Obama’s lack of credibility: An erosion of trust
by Barbara Donnelly Lane, Columnist
September 12, 2013 11:12 PM | 1437 views | 7 7 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The United States has long had a much different sort of commander-in-chief in the White House than the man who was in charge when the Twin Towers fell. Perhaps enough time has passed to consider the impression Barack Obama has made on the world.

Gazing all the way back to 2009 when lofty speeches were made in Cairo, an inexperienced legislator took the helm of the greatest country on earth. Though he probably would not have characterized the United States in that way, the whole world fell behind him in worshipful droves because they just knew he would do the best job ever, ever, ever.

This seemed a natural thing to think.

Unlike that dastardly Republican who “stole” his first election, this new Democrat was so smart, so smooth, so virtuous, he had to be admired by all. Surely he would skillfully soothe the tigers of unrest that had long gnashed their teeth and raked their claws across the face of the West. He was something special.

Fast forward to 2013.

The Middle East continues to be embroiled in violent conflict. Amazingly, al-Qaida hasn’t actually been “decimated” despite the Obama administration’s rhetoric, and there are even WMDs in the mix.

However, though he retained his office in 2012, the man who once inspired voters to faint at his feet during his speeches now stands incapable of convincing a vast majority of Americans to support even an “unbelievably small” military action that he says is absolutely necessary in light of Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

As a result, even if he manages to finagle some sort of diplomatic solution to a difficult problem, President Obama will walk away from his latest gambit in foreign affairs looking weak. He has been sorely diminished on the global stage, and that is not just bad for him. It is bad for the country he represents.

How did this happen?

Barrack Obama has long chosen a “lead from behind” approach to foreign policy. This strategy was supposed to be better than that used by the bellicose Texan who pushed the fight with terrorists across the ocean, but the reality is that it hasn’t garnered the perfect peace Obama’s election once promised.

Indeed, two acts of terrorism were carried out on American soil in the president’s first term, and an American ambassador was murdered in Benghazi.

Recalling the “virtuous” Obama’s reactions to each of these attacks might shed some light on why so many now view their commander-in-chief as a prevaricator who can’t be trusted enough to follow into a difficult conflict.

To review, in 2009 Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot two soldiers in Arkansas. Pvt. William Long died, but President Obama — a man at the zenith of his power — essentially ignored the political motives attached to that attack and quietly mischaracterized it as a “senseless act of violence.” The media nodded dumbly and moved on.

Then Nadal Hasan slaughtered 13 soldiers and wounded a score more whilst shouting “Allahu Akbar” in Texas. Flying in the face of reason, the Obama administration called this atrocity “workplace violence.” The media shrugged politely and looked away.

Chris Stevens and three others were murdered in what was immediately understood to be an organized attack by terrorists on an American embassy. The president did not play mere word games in response to this. He wrapped that event so tightly in an elaborate and silly lie that the whole truth about what actually happened that night has yet to be completely unraveled. The media helped spin, spin, spin the mendacity as if mendacity isn’t a serious problem.

The president was re-elected.

Yet new scandals have broken.

Now even journalists who have exhibited years of blind faith in “hope and change” are finally asking if the American people have any reason at all to trust the president who has so often misled the country for political purposes.

It seems to me that’s an exceedingly good question.

Personally, I suspect I’m not the only one who misses George W. Bush.

Barbara Donnelly Lane, formerly of east Cobb, is working on a master’s degree in political science at Georgia State University.

Comments
(7)
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B D Lane
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September 22, 2013
For the record, the lie to which I was referring, Just Sayin', was the self-serving video narrative, which was known to be a fabrication from the beginning. This has been made very clear from the testimony that has been given, and no one in the administration still maintains the attack was prompted by a remote film.

Does it not matter to you when your leaders lie directly to you?

Perhaps not.

(Just askin'.) ;)
Just sayin'
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September 23, 2013
It matters a lot. I was very angry that 4,500 Americans died in Iraq because "the man who was in charge when the Twin Towers fell" lied to me. How about you?

Anyhow, you should do more homework. Interviews with bystanders confirm the movie was a factor in triggering the attacks.
Just sayin'
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September 19, 2013
Lane: "The president did not play mere word games in response to this. He wrapped that event so tightly in an elaborate and silly lie that the whole truth about what actually happened that night has yet to be completely unraveled."

Facts: Retired Admiral Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering today (Thursday, 9/19) debunked the conservative media myth that the Obama administration failed to deploy adequate military resources to Benghazi, Libya, in response to the September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission. Mullen told members of Congress that the "military did everything they possibly could that night." Pickering agreed, testifying that the military is not always "positioned to come in short notice to deal with those issues."

Mullen and Pickering led the State Department Accountability Review Board (ARB), which issued an independent report in December about the attacks. Both men are testifying today at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing led by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who, along with members of the conservative media, have attempted to politicize the attacks to criticize the Obama administration.

Concerned Citizen
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September 16, 2013
I think we all agree that the Middle East is a mess, and I do not think that President Obama and his fellow leaders have done much to clean it up. I do not advocate sending our military to Syria. However, whatever our policy should be, it should have been stated more clearly much earlier than now. I do know that bullies do not attack the strongest people. They attack those that they perceive to be weak. Middle Eastern countries respect those who are strong. I'm afraid that our current President has not exhibited strength or wisdom. Your articles are always thought provoking and so are the comments they inspire.
Get the Picture
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September 13, 2013
I am not pleased that Pres. Obama and Sen. McCain want to get the U.S. involved in Syria. I also think it was a huge mistake for Pres. Bush to involve the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan. Think what those $2 plus trillion could be used for. Pres. Obama should have brought our troops out of Afghanistan 2 yrs ago. He has wasted money and the lives of many soldiers. And those 2 wars have done practically nothing to change the circumstances in those 2 countries. Iraq is not really a democracy. Different factions are still killing each other. It is not safe to go there. We do not get any more crude oil from them. Afghanistan is still the same war torn, corrupt, violent place it ever was. What did the U.S. accomplish except get many people maimed, killed and plunge us into deeper debt!

The U.S. should not be involved in any country's wars unless we are directly impacted. Let the middle east countries fight each other. I do not care. And do not pull the sympathy act. NO country is offering to help the U.S. on our soil. The U.N. and other nations just want us to do the dirty work and to spend OUR money. I'm sick of it. Fully fund Social Security, Medicare, Education, Healthcare for the needy and other programs that have been established in the U.S. FIRST and do not "borrow" or steal from them to fund wars and military operations all over the world for other countries.

And do NOT send our troops, nor equipment, nor money, nor advisors to any of these countries.
Christine Thiessen
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September 13, 2013
Excellent article.
HFH
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September 13, 2013
Great column, thanks! I must say, though, I still don't miss W. I miss Ike, and Reagan, and even Nixon, who would be 1000 times better than this embarrassing, sinister crew. Neocons are the great problem, imo, and they are present now, as they were with W. We need a solely American foreign policy.
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