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Retreat: Obama now interested in Russian diplomatic track as Reid puts Senate vote on hold
Hotair ^ | 09/10/2013 | AllahPundit

Posted on 09/10/2013 6:57:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

I imagine him phoning Putin to say he’ll accept the Russians’ lame charade on Syrian WMD if Moscow agrees to send Edward Snowden back, to which Putin naturally replies “Nyet, take it or leave it.” To which O, his second term crumbling around him, naturally says, “Okay.”

Waterloo for “smart power”:

President Obama on Monday took a sharp turn away from his “red line” threat to Syria on the eve of taking his case to the American people, saying in an interview with Fox News that he’s open to negotiations on an alternative plan that could avert a military strike…

“We will pursue this diplomatic track,” Obama told Fox News. “I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way.”…

“I welcome the possibility of the development,” he said. “We should explore and exhaust all avenues of diplomatic resolution to this.”

He said the U.S. should be able to get a “fairly rapid sense” of how serious the proposal is. “We are going to be immediately talking to the Russians and looking for some actual language they might be proposing,” he said.

Surreal as it may seem after Kerry’s gaffe heard ’round the world this morning, O actually wants the public to believe tonight that he kinda sorta intended this outcome. McCain and Graham issued a statement in the past hour demanding, not unreasonably, that Congress go ahead and vote to authorize force anyway, if only to increase Obama’s leverage with Syria and Russia. If we’re going to give Assad a chance to turn over his weapons, logically we want to show him that we mean business if he tries to stall. The problem with that, of course, is that it assumes Congress will vote yes when the whole point of O caving to this Russian scheme is that he knows the votes aren’t there — not only in the House, but maybe in the Democratic-controlled Senate too:

The Obama administration’s efforts to sway Congress to support military airstrikes against Syria suffered further setbacks Monday, raising serious doubts that the president will be able to muster the necessary support in either the House or Senate.

Three additional senators, Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced their opposition Monday, eliminating three potentially critical votes for the administration…

Additional Red State Democrats, including Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Begich of Alaska, remain undecided. Both senators are up for re-election next year in states that Obama lost in the past two presidential elections.

It’s not just Alexander, Blunt, and Heitkamp. Late this afternoon, John Hoeven and Johnny Isakson — two Republicans who’ve been willing to work with the White House before — declared that they’re opposed. Mitch McConnell, to no one’s surprise, is also leaning no. Suddenly, not only is 60 votes in doubt, 51 is in doubt too, which would be a catastrophic humiliation for the White House in a chamber controlled by their own party. Reid had no choice but to pull the plug, at least for now:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delays Senate test vote authorizing military force in Syria.

— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) September 9, 2013

They’re not going to win a vote this week and Obama knows it — check out the numbers at RCP — but maybe their chances will improve in a few weeks if Assad drags his feet on turning over his weapons, or, worse, gasses another crowd. O himself realizes now that delay can only help:

Obama suggested that Syria’s willingness to pursue a diplomatic solution could give Congress more time to decide on whether to grant him the authority to strike.

“I don’t anticipate that you would see a succession of votes this week or anytime in the immediate future,” Obama said. “So I think there will be time during the course of the debates here in the United States for the international community, the Russians and the Syrians to work with us and say is there a way to resolve this.”

With Congress’s calendar already packed with budgetary matters and immigration, O’s best bet to extricate himself from this semi-gracefully is to let it drop off the public radar and hope that Assad doesn’t do anything to force it back on. And if he does, like, say, by using gas again, Obama will probably bomb him straightaway on the theory that while one use of WMD is worrisome but deserving of due deliberation in Congress, a second is evidence of a madman who needs to be punished with all haste. Either way, Obama’s congressional problem will be solved.

Via the Corner, here’s O explaining that he was hoping for a nice slow process all along in Congress and that no one ever said they needed to make a decision right away. Er, didn’t he say so a week ago, demanding a “prompt vote”? Exit question via Ed, who tweeted this out: Does this mean tomorrow night’s big Oval Office address is canceled too? I’m guessing no, just because that attempt to flush the big Syria clusterfark of 2013 down the memory hole would be too obvious. The president announced publicly that he’d explain to the nation why enforcing the WMD “red line” is important; the only thing that changed today, in theory, was the means of enforcement. His goal in all this is to save face, and postponing the speech after staking so much political capital would cut against that. But if the point of delay in Congress is to get the public to forget about Syria then a big primetime speech is totally counterproductive. Maybe he just should have moved it up to 9 p.m. tonight, when everyone will be watching football and won’t see it anyway.

CLICK ABOVE LINK FOR THE VIDEO



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: obama; putin; senate; syria

1 posted on 09/10/2013 6:57:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Not a fan of Putin but I love the way he ridicules zero LOL


2 posted on 09/10/2013 6:58:33 AM PDT by rrrod (at home in Medellin Colombia)
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To: SeekAndFind
Too bad. I wanted to see the resolution come up for a vote, in both the Senate and the House.

It would have been an epic slapdown for Obama.

3 posted on 09/10/2013 6:59:30 AM PDT by justlurking (tagline removed, as demanded by Admin Moderator)
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To: All
Putin's kicking O'butt but good.....and this latest Onono fiasco puts the kibosh to Hillary's ambitions.

The Democrats' 'Smart Power' Lies in Ruins
National Review | Sept 3, 2013 | Jim Geraghty / FR Posted by kristinn

Democrats Suddenly Realize What They Miscalculated About the World: Everything

As we await Congress’ decision on authorizing the use of U.S. military force in Syria, Democrats are suddenly realizing that their foreign policy brain-trust completely misjudged the world.

Being nicer to countries like Russia will not make them nicer to you. The United Nations is not an effective tool for resolving crises. Some foreign leaders are beyond persuasion and diplomacy. There is no “international community” ready to work together to solve problems, and there probably never will be.

You can pin this on Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Susan Rice, but most of all, the buck stops with the president. Those of us who scoffed a bit at a state senator ascending to the presidency within four years on a wave of media hype and adoration are not quite so shocked by this current mess.

We never bought into this notion that getting greater cooperation from our allies, and less hostility from our enemies, was just a matter of giving this crew the wheel and letting them practice, as Hillary Clinton arrogantly declared it, “smart power” (and fronted Time magazine cover).

(These people can’t even label a foreign policy approach without reminding us of how highly they think of themselves.)

They looked out at the world at the end of the Bush years, and didn’t see tough decisions, unsolvable problems, unstable institutions, restless populations, technology enabling the impulse to destabilize existing institutions, evil men hungry for more power, and difficult trade-offs.

No, our problems and challengers were just a matter of the previous hands running U.S. foreign policy not being smart enough. (Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...

4 posted on 09/10/2013 7:02:27 AM PDT by Liz
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To: rrrod

RE: Not a fan of Putin but I love the way he ridicules zero LOL

If this plan really works out, they should take Obama’s Nobel Prize from him and give it to Putin instead....

But we don’t live in a just world...


5 posted on 09/10/2013 7:03:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; All

Obama lied to us about Benghazi, and then spent a year covering up his dereliction of duty as Commander In Chief during the critical hours of the Benghazi Massacre.

Can anyone in the US Military trust Obama?

Why should we taxpayers trust Obama?

Who can trust someone whose own sealed personal records cannot be verified?

Obama cannot be trusted or verified is the obvious conclusion.


6 posted on 09/10/2013 7:03:28 AM PDT by Graewoulf (Traitor John Roberts' Commune-Style Obama'care' violates U.S. Constitution AND Anti-Trust Law.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Obama is finished, failure at every turn!!! Democrats...use your God given brains....force Obama to resign, impeach him...or, go down with him!!! End of story!!!


7 posted on 09/10/2013 7:08:03 AM PDT by JLAGRAYFOX ( My only objective is to defeat and destroy Obama & his Democrat Party, politically!!!)
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To: All
OBAMA HILLARY LOVE FEST ON 60 MINUTES---Obobo had
just hustled her onto TV to gaze in adoration, after her arrogant
dismissal of the Benghazi massacre before Congress.Now she's under
the bus along w/ Susan Rice who was being groomed for a Hillary Admin, thanks to the Syria fiasco.


8 posted on 09/10/2013 7:11:44 AM PDT by Liz
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To: SeekAndFind

I hope everyone is NOT missing the point here.

Putin/Russia was already an ally to Syria.

There are Russian interests there that Russia considers worth fighting for, maybe even a real war.

Kerry’s stupid remark reference Syria turning their gas weapons over to an international organization and Putin’s immediate offer to take on that responsibility now puts Putin totally and completely in the driver’s seat as to what happens in Syria from now on.

Because the US is totally shut out of any decision making regarding Syria.

That means Russia is now in the driver’s seat.

However, it could also mean that Putin is in the driver’s seat of a totally uncontrollable vehicle headed for the cliff.

Time will tell. But the ride will be very interesting.


9 posted on 09/10/2013 7:13:22 AM PDT by old curmudgeon
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To: Liz
Being nicer to countries like Russia will not make them nicer to you.

I like Geraghty, but he is either being disingenuous or out of his depth commenting on foreign policy. Toppling another of Russia's client regimes (in addition to Libya) isn't being nice to Russia. The so-called reset changed very little - in Russian eyes, we are still putting the screws to them. And understandably so. If the Russians installed pro-Russian regimes in Saudi Arabia or Qatar, we wouldn't consider these to be friendly actions.

10 posted on 09/10/2013 7:15:13 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: SeekAndFind
O actually wants the public to believe tonight that he kinda sorta intended this outcome.

Let's roll back the tape, shall we? Before the 'Gaffe Heard 'Round the World', US policy pushed for the overthrow of Assad. But overnight, our policy has reversed. The US must now protect Assad since he alone is the only one who can direct UN inspectors towards existing stockpiles. Before long, Assad will be requesting US assistance in clearing out rebels who are jeopardizing this entire 'international' effort.

And keep in mind that this whole thing started because Obama wanted to punish Assad for using chemical weapons. Assad has now been handed a free pass.

11 posted on 09/10/2013 7:20:47 AM PDT by Hoodat (BENGHAZI - 4 KILLED, 2 MIA)
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To: All
Ohoho announced publicly that he’d explain to the nation why enforcing the WMD “red line” is (ahem) important. He also marshaled his most credible (cackle) minions to go out and sell the strike. Benghazi screw-up Susan Rice is pumping her resume like crazy---being sent to:

<><> give a speech about Syria to the New America Foundation,

<><> speak to the Congressional Black Caucus

<><> participate in a classified briefing that the administration will provide to members of Congress, and,

<><> participate in another classified briefing for Congress on Wednesday.

The latter occurs on the twelfth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland and the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the State Department and CIA facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Susan's argument is that a strike is necessary b/c we have "exhausted" all other means.

I guess Putin did not get the memo.

12 posted on 09/10/2013 7:22:36 AM PDT by Liz
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To: old curmudgeon
That means Russia is now in the driver’s seat. However, it could also mean that Putin is in the driver’s seat of a totally uncontrollable vehicle headed for the cliff. Time will tell. But the ride will be very interesting.

They've always been in the driver's seat. I don't understand why Putin is letting this charade play out. They have a nuclear veto and can deploy it simply by sending a confidential message to Obama to the effect that any attack on Syria will be considered an attack on Russia, and that strategic weapons will be used to repel the attack. What amazes me is how much ground the Russians have ceded since the end of the Cold War without much demur. It appears to rankle with ordinary Russians, which is why they keep on re-electing Putin. We've gotten used to the bear rolling over. I'm just worried that one of these days, they'll issue a threat, we'll ignore it, and we'll end up with a nuclear exchange. Heck, all of this theater over Assad handing over his chemical arsenal might simply be cover for the fact that Putin told Obama that he had better not attack Syria unless he's prepared to see our Mediterranean fleet thoroughly irradiated.

13 posted on 09/10/2013 7:25:02 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: SeekAndFind

So did Kerry have a bug on him when he got together with the Russians?


14 posted on 09/10/2013 7:26:03 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: old curmudgeon

You’re quite right...Syria is a Russian ally which comes with duties and obligations. Putin has been telling Obama to stay out of it...as it only feeds the flames...and alqueda.


15 posted on 09/10/2013 7:29:40 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: SeekAndFind

Looks like someone called Mr. Husband’s bluff.


16 posted on 09/10/2013 7:32:00 AM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: SeekAndFind
 photo sevendaysinSeptember_zps41d38b21.jpg If only 'what goes around comes around' REALLY came true.
17 posted on 09/10/2013 7:33:37 AM PDT by RetSignman (Standing my ground against group think.)
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To: Graewoulf

Putin, once again saving the Current Occupant of the White Hut from himself.

Syria has agreed to international inspection of chemical weapons, but has the Current Occupant? He still needs some kind of crisis to divert attention from the burgeoning outbreaks of both potential and outright treasonous acts that have occurred during his tenure.

Some 95% of the personal woe in this world is self-induced.


18 posted on 09/10/2013 7:36:15 AM PDT by alloysteel (Those who deny natural climate change are forever doomed to stupidity. AGW is a LIE.)
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To: SeekAndFind

There’s no doubt Russia stepped in after we agreed to give a few billion dollars to various groups. I’m convinced we bought our way out of Obammy’s mess with tax payer dollars.


19 posted on 09/10/2013 7:36:56 AM PDT by kjam22 (my newest music video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7gNI9bWO3s)
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To: rrrod

Obama leading from behind as usual. Too bad he wasn’t bright enough to think of demanding the WMD be turned over the UN control. Too bad nobody in his regime was smart enough to think of it. Upstaged by Putey. Pretty sad.


20 posted on 09/10/2013 7:39:46 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Liz
Putin's kicking O'butt but good.....and this latest Onono fiasco puts the kibosh to Hillary's ambitions.

Let's not jump the gun here... Americans can barely connect Obama to all this mess, much less Hillary.

21 posted on 09/10/2013 8:13:29 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Is there a bit of “Cuban missile crisis” redux going on here? JFK benefited, back then, from glorifying kudos and generational admiration for resolving the crisis and causing Khrushchev to blink. Many years later we learned the JFK administration removed missiles from western Europe as a concession to the Soviets in return for them to take back whatever they had shipped to Cuba. Problem was the missiles in Cuba were likely not operational and the US missiles in western Europe had been their for a long while. Net effect: Soviets got a more vulnerable western Europe/NATO without any loss to their capabilities and JKF got to appear as a world class virile statesman.

I wonder if the WH might have bargained something away to the Russians in return for an Assad ‘guarantee’ to turn over chem weapons? I’ve read in the press the WH floated the idea of handing over missile defense technical data to the Russians as an incentive for new SALT talks yet the Pentagon balked. Perhaps it is now fait accompli.

At any rate, this opens a window of opportunity for the administration to avoid a potential embarrassing defeat in the House while alloying the President to claim a victory.

Sigh. Deep down it feels the Russians have the upper hand; we have degraded our defensive posture: and we have not done anything to advert the fall of Syria to radical islamists.

Regards.


22 posted on 09/10/2013 8:19:11 AM PDT by Sine_Pari
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To: old curmudgeon
Absolutely right. This is a home run for Russia and Putin.

But, (and its a big but due to the low information voters loving democrat spin) the adoring press will praise Obama saying that because of our threats of strikes (even our incredibly small strikes), Syria accepted the offer. Victory USA.

It is going to be hard to beat back the gag reflex over the next couple of days.

Oh, BTW, they will never find the majority of his stock of gas WMDs; it will all be a fiasco. Further prediction - Assad will ask for help from the international community with the rebels to shut them down so he can lead the UN inspectors to the stockpiles. Boy, have we been played.

23 posted on 09/10/2013 8:31:26 AM PDT by dan on the right
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To: SeekAndFind

Now that Pootsie has taken a bite out of Bambi’s posterior I hope he’ll acquire a taste for it and take some more to the point of ridding us of this fool.

Well, I can dream anyway.


24 posted on 09/10/2013 9:01:44 AM PDT by Ceausescu (No war for Obonobo's covering his arse!)
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To: ScottinVA
Disagree----definitely connected. They bragged about
Democrats using "smart power"....and they failed on every front.

The Democrats' 'Smart Power' Lies in Ruins
National Review | Sept 3, 2013 | Jim Geraghty / FR Posted by kristinn

Democrats Suddenly Realize What They Miscalculated About the World: Everything

As we await Congress’ decision on authorizing the use of U.S. military force in Syria, Democrats are suddenly realizing that their foreign policy brain-trust completely misjudged the world.

Being nicer to countries like Russia will not make them nicer to you. The United Nations is not an effective tool for resolving crises. Some foreign leaders are beyond persuasion and diplomacy. There is no “international community” ready to work together to solve problems, and there probably never will be.

You can pin this on Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Susan Rice, but most of all, the buck stops with the president. Those of us who scoffed a bit at a state senator ascending to the presidency within four years on a wave of media hype and adoration are not quite so shocked by this current mess.--SNIP

25 posted on 09/10/2013 9:02:10 AM PDT by Liz
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To: dan on the right

Oh, BTW, they will never find the majority of his stock of gas WMDs; it will all be a fiasco. Further prediction - Assad will ask for help from the international community with the rebels to shut them down so he can lead the UN inspectors to the stockpiles. Boy, have we been played.


I never thought of that. You are wide awake.

But now that you point it out to me............

Don’t take any bets that Putin will not volunteer to do that.

The UN would likely say “You agreed to find them and take them to a safe place, go to it.”

That would get the UN off the hook.

So then Russian troops will be in Syria.

If he does volunteer, obumbler will not like it but what can he do about it?


26 posted on 09/10/2013 9:20:37 AM PDT by old curmudgeon
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To: SeekAndFind

When DU is running headline entries like “I guess diplomatic options on Syria weren’t ‘exhausted’ after all”, you know Obama is in trouble.

DailyKos chimes in, saying that this new proposalis “[p]roof that all the diplomatic options had not been exhausted before the administration announced it would bomb Syria. That is lesson to remember the next time any president of secretary of state says otherwise.”

Politico says “The talk of the diplomatic initiative as potentially promising was jarring because in statements in recent days and continuing through Monday, administration officials insisted that all diplomatic efforts had been exhausted”

And if Obama wants to take credit for the idea, he’s going to have to explain why Kerry was so opposed to it. Remember, Kerry said THIS about the plan: “But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done, obviously,”

So Kerry says that this “cannot be done”, and Obama is saying this is his plan. Can it be done or not? If not, the plan is stupid. If it can, Kerry is incompetent and should resign.

And Susan Rice, our now NSA chief previously known for lying on 5 talk shows in one day, missed the memo, saying on Monday: “Let’s be realistic — it’s just not going to happen now, ... Believe me, I know,”

Apparently, she is ignorant of what her own CIC is doing.

Also ignorant is Samantha Powers, our UN Ambassador, who just 3 days ago proclaimed ““We have exhausted the alternatives,” arguing that there was no possible diplomatic solution — ““We would if we could, but we can’t,” and it was time for a military strike.

She also said that any belief Russia would do anything useful was ‘naive’. And remember, she said this on the day that Obama claims he was negotiating with Russia to do something useful. So apparently, SP thought Obama was naive — which if so, would at least be one thing she got right.


27 posted on 09/10/2013 9:51:11 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: Liz

I’d like to agree on your point, and it’s valid among the conservative part of the population, but the failure on every front, while obvious to us, is over the heads of the average American voter. All they’re going to hear tonight is the “media” narrative as to how Obama saved mankind through this “master stroke” of an agreement. Doesn’t matter that it amounts to nothing... appearances are the key here.

And never, ever forget the notoriously gnat-like attention span of the average American. Syria will be loooonnnnggg forgotten by 2016.


28 posted on 09/10/2013 10:36:30 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Obama is so far in over his head, even his ears are beneath the water level.)
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To: ScottinVA
True, all true---could not agree more. Now I should have emphasized that it is up to US to keep driving it home. Our task is to lay the failure at the door of Ohaha and the sap-happy Dems. We must not let them forget they caused this debacle.
29 posted on 09/10/2013 10:53:04 AM PDT by Liz
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