August 29th, 2013

President Obamlet


I’ve likened President Obama to Hamlet before.

Once more, it seems he’s made up his mind about what to do but then again perhaps he’s not made up his mind at all.

Maybe it’s all a clever strategic head-fake on his part. I doubt it, however; Obama’s slowness to come to a decision in military matters has become legendary.

The whole thing is also an opportunity for me to revisit my earlier rewrite of Hamlet’s famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy on procrastination and the perils of decision-making and gear it to Obama’s predicament. As before, I really needed to change very little to make it fit:

To strike, or not to strike: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous Assad,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To attack: to dither
No more; and by attack to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That Syria is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To act, to attack;
To attack: perchance to depose: ay, there’s the rub;
For in its wake what next may come
Whether or not Assad shuffles off this worldwide stage,
Should give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of intervention;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of chemical war, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his mark make
With a bare missile? who would tyrants bear,
To defy the red lines that he drew?
But that the dread of something afterward,
The unknown consequences in whose grip
A legacy might founder, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.–Soft you now!
The fair MSM! Sycophants, in thy orisons
Be all my sins forgotten.

16 Responses to “President Obamlet”

  1. assemblerhead Says:

    Hamlet had a better ending than this Obama / Syria mess. At least all the conspirators / poisoners died in the end.

    There is NO WAY the US or Obama’s reputation is going to survive this. There will be no political casualties other than US Diplomacy, Obama, or Obama’s designated fall guy.

  2. southpaw Says:

    A close second to the Duke’s version in “Huckleberry Finn”, but vey fitting of the times.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    A man confronted with the question, “to be or not to be” and unable to decide is a man who knows not himself and is thus, unable to be himself, unable “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

    Obama is such a man.

  4. parker Says:

    I see the BHO declaration to “fire a shot across the bow” as pure wag the dog. The college tuition tour and the MLK wannabe speach have not provided the distraction he hoped for so he has changed to being the reluctant CINC saving the world from chemical WMD destruction. Its all a charade and a masquerade.

    George Benson:

  5. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I am really sorry we are in–Obama got us into–this position.
    Unfortunately, the only way out is to blow some serious stuff up.
    Otherwise, every tinpot dictator in the world will have our measure and that will lead to some very bad stuff.
    The Brits bailed.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The always excellent Richard Fernandez @ the Belmont Club is now of the opinion that Obama must now eat “Crow” of his own making.

    “It’s over for President Obama’s plan to launch a ‘limited but decisive’ strike on Syria.

    Now, with Britain out of the operation, Obama faces the prospect of going into Syria almost literally alone, without UN, NATO, Congress or even the UK to back him up. Two courses are now open to him. He can climbdown as best he can and pretend he’s changed his mind or he can go forward, risking a wider war for nothing.

    Yet a climbdown would represent a public and devastating humiliation of the man who once believed he bestrode the world. It would also represent a huge propaganda victory for Assad.

    The alternative would be for Obama to double down and order an attack on his own authority despite having, as Professor Goldsmith noted, no apparent legal leg to stand on. He would risk starting a wider war that he doesn’t even want to win…”

  7. Charles Says:

    And the latest news is that the UK Parliment has voted that they will NOT get involved. (

    Which means if the US does attack Syria, we go it alone.

    So, remind me again. Was it Bush or Obama who was the greater one at working with allies?

  8. blert Says:

    Barry wants us to launch an attack with a bolted sword…

    strictly for punditry validation…

    truly a script kiddie.

    Where would POTUS be without TOTUS?

  9. Wfjag Says:

    Cameron is no Thatcher,
    Obama is no Reagan,
    and TOTUS is no Shakespeare.

  10. Eric Says:

    Charles: “Was it Bush or Obama who was the greater one at working with allies?”

    The difference has less to do with personal ability (although that is a significant factor) than Bush had a coherent and thoughtful foreign policy.

    The only real quibble is that Bush was methodologically IR liberal (liberal = neocon) in his foreign policy, which upset the IR realist Cold Warriors forever stuck in 1989 who wanted Saddam to stay in power.

    The Democrats and anti-American propagandists accused Bush of a rushed, rogue action with Iraq, but in fact, the Iraq mission was 12 years in the making, the bulk of which developed under Clinton. Support and opposition to the Iraq mission fell along the same lines for Bush as they did for Clinton because Bush’s Iraq policy was a logical extension of Clinton’s Iraq policy.

    While Bush switched gears in reaction to 9/11 and acted promptly, he did not do so rashly. Bush didn’t need to be an extraordinary statesman for his foreign policy because it was built on an established foundation with means rationally matched to clear, if ambitious, ends. At the same time, it’s true that Bush made the rounds with foreign heads of office that Obama seems uncomfortable doing.

    Bush was just a better President than Obama in every way that should matter.

  11. blert Says:

    Interesting commentary WRT the SAA 155th Brigade, 4th Division.

    It may come to pass that the fatalities ascribed to Sarin were, in fact, due to ethylene oxide, the major component of fuel air explosive ordnance.

    These weapons are rocket launched, with a dispersal charge used to create a mist cloud over the landscape. Then, at the last split second, a detonating charge is used to ignite the inflammable mist to create a spectacular fireball.

    The favored mist is made of ethylene oxide, a chemical common to industrial chemistry. It’s also extremely toxic. If it is not lit off, then its very vapor will kill.

    Symptoms of ethylene oxide poisoning are identical to those described by the MSM at the scene.

    Unlike Sarin, EO blows away quickly. So it’s possible to perform the Islamic burial rites upon the dead. This would explain the agitprop photos up loaded to the Web.

    The unit in question — see the link — is shown launching Iranian style rockets consistent with FAE. These are also known as thermobaric warheads. It’s a system used by the US military, BTW.

    In sum, Barry jumped the gun. Strictly speaking, chemical weapons were not employed. Instead, some dud FAE rounds caused all of the commotion.


  12. sharpie Says:

    Pretensions are revealed when reality prevails.

    But reality is not destined to prevail, is it? Not necessarily.

    North Korea proves reality does not have to prevail. Reality can be refuted when the love of life weighs greater than the love of freedom. The common people, when encumbered and failing to preserve freedom, suffer enormously.

    Barack Hussein Obama is about slavery, about freedom not prevailing. He is about fear, about the love of life weighing greater than the love of freedom. He is a coward and an inglorious and hypocritcal recepient of goodwill associated with real heroes. This association denigrates the real heros, and Obama-knowing this-mocks the substance by delivering protected and coded fuck you statements.

    His end will mimic Che’s and Saddam Hussein’s.

  13. kevino Says:


    ROFL! Your take-off on Hamlet made my day. Thank you. It’s great stuff from start to finish.

  14. Highlander Says:

    Why can’t we just not strike and say we did? If the Obama administration becomes any more self-restrictive, that’ll just about be where we are with this whole thing anyway.

  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    The US’s reputation survived Iran, Cuba, Rhodesia, and Vietnam.

    This is nothing more than a bump in the road. A little realism is called for.

    So long as the US has power, nukes that people will use, people will not ignore it.

  16. Bookworm Room » America’s profoundly un-serious foreign policy: Send In The Clowns Says:

    […] than mine have diagnosed Obama with Hamlet syndrome.  Neo-Neocon even coined a neologism — Obamlet — and offering readers a clever reworking of Hamlet’s famous “to be or not to […]

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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