Obama Inadvertently Caricatures Liberalism

May 1, 2012

Is it becoming mainstream not to take the United Nations seriously?  Even the liberal Washington Post, in a recent editorial, offers a scathingly candid assessment:

SO FAR, a U.N. monitoring mission in Syria has had one tangible effect: It has gotten people killed. On Sunday and Monday, monitors toured neighborhoods in the city of Homs and in the Damascus suburbs of Doura and Zabadani. When they left, the areas they visited were shelled, and security forces carried out sweeps in which civilians suspected of speaking to the monitors were taken from their homes and shot or had their houses burned down.

. . .

How did Mr. Annan and the U.N. Security Council react to these horrific reports? By urging the deployment of more monitors. . . . “Observers not only see what is going on, but their presence has the potential to change the political dynamics.”

Those words well captured the delusion of Mr. Annan and those who support his diplomacy.

(Links and emphasis in original.)

Charles Krauthammer also offers his analysis.  Both he and the Post observe that President Obama, in lieu of actually doing anything to help the Syrian people, has promised the immediate creation of an “Atrocities Prevention Board”.

I remember a Mallard Fillmore comic from several years ago (captioned something like “Liberalism: The Early Years”) in which one caveman sinks in quicksand while another says something like, “Quick, somebody get me a quicksand-awareness ribbon!”

Not for the first time, parody can’t seem to stay ahead of the reality of modern liberalism.  Krauthammer:

I kid you not. A board. Russia flies plane loads of weapons to Damascus. Iran supplies money, trainers, agents, more weapons. And what does America do? Supports a feckless U.N. peace mission that does nothing to stop the killing. (Indeed, some of the civilians who met with the peacekeepers were summarily executed.) And establishes an Atrocities Prevention Board.

With multi-agency participation, mind you. The liberal faith in the power of bureaucracy and flowcharts, of committees and reports, is legend. But this is parody.

John Derbyshire, Mark Steyn (read America Alone), and other conservatives have been making the case against the United Nations for years, but the general (i.e., liberal) culture has by default tended to take the United Nations seriously and assume it was a force for good.  When the Washington Post is willing to say that the U. N., at least in this instance, is actually doing harm and getting people killed, despite the best of professed intentions, perhaps it means the culture is shedding some little bit of its naïveté—ideally not just about the U. N., but about all of presumptively well-intentioned liberalism.

6 Responses to “Obama Inadvertently Caricatures Liberalism”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    So wait, you want us to go to war with Syria, Iran, possibly Russia, cut taxes even more than they already are (lowest levels in decades), and reduce the deficit all at once. Please explain to me how this is possible.

    • I never said we should go to war with Syria, and certainly not Russia; for the latter, at this point, I’d settle for not prostrating ourselves before them (see, e.g., here, here, and here). Did you read the Krauthammer piece linked above? Excerpt:

      Now, there’s an argument to be made that we do not have a duty to protect. That foreign policy is not social work. That you risk American lives only when national security and/or strategic interests are at stake, not merely to satisfy the humanitarian impulses of some of our leaders.

      But Obama does not make this argument. On the contrary. He goes to the Holocaust Museum to commit himself and his country to defend the innocent, to affirm the moral imperative of rescue. And then does nothing of any consequence.

      His case for passivity is buttressed by the implication that the only alternative to inaction is military intervention — bombing, boots on the ground.

      But that’s false. It’s not the only alternative. Why aren’t we organizing, training, and arming the Syrian rebels in their sanctuaries in Turkey? Nothing unilateral here. Saudi Arabia is already planning to do so. Turkey has turned decisively against Assad. And the French are pushing for even more direct intervention.

      Instead, Obama insists that we can only act with support of the “international community,” meaning the U.N. Security Council — where Russia and China have a permanent veto. By what logic does the moral legitimacy of U.S. action require the blessing of a thug like Vladimir Putin and the butchers of Tiananmen Square?

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Question: How do you know that we’re not covertly training Syrian rebels? Do you think the president calls Charles Krauthummer every time he sends the CIA on a covert mission?

  2. Snoodickle Says:


    How foolish do you and Chuck feel right now? (I feel kind of like a fortune-tellling genius).

    • Sounds like another “vanity leak”! Who needs secrecy or national security for later when you can have praise now?

      You still haven’t offered an answer to the central fact of the blog entry above: (1) The Obama administration claims that it anticipated that the worse-than-useless U. N. monitoring mission would actually get more Syrians killed. (2) It did. (3) The Obama administration continued to support it.

      • Snoodickle Says:

        Simple: He was using the UN as a cover for the covert CIA mission, thus saving thousands of lives in the end.

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