Obama’s Indecisiveness: Not The Transparency We Can Believe In

LFU_OverTop_BrokenBody_vFYesterday, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that President Obama may be “too cautious”. She was referring to his inability to make a decision about how to handle ISIS in Syria. She was also being polite to the leader of her political party. Obama isn’t too cautious. He’s paralyzed. He’s also way too open about his paralytic condition.


Early in Obama’s first term, one of his most-often repeated promises was transparency in government. He’s gotten failing marks for breaking that promise almost from the outset. Turns out, the failing marks were undeserved. We just didn’t understand the type of transparency Obama had in mind.


The President wasn’t referring to transparent government operations. He wasn’t describing open government deliberations or accountable decision-making processes. The C-SPAN assurances weren’t about any of that. The five-day public review before bills are signed had to do with something else entirely.


To this President, transparency has to do with making sure his inability to be decisive is visible to everyone in the world. And he has kept that promise with a vengeance. If you watch T.V. or listen to any type of broadcast or simply read a newspaper, his indecisiveness is on full display. It’s not just a matter of being way behind the decisiveness curve. The man simply talks too much.


The reason for the President’s unending monologue about his indecisiveness isn’t clear. His admission last week that he has no strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria was apparently meant to be a show-stopper. Earlier, both his Secretary of Defense and his Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair had announced that ISIS must be halted. That probably sounded too decisive and too military. So, Obama made it clear that his thinking is still muddled. The sigh of relief heard around the world after his pronouncement wasn’t from our side of the pond, where criticism was immediate and fierce. It was from those who should be the target of U.S. military action.


There was also no sigh of relief from our international partners. Dithering by someone who stands in the shoes of former world leaders hardly inspires confidence or even respect. Obama is headed this week to a NATO Summit. Maybe he can get a little backbone from those people because it isn’t happening for him with his advisors here.


The White House exposure two weeks ago of a failed operation to rescue James Foley also seemed to have an anti-military motivation. It was as if to say, see military solutions don’t work. That one didn’t work because the intelligence on Foley’s location was bad, meaning it was either never right or it was outdated. Of course, ISIS knows which it was. It also has some idea, if the raid were merely too late, of our intelligence sources. Loose lips sink ships, but revelations from the world stage blow holes in entire fleets.


Obama’s public exhibition of ambivalence could also be due his belief that his every thought is so important it should be shared with everyone. He’s wrong, of course, but how do you convince him of that fact? Maybe the best way is through one simple plea. Please, Mr. President, just stop talking.