Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Volume 5, Number 6

© Copyright 2014, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

Syria Speech Act II: Same Eloquence, New Weariness

Have World Realities Brought Real Change to President’s World View?





One Year Ago

To the Day

Obama Address Echoes Kennedy

(But Only Echoes)


Will Words Finally Be Matched by Action?


Exactly one year ago, the President of the United States delivered an address to the American people that was expected to announce a request for Congress to explicitly authorize strikes against the dictatorial regime in Syria, in response to the crossing of the famous red line of the use of chemical weapons.


Instead, the President turned back from his red line, and handed the initiative to our Russian friend in the Grand Kremlin Palace.


We said then, in many more words, that we would be entering dangerous waters, and we would pay with interest for our failure to act at the time.


In that time, the world seems to have come unhinged, with the spread of violent military and terroristic advances in various places around the world, and the American people have noticed. 


Starting with our UWFR issue of September 7, 2013, and again in the issues of November 27, 2013, March 5, 2014, and June 23, 2014, we made the case that:

1)     The President was doing exactly what Americans from all sides of the political spectrum wanted (we said this before others in the media noted this).

2)     The fact above would not protect him politically from the consequences of his then-poll-friendly policies because Americans ultimately judge not by what a President does, but by whether he was successful in what he did.

3)     Trouble would come as a result of his policies.


All of this has now been shown to be accurate.


Exactly one year later, on September 10, the President made another important address to the nation, again on the question of the use of military force against murderous actors in the same part of the world. 


The Power of Bad Optics


No doubt, the video broadcasts of grisly beheadings of two American journalists have been a major factor in fast-forwarding the change already happening in the nation’s mood, and in forcing the President to act in the face of the horrific visuals.  It was a tactical mistake on the part of the terrorists of ISIL to put their deeds on video, and the President’s seemingly muted initial reaction, followed by his golfing ‘optics’ fiasco, may have actually further accelerated the shift in public sentiment.


Continued column 2 >



Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review

Ultrapolis Project – ultrapolisproject.com



Editor: Marco Antonio Roberts

Copy Editor: Michael Alberts

Contributing Editors:

Mark Eastman

Mark Steele









< From column 1


There is no need here to revisit all the negative coverage President Obama has been receiving now for weeks on his foreign policy, where even media outlets friendly to the President have been the venue for harsh criticism of the President’s foreign policy; nor the polls that have drastically turned on the President, even among Democrats.


Subtle Change in Obama Words


As President Barack Obama often has been when under tremendous pressure to salvage a deteriorating situation, as he first was when he delivered another speech to the nation in 2010 that saved his health care plan from oblivion (as we predicted it would – leading some to incorrectly assume we were supporting his health plan), and as he was one year ago, the President was eloquent.


And, in his eyes there was a weariness, either of sincerity, or surrender, or maybe of the plain endurance of having to give in to the demands of the world.  Even as his words were not that different than those he spoke on the same day the year before, save for the self-contradiction mid-way through the earlier speech, this time they carried a subtly different tone.  This time, there was a slightly longer reach into words of American exceptionalism, of the benefits of American leadership in the world.


He closed with this thought that took us beyond just national self-interest:


When we helped prevent the massacre of civilians trapped on a distant mountain, here's what one of them said: "We owe our American friends our lives. Our children will always remember that there was someone who felt our struggle and made a long journey to protect innocent people.”


That is the difference we make in the world. And our own safety, our own security, depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation and uphold the values that we stand for — timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the earth.


Continued column 3 >


< From column 2


Americans Will Rally

Will Obama Rally?


The country will rally behind the President, notwithstanding some conservative talk show hosts’ reluctance to agree with anything the President does.  His poll numbers will go up.


The question is, will the President hold to his own new course to ensure success?  Or will he be dragged through meeting each permutation of the crisis?  His excellent words on foreign policy have mattered so little before, it is difficult to tell. 


The next few weeks will reveal if the President has gone through a conversion a la Carter ’79, or if he is once again going through the motions.  But, if we had to wager now, we put the odds that the President has re-calibrated, but only modestly, and he will resist any escalation in the face of any circumstances that demand it.   And, we do expect that he will avoid at almost any cost a policy change that constitutes a clear admission that his initial views on foreign policy were disastrously wrong.


There was another American foreign policy leader who resisted all calls to escalate a military engagement when all advisers insisted on it, once the fighting started.  His name was Donald Rumsfeld.




Our forecast record cannot be beat.  One can follow the herd chasing the latest hyperbolic, melodramatic, and soon-forgotten micro-trend on Facebook and Twitter, or one can be wisely and judiciously in front of it with UWFR. 


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