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NYT: Obama may have ad-libbed us into a war
Hot Air ^ | 2:01 pm on May 5, 2013 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 05/05/2013 3:12:48 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

There are only two words to describe the New York Times’ explanation of Barack Obama’s red-line dance – smart power.  According to anonymous “senior officials” at the White House, Obama’s advisors now claim that they had a precise calculation of what to say about Bashar al-Assad and the potential use of chemical weapons in Syria.  As soon as Obama went off the TelePrompter, though, that’s when he crossed them up and drew a red line the White House had not even contemplated.

Or so they claim now:

The origins of this dilemma can be traced in large part to a weekend last August, when alarming intelligence reports suggested the besieged Syrian government might be preparing to use chemical weapons. After months of keeping a distance from the conflict, Mr. Obama felt he had to become more directly engaged.

In a frenetic series of meetings, the White House devised a 48-hour plan to deter President Bashar al-Assad of Syria by using intermediaries like Russia and Iran to send a message that one official summarized as, “Are you crazy?” But when Mr. Obama emerged to issue the public version of the warning, he went further than many aides realized he would.

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.”

As a result, the president seems to be moving closer to providing lethal assistance to the Syrian rebels, even though he rejected such a policy just months ago. American officials have even discussed with European allies the prospect of airstrikes to take out Syrian air defenses, airplanes and missile delivery systems, if government use of chemical weapons is confirmed.

In case you’re wondering, this is the same Constitutional-scholar, brightest-guy-in-the-room, I’m-my-own-best-advisor President that assured Americans that he would bring “smart power” into American diplomacy.  How smart?  For a while, none of these people bothered to run to the New York Times to backpedal immediately — because they thought it had worked.  Assad didn’t use chemical weapons for months, and they congratulated themselves for their tough stand.

Now that the red line has blown up in their face, however, “senior advisors” can’t wait to run anonymously to the Gray Lady to explain that it was all a big mistake.  Daniel Halper notices this, too:

But if the tough rhetoric “succeeded” for a time, it appears to have backfired in the long-run. Because Syria has now apparently used chemical weapons, and President Obama is not willing to do anything about it.

Obama, though, seems inclined to at least explore intervention as a means to shore up his damaged credibility, rather than just admit that the “red line” rhetoric was empty from the beginning.  It might be the first time that a President has ad-libbed us into a war, although let’s hope it doesn’t happen at all.

Just to refresh everyone’s memory, here are my five rebuttals to the arguments for intervention. Note well that I don’t bother to include “salvaging Obama’s credibility” among the positive arguments for intervention, either.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; News/Current Events; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; israel; obama; obamaredline; russia; syria; syriachemicalweapons; waronterro; waronterror; wmd

1 posted on 05/05/2013 3:12:48 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Pray we don't start losing more US lives in an effort to prop Obama's poll numbers.

Letting he and his wrecked credibility twist in the wind all by their lonesome is fine with me.

2 posted on 05/05/2013 3:17:28 PM PDT by skeeter
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

OMG!! O “went off TOTUS!?!?” He’s not allowed to do that! (Its waterproof for that famous ChiTown bathhouse, isn’t it? Doesn’t it go everywhere?)


3 posted on 05/05/2013 3:19:19 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
He isn't going to go to war in Syria, but that doesn't mean there will be no damage. North Korea and Iran will now know he doesn't mean what he says.

The world is preparing for war to break out soon. We do not need to be the ones lighting the fuse.

4 posted on 05/05/2013 3:19:46 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
NYT: Obama may have ad-libbed us into a war

No shi'ite, Sherlock!?!

5 posted on 05/05/2013 3:20:58 PM PDT by TigersEye (If babies had guns they wouldn't be aborted)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

So he didn’t “lie”, he merely “ad libbed”.


6 posted on 05/05/2013 3:21:01 PM PDT by Fido969
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

John McLame looks ready to go to war!


7 posted on 05/05/2013 3:21:10 PM PDT by Viennacon
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To: Vince Ferrer
We do not need to be the ones lighting the fuse.

That may have happened already except the fuse we (he) lit may have belonged to N. Korea or Iran :(

8 posted on 05/05/2013 3:23:18 PM PDT by tsowellfan (www.cafenetamerica.com)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Assad prevailing and having to rebuild over a decade or more, with sabotage and insurgent attacks in perpetuity. => This is the best outcome for the world at large, but not acceptable to the Muslim Brotherhood, Huma and Obama himself.

How is that not preferable to Syria governed the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Quada? They won’t give a damn about rebuilding, even the appearance of such, they’ll set about funding and supplying the fall of the next government -furthering the caliphate.


9 posted on 05/05/2013 3:24:25 PM PDT by Fitzy_888 ("ownership society")
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To: Viennacon

McLame is always wanting to go to war. No telling where we’d be today if he had won in 2008. I can’t believe I said it, but I did.


10 posted on 05/05/2013 3:24:30 PM PDT by tsowellfan (www.cafenetamerica.com)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Not sure what the big deal is here, the guy has never meant a damn thing he said anyway, never has. The players in the middle east certainly know that.


11 posted on 05/05/2013 3:26:02 PM PDT by Reddon
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That’s how World War I got started.

Loose lips sink Empires.


12 posted on 05/05/2013 3:27:21 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (There can be no Victory without a fight and no battle without wounds.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

William Butler Yeats—”The Second Coming”


13 posted on 05/05/2013 3:28:52 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: Fido969
President Reagan “ad libbed” when he said “Mr. Gorbachev....Tear Down This Wall.”

All of the policy makers kept taking it out, knowing the statement would then become American policy. Reagan had thought it all out - much better than his cabinet, etc. Obama probably not so much. Just wants to be viewed as somehow relevant in world affairs and spouts off if he doesn't think he is getting enough attention.

14 posted on 05/05/2013 3:30:55 PM PDT by 21twelve ("We've got the guns, and we got the numbers" adapted and revised from Jim M.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

No no no, he’s bringing peace to the world. Can’t you tell?


15 posted on 05/05/2013 3:37:56 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do ithat when I have a fire.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
It sounds like he pissed of some Mexicans last week when talking about their high, violent crime rate.

"You didn't do that! Somebody else did that!" - Barack Hussein Obama Jr.

16 posted on 05/05/2013 3:44:23 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (America is the root cause of violent crime in Mexico. - Barack Hussein Obama Jr.)
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To: faithhopecharity

That is a blanket admission that he is not really president.

He is reading what his handlers give him to read.

I wonder if we will ever find out who his handlers are.


17 posted on 05/05/2013 3:44:35 PM PDT by old curmudgeon
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Zero does not bluff well. His every move is a 'tell'. I'd love to play poker with him. Even though I'm pretty bad at it, I know I'd clean him out quick.
18 posted on 05/05/2013 3:46:35 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
“change my calculus,”

snort.

Hussein needs help to change his underwear.

19 posted on 05/05/2013 3:53:24 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: old curmudgeon

bump!


20 posted on 05/05/2013 3:54:29 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: jeffc

Hussein has a glass jaw.


21 posted on 05/05/2013 3:56:27 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
All this is not hard to figure out. When you're dealing with liars, such as obammy and the nyt's...really now, how hard is it to figure it out?

FMCDH(BITS)

22 posted on 05/05/2013 3:57:16 PM PDT by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Actors always think they know better than the writers and director.


23 posted on 05/05/2013 4:27:31 PM PDT by School of Rational Thought
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To: BenLurkin

“Hussein needs help to change his underwear”.
That is what his bath house friends are for.


24 posted on 05/05/2013 4:33:57 PM PDT by certrtwngnut (')
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To: Fido969
"So he didn’t “lie”, he merely “ad libbed”." Misspoke, ad libbed:
25 posted on 05/05/2013 4:36:23 PM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

hussein’s bottom line in anything is how it comports with islamism and islamist goals.

“I think I birdied that par 4...after the mulligans....”


26 posted on 05/05/2013 4:37:10 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“Ad-libbed”!?? They’re admitting he reads what Ben Rhodes writes for him? They’re not his own words on that teleprompter? Quite an inditement.


27 posted on 05/05/2013 4:49:18 PM PDT by FrdmLvr (culture, language, borders)
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To: faithhopecharity

It was during the Q & A where there is very little script although he usually chooses who gets to ask a question.


28 posted on 05/05/2013 5:48:08 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“According to anonymous “senior officials” at the White House, Obama’s advisors now claim that they had a precise calculation of what to say about Bashar al-Assad and the potential use of chemical weapons in Syria.”

I wonder if any of them knew about this...or maybe were part of it?

“U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator”

http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-75789101/

Maybe, Benghazi is just the tip of the iceberg. What else has this administration given to the “rebels”?


29 posted on 05/05/2013 5:50:00 PM PDT by BlessingsofLiberty (Remember Brian Terry...)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thanks. (Perhaps there’s a congresscritter who will introduce a bill to prohibit politicians from reading scripts from teleprompters? Ha! A truly professional politician should be able to at least look at us when he lies to us! )


30 posted on 05/05/2013 6:07:33 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: tsowellfan
"McLame is always wanting to go to war."

I wish he would go already.

31 posted on 05/05/2013 6:16:00 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: P-Marlowe

And perceived weakness was how WII got started...and Obummer is showing that daily.


32 posted on 05/05/2013 6:33:39 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
" by using intermediaries like Russia and Iran to send a message"

IRAN???

Is Iran an ally of the Obama Regime? How precisely does the US get Iran to send messages to Syria? /rhetorical

33 posted on 05/05/2013 7:06:18 PM PDT by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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To: Pharmboy

...and the WOT, thanks to Clinton’s weakness.


34 posted on 05/05/2013 7:09:33 PM PDT by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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To: PghBaldy

Well he could tell the Swiss to tell the Iranians to tell Assad...


35 posted on 05/05/2013 7:17:01 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: PghBaldy

Indeed...the combination of him sweet-talking the muzzies and walking away from confrontations (e.g., Benghazi) will eventually be lethal for many Americans. The only thing he’s helping is our chances in the house—and senate—in 2014.


36 posted on 05/05/2013 7:30:02 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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