the most passive and out-of-touch presidency in modern American history," he said, accusing the president of "avoiding his job right now."


Perhaps during his South American swing, the president can “blame it all on Rio?”


And…perhaps he just “likes to watch.”


[Please Note: My calls for comment to were not returned for this column]


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