Patterico's Pontifications

8/28/2013

Obama 2008: We Need to Talk to Syria and Iran

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:19 am

A tipster sent me an 2008 article from the Ottowa Citizen (reprinted from the Daily Telegraph), not available online, in which Obama is quoted as saying: “One of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria.”

I researched a little further to look for the context of the quote, and found that it came from one of the debates in 2008. The immediate context has to do with fallout from the Iraq war, but the full context reminds one of Obama’s naivete in thinking he could simply sit down with leaders from Syria and Iran and work things out:

QUESTION: “[W]ould you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”

OBAMA: I would. And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this [the Bush] administration — is ridiculous.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire. And the reason is because they understood that we may not trust them and they may pose an extraordinary danger to this country, but we had the obligation to find areas where we can potentially move forward.

And I think that it is a disgrace that we have not spoken to them. We’ve been talking about Iraq — one of the first things that I would do in terms of moving a diplomatic effort in the region forward is to send a signal that we need to talk to Iran and Syria because they’re going to have responsibilities if Iraq collapses.

They have been acting irresponsibly up until this point. But if we tell them that we are not going to be a permanent occupying force, we are in a position to say that they are going to have to carry some weight, in terms of stabilizing the region.

So. Has President Peace Prize started the bombing yet?

Open thread!

102 Responses to “Obama 2008: We Need to Talk to Syria and Iran”

  1. He demonstrated a shocking ignorance of foreign affairs in 2008 – and was applauded for it.

    And so today, we see Obama doing the opposite of what he campaigned upon, even more incompetently than I expected.

    SPQR (768505)

  2. I don’t know that I’d blame President Obama for not talking with Iran and Syria, because they might not be willing to talk (seriously) with us.

    Nor am I automatically opposed to an aggressive foreign policy, or the first use of military force. However, if we are going to use military force, we have to have a sound, sensible objective with a reasonable plan for attaining it. I have yet to see, from either the right or the left, what goal we would be attempting to achieve by bombing targets in Syria.

    The Dana trying for the first substantive comment! (3e4784)

  3. Hit with the first effort, but came in second with the second. :/

    The half-disappointed Dana (3e4784)

  4. A whole bunch of foreign policy experts are telling us that what we need to do is locate and support the more moderate elements amongst the Syrian rebels and back them.

    Perhaps someone named Manucher Ghorbanifar?

    Every time I read about someone suggesting we find the “moderate” elements in such places, I can’t help but thinking about the inept and self-defeating efforts of the Reagan Administration to try to do that.

    Sometimes there really are no good options, and Syria is one of those cases. The only sensible thing we could do is to give the rebels just enough help to keep them fighting, but not enough to let them win; the best outcome would be for them to keep fighting until they have killed so many of their fighting-aged men and destroyed so much of their country that, regardless of whom the eventual winner is, he will have so much to do in picking up the pieces that Syria won’t have the time, the men or the resources to make international trouble.

    The historian Dana (3e4784)

  5. I remember that 2008 attack on Obama and his defense.

    Obama was mostly right.

    He was knocking down a straw man, which some people had convinced themselves was a telling point and not a straw man.

    There may indeed be no point in avoiding meetings. (although Kennedy would have been better advised to avoid that meeting with Khruschev in Vienna in 1961)

    What’s wrong is expecting much of them. Obama actually didn’t even say that.

    He did seem to have the idea that nations that are adversaries still have some common interest in keeping the peace.

    Where he went wrong is in not understanding their motives and in buying the idea that a lot of other countries’ foreign policy is defensive, or defensive in the sense they feel threatened by the United states in way that we can relieve them.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  6. Let me know when any major news organization asks the question about where Syria’s WMDs came from and how the poisons got into Syrian hands. It might finally clear up some things, but will sort of ruin ye ol’ “Iraq didn’t have any WMDs and Boosh lied people died” narrative.

    elissa (dda108)

  7. Comment by The historian Dana (3e4784) — 8/28/2013 @ 7:48 am

    regardless of whom the eventual winner is, he will have so much to do in picking up the pieces that Syria won’t have the time, the men or the resources to make international trouble

    I wouldn’t bet on that.

    I wouldn’t consider that phase to last more than two or three years. It’s not a policy.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  8. In the case of Iran you were talking with and about people within the government. They never got any iondependent power. So it didn’t matter if some of them were really moderates. There always are relative moderates, although sometimes you may not have them pegged right. No two dictators or kings or absolute rulers are identical, although some are closely similar to each other.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  9. If Syria remains divided, mostly peacefully, with al Qaeda in charge of some of it, you really have the worst of all worlds.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  10. It’s kind of hilarious that Obama is now starting a war citing WMDs, considering Iraq.

    I believe he said the response will be “Brief and limited” which should probably also include the word “ineffective”

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  11. On humanitarian grounds, if you didn’t pick a side, you might want a policy of as little territory as possible changing hands, since a change of hands between different really bad guys is followed by refugees fleeing at best and mass murders at worst.

    A recovery of any area by Assad is the worst kind of outcome because they kill the people who accepted and were loyal to the new regime on general policy grounds.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  12. Really, indeed you have to pick moderates, and do it correctly, and there definitely needs to be a second round and maybe a third round in the civil war. trying to do everything in one blow just won’t work.

    I think Assad may try launching some missiles at Israel, in the hopes of splitting the coalition.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  13. when you have a fascist food stamp whore in your white house is when you really have the worst of all worlds I think

    I have links

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  14. 7. Comment by elissa (dda108) — 8/28/2013 @ 7:54 am

    Let me know when any major news organization asks the question about where Syria’s WMDs came from and how the poisons got into Syrian hands. It might finally clear up some things, but will sort of ruin ye ol’ “Iraq didn’t have any WMDs and Boosh lied people died” narrative.

    It won’t, unless we get the whole story of just when and how Syria got its chemical weapons, because the assumption is Syria had them already in 2003.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  15. All the right people applauded, the media nodded like bobble-heads.
    Now?
    Amnesia
    I denounce myself for using the dog whistle “amnesia” in a comment about our smartest President ever.
    I read an article linked on Instapundit that the Saudi’s are going around Obama to Putin. And around John Kerry’s gravitas as well I presume (that is a short detour…)

    Kerry should go windsurfing
    Obama should hit the links
    Biden should be sequestered

    Who can we outsource foreign policy to?

    I cannot imagine Chris Christie letting this happen.
    Romney either.
    Hell, Sarah Palin would at least operate from a presumption that America is strong and good..

    (please don’t anyone say John McCain. the dosage on my meds is still escalating and I’m a little too edgy to process his brand of lunacy… the GOP deserves Obama for the idiocy of running clay footed war hero McCain for President.)

    steveg (794291)

  16. Let me know when any major news organization asks the question about where Syria’s WMDs came from and how the poisons got into Syrian hands. It might finally clear up some things, but will sort of ruin ye ol’ “Iraq didn’t have any WMDs and Boosh lied people died” narrative.

    This. Those caravans of trucks leaving the country during our multiple month “rush to war for oil” should continue to be ignored.

    JD (5c1832)

  17. The real questions are:

    Why would Saddam Hussein send his chemical weapons stocks to Syria, especially after he didn’t get back the planes he sent to Iran before the first Gulf War?

    AND

    Why, if he got rid of them, did he allow Bush and Rumsfeld to think he still had them???

    I don’t have agood answer to the first question, except maybe that sending them to Syria would guarantee the inspectors could not possily fiund them.

    I have I think a very good original answer to the second question:

    Saddam Hussein did not believe that possession of chemical weapons was the real reason Bush wanted to attack him.

    He thought the real reason was because he was an evil dictator whom Bush hated, in part because he had plotted to kill his father (probably a Saudi sting operation, but it was real to Saddam) and that Bush II might have felt it was a stain on his father’s honor, and American honor, that Bush I had left him in power.

    An important reason, but not a vital one.

    If it got to be too hard, and would take too long, and involve too much effort, Bush might give up.

    And he also knew that the United States had prepared for him using chemical weapons, by giving all the soldiers chemical weapons protection gear. And that meant that an attack could not take place after the eginning of April because it would be too hot.

    and he also knew that the American plan involved attacking through Turkey.

    So Saddam Hussein had secretly bribed some members of the Turkish parliament to pull the rug out from under the American war plan by revoking the permission to use Turkey as a launching pad at the last minute.

    And he also knew that Bush, for diplomatic reasons, would wait until the last minute.

    So then, AT THE LAST MINUTE, Saddam Hussein pulled the plug.

    But Bush attacked anyway.

    The involvememnt of Turkey was more extra insurance and afor diplomatic reasons than for military reasons.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  18. I should note that I don’t think anybody else has figured this out.

    David Kay thought Saddam Hussein wanted to still pretend to have chemical weapons because of Iran, but I think, no, it was because of the United States.

    I think the reason is they have no proof that Saddam Hussein bribed members of the Turkish Parliament.

    Comment by JD (5c1832) — 8/28/2013 @ 8:28 am

    Those caravans of trucks leaving the country during our multiple month “rush to war for oil” should continue to be ignored.

    They were ignored by Bush and Rumsfeld too. It never was officially offered as a explanation.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  19. Mr Finkelman wrote:

    Really, indeed you have to pick moderates, and do it correctly

    And we have such a good record in doing that, don’t we?

    Think about the nature of the rebels. Armed resistance fighters are, by definition, strongly committed men; they don’t go out and put their lives on the line for mushiness of thought. They know what they want from the start, and aren’t going to be manipulated by Western interests.

    More, if there are more “moderate” elements amongst the rebels, the last thing that they are going to want to do is make nice with the Western powers; that’s a good way for them to get their throats cut. They will have to do everything they can to push the infidel Westerners away, because any cooperation will be seen by their not-so-moderate compatriots as being nothing but American puppets.

    The whole notion of a moderate revolutionary is an oxymoron. Moderates talk peace, moderates seek accommodation, moderates are willing to compromise. The men with guns do none of those things.

    The extremely realistic Dana (3e4784)

  20. Let’s send Dennis Kucinich [video] to talk to Assad.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  21. 11. Raise your hand if you believe this ‘non-kinetic military support’ will end as well as Libya.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  22. Islamist extremist: someone who wants to slit your throat slowly and watch you die in agony and horror.

    Arab moderate: someone who wants to shoot you in the head, so that you die instantly and painlessly.

    The coldly realistic Dana (3e4784)

  23. Mr Gulrud: If it ends even that well, it would be an improvement on what I expect.

    The sadly realistic Dana (3e4784)

  24. “Where he went wrong is in not understanding their motives……….”

    Sammy – No. Where he went wrong was believe his limited knowledge of the world combined with his personal magnetism could negotiate away any past problems between the U.S. and another nation because of his unique skills.

    How has that been working out for him so far?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. 18. Why? Let’s consider.

    Sharon had in Jan. 2003 warned that Russian engineers had moved the WMD by rail to Syria.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/iraq-030109-wwwh30109.htm

    Scroll down to “Half Truths”.

    Mmmm, could it be Sunnis comprised a minority, the Baathists their overlords. While WMD had been tested on the despised Kurds a nation of 70 million Shia abutted, 60% of Iraq’s population is Shia, their holiest sites reside therein and possibly 20 Million had been lost in a decade long conflict only years before with Iran.

    Why, indeed? It makes no sense.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  26. A moderate arab is one that is I the process of reloading

    EPWJ (f44e22)

  27. in the process,

    I need a hug

    EPWJ (f44e22)

  28. 28. I am giving Princess hug just now, squeezing.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  29. 24. No doubt the WH is conflicted. Having blown their wad on the MB they are loathe to go to war with Jarrett’s beloved Iran but eager to please Qatar, MB’s bankroller, and positively frantic to please ibn Dunham’s, the Sauds.

    Turkey gets the pleasure of seeing Israel on the receiving end of missiles from every direction.

    Barring Obama incompetence, the plains of Megiddo should see the dead stacked like cordwood as foretold 2500 years ago.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  30. 29. To be clear, my Princess is here with me, watching Dora.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  31. hi Syria this is America we’re gonna kinda sorta bomb you while we decide if there’s been a coup in Egypt

    then after that we might bomb on you some more for whatever

    depending on what Putin does

    he’s not somebody we really mess with and quite honestly he scares the crap out of us so please let’s keep this between us k?

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  32. Smoked 6 Boston Butt Pork Shoulders the other day.
    A friend wanted it served at his bar.
    No muzzies were seen.

    mg (31009b)

  33. 32. “We’re bored, if you must ask.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/08/28/syria-a-mission-destined-for-failure/

    Nothing personal.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  34. What I posted about 30 mins ago on fb.

    Is my brain cancer clouding what I’m seeing in the world? I see a distinct pattern going on; Turkish voters elect Islamist into power, Obozo backs Islamist in Libya and Egypt, until the military overthrows the Islamist regime in a coup. That Obozo says isn’t a coup…. Now, we are going to get involved in Syria, siding with Al-Qaeda. #whiskeytangofoxtrot Who’s next? My guess is Jordan.

    Kevin P. (1df29c)

  35. Hi Syria, this is Barack.

    We did a limited duration kinetic military humanitarian intervention in Libya and had no plan for the aftermath.

    Look how well that turned out. Al Qaeda is on the run all over North Africa, but hey, at least I got bin Laden.

    We had regime change as official U.S. policy on Iraq since 1998 since Saddam would not adhere to the terms of the cease fire of the First Gulf War but Bent Dick Bill never had the sack to pull the trigger except to distract from that chubby intern he was diddling.

    Bubba’s a lot like me that way. I painted myself into a corner with this red line nonsense and now Ima have to throw a few cruise missiles your way even though I don’t want to, specially because those nasty French are telling me I have to do it.

    My advice, duck.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  36. Bret Stephens, Foreign Affairs Columnist at the New York Times is calling for the assassination of Bashar al-Assad and his family as well as the destruction of their various homes. He encourages Obama to initiate an air operation like the one Bill Clinton used against Milosevic in Kosovo.

    Yet, Assad denies he used chemical weapons and blames the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sunni rebel opposition, Jubhat al-Nusra, for a false-flag attack. Al-Nusra is loyal to al-Quada’s Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    Until the truth of who used chemical weapons is revealed it would be wise to heed the wisdom: Fools rush in where angels and pragmatists fear to tread.

    Target Assad

    A strike directed straight at the Syrian dictator and his family is the only military option that could hasten the end of the civil war. By BRET STEPHENS

    Should President Obama decide to order a military strike against Syria, his main order of business must be to kill Bashar Assad. Also, Bashar’s brother and principal henchman, Maher.

    Also, everyone else in the Assad family with a claim on political power. Also, all of the political symbols of the Assad family’s power, including all of their official or unofficial residences.

    The use of chemical weapons against one’s own citizens plumbs depths of barbarity matched in recent history only by Saddam Hussein. A civilized world cannot tolerate it. It must demonstrate that the penalty for it will be acutely personal and inescapably fatal.

    Maybe this strikes some readers as bloody-minded. But I don’t see how a president who ran for his second term boasting about how he “got” Osama bin Laden—one bullet to the head and another to the heart—has any grounds to quarrel with the concept.

    As it is, a strike directed straight at the Syrian dictator and his family is the only military option that will not run afoul of the only red line Mr. Obama is adamant about: not getting drawn into a protracted Syrian conflict. And it is the one option that has a chance to pay strategic dividends from what will inevitably be a symbolic action…

    ropelight (462c4b)

  37. In the adult world governments conduct peace or war based upon what they perceive to be in their interest, not based upon childish utopian progressive ideals. Only fools believe that every conflict can be resolved with talk. Only idiots beleve that every conflict is somehow America’s fault. Foolish idiots are easily manipulated.

    Wishful thinking is not a path to peace.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  38. 35. 50.2% cannot be wrong:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/08/27/Drudge-tweet-Syria-Russia

    We deserve whatever we get.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  39. 37. “He encourages Obama to initiate an air operation like the one Bill Clinton used against Milosevic in Kosovo.”

    Only this time we won’t target the Chinese embassy.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  40. Why is this Obama person planning to murder innocent Muslims ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  41. We talk about the war on women, the war on workers, the war on this, the war on that. We have no idea what war is. Watching war movies while sipping diet coke sitting on a sofa doesn’t cut it. We assume real war, war that affects everyone, war that devours and has a life of its own, will never happen again. I see the permanent peace fantasy everywhere. We are dead wrong and headed for tragedy.

    War is not a cliche, people! It has been a long time, but it will hit us very hard indeed if it comes again to a clueless, peace-sated nation such as ours.

    One prince gunned down in Sarajevo. One bomb dropped on Damascus. This talk is no joke. Sit up and take notice.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  42. Today the New York Times has an article that, in the courae of describing the possible dangers of attacking chemioical weapons sites from the air, acknowledges that Saddam Hussein did have chemical weapons, even after Gulf War I.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/world/middleeast/obama-syria-strike.html?ref=basharalassad&_r=0&pagewanted=all

    The 5th and 4th paragraphs before the end go:

    After the first gulf war, an American Army unit near Kuwait breached chemical weapons while destroying conventional munitions at Khamisiyah, creating an environmental hazard that persisted throughout the American occupation of Iraq after the invasion in 2003.

    Similarly, airstrikes in 1991 on bunkers at the Muthanna chemical weapons complex near Samarra, Iraq, led to security and environmental problems that continue to the present day.

    —-
    This tells a little bit more about the Khamisiyah
    Ammunition Storage Facility (called by Iraq, Tal al Lahm)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khamisiyah

    The effects might have been exaggerated.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  43. “Today the New York Times has an article that, in the courae of describing the possible dangers of attacking chemioical weapons sites from the air, acknowledges that Saddam Hussein did have chemical weapons, even after Gulf War I.”

    Sammy – Quite right. He never supplied documentation or allowed witnesses to oversee the destruction of the documented stocks of chemical or biological weapons or precursors after Gulf War I, which understandably became a major issue the left seems to keep conveniently ignoring. Saddam claimed he destroyed everything, trust him, but he couldn’t prove it. I guess idiot lefties believe we really trust people like that or something or say we should when they are trying to make a political point.

    Now the Bush revenge theory that keeps surfacing, who surfaced that and is there a shred of credible evidence to support it?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  44. Comment by Amphipolis (d3e04f) — 8/28/2013 @ 10:16 am

    One bomb dropped on Damascus

    There was more than one rocket, and it was on the outskirts of Damascus.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  45. It was in the middle of the night – in other words at 3 a.m. – but they didn’t wake up Obama.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/world/middleeast/blasts-in-the-night-a-smell-and-a-flood-of-syrian-victims.html?pagewanted=all

    It would be hours before officials in Washington woke up on Wednesday to learn the extent of the massacre. President Obama, who had recently returned from a weeklong vacation and planned a quiet day at the White House before departing for a two-day bus tour across New York and Pennsylvania, was told of the attack in the Oval Office that morning during his regular intelligence briefing.

    Assad probably took his cue from the fact that the U.S. did not react to the Egyptian military killing people.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  46. Great Britain still wants to go to the UN Security Council.

    Jordan says it does not want to be used for an attack. According to what I read before, any attack on the chemical weapons facilities by commandoes would probably originate in Jordan.

    The plan was not to let anyone else inherit Assad’s chemical weapons. What about Assad himself? The premise, I guess, was that he would not use them because of fear of U.S. military action at least. Now all bets are off.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  47. “Great Britain still wants to go to the UN Security Council.”

    Obama’s cool as long as he can avoid Congress.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. Nobody tells President Stomyfoot McBombypants what to do, except Michelle and Valerie.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  49. Stompyfoot

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  50. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 8/28/2013 @ 10:46 am

    Now the Bush revenge theory that keeps surfacing, who surfaced that and is there a shred of credible evidence to support

    That’s an old theory.

    Columnist Maureen Dowd of the New York Times in particular, I think, used to like that.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/15/opinion/w-s-conflicts-of-interest.html

    Mr. Bush gave a splendid speech at the U.N. He is right that Saddam is a scum with Scuds.

    But there was no compelling new evidence. Mr. Bush offered only an unusually comprehensive version of the usual laundry list. Saddam is violating the sanctions, he tried to assassinate Poppy, he’s late on his mortgage payments, he tips 10 percent, he has an unjustifiable fondness for ”My Way,” he gassed his own people, he doesn’t turn down the front brim of his hat.

    There’s no evidence for it but logic, but the logic is wrong. Bush really was concerned about what Saddam Hussein might do after he’d seen 9/11, and he was concerned the sanctions would eventually be lifted.

    But many Democrats didn’t believe Bush’s stated motives were true, or made sense, so they sought other reasons. Bush had mentioned other things bad about Saddam in 2002, including the assassination attempt (really to show that Saddam could plan terrorist acts)

    And he mentioned it too again in his post-presidency book.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/opinion/17dowd.html

    And he writes that one of the motivating factors for sacking Saddam was that the Butcher of Baghdad tried to assassinate his dad.

    Bush always said that was not the reason, but there were people who wanted to take it as the one and only true reason.

    This book excerpt notes Bush denied it was the reason but that Kitty Kelley said flatly it was:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=gQFN0-SHhcwC&pg=PA115&dq=president+%22george+w.+bush%22+saddam+assassinate&hl=en&sa=X&ei=RD0eUui6AZXKsATr94Ew&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=president%20%22george%20w.%20bush%22%20saddam%20assassinate&f=false

    There were indeed other complaints, so Saddam Hussein easily could have believed that the weapons of mass destruction was a pretext (Bush I think really focused on it for legal reasons) and that getting rid of them wouldn’t prevent an invasion.

    But not hsving them might help split up the coalition, so it was important to prevent the inspectors from finding themn, but it wouldn’t stop Bush. Quite the contrary.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  51. 40. Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 8/28/2013 @ 10:06 am

    Only this time we won’t target the Chinese embassy.

    I think that actually may have been a blunder (mistaken targeting, but who knows with Bill Clinton?)

    But – the Chinese government did not believe it was a blunder, which was good.

    The embassy was in fact being used to help the Serbian war effort.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  52. I think Obama will reveal his bowl predictions for the forthcoming college football season.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  53. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324591204579039011328308776.html?mod=opinion_newsreel

    It’s always possible that all of this leaking about when, how and for how long the U.S. will attack Syria is an elaborate head-fake, like Patton’s ghost army on the eve of D-Day, poised for the assault on Calais. But based on this Administration’s past behavior, such as the leaked bin Laden raid details, chances are most of this really is the war plan.

    Which makes us wonder why the Administration even bothers to pursue the likes of Edward Snowden when it is giving away its plan of attack to anyone in Damascus with an Internet connection. The answer, it seems, is that the attack in Syria isn’t really about damaging the Bashar Assad regime’s capacity to murder its own people, much less about ending the Assad regime for good.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  54. The Observer President (TOP) must not be bothered with such minutiae.
    Can’t he just eat his waffle, and work on his short game?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  55. 56. What is this is reference to? (not being informed till the morning?)

    Of course there was not going to be an immediate response, but perhaps some warning to Assad could have been given to stop, or Putin called and asked to intervene, or medical help offered.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  56. Syria now says 3 smaller chemical weapons attacks happened after August 21 in the Damascus suburbs (by the insurgents with Syrian soldiers as targets, naturally)

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  57. Reference….just about everything in his presidency that he’s not involved in.
    Which, if you listen to his “campaign” speeches since his 2nd Inaugural, is just about everything that goes on in DC – which is why I’ve labeled him “TOP”.
    Chauncey Gardner was more involved.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  58. “Bush always said that was not the reason, but there were people who wanted to take it as the one and only true reason.”

    Sammy – So glad you are apparently one of those people or are convinced it influenced Bush enough to raise it as one of his motivations on this thread. I’m sure Maureen Dowd and Kitty Kelley had their fingers right on the pulse of the Bush White House and are fantastic sources.

    OMFG!!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  59. “You didn’t bomb that !”

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  60. This was in the LA Slimes:

    http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-obama-dilemma-20130828,4290748,4583001,full.story

    Syria chemical weapons response poses major test for Obama

    Obama, as always, plans on failing that test.

    One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity

    “just muscular enough not to get mocked”

    but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.

    “They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” he said.

    Can you believe this? It would be funny if Obama wasn’t dragging the rest of us along with him.

    Lucky Jordanians; their government just announced they’re not joining in the latest remake of “Obama’s stupid Middle-Eastern Adventure.”

    Steve57 (713b70)

  61. Finkleman, Kitty Kelley … really? Citing Kitty Kelley in a serious discussion? What the hell is wrong with you?

    SPQR (768505)

  62. Kitty Kelley was the only broad who ever threw a punch at Sinatra. She just waited until after he died.

    Birdbath (716828)

  63. Yet consider that Maureen Dowd was her enabler, printing her slanders in the Times,

    narciso (3fec35)

  64. Lucky Jordanians; their government just announced they’re not joining in the latest remake of “Obama’s stupid Middle-Eastern Adventure.”
    Comment by Steve57 (713b70) — 8/28/2013 @ 1:09 pm

    I think if the US Democratic Party has proved one thing in the past 50 years, it is that an ally in any military conflict can expect to be abandoned to suffer consequences on its own.

    Most people are smart enough to not choose that option.

    MD in Philly (from a different computer and location) (226c84)

  65. 52. I’m pretty sure killing 500K of his own people and stealing $8 Billion in ‘Oil for Food’ payments, draining the southern wetlands and impoverishing the Shia majority, yada, yada, was more than enough to take the sucker out.

    That WMD tipped the scales for the abominable UN, child rapers nonpareil, cajoled out of them by the execrable Colin Powell is an irrelevance. They facilitated the monster.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  66. gg, for me the kicker was the guy signed an armistice agreement, the Safwan Accords, they promptly violated them.

    This is a huge difference between Iraq and Syria. As one of the belligerents in Desert Storm we had enforcement rights. We don’t have that in Syria.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  67. Smart power:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-28/22-reasons-why-starting-world-war-3-middle-east-really-bad-idea

    The bad news is the good news. Obama foreign policy reduces the world’s sole hyperpower to the effete object of universal hatred.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  68. 68. “we had enforcement rights”

    An instructive point.

    Baby Assad recently said something like “The MB failure in Egypt is the template for Islamic political failure. Such movements will fail everywhere.”

    And Iran? Strongmen are preferable to chaos, evidently.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  69. From gg’s link at #69:

    #7 Russia has just sent their most advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria. What do you think would happen if images of sinking U.S. naval vessels were to come flashing across our television screens?

    Not discussed enough. The Russians have sold the Syrians their P-800 Yakhont (Gem) anti-ship missile. It’s supersonic with a range of 162nm. Much faster and with a longer range than the US Harpoon.

    Of course, unclassified specifications aren’t to be trusted entirely. But by all accounts it makes the Exocet that hit the USS Stark look like a softly tossed snowball.

    But, hey! It’s all worth it if it makes President Prom Queen feel better about running his mouth before engaging brain.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  70. This guy loves him some ‘Sportscenter’, bludgeoning golf balls, and playing spades.

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/operation-empty.html#comments

    Learning anything, not so much.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  71. Smoked 6 Boston Butt Pork Shoulders the other day.
    A friend wanted it served at his bar.
    No muzzies were seen.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 8/28/2013 @ 9:29 am

    Hard to hold onto while lighting with cig. lighter are they not? Also, which end do you puff on while smoking? 😆

    Yoda (a84075)

  72. The true secret or great oratory is content. JFK had tough, brilliant content, MLK had spiritual, inspirational content.

    This guy? Glittering generalities and faux Greek columns.

    Patricia (be0117)

  73. #76, and teleprompters, Obama’s got so many generalities he needs 2 teleprompters to just to keep up.

    ropelight (16e2e0)

  74. Russia happens to be rotating a couple of “warships” into the Mediterranean over the next few days.

    http://news.yahoo.com/russia-sending-warships-mediterranean-report-082257880.html

    This foreign policy by trial balloon has a Hindenberg feel to it.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  75. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7G1Krn9JQQ

    John Bolton on Obama’s complete cluelessness.

    John Bolton slams Obama – President needs a character transplant to work effectively on Syria

    Making an important point which I overlooked, Bolton notes that Obama made his idiotic statement about a redline during the run up to the 2012 election.

    Obama just used it as a throw away line to look tough. Bolton is so right. Obama never thinks through what effect his statements will have. Never.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  76. 79. And, continuing, now that Parliament has rejected war, France reverted to norm, the UN is not in play, etc., he postures like he is willing to go it alone.

    The Great Pretender.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  77. Obama was obviously trying to avoid action when he said that red line line.

    He did not consider all contingencies.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  78. 68.

    Comment by Steve57 (713b70) — 8/28/2013 @ 6:37 pm

    for me the kicker was the guy signed an armistice agreement, the Safwan Accords, they promptly violated them.

    Biden used to talk about that and use it to distinguish Iraq from all other cases.

    All they’ve got now is “responsibility to protect” or perhaps they can come up with an idea that Bashir Assad is an outlaw.

    There’s an easy way, which I think was used in Libya, and that’s to recognize a new government, and then have the new government ask for help.

    But there are problems with that.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  79. Boehner sends Obama letter demanding clear unambiguous explanation

    Obama hasn’t figured that out yet. His legal reasoning.

    The real reason is that without doing something deterrence is gone.

    I don’t think Obama has really figured out yet what he wants to do, but doing a “warning” attack seems to be a way to buy time.

    In the background is Iran and its nuclear program.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  80. 63. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 8/28/2013 @ 1:23 pm

    Finkleman, Kitty Kelley … really? Citing Kitty Kelley in a serious discussion? What the hell is wrong with you?

    Kitty Kelley is precisely the right kind of person to cite for supporting the propositioopn that Bush wanted to invade Iraq because of the assassination plot against his father.

    In other words, it’s not true.

    But Saddam Hussein might have beleived something like that. Especially since Bush actually mentioned it.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  81. Russia has just sent their most advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria.
    Comment by Steve57 (713b70) — 8/28/2013 @ 7:04 pm

    Considering that I don’t think the rebel forces have a major naval threat, and I don’t think Israel is planning any sea-based intervention,
    that sounds like a move against US/UK/NATO efforts.
    I guess Putin hasn’t been satisfied by the wider latitude that the President has had since the election.

    MD in Philly (from a different computer and location) (226c84)

  82. Just to be clear, that quote is from the article at Zerohedge that gg linked to.

    The Slava class Moskva isn’t Russia’s most advanced missile ship. The Kirov class has more advanced missiles, particularly the Pyotr Velikiy.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  83. ==I don’t think Obama has really figured out yet what he wants to do, but doing a “warning” attack seems to be a way to buy time.=

    Yikes. Sammy, I don’t suppose the possibility that O’s face-saving little “warning shot” might end up with a counter attack on, say, Tel Aviv should concern anyone?

    elissa (fdb36e)

  84. There are some disturbingly new elements here, although how long before he gives up lists of agents;

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/08/29/wapo-secret-intel-budget-reveals-goals-successes-and-failures/

    narciso (3fec35)

  85. 88. An doubly so adding the hole in the WH dike, beginning with Donilon.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/08/29/krauthammer-britain-voting-against-syrian-military-action-complete-hu

    They leak everything so as to make kowtowing to the Sauds a slam dunk and are left in the altogether with nothing.

    Pathetic.

    I’m pulling for Putin. And not just in Syria.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  86. narciso @88, isn’t this the kind of information Obama said he’d give the Russians once he had the flexibilty of being a second term President who’d never face the voters again?

    Steve57 (cae88c)

  87. Tonight the WH is floating the option of air-launched cruise missiles on Dog’s authority after a ‘robust’ discussion with Congress.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  88. Obama has absolute proof that Assad’s Syrian Army was behind the Sarin nerve gas attack. NSA intercepted a 911 call from a Syrian Taxi driver in Damascus(Virginia) complaining about suffering the tortures of the damned from a gas attack after having tainted falafel for lunch. He was going straight home up route 58 to Lebanon to recover.

    There you have it. Proof positive. Call out the troops. Send in the clowns.

    In Benghazi it was a video tape, now it’s a phone call. Will Susan Rice be on TV day after tomorrow?

    ropelight (5b0279)

  89. Comment by elissa (fdb36e) — 8/29/2013 @ 4:59 pm

    I don’t suppose the possibility that O’s face-saving little “warning shot” might end up with a counter attack on, say, Tel Aviv should concern anyone?

    That’s something that it makes sense for Assad to threaten, but not to do. If that can’t be deterred, something worse from Iran surely couldn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  90. Sara Carter at The Blaze 8/29/13 is reporting the Obama Administration isn’t exactly sure who’s behind the chemical weapons attack but they’re going to blame Basher al-Assad anyway. (emphasis added)

    STATE DEPT. SPOKESWOMAN ADMITS U.S. DOESN’T KNOW IF ASSAD ORDERED CHEMICAL ATTACK

    State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf let the “cat out of the bag” Wednesday when she admitted to reporters that the U.S. government is not sure whether President Bashar Assad ordered the chemical attack that led to the deaths of hundreds of people last week.

    State Dept. Spokeswoman Admits U.S. Doesnt Know if Assad Ordered Chemical Attack

    (3 days earlier Secretary of State John Kerry said chemical weapons had been used to kill scores of people and that President Bashar Assad’s government had used shelling to destroy the evidence.)

    United Nations inspectors had arrived in Syria just days before the chemical attack took place, leaving many foreign affairs experts and intelligence officials perplexed as to why Assad would order such an attack and face the wrath of the international community.

    Harf staunchly defended any impending U.S. airstrikes on Syria as she was being grilled by reporters.

    When asked by a reporter, “Do you believe (Assad) ordered this attack?”

    Harf responded, “I don’t know the answer to that.”

    She noted that it is Assad who is essentially responsible for his regime, regardless of whether a rogue officer ordered the attack or not.

    Foreign Policy’s The Cable reported Tuesday that U.S. officials are basing their assessment that the Assad regime is responsible for the attack off a phone call intercepted by U.S. intelligence. According to the report, a Ministry of Defense official was demanding answers of a commander in charge of a chemical weapons site about the attack.

    Other U.S. officials told TheBlaze that the rockets and delivery systems used in the chemical strike and the location from which the attacks were launched “point to Assad’s regime.”

    ropelight (5b0279)

  91. 92, 94. And since we are twisting in the wind, with perhaps the Gulf states, possibly, as Coalition partners, what’s to prevent an opposing coalition from developing ‘evidence’ that the Al Qaeda/USA axis of evil must be stopped from toppling governments in the ME in a domino effect?

    Boy am I glad a moderate has replaced the monkey in Iran.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  92. OT, at least there’s the positive effect of warmening via ordnance:

    http://www.peruviantimes.com/28/peru-declares-state-of-emergency-in-puno-as-temperatures-drop/20080/

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  93. This is really almost not satire. (the only thing not satirical maybe is the quotes)

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/08/obama-promises-syria-strike-will-have-no-objective.html

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  94. When asked by a reporter, “Do you believe (Assad) ordered this attack?”

    Harf responded, “I don’t know the answer to that.”

    That means: Did he order it, or did somebody else in the Syrian military or government order it? In other words: Do we know that Bashir Assad is in charge, or even in the loop? It does not mean that maybe the rebels (who in that area, are not affiliated with al Qaeda) did it.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  95. 24-hours-that-define-barack-obama-perfectly/

    The one part of that blog entry illustrates just how truly irresponsible, absurd and insane things have become and are becoming:

    datechguyblog.com:

    …there were three stories today that reminded me how far we have fallen as a nation in just five years of having this man in the White House. The first comes from the Los Angeles Times:

    One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.

    “They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” he said.

    But I do have to credit Obama for one thing. His politicing and and re-framing of reality have been so effective, that, yes, I now find that even myself is beginning to understand and sympathize with the rantings of his former close spiritual adviser Jeremiah Wright.

    washingtontimes.com, August 29, via drudgereport.com:

    The initial firestorm surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups may have subsided, but tea party leaders say the situation has only become worse and may lead to more lawsuits against the embattled agency.

    New documents show the depth of information the IRS is seeking from Tea Party Patriots, a leading conservative group that first applied for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status in late 2010 and one of many organizations singled out for extra scrutiny by the Obama administration.

    An IRS letter sent to the group last week and obtained by The Washington Times contains a laundry list of requests related to virtually all the group’s activities, including its involvement in the 2012 election cycle and its get-out-the-vote efforts, fundraising activities, all radio and TV advertising, and other information.

    To America and its electorate: Yes, you put a person in charge of your presidency who embraced a guy who said your nation was God damned, that your chickens were coming home to roost. So please don’t place all the onus of blame on Obama’s shoulders. Remember to look in the mirror.

    Mark (fd91da)

  96. 101. …To America and its electorate: Yes, you put a person in charge of your presidency who embraced a guy who said your nation was God damned, that your chickens were coming home to roost. So please don’t place all the onus of blame on Obama’s shoulders. Remember to look in the mirror.

    Comment by Mark (fd91da) — 8/30/2013 @ 7:40 am

    What I was trying to say about Obama’s foreign policy. It should have disqualified him. He may have been arguably an unknown in 2008. He wasn’t in 2012. Yet this guy didn’t run from his FP record, as any decent human being would have. He ran on the fiction that he had restored America’s reputation. And he won!

    It shouldn’t have been close. It shouldn’t have been within the margin of fraud.

    I don’t think it’s the job of foreign leaders to psychoanalyze the US electorate. I think it’s sufficient for them to know that when confronted with Jimmah Cahtah, this country has gone from replacing him with Reagan to giving him a second term.

    Steve57 (dcc108)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 1.0476 secs.