Must see: A brief history of Obama’s “smart power” on Syria
posted at 3:21 pm on September 11, 2013 by Allahpundit
Whatever you spent your day doing yesterday and however much fun you had doing it, I guarantee that you didn’t have as much fun as the FNC editor who assembled this. And this is only the stuff that works on video. If they included every screw-up since the big push for war began last month, they’d have to include Kerry and McCain touting this person as their go-to expert on the Syrian rebels.
A Slate contributor searches for meaning in the chaotic Hopenchange universe:
[I]f your foreign policy has to be rescued by a dictator, you are doing it wrong. That’s where President Obama finds himself today. Putin is providing Obama an out he couldn’t find for himself…
If Putin’s maneuver doesn’t pan out, Obama’s foreign policy will still likely fall victim to the vicissitudes of a dictator. Because one message is already clear in Damascus: The Obama administration will do everything in its power to do nothing at all. If Assad finds himself up against the wall, he will likely gas his fellow Syrians again. Maybe he will reduce the scale and scope, but it is doubtful that he will abandon the weapons. How will President Obama respond then? It is hard to say. Because no one knows what the president is doing. At least he has the element of surprise.
Let me play devil’s advocate on one narrow point. For all the bluster about O stupidly painting himself into a corner with an offhand remark last year about “red lines,” does anyone think that if he hadn’t said that, he would have reacted differently to the gassing in Damascus? He’s surrounded by “responsibility to protect” devotees in Susan Rice and Samantha Power. He went to war in Libya over the prospect of Qaddafi slaughtering the rebels in Benghazi (and of course didn’t go to war after some of those rebels slaughtered the U.S. ambassador a year later) despite not having said anything about “red lines.” He’s clearly a fan of humanitarian intervention on the merits, enough so to staff key diplomatic and national security positions with fellow adherents, and has already proved that he’s willing to act on principle without any previous rhetoric to force his hand. The frightening possibility is that he might have forced this fiasco on Congress and the public anyway, deliberately, even if he hadn’t muttered something about “red lines” last summer. A mistake can be forgiven, but what if the “mistake” is all part of his, ahem, strategy?
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