Free Markets, Free People

Why no one buys Obama’s strike talk

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, talking about the speech Obama made about Syria last night, had this to say:

Yesterday, though, Obama sounded contradictory and confused.  He attempted to rouse moral outrage over the use of chemical weapons against scores or hundreds children in Damascus on August 21st, which is an easy case to make — but thousands of children have been killed in the Syrian civil war in all sorts of ways, by all sides. Obama argued that Bashar al-Assad had to be deterred from using chemical weapons in the future, but left out any call for regime change, which is still the official strategic goal of the Obama administration. To Americans reluctant to engage in another war, Obama cajoled us to action, claiming that only the United States had the power to bring Assad to heel.

In this instance, Obama is completely right.  However, to bring “Assad to heel” would take a whole lot more of American power than this president is willing to use.  If, in fact, he keeps it “small”, i.e. a very limited strike, people are asking ‘what’s the use’.  It won’t bring Assad to heel as he claims we have within our power.  He’s wanting one thing but not willing to do what is necessary to achieve it.  And we all know about how mission creep works.   Especially when there is a political ego involved.

But that sort of incoherence wasn’t at all confined to that portion of the speech.  As Politico’s editor-in-chief said:

‘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.

‘The speech began with an earnest statement on behalf of Zig, a sober appreciation that military power has its limits and good intentions don’t necessarily equate to good policy: ‘I have resisted calls for military action because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.’

‘But it was followed the next paragraph by some piercingly indignant words making the case for Zag, the conviction that conscience and the obligations of global leadership sometimes require America to act. The aim was to shake a skeptical public out of complacency: ‘The images from this massacre are sickening: men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas, others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath, a father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk.

As another columnist for Politico said:

“In a painful reminder of why presidential addresses are usually day-of bookings – made when the White House can match the right timing with a clear message for the American people – Obama went before the cameras in the East Room and said… not much that he hadn’t said already over the last two weeks.

Back to Morrissey:

So what was Obama asking of the American people? Nothing. What new and convincing information did Obama bring to the American people?  None.  What new argument did Obama make to shift the strong momentum against military action? He had none.  There was nothing new in this speech from Obama that hadn’t been argued at length in his six broadcast-network interviews the day before, or that his White House and State Department hadn’t offered in the previous week before the speech.

Meanwhile Obama wants the vote in Congress to be delayed because, well, you know, he’d lose.

But all is right with the world now … Obama has made a speech and the spin machine is hard at work trying to pretend this all went according to some plan that no one knew about previously.


Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

59 Responses to Why no one buys Obama’s strike talk

  • The one requisite in a presidential speech is honesty. Without it, nothing else matters. The president’s speech last night was incoherent in its call to be ready at some future day to use force that he just recently insisted must be used immediately.
    But more disturbing, aside from the true nature of the Putin gambit, Obama simply did not tell the truth about the role of Congress in his self-created debacle.
    In fact, not long ago, Obama said that he did not “believe it was right . . . to take this debate to Congress.” In truth, he was forced to, after resisting such a move, because public opinion was not in his favor. Or, in the words of his own cynical political guru, David Axelrod, he wished the congressional dog to catch the car and share some responsibility for the self-induced mess.
    Moreover, last decade was not characterized by a president who engaged in “sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.” In truth, George W. Bush obtained authorizations from both Houses of Congress before using force in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, Barack Obama bypassed Congress — but not the Arab League — in bombing Libya.
    Nor did the president simply ask the leaders of Congress to postpone the vote. Congressional officials came to him, hence last night’s address, to warn him that, in a historical first, he would be rebuffed by both houses of Congress.
    —VDH at TheCorner
    Nails it…

    • Right about now Gerald Ford is smiling, knowing that his Mayaguez incident now looks like a asterick in the history books.

  • CNN starts the Obama spin.
    “Sixty-one percent of Americans polled, who watched President Obama’s prime-time speech, told CNN that they support his policy towards Syria.
    Since some surveys showed as much as two-thirds opposition to military action against Syria in the days before the speech, the poll suggests that he did what presidents rarely do: change people’s minds, if only temporarily.”
    The people didn’t change their mind, Obama did.  He went from military strikes to giving diplomacy a chance.  Yet this is cast as Obama changing people’s minds?  Bullcrap.

  • “But all is right with the world now … Obama has made a speech and the spin machine is hard at work trying to pretend this all went according to some plan that no one knew about previously.”
    I have a cunning plan my lord….
    Our new foreign policy is to make it appear we’re operating Foreign Policy like we don’t know what we’re doing.    We make stupid off the cuff remarks, which are really our plans.
    Then the Russians grab hold of what they thinks is a mistake, and they act on it, and the next step of the official Presidential policy will be taken.
    We’ll cleverly maneuver them into doing precisely what we want.   It’s genius.   They will be confused by it’s brilliance as they become willing servants to our, uh, brilliant genius like cunning planning thingie.

  • OT, but some mornings I love my countrymen more than others…..

    I hope DC gets really noisy today.

    • I thought they didn’t get a permit from the Park Service or the DC folks ..

      • A permit to ride your machine through the city?    It’s just a coincidence that all those people choose to ride through DC down the same streets today, you know?   Just one of those Free country things.
        I especially liked the cop car lighting his lights and hitting his siren as they rolled by.

      • I believe they decided to just come regardless of permits.  Which is proper for bikers 😉

      • The permit they wanted was for a ‘no stop’ route.

    • The Million American March against Fear should be renamed the 21 person march…

      • That small rally was chock full of “truthers” who denied that Muslim terrorists carried out the attacks.  It’s no coincidence they picked that date.
        Meanwhile, Americans of Muslim descent who disdain the radical Islamist BS are cringing, watching these idiots try to speak on their behalf.

    • Did it take them that long to get back from the Sturgis Ralley? 🙂

  • “Negotiations between Russia and Syria on the supervision arrangement, which seem to have drastically reduced the likelihood of US-led military intervention in Syria, have been ongoing for two full weeks, and have also involved Iran …”

    So, I guess, this means that the chemical weapons, that were shipped to Syria from Iraq, will now go to Iran.

    Saddam Hussein still has the potential to kill more Iraqis

  • I’m sure Erbie will be by directly to lol (does anyone else read those and hear the nervous laughter dubbed into old chop-socky movies?) and pontificate some more on his delusions.

  • Putin absolutely PW3D Obama. The palace guard media can- and is- trying to spin this as Obama/Kerry amazing diplomatic victory but we all see what’s what.  And the world sees it. And Iran and China especially sees it.
    Oh well, it’s only another 3 years. Maybe they’ll go fast. It’s not like we have a myriad of enemies looking to take advantage of the lightweight in the White House.
    What can possibly go wrong?

    • Really man, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

      • Can’t say I disagree really.  We’ll get what’s coming to us as a nation for electing this lightweight, and no matter how bad, I’ll sleep soundly at night because I wash my hands of this cretin.

  • We have already taken a huge hit on our credability due to Obama. This is simply a result of that, but it further reinforces the point.

    • After just a few months of Secretary Kerry, I’m glad he lost in 2004.   Life would have ended by 2006

      • Kerry stabbed his comrads in arms (as well as his countries war effort) in the back by lying in his Winter Soldier speech in the 70s. He’s been lying ever since.

  • After this useless national speech, will the networks ever be able to deny air time again ?  … like they did to Bush 41 ?

    • Do you think the media cares if you notice their hypocrisy?
      Of course they’ll deny a Republican president time, if they want to, and not care one bit.

    • …reduced to blog whoring…

      • …reduced to blog whoring…

        Scott is not censored here.  He can post his lame partisan trolls here and no one stops him.  Why try to change the venue?  He could just as easily cut and pasted his arguments here.
        I just ignore his links to his page.

        • Predictable signals carry no information, regardless. That’s why Ott Scerb is so funny: the “original” just parrots the satire. 🙂

        • I can say I have never ventured there.
          I know him as a Collectivist lying tool.
          I get all the lying I need elsewhere.

          • SShiell engaged him there – his massive hand wave arsenal is as plentiful and well used there as it is here.
            I confess to doing eyeball runs from about 10,000 feet to see how likely we are to hear from him here.

        • But….interestingly, we know he censors and amends history over on his blob (intentional).
          If you recall the recent favorite, his attribution, whole cloth, of a quote by former sec def Gates – ““Please, it’s not like Obama used false intelligence to invade a country leading to the deaths of hundres of thousands.””
          We could use the Obama doctrine that, allow that he didn’t do that himself, but in this case…
          Let’s run with that for a moment though.   It’s damning no matter how you slice it.  Assume he DID find such a quote and merely used it and didn’t create it (let me be clear….he did).   I think it’s safe to say a guy who’d believe a former Secretary of Defense would say something like that about a former President in such a callous way, WOULD believe that Obama and Kerry planned this whole Syrian/Russian chem weapon turnover thing.

          • Let us not forget what the great Erb predicted would have come to pass by now:

            1. Putin would be ousted from control in Russia.
            2. Assad would have fallen.
            3. North Korea would have undergone very positive changes.

            No offence to those from my favorite state, but Scottie seems to be something of a Texas sharpshooter when it comes to “expert foreign policy”.

          • “The name comes from a joke about a Texan who fires some shots at the side of a barn, then paints a target centered on the biggest cluster of hits and claims to be a sharpshooter”
            I’d say you were in the 10 spot.

    • It’s not a different opinion — it’s the same one you keep spamming on this site.

    • Too bad your opinions are fact free.

    • WHINE!!!!

    • Ha ha ha. And today Mr Putin directly addresses the good people of America in the NY Times. Scotty will be trying hard to find ways to unspin the obvious powerplays Putin is making. Is part of Obama’s deft strategy to totally look like Putin’s little beeeatch? I don’t remember reading Sun Tzu saying “allow your adversary to ream you before your people, for this is wise and good”.

      • That’s in the New Age, Quantum Warfare addition.  Try to keep up!

      • Hey, in ONE of those universes, Obama totally pwn3d Putin!!!!!

      • Many of the arguments Putin put in his opinion piece in the NYT are the same arguments Scott has made over the years.  His jab about American exceptionalism is straight from Scott’s current mantra, and yet, that is likely the section of the piece which most Americans will find the most offensive.
        Scott’s task now is to spin Obama’s amateurish flip-flopping as deft and wise, while refraining from standing with Putin.  The cognitive dissonance must be excruciating to him.

        • Oh can you imagine the cries of anguish if Bush (or any President really) had published something like that in Moscow’s paper of record, chiding Russia for its actions in the Caucasus, its treatment of homosexuals, etc etc? My word, I am sure Scotty would have thrown a righteous tantrum about Republican/American arrogance. It will be very interesting indeed to see how he manages to reconcile Putin’s actions. One thing is clear though, Putin is going to milk this for all its worth and make sure that his own enemies know he can mess with America’s president however he likes and get whatever he wants.

    • No no, as you do with so many other things, you’re gotten confused.  Republics vs Democracies, etc.
      Here, for example, you’ve confused your opinion with an opinion that matters.

  • A Democratic strategist who works closely with the White House, and who requested anonymity to avoid political retribution, told me, “This has been one of the most humiliating episodes in presidential history.” … As he faced an international and constitutional crisis, Obama and his team were in a familiar state: isolated, insular, and alone.
    –National Journal

    Obviously a dense rightie with ODS.

    • “Somebody set us up an idiot.  All your world leading are belong to us.  For great justice”

  • Chris Matthews took Obama to task on Wednesday for being too “reactive” to events and not controlling or focusing the discussion on issues he wants to talk about. Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank agreed, saying that there is a deficit of “forceful leadership” from the Obama White House.
    In fact, Milbank even went so far as to credit George W. Bush for this quality sorely lacking in Obama. At least with Bush, Milbank argued, “he got stuff done, hammering away for taxes, for war… whereas Obama sort of flits and flies from topic to topic.” Matthews wished Obama would be tougher against Republicans on key issues, while HuffPo’s Sam Stein noted Obama’s pushed a little, but not quite enough.
    Matthews vented a little, saying “this Mini-Me stuff has got to stop.” Milbank said Obama’s political nuance looks too much like “muddled thinking” to people, suggesting he needs to start campaigning for big issues with bumper-sticker slogans. Stein made it clear part of the lack of action in Washington is derived in part from Republican obstructionism.

    “The thrill is gone…  The thrill is gone away for good…”
    SING it, BB…!!!

    • If it looks like muddled thinking, walks like muddled thinking and quacks like muddled thinking, it probably is … ?

      • Nuance.   You big silly.

      • I wonder if Putin will now be a regular op-ed contributor to the NYT.

        • I hope so, if only that then Erb can watch and learn how someone patiently waits for an adversary to shoot himself in the foot, takes careful advantage of opportunities handed on a platter, doen’t allow subordinates to f**k things up and generally exploits weaknesses while never seeming to lose a move. Putin was around a long time before Obama had any power, and is guaranteed to still be driving Russia long after Obama is just a footnote in history as “first black president” and not “president of notable achievements”.

          • Yeah, there’s not much opportunity to make a comparison as a rule, but I said a couple weeks ago that our Chicago thugs, uh, politicians were about to get rolled by Russian experts.
            Course it’s wrong to enjoy this tarnishing of the messiah’s halo because only the left is allowed to bask in schadenfreude.

      • If it looks like muddled thinking, walks like muddled thinking and quacks like muddled thinking, it probably is … ?


  • Gotta love Putin. I mean yes he’s a dangerous POS and hopefully our next (REPUBLICAN) Pres. will know how to deal with him, but in the meantime he whupped Baracky’s a$$, tied a tin can to his tail, then rubbed his nose in it via the New York Times. So good for him – he can simply quote Barack “I won”  and to the victor goes the spoils.
    I mean yeah, its bad for the US as a country, but we elected this lightweight so as far as I can see, we ‘ll get what we deserve. I can sleep well at night.

    Sorry; couldn’t help the headline, which works on so many levels.  It’s one thing to lose Maureen Dowd.  But Time magazine’s Joe Klein, the perfect avatar for conventional media opinion, is even more savage in his beatdown of Obama’s incompetence:

    [H]e has damaged his presidency and weakened the nation’s standing in the world. It has been one of the more stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed. The failure cuts straight to the heart of a perpetual criticism of the Obama White House: that the President thinks he can do foreign policy all by his lonesome. This has been the most closely held American foreign-policy-making process since Nixon and Kissinger, only there’s no Kissinger. There is no éminence grise—think of someone like Brent Scowcroft—who can say to Obama with real power and credibility, Mr. President, you’re doing the wrong thing here.
    [H]e has done himself, and the nation, great and unnecessary harm. The road back to credibility and respect will be extremely difficult.

    TWO more dense righties heard from.  The woods are jus’ full o’ dem critters….

  • Hmmm, I wonder how the analysts who think Obama and Kerry have been wizards at playing Russia over Syria will feel when Russian “observers”, aka special forces and the like, are stationed at new Syrian nuclear facilities to prevent further Israeli strikes (you know, acutal limited air actions not aimed at regime change)? Will Erb et al be happy that Obama/Kerry have cleverly manipulated the Russians into guaranteeing a Syrian nuclear program? I bet the Iranians are wishing they could get a bit of that action now.