Obama to Chuck Todd in Israel: What’s with all the questions?
posted at 5:21 pm on March 20, 2013 by Allahpundit
Drudge has been having fun all day with minor embarrassments from O’s trip to Israel, from the presidential limo breaking down to Israel deciding it’ll have to dig up the tree he planted to this, in which he allegedly “berates” Chuck Todd. I wouldn’t call it that; even when he’s annoyed, Obama’s adept at not making it too obvious. He wears a smile and frames this as friendly razzing of Todd to the bitter end, but that’s hard to believe given the nature of the questions. Todd starts with a hard jab by asking about O’s powerlessness over the peace process, then throws an elbow at the end by putting him and Netanyahu on the spot with a question about Obama’s unpopularity in Israel. Give him credit for not playing along with this contrived diplomatic lovefest. (This short but sweet Onion item cuts through it even more cleanly than Todd did.)
But let’s have some substance here too: Watch the second clip below, via Mediaite, of O pressed by an Israeli reporter for a response to the claims of chemical weapons being used in Syria. As I write this, even more experts are chiming in skeptically about it:
Video footage and eyewitness accounts suggest that if a chemical agent was used in a missile attack on Khan al-Aasal that reportedly killed 31 people and wounded more than 100, it was most likely a riot-control agent designed to cause irritation, which is not generally lethal.
“In the end, all I can say with confidence is that whatever the conventional or non-conventional munition was, it was not a CW [Chemical Weapons] agent as defined by the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention],” says Charles Blair, senior fellow for state and non-state threats at the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists…
“Until someone goes to the site [in Khan al-Aasal] and collects what is alleged to have been the powder responsible, this is likely another case where somthing odd occurred but its nature was never determined,” says Mr. Blair of the Federation of American Scientists.
A riot-control agent — like Agent 15. I’d sure like to know why Mike Rogers is telling American broadcast networks there’s a “high probability” of an attack involving chemical weapons when the experts seem awfully dubious that this is something to get excited about.