Obama and…the AP phone records, Benghazi, the IRS, or Syria?

It’s hard to know which of today’s news stories in the U.S. is of greatest significance. Here are a few of the possibilities:

1. Obama continues stonewalling on Benghazi. Credibility in free fall.

2. Jay Carney has lost all credibility for truthfullness, and should resign.

3. Obama punts on chemical weapons “red line”, plays Russians’ game in Syria–Again! Just like one year ago. Obama unable to think or act strategically. Iran understands Obama’s threats are just words, not backed by action. Nuclear program proceeds.

4. Obama escalates news management operation with assault on freedom of the press in AP phone records affair, with chilling effect. If you publish a story the Obama team doesn’t want circulating, they will come after you and hurt you. Meanwhile, Holder’s leaks’ investigations go nowhere.

5. Benghazi subjected to terrorists attacks–today! Middle East in revolutionary turmoil, while U.S. strategy is in a shambles, or non-existent.

6. Kerry allows self to be humiliated by Putin, waiting three hours to see the czar. He came to Moscow begging, with a hopelessly weak hand on Syria. What did he expect? At least he might have left for the airport, and arrived in Washington before Russia’s shipment of a new air defense system arrived in Syria.

7. Maduro consolidates Chavista take-over through fraudulent elections in Venezuela. U.S. has forgotten where Venezuela is exactly–just somewhere near Cuba.

8. U.S., unwilling to lead in Syria, fosters divisions among allies in the Persian Gulf

9. Taking a page from Nixon, Obama targets political opponents through IRS.

10. Little hope for coherent US. foreign policy strategy and implementing actions. Kerry’s ineptitude in Moscow shows “the gang who couldn’t shoot straight” will continue to call the shots from the White House.

11. Who does President Obama remind you of more, Winston Churchill or Neville Chamberlain?

Upon reflection, perhaps it’s better not to write about any of these stories, at least not tonight. The disaster is too big. A larger canvas is needed.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

The Observer
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by The Observer, an international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. He is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (IACHR), where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, The Observer has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. The Observer speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, The Observer has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on the best articles that have appeared in the blog.