Syria denouement: An unmitigated disaster for US foreign policy and credibility

posted at 2:01 pm on September 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Note: This post was written earlier today, before Vladimir Putin issued an ultimatum to the US to stand down on the use of force in Syria as the price for a UN Security Council resolution to take control of Syria’s chemical weapons. As I remarked on Twitter:

This, of course, just underscores what follows.

Barack Obama tried spinning the Vladimir Putin peace plan as his own intentional strategy to defuse the Syria crisis in his suddenly-inconvenient interviews yesterday, in an attempt to restore the US position of leadership on global security that Putin managed to usurp.  Obama told Gwen Ifill that, er, he meant to give Putin that opening:

IFILL: John Kerry talked today about a limited, targeted, unbelievably small effort. And now we’re hearing news that Russia has a plan, a solution, perhaps, which would allow Syria to take all of its weapons and put it under international control. Is that something that you’ve had any conversations at all with President Putin about when you were in St. Petersburg last week?

OBAMA: I did have those conversations. And this is a continuation of conversations I’ve had with President Putin for quite some time. As I said to you the last time we spoke, this chemical weapons ban matters to us, to the United States.

Ahem. As Karl pointed out on Twitter, the Obama administration didn’t bother to bargain at all with Putin last week. It’s possible that this was done in secret, but how likely would that have been while Samantha Power was busy blasting Russia as obstructionist at the UN at almost the same moment?

Nevertheless, it is on these slender reeds that a few die-hard Obama apologists are constructing a case for his brilliance.  The record over the past year proves otherwise.  In my column for The Week, I point out the ad-libbed red line, the series of retreats from it over the past year, and the lack of any preparation at home or abroad to enforce it.  But that’s just the appetizer to the cornucopia of incompetence that took place over the last three weeks:

That was not the end of the disarray; indeed, it was just beginning. Kerry tried to argue that bombing another country didn’t amount to an act of war as long as we didn’t land troops on the ground, which he called “war in the classic sense.” At almost the same time, Kerry suggested that troops on the ground might be an option to engage the Syria hawks who want to impose regime change on Damascus, and then abruptly dismissed the idea when challenged to reconcile the contradiction. Obama then denied he’d set the red line at all, claiming that the world had set it through conventions barring the use of chemical weapons. But those conventions require global diplomatic action and then U.N. enforcement, not American unilateral military action.

As President Obama prepared to make his case on every television network and in a speech directly to the American people this week, the disarray continued. Kerry, in another attempt to argue that bombing Syria wasn’t an act of war, promised an “unbelievably small” attack, which would presumably still deter Assad. In the same press conference in London, Kerry inadvertently suggested a diplomatic solution that would involve having an international force secure Assad’s chemical weapons — a suggestion that the State Department tried desperately to reverse. Instead,Russia agreed to quarterback the effort and Syria announced its support for the proposal, which might have been a diplomatic triumph for the U.S. if (a) we had demanded this a year ago when President Obama set the red line, and (b) the Obama administration had thought to at least try it first before demanding approval for military strikes on Syria. Meanwhile, Obama’s arguments for military strikes were already taped by the networks, and his White House address on the eve of the anniversary of 9/11 and Benghazi remained on the schedule.

If any foreign policy deserved a vote of no confidence, the White House’s handling of the Syrian crisis tops the list. Voters apparently believe so as well. In a CNN poll published on Monday, 59 percent of Americans opposed potential congressional authorization for military strikes, including majorities in every demographic. A Pew poll put that figure at 63 percent.

Obama and the White House argue that the strikes have to take place to maintain American credibility in the Middle East, as a further deterrent to Assad and to the Iranians who support the regime and want to develop nuclear weapons. The disarray displayed by the administration has done more damage to that credibility than a measured approach within the global conventions ever could have done. A congressional rejection of military strikes would prove less humiliating in the long run than anything we’ve seen from the White House over the last year. Based on what has already transpired, who could possibly have any confidence in the Obama administration’s handling of actual military intervention?

Julia Ioffe calls this “amateur hour” at The New Republic, and says, “Obama got played by Putin and Assad”:

While the Russians are already cutting deals and drumming up promises from the Syrians—with whom, as they’ve insisted for years, they have no leverage—and as the world lines up on the off-ramp, the White House was still marshalling its case for a military strike, trotting out National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and poor Tony Blinken, who was left making the case for two mutually exclusive things: “We’ll talk to the Russians,” he kept repeating even as he hammered on the intelligence and the need to degrade, deter, et cetera, et cetera.

Last night, President Barack Obama, who, just over a week ago, had said he was ready to act, tells the nation’s cable watchers that he’s now discussing this bogus plan with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that he’s “going to take this very seriously” while also not letting up on the drumbeat of military strikes while. On Tuesday, Syria said it had accepted Russia’s proposal and France said it would seek the UN Security Council’s backing for the proposal.

This, in other words, is no light at the end of the tunnel. This, to borrow a phrase from a Congressional staffer at his wits’ end, “is an unmitigated clusterfuck.” …

There are two clear winners in this slow-motion train wreck, and they are not Obama or Kerry. They are Assad and Putin.  …  Obama, on the other hand, found himself constantly check-mated, either by his own hand, or, this time, by Kerry’s.

The New York Times’ Roger Cohen pronounced himself mystified by Obama’s fumbling on Syria last night, and used another colorful metaphor:

Even the normally friendly Politico called Obama’s performance an “avert-your-gaze” moment and his policy “flaccid,” producing an image of “The United States of weakness”:

Red lines that may or may not be real, retaliatory strikes that may or may not be hours from launch, congressional debates that may or may not be necessary for the president to do what he wants—whatever that happens to be this hour.

Barack Obama’s unsteady handling of the Syria crisis has been an avert-your-gaze moment in the history of the modern presidency — highlighting his unsettled views and unattractive options in a way that has caused his enemies to cackle and supporters to cringe.

Perhaps they’re cringing as they try to make the argument for Barack Obama, super genius, but Ben Smith at BuzzFeed isn’t fooled, either.  Calling it a “rough road to Damascus,” Smith outlines the nine “key blunders” made by Obama in the Syrian crisis.  Number 4 is drawing the red line in the first place, which is also the focus of Eric Ostermeier at Smart Politics.  Eric looks at the history of presidential red lines on military intervention and finds only 13 instances of their use — and 11 of them have been by Barack Obama:

A Smart Politics review of the Public Papers of the Presidents finds that presidents prior to Obama have been extremely gun-shy when it comes to drawing rhetorical ‘red lines’ – particularly within the context of international relations and the threat of military force.

U.S. Presidents have mentioned the phrase ‘red line’ 47 times across 33 speeches or statements over the decades.

However, the term has been used only 13 times by presidents in the realm of international relations, with 11 of these delivered over the last year by Obama.

The other two came from George W. Bush, but they were hardly in the same category.  One applied to North Korea, but the “red line” was on missile testing, and it was for a new round of UN Security Council review, not unilateral military action.  The other was a warning to Taiwan not to declare independence, or risk losing American support.  The “red line” was not only set by Obama alone, he’s the only President to use it to promise a unilateral military response — which seems rather odd coming from a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Speaking of which, I speculated about the next Nobels last night on Twitter:

Let’s wrap this up with Glenn Reynolds, who wrote this deconstruction of Obama as inadvertent genius before the Putin gambit snatched leadership away from the US:

When I wrote last week on our bumbling Syria diplomacy, it seemed that things couldn’t possibly go further downhill. Boy, was I wrong.

Last week, it seemed our only ally was France. But now the French are having second thoughts. Obama’s efforts to get support at the G20 conference came to nothing. Even the pope is undercutting him.

Meanwhile, at home, polls show Americans are against a strike, and Obama is facing double-digit defections among Democrats in the Senate. The outlook for passage in the House, meanwhile, looks so bad that a resolution to authorize war may not even make it to a vote. If it’s sure to fail, why force members — Republicans and Democrats alike — to go on record? You can bet they don’t appreciate Obama putting them in this position.The Pentagon isn’t happy, and even The Atlantic’Ta-Nehisi Coates, a reliable Obama supporter, calls his policy “dumb.”

Some critics are even comparing the collapse of American influence under Obama to the end of the Soviet Union. Well, that may be an exaggeration — but Obama promised a “fundamental transformation,” after all.

We’ve now made Vladimir Putin the leader of Western diplomacy.  That’s not exactly smart power.


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Smart power?

Reset?

myiq2xu on September 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Nevertheless, it is on these slender reeds that a few die-hard Obama apologists are constructing a case for his brilliance.

A libtard Facebook “friend” posted one of these arguments. I find it hard to believe that they can get into the mindset to believe it themselves, but I’m sure many people really did see the Emperor’s new clothes.

thuja on September 10, 2013 at 2:05 PM

It’s an historically sad day for the United States when all thinking peoples are forced to side with the president of Russia, against a megalomaniacal American dictator – but, elections have consequences.

Pork-Chop on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Obama is such a thinker. He just dropped our world power standing from 1st into 3rd place.

portlandon on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

credibility

Bwahahahahahahah

that rich….. ya got a community organizer as pres….. a country that is supposedly promote’n freedom – spy’n on it’s own citizens… and Al Sharpton has a national TV show.. and the list goes on and on……

Hum…. Wonder why America has no Credibility!

roflmmfao

donabernathy on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

They told me if I voted for Sarah Palin, we’d have an unmitigated disaster of a foreign policy. And they were right!

Though perhaps I’m being unfair to unmitigated disasters everywhere.

rbj on September 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Obama’s Speech tonight: I’d rather be lucky than good…may God bless America…good night..

PatriotRider on September 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Cringing is definitely the word.

Is Obama still going to speak? What in the world is he going to say after this?

INC on September 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Poor Obama was just walking home with a bag of Skittles.

rogerb on September 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Obama’s brilliance: getting Putin to tell him to put away his toy saber.

Climb down off that soapbox, Barry, you got a nosebleed.

ajacksonian on September 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Where is the “Obama threatened war; Putin blinked; this is a victory for us”! guy?

casuist on September 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Community Organizing at the International Level.

Oil Can on September 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Ed Morrissey @EdMorrissey

It might be the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded for stopping another Nobel Peace Prize winner from starting a war.

9:31 PM – 9 Sep 2013

.
Dittos.

But this kind of event stopped being ‘unbelievable’ to me, a long time ago.
Anything’s possible, now.

listens2glenn on September 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Nevertheless, it is on these slender reeds that a few die-hard Obama apologists are constructing a case for his brilliance.

People that actually understand foreign affairs must be aghast today. Not only do the clowns continue to come out of the car but each one is more incoherent than the last. The cracks are widening and we are beginning to see just how stupid and lazy Obama has always been.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Oil Can on September 10, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Foreign policy is now as much of an unmitigated disaster as domestic policy.

Although calling anything like this policy is a stretch.

INC on September 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

I wonder who will be the first to nominate Vladimir Putin for a Nobel Peace Prize.

— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) September 10, 2013

Even if he deserves it, they won’t give it to him because…

TEH GHEYS!!!

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:16 PM

A liberal friend explained to me last week that Obama WANTS a “no” vote in Congress because he never really wanted to bomb Syria. It’s a sort of “stop me before I start another war” moment. Brilliant NO?

Fred 2 on September 10, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Russian Parliament Gloats as Putin Checkmates Obama Over Syria

Kerry Backtracks on ‘Unbelievably Small’ Comment

New Meme: Gaffeplomacy Is A Victory For America Or Something

‘We worked with the UN to create a group of inspectors and then worked for more than six months to get them access to the country on the logic that perhaps the presence of an investigative team in the country might deter future attacks. Or, if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince RUSSIA OR IRAN — itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 — TO CAST LOOSE A REGIME THAT WAS GASSING IT’S OWN PEOPLE.’

- Samantha Power, 6 September 2013

‘We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that’s a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change MY calculus. That would change MY equation.’

- President Barack Obama, 20 August 2012

‘We go on to reaffirm that the President has set a clear red line as it relates to the United States that the use of chemical weapons or the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups is a red line that is not acceptable to us, nor should it be to the international community. It’s precisely because we take this red line so seriously that we believe there is an obligation to fully investigate any and all evidence of chemical weapons use within Syria.’

- ‘White House Official,’ 25 April 2013

‘THE PRESIDENT’S USE OF THE TERM RED LINE WAS DELIBERATE AND WAS BASED ON U.S. POLICY. The world knew that the Syrian government possessed chemical weapons, and we had a concern that as the regime was increasingly beleaguered, it might use chemical weapons against the Syrian people in desperation. The message that the President delivered that day was the same message that he was delivering in private. It was one that he and others in the administration have reinforced on multiple occasions ever since.’

- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, 6 May 2013

‘I DIDN’T SET A RED LINE. The world set a red line.’

- President Barack Obama, 4 September 2013

‘THE PRESIDENT DREW THE RED LINE PUBLICLY.’

- Secretary of State John Kerry, 4 September 2013

‘Assad crossed the line that the President drew.’

- Secretary of State John Kerry, 10 September 2013

‘This, in other words, is no light at the end of the tunnel. This, to borrow a phrase from a Congressional staffer at his wits’ end, ‘IS AN UNMITIGATED CLUSTERF*CK.”

- The New Republic, The Syria Solution: Obama Got Played by Putin and Assad, 10 September 2013

THIS is what a ‘victory’ looks like to LIVs like mnjg.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Is Obama still going to speak? What in the world is he going to say after this?

INC on September 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Well, I don’t think any of us have seen the family photos from their most recent vacation. And he could always talk about the new puppy.

But, he’s made such a hash of Syria that I don’t think there is anything he can say at this point but sorry. And Obama don’t do apologies.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Putin/Hillary 2016!

If we’re gonna be screwed, let’s do it the American way one last time and go all the way!

BacaDog on September 10, 2013 at 2:20 PM

The Two-Step preezie of the USA, fer super shame.

Schadenfreude on September 10, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Rodeo Clown of the United States…

Seven Percent Solution on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

It’s an historically sad day for the United States when all thinking peoples are forced to side with the president of Russia, against a megalomaniacal American dictator – but, elections have consequences.

Pork-Chop on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President… This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President… This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…
 
mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

 
Does this apply to the rest of the world as well?

rogerb on September 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Is Obama still going to speak? What in the world is he going to say after this?

INC on September 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

“I, ummmmmm……vast coalition, ummmmm, me, ahhhhh, I did it…….ummmmm………BUSHHITLER!!!!………ummmmmm”

BacaDog on September 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

Did you hear the latest joke…
WARMONGER OBOZO has a “Peace Prize”
Peacenik Putin doesn’t !
…even a mentally challenged libtard should be able to see the problem here.

TeaPartyNation on September 10, 2013 at 2:23 PM

This is fun.

BobMbx on September 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

THIS is what a ‘victory’ looks like to LIVs like mnjg.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Yeah all the crowing yesterday about Obama’s diplomatic coup didn’t add up. You don’t go from Putin calling John Kerry a liar last week to “partnering for peace” with the United States the next.

All so avoidable! From not blustering about red lines to putting competent foreign policy experts instead of political hacks like Clinton and Kerry. But rest assured that tonight’s speech will read like a victory lap with a giant mission accomplished banner in the background.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 2:25 PM

We’ve now made Vladimir Putin the leader of Western diplomacy. That’s not exactly smart power.

Well, in the case of Obama and his administration (includes Hillary’s SoS time also), it would’ve been a whole lot better if Putin had stepped in at onset of the Arab Spring, especially in regards to Libya & Egypt, imo.

Karmi on September 10, 2013 at 2:26 PM

THIS is what a ‘victory’ looks like to LIVs like mnjg.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:17 PM

What amuses me is how some bloggers get so obsessed with other bloggers… I do not know you personally and you do not know me personally but yet I am living rent free in your little brain…. If I die tomorrow I am sure you do not give a damn and if you die tomorrow I will not give a damn either… Stop your ridiculous obsession… There are few more idiots like you here where I am living rent free in their little brains just because I am not following the line where 99.99% of Hotair members are following on Syria… It is a really sad… get a life fools…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Vlad spikes the ball; rebounds into Obama’s nose.

BobMbx on September 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

To people like mnjg, this looks like ‘victory.’

For the rest of us, it’s just embarrassing.

RWM

“Putin plays obama like a Stradivarius”…on the road to Damascus…talk about a tragi-comedy, in real life!

Obama is such a thinker. He just dropped our world power standing from 1st into 3rd place.

portlandon on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

All on purpose, never to forget. He is the most transparent president in all of history, very successful in his Utopian aims.

The world will suffer dire consequences for their PC experiment and insanity.

Schadenfreude on September 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Putin and da Rooskies are just pulling the Obama/Kerry kite strings.

Oidiot and Ketchupboy are fluttering in that Moskow breeze and the reds are either gonna reel them in or let go of the string and watch the whole thing crash hard.

Stupid Americans who trust and believe Russia is here to help with Syria are the same stupid Americans who actually believed in hope and change and skittle crapping rainbow unicorns.

patman77 on September 10, 2013 at 2:28 PM

What amuses me is how some bloggers get so obsessed with other bloggers… I do not know you personally and you do not know me personally but yet I am living rent free in your little brain…. If I die tomorrow I am sure you do not give a damn and if you die tomorrow I will not give a damn either… Stop your ridiculous obsession… There are few more idiots like you here where I am living rent free in their little brains just because I am not following the line where 99.99% of Hotair members are following on Syria… It is a really sad… get a life fools…

Man, Obama got raped by Putin. I need to change the course of the conversation……

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Fixed.

BobMbx on September 10, 2013 at 2:29 PM

get a life fools…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Get a brain, fool. You’re pawn’d from 360 degrees, not by HA.

Schadenfreude on September 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM

The world will suffer dire consequences for their PC experiment and insanity.

Schadenfreude on September 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Ah! But is this enough to begin lame duck season? There are some pretty big battles brewing in Congress where a little bit of political capital could go a long way. IMO, at this point the gays and illegals are pretty much screwed. Obamacare and the budget/debt are going to take all the oxygen away from other hot button issues.

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Kerry. “We are no longer the knights who say Ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!”
Ni!
A path! A path!

onomo on September 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President… This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…
 
mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

 
Does this apply to the rest of the world as well?
 
rogerb on September 10, 2013 at 2:22 PM

 
Does this view of the USA apply to the rest of the world as well, mnjg?

rogerb on September 10, 2013 at 2:35 PM

JFK – Bay of Pigs

Obama – Bay of Goats

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Lool, make him stop, pls:

@iowahawk
From Curtis LeMay to Neville Chamberlain in 24 hours. #OurInspiringPresident

@iowahawk
College Football halftime scores: Harvard Law School 0, KGB Assassination & Treachery 385

@iowahawk
Breaking: now Obama brilliantly fools Putin into giving him a wedgie reuters.com/article/2013/0…

jimver on September 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

This is the equivalent of polishing a turd. Its still a turd but look how shiny it is!

neyney on September 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

The absolute SMARTEST thing the president could do right now is:

Call off the primetime speech and…

…STFU.

Turtle317 on September 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

The worst part of this?

He’s in charge for 3 more years. Just imagine whats to come.

BobMbx on September 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President… This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

First of all, there is no “Syrian Crisis”, except within Syria – it certainly is not a “crisis” for the United States – as Syria poses absolutely no threat to the U.S. or our interests – Syria’s civil war, and their internal struggles are none of our business.

Secondly – people across the political spectrum are siding with President Putin, against obama (or, at least openly opposing obama), because obama is completely wrong in threatening to launch an unprovoked attack on the Syrian people – an unprovoked attack that would be completely ineffective in ridding Syria of chemical weapons, but would defiantly lead to a much larger conflict that could spread around the globe.

Let’s face it – regardless of Putin’s motives – regardless of what he hopes to achieve by brokering this deal, it is a step in the right direction, and it will change global perception of who and what he is. The Syrian situation makes Putin look good – and certainly less devil-like – and makes obama look like (or reminds the world that he is) a completely inept, warmongering putz. Sadly, obama has tried to drag America down with him – and it will take some time, and a solid regime change, for the United States to repair the damage.

Pork-Chop on September 10, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Get a brain, fool. You’re pawn’d from 360 degrees, not by HA.

Schadenfreude on September 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM

You are presuming imaginary victories just like the stupid arabs… Yeah, you are one of the fools where I am living rent free in their tiny brains…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Syria denouement: An unmitigated disaster for US foreign policy and credibility
POSTED AT 2:01 PM ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 BY ED MORRISSEY

Ed, you need to learn to stop holding back. Tell us what you really think.

Chris of Rights on September 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Putin sees Obama as Vain,feckless,ignorant and cowardly…And he’s exploited that expertly.

He has maneuvered the US out of the region and Obama dragged the UK down with him.

The stench of FAIL that clings to Obama wafts over the oceans.

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

What the hell is he going to say tonight?

He still wants an attack? Wants talks? Wants Russis to retract its ultimatum? Bizarre.

rrpjr on September 10, 2013 at 2:41 PM

I’m sure Putin is not a hero coming to the rescue but rather a man with designs of a more Russo-ME ME.

But if he stops the imperialist war monger ,Barack Insane Obama, from fomenting an Al Queada backed jihad…. well, then he deserves the Nobel. If Putin doesn’t get consideration for the peace prize Russia should be outraged. Every tin pot American leftist dictator wannabe has been up for a Nobel; Gore, Carter got one, Bill was considered, Dear Leader got one for winning an election and Hillary will get one.

BoxHead1 on September 10, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Maybe he can use his air time tonight to give us his NFL predictions

AmericanUnderground on September 10, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Brave, brave Sir Barky rode forth from Camelot….

viking01 on September 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

My mom used to refer to my dropped-on-his-head-liberal brother as “the wounded king” for all his whining and taking offense at every possible opportunity.

Obama IS now “the wounded king” and I’m just wondering what he’s going to say tonight that’s going to make matters even worse than they are now.

Coupled with tomorrow’s big Anniversary date which shall not be mentioned, where things are *likely* to worsen our lots exponentially, today I think I’ll make one more trip to gather provisions for the home, before tomorrow dawns.

Harbingeing on September 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

One common response to the collapse of one’s narrative is to accuse others of personal obsession. We saw this quite often with cdseven (sp?). The “I’m living rent-free in your head” garbage.

No, you’re narrative is collapsing, that’s all.

rrpjr on September 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Lool, make him stop, pls:

@iowahawk
From Curtis LeMay to Neville Chamberlain in 24 hours. #OurInspiringPresident

@iowahawk
College Football halftime scores: Harvard Law School 0, KGB Assassination & Treachery 385

@iowahawk
Breaking: now Obama brilliantly fools Putin into giving him a wedgie reuters.com/article/2013/0…

jimver on September 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Obama…He’s a real morale booster aint’ he

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

The absolute SMARTEST thing the president could do right now is:

Call off the primetime speech and…

…STFU.

Turtle317 on September 10, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Smartest thing he could do was start his speech

To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interests of America first.

America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad. To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.

Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow*.

*from Nixon resignation speech

Happy Nomad on September 10, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Calling it a “rough road to Damascus,”

isn’t it more a rough road away from Damascus?

ted c on September 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM

WTH is he going to say tonight? “Look, ya’ll, I f*&ked up…”

ted c on September 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President… This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

I asked the same of Obama that I did of Bush. Explain how the United States and its allies are threatened by the events in Syria. Explain further how your plans will make things better for the United States and its allies.

You can argue that Bush made weak cases for both of these things (a discussion that might be interesting, but would be completely off-topic), but he did at least attempt to make the case. Obama, so far, has done neither.

I’m open minded. Had Obama made a convincing argument, I would have supported him. I’ve never been in the “no way, no how” group. But I am in the group that says “no, until you convince me otherwise”. But that’s my default position for military action anytime, unless it’s clearly in response to a direct attack on the United States.

Chris of Rights on September 10, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Trying to take the broad view here. “Unmitigated disaster” sums it all up nicely, I think. When last I checked, Obama was going to give A Very Serious Oval Office Address urging military action in Syria. He still has to give that address, because if it was so serious, it cannot be easily retracted. But now he will give A Very Serious Oval Office Address announcing that the need for urgent military action has passed, alleluia.

He will give a speech triumphing over a seemingly intractable problem. The truth, as well all know, is that it was a problem solely of his own making.

Herald of Woe on September 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

It might be the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded for stopping another Nobel Peace Prize winner from starting a war.

— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) September 10, 2013

Now that’s good.

rrpjr on September 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

What country will Obama now target to set up the Muslim Brotherhood? Tunisia? Somalia? Mexico?

Nethicus on September 10, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Ed
Morrissey @EdMorrissey

It might be the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded for stopping another Nobel Peace Prize winner from starting a war.

LOLZZZ!!!

ted c on September 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Get a brain, fool. You’re pawn’d from 360 degrees, not by HA.

Schadenfreude on September 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM

You are presuming imaginary victories just like the stupid arabs… Yeah, you are one of the fools where I am living rent free in their tiny brains…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Assad won big, idiot. Putin bought time for him, that’s what he excells at, the stalling ‘diplomacy’….Putin will get a Nobel Prize for this (posskbly they’ll have Obozo handing it to him at the ceremony :) and Assad will never give up his chem arsenal, more likely he will send cat urin or perfume canisters to the UN for inspection, as a blogger put it, just to stall some more, it’s what they always do, but he will not give up his stash…and O will look like the fool that he is…

jimver on September 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

What the hell is he going to say tonight?

He still wants an attack? Wants talks? Wants Russis to retract its ultimatum? Bizarre.

rrpjr on September 10, 2013 at 2:41 PM

We always knew Obama was woefully inept and unprepared for the office and certainly his domestic agenda confirms that.

Now it appears we have our own “Mad King” on our hands surrounded by dangerously craven incompetents and protected by the agitprop.

I didn’t support a strike because these people are addicted to manufactured crisis and lie to suit them and I knew Operation Egofark would be as botched as anything else Obama has thunk up…But now seeing the unraveling of everyone attending the “Mad King” is truly unnerving.

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Just yesterday, you told me that the President WAS the United States. That we couldn’t separate the Presidency from the country.

I’ll find the post.

This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

1. Because that explains why I opposed the Afghan ground war and the invasion of Iraq.

2. If you are against a policy relative to Syria that even the military thinks is stupid, you must be a sufferer of ODS or something…

First, I support the moderate elements of the rebels which are a majority of the rebels… Al Qaeda terrorists are a small faction of the rebels.

mnjg on September 9, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Pentagon officials estimate that extreme Islamist groups now constitute ‘MORE THAN 50 PERCENT’ of the rebel force, ‘AND IT’S GROWING BY THE DAY.’

Why We Should Be Skeptical About The Claims From Kerry And McCain That The ‘Moderate’ Syrian Rebels Are Ascendant

‘But, but, but, it’s by John Judis of The New Republic and he’s like FAUX News or something!’

– mnjg

‘Israel is an enemy country. I say this loud and clear. It occupies Syrian lands. The FSA will not change its position regarding that country before it withdraws from the Syrian lands, and recognises the legitimate rights of the Arab Palestinian people.’

– Brigadier General Salim Idris, Chief of Staff of the US-backed Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army

Those would be the same ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels that you want to aid, assist, and arm. So, tell us, why should we believe that they are moderate when they are quite obviously not?

Really? Google “Deter and Degrade Assad Chemical Weapons” and you will find how many times this was mentioned as the goal of the strikes against him…

mnjg on September 9, 2013 at 2:26 PM

See:

‘Our overarching goal is to end the underlying conflict through a negotiated, political transition in which Assad leaves power.’

- Susan Rice, 1:27 PM – 9 Sep 2013

Eggs. Hatch. Some assembly required…

First, it is a victory because Assad is going to give up his chemical weapons without a fight…

mnjg on September 9, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Assad giving up his chemical weapons without our military firing a single shot is a big victory for us…

mnjg on September 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM

So, Obama’s going to retract his threat to use military force because that’s a ‘precondition’?

Putin won nothing… He just told his client Assad just give up the chemical weapons or the Americans will f*** you up beyond recognition and we simply cannot do anything about it… Within four weeks the UN will be in Syria taking away Assad WMD for destruction…

mnjg on September 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Clock’s ticking.

Assad is the most cowardly person on the planet…

mnjg on September 9, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Yeah, ‘cuz, like, um, ya know, he changed his mind and went to Congress for something that he claimed to have an absolute right to do.

If Assad were the ‘most cowardly person on the planet,’ he never would have allegedly crossed Obama’s red line in the first place, genius.

And, don’t even think that Assad might d*ck around with weapons inspectors like Saddam Hussein and North Korea had/have for years!

mnjg has assured us that this is an absolute victory for the United States and a total loss for Assad.

Iran and their Hizballah will fall soon after Assad falls…

mnjg on September 5, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Using your logic, because Assad has agreed to give up his chemical weapons due to the sheer ‘threat of awesome American firepower,’ then we should expect Iran to fall in line momentarily…. Right?

You know, mnjg, I have to hand it to you. Your powers of persuasion are really beginning to work on me. There is a growing part of me that is on the verge of coming out gung-ho in favour of attacking Syria and causing the despotic Assad regime to fall…
…just to see you turn yourself into a fvcking pretzel explaining why Iran is – SHOCKA! – still on its nuclear warpath and how you are just so STUNNED that Syria has become a failed ‘Islamist Paradise.’

Pure schadenfreude, my dear. Pure schadenfreude.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:50 PM

What color is the reset button this time?

docflash on September 10, 2013 at 2:51 PM

WTH is he going to say tonight? “Look, ya’ll, I f*&ked up…”

ted c on September 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM

“As I have always said, I will look at all the options to peacefully end a conflict. I have done that. Unless my predecessor, I look at all the options. Bush.Bush.Bush.”

-Precedent O’bumbler

portlandon on September 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

You are presuming imaginary victories just like the stupid arabs… Yeah, you are one of the fools where I am living rent free in their tiny brains…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:38 PM

You are presuming that a guy that you claim gassed his own people – a claim that he denies – and Putin, who thrives on pwning Obama, are credible.

That’s a claim that not even the Obama administration is willing to make and, indeed, went out of its way yesterday to make clear.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

What color is the reset button this time?

docflash on September 10, 2013 at 2:51 PM

It’s yellow-striped.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Obama is such a thinker. He just dropped our world power standing from 1st into 3rd place.

portlandon on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

And let’s never forget the damage that the Clown-in-Chief had done to our credit rating via his economic policies.

onlineanalyst on September 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM

It might be the first Nobel Peace Prize awarded for stopping another Nobel Peace Prize winner from starting a war.

— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) September 10, 2013

Aaaand Putin will accept his prize wearing that super bowl ring.

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Ed:

An ignominious end to the “Putin partnered with us” claim

A dominatrix might possibly be considered a ‘partner’.

socalcon on September 10, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Obama is such a thinker. He just dropped our world power standing from 1st into 3rd place.

portlandon on September 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Worse than that…he sent us like idiot children to stand in the corner…Northern Hemisphere.

We have to get rid of the incompetents entrenched in congress on both sides of the aisle.

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM

This Tar Baby is stuck to him but good.

kooly on September 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Talk about stovepiping the message mongers. They can’t even get their talking points presented with a coherent policy.

onlineanalyst on September 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President… This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…
mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Spare me your crocodile tears.

In this case, I’m pretty sure the president is the Devil, and you’re his useful idiot.

You’re not living rent free in anyone’s head, not even your own.

There is mocking and condemnation aimed at Obama because he f’ing deserves it.

There is not one single point of policy that Obama advances that I do not vehemently disagree with.

He represents the total antithesis of the word and spirit of the Founders, and is the manifestation of what Alexis DeTocqueville warned of two centuries ago.

I would rather people like you and Obama had their citizenship revoked and were put on a freighter headed to China never to be heard from again.

turfmann on September 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM

WTH is he going to say tonight? “Look, ya’ll, I f*&ked up…”

ted c on September 10, 2013 at 2:44 PM

I gotz Putin on the run…chicago style…ya’ll

workingclass artist on September 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM

We all need to remember that the people most responsible for this disaster are the folks who voted for this guy.

For many, twice. We should shame them for it at every opportunity.

trigon on September 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Tonight, the petty preening prince will announce that he has saved us from the brink of war and that he is sending Al Sharpton to negotiate the details of peace with Syria with Putin.
Next week he will be nominated for another Nobel Peace Prize.

maryo on September 10, 2013 at 3:01 PM

how likely would that have been while Samantha Power was busy blasting Russia as obstructionist at the UN at almost the same moment?

Why not? Obama does this to the GOP regularly.

William Teach on September 10, 2013 at 3:01 PM

turfmann on September 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Oh yeah! You ROCK!

maryo on September 10, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Is Obama still going to speak? What in the world is he going to say after this?

INC on September 10, 2013 at 2:13 PM

He’ll fill us in with the personal touch, citing the wisdom of Michelle, Sasha, and Malia. Bo just says, “Arf! Send the Milk Bones over here.”

onlineanalyst on September 10, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Who would have ever thought the White House would out-source 3 a.m. phone calls to the KREMLIN.

Shocks me that I turned out to be an optimist on the issue of Obama’s political skills

LarryinLA on September 10, 2013 at 3:07 PM

If this were a football game :

Putins’ team is the blue and gold team…..

Obamas’ team is the white team….

….and Obama is the trombone player at the end :)

The Play

MichaelGabriel on September 10, 2013 at 3:18 PM

The real Jugears.

platypus on September 10, 2013 at 3:22 PM

The worst part of this?

He’s in charge for 3 more years. Just imagine whats to come.

BobMbx on September 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Iran.

Barnestormer on September 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

BOMB OBAMACARE not SYRIA

Patriots! – get this information out to WE THE PEOPLE… may it burn through the nation like a RAGING FOREST FIRE —->>> GO GO GO!

–>>> Ted Cruz: GOP leadership working with Harry Reid to save Obamacare<<<–

http://www.mofopolitics.com/2013/09/10/ted-cruz-gop-leadership-working-with-harry-reid-to-save-obamacare/

Is there ANY DOUBT concerning whether this Leader, Sen Ted Cruz, is a member of WE THE PEOPLE, and not ‘we the ruling class’?

Is there ANY DOUBT to whom is his FIRST ALLEGIANCE???

Does he EXPOSE their intentions and CHICANERY, REPEATEDLY, BOLDLY and without blinking an eye???

DEO GRATIAS for this man!

THANK YOU TEXAS!

THANK YOU Madame Steel Spine!

#CruzMissile ———>>>>>> [GOP Establishment] KABOOM!!!

This man has NO FEAR … he is UNFETTERED by any ties to Cronies, by any GOPe ‘deals’

he can therefore speak his principled mind FREELY

on any issue
in any way
at any time

exodus2011 on September 10, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Never fear, all of this will be forgotten ignored a month from now. Didn’t happen.

FORWARD!!!

Run Away!!!!

BigWyo on September 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM

You know, mnjg, I have to hand it to you. Your powers of persuasion are really beginning to work on me. There is a growing part of me that is on the verge of coming out gung-ho in favour of attacking Syria and causing the despotic Assad regime to fall…
…just to see you turn yourself into a fvcking pretzel explaining why Iran is – SHOCKA! – still on its nuclear warpath and how you are just so STUNNED that Syria has become a failed ‘Islamist Paradise.’

Pure schadenfreude, my dear. Pure schadenfreude.

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 2:50 PM

At some point in time, you have to wonder if the Obama trolls still have sufficient mental capacity to realize that voting for black skin over competence was a bad idea.

northdallasthirty on September 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

We’ve now made Vladimir Putin the leader of Western diplomacy. That’s not exactly smart power.

How shall I break this to you…Vlad’s Russia is the only “smart power” in the Western World right now.

William Eaton on September 10, 2013 at 3:55 PM

At some point in time, you have to wonder if the Obama trolls still have sufficient mental capacity to realize that voting for black skin over competence was a bad idea.

northdallasthirty on September 10, 2013 at 3:53 PM

‘Voting pride over policy leads to some bad results.’

- Santita ‘Jesse’s Daughter’ Jackson, recently

But, don’t worry. Liveenslavedthendie knows who to blame…

White liberals really do ruin everything……

libfreeordie on September 7, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 3:56 PM

This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics…

mnjg

I agree…this Syria crisis showed that idiots on the right like you are no better than left wing lunatics, lol.

xblade on September 10, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Of course for some USA = Who is President… This Syria crisis showed that many on the right, in particular right wing political junkies, are no better than the left wing lunatics… They will side with the devil against the President if he is from the opposing party… Very sad indeed…

mnjg on September 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

You’re just cut-and-pasting from your talking points memo now, aren’t ya? You posted that (and versions worded slightly differently) more than once already.

Go f*ck yourself.

Midas on September 10, 2013 at 4:02 PM

BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!

TX-96 on September 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I can’t believe the White House’s strategy on Syria is working out this well. I doubt they can, either.

— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 10, 2013

LMFAO! WHAT strategery?

Resist We Much on September 10, 2013 at 4:07 PM

I would bet Obama never played a serious game of poker in his life.

High stakes poker.

Obama a year ago starts the game.

Tells folks not to call his bluff.

Two weeks ago, he raises the stakes…has no cards to back him up…other than bluster and bluff. He raises again.

All the usual tells are broadcast across the table. He ain’t got nothin’.

Putin keeps calm. Determined. Maintains full eye contact.

Putin knows the stakes…and Obama’s cards…all of them.

A few days ago, Obama raises again…trying draw to an inside straight.

24 hours ago, Putin calls.

Last deal is dropped…Obama asks for one card…just one…looking all confident, smug…

Laid down nothing. Putin reaches across the table, gathers the winnings. Says, nice game. Walks off happily.

Now, Obama is trying to get a new deck…not realizing that he has lost the game.

Covering his loss at the table is not going to be easy.

Obama cannot come up with enough to cover the wager.

Putin called his bluff…after getting Obama to raise and raise and raise yet again.

Maybe Obama should learn a game we know he can handle.

Chutes n’ Ladders, maybe?

Harsh?

No. Not at all.

If Obama had solid verifiable intelligence from recruited vetted American sources…and not tried to play off what amounted to rumor and hearsay…and faulty assumptions…

Had he checked out the deck first.

Had he not broadcast all sorts of tells.

Had he a team that understood fully what was at stake…all of it…and not this bluff ‘em till they fold nonsense.

And we must remember always that his primary foreign policy and defense “expert” is the same one who was responsible for Libya, and Benghazi…and just a few days ago, admitted that she was certain that once the mullahs in Iran had seen that terrible thing Assad allegedly, still, had done…they’d be all over Assad to surrender and flee Syria…

And so many went along willingly, because, like, you know, he is gonna make the tides receded…and give us all Skittles and stuff…

Others went along willingly because, by golly dammit, this here is ‘Merica.

I spent a career working to make sure something like this never happened…and some very real poker games along the way where it wasn’t just a pile of money on the table, either.

Sad to see to see what hundreds, thousands, of us worked so hard to prevent…well, just happened.

What can Obama do now? Slam Syria with cruise missiles? A full aerial assault…B-2′s and BUFF’s? Order the 1st MarDiv ashore at Tartus? 101st on Damascus?

I do hope heads will be rolling…and soon…real soon.

And, would somebody hand Obama a copy of Livingston’s “Poker Strategy?” Can get a copy for about nine bucks…just about anywhere.

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Barack Obama tried spinning the Vladimir Putin peace plan as his own intentional strategy to defuse the Syria crisis in his suddenly-inconvenient interviews yesterday, in an attempt to restore the US position of leadership on global security that Putin managed to usurp.

Such an idiot.

And if he ran again, he’d be re-elected for a third term, probably with even more votes than last time.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 10, 2013 at 4:19 PM

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 4:10 PM

And I intentionally left out the part where Putin lays down his own cards.

He didn’t.

coldwarrior on September 10, 2013 at 4:29 PM

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