France: Uh, we’re not going to strike Syria all by ourselves

posted at 11:01 am on September 1, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

And then there were … none?  A week ago, France sounded determined to provide a military response to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons — but a week ago, so did the UK and the US.  Parliament put an end to the UK military response, and now Barack Obama has reversed course and says he will seek Congressional authorization.  All of a sudden, France feels pretty darned lonely:

A French official said his country would not act alone against Syria after President Barack Obama said he would seek approval from Congress before launching any military action to punish the government of Bashar Assad for a gas attack that killed hundreds, making Paris the last main ally in the coalition to back off an immediate attack.

“France cannot go in alone,” French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a radio interview amid growing pressure on President Francois Hollande to put the question of intervention to a vote in French parliament. “A coalition is necessary.”

“We are entering a new phase. We now have some time and with this time, we must put it to good use so that things move,” he added.

The statement followed several days of prevarication among supporters of Western military intervention.

Only hours after Secretary of State John Kerry called Assad “a thug and a murderer” and accused the government of using chemical weapons to kill 1,429 people, President Barack Obama changed his mind about when and how to intervene.

This may be moot, of course.  If Obama can win Congressional approval for military action, then France will almost certainly join the coalition — unless Hollande also puts the question to his Parliament.  The fact that the French legislature is agitating for a voice in this decision suggests that won’t be a slam-dunk for Hollande.

Chuck Todd reports it won’t be for Obama, either:

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Todd is wrong on one point, which is the idea that presidents have done this kind of thing for the last 30 years. The only time presidents did this in the past without Congressional authorization was when they could claim a “clear and present danger” to the national security of the US. Clinton invoked that with the missile strikes on al-Qaeda, for instance, as Reagan did in the invasion of Grenada nearly 30 years ago, using the safety of American students studying medicine as one justification for executive action, and the potential for Cuban/Soviet bombers to use the revamped airport to sortie against the US as another.  And that intervention produced a Democratic impeachment attempt by Rep. Ted Weiss (D-NY) and six other House members, which went nowhere.

Obama’s problem in this case is that he can’t argue that Assad’s chemical weapons represent an actual or imminent danger to the US.  Obama tried to argue this week that a lack of response would give Assad a green light to attack American assets in the region, but that’s a very large and unbelievable stretch.  There may well be a good argument for intervention in Syria, but not without Congressional approval. As Obama admitted yesterday, there’s no particular rush to respond in this instance, and every reason to think carefully about what our strategy should be moving forward.


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Yes, let’s get American to pay for it. A true socialist!

Oil Can on September 1, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Those who can, do.

Those who can’t, talk about it.

cozmo on September 1, 2013 at 11:04 AM

The bullies always travel in a group nowadays.

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2013 at 11:09 AM

“Besides, our order for white flags hasn’t yet arrived. We cannot go into battle unprepared.”

Wino on September 1, 2013 at 11:10 AM

We’ve gone from “Tear Down This Wall” to this?

God help us all.

gophergirl on September 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Obama tried to argue this week that a lack of response would give Assad a green light to attack American assets in the region, but that’s a very large and unbelievable stretch.

The same argument applies to just about anyone with a capability to attack American assets.

Lets air raid villages world-wide. That’ll show’em.

BobMbx on September 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

making Paris the last main ally in the coalition to back off an immediate attack.

The “last” … of two? LOL.

I won’t even get into the notion of having more than one “main” ally. Is it too much to ask for illiterates to be kept from jobs that require writing? I know we can’t keep the illiterates and innumerates out of the Oval Office … but for a job that includes nothing but writing. Of course, this is NBC so …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 1, 2013 at 11:14 AM

France sounded determined to provide a military response

Did the world learn nothing during the entire 20th century?

Jeddite on September 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Obama’s problem in this case is that he can’t argue that Assad’s chemical weapons represent an actual or imminent danger to the US.

Heh. It’s funny how almost all of the dirtbags looking to attack Syria claiming that our national security interests are at stake (LOL) are the same azzwipes who condemned Israel for having hit the Syrian nuke project (and much earlier for Israel having taken out the Iraqi reactor).

I wish we could jail these people for the offenses to the intellect and to civilization that they are – that their very existences are. They are the errors of the “trial and error” of evolution … but we keep them alive and in control of important powers … Evolution is going to have us all for dinner because of such mind-numbing stupidity.

Shakepeare wouldn’t suffer fools gladly but the population of this nation idolizes those fools. Give me a national divorce from these dirtballs, already. I want nothing to do with any of them. NOTHING.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 1, 2013 at 11:19 AM

“We are entering a new phase. We now have some time and with this time, we must put it to good use so that things move,” he added.

Shorter Hollande: D’oh.

Dusty on September 1, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Let’s just review the war efficacy of France . . . Waterloo, WWI, WWII & Dien Bien Phu. And this is our only partner for this Syrian fiasco? There had better be some adults in that congress lest we blow it big time.

rplat on September 1, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Kerry’s morning briefing for Obama.

Good news: France joining in hostilities.

Bad news: They’ve just sunk three Greenpeace ships

PolAgnostic on September 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Obama needs France in order to declare that he has a global coalition to strike Damascus. How sad that this bumbling oaf is left standing alone both at home and abroad.

HiJack on September 1, 2013 at 11:25 AM

SCOAMF.

TXUS on September 1, 2013 at 11:28 AM

This would make a great plot/script for an episode of “Our Gang”.

listens2glenn on September 1, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Well, Duh, we all knew all along that your only activity was going to be instigator rather than participator!

astonerii on September 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Bad news: They’ve just sunk three Greenpeace ships
PolAgnostic on September 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Heh… sounds like good news to me.

Anywho, given their current commitments in Africa, and their cash crunch, they’re all tapped out… more so than us.

But they will cheer unstintingly for us… for what that’s worth.

CPT. Charles on September 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

If it is the right thing to do … do it Pierre.

CW on September 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM

We’ve gone from “Tear Down This Wall” to this?

God help us all.

gophergirl on September 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Well said and sad at the same time.

If you are going to shoot, shoot don’t talk.

Tuco
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

banzaibob on September 1, 2013 at 11:37 AM

France used to build nuke plants for every despicable group of savages on the planet … now they are all up in arms about one group of savage clients allegedly gassing another group of savages. LOL. The same Frog azzwipes who worked as hard as they could to protect the other hussein and his chemical weapons (which everyone knew were there before).

Ship Barky to France and then unleash the military on Paris, which is a serious threat to American interests and has been for many, many, many years. Works for me.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

“France cannot go in alone,” French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a radio interview…

“We are entering a new phase. We now have some time and with this time, we must put it to good use so that things move,” he added.

The statement followed several days of prevarication among supporters of Western military intervention.

.
*** SNICKER *** BWAHAHAHAHAHAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
.
I suspect “things move” means the bowels of the entire French Expeditionary Force…
.
“Prevarication” generally means “telling falsehoods.” It applies to liars.
.
All in all, though, I prefer Western Civ. to Muslim Civ. So let France be the clown of Europe, it’s what makes them ” ‘appeee.”

ExpressoBold on September 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM

But they will cheer unstintingly for us… for what that’s worth.

CPT. Charles on September 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

No they won’t. They will blame the US.

cozmo on September 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Bad news: They’ve just sunk three Greenpeace ships

PolAgnostic on September 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Bad news?

OldEnglish on September 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

gg, we did get rain last night. Not expected, but very refreshing…

OmahaConservative on September 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Red, red line
Go to my head
Make me forget that I
Still need to back it up

Red, red line
It’s up to you
All I can do, I’ve done
But memories won’t go
No, memories won’t go

I’d have thought
That with time
Thoughts of my big mouth
Would leave my head
I was wrong
And I find
Just one thing makes me forget

Red, red line
Stay close to me
Don’t let me be alone
It’s tearin’ apart
My blue, blue heart

Red red line you make me feel so fine
You keep me rocking all of the time
Red red line you make me feel so grand
I feel a million dollars when your just in my hand
Red red line you make me feel so sad
Any time I see you go it makes me feel bad
Red red line you make me feel so fine
Monkey pack him rizla pon the sweet dep line
Red red line you give me whole heap of zing
Whole heap of zing mek me do me own thing
Red red wine you really know how fi love
Your kind of loving like a blessing from above
Red red line I love you right from the start
Right from the start with all of my heart
Red red line in a schmuck style
Red red line in a phony bravado style, yeah

Give me little time, help me clear up me mind
Give me little time, help me clear up me mind
Give me Red line because it make me feel fine
Mek me feel fine all of the time
Red red line you make me feel so fine
Monkey pack him rizla on the sweet dep line
The line broke, the monkey get choke
Burn bad rizla pon him little rowing boat

Red red line I’m gonna hold to you
Hold on to you cause I know you love true
Red red line I’m gonna love you till I die
Love you till I die and that’s no lie
Red red line can’t get you out my mind
Where ever you maybe I’ll surely find
I’ll surely find make no fuss just stick with us.

Red red line you really know how fi love
Your kind of loving like a blessing from above
Red red line I love you right from the start
Right from the start with all of my heart
Red red line you really know how fi love
Your kind of loving like a blessing from above
Red red line you give me whole heap of zing
Whole heap of zing mek me do me own thing
Red red wine in a schmuck style
Red red wine in a phony bravado style, yeah.

NotCoach on September 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

…wonder if he’s golfing today?

KOOLAID2 on September 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Hollande: “We are in charge of zee plans for retreat of zee French forces and zee White Zurrender flag-ez!”

albill on September 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM

…wonder if he’s golfing today?

KOOLAID2 on September 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Nah…
He is in church listening to some God Damn America sermon.

OmahaConservative on September 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Got a bad feeling our weaselly congress will give the go ahead to this abomination…

sandee on September 1, 2013 at 12:02 PM

A French official said his country would not act alone against Syria after President Barack Obama said he would seek approval from Congress before launching any military action to punish the government of Bashar Assad for a gas attack that killed hundreds, making Paris the last main ally in the coalition to back off an immediate attack.

The end game of acting alone for France probably would be Assad rolling his tanks Mercedes through the streets of Paris to take over the government, so you can understand why Hollande would be backing off his initial belligerence, now that he’s seen Obama’s alpha male leadership skills in action.

jon1979 on September 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Cameron,Obama,Hollande…

Machismo FAIL

workingclass artist on September 1, 2013 at 12:11 PM

Got a bad feeling our weaselly congress will give the go ahead to this abomination…

sandee on September 1, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Bbbut…Sequester

workingclass artist on September 1, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Bad news: They’ve just sunk three Greenpeace ships
PolAgnostic on September 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

That is bad news…they should’ve sunk more than three ships.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:12 PM

The screencaps alone are worth the HA visit… :)

JetBoy on September 1, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Back when France was still in NATO, they had these little tags on the fronts of their jeeps, tanks, trucks…”Apres vous.”…they said it was part of a safety campaign…you know, not be a road hog, let the other guy go…cut down on road rage and accidents.

Well…had nothing to do with being polite…not at all. Shulda guessed that from the get-go…French, polite?

Apres vous.” Literally, “After you.” In the colloquial, “You first!”

No surprise here…

NotCoach on September 1, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Love your work. :-)

coldwarrior on September 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM

The media are out of their minds, or just plain liars. Maybe both?

The top Yahoo! headline claims Obama is ‘history-defying’ by going to Congress before taking military action against Syria. “Not since Truman” adds the writers.

Ummm…what?

Maybe I’m mistaken here, but didn’t that one guy named Bush — both of them, even — go to Congress about initiating military action? Both were presidents, if I recall correctly.

Anywho…The French are shying away, now? *LOL*

They and the Brits are making Obama look quite the fool.

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

If Obama can win Congressional approval for military action, then France will almost certainly join the coalition

almost certainly”? Are you nuts Ed? We are actually going to trust that the French are going to stand by us? Man, that sun at the Minn state fair must be brutal for you to claim that with a straight face

E9RET on September 1, 2013 at 12:25 PM

At this point Clowngress’s “approval” is all but assured.

The supposedly anti-war liberal politicians are merely hesitant because the last time they joined in with Bush on the invade-Iraq-WMD-propaganda – and they were WAY in the tank – they promptly had to do a 180 degree turnaround and spend years disavowing their previous statements.

Now they’re caught between the Scylla and Charybdis of a decade of “anti-war” (really anti-bush and anti-USA) moonbattery and the increasing pressure from their paymasters in the military-industrial-weapons triad, who are not accustomed to hearing the word “no” from their string puppets.

I can only speculate on how many backroom deals and bribes and threats are going on right now. The MIW definitely wants another war on the same bullsh!t excuse, but their politicians are understandably nervous, and the amount of bargaining going on behind the scene right now must be insane.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM

I can only speculate on how many backroom deals and bribes and threats are going on right now. The MIW definitely wants another war on the same bullsh!t excuse, but their politicians are understandably nervous, and the amount of bargaining going on behind the scene right now must be insane.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:30 PM

+1

The last comparable historical even like this was the yellow journalism that got Congress to needlessly declare war against Spain. That was in 1898.

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

On a positive note, not a nickle nor a drop of blood was wasted on Islam this weekend.

BL@KBIRD on September 1, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Bwahahahahahahahaha

The French have only one actual fighting war hero, Joan of Arc, and they turned her over to the enemy!

Roflmmfao

donabernathy on September 1, 2013 at 12:34 PM

The last comparable historical even like this was the yellow journalism that got Congress to needlessly declare war against Spain. That was in 1898.

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Even worse; we don’t even have the excuse of a battleship blowing up under mysterious circumstances. All we have is rehashed WMD propaganda – as noted Assad has refused for ~30 years to share his toys – and the crumbling remnants of an unaffordable permawar with one of the world’s biggest religions.

We were perfectly capable of thrashing Spain and could easily do so again. Islam? Not quite so much.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Bwahahahahahahahaha

The French have only one actual fighting war hero, Joan of Arc, and they turned her over to the enemy!

Roflmmfao

donabernathy on September 1, 2013 at 12:34 PM

That’s a fresh perspective. LOL

Well done!

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM

We were perfectly capable of thrashing Spain and could easily do so again. Islam? Not quite so much.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Our current government, which includes both political parties, is a travesty. And liberal we conservatives war mongers?

what the devil is this we’re talking about, then?

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Way back when his hair was long, and his jungles were all greasy, and he was under oath, still a commissioned officer in the Navy reserve, hadn’t fully completed his commitment as a serving officer, in uniform…and every American soldier, seaman, airman, and marine was out there just a killin’ and a slaughterin’ in the manner of Genghis Khan? Remember?

Kerry asked Congress, “How can you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?”

Everybody in Congress just swooned, guilt stricken apoplectic, and we just had to get out of Vietnam immediately, now, today, right now…and the Left found a new hero…a war hero…had more medals than he had weekends in Saigon…swoonm, swoon…be still our collective hearts…

OK. Die for a mistake…

Well, we all should ask John F. Kerry, in he manner of a Rand Paul,

“Mr. Kerry, How can you ask a man to be the first to die for a mistake???”

coldwarrior on September 1, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Our current government, which includes both political parties, is a travesty. And liberal we conservatives war mongers?

what the devil is this we’re talking about, then?

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Editing myself for better clarity. That should have read,

Our current government, which includes both political parties, is a travesty. And liberals say we Conservatives are war mongers?

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

what the devil is this we’re talking about, then?

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:38 PM

A bat-blind war industry looking for another excuse with their bought politicians.

donabernathy on September 1, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Interesting history tidbit: in more recent times France had another great woman period named Violette Morris, who became among other things a racing champion of the age who won gold olympic medals.

They mistreated her so badly that she went over to the enemy herself out of revenge-driven fury – that enemy being the Nazis – and won the nickname “Hyena of the Gestapo”. Hundreds if not thousands of French resistance fighters and British agents paid with their lives as this amazing woman took revenge on the nation that had scorned her, and she died in violence still a Nazi agent.

THAT, my friend, is how badly the French f*ck things up.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

France helping us?

What are they going to do? Throw croissants at Assad?

GrannyDee on September 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

A bat-blind war industry looking for another excuse with their bought politicians.

MelonCollie on September 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

You’re right.

Makes me a bit jealous, that I can’t afford to buy or rent a politician.

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:48 PM

France helping us?

What are they going to do? Throw croissants at Assad?

GrannyDee on September 1, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Throw?

You know better, and are likely being polite.

The French would gladly serve Assad his Continental breakfast.

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 12:50 PM

The overriding obscenity of this entire “Syrians need to die right now” meme is that is is entire based on, and pushed for one reason, and a lousy reason at that…

we are going to go to war because our limp hand shake vapid, thin skinned Nobel Peace Prize winner was mocked, embarrassed, had his bluff called…lost his cred…was made to look weak…

Who opened their damn mouth first…then started drawing “red lines”?

So now people are going to die..maybe not one single American, maybe…but people will die…be sure of that…people will die.

And why?

“Don’t call my bluff?”

“Leggo my Ego?”

“I will not be mocked???”

“Teach them a lesson.”

“A nuanced response…not war.”

Such a callous disregard for life…not surprised, though, why doesn’t Barry just stick them in a janitor closet till they expire…the Illinois way?

If we do not force Obama, King Barry, and Congress to walk this one back…stop the idiotic charge to war, and let them just do it, just once, you know…not really a war war…just going to bomb Syria for a limited duration…not topple Assad…just teach Syria a lesson…we, the People, are complicit.

Well, if King Barry and the spineless idiots on the Hill get away with this…

If this is right…..then what the hell is there left to be called wrong?

May God save our Republic. Lord knows, Barry and Congress haven’t that as a priority.

coldwarrior on September 1, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Can you imagine France as a military ally?

1 The Air Force would bomb Turkey & Israel by mistake.
2 The Army, prior to surrendering, would present Al Qaeda Rebels with brand new weapons–never fired and dropped only once.

MaiDee on September 1, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Can you imagine France as a military ally?

1 The Air Force would bomb Turkey & Israel by mistake.
2 The Army, prior to surrendering, would present Al Qaeda Rebels with brand new weapons–never fired and dropped only once.

MaiDee on September 1, 2013 at 12:54 PM

The French, I’m told, just added a new automatic weapon to their inventory.

When facing an enemy, the rifle automatically throws itself to the ground in surrender.

Liam on September 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Surrender monkeys with hand grenades.

txhsmom on September 1, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Clinton struck Iraq three times. All without congress’ OK. 93 he did so in response to an all edged plot to assassinate Bush41 in Kuwait. In ’96 the cause was supposed targeting of US and UK aircraft enforcing the no fly zone. In ’98 the cause was almost identical to now. It was to degrade Hussein’s WMD arsenal and production, though he had not recently used them. In latter latter two cases the GOP Congress made no protest. In the former the Dem congress made no protest.

xkaydet65 on September 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

xkaydet65 on September 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

He wasn’t aiding and abetting AQ or starting WW3.

txhsmom on September 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Hollande was probably thinking how much money he could hit Obama up for to throw in his troops.Obama was thinking how much he would have to cough up to get France on board.Now that move is by the wayside.
Hollande is crying in his wine and Obama is sweating.

docflash on September 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

The french, being the french, as more like to SURRENDER to assad, than attack him.

TeaPartyNation on September 1, 2013 at 3:40 PM

But they will cheer unstintingly for us… for what that’s worth.

CPT. Charles on September 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM

No they won’t. They will blame the US.

cozmo on September 1, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Bingo! No matter who says what now, at the end of the day this will all be America’s fault.

David Blue on September 1, 2013 at 4:11 PM

This leading from behind stuff is hard for our great leader when there is no one in front of him.

Annar on September 1, 2013 at 4:16 PM

The statement followed several days of prevarication among supporters of Western military intervention.

This may be true, but I don’t think it is exactly the word they were looking for here.

AesopFan on September 1, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Well, we all should ask John F. Kerry, in he manner of a Rand Paul,

“Mr. Kerry, How can you ask a man to be the first to die for a mistake???”

coldwarrior on September 1, 2013 at 12:40 PM

The question that must be convincingly rebutted before any war is declared.
Most wars are mistakes for at least one of the parties.

(This is not to say that all wars are mistakes, even for the loser; the choice to wage defensive war against genocidal aggression must be considered valid. However, in the sense that most wars are initiated for less than sterling motives, pretty much all wars are a mistake of some kind.)

AesopFan on September 1, 2013 at 8:49 PM