AT the end of the day the rest of us members of our respective societies are just observers and commentators with rights and privileges and civic responsibilities, as voting and paying taxes - among others. The most we get to do as citizen observers of our respective climes, in interpreting the decisions or actions of our elected leaders, is guess and opine or pontificate from afar, after drawing conclusions from our observations about their actions or debating same among ourselves.
We are far removed from the thinking, decision-making or even the manipulations employed by these people we call leaders, especially the leaders at the very pinnacle of power in our respective societies. By Marchiavellian standards, a thinking leader must understand how to manipulate [yes, manipulate!] an often unpredictable public. He must be able to do this, not for self, but for the good of the society he governs. Woe betide that leader who puts all his cards on the table all the time, for no sooner would he be devoured by the very people whose interests he is presumed to champion.
It makes little sense that a president known for being a pacifist and also as a reluctant war-time president, who campaigned and rose to power on a decidedly stridient anti-war mantra, is now the man on a blitzkrieg tour of no less than 6 media houses today, on a mission to explain himself to the media on the issue of the raging debacle over Syria as it affects the need to punish the government of that Middle East country for what was reported as its use of deadly chemical weapons on its own citizens in an ongoing civil war.
It makes no sense that the man who was not too long ago refered to as weak and 'leading from behind' in Libya, due to his reluctance to have his country single-handedly shoulder the responsibility of Libya, or getting involved at all, is now being tagged a war monger like his immediate predecessor.
It all makes no sense.
But wait. What if this man has reached into his bag of political jujitsu to pull out a fast one on the political hawks found around the corridors of power in the United States and beyond? What if it was all a script for public good, involving a snarl and a bark with no bite from President Barack Obama, such that he'd give an 'Obama Shrug' while pointing at the US lawmakers as the ones who prevented him from acting, whenever he is challenged by hawks within and without for not resorting to the expected military solution to the alleged chemical attack on the part of the government of President Bashir Assad in Syria?
It is perfectly possible that such is the case we have here, with President Obama and his political advisers deciding ab initio that a military strike is not an option in Syria, but that the Administration would go through the motions to give the impression of a planned military action against the country. It is possible that the Obama Adminstration and the David Cameron-led government in Britain have each other's ear in this regard, and that what was widely perceived as a slap on the wrist for Mr. Cameron was no more than a script, well played out for both Obama and Cameron as planned.
These two western leaders are no fools. They know both their respective populations are war-weary, but they are trapped between sending a signal to the Assad dictatorship in Syria that it will not escape retribution for its alleged crimes, and satisfying the merchants of war on their home fronts with the notion that they are about to resort to military action to punish the Syrian government. If there is any proof of the the latter hurdle for Obama, it is in the position of a good number conservative Republicans out there who feel that President Obama has not done enough to assure them of a serious military intervention.
It is very likely, given the foregoing and more, that a military action against Syria will not happen, and probably was never planned to happen. And not a few analysts and observers along with commentators will look back on it all with a smug sense of relief and accomplishment at the end of the day, believing that they have prevailed on the Republic and another 'war mongering president' to back off from attacking another 'innocent' country.
Praises will be sung of how the valiant President Vladimir Putin "humbled" Obama, alongside others in his home country of Russia where others as Africans and homosexuals and pro-democracy activists live in the shadow of fears ginned-up by the Putin government.
And so the manipulations continue by these political leaderships and establishments across the world, for good or for evil. Also continuing, is our guesses, assumptions, debates and conclusions as to what is behind the thoughts and actions of the men and women who hold the aces in our respective societies.