Obama: Yes, Syria’s use of chemical weapons would be a game-changer, but, er, we need more evidence

posted at 5:21 pm on April 26, 2013 by Allahpundit

Via Mediaite. Translation: If Assad stops gassing people right now, maybe U.S. intelligence could be persuaded to rule the previous gassing episodes “inconclusive” and let bygones be bygones. All this is now is a credibility test. Keep using chemical weapons and you’ll force the White House to act, purely in the interest of not losing face. Put the weapons away and O will eat a little crap by pretending that the Israelis and the British and the French might all have been wrong about what’s happening over there.

Via Jeff Emanuel, here’s how strained the “red line” face-saving has become:

Mm hmm. Keep working on it, guys. Meanwhile, a tidbit from Chuck Todd:

That I do believe. The last thing O wanted to do was bring heat on himself to enforce his “red line” by announcing that Assad might have defied it. But he had no choice. If he and Hagel hadn’t said anything, hawks in Congress who were privy to the intelligence findings would have, and that would have made Obama’s silence look even more weaselly. He’s doing his best here to not do anything about Syria, but there’s only so much perceived weakness he can tolerate politically. So now we’re in a ridiculous spot where he’s forced to double down on his previous ultimatum even though everyone but everyone knows he doesn’t want to and would just as soon keep the news about Syrian WMD hush-hush. So much for “red lines.”

By the way, it’s no coincidence that he said this while sitting next to the king of Jordan. If you don’t know why, you should.

Update: A reminder from National Journal that O’s been backpedaling from his red line for awhile now:

Obama first laid down his red line on chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war in August 2012. “A red line for us is (if) we see a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around, or being utilized. That would change my calculus” on whether a U.S. intervention is merited, the president said…

While the administration did not discuss specifics, outside experts interpreted the reference to movement of chemical weapons as addressing the potential removal from storage and transport of chemical weapons for firing or for proliferation to nonstate actors. However, when the Syrian military was detected in December apparently loading sarin into aerial munitions, the administration indicated that its red line was actually carrying out a chemical attack, not readying for one.


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NO CREDIBILITY.

rob verdi on April 26, 2013 at 5:25 PM

There were no WMD’s! here we go again…

kirkill on April 26, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Bawk bawk bawk. Spine of jelly.

Philly on April 26, 2013 at 5:26 PM

You do still have Dear Liar to push around.

rbj on April 26, 2013 at 5:26 PM

O must be stomping his foot at the WH. This has to be the worst weeks he’s had and he actually had to do some ‘part’ of his job

CoffeeLover on April 26, 2013 at 5:27 PM

“A red line for us is (if) we see a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around, or being utilized. That would change my calculus”

Obviously there’s just not a whole bunch of truth being told by this administration.

kirkill on April 26, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Ah, err, ah I need to redraw the line in the sand.

Hill60 on April 26, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Tap dancing. Past the graveyard.

mojo on April 26, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Reminds me of the Keystone pipeline talking points.

tommer74 on April 26, 2013 at 5:28 PM

humina, humina humina

rhombus on April 26, 2013 at 5:32 PM

What he DOESN’T want to do is get into a war over WMDs- after blasting Bush for YEARS about doing so.

michaelo on April 26, 2013 at 5:33 PM

“He’s doing his best here to not do anything about Syria, but there’s only so much perceived weakness he can tolerate politically.”

Perceived weakness…?

… Excuse me?

Come again…?

If Pantload sends in troops, all he will be doing is Benghazi x 10,000…

… He will not give them the tools necessary to fight and win, he will use them as pawns, requests for help will go unanswered, ‘stand down’ orders will be the norm, and when people start to complain, pensions will be threatened and people will disappear.

Better he continues to dither and does nothing…

Seven Percent Solution on April 26, 2013 at 5:34 PM

I drew that redline with an erasable marker…
/potus

ted c on April 26, 2013 at 5:38 PM

What difference does it make?????

gassed, shot, had their spinal cords snipped….damn, c’mon guys, just give up some love whydontcha???

ted c on April 26, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Could it be that his mouth wrote a check that his a$$ can’t cover?
Nah, not obama.

countrybumpkin on April 26, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Benghazi.
Fast and Furious.
Talking vag strikes again.

RovesChins on April 26, 2013 at 5:41 PM

So… we want a war in Syria? It would be great if the killing stopped over there, but then what?

Bawk bawk bawk. Spine of jelly.

Send in the troops, then!

YYZ on April 26, 2013 at 5:42 PM

O must be stomping his foot at the WH. This has to be the worst weeks he’s had and he actually had to do some ‘part’ of his job

CoffeeLover on April 26, 2013 at 5:27 PM

And to add insult to injury, the American people are not in approval of the “job” he has been doing since 4/15. In fact, his Job Approval in the daily Gallup rolling 3 day average has basically flatlined since Boston, and the only “major poll” done since 4/15 (by Faux News) had his Job Approval go up exactly 1 point…from 46% to 47%.

That has gotta hurt not just him but also his Cultists. After all, in 4 days after the original 9/11, Chimpy Bush’s Job Approval went up 35 points.

Let’s face it though-he’s afraid that if we do go into Syria, we will find WMDs that say “Made in Iraq, 2002″ on them. He can’t have that!

Del Dolemonte on April 26, 2013 at 5:45 PM

“We need atleast 1000 deaths before we can begin to take the evidence serious. ”

-Precedent Obamaijad.

portlandon on April 26, 2013 at 5:46 PM

FChuck Todd: “Ooh, ooh, let me do it!”

SickofLibs on April 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

When you draw a line…and dare anyone to step over it…you’d better get ready to get pounded or get ready to run like hell, if you are not prepared to defend it.

This is no way to conduct foreign policy.

Hell, Jimmy did a better job of it.

coldwarrior on April 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

My fellow Americans: As President and Commander in Chief, it is my duty to the American people to report that renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply.

myiq2xu on April 26, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Paper tiger

cmsinaz on April 26, 2013 at 5:53 PM

What does the Ding Dong hijaby has to say about this ?
I’ve heard that she is quite an expert as the Foreign Minister of Deeceeistan :O

burrata on April 26, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Barry has been pushing and hoping for this in Syria because it worked in Egypt and Barry is a big fan of the brotherhood:
Exiled Muslim Brotherhood plans return to Syria

The Muslim Brotherhood caliphate.

albill on April 26, 2013 at 5:53 PM

As for Syria, we lost our leverage a couple years ago, thanks to Team Obama.

Didn’t even require any military force.

Not gonna get it back, again, either.

Way too late to do anything good about it…arming the AQ affiliates in Syria isn’t working out so good, got an ambassador killed trying that little stunt, which is still ongoing.

Coulda done a lot of good in Iran when Neda Soltani’s blood was still fresh on the sidewalk…blew that one too.

Again, no military force would have been necessary.

But, he got Ghadaffi and a well armed AQ-Africa as a result…

No American blood for Syria. I am sure Ambassador Stevens would concur…if he could.

coldwarrior on April 26, 2013 at 5:57 PM

I say he put a vote to invade to congress and let all who vote yes volunteer to send their sons and daughters over first to the front lines.

Bet the R’s would agree with him on being more thorough then.

Politricks on April 26, 2013 at 6:01 PM

However, when the Syrian military was detected in December apparently loading sarin into aerial munitions, the administration indicated that its red line was actually carrying out a chemical attack, not readying for one.

The goalposts are mounted on a trailor, for convenience of mobility.

Next stop, “carrying out a chemical attack on a neighboring country.”

iurockhead on April 26, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Politricks on April 26, 2013 at 6:01 PM

I must have missed something, can you identify the “R’s” that are pushing military action?

iurockhead on April 26, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Chuck Todd is a sorry excuse for a reporter.

JR on April 26, 2013 at 6:05 PM

iurockhead

Senate Armed Services Committee chief Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) joined with Senate Republicans on Thursday to demand that President Obama take military action to end the Syrian civil war.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/289659-senators-push-obama-to-establish-safe-zone-in-syria-with-airstrikes#ixzz2RbtDeG1J
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

But I meant I bet “Politicans” would agree he should be more thorough then.

Politricks on April 26, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Keep using chemical weapons and you’ll force the White House to act, purely in the interest of not losing face.

We didn’t act when Saddam first used chemical weapons.

When we did finally act, over 15 years after he used them, to be sure once and for all Saddam would never again be able to use WMD against us (via terrorist as proxies) or anyone else, the Dems began a years long campaign of condemnation to discredit the guy who acted, GWB. The Senate and House Dems were against doing anything other than continuing UN inspections and sanctions, unless France the UN said it was okay. IIRC, The One also announced he was against dong anything beyond that.

And now that Syria is, or may be, using them against rebels in a a civil war, many of whom are militant jihadists who hate us, Dear Leader will intervene with enough US military power to effectively achieve anything?

This does not compute.

Comrade O, in his foolish arrogance and naivety, was bluffing and miscalculated. If he does anything at all he will send a few drones there with some Hellfires, and maybe drop a bomb or two, just to save face. I doubt he will do even that.

farsighted on April 26, 2013 at 6:14 PM

No American blood for Syria. I am sure Ambassador Stevens would concur…if he could.

coldwarrior on April 26, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Could not agree more, American blood has to have a far larger premium attached to it than spilling it for the sake of John Wayne McCain and Obama to save face. It is a sorrowful situation to be sure but such is the whole world right now.

fourdeucer on April 26, 2013 at 6:16 PM

I’m genuinely not sure why HA is focusing on this. Who cares if Assad is gassing them. They’re jihadists. They’d be even worse then Assad if they toppled him, just like in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc. Gas away, I say. I hope both sides lose.

We criticized Obama for essentially putting the Muzzie Bros and other jihadists into power in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Shouldn’t we be encouraging his hypocritical reluctance in this situation? Or are Conservatives so bent on criticizing Obama that they’re willing to take contradictory positions.

Assad is scum. The rebels are worse. If we had any brains, we’d be at war with both.

WhatSlushfund on April 26, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Hannah Allam @HannahAllam

State Dept: We’re working to establish a definitive judgment on whether president’s red line was crossed. Not there yet, but working on it.

Are ya really now girlfriend? Is the line getting more pink or did the rain wash it away?

arnold ziffel on April 26, 2013 at 6:26 PM

We have a term for someone like this out here,

Limp Wristed Pussy.

Sadly, that may actually be giving Obama to much credit.

I wonder what he is going to do the first time the AP posts a picture of hundreds or thousands of bodies in the street? Claim that they need more time to make sure it wasnt bullets that killed them?

Blu3Yeti on April 26, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Oh and to be clear, I dont want to see US troops dying over there. But when the President says “dont do this, or else” and then they do it, you have to follow through with the “or else” or people around the world will consider the President, and by extension the USA, a total joke and not take anything he says seriously ever again.

Blu3Yeti on April 26, 2013 at 6:29 PM

The bat faced snake eater can’t handle anything more stressful than his south side bath house.

tom daschle concerned on April 26, 2013 at 6:29 PM

This Syria garbage is the result of voting “present” time after time or being inconsistent (schizophrenic, is more like it) when it comes to policy matters.

Or, far worse, abrogating foreign policy to Samantha and Valerie.

coldwarrior on April 26, 2013 at 6:36 PM

His response was several minutes of complete gobbledygook. I never saw a bigger bloviator.

KS Rex on April 26, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Blu3Yeti on April 26, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Obama firmly believes that because he says so, people will just jump into line, from US citizens to foreign leaders.

Makes Jimmy look good, real good, by comparison.

coldwarrior on April 26, 2013 at 6:40 PM

As several have already noted, Obama is now demonstrating a level of dangerous incompetence far beyond any of his predecessors, Carter especially. He could just pull a page from Clintons ‘playbook’ and lob a few dozen cruise missiles. But this he will not do. And, I’m sure if he’s finally backed into a corner, he will, of course do something foolish…as is his nature.

An 85IQ anti-American dog-eating post-turtle cannot avoid being exposed as such for long. Had he had W’s luck (9/11 & Katrina) even his bootlickers in the media could not cover for him. Perhaps we are finally reaching that point.

Oh, to see the boy-king exposed for the piece of dog-poo he, is just might make all the misery he has inflicted on us almost worth it.

RavingLunatic on April 26, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Again shows himself to be a lying little self-serving punk.

petefrt on April 26, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Obama…”Err…ummm..can I vote present on this.”

jaywemm on April 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM

he’s ok with partial birth abortion….this is just a little later is all…..

and once again, another expiration date that has expired.
no pun intended.

RealMc on April 26, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Unless somebody has a good plan for accomplishing something that is achievable and worthwhile in Syria, then Mr Obama’s continued procrastination is probably the best thing he could be doing in respect of Syria.

YiZhangZhe on April 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

The ONLY RED LINE is if Assad uses chem weapons on whatever island paradise the Obama girls are vaycaying at any given time.

LarryinLA on April 26, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I say he put a vote to invade to congress and let all who vote yes volunteer to send their sons and daughters over first to the front lines.

Bet the R’s would agree with him on being more thorough then.

Politricks on April 26, 2013 at 6:01 PM

Boot licker.

CW on April 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM

President Present strikes again. Did anyone really expect hime to 1) keep his word vis-a-vis line in the sand, 2) make a decision, or 3) answer the 3 AM phone call?

joated on April 26, 2013 at 7:39 PM

YiZhangZhe on April 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

I think most here want nothing to do with Syria – I, for one, am enjoying the corner he’s backed himself into. Obama’s rhetorical red line has been crossed. What now, Mr. President? Time to draw another line in the sand?

Hill60 on April 26, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Reminds me of a story…The Clean- cut Boy who Cried Wolf.

CW on April 26, 2013 at 7:48 PM

CW on April 26, 2013 at 7:48 PM

And articulate. /

coldwarrior on April 26, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Red line meets brown streak.

PersonFromPorlock on April 26, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Obama promised to find & punish Ambassador Stevens murderers. They went on the Islamic version of the Oprah show & bragged about the murders — we KNOW who did it’. Obama did nothing!

Obama promised to take action if Syria crossed the proverbial red line’ … and Obama is backing down again. Weakness to Muslims/Islamic Extremists is like blood in the water to a shark in the water, inviting more and more bold attacks. Also, Israel just learned that Obama was/is full of shi’ite regarding his agreement with Israel regarding the nuclear deadline with Iran – they won’t wait for this gutless, Islamic Extremist sympathizing loser if they decide the time is right for their protection!

Obama continues to demonstrate that while a Communist-tutored, racist hate-spewing pastor-mentored, terrorist-befriending radical Community Organizer may wield much power he does not have the knowledge or experience to wield it wisely/successfully/for the greater good!

easyt65 on April 26, 2013 at 9:08 PM

…more importantly IRAN just learned Obama doesn’t have the cahonies to take action & they are free to go ahead and build their nukes…

easyt65 on April 26, 2013 at 9:11 PM

When you draw a line…and dare anyone to step over it…you’d better get ready to get pounded or get ready to run like hell, if you are not prepared to defend it.

coldwarrior on April 26, 2013 at 5:50 PM

The proverbial paper tiger. A lesson as old as school yard bullies.

itsspideyman on April 26, 2013 at 9:57 PM

AP linked an article about sending troops to Jordan in order to prevent violence from spilling over the border (which is actually a prudent move in defense of one of our allies, and the only semi-sane Arab actor in the ME).
However, this statement by John McCain* caught my eye:

In refugee camps, people “are angry and bitter because we haven’t helped them. And we are breeding a generation of people who will – as was articulated to me by a teacher in one of the refugee camps – these children will take revenge on the people who refused to help them.”

A large part of the problem of violence around the world is misplaced animosity such as this, which seeks revenge against everyone but the people who actually caused the problem in the first place.


*The syntax of the paragraphs was a bit garbled, but it followed another McCain quote.

AesopFan on April 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM

YiZhangZhe on April 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

I think most here want nothing to do with Syria – I, for one, am enjoying the corner he’s backed himself into. Obama’s rhetorical red line has been crossed. What now, Mr. President? Time to draw another line in the sand?

Hill60 on April 26, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Unfortunately, he is boxing the whole country into that corner, and there does not seem to be anyone in the administration who knows how to get out of it (or how to avoid getting into a corner in the first place).

AesopFan on April 26, 2013 at 11:59 PM

However, this statement by John McCain* caught my eye:

In refugee camps, people “are angry and bitter because we haven’t helped them. And we are breeding a generation of people who will – as was articulated to me by a teacher in one of the refugee camps – these children will take revenge on the people who refused to help them.”

A large part of the problem of violence around the world is misplaced animosity such as this, which seeks revenge against everyone but the people who actually caused the problem in the first place.


*The syntax of the paragraphs was a bit garbled, but it followed another McCain quote.

AesopFan on April 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM

McCain is a fool.

Threatening everyone who does not do as they wish or give them what they ask and think they deserve seems to be the standard mode of operation of many in that part of the world.

My guess is anyone who later takes “revenge” on us already hated us and only needed an excuse.

farsighted on April 27, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Dear leader is moving the goal posts red line again.
Is it just me or is McLame torturing logic and common sense. He’s been hanging out too long with too many lefties.

Kissmygrits on April 27, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Gee, I wonder if Obama’s Syria credibility studies will take as long as his Keystone impact studies. If so, we’ll all be dead of old age before they reach a conclusion.

RebeccaH on April 27, 2013 at 11:01 AM

The winner of Planned Parenthood’s Gozzie Award, has no red-lines, so there is nothing to see here.

virgo on April 27, 2013 at 12:37 PM

“Over this line, you do not cross” – Walter Sobchak.

“See what happens, Larry?”

sgtstogie on April 27, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Quit trying to disarm Americans and get on with your job dude.

johnnyU on April 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM