WH chief of staff: We’re a coalition of one, or something

posted at 10:41 am on September 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough made the full Ginsburg yesterday, but whether he did his boss any good remains to be seen.  McDonough got chewed up by CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of the Union yesterday when he claimed that the world supported the US on its intent to punish Bashar al-Assad for the use of chemical weapons — laughably even claiming the support of a former Iranian president.  Crowley repeatedly asked whether that translated into a single nation willing to provide material support for military action, and McDonough repeatedly refused to answer the question … which, of course, answers the question (via The Corner):

When asked this morning if the U.S. has any pledges of military support for strikes in Syria, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough emphasized that the G20 and other nations have made supportive condemnations of the Syrian government’s actions, but when repeatedly pressed by CNN’s Candy Crowley, he provided no examples of countries that have endorsed or will provide personnel or equipment for a military intervention.

He wouldn’t explicitly admit that the U.S. has no allies willing to provide support, saying, “You’re trying to get me to say that, but I’m not going to say it.” There is specific support from the EU and others, he said, for “holding Syria accountable.”

McDonough also tried to claim justification for military action through the Convention that bars the use of chemical weapons — and then panicked and spoke over Crowley when she tried to point out that the Convention doesn’t actually authorize a military response.  Instead, McDonough finishes his argument by claiming that a lack of American action now would mean Syria and other nations would use chemical weapons against our soldiers, which of course would only happen if America started wars with other nations on their soil …. like McDonough advocates with Syria now.

Of course, John Kerry would object to that characterization.  He wants everyone to know that our attack on Syria would be “unbelievably small,” which is hardly a selling point for a strategy of deterrence, let along degradation of capabilities:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is considering only an “unbelievably, small, limited” strike on Syria as punishment for allegedly using chemical weapons and he insisted military action will not end that country’s civil war.

“We’re not going to war,” Mr. Kerry told reporters Monday after meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London. “We will be able to hold [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what we are talking about doing; an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

“Unbelievably small.” Like a Coalition of One?


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The left harangued Bush simply because France was not part of the Iraq coalition. Wow.

Kafir on September 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM

McDonough got chewed up by CNN’s Candy Crowley

Probably not the first to suffer that fate.

steebo77 on September 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I heard on on of the Sunday shows that France was going to send a cheese and wine basket… So there’s that…

Caseoftheblues on September 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I like being Caesar – Obama

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

DWS has the super top secret list of nations that will be providing support, material or otherwise. I trust her. She has has honest Medusa hair.

NotCoach on September 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Look, Ya’ll – President Obama is going to give 6 interviews today and will explain everything. geez. Some of you are so racist.

/

Harbingeing on September 9, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Preezy Historical Incompetence has played right into Putin’s hands as the decadent zealous bully…

*facepalm*

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

I heard on on of the Sunday shows that France was going to send a cheese and wine basket… So there’s that…

Caseoftheblues on September 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I hear the Maginot Line is still available, and hardly used as well.

NotCoach on September 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

I hope everyone understands that this is nothing more than one of Obama’s signature distractions. It’s no coincidence the press has suddenly stopped talking about the shitty economy, IRS harassment, domestic spying, dead Libyan ambassadors, the collapse of Obamacare, etc. Yes, he’s an incompetent boob and could very well trigger WWIII with his bungling, but don’t think for a minute his political apparatus isn’t happy with Syria being the sole topic of conversation right now.

RobertE on September 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

“Unbelievably small.” Like a Coalition of One?

this president certainly has an affinity for the singular vertical pronoun…..

It’s been all about him for this long, now….let’s just be, once again, clear on the whole concept. This will be an unbelievably small pen!s approach to foreign policy….both Kerry and obama will appear on the world stage with their trousers around their ankles for everyone to laugh at them and trust us fellas, it’s all you, it ain’t us.

ted c on September 9, 2013 at 10:50 AM

“We’re not going to war,” Mr. Kerry told reporters Monday after meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London.

How about a memo then, John?

ted c on September 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

“Final Tally: Americans Were 12 Times More Interested in Miley Cyrus Than Syria”

http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/09/usa-12-times-more-interested-in-miley-than-syria.html

WWIII…Yeehaw!

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

‘Unbelievably’ small people in this administration.

celtic warrior on September 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

We’re not going to war,” Mr. Kerry told reporters Monday after meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London. “We will be able to hold [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what we are talking about doing; an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

Any attack on a country’s sovereign soil, or military that represents that country, is an act of war.

If tables were turned and another country launched missiles at strategic targets within our country, how fast would Kerry jump to call it an act of war?

I really detest lying snakes.

dominigan on September 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough made the full Ginsburg yesterday, but whether he did his boss any good remains to be seen.

Why? Chief of Staff seems an odd choice to do the full Ginsburg even if your National Security Advisor can’t do it because she got caught doing the full Ginsburg last year. I would have thought that a Deputy Secretary from State or Defense would be a better choice than the guy whose job includes penciling in time for golf on the schedule.

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Why? Chief of Staff seems an odd choice to do the full Ginsburg even if your National Security Advisor can’t do it because she got caught doing the full Ginsburg last year. I would have thought that a Deputy Secretary from State or Defense would be a better choice than the guy whose job includes penciling in time for golf on the schedule.

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Who are you to question Valerie’s decisions?

steebo77 on September 9, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Coalition of (I) Won.

Mr. D on September 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

That is exactly what we are talking about doing; an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

with Tomahawk land-attack missiles—capable of being air, sea or submarine launched and traveling over 1000 miles to hit a pinpoint target with a 1,000lb warhead…….

small.

limited.

with missiles.

gotcha, bud.

ted c on September 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I heard on on of the Sunday shows that France was going to send a cheese and wine basket… So there’s that…

Caseoftheblues on September 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I hear the Maginot Line is still available, and hardly used as well.

NotCoach on September 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

heh.

ToddPA on September 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I heard on on of the Sunday shows that France was going to send a cheese and wine basket… So there’s that…

Caseoftheblues on September 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Someone please ask him about the 13% African-American unemployment rate…

Deafdog on September 9, 2013 at 10:59 AM

WH chief of staff: We’re a coalition of one, or something

O.K., what’s with this walking Android, McDonough??

These people are beyond pathetic…The President should
break out the heavy artillery….Hire Rachel Jeantel.

ToddPA on September 9, 2013 at 11:00 AM

The United States unilaterally attacking a nation based on false intelligence (both the intel and the entire White House) is going to improve our “global prestige” how, exactly?

When you bite off more than you can chew you have two options.

Spit it out.

Or, choke on it.

I pray the entire Obama Administration does the latter.

coldwarrior on September 9, 2013 at 11:03 AM

“Final Tally: Americans Were 12 Times More Interested in Miley Cyrus Than Syria”

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Yup, and both Syria and Miley are sticking their tongues out and laughing at us.

Don L on September 9, 2013 at 11:03 AM

“Final Tally: Americans Were 12 Times More Interested in Miley Cyrus Than Syria”

http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/09/usa-12-times-more-interested-in-miley-than-syria.html

WWIII…Yeehaw!

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

How many of those are of draft age?

Is Cyrus draft age?

davidk on September 9, 2013 at 11:04 AM

But see Kerry said we had loads of imaginary allies on board with this small ‘w’ War thingy…

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Never trust a man whose parents spell “Dennis” with a single ‘N’.

Jeddite on September 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM

These people are beyond pathetic…The President should
break out the heavy artillery….Hire Rachel Jeantel.

ToddPA on September 9, 2013 at 11:00 AM

You are just a crazy assed cracker, sir.

VegasRick on September 9, 2013 at 11:07 AM

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

timberline on September 9, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Kerry’s allies are as imaginary as Kerry’s “testimony” to Congress back in 1971.

What’s that expression?

Same sh*t. Different day?

coldwarrior on September 9, 2013 at 11:08 AM

“Final Tally: Americans Were 12 Times More Interested in Miley Cyrus Than Syria”

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Yup, and both Syria and Miley are sticking their tongues out and laughing at us.

Don L on September 9, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Putin is urging Assad to hand over his chemical weapons…Y’know successfully stepping into the vacuum created by Preezy Feckless.

Meanwhile…Heads of State continue to unravel…

“He’s no James Bond: British PM David Cameron forgets secret documents on public train”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/9/david-cameron-abandons-british-secrets-public-trai/

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Idiots and reprobates all the way down.

Good call democrat voters. You did good.

Murphy9 on September 9, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Slightly OT, that dinner Biden had with Senators where Obama just happened to be driving by and saw the light on or something.

It was your usual collections of Judases and RINOs:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.)

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

I’ve got to wonder just how effective such stunts are for changing minds about bombing another country. Collins, for example, was pretty clear after the closed hearing that the administration hadn’t made the case. So does she come around to being in favor of war after having Italian family style at the VP’s residence?

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Some thoughts:

Say has anyone yet heard of a list of “Human Shields” headed for Damascus?

How about a candlelight vigil, that has a dual goal: stop the war and help melt the dangerous icecap before we all freeze to death?

I know, since it is purported to calm the violence in our inner-city war zones, how about if the community organizer sets up some “midnight basketball” in Damascus? That ought to deter the most violent of terrorist.

Don L on September 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM

“unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

Really? That begs the question why do it at all? Oh, yeah, gotta save face for the One-In-Chief. Not to mention the added benefit of keeping the lapdog media from airing anything more about all the scandals. Yep, he figures that about takes care of it; so it’s off to the golf course.

ghostwalker1 on September 9, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Any attack on a country’s sovereign soil, or military that represents that country, is an act of war.

If tables were turned and another country launched missiles at strategic targets within our country, how fast would Kerry jump to call it an act of war?

I really detest lying snakes.

dominigan on September 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

ted c on September 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

If they launch any attack at Assad, he will respond and presto we have a war war.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2013 at 11:26 AM

From Shock and Awe to Unbelievably Small. What the Marx Brothers could have done with this.

de rigueur on September 9, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Old School Teddy Rosey: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

New School Barry (No blood for) O: “Make a bunch of empty threats, then if called, pop ‘em with a Tommy Hawk.”

BigAlSouth on September 9, 2013 at 11:28 AM

I guess I had not met this particular specimen from O’s administration. He reminded me of Clutch Cargo with a Mr. Magoo delivery. Where do they find these people?

DanMan on September 9, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I believe that was the new Senate Democrat caucus meeting at Biden’s place.

coldwarrior on September 9, 2013 at 11:30 AM

How many of those are of draft age?

Is Cyrus draft age?

davidk on September 9, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Now that someone has mentioned this, With the DoD now allowing women into combat positions are they now eligible for Selective Service? Answer: No. Why the hell not? If they want to serve in combat positions then they should have to make the same sacrifices and the men, no?

And on the issue at hand, is it just me or does White House chief of staff Denis McDonough look like death warmed over? He looks almost zombie like. What serving in the WH does to people physically you couldn’t get me within a humdred miles of the joint. Seriously, look at Sec State Kerry, in just a few short months on the job and he is turning into Herman Munster.

D-fusit on September 9, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Syrian civil war

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem: Syria welcomes Russia’s proposal for Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control – @Reuters

This adds what to the equation? Inquiring minds want to know….

D-fusit on September 9, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Syrian civil war

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem: Syria welcomes Russia’s proposal for Damascus to put its chemical weapons under international control – @Reuters

This adds what to the equation? Inquiring minds want to know….

D-fusit on September 9, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Makes #Occupy Resolute Desk look like a loose cannon…and Americans more likely to believe Putin than their own lying government.

So there ya go.

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 11:52 AM

This guy was very impertinent yesterday…well, he is that every day.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Makes #Occupy Resolute Desk look like a loose cannon…and Americans more likely to believe Putin than their own lying government.

So there ya go.

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 11:52 AM

It effectively pricks Zero’s balloon.

dogsoldier on September 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

The entire obama/kerry-entourage is as big as their…er, brains.

The gaggle are the most incompetent in history.

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2013 at 11:56 AM

“Obama and you have flopped yours out on the table. After all that’s transpired so far, how do they look?”

Kerry: “Unbelievably small!”

MarkT on September 9, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Instead, McDonough finishes his argument by claiming that a lack of American action now would mean Syria and other nations would use chemical weapons against our soldiers,

WTF?? Nations don’t use chemical weapons against our soldiers because we have a nuclear arsenal … well, we used to have a nuclear arsenal. Barky unilaterally decided to mothball most of it, so nations might well decide to start using chemical weapons against our soldiers, as they know that Barky and the rest of the turds would not retaliate appropriately – which would mean to start leveling cities of the enemies. No, Barky would have one or two leaders charged with something – using chemical A without a permit – and then send a few sheriffs out of country to go arrest them. The rest of the military and all the civilians would not have to worry about anything. In fact, Barky would immediately issue American citizenships to 40% of the enemy population and ship them all to Des Moines, IA.

The Founders would deal with Barky and his junta in the harshest and quickest of ways.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 9, 2013 at 12:06 PM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is considering only an “unbelievably, small, limited” strike on Syria

In related news, water balloon launchers have been installed on Aegis-Class Missile Cruisers…

MarkT on September 9, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Someone please ask him about the 13% African-American unemployment rate…

Deafdog on September 9, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Their unemployment rate should be the same as their percentage support for Barky, the America-hater.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 9, 2013 at 12:13 PM

From other thread

O/T somewhat..

Beck just said that Boehner is advising Obama on how to win over Republicans on the Syria strike.

I wish the House had the courage to revolt against Boehner!!!

bluefox on September 9, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Schadenfreude on September 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Follow the money:

Asad, in a stroke of the pen, foiled Turkey’s economic dreams and potentially brought Iranian oil and gas into the European market by an estimated increase of thirty percent. From a policy perspective, Bashar Assad upset American policy to both isolate Iran and to create a NATO ally, Turkey, as the major crossroads for oil and gas pipelines feeding Europe.

With Syria in turmoil, Turkey becomes a more likely terminus for oil and gas from Iraq, Iran, and the southern tier of the former Soviet Union. Moreover, Turkey becomes an equal to Iran in the race for political and economic hegemony in the region. Turkey needs to undo Assad and his IGP deal. Russia needs to resuscitate Assad. For Russia, it is better to have a new Iran/Iraq terminus at the leased Syrian port of Tartus than anywhere in NATO-aligned Turkey.

Nothing of strategic interest takes place in the Middle East without a concern for energy.

What is happening in Syria may have nothing to do with poison gas, overlooked in other conflicts, but a lot to do with where “pipelinestan” ends up before feeding Europe.

Lots more here. The pieces are starting to fit together.

RushBaby on September 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Going for the truly spiteful and unnecessary, where does the administration get all these scary looking people as their spokespersons?

Cindy Munford on September 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM

America’s top diplomat suggested in a passing remark that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a U.S.-led strike if he handed over all his chemical weapons, but the State Department quickly dismissed the comment as more of a “rhetorical argument” than an offer.

In a London news conference this morning, Secretary of State John Kerry responded to a question about whether Assad could do anything to avoid war by saying “he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. Turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow a full and total accounting.”

http://gma.yahoo.com/did-us-offer-syrian-president-125806202–abc-news-topstories.html

davidk on September 9, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Remember folks…The real enemy is Rush Limbaugh – Preezy Historical

workingclass artist on September 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Yes indeed! When the idiots in this country voted Obama into office, they certainly got America’s “Best and Brightest”!

GarandFan on September 9, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Is anyone else getting a distinct Matt Frewer/Max Headroom vibe of this monochromatic dip$hit?

Jack Deth on September 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I am so astonished that with so many comments, not a one from any of the HA trolls. These “leaders” are so moronic that not even their acolytes want to try to defend them.

NOMOBO on September 9, 2013 at 2:15 PM

First cruise missile launched at Syria will be loaded with a Gregory Hicks warhead. (H/T Star Trek Out of Darkness.)

Marcola on September 9, 2013 at 3:23 PM

No comments about what else is unbelievably small or were they censored?

talkingpoints on September 9, 2013 at 5:01 PM