President Donald Trump’s military strike against Syria was a “complete indictment” of former President Barack Obama, a former senior Obama administration official told Politico Magazine.
That was just one of the “head-snapping” remarks that Politico’s Susan B. Glasser reportedly heard from the ex-president’s top advisers.
“Our administration never would have gotten this done in 48 hours,” one former senior Obama official said. “It’s a complete indictment of Obama.”
There was apparently a faction within Obama’s inner circle who believed allowing Syria to cross his “red line” without consequences or any military action was a serious foreign policy mistake. It now seems apparent that Obama was pushing back against some of his own advisers.
Glasser reveals more from her Obama administration sources:
Many of the most head-snapping comments I heard came from Obama’s own top advisers, who had long pushed him to confront Assad more aggressively and viewed his 2013 refusal to take military action against Syria after drawing a “red line” on chemical weapons use as a major American foreign policy debacle. There’s no love lost in this group for Trump, who found themselves in the uncomfortable position of cheering a leader they still both loathe and fear.
“I feel like finally we have done the right thing,” Anne-Marie Slaughter, who served as Obama’s first-term chief of policy planning at the State Department and long publicly urged a more forceful response to Assad’s horrific attacks on civilians during the six years of war that have wracked Syria, told me. “The years of hypocrisy just hurt us all. It undermined the U.S., it undermined the world order.”
Glasser also reported hearing things like “brilliant,” “great move,” and “finally!” from veteran foreign policy analysts on both ends of the political spectrum.
The takeaway from the fascinating article can probably be summed up in this one line from another ex-Obama official: “He’s proved he’s not Obama.”
We’ll all be watching intently to see what happens next.