I'm Baffled. What's Obama Up To?
by DR. MICHAEL LEDEEN
October 21, 2011
I don’t think bloggers are supposed to confess bafflement, but I’m gonna do it: I’m baffled. I don’t get it. Every time I think I’ve got a grip on this administration, they do something I just can’t deconstruct. Sure, Obama is a lefty with the knowledge of a typical liberal arts undergrad (not so much). I get that. And he’s now sealed into a very small compartment in which the handful of people he talks to tell him happy things like “all your decisions were the right ones.” No surprise there. But look at the odd — maybe even weird — stories that have floated out of the White House of late.
The Uganda Adventure
He’s sending special operators to Uganda to fight against the Lord’s Resistance Army, which is itself a bizarre movement that combines shamanism, Christianity, animism and various other African cultish themes, and that slaughters people, most certainly including little children, in a war against the peoples of Uganda, Kenya, and the charmingly misnamed Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fine. I can understand that. But here’s the source of my bafflement: this operation was approved and even funded by Congress TWO YEARS AGO. Yes, in 2009. Except that nothing happened. Until now. I suppose there might be some “intelligence reporting” that suddenly got the attention of Petraeus, Panetta, Hillary, and Obama. East Africa is the wild east, with lots of Islamist terrorists running amok. Like in Somalia, the Iranians are very busy in the wild east, as I’ve said before. But nobody seemed to care. Until now. Why? Beats me.
Or maybe there’s some corrupt scheme involved. One of these days I’ll ask Angleton’s ghost if he has heard anything interesting. But since this little story trickled into the news feed late Friday, and since there hasn’t been much in the way of “investigative reporting,” I’m scratching around the margins of my baldness, wondering what is going on. What took them two years to get to this? And why don’t we hear much of anything about it?
The Assassination Plot
It’s not so much the plot itself that baffles me; that’s just what Iran does, ask the Canadians, for example, who found that a poor immigrant was actually in cahoots with the regime back home, and was planning to carry out an assassination. I’m talking about the reaction. Just to keep things simple, have a look at two stories from al-Reuters. The first one says that several government officials — that is, members of the Obama administration — have their doubts about the story. And the second one says that leading members of Congress — including Republican critics — totally believe it and are worried that we’re going to war with Iran.
It looks a bit backwards, or upside-down to me. Administration officials are supposed to back their leader, and the crowd on Capitol Hill is supposed to act “independently.” Not here. What’s going on?
It might be a turf fight. The “intelligence” in this case didn’t come from CIA, and the FBI seems to have been brought in after the conspiracy had been penetrated by the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Agency. FYI, the big shots in Langley think that DEA is composed of rednecks who don’t know anything about much of anything. But here the president is trotting out the attorney general to announce a big story that comes from redneckland. So maybe the first story comes from jealous and very annoyed spooks in Langley or the Bureau (one of the al-Reuters reporters, Mr Hosenball, has worked the Agency beat for many years, so it could be). But it’s still baffling.
But this is only a relatively minor bafflement. The big one is why the big announcement was made at all. The common-sense explanation — which hardly ever explains the actions of the Obama administration — is that the president has decided to act against the Tehran regime, and this event would justify action. The frenzied anti-war crowd seems to believe it’s about to happen, as they so often do. But I don’t believe that for a second. He’s not going to do anything except go to the UN and ask for even more sanctions.
Yes, I’ve heard the “wag the dog” theory, according to which this announcement was supposed to divert attention from Eric Holder’s problems with congressional committees looking into the practice of arming Mexican drug lords, some of whom killed Americans with guns obtained from America thanks to the abovesaid program. I don’t find that very convincing, and indeed Holder is right back in the spotlight, subpoenas are flowing, and the criticism is mounting.
So what’s up?
The great barber, Occam, would say it’s easy to understand: we’re governed by buffoons.
Could be. But it’s still baffling, if you get my drift.