I think we can finally begin to see through the haze and assess some authorship for the drawing of the "red line" and the move toward beligerence against Syria. As has become typical with our President, who genuinely seems to avoid assuming responsibility for anything, in the near-term absence of David Axelrod, he looks to the counsel of Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice and Samantha Power to assist him in domestic and foreign policy direction. We all know about the mallability of Susan Rice. But Sam Power has really emerged as the leading voice in Obama foreign policy deployment.
She, of course, is a proponent of employing American power to defend the violation of human rights by authoritarian governments. She has been often cited as a persuasive proponent of American involvement in Libya and argued this week, before the Center for American Progress (enough said) that Obama's team had quietly manipulated the composition of the UN team that had entered Syria to evaluate the gas attack in an effort to turn Iran against Assad. The fact that Power really believed that anything could be done to turn Iran against Syria is the height of naiveté, and offers further evidence that Obama and his key advisers do not have any real understanding of the dynamics which underpin the Middle East.
The Mullahs in Iran have clearly identified their regional priorities since 1979: they wish to become the rightful defenders of the Faith having been supplanted by the Sunnis who protect Islam's two holiest sites; they wish to rid the region of the Jews who defile the Caliphate; they want all Western influence out of the region which is why they provided IED's to kill Americans to the Iraqi and Afgani insurgents; they want to become an atomic power to offset the dominance in the region achieved by Israel and aided by the Americans; and, they believe that their time on Earth requires them to create a environment conducive to the return of the 12th Imam.
The Iranians will not give up Assad nor permit the Sunni-dominated opponents to gain a share of power in Syria. It is for that reason that they have called their Hizballah surrogates into Syria to fight on Assad's behalf, why the North Koreans were involved in helping the Syrians construct their first nuclear power facility and why they have threatened to retaliate against Israel should the US choose to strike Assad. Certainly, the involvement and commitment of Russia and China are a bit more complex and not as ideologically motivated, but their alignment with Iran-Syria complicates the situation exponentially.
And somehow Sam Power believes that the composition of a UN chemical weapons team will convince the Iranians, themselves a victim of chemical weapons deployment at the hand of Saddam Hussein, that they have a moral obligation to abandon Assad and come over to the light. This is absurdity beyond description. It is difficult to conceive that we could possibly send someone to the UN worse than Susan Rice, but we have accomplished that difficult challenge. Sam Power is the penultimate liberal elite - she was schooled at Yale-Harvard-Yale-Harvard and won a Pulitzer Prize for her work reporting on the Bosnian-Serbian conflict. She is married to Cass Sunstein, another Obama acolyte and socialist ideologue.
There is no dispute about the strong influence that Valerie Jarrett exerts on the Obamas. We know that Obama defended Susan Rice with vigor regarding the role she did or did not play in the Benghazi disaster. His loyalty was so strong that she became his National Security Advisor after her embarrassing stint as UN Ambassador and spokesperson on all things Benghazi. As her replacement, he nominates Sam Power, author of a foreign policy doctrine that embraces everything he holds dear: exploited, powerless minorities oppressed by authoritarian dictators. It's a tragedy, though, that in the Obama-Powers universe, those minorities don't include Christians and Jews and don't acknowledge broader geographic realities.