NBC: Yeah, the White House regrets setting that red line with Syria

posted at 10:01 am on April 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Posture in haste, repent at leisure.  Barack Obama drew a very public red line with Syria, threatening American intervention if chemical weapons got used in the civil war taking place since the Arab Spring of 2011. Now that US, NATO, and Israeli intel shows that chemical weapons have been deployed, everyone’s looking at the White House to see whether Obama meant what he said.  This has produced no action so far, but it has produced … “regret.”  Via Daniel Halper at TWS, NBC’s Chuck Todd reports on the inevitable headache that comes from tough talk — backing it up:

“I can tell you there is regret about that red line comment,” said Todd, “because if you –”

Host David Gregory interrupted, “In the White House?”

“In the White House in this respect,” Todd continued. “You don’t draw–I mean, they meant it. They do mean it on the chemical weapons. But saying it creates this political conversation. They didn’t want to go public last week that they had this early evidence yet. They weren’t ready. And yet they knew Congress was going to get this briefing and it was all going to get out, so they decided to go public with it last week because they felt they had no choice, that it was all going to start leaking out … But they’re not ready. There is no good answer.”

This is the reverse of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous axiom, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” In this case, Obama spoke loudly while unsure of whether to pick up a stick at all.  That has some inside and outside of the US worried about American credibility in other conflicts, specifically with Iran.

Meanwhile, Israel insists that it doesn’t want Obama to pick up any kind of stick at all, at least not to prove its toughness to Iran.  The two issues are not only unrelated, but totally different:

A senior Israeli official said Sunday that Israel was not urging the United States to take military action in Syria, despite intelligence assessments asserting that the government of President Bashar al-Assad recently used chemical weapons in the civil war gripping its country. …

Some Israeli officials and analysts suggested that Mr. Assad was testing Mr. Obama and that failure to act could send a signal to Iran that American threats were not to be taken seriously.

But Mr. Steinitz said the situations in the two countries were not comparable. Syria was engaged in a civil war with terrible humanitarian consequences internally; Iran’s nuclear program, he contended, posed devastating, even existential, threats to Israel and much of the region and world.

“It is problem No. 1 of our generation,” he said of Iran’s nuclear program, comparing it, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has often done, to the threat posed by the rise of the Nazi regime in the 1930s.

Mr. Steinitz said that recent visits to Israel by top American officials, including President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, had shown the deep level of cooperation between the two countries, especially on the matter of Iran. But, he added, Israel had made clear to the visitors that it could not hand off such a significant security issue to anyone — even its closest ally — and that it had to be able to handle the threat on its own.

The big question we need to answer in Syria is who benefits from Western intervention at this point.  While no one questions the evil nature of the Assad regime, the alternatives look worse.  The New York Times reported over the weekend that there are no secular forces of note within the rebel alliance, and that control has gone over to Islamist terror networks that we’d normally be fighting:

In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.

Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah has come in on Assad’s side:

Although the Lebanese militant and political group Hezbollah has acknowledged little about its role in the fighting next door, Syrian rebels and an analyst close to the Shiite organization, a longtime ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, say it has amplified its operations inside Syria in recent weeks, adding muscle and firepower to an ongoing Syrian military offensive to retake a strategically important border zone from the rebels.

That acceleration has provoked a backlash from Hezbollah’s Sunni opponents inside Lebanon, who had mostly stayed on the sidelines until now. This past week, two prominent firebrand clerics publicly called on their Sunni followers to go to Syria to fight Hezbollah on behalf of Syria’s predominantly Sunni rebels. One of the clerics, Ahmad ­al-Assir, said that his call to jihad had already galvanized a volunteer force of hundreds of young men.

From a strictly strategic point of view, why not let Hezbollah fight al-Qaeda affiliates and let them drain each other of strength?  That has to be a better outcome than victory for Assad or for the Nusrah Front and its AQ allies.  An American intervention that tips the scales towards AQ would be absurd, and yet that seems to be exactly what Republicans and Democrats in Washington want from the Obama administration.

If we are going to intervene, it should be with a heavy footprint that ends the Nusrah Front’s control of wide swaths of Syria.  That will take years, hundreds of thousands of troops, and probably trillions of dollars — but it’s the only way to intervene and keep Islamist terrorists from taking over large parts of Syria like they did in Libya, after a 30,000-foot intervention by Obama and NATO.  If we don’t want to pay that kind of price for intervention, then let’s stay the hell out of Syria in the first place.

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Barack Obama drew a very public red line with Syria, threatening American intervention if chemical weapons got used in the civil war taking place since the Arab Spring of 2011.

with a dry erase marker??
/questions

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM

This is the reverse of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous axiom, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

that’s an excellent observation. spot on.

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:04 AM

And we’re back to the “Halt, or I’ll say ‘halt’ again” of the Clinton era….

apostic on April 29, 2013 at 10:05 AM

You know, this reminds me of the Carter idiocy of pulling out of the 1980 Summer Olympics.

I thought it was a stupid and pointless threat when he threatened it to try to get the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan.

But, at least Carter, for all his faults, understood that once you make a threat, you back it up. He kept his word and kept us out.

The threat to pull out was stupid and was the wrong thing to do.
Pulling out was the right thing.

Chris of Rights on April 29, 2013 at 10:06 AM

This is the reverse of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous axiom, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” In this case, Obama spoke loudly while unsure of whether to pick up a stick at all.

Does a golf club count?

Electrongod on April 29, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Pulling out was the right thing.

Chris of Rights on April 29, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Too bad, Barry, Sr. didn’t.

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 10:07 AM

“but hey, all our lies helped us to gain a 2nd term, so who cares?” “What difference does it make anyway?”

kirkill on April 29, 2013 at 10:08 AM

The red line has been crossed – prepare for a strongly worded letter. Bombs away!

crrr6 on April 29, 2013 at 10:08 AM

If we hadn’t publicly set the “red line,” I’d be perfectly fine with doing nothing in Syria. McCain and other “neocons” seem to want to continue drawing us into the conflicts of other nations, and I’m tired of it. If the Islamists in the Middle East want to kill each other, have at it, so long as they don’t directly threaten the United States.

But now our fearless leader has backed us into a corner. He’s very publicly stated the conditions under which we will take action. And that line has been crossed and we are not taking action. He’s trying to walk it back and parse things to please the voting public here in the United States, but that’s not who matters. Who matters are all the dictators over in the Middle East who now see, no matter how we spin it here in America, a country that talks a good game but isn’t willing to back it up when the chips are down.

Think we can deter North Korea or Iran — who could be legitimate threats to us — through tough talk alone? Think again, now that we’ve proven our tough talk means nothing.

Shump on April 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM

This is the reverse of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous axiom, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Obama’s axiom- Bluster loudly and distract.

Happy Nomad on April 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM

The way you handle is by attacking both sides.

If Assad uses chemical weapons again, you do something that hampers his military.

If the “rebels” are accurately AQ, we bomb the hell out of them.

When the media starts asking which side on we on, the answer is the non-Islamic front.

Otherwise, we stay out.

budfox on April 29, 2013 at 10:11 AM

This is the reverse of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous axiom, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Quite so, but it has been the hallmark of the left for the last 20 years.

Gatsu on April 29, 2013 at 10:12 AM

The red line has been crossed – prepare for a strongly worded letter. Bombs away!

crrr6 on April 29, 2013 at 10:08 AM

But did they really cross the red line. I mean they crossed a line but it was more of a magenta brownish reddish line than a real red line. Let’s not jump to conclusions here.

Happy Nomad on April 29, 2013 at 10:13 AM

There is surely something to be said about the president weighing in on this issue by speaking directly about it. The office of the POTUS, and its messaging, can be viewed as a deterrent to ne’er do wells in the Middle East. Well, it can only be viewed as a deterrent if it accompanied by adequate shows of force and diplomatic efforts. Absent those ingredients and it is merely bluster.

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Give him a break man
-chuck Todd explanation

cmsinaz on April 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Speak from a Tele-Prompter and brandish a wet noodle.

Wander on April 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Give him a break man
-chuck Todd explanation

cmsinaz on April 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Speak loudly but expect to eat your waffle in peace.

apostic on April 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM

the only adequate response to all this red line criticism is another great moment in US diplomacy….. the “What Difference Does It Make Now?”—-a now immortal axiom to be stated only after a few four dozen hundred thousand Americans Syrians get it in the neck.

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Little Doctor Assad is not a nice person.

But, once he is removed by the “rebels,” imagine an Islamist, AQ-oriented, well-armed regime on the Med, sharing a border with Israel, having the moral and financial backing of Iran, with a Navy, and air force, and chemical and biological weapons.

Of course, once Assad is bounced out of office (window) by these “freedom fighters” they will all go back to their homes and shops, and tune in their televisions to some sitcom or maybe a PBS special…never threatening anyone, ever, again.

For being the smartest President, evah, and the smartest guy in the room…never thought this thing out for even a moment…just plain dumb.

He’s boxed into a corner he built.

Cuz’ we didn’t build it.

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Give him a break man
-chuck Todd explanation

cmsinaz on April 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

No.

Liam on April 29, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Obama’s axiom- Bluster loudly and distract.

Happy Nomad on April 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Obama’s axiom is more like “bluster loudly and then cower from indecision from fear of the base”. He’s our American Mugabe. “Why can’t I have all the trappings of the President, parties, fame, love from media without all the work of actually having to be the President? Can we get Bill Clinton to step in and take the podium?”

TulsAmerican on April 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

So the “red line” is the use of chemical weapons against their own people?

This to me is an open invitation for Assad to murder as many people as possible (reports of over 100,000 already) and the US won’t lift a finger. Now he has reportedly killed 20 or so people with chemical weapons and we are supposed to intervene?

This is why the red line was idiotic. Not because he wouldn’t back it up, but because it condoned murdering of his people as long as he chose bullets and bombs instead of sarin gas.

The small scale chemical attack shows the ridiculousness of Obama’s position.

weaselyone on April 29, 2013 at 10:22 AM

everyone’s looking at the White House to see whether Obama meant what he said

Five years of this lying, obfuscating, “every promise comes with an expiration date” POTUS and there are people still waiting to see if he meant what he said? I guarantee you that it is not “everybody”; many of us already know the answer to that question: Only if it is politically expedient.

In this case it is not politically expedient for the administration, so the red line will be erased and the propaganda arm of the DNC will dutifully report, “What red line?”

AZfederalist on April 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

There’s such a thing as a foolish vow.

Akzed on April 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Apparently it’s about like proposing a sequester, because you just know the other side won’t allow it, or talking about the economy being great because of all the shovel ready jobs.

You have to love competence.

bflat879 on April 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Eric Assad, don’t call my bluff.

BObama on April 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM

makattak on April 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Obama’s axiom is more like “bluster loudly and then cower from indecision from fear of the base”.

TulsAmerican on April 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Fair enough, let’s keep in mind that everything Chuck Todd says on a Sunday talk show has been cleared by the White House (which is why Susan Rice claiming ignorance about Benghazi was so reprehensible after lying her ass off on five shows in a single Sunday cycle).

The rat-eared coward sent Todd out there to try and defuse the bluster about what the United States would do if chemical weapons were used against citizens by the Syrian government. Because he never meant to do anything in the first place he needs others to use the weasel words to cover his inaction.

Happy Nomad on April 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Now that we have a good old fashion Sunni vs. Shiite mash up developing, perhaps it is best to just let ‘em go at it.

See how serious SA and Iran are. Actually, Iran has to be pretty careful on this. Supporting a brutal dictator cannot benefit their world standing.

Jabberwock on April 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM

The phone was never supposed to ring, Bark only said what he did to make himself appear less of a wimpified sissy.

Bishop on April 29, 2013 at 10:28 AM

You have to love competence.

bflat879 on April 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

I’ll let you know when I see some.

Happy Nomad on April 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM

As long as he keeps handing out the Obama phones, his base is happy. It’s not that his base doesn’t know where Syria is, it’s that his base has never heard the word Syria.

vityas on April 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM

The line wasn’t “red” red…..

ladyingray on April 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

BIG talk from such a little man.

thebrokenrattle on April 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

AZfederalist on April 29, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Or, worse, Obama will do something stupid…really stupid…get a bunch of Americans killed…then the White House narrative will be “those nasty Republicans, those evil conservatives, those tea partiers, they forced me into it.”

Which is why when McCain or Graham or anybody else steps up and says “we have to do something…they crossed the red line!” is setting themselves up for Obama to affix blame…and walk away smelling like a rose.

We lost our opportunity to effectively do anything vis-a-vis Syria the moment Obama went public with his “red lines” nonsense, and when that ill-founded covert action program got blown in Benghazi.

And ALL of that is on Obama.

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM

It’s not that his base doesn’t know where Syria is, it’s that his base has never heard the word Syria.

vityas on April 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM

it’s that stuff you put milk on in the morning…..for breakfast right??? /

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM

“Don’t call my bluff! No wait, uh, I meant to say ‘I’m not bluffing’”

forest on April 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Headline: Liar-in-Chief reveals self as also Bluffer-in-Chief.

petefrt on April 29, 2013 at 10:35 AM

The next thing you know, it will be like no one believes anything he says. Except his far to numerous sycophants. Lucky for him, lots of those have air time.

Cindy Munford on April 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM

More incompetence from the bumbler-in-chief! Did anyone expect more!
What more could we ever ask of a leader?……”Follow me boys, I’m right behind you!

Boats48 on April 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM

This is the problem with being such a relativist. There is no clear delineation between right and wrong, the only action required is one that is necessary to benefit your political position, and, if it doesn’t help, then “Meh” whatevs.

If it were politically helpful to save babies lives, save Syrian lives, rescue Americans in Benghazi, or to shed the light on the murder of Brian Terry, then it would happen. Since it’s not, then…..meh.

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Stay out of Syria. It is just Islam being Islam .

GardenGnome on April 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

If we don’t want to pay that kind of price for intervention, then let’s stay the hell out of Syria in the first place.

Welcome to the isolationist camp, Ed.
My work here is done. Mwahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!

abobo on April 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM

but it has produced … “regret.”

the product of a rhetorical boomerang cast several months ago coming back around and smacking you in the forehead……

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:39 AM

I’m not interested one bit in getting involved in Syria. Then again, I didn’t draw a red line.

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Heh, heh – Obummer paints himself into a corner again….

But the GOP will hand him another paintbrush to paint a back door exit…..

redguy on April 29, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I predict Obama & his cronies run to a celebrity cause that gets this out of the headlines. Darfur maybe?

portlandon on April 29, 2013 at 10:45 AM

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:04 AM

GMTA?

novaculus ‏@novaculus 27 Apr

Teddy Roosevelt said: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Obama says: “Talk tough and carry a swizzle stick. Then fold like a lawn chair.”

10:21 AM – 27 Apr 13

novaculus on April 29, 2013 at 10:48 AM

If the man had the same sense of follow through in his golf swing, he’d probably would have spent more time at work.

apostic on April 29, 2013 at 10:50 AM

But they’re not ready. There is no good answer.

Gotta cover for their Obamassiah. Rather than admit, King Barry is all show and no go.

GarandFan on April 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM

This is clearly George W. Bush’s fault…

Khun Joe on April 29, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I say the US should sit on the sidelines and watch Hezbollah and AQ destroy each other.

Especially since there is no conformation which side used the chemical weapons.

While the prevailing meme is that Assad is testing Obama with the use of these weapons. Nobody has mentioned a second inconvenient and more dangerous scenario; the “rebels” used them against friendly targets as a means of drawing the West into supporting their cause. That does not mean ground troops. However, it means air power, weapons or the enforcement of no-fly zones. That would be a great equalizer on the battlefield.

The implications of that scenario also means that someone on the “rebel” side has access to these weapons already. With Assad’s military defections and a battlefield ebb-flow through various geographical areas, that’s a distinct possibility. Imagine the terrible danger of those weapons in AQ hands.

Marcus Traianus on April 29, 2013 at 10:57 AM

If you draw your ‘red lines’ with your Bic disappearing ink ballpoint pen, then #YouJustPulledAnObama.

Resist We Much on April 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM

The red line clashes with the yellow one down his back.

docflash on April 29, 2013 at 11:07 AM

The fighters in Syria range from bad guys to worse guys.

Obama is absolutely incompetent as Commander in Chief. There was no reason whatsoever to threaten Assad publicly. That is the classic back-my-a$$-into-a-corner blunder. But as Jonah has observed, this is the Preezie who believes his own BS. And this clueless rectum thinks he is a tough guy.

You don’t handle tools like Assad and the rest of these ME dirt bags with public threats. You get your plan in place first. Then tell him what is up, but privately. Then you follow up, without fail.

You don’t coordinate with Russia, the Chinese, or the UN. Let Assad go whining to his buddies and let them bring it up. If they do, refuse to confirm or deny, and reserve the right to act as you see fit. Let those tools stew too.

For example: Tell Assad: “If you use chemical weapons, we will obliterate a related target.” Put any necessary resources in place to get the job done. Quietly. He uses them, you do it. No further warning, no screwing around with the Russians, the Chinese, or the UN. Do it.

If the Russians and the Chinese believe you mean what you say, they will clamp down on Assad. Their conduct to date proves they aren’t worried about Obama’s empty threats. They know political posturing when they see it, and they recognize the incompetency this tool has displayed on foreign policy from day one.

novaculus on April 29, 2013 at 11:10 AM

The red line clashes with the yellow one down his back.

docflash on April 29, 2013 at 11:07 AM

That has the makings of a great tweet. Can I steal borrow it?

novaculus on April 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Forgive me but my “give a darn” meter isn’t even moving on this one. Why should we help the Syrians topple Assad when we know for a fact they will stab us in the back the next day?

echosyst on April 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Who matters are all the dictators over in the Middle East who now see, no matter how we spin it here in America, a country that talks a good game but isn’t willing to back it up when the chips are down.

Say all you want about his neocon worldview, this most definitely was not the case with Bush 43.

Plus, even assuming that would be wise to go in with a “heavy footprint” and assuming further that it could succeed, even in the long run — both of which are dubious premises, let us face it, Obama has left us with a military which is not up to that task (no disrespect to the fighting spirit of our troops intended).

I guess it all depends on what your definition of “red” is.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on April 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM

novaculus on April 29, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Gotta stop all that crazy talk…makes too much good sense, based on logic, history, actual real world experience.

Like I said up thread, Obama blew his opportunity long ago.

He just had to go public…see what a tough guy I am crap.

Don’t call my bluff nonsense.

Americans will die as a result.

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Chuck Toad – the new face of American diplomacy.

bofh on April 29, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Forgive me but my “give a darn” meter isn’t even moving on this one. Why should we help the Syrians topple Assad when we know for a fact they will stab us in the back the next day?

echosyst on April 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I think your meter needs calibration. It isn’t about Syria that you should be giving a darn. But a radical rat-eared coward posturing like Kim Jong Un about what the United States is going to do if chemical weapons are used should move the needle a bit.

Happy Nomad on April 29, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Chuck Toad – the new face of American diplomacy.

bofh on April 29, 2013 at 11:20 AM

I preferred the one that looked like a horse’s butt.

Happy Nomad on April 29, 2013 at 11:25 AM

The only thing I worry about is if Assads WMDs fall into the hands of terrorists. But yeah, Obama screwed up big time on this.

Jack_Burton on April 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

This is the reverse of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous axiom

It’s like the effeminate dandies at French court wearing codpieces.

burt on April 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

The only thing I worry about is if Assads WMDs fall into the hands of terrorists. But yeah, Obama screwed up big time on this.

Jack_Burton on April 29, 2013 at 11:26 AM

But remember, we are already deliberately and knowingly putting all sorts of weapons into the hands of terrorists. What do you think Benghazi was all about?

bofh on April 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM

From a strictly strategic point of view, why not let Hezbollah fight al-Qaeda affiliates and let them drain each other of strength?

Hezbollah and al-Qaeda slaughtering each other? OH, THE HUMANITY!! We must intervene immediately, and waste American lives and treasure in a vain attempt stop this sensless slaughter!

/ sarc mode off

Normally, in a situation this serious, White House dithering would be inexcusable. In this case, it provides a useful function – namely, keeping us from plunging headfirst into that strategic morass. As a reservist, I am very glad that Obama is such a wimp about enforcing his own “red line”. It was definitely a big diplomatic mistake to have ever laid down a “red line” that you do not have the will to enforce, but at least we can cut our losses by “forgetting” that the idle threat was ever made in the first place.

SubmarineDoc on April 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Just like a Bugs Bunny cartoon….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkzWyOaS8kU

dddave on April 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Late last year: President Barack Obama said “The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable and if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons there will be consequences.”

And now: “Oh ****, he crossed it. I didn’t expect that…”

sadatoni on April 29, 2013 at 11:39 AM

SubmarineDoc on April 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM

If Obama can’t figure out a way to back down without looking like he is an incompetent wimp backing down, he may well put our people in harm’s way to avoid being exposed for what he is. That is what you get when you put an incompetent narcissist in command.

novaculus on April 29, 2013 at 11:51 AM

novaculus on April 29, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I’m a capitalist but It’s yours,free.

docflash on April 29, 2013 at 11:51 AM

He should have told assad not to call his bluff.

VegasRick on April 29, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Sort of reminds me of his laser-like focus on jobs! LOL.

Bob in VA on April 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Just last year, BIG Progs like Michael Tomasky were saying…

‘We’re going to war with Syria…Obviously, Obama’s not going to want to get entangled in anything this year with the election looming. But get ready for the march to Damascus, or at least bombs over Damascus, in 2013.’

Bashar Don’t Like It: Rock Damascus

I’m with Glenn Greenwald when it comes to the despicable, hypocritical ObamaFirsters.

Resist We Much on April 29, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Barack Obama drew a very public red line with Syria, threatening American intervention if chemical weapons got used in the civil war taking place since the Arab Spring of 2011.

with a dry erase marker??
/questions

ted c on April 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM

He uses a red laser pointer, so you can play with it like Allah plays with his cats.

slickwillie2001 on April 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM

That has some inside and outside of the US worried about American credibility in other conflicts, specifically with Iran.

I’d hate to suggest that the objective of the REB is to do exactly that, -destroy American credibility.

slickwillie2001 on April 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM

STOP! Or I’ll yell STOP! again

Does his rhetoric fool anybody?

jayhawkingeorgia on April 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I’m a capitalist but It’s yours,free.

docflash on April 29, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I’m a free marketer but I will spread it around, free.

novaculus on April 29, 2013 at 12:19 PM

Given Benghazi and now this, the GOP need to hammer this President as a LIAR and a COWARD. He doesn’t care about Americans. He doesn’t care about his reputation with the world (even though he took it upon himself to apologize for Bush). All he cared about was bowing to the mullahs and looking the other way.

djaymick on April 29, 2013 at 12:20 PM

jayhawkingeorgia on April 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Not with that intonation and accent.

Gotta to say “Ya’ll don’t be messin’ wif me, and crossin’ no red lines, there Assad. Don’t be callin’ my bluff. Gonna get wee wee’d up if ya do.”

Maybe that’d be more effective.

:-)

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 12:21 PM

As for Obama, I tend to agree with Dr. Dr. Peter Venkman.

Nor, a pair of appendages, either.

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Dr. Dr.? How’d that happen?

:-(

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Here’s the problem, which Obama has created for himself and for the country:

During the Bush administration, he and other Democrats screamed that the US military was ‘air-raiding villages’ killing innocent men, women and children; that Iraq was a ‘war of choice;’ that the US was ‘indifferent” to the sufferings of others,’ especially, those in the Middle East; that Iraq was a ‘war for oil;’ that the US had to ‘stop meddling in the affairs of other countries;’ etc. We all remember what was said.

One’s position, then or now, as to whether we should have gone into Iraq is irrelevant to the point. We went.

Then, Obama ran for POTUS. We were told “Once the lightbringer is elected, the world will love us.”

In 2007, Obama told us:

“I truly believe that the day I’m inaugurated, not only does the country look at itself differently, but the world looks at America differently. If I’m reaching out to the Muslim world, they understand that I’ve lived in a Muslim country, and I may be a Christian, but I also understand their point of view…

My sister is half-Indonesian. I traveled there all the way through my college years. And so I’m intimately concerned with what happens in these countries, and the cultures and the perspectives that these folks have. And those are powerful tools for us to be able to reach out to the world.’

Then, along came Libya…and what did Obama do?

He may have been dragged into going into Libya by ‘The Three Witches’ (Clinton, Powers and Rice and their ‘Responsibility to Protect’ doctrine; see Macbeth) and by France and the UK, but he went. He sent military support. He claimed he did it to prevent mass slaughter and other crimes against humanity. He supplied weapons. He supplied air cover. He bombed Qaddafi targets. He stood by, as a partner with known Al-Qaeda and other Islamist fighters even as they slaughtered Libyans and black Africans, until Qaddafi fell. He talked about our ‘moral responsibility to others.’ He talked about the right of using the might of the American military to stop or prevent humanitarian disasters, potential genocide, and war crimes.

‘Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition, and the Arab League, appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. At my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic Resolution that authorized a No-Fly Zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.’

- President Barack Obama, 28 March 2011

At that time, 25,000 people were, allegedly, at risk of being massacred. Here is what he said two weeks earlier about our ‘responsibility to protect’ and the danger of being ‘feckless’…

Here is what we knew. We knew that Qaddafi was moving on Benghazi, and that his history was such that he could carry out a threat to kill tens of thousands of people. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time–somewhere between two days and two weeks. We knew they were moving faster than we originally anticipated. We knew that Europe was proposing a no-fly zone.

We knew that a no-fly zone would not save the people of Ben­gha­zi. The no-fly zone was an expression of concern that didn’t real­ly do anything. The last thing we knew is that if you announced a no-fly zone and if it appeared feckless, there would be additional pressure for us to go further. As enthusiastic as France and Britain were about the no-fly zone, there was a danger that if we participated the U.S. would own the operation. Because we had the capacity.’

- President Barack Obama, 15 March 2011

One’s position, then or now, as to whether we should have gotten involved in Libya is irrelevant to the point. We went.

Then, came Syria…

Here we have a willfully blind Obama administration that bought into the “Assad the Reformer” meme and doesn’t want the headache that Syria brings with it vis-a-vis Iran, Russia, and China. Obama probably understands that there is the potential for a regional or even world war if things go badly. He also wants to satisfy Turkey, which could drag the US into a war if Iran or its proxy, Syria, launches any serious attack merely by invoking Article V of the Nato Treaty. Erdoğan is Obama’s “bestest” friend and adviser. Obama has also understood that his new buds in Egypt want him to support the rebels. Of course, he also probably understands that countries like Jordan are, rightfully, afraid of what will happen should the rebels prevail – not only will they have to deal with enormous refugee issues (Jordan already has more ‘Palestinian’ refugees than any one else on the planet and has had them for decades), but their governments could easily be targeted for toppling by the ‘democratic’ revolutionaries.

Basically, the “Arab Spring” has sprung open the old ‘Persian’ (including allies like Syria) v the ‘Arab World’ rivalry.

Hamlet has wrung his hands for more than 2 years. What to do? What to do? What to do?

Run weapons through Turkey to the Syrian rebels and with the help of the Qataris? Look like he is not going to get militarily involved, which makes Russia and China happy? Play the good cop-bad cop routine with the mullahs, Ahmadinejad, and the rest of the 12′th’ers in the Hojjatieh Mahdatieh Society, which was so nutty that even the Ayatollah Khomeini banned it? [Ahmadinejad and some of the mullahs, along with a growing amount of officials in the government and IR, are members.] Actually, act militarily, which has regional and global implications?

There aren’t any good options. This is a case where it is too bad that both sides in Syria cannot lose, but it is also about issues much, much larger than a civil war in a shithole in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, nearly 70,000 Syrians have died and the Muslim World has taken notice that Obama has done nothing to save them…in their eyes (I’m not arguing for intervention, trust me).

So, we see that Obama is in favour of ‘air-raiding villages killing innocent men, women and children’ when it suits him; that Libya was a ‘war of choice;’ that the US under Obama has been ‘indifferent’ to the sufferings of others, especially, those in Syria; and that Obama is willing to ‘meddle in the affairs of other countries’ when he wants to do so; etc.

Many in the Muslim World understand that Obama is not on their side. He is on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood. How often has Obama spoken out about what is happening to Coptic Christians? To the young in places like Egypt that did not topple oppressive, militaristic regimes only to see them replaced with oppressive, theocratic regimes? To Muslims of different sects or from different tribes? He hasn’t. It is a well-known FACT in countries like Egypt that the Obama Administration has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and that it believes that, by backing the MB, it has chosen a side that it can control. It would be funny, if it didn’t have such tragic ramifications for the US, the West, and the Middle East, itself.

They are also beginning to understand something else:

What is the difference between Libya and Syria?

As I pointed out repeatedly at the time, Libya supplies a great deal of oil to France, the UK, and Italy. THAT was the reason that the European countries wanted to go in militarily. Everyone there knew it.

Syria doesn’t have very much oil. So, while American oil companies never won a single lease in the Iraqi oilfield sales, which was the alleged reason that America attacked Saddam Hussein, according to many on the Left, the fact of the matter is oil was a huge reason, if not the entire reason, for the move on Libya.

Obama sold himself to the Muslim World as ‘different than Bush’ and a man, who because he had lived amongst them, understood them. If anyone is looking for a reason why America’s popularity in the Muslim World is worse now than it was during even the Bush administration, that’s it. He sold himself as one thing and has proven to be another. He said that he wasn’t Bush and he cared. He has proven otherwise…repeatedly. No one is more bitter than the one that fell for the ruse in the first place.

Libya and Syria have exposed Obama to a lot of the Muslim World in even a way that his indifference to the Green Revolution did not.

Resist We Much on April 29, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Resist We Much on April 29, 2013 at 12:36 PM

+1000 and more.

Should be mandatory reading…but the Left, they know better than us.

All of this, all of it, is Obama’s own doing.

He built it. We did not.

In the words of Louis Farrakhan…”Mr. President, who the hell do you think you are?”

coldwarrior on April 29, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Do you suppose that Obama is afraid of finding Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction?

That would be the worst of all things for Obama, politically, proving the Bush 43 administration correct and militarily, having them used on us.

RJL on April 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM