The Parliament of the United Kingdom, usually our staunchest ally, said a resounding no to a proposal to support the idea of going to war in Syria.
It wasn’t even a real war proposal, just a bill to support blasting Syria to bits “in principle.”
Not only is it an embarrassment for British Prime Minister David Cameron, but it’s a thorough rebuff of the Obama Administration, which increasingly looks like it will be going alone into Syria.
The British vote was somewhat close, but strong opposition came from every party, reflecting the mood of a global public that just doesn’t see any reason to get involved in Syria.
The Obama Administration has been trumpeting the recent nerve gas attack on Syrian civilians and saying it has proof that the gassing was done by the Syrian government.
But except for the New York Times, Obama isn’t getting much support in his quest to boot the Assad government out of power.
The Congress, which is the natural ally of presidents in times of war and which constitutionally is the only branch of government that can declare war, is being left in the cold, a symptom of Obama’s style of command by decree.
Despite Obama’s perpetual blather about unity, he has alienated just about everyone around him except for the low-information voters who have kept him in power.
Even the New York Times has had to admit that there appears to be no “smoking gun” to link Syria to the gas attacks. The White House has accordingly downplayed expectations for an expected intelligence briefing on the use of sarin against civilians.
The Left may be feeling the cold chill of karma as the White House finds itself in a position similar to that of the Bush Administration before it started the war in Iraq. Like then, expectations are running high for the Administration to make its case for military intervention.
Back in the Bush Administration, though, the president had at least nominal respect and support across the globe, despite perpetual attacks by the Left. He also was facing a real enemy, al-Qaeda, that had attacked us and killed thousands of Americans, and he chose as his battlefield a country ruled by a man who had been plucking the beards of world leaders for a decade.
Obama, however, is facing a country that doesn’t pose any realistic threat to the U.S., while persecuting a war he instigated by funding mercenary “rebels” who turn out to be the very al-Qaeda villains who are supposed to be our enemies. Obama is such a global laughingstock that world leaders are afraid to be seen supporting his personal war in the Mideast, and the former KGB agent Vladimir Putin is seen as the reasonable counterweight on the world stage.
The involvement of Russia, along with the opposition of China and Iran, means that Obama may be risking opening a much broader conflict if he is not careful.
Yet we may soon witness the spectacle of a president truly — not merely in the spin cycle of his opponents’ propaganda machine — going to war essentially alone.
If that happens, that means the fate of Syria and — frighteningly — maybe the world is in the hands of a self-absorbed narcissist with delusions of immortality.