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?



Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I’m so proud to be an American, today, of all the days :((((((((((((

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:23 PM

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.”

Not only didn’t he go to war, we don’t even know if he showed up for a briefing….

ted c on September 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Had all I can take of this a** wipe…

sandee on September 11, 2013 at 3:26 PM

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.

I expect O’Bagy will have her own show on MSNBC any day now.

slickwillie2001 on September 11, 2013 at 3:28 PM

A mistake can be forgiven, but what if the “mistake” is all part of his, ahem, strategy?

There are only two things that move this narcissistic sociopath:

1. His own ego/power-hunger and ‘greatness’, and

2. The furthering of his MB

Note how he didn’t mention Libya and Egypt last night, but hammered Iraq.

He is a clusterfruck for the US and the free world, on purpose.

He is the most transparent president in all of history. He promised to bring the US down to the level of: Russia, China, India, Brazil, the EU-togehter, and he did, and then some.

Leading from behind leads to others grabbing the driver’s seat. Putin did.

However, Putin is saber-rattling too much, all at once.

obama’s ego will not take that. Soon he’ll bomb Syria, alone, no UN/no congress, just to show Putin. obama won’t care what it will cost, in blood and treasure, children and all, no matter from which side, so long as his ego ends up on top.

Mark my words that the mil. activities have not stopped and are on-going as we type.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Something wrong with my browser? Not seeing video.

John the Libertarian on September 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

He’s going to bomb Syria as a gesture of peace…yeah, that’s the ticket…

PatriotRider on September 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Oof, the last minute or so is brutal: Assad is a direct threat. Assad is not a threat to us at all.

O_O

Thanks, lefties, thanks for this guy and the morons he subsequently chose to staff his cabinet.

Bishop on September 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 42m

WH observes minute of silence for victims 9/11/01; also, observes 525,600 minutes of silence for victims of 9/11/12. (h/t @CaptinAwesum)

davidk on September 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Looking at the Punk’s pictures reminds me, always, of one of two things:

1. An underdeveloped teenager, or

2. A demon

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Was a pretty poor excuse for a community organizer, as well.

It would have been nice if the MSM had somehow vetted Barry back in 2007-08 when it truly mattered…and again in 2012.

All the tingles and up-twinkles on Earth…and most Americans had no clue about Barry, except that he was historic or something…and, of course, Black.

To quote that oft expressed Democrat cheer, “Elections have consequences!”

Yes. Yes, they do.

We are witnessing some of those consequences today.

coldwarrior on September 11, 2013 at 3:36 PM

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.

Now THAT is hilarious!

GardenGnome on September 11, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Actually AP, I disagree with you on this. I don’t think he would stick his neck out for one of his minion’s views.

The only reason we got here was the red line remark, made on multiple occasions.

If R2P was really the driver here, he wouldn’t be grasping an unserious lifeline from the Russians, it would be full steam ahead on a military strike and it would be a strike that meant something, not just a bare minimum to save getting laughed at.

He’s like Rick in Casablanca, he doesn’t stick his neck out for no one.

Grinch on September 11, 2013 at 3:38 PM

(Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday Syria must be stripped of its chemical weapons and that the international community must make sure those who use weapons of mass destruction pay a price.

Speaking at a military ceremony, Netanyahu said Syria had carried out a “crime against humanity” by killing innocent civilians with chemical weapons and that Syria’s ally Iran, who is at odds with the West over its nuclear program, was watching to see how the world acted.

“It must be ensured that the Syrian regime is stripped of its chemical weapons, and the world must make sure that whoever uses weapons of mass destruction pays a price for it,” Netanyahu said. “The message that is received in Syria will be received loudly in Iran.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/11/us-syria-crisis-israel-idUSBRE98A0WQ20130911

mnjg on September 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

He is not alone in his idiocy:

Allahpundit ‏@allahpundit 2h

Unreal http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/321597-mccain-obama-should-weigh-bombing-syria-without-congress

davidk on September 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Hmm. Seems to me the only reason BO started on this path in the first place was because he felt a need to respond to all the questions about why he wasn’t doing anything in light of his “red line” comment.

But his statements in the last 11 days? It must be exceedingly difficult to explain yourself when you can’t divulge your true motives and goals. Hint: it’s not to protect the children.

Syzygy on September 11, 2013 at 3:42 PM

davidk on September 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

If Putin is not careful with his glee and too much mocking, at once, he will.

Please, dear God, make the laughing stop. If not, soon my ribs will need stitches.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Leftards and RINOs, may the sun destroy all the mold.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

In honor of Bomby McMommypants exceptional foreign policy skills, the Presidential seal is being replaced by an image of a monkey farking a football.

HumpBot Salvation on September 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

OT

Rep Tom Cole of Oklahoma is either a fool or an arrogant liar for the Ruling class.

Primary him Oklahoma voters!!!!

PappyD61 on September 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Unreal http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/321597-mccain-obama-should-weigh-bombing-syria-without-congress

War Powers Resolution Act

50 U.S.C. § 1541 – Purpose and policy

(a) Congressional declaration

It is the purpose of this chapter to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.

(b) Congressional legislative power under necessary and proper clause

Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer hereof.

(c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to:

(1) a declaration of war,

(2) specific statutory authorization, or

(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

Has Syria declared war on the United States?

No, but AQ has and it is part of the ‘rebels’ of whom we are asked to arm and assist.

Is there yet any specific statutory authorisation for airstrikes on Syria?

No.

Has a national emergency been created by an attack from Syria upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces?

Nope.

So, f*ck off, Senator Insane McVain and Senator Linds.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

OT/ but gophergirl if you’re out there hope things are better today…

sandee on September 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

David Burge ‏@iowahawkblog 42m

WH observes minute of silence for victims 9/11/01; also, observes 525,600 minutes of silence for victims of 9/11/12.

WTG iowahawk

ted c on September 11, 2013 at 3:50 PM

From other thread

If this Smart Power gets any smarter we’re going to have to grease the door openings in the White House so everyone can pass their giant skulls through them.

Bishop on September 11, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:54 PM

If this Smart Power gets any smarter we’re going to have to grease the door openings in the White House so everyone can pass their giant skulls through them.

Bishop on September 11, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Should have been in quotes, above.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:54 PM

9/11/2012 Obama abandons Chris Stevens to be burned alive and dragged through the streets by Al Qaeda

9/11/2013 Obama abandons hundreds of children that were gassed

Can’t wait til next year.

faraway on September 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Well, put it all together like that and what you get is a great big nothing burger. Think how many lives could have been saved if we had sent Assad an unbelievably small message a year or so ago.

scalleywag on September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Because one message is already clear in Damascus: The Obama administration will do everything in its power to do nothing at all

Putin plays obama better than a Stradivarius, on the road to Damascus.

Who could write better fiction, drama, melodrama? Nobody.

Reality is way better than fiction, all the obama-days.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Well, put it all together like that and what you get is a great big nothing burger.

scalleywag on September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

The Syria crisis was always just a smokescreen to cover the scandals and the 9/11 Benghazi anniversary. Notice how the Syria mess has suddenly and miraculously cleared up today – of all days.

faraway on September 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

9/11/2012 Obama abandons Chris Stevens to be burned alive and dragged through the streets by Al Qaeda

9/11/2013 Obama abandons hundreds of children (plus 100,000, plus all the Christian, but they never count with him) that were gassed

Can’t wait til next year.

faraway on September 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 3:59 PM

But these things happen{ed} and the facts can not be denied

Where the heck have I heard this same exact statement from? It sounds deja vu familiar.

Johnnyreb on September 11, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Many a presidential administration has similar (if not nearly as consequential) screw-ups in its first few months — it takes a while to get the hang of effective message control.

But this guy has been in the White House for nearly five years now. Unbelievable to be getting these kinds of mixed signals on an issue of such import.

Chuckles3 on September 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

The other thing that comes to my mind is how the WH’s representations were similarly shifting and self-contradicting with respect to the 2010 health care reform law.

And yet in that instance the D’s never broke ranks and the press dutifully overlooked all the “never minds.” What’s different now? The only things I can figure are a) the left is suspicious of military interventions where they had no similar circumspection over the health care law, and b) the president no longer has to run for re-election.

But this silliness ain’t new, unfortunately.

Chuckles3 on September 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

The balls on this SOB to speak of dying children and human dignity. The man who is just fine with infanticide as long as its done by planned parenthood. There should be a special place in hell for these kinds of people.

jawkneemusic on September 11, 2013 at 4:05 PM

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.”

It was a stupid red line and driving this point home wasn’t bluster. He was never prepared to go it alone on Syria and he went to Congress as soon as France backed out. Libya had no allies and yet he didn’t attack Libya without the backing of the U.N.

Basilsbest on September 11, 2013 at 4:11 PM

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?

If he was serious then he would have gone to the CWC after making the red line speech to see if he could get the signatory Nations to agree to some larger-scale set of sanctions across the board and perhaps all the way up to contributing to an embargo of Syria.

You know, some real things that could be put on the table to let Assad know that using CWs meant immediate repercussions to the Syrian economy, which you can ill afford to have happen during a civil war. Jumping right to a military option then having to back down to diplomatic routes is a sign of weakness and not having a basic understanding of what the powers of the President are and how they can be used to support a moral case during warfare.

With those on the table we might, just might, not even be having a discussion like this.

But that would take competence, planning and moral conviction of one’s beliefs.

I’m getting none of those things from this President in this case.

ajacksonian on September 11, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Predictable outcomes of Spock’s Smart Power on display. Still an amateur, on his own, no real help from Lurch since Hillary pulled chocks. “Peregruzka!”

DamnYankee on September 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM

One upside to this fiasco, trolls are scarce.

davidk on September 11, 2013 at 4:40 PM

The Obama administration will do everything in its power to do nothing at all.

That’s SOP with Jug Ear whenever the outcome cannot be guaranteed to come out in his favor.

GarandFan on September 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

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?

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?


There’s our little Eeyore buying into the Kneepad Media narrative.

Lest we forget – when presented with MULTIPLE opportunities to give STS a green light on Abbottadad, the SCOAMF dithered and delayed.

He will NEVER make a “tough call” he can’t share blame or fully blame others for “acting stupidly”.

Without the “red line” off script gaffe, the use of CW in Syria would have been Iran’s 2009 election fallout all over again.

“Nothing to see – Move along.”

PolAgnostic on September 11, 2013 at 5:14 PM

The Obama administration will do everything in its power to do nothing at all.

The Fierce Moral Urgency of Doing Nothing!

That is what the speech gave us.

ajacksonian on September 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM

One upside to this fiasco, trolls are scarce.

davidk on September 11, 2013 at 4:40 PM

.
This is WAY above their pay grade.

They are all curled up on their beds with their blankies and sucking on their thumbs.

PolAgnostic on September 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Predictable outcomes of Spock’s Smart Power on display. Still an amateur, on his own, no real help from Lurch since Hillary pulled chocks. “Peregruzka!”

DamnYankee on September 11, 2013 at 4:39 PM

I’m sure he’s already scanned every ST episode, looking for one that can inform him what to do next.

“Beam me up, Valerie”

BobMbx on September 11, 2013 at 9:19 PM

Putin just burned BarryO with a bluff that wouldn’t have fooled a teenage Texas hold-em player. Now, Russia solidifies relations with a client-state as Assad thinks he bet on the right horse – because he did. One thing common to all cons: down deep, the mark has to -want- to be conned.

Charles Payne this morning had a good insight – BO is always talking about payback – punishing his enemies or people who are just wrong, like ‘the rich’ – rarely anything pro-active.

wkgdyw on September 11, 2013 at 9:45 PM