Obama's weapon is mass distraction

The Syrian crisis is a perfect distraction from a Presidency in free fall. Photo: Matt Rourke/AP Photo

LOS ANGELES, August 6, 2013—President Obama is using a “weapon of mass distraction” against the American people: It’s called the Syrian crisis.

At the close of the G20 Summit today, the President stated, “I was elected to end wars, not start them. I’ve spent the last four and a half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on military power. But what I also know is that there are times where we have to make hard choices if we’re going to stand up for the things we care about. And I believe this is one of those times.”

SEE RELATED: Does anyone really believe Assad used chemical weapons in Syria?

This is the same President who dithered for months in 2010 over deploying more troops to Afghanistan.

The same President whose State Department refused to authorize military intervention on the night of the Benghazi embassy attack, and who is still being coy about the President’s whereabouts and who gave the stand down order.

So this sudden urgency to address the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict is more than a bit suspicious.

The Senate panel has already rolled over and bared its belly, approving the resolution for a military strike. Congress, on the other hand, is looking like a tough sell. Opposition from anti-war Democrat Representatives Allan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich are an indication that Obama will not receive sweeping support from his side of the aisle.

SEE RELATED: EDWARDS: Islamic fundamentalists benefit from Obama’s foreign policy

According to U.S. News, Rep. Grayson is even claiming the Obama administration is manipulating the intelligence to support the case of U.S. intervention in the two-year old civil conflict.

Left-leaning blog FireDog Lake calculated the costs of the “small-scale” mission the President proposes. The blog quoted an analysis from the Congressional Research Service, estimating the cost could be as high as $12 billion for just a year’s operation.

The American Conservative, along with reporters at ABC News and the Washington Post are closely monitoring the whip counts, and the numbers look extremely bad.

Obama plans to address the nation on Tuesday to make the case for U.S. intervention. When all else fails, the President falls back on what he does best: speechifying.

SEE RELATED: Obama’s red line: Human rights hypocrisy and delusion

A scandal-plagued and embarrassing nine months has marked the second term of the Obama administration, and it appears his legacy is crumbling around him. The Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature piece of legislation, is stumbling toward implementation with a Republican congress and a handful of senators still fighting to defund it.

Amnesty appears to be dead in the water, and it is in doubt whether Speaker Boehner will even bother to bring it up for vote. So distraction is a tool in the arsenal, and inserting ourselves in a foreign conflict fits the bill. There seems to be little concern that the home front is still in dire need of attention.

In May, the President made great fanfare of his pivot back to jobs, which is what a majority of Americans polled feel should be the administration’s focus. Today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report on August jobs should be cause for major concern.

The report reflects an anemic increase of 169,000 jobs created over the last month. Unemployment dipped from 7.3 percent, down from 7.4 percent; but this downgrade reflects individuals who have dropped out of the work force.

We still have 11.4 million unemployed in this country—this does not account for the more than half a million citizens who have simply decided to stop looking. Experts estimate that if this number were included, the unemployed rate would be much greater.

The mother of all the dismal numbers in this report is the labor force participation rate. It is at 63.2 percent, the lowest this estimate has been since the Carter administration in 1978.

The phrase “unchanged from a year earlier” is peppered throughout the report. Read: the job market is stalled, and may not recover for many years. Yet Jason Fuhrman, the administration’s economic adviser gleefully reports, “Over the last four years, we’ve cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth. With continued solid job gains, today’s employment report is another sign of progress[…]”

It is the height of delusion to spin joblessness, demoralized individuals who have stopped looking for work, and a blunted work force as progress.

But spin they must. Otherwise, Americans will realize the President wants to fund a $12 billion Syrian intervention on their barely employed backs. 

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Jennifer Oliver O'Connell

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell is the "In My Orbit" columnist for Washington Times Communities, writes on Los Angeles Faith and Community for Examiner.com, teaches Yoga, and coaches on careers and reinvention.

You can keep up with what's in Jennifer's orbit through her As the Girl Turns website: (http://asthegirlturns.com).

Contact Jennifer Oliver O'Connell


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