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Is Obama losing it?

August 8th, 2013

Michael Collins

President Barack Obama's recent behavior is cause for concern. He never lived up to his progressive image but at least he wasn't Bush, we were told. That sterling quality may have persuaded the Nobel Prize judges in 2009 but it's meaningless now. Obama is staking out his own form of petulant, erratic, and paranoid behavior that stands on it's own as the basis for his failure to rise to the occasion of multiple crises. (Image)

Petulant

Obama's petulance was shown just this week when he cancelled a bilateral meeting with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. The topic was world peace. The cancellation represents an insult to Putin and Russia since Obama will be in St. Petersburg, Russia for the G-20 economic summit, which Putin is attending. Why the petulance?

Obama is miffed that Russia gave whistleblower Edward Snowden temporary asylum, thus refusing Obama's demands that Snowden be shipped back to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage. Think about it. A U.S. court grants a Russian whistleblower asylum and, after the decision, President Putin demands that Obama overrule the court, handcuff the whistleblower, and send him back to Russia. The howls of protest would be deafening. But, Obama had no problem making this request of Putin.

Erratic

Obama's behavior in Middle East affairs has been painfully and conspicuously erratic. Two recent examples come to mind.

The Egyptian people rose up and demanded that the failed government of former President Mohamed Morsy be removed. Tens of millions signed petitions and protested starting June 30. A plunging economy for twelve months and dictatorial powers assumed by Morsy to impose a Muslim Brotherhood constitution were too much for the majority of Egyptians.

The Obama administration threatened to pull a long-term annual subsidy to the Egyptian military, part of the Camp David accords years ago. When Secretary of State John Kerry made a positive remark about the new government while traveling in Egypt, the White House rebuked him. Now, there are reports that Obama will meet with Muslim Brotherhood leader in Washington, with Turkish diplomats in attendance.

Failing to accept the new government and entertaining the opponents whose members roam the streets of Cairo in gangs attacking civilians and police encourages a continuation of the Muslim Brotherhood's violent resistance to change. Obama seems indifferent to these outcomes.

In Syria, Obama feigned reluctance to act in behalf of the Syrian rebels, featuring Al Qaeda terrorists known as Al-Nusra. In fact, the administration, along with some NATO partners and the Gulf state oligarchies, pushed violent resistance all along through $1.0 billion in "humanitarian" funding to Syrian rebels.

Obama's actions are, quire simply, a war crime under the Nuremberg Protocols that ban: "VI, (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned in (i)" [i.e., a "war of aggression"].

The administration's aid to the invasion of Syria by Al Qaeda its jihadist sympathizers (who do the heavy fighting) represents a strange policy for an administration that claims to fight Al Qaeda elsewhere.

General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the leader of Egypt's military told the nation that the army was fighting terrorism in the form of Muslim Brotherhood violence in response to the removal of the failed President Morsy. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims to be fighting terrorism in his war against Al-Nusra. Despite his poor record on human rights, Assad is correct. The Syrian government is in direct conflict with the Al Qaeda contingent benefiting from the $1.0 billion to fellow Syrian rebels provided by Obama.

What strange logic is Obama using to justify supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda aligned Al-Nusra?

Paranoid

Before the Snowden whistleblowing on NSA spying on all citizens, the Obama administration put in place the Insider Threat Program. McClatchy Washington Bureau reports described this as an "unprecedented initiative" to control public access to government information. According to documents reviewed by McClatchy, the program "pursues unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material."

A key feature of the program requires Federal employees to turn in fellow employees suspected of the unauthorized release of information. This isn't spying or espionage. It involves ethical public servants releasing information for the public good. Leaking, as it's called, is a time-honored tradition from the White House to Congress to the bureaucracy. Now it is a felony to release this information or to fail to report suspicions about its release. The program turns the government into a nest of snitches.

What does Obama fear? Why is he so suspicious of anyone knowing what's really behind his policies? Is he verging on paranoia in this unprecedented level of control?

Obama certainly seems to be blowing it.

Obama was unable to control his emotional response to a perceived insult, Putin's refusal to turn Snowden over, thus trashing a major power meeting with the president of Russia.

Through the examination of objective evidence in the Egyptian change of government and the Syrian conflict, Obama has sympathized (Egypt) and taken the side (Syria) of violent political groups - the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.

Obama's paranoid behavior regarding federal employees ensures snitching will become a major focus in the bureaucracy.

The outcome of continued petulant, erratic and paranoid behavior by the president guarantees lousy government for the remainder of his term. If he somehow gets away with this and positions Hillary Clinton as the next president, we are in for more of the same or worse. If he's held accountable with a negative public reaction, he'll usher in a Republican candidate who will be even worse.

END

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