Reviews in for Obama speech: “Incoherent,” “disingenuous,” “nothing new”

posted at 10:41 am on September 11, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, I wrote a review of President Obama’s speech, which was hardly complimentary. Other reviews make it look positively warm in comparison.  Take for instance this long and pointed criticism from John Harris at Politico, which frames the speech as coming from two different Obamas and then concludes with by calling the entire effort “disingenuous”:

Two weeks of zig-zag foreign policy by President Barack Obama — marching to war one moment, clinging desperately to diplomacy the next — culminated Tuesday night, appropriately enough, in a zig-zag address to the nation that did little to clarify what will come next in the Syria crisis but shined a glaring hot light on the debate in the president’s own mind. …

Zag finished the sentence with a jeering reminder: “But chemical weapons were still used by the Assad regime.”

Zig noted that recent diplomatic activity is at least tentatively promising, thanks to “constructive talks that I had with President Putin. The Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons. The Assad regime has now admitting that it has these weapons and even said they’d join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use.”

This led to perhaps the most disingenuous line uttered by either Zig or Zag in the 16-minute speech, with the president claiming that he had asked Congress to postpone the vote that he earlier requested authorizing use of military force in Syria in order to let the latest diplomatic moves play out. But just a minute earlier he had asserted that a main reason diplomacy was gaining traction was because of the “credible threat of U.S. military action.” Presumably, any further diplomacy would be even more effective if Congress sent a message that it was giving Obama all options to act if the talks fail. The more plausible rationale for congressional delay is that the administration would lose the vote if it took place now.

The Associated Press knocked out the key strut undergirding his call to action:

OBAMA: “We know the Assad regime was responsible…. The facts cannot be denied.”

THE FACTS: The Obama administration has not laid out proof Assad was behind the attack.

The administration has cited satellite imagery and communications intercepts, backed by social media and intelligence reports from sources in Syria, as the basis for blaming the Assad government. But the only evidence the administration has made public is a collection of videos it has verified of the victims. The videos do not demonstrate who launched the attacks.

Administration officials have not shared the satellite imagery they say shows rockets and artillery fire leaving government-held areas and landing in 12 rebel-held neighborhoods outside Damascus where chemical attacks were reported. Nor have they shared transcripts of the Syrian officials allegedly warning units to ready gas masks or discussing how to handle U.N. investigators after it happened.

The White House has declined to explain where it came up with the figure of at least 1,429 dead, including 400 children — a figure far higher than estimates by nongovernmental agencies such as the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has counted only victims identified by name, with a current total of 502. In his remarks, Obama more generally accused Assad’s forces of gassing to death “over 1,000 people, including hundreds of children.”

That’s actually what many Americans would have expected last night — an accounting of the proof that the administration claims to have.  Even an explanation of how the proof was assembled and how it relates directly to the Syrian military would have been helpful, especially with Obama making a public case for military action on prime time.  Members of Congress have been briefed on the proof, but those briefings are convincing more lawmakers to oppose military action than support it, which may be why the White House hasn’t bothered to share more of the evidence with the public.

Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie offers four reasons why the speech failed:

The invocation of American exceptionalism caused gales of snark and criticism on Twitter last night in real time, and is a point I forgot to include in my own remarks.

Dana Milbank tried to be more charitable, but still noted that the course of American diplomacy most resembles a cork bobbing in the water:

It may turn out that the Russian proposal gives Obama, and the United States, a face-saving way out of an unwanted conflict. It may even be that the possibility of a U.S. attack spurred the Russians and Syrians to act. But it feels as if the ship of state is bobbing like a cork in international waters. This was to be the week the president rallied lawmakers and the public around military action. But in a series of TV interviews Monday and in Tuesday night’s address, he instead explained why any such action is on hold.

Obama’s leadership, particularly in his second term, can most charitably be described as subtle. But he is so subtle that he sometimes appears to be a bystander. He left immigration up to Congress, which put the issue on ice. Congress also buried gun control and efforts to replace the sequester. Obama, meantime, has been reacting to events — Egypt, the National Security Agency revelations — rather than shaping them. He launched a fresh push to sell Americans on the merits of Obamacare — yet more than 4 in 10 remain unaware that the law is still on the books. …

Obama joined in Tuesday night, saying the Russian proposal came in part from “constrictive talks that I had” with Vladi­mir Putin. Obama said, “This initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force.”

Yet moments earlier, Obama told Americans that he decided “it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.”

Which one is it? Ask again in a couple of days.

The Telegraph’s Nile Gardiner called the speech “an incoherent mess,” and suggested that Obama has surpassed Jimmy Carter as the most feckless US President in foreign policy:

Billed as a game-changer on Syria, the President’s White House addresslanded with a thud that could be heard as far away as Damascus. Barack Obama has a huge credibility problem on Syria and on foreign policy in general, and Tuesday night’s speech will do nothing to help that. As Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer put it on Fox News, it was “one of the most odd presidential speeches ever delivered,” with no clear-cut strategy laid out, while urging Congress to delay a vote on the use of force against Assad’s regime.

In effect, Obama farmed out US foreign policy in the Middle East yet again to the Russians, appealing for time to consider the Russian proposal for securing Syria’s chemical weapons, a ruse described accurately by the Telegraph’s Con Coughlin as “a massive red herring.”He also used his address to take swipes at the Bush Administration over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which it should be noted, were waged with the backing of Congress and the American people, as well as large international coalitions on a scale that the Obama administration can only dream of. …

In essence, and this was amply displayed tonight, Barack Obama has no big picture strategy on Syria, or the wider Middle East, and is bereft of a clear game plan. His speech was also a sea of contradictions. He talked about deploying American military might but has no intention of delivering a decisive blow. He paid lip service to the ideal of American exceptionalism, but is happy to kowtow to Moscow. He urged Congress to support his approach, but wants them to wait before they vote. For these were the words of an exceptionally weak and indecisive president, one who seems to be making up policy on the hoof, as he stumbles and bumbles along on the world stage, with his hapless Secretary of State in tow.

How different to the halcyon days of Ronald Reagan, a man who led the world’s superpower with strength and conviction. The Gipper knew the meaning of American leadership, especially at times of crisis. Unfortunately President Obama can only dream of holding a candle to Reagan’s achievements, and at present is even outperforming Jimmy Carter as the most feeble US president of modern times.

Jimmy Carter says, Not so fast …

The only way to be assured that Syrian chemical weapons will not be used in the future is not through a military strike but through a successful international effort.

Regardless of the postponed congressional vote regarding the use of military force, other actions should be taken to address the situation in Syria, including an urgent effort to convene without conditions the long-delayed peace conference the United States and Russia announced in May. A resolution in the U.N. General Assembly to condemn any further use of chemical weapons, regardless of perpetrator, would be approved overwhelmingly, and the United States should support Russia’s proposal that Syria’s chemical weapons be placed under U.N. control. A military strike by the United States is undesirable and will become unnecessary if this alternative proposal is strongly supported by the U.N. Security Council.

If fully implemented in dozens of sites throughout Syria, this effort to secure the chemical weapons would amount to a cease-fire, with a large U.N. peacekeeping force deployed. In the best of circumstances, this could lead to convening the Geneva peace conference, perhaps including Iran, that could end the conflict.

Some have predicted catastrophic consequences to the credibility of President Obama and our country if Congress were to reject his request for approval of military action against the Assad regime in Syria. These dire predictions are exaggerated.

Hey, at least Carter’s coherentMaureen Dowd complains that it’s amateur hour at the White House, but Obama’s current predicament is the fault of … guess who?

Now, when it is clear Obama can’t convince Congress, the American public, his own wife, the world, Liz Cheney or even Donald “Shock and Awe” Rumsfeld to bomb Syria — just a teensy-weensy bit — Pooty-Poot (as W. called him) rides, shirtless, to the rescue, offering him a face-saving way out? If it were a movie, we’d know it was a trick. We can’t trust the soulless Putin — his Botox has given the former K.G.B. officer even more of a poker face — or the heartless Bashar al-Assad. By Tuesday, Putin the Peacemaker was already setting conditions.

Just as Obama and Kerry — with assists from Hillary and some senators — were huffing and puffing that it was their military threat that led to the breakthrough, Putin moved to neuter them, saying they’d have to drop their military threat before any deal could proceed. The administration’s saber-rattling felt more like knees rattling. Oh, for the good old days when Obama was leading from behind. Now these guys are leading by slip-of-the-tongue.

Amateur hour started when Obama dithered on Syria and failed to explain the stakes there. It escalated last August with a slip by the methodical wordsmith about “a red line for us” — which the president and Kerry later tried to blur as the world’s red line, except the world was averting its eyes.

Obama’s flip-flopping, ambivalent leadership led him to the exact place he never wanted to be: unilateral instead of unified. Once again, as with gun control and other issues, he had not done the groundwork necessary to line up support. The bumbling approach climaxed with two off-the-cuff remarks by Kerry, hitting a rough patch in the role of a lifetime, during a London press conference Monday; he offered to forgo an attack if Assad turned over “every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community” and promised, if they did strike, that it would be an “unbelievably small” effort.

So it’s Obama’s fault, right?  After all, he’s been in office for four-plus years and quarterbacked the surge in Afghanistan.  Not really, Dowd argues, because that darned George W. Bush ruined interventionism for everyone:

Obama cried over the children of Newtown. He is stricken, as he said in his address Tuesday, by “images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor” from “poison gas.” He thought — or thought he thought — that avenging the gassing was the right thing to do. But W., once more haunting his successor’s presidency, drained credibility, coffers and compassion.

While most Americans shudder at the news that 400 children have been killed by a monster, they recoil at the Middle East now; they’ve had it with Shiites vs. Sunnis, with Alawites and all the ancient hatreds. Kerry can bluster that “we’re not waiting for long” for Assad to cough up the weapons, but it will be hard for him to back it up, given that a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll indicates that Joe Sixpack is now a peacenik; in 2005, 60 percent of Republicans agreed with W. that America should foster democracy in the world; now only 19 percent of Republicans believe it.

Well, Dowd wrote a passably realistic half of a column, which is half more than we usually see.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Military power is most definitely required.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

It would also be illegal under American and international law.

Remember when you screamed about ‘illegal’ wars?

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 12:28 PM

This has to be verbaldouche: I Never Realized How Cool Wars Could Be…

slickwillie2001 on September 11, 2013 at 12:58 PM

So, on this day of all days, you’re suggesting that going into Afghanistan after the 9/11/01 atrocities was the wrong course of action? Just what you have done on 9/12/01 were you GWB? Write a sternly-worded letter?

Happy Nomad on September 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Is that what I suggested? Show me where I suggested that. I’ll wait. I’m merely following up on the op-ed that started this narrative by saying that the idea of intervening in other countries’ problems has become unstable political ground for politicians because of the widespread politicization of the conflicts of the past decade, which is hard to deny, looking at the responses from many on the right who supported going into Iraq and Afghanistan.

Oh, dear, you are a funny American. So isolationism and opposition to intervention started with Bush? Not even Hitler was bad enough for you to step up to. Go ahead, look it up and see how much support there was in the States to intervene in Europe at that time.

yubley on September 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Wow. I’m not sure how you got this from my comment, at all.

mintycrys on September 11, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Carter lived long enough to be resurrected by obama. He is a lucky old man.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Obama don’t need no stinkin’ facts, his mellifluous oratory soars far above such mundane matters…

Pest on September 11, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Am I the only one who would have loved to see how Reagan would have handled the mid East over the past 12 years?

cajunpatriot on September 11, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Well, Dowd wrote a passably realistic half of a column, which is half more than we usually see.

Adjusted for Thomas Friedmann inflation, that only amounts to 12.5% of a readable column.

Myron Falwell on September 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

The Left’s Old & Busted:

‘How DARE you question my patriotism and accuse me of siding with terrorists!’

The Left’s New Hotness:

‘The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM’

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

 
So you’re officially siding with who again?

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Well, Dowd wrote a passably realistic half of a column, which is half more than we usually see.

Great line!

Ann on September 11, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Carter lived long enough to be resurrected by obama. He is a lucky old man.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Resurrected?

Not hardly. He was only surpassed by another more naive, incompetent, and feckless than he was in his efforts towards governing this country. Carter remains the 2nd worst President of the last 100 years – and 3rd worst of all time.

The biggest difference between 1979-1980 and today – the lamestream media is far more locked into their ideological loyalty towards supporting Barack Obama than they were with Carter.

But it’s only a matter of time before they find themselves with the choice of either blaming Barack Obama’s incompetence or being forced to acknowledge the bankruptcy of the progressive agenda. No one is buying this ‘Blame Bush’ refrain 5+ years later.

Athos on September 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Worth noting a contrast can only be drawn by equating a full scale ground invasion with a limited missile strike.
Which for me means there is no comparison.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Again, ‘cuz, like, um, ya know, Libya has worked out so well.

If anything, Obama’s speech was pretty clear as to what the objective was. Is your position is that because they are in the middle of a civil war, Assad should be allowed to gas civilians with impunity?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Sarin gas = WMD

al-Qaeda = WMD

Why is Assad’s use of WMD worse than the Syrian rebel’s use of AQ?

BTW, the Syrian rebels have admitted to using chemical weapons.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM

2009:
 

By contrast, the number of civilians killed by the NATO- and American-led coalition and Afghan government forces in 2009 fell 28 percent, to 596, about a quarter of the total number.
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/world/asia/14kabul.html?_r=0

 
So are you just going to let them kill civilians with impunity, verbaluce?

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Sarin gas = WMD

al-Qaeda = WMD

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Why didn’t you just include –

Fear = WMD

So if AQ is a factor…we’re supposed to shrivel up?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

It may turn out that the Russian proposal gives Obama, and the United States, a face-saving way out of an unwanted conflict.

Face saving for Obama – not the United States. Obama does not like the United States. He feels that it was founded illegitimately. What is good for Obama is not good for the US. Obama is controlled by his Saudi Masters. Get with it.

alanstern on September 11, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Elizabeth O’Bagy, the advisor to Kerry, and McCain on the Syrian rebels, HAS BEEN FIRED from the Institute For The Study of War FOR FALSELY CLAIMING THAT SHE HAS A PhD!!!

‘But, we can tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys those with legitimate credentials and those that are lying their asses off.’

- Secretary of State Lurch and Senator Insane McVain

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Why didn’t you just include –

Fear = WMD

So if AQ is a factor…we’re supposed to shrivel up?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

No, instead, we should use arm, aid, and assist them by targeting Assad with ‘incredibly small’ airstrikes. /

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

 
So you’re officially siding with who again?
 
rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

 
Tell us which side you and the left are supporting today, verbaluce.

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

holy fk you are stupid verbulace…

Murphy9 on September 11, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Hey VDouche, how many civilians did Saddam Hussein kill? How many Kurds did he gas? Yet libmorons like you didn’t want to do a thing cause ya know Bushitler. But now OBAMAOBLOWME NOW!!! GFY

BeachBum on September 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

So if AQ is a factor…we’re supposed to shrivel up?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Since when did AQ bother any of you libtards? People like YOU applauded a mosque being built on ground zero and love the muslim brotherhood who spawn AQ. You’re a joke.

BeachBum on September 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

THIS is what Al Queda did to us 12 years ago…..and now THIS President wants us to fight along side them in Syria?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ4xCCXSXcI

THIS should be shown all day long on TV today.

PappyD61 on September 11, 2013 at 1:58 PM

As Slate wrote:

‘If 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.’

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 2:01 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Proof…not one shred of that available, none!!!

However, your side has come out as hypocrites for war, heh, heh. The last few weeks have you all on record/video, for eternity.

Kucinich, Colmes and Moore are the only consistent ones.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 2:02 PM

we’re supposed to shrivel up?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

verbie, you should never use words like “shrivel”. It’s what the left is all about. Just look at your ‘leader’.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 2:05 PM

What difference at this point does it make? He sings like Al Green. Best POTUS of ALL TIME!

Arnold Yabenson on September 11, 2013 at 2:07 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Name them.

ajacksonian on September 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

I have done you the good honor of answering your questions to me.

You have yet to answer mine to you.

Name them.

ajacksonian on September 11, 2013 at 2:12 PM

ajacksonian on September 11, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Did you read the FP link?
Assad has been angling for and now has the right and cons advocating for just what he wants – for the rebels to be left unsupported and for his army to be free to attack civilians with impunity.
I suppose you could say calling that ‘supporting Assad’ goes too far.
But maybe that’s just parsing a wink from a nod.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Did the Syrian high command tell its troops to put on gas masks during a sarin attack? If that is what the admin is claiming then either they are liars or the Syrian Army is dumber than Lindsay Loan. Gas masks offer zero protection against sarin which is absorbed through the skin and requires MOPP suits for full protection.

xkaydet65 on September 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

we’re supposed to shrivel up?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

verbie, you should never use words like “shrivel”. It’s what the left is all about. Just look at your ‘leader’.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 2:05 PM

No. It seems you don’t know what the left is about at all. You should read some Hitchens some time.
But your side knows all about using words…like ‘exceptionalism’.
as long as your not called to give them meaning.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

His lips were moving.

John the Libertarian on September 11, 2013 at 2:32 PM

You should read some Hitchens some time.
But your side knows all about using words…like ‘exceptionalism’.
as long as your not called to give them meaning.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Hitchens supported the Iraq war. Bet you didn’t find anything ‘exceptional’ about the US’ actions there.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 2:44 PM

‘The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM’

And lining up for bombing with no purpose is to become the air wing for the people who flew into the towers 12 years ago today.

The people who are opposed to bombing (ALL demographic groups btw) would like to know what is the vital national interest at stake in Syria.

And can you do that without mentioning any other wars?

itsspideyman on September 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM

You should read some Hitchens some time.

An alcoholic sodomite is your go to guy for reading on the left?

Murphy9 on September 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

But your side knows all about using words…like ‘exceptionalism’.
as long as your not called to give them meaning.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:29 PM

LOL. Go back to burning American flags, you despicable, lying scumbag. Syrian civilians are not our problem and not our concern. If you care so much about them then go to Syria. Otherwise, STFU. American interests are not served by helping the tsunami of pan-islamism spread through the arab world. Of course, we all know that you and yours – and your Indonesian Dog-Eating Retard – are only about harming American interests, as you have been all through the years.

Go to hell with your al quaeda allies and your America-hating Indonesian.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 11, 2013 at 2:53 PM

Did you read the FP link?
Assad has been angling for and now has the right and cons advocating for just what he wants – for the rebels to be left unsupported and for his army to be free to attack civilians with impunity.
I suppose you could say calling that ‘supporting Assad’ goes too far.
But maybe that’s just parsing a wink from a nod.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Actually ROFLMAO. An opinion piece by a libtard in FP. And that’s the authoritative analysis. You’re such an ignorant little toadie.

If you’re so worried about your al queda friends…I’ll chip in some money for airfare so you can go join them. Until then GFY.

HumpBot Salvation on September 11, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Hitchens supported the Iraq war.
Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Yes he did, that leftist.
(To keep it in the context his name came up.)

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

 
So you’re officially siding with who again?
 
rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

 
Tell us which side you and the left are supporting today, verbaluce.
 
rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

 

…for the rebels to be left unsupported …
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

 
Getting warmer.

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM

You should read some Hitchens some time.

An alcoholic sodomite is your go to guy for reading on the left?

Murphy9 on September 11, 2013 at 2:48 PM

I’m not surprised that’s your perspective of him.
He was very rough on your kind.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:06 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

 
BTW, who here (or anywhere in America) is suggesting naval strikes on the rebels?

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Isn’t it interesting that with all of the actions taken by the American left regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Syria, one word is practically never used…. VICTORY.

Where / how does Barack Obama not only define VICTORY but lay out the process to achieve VICTORY?

It doesn’t come from a ‘symbolic’ strike. Or a ‘shot across the bow’. Not even from an ‘unbelievably small strike’ that is intended to be ‘not decisive’. There is no mention of regime change – even though Obama demanded it in 2011.

There is no mention of what will happen in Syria if Assad falls – and the jihadists take over, gaining Syria’s massive stocks of chemical and biological weapons. Or the regional escalation that could take place if Iran follows through on it’s threats, on the US, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. How about a realistic look at the actions of Russia – the country that has armed Syria for the last 55 years and not only seeks to maintain it’s military base in Syria, but likely has thousands of troops and advisors assisting the Assad military and could be casualties in any US strike? What is the message that will be sent after 100 Tomahawks hit Syria, kill civilians placed as human shields, and we all watch Assad exit his bunker in triumph after the last missile landed?

And where is this international coalition? The American left downplayed and ridiculed the 40 nation coalition Bush 43 built to end Saddam’s regime – but outside a few Gulf States actively pumping funds and arms into the Syrian rebels – where is the rest of the international community and their collective outrage?

Just how is this about ‘justice’ or ‘humanitarianism’ and not about salving Obama’s ego as his hubris is exposed by nemesis? That is foreign policy is not only naive, but feckless and weak?

Athos on September 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

‘…As dedicated as they are to opposing whatever Obama might support, in this case their desperation to rationalize that position has them parroting b.s. Russian propaganda that Assad didn’t use these weapons. (At least they’re not still doubting he has them – but only because Assad only now admits that.)’

- verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Desperation? The OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of Americans oppose Obama’s Syrian Folly.

Assad has NOT admitted using chemical weapons on ANYONE.

Associated Press destroyed Obama’s claims in his speech about ‘we KNOW that Assad used chemical weapons.’ We know nothing of the sort. We know that there is conflicting information from the GERMANS, as well as others. We KNOW that even stalwart Democrats have said that they are unconvinced by the evidence and Congressman Alan Grayson has accused the Administration of ‘manipulating the evidence’ to bolster support for Syrian strikes.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Chicken hawk.

smoothsailing on September 11, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Perhaps you weren’t a member of the Bush/Cheney apology choir during the time they were actually (not hypothetically)subverting the constitution. Maybe you expressed your disgust at the legal reasoning of John Yoo. Maybe you weren’t out there making ‘ticking bomb’ arguments in support of torture. Maybe you were outraged by the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping.
But maybe, like so many here, you were a full throated cheerleader then?
 
verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Your “logic” being that we are on the side of anyone we refuse to bomb into submission? Gotta love liberal “logic”.

LarryinLA on September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Yes, I said all of this…regarding torture.
I’m also a Red Sox fan.
And a good driver, bad golfer.
Any other irrelevant to this argument bits you want clarified?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

‘…

As dedicated as they are to opposing whatever Obama might support, in this case their desperation to rationalize that position has them parroting b.s. Russian propaganda that Assad didn’t use these weapons. (At least they’re not still doubting he has them – but only because Assad only now admits that.)’

- verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Assad has NOT admitted using chemical weapons on ANYONE.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

What I wrote was:
At least they’re not still doubting he has them – but only because Assad only now admits that.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

…Maybe you were outraged by the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping…
 
verbaluce on March 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

 
rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

 
Yes, I said all of this…regarding torture.
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

 
Ha.

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Any other irrelevant to this argument bits you want clarified?
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

 
About the NSA role in torture? No, but you brought up an interesting topic earlier:
 

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

 
So you’re officially siding with who again?
 
rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:22 PM

 

Tell us which side you and the left are supporting today, verbaluce.
 
rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 1:44 PM

 
Care to try?

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 4:03 PM

What I wrote was:
At least they’re not still doubting he has them – but only because Assad only now admits that.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Nobody doubted he had them. Keep floundering toadie.

HumpBot Salvation on September 11, 2013 at 4:29 PM

I’m also a Red Sox fan. My favorite Red Sox player is Manny Ortez.

verbaloon on September 11, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on September 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Hitchens supported the Iraq war.
Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Yes he did, that leftist.
(To keep it in the context his name came up.)

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 3:00 PM

So did Hillary, Gore, Kerry, etc.

Resist We Much on September 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM

But were they full throated cheerleaders of unconstitutional NSA torture?

rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Provide proof. I want to see just one comment of this. Thanks.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Also, a Jimmy Carter comparison, and a rebuttal from … Carter.

Shorter Jimmy Carter:

Hey, don’t compare me to that idiot 0bama! I was never THAT stupid!

UltimateBob on September 11, 2013 at 5:42 PM

“Thanks to Pres. Obama’s strength,” tweeted House Democratic honcho Nancy Pelosi, “we have a Russian proposal.” The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein tweeted, “Kind of amazed I’m saying this, but the White House may really be about to win on Syria.”

Ah, yes, winning. Which is to say, being humiliated, acting weak, behaving in vacillatory fashion, making a mockery of your office, destroying your country’s credibility, making your own words look desperately foolish, and ceding foreign policy to the Machiavellian machinations of a gangster regime in Moscow.

That’s what you call “winning” when what you mean by “winning” is “losing.”

Jimmy Carter can rest easy now. There’s another Democratic president worse at foreign policy than he ever was.

Schadenfreude on September 11, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Old and ‘Busted’: Granite bust on mountain in South Dakota.

New Hotness: Tiki bust at driveway entrance in Hawaii.

Dusty on September 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

So, on this day of all days, you’re suggesting that going into Afghanistan after the 9/11/01 atrocities was the wrong course of action? Just what you have done on 9/12/01 were you GWB? Write a sternly-worded letter?

Happy Nomad on September 11, 2013 at 11:27 AM

In a word, YES. We should have simply made Afghanistan a level parking lot via nuclear strikes. 3 objectives fulfilled in one feel swoop:

1. Destroy and punish the enemy.

2. Make them remember for a long time (Japan anyone?)

3. No further loss of American lives.

Same process in Iraq, BTW. With a further warning to Iran and Syria that any new terrorist act ANYWHERE in the world will lead to annihilation of their state capitals.

So, actually 4 objectives reached in 1 hour flat.

What we have been facing since with the rapid spread of radical islam is the failure of Bush admin to do the above.

riddick on September 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Actually, make it one more objective. Reduction of nuclear arms on our part.

riddick on September 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM

we’re supposed to shrivel up?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

…you have!

KOOLAID2 on September 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Obama’s speeches do not merit reviews so why write them when they have…er…no merit?

Sherman1864 on September 12, 2013 at 5:55 AM

The American right has now officially come out as Assad supporters.
 
verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

 
BTW, who here (or anywhere in America) is suggesting naval strikes on the rebels?
 
rogerb on September 11, 2013 at 3:17 PM

 

Another dead thread again (and again), verbaluce?
 
Are you finally taking my advice?
 

Nicely done. More talking always seems to make you look brighter, doesn’t it?
 
rogerb on April 30, 2013 at 6:45 PM

 
You should start earlier, btw. Maybe even a preemptive strike.

rogerb on September 12, 2013 at 6:29 AM

Don’t we have any (D) voters that can address questions, counter arguments, and discuss their position without simply running away?
 
verbaluce,
righty45,
libfreeordie,
bayam,
segasagez,
hondaV65…
Who am I forgetting? And can they actually debate a topic?
 
Ed/AP, can we have an open registration soon, please?
 
rogerb on July 10, 2013 at 8:04 PM

 

rogerb on September 12, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Apparently, Jimmy Carter is going to live forever.

justltl on September 12, 2013 at 7:48 AM

Why not go to the NSA and see if Assad really ordered the use of chemical weapons?

Sticky Wicket on September 12, 2013 at 8:35 AM

But you didn’t give reviews from dhimocrapt/marxist/ libruls. They are going to transcribe it and put it in the Bible as the fifth book of the Gospels. They are going to enscribe it on the entrance of the Supreme court. The NYT will excerpt it on their masthead (All the obama that is fit to print). I heard from some of them that they will use it as an enscription for obama when his image is placed on Mount Rushmore. It will be embedded in the Christian Liturgy: A new Doxology – Praise obama from whom all blessings flow, praise him …

Old Country Boy on September 12, 2013 at 9:05 AM

But it’s only a matter of time before they find themselves with the choice of either blaming Barack Obama’s incompetence or being forced to acknowledge the bankruptcy of the progressive agenda. No one is buying this ‘Blame Bush’ refrain 5+ years later.

Athos on September 11, 2013 at 1:28 PM

There is no way you’re this naive.

They will never make such a choice. They will never acknowledge either of those options.

And you know it.

runawayyyy on September 12, 2013 at 9:10 AM

So if AQ is a factor…we’re supposed to shrivel up?

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM

How did you miss what was said to you? RWM just accused you of demanding we go to war to defend the interests of al queda. In fact, you demand we go to war and fight along side al queda.

Your blind partisanship and devotion to your political ideology have you insisting we kill Americans so terrorists aren’t treated roughly by an islamic dictator.

And I have no doubt you’ll miss it again, even when presented in the clearest terms that can possibly be presented to you.

runawayyyy on September 12, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Did you read the FP link?
Assad has been angling for and now has the right and cons advocating for just what he wants – for the rebels to be left unsupported and for his army to be free to attack civilians with impunity.
I suppose you could say calling that ‘supporting Assad’ goes too far.
But maybe that’s just parsing a wink from a nod.

verbaluce on September 11, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Did you write the FP piece?

If not then you get to name who you believe is mouthing the Regime’s line.

Not someone else.

You.

ajacksonian on September 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM

“Incoherent,” “disingenuous,” “nothing new”.

 
How prescient.

rogerb on September 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM

The key to this conundrum is the relationship between the administration and the government of Turkey. They were the last foreign officials to meet with Chris Stevens in Benghazi and there seem to be multiple reports that there was an arms delivery deal to Syrian rebels going on there that is still being reported today as “CIA arming Syrian rebels”. Apparently, Benghazi can’t be revealed because its still in process.

As for Turkey, Erdowan has been a constant irritant to ME stability and their position in NATO and the EEC should be questioned since they are on track to theocracy.

Russia has no love for these stone-age monsters, so smart-power would be on the same side on this issue.

Nobody can explain the romantic attraction that exists between 60s leftists and the “clean and articulate” PLO or the well-groomed Brotherhood face of islamofascist jihad wild beards.

As we saw, Obama cannot explain his policy at all. Does he know what it is?

virgo on September 13, 2013 at 1:03 AM

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