Patterico's Pontifications


Howard Kurtz Ripped to Shreds on His Own Show

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:56 pm

I’d feel sorry for him, except he continues to weasel about his past mistakes and cover-ups. Watching him squirm while the other two guys destroy him is tremendously satisfying. Enjoy:

“If [Assad] drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:50 pm

The line is from an Obama aide, in this New York Times article dedicated to walking back Obama’s previous declaration that if Syria used of chemical weapons, that would cross a “red line”:

Moving or using large quantities of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and “change my calculus,” the president declared in response to a question at a news conference, to the surprise of some of the advisers who had attended the weekend meetings and wondered where the “red line” came from. With such an evocative phrase, the president had defined his policy in a way some advisers wish they could take back.

“The idea was to put a chill into the Assad regime without actually trapping the president into any predetermined action,” said one senior official, who, like others, discussed the internal debate on the condition of anonymity. But “what the president said in August was unscripted,” another official said. Mr. Obama was thinking of a chemical attack that would cause mass fatalities, not relatively small-scale episodes like those now being investigated, except the “nuance got completely dropped.”

. . . .

The advisers reviewed an array of pre-emptive military options and quickly discounted them as impractical. The evidence was not strong enough to warrant a pre-emptive strike, they concluded, and military officers said the best they could do with airstrikes or commando operations would be to limit the use of chemical weapons already deployed.

Mr. Obama’s advisers also raised legal issues. “How can we attack another country unless it’s in self-defense and with no Security Council resolution?” another official said, referring to United Nations authorization. “If he drops sarin on his own people, what’s that got to do with us?”

It’s a red line that might change our calculus, except not really; it was kind of an unscripted accident, after all — and anyway, it has nothing to do with us, so who cares?

Tough rhetoric from Washington.

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