He didn’t listen to his point man on Syria, Frederic C. Hof; he didn’t listen to his second point man on Syria, Robert Ford; he doesn’t seem to be listening to General Petraeus long-standing point man on outreach to Sunni and Shia militias in Iraq, Col. Rick Welch; he obviously has a different crowd to which he listens, which is why he ends up whistling such a dissonant tune.
And people accuse the neocons of being a cabal! But they did everything in the open, which is why it is so easy for us to tell when they lied and when they screwed up. Obama’s way, on the other hand, is quite secretive and nontransparent: his lies are too subtle for the average pundit to detect, and his screw-ups are easily attributable to others since he fights by proxy. This makes holding him accountable well-nigh impossible. Adopting this style might be smart on his part, as some would argue, unfortunately, it also happens to be undemocratic, and it’s allowing him to get away with murder, literally.