He was going to unite America. Indeed, he was going to bring the entire world under his spell. There would be renewed respect for America and confidence in its ability as the No. 1 superpower.
But then came Syria.
It is a debacle. Charles Krauthammer aptly calls it “amateur hour” in the White House.
President Obama now stands as a monument to ambivalence, indecisiveness and political cynicism.
Americans overwhelmingly oppose getting involved in the civil war in Syria, as do most other nations. Americans recognize that America has no friends in that struggle, and that the only reason for intervening would be to spite Iran.
But, doing so might also provoke Iran into striking Israel, or America. Up to now, Iran has only supported and supplied those whose primary motivation is to harm America.
Obama draws red lines, then says he didn't. He says Assad must go – two years ago – but does nothing to make it happen.
His proposal is to strike, but not harm anything or anyone. He has given enough notice so that any targets now are no longer important.
Contrast this with the Israelis. When their national security is threatened, they act, and act decisively. They don't give advance notice and don't discuss it afterward.
When Iraq built a nuclear reactor at Osirak, Israeli planes flew into that country in 1981 and wiped the plant off the earth. It is reasonable to assume they will do the same in Iran if the Persians persist in their threats.
But Obama dithers. He didn't need Congress, he said, but he went to them anyway. Then his administration says he might act without Congress, and that he will not. He clarifies it and leaves it more confused. Americans have learned that when Obama says “Let me be clear,” they are about to get bamboozled.
The liberal position is that it is urgent to attack Syria and is the “moral” thing to do because someone has used weapons of mass destruction, which are prohibited by a treaty.
But why wasn't it moral to intervene in Iraq when another Arab dictator had killed many times more people with chemical weapons? Democrats – after saying in public that Saddam had WMD and was a serious threat – criticized George Bush for taking action. (Earlier, they had criticized the first Bush for NOT removing Saddam.)
Left unanswered is where the WMD came from. A former general in Iraq said in a book that Saddam shipped his supply to Syria when U.S. troops were bearing down on him.
It isn't even certain whether Assad or the other side in the civil war used the WMD. Granted, the “other side” is a ragtag bunch that includes terrorists of various camps and also a few people who might want a democracy or might just be a front.
We were assured in the glorious Arab spring that democracy was on the way to Egypt, and wound up with the Muslim Brotherhood gang of terrorists in charge.
Liberals always seem to be on the side of Muslims. When Muslims were slaughtering Christians in Bosnia, they didn't care. When the tide turned and Christians began winning, Bill Clinton started bombing, ostensibly to prevent a “genocide.”
Obama has supported the Arab terrorists who call themselves Palestinians, the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and now the rebels who include al-Qaida in Syria. Meanwhile, he doesn't even have time to have dinner with the head of state of Israel, which is one of America's staunchest allies.
Another ally that usually supports America is Britain. It has said no thanks to participating in this confused, unnecessary, pointless excursion.
So, Bush brought down a ruthless dictator with the support of the people, Congress, the United Nations and a coalition of other nations. Liberals castigated him. Now liberals want to order our military into battle, alone and against the will of the American people, to do … what?