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Poor old Barack – accused by so many last week as having been played by Russia and Syria as he was attempting his level best to be a tough president, in charge of not only the country but with his eye on the world.

He spoke, threw down the gauntlet with his “red-line” threat and expected everyone to hop to.

Ooooh. Obama has spoken. I’m scared.

Unfortunately, no one over there was scared, least of all the people who were to be the target of his threats.

Wait – wait. I take that back.

Some people everywhere were scared, and a good number of them were Americans who saw Obama’s threat against Syria as being a wide-open invitation to a real war.

You know what they were thinking – military in the air and on the ground, people shooting and getting shot and dying from that and from the bombs dropping from the sky. Comparisons to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were rampant.

In the midst of all that was (and is) the threat of more of that poison gas Syria finally admitted it has and the possibility of a nuke dropped into the mix somewhere.

All in all, it was an ugly scenario, and for what?

Americans wanted to know, and when Barack Obama took to the TV cameras last week, they expected the president of their country to present a masterful and strong picture of what was going on and what would happen.

In other words, they wanted a leader.

I hope they weren’t holding their breath because, oh me, he did it again. Fifteen minutes or so of scripted blather, devised to capture emotion about dead children, framed with repeated personal pronouns – me, me, I, me, me – but which essentially said – nothing.

When Obama was done, we knew no more about the crisis than before he opened his mouth.

He had threatened an attack. He had sworn no boots on the ground. He had said it would be short and would accomplish the goal.

Which was?

Frighten Syria so it would never use poison gas again?

Destroy Syria’s chemical stockpile?

Enable the “rebels” to succeed in toppling Assad’s government?

Who knows?

We didn’t learn anything about goals from the speech, and we certainly didn’t learn any more from hapless Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in so far over his head that it would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.

And it is serious, because, like it or not, the Middle East is a tinderbox just waiting for the right spark to set it all off.

Iraq teeters on the edge of a breakdown of any semblance of order.

Egypt and Libya, all because of the masterful decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, are in their own form of chaos.

Iran is on the verge of its nuclear weapons, if it hasn’t already got them stockpiled.

Syria is in the midst of a civil war, which would leave al-Qaida in charge if Assad were toppled.

Through it all, the Muslim Brotherhood is cheering its victories at our expense – think Benghazi and Egypt – and despite that, it appears the U.S. president wants to assist the rebels in Syria to topple that government.

Does he really think that helping al-Qaida to victory will result is any semblance of regional stability?

Does he really think?

Through it all, Israel, which would be the next target along with Jordan if the rebels succeed, has remained relatively silent.

I have no doubt they’re ready with decent defense plans; I would expect no less of them. Their very survival is on the line, and while Obama mouths words of support, there aren’t many who would put money on it.

The most surreal aspect of all this is that after the immediate verbal fall-out from the speech and Kerry’s verbal gaffes, we end up with Russia’s Vladimir Putin being the ostensible hero.

He’s now running things – calling the shots and working with Syria to make the U.S. follow their lead.

He even wrote a scathing op-ed criticism of the United States that was published in the New York Times.

No reaction from our lap-dog administration, but Sen. John McCain says he’s going to write his own version for Pravda!

You go, John. That’ll show them.

How did all this happen? Did anyone notice that sleight of hand that tossed the reins of power from Obama to Putin?

Are you happy with that? I’m not.

What’s the matter with the people running this country that something like this can happen right under their noses and they allow it – and it doesn’t seem to bother or embarrass them in the least?!

No wonder the world laughs at us – U.S. – all because of the man in the Oval Office, a political incompetent surrounded by an administration filled with similarly unskilled political hacks.

It remains to be seen how all this plays out but it’s still a volatile situation that could, as many have projected, turn out to be a World War III of unimaginable magnitude.

As for how history will describe Obama when it tells his story, I have a summary, from Macbeth:

“… It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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