To date, President Barack Obama’s greatest foreign relations claims to fame are the killing of Osama bin Laden and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The former was a great accomplishment, albeit a combined effort over the years by the intelligence communities of his and the former administration. The latter was earned before any action was actually taken by the president.
Since then, it has gone down hill. Gitmo is still around. Afghanistan is in worse shape than it was. Iraq is in worse shape than it was. Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia have relationships with the United States that are more strained than they’ve been in decades.
Syria was an opportunity for the President to leave a mark. It came at a time when the United States and the rest of the world is war-fatigued, making decisive action a challenge for the president who had drawn a red line. When that line was crossed, he was unable to react appropriately. The “appropriate” reaction is up for debate, but one thing is clear – his actions so far have been hesitant, have changed mercurially, and have yielded no results.
If he does attack, how will the world react? What will be the results in Syria? What will be the responses from Russia, Iran, and Syria itself?
If he does not attack, he will go down in history as drawing a line that a foreign country crossed, them backtracking on this line and failing to act decisively.
This is not a good situation for the president’s legacy, something that has been shown to be extremely important to him. His actions are those of a man that is trying to be more than just the first minority president. He wants to be remembered for being a great president. At the end of the, bin Laden and Obamacare may be his only claims to fame in a time when the administration has simply not been able to accomplish much at all.
With Obamacare on a trajectory course towards disaster, is it too early to say that this will be the worst two-term president in history? That’s always hard to say considering that we may have just had the worst one in the last administration, but Obama’s making a very convincing case.