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August 29th, 2013 - 3:40 pm

Whichever way it goes, Obama’s plan for a “limited but decisive” attack on Assad is probably over. George Will advised the president to quit talking himself into trouble. “The administration now would do well to do something that the head of it has an irresistible urge not to do: Stop talking. If a fourth military intervention is coming, it will not be to decisively alter events, which we cannot do, in a nation vital to U.S. interests, which Syria is not. Rather, its purpose will be to rescue Obama from his words.”

The bigger question is whether Obama himself is now over. There was a brief scare yesterday following reports that the Egyptian government was planning to close the Suez Canal to U.S. warships, in the event the Truman battle group passed through. That is what things have come to.  But the narrative was prepared for hard and heavy tidings. Michael O’Hanlon wrote a possibly prophylactic piece in the Washington Post asking, ”Who needs the Suez Canal?” This follows earlier pieces that said, “Who needs Egypt?”

Yet how long before everyone starts to ask themselves a more fundamental question: who needs Obama? It is too early to tell how damaged he has become with this, his latest debacle. But it is not inconceivable that the British rejection will mark the end — or the beginning of the end — of Barack Obama’s presidency.

The most disturbing aspect of the Syria episode was that it wasn’t Boehner’s token resistance but the cumulative refusal of other sovereigns to go along that derailed the plan. Washington left to its own devices would have failed; it would have walked off the cliff. But reality worked, which is a bad sign really, since the Constitution is supposed to trap exceptions like this before they become actual physical problems.

It was the cumulative strategic effect of Obama’s blunders that provided an almost palpable pushback. That can’t hide the fact that the error handlers didn’t work. Congress was supine. The media was complicit to the end; and it required an actual debacle — a system crash — to alert the somnolent administrators to the problem. An E-bomb had to go off right in front of them to shake them awake. That is a huge worry because it suggests that while the Syria operation may be dead, so indeed is Washington.


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Top Rated Comments   
That is not something any professional military officer should have to answer. The political system will have failed utterly if it cannot provide the military forces with clear and legitimate guidance. An administration leaves those questions to be decided by a military officer in the field or in doubt has collapsed.

It would be intolerable. How could deterrence function? Do you mean to say the B2 bomber pilot should decide for himself whether he should obey an order or not? If things come to that pass the problem is bad indeed.

I think Washington owes it to the public, owes it to the military to get its act together. That is what civilian control is for. I think the President and Congress should get together and speak with one voice. Whatever that voice is becomes the legal order. Attack or not attack is less important than preserving the legitimacy of the system.

47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama's penchant for the routine use of extra-constitutional authority and out-and-out lies has boxed him in on Syria. He hasn't a leg to stand on, i.e. no credibility, because he never invested any time, energy, or credibility building coalitions. He has no useful relationship with Congress. He has snubbed all of America's closest allies at one point or another. He is a laughing stock in the Middle East.

Obama cannot lead, and no one will follow him. At least the Bush Presidencies, Clinton, Reagan, and even Carter could build international support for a foreign policy and military initiative. (I'm being generous on Carter.).

It really is amazing how ineffective Obama, and the Clinton/Kerry state department's have been foreign policy and national security - probably in historic terms, the worst.

O.S.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
We will all now be regaled with something approaching light speed.

That being the rate at which all the alphabet networks and NPR and PBS go to a mode where the name of the country "Syria" is not mentioned again until after the 2014 midterm elections.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (168)
All Comments   (168)
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WRT Ship captains and squadran commnaders following launch orders. Those guys are O-5s. Battle group commanders are O-7s. The orders will originate at Joint Chiefs via CinC Eur to CinCUS Nav Eur, all four star guys.

This gives the O-5 thru 7s some cover, but not much. The Hague may jump into the discussion.

If the military wants to weigh in a CINC will have to 1. resign and 2. Five minutes later hold a press conference.

The last (and iirc, only) flag officer revolt was by the post wwII carrier admirals refusing to surrender all to the new Air Force. It was a big deal at the time...
Now, which 4 sar has the nads? No one.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I predict that Barack Hussein Obama will attack and John Boehner will do nothing to stop him or impeach him.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
A couple of bombs will explode in Syria, to no effect; the bomb of Obamacare hitting the homeland will detonate in October.

Yes, it's the beginning of his end. My relief is measured: this is going to hurt the country too.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The red line is bleeding pink. I think a John Lennon song is called for. Who left the cake out in the rain?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
" He would risk starting a wider war that he doesn’t even want to win,"

Amnyone else think that this is the intent ?

The Left has been trying to bring America down for decades and Obama's Presidency is the culmination of this. And I can't think of a better way to accomplish it.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
All the rest of the negative "unintended consequences" of his previous policies have turned out to be not quite as "unintentional" as his spineless Republican opponents have claimed they were.

So, why not this ? He's certainly proved to have the "audacity of hope", not to mention the mendacity to do something of this nature.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem is not what is going on in Syria. The problem is that we know that this will be a massive screw-up, no matter what Obama does. Not because of the situation, but because of Obama. We have no faith that it will turn out alright, because everything he touches turns to cr@p.

That is also true of most of our politicians. If it were McCain, would you have any more confidence. Maybe a little, but not enough. Romney? No, not really. His performance in government has been very poor.

So, who would give us the confidence that would allow us to consider our options with some confidence? Rubio? No. Nor any of the other low-experience possible Repub contenders. Certainly not Hillary, either.

Let's lookat some maybes. Jindal? He has no foreign or military experience, but he has demonstrated competence in whatever he has done. Christie? Not much track record. Scott Walker? See Christie. How about Palin? Hmm, maybe. She does a lot of things right, and could at least schmooze with Congress and get some consensus with them and with our allies.

We simply lack the quality people to handle this situation. The Republican bench is deep, but they are not yet veteran starters.

Well, Gingrich would be okay in this situation, probably, if his people were not busy mutinying. Yeah, if Gingrich were President, we could have some confidence in a positive outcome.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oboutme has the perfect out. He just needs to have a Rose Garden press conference surrounded by extended family members of the gassed Syrian children and maybe a few poster-sized photos of the gassed children and make a statement just like the one he made after he lost the gun control vote. How better to convince the world yet again that he "cares" more than all other human beings.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
It continues to look like Obama is setting himself up for a fall. If his vanity won't let him walk away and he indulges in some random drive-by missile firings ask yourself what will happen next?

Won't Assad take a U.S. attack as a license to retaliate against some vulnerable U.S. Institution or asset in the Middle East? There must be other Benghazis waiting to happen. There must be some vulnerable U.S. shipping within reach of a Syrian attack.

If Assad retaliiates after an Obamattack, what will Obama do then? More reading aloud in public from his teleprompters won't do the trick.

The overweening ego may just have toppled itself into a manure pond.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
You mean Obama isn't the most intelligent person to ever hold the Presidency? Doesn't Obama believe he can do any job better than the people who hold those jobs?

Actually, if you appoint poor people, you will get poor advice.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
And by electing Obama(spit!),America appointed,not poor,but utterly wretched people.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
John Kerry's speech just now confirms the upcoming strike --the speech included every known word in the English Language that describes the worst possible atrocity committed on the least guilty helpless child.

Kerry has become quite the humanitarian since his campaign for president, during which he denied there was any bloodbath in post-American armed forces South Vietnam. For Kerry, having done so much to help Uncle Ho get hold of the South Vietnamese people, this 'blame-avoidance' claim is such an insult to the deceased boat people and their loved ones that only someone nearly totally bereft of empathy could possibly stand there in the full light of day and say it. But just search 'john kerry said there was no bloodbath in vietnam' and read a few of the results. No i do not advocate childicide, whether in Damascus or the thousand clinics across the USA --it's just that the speech just now was of a level of lugubrious hypocrisy that to me it sounded something like blasphemy.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some people are worried that if we do not act in Syria, America, after all Obama's posturing and threats, will lose face and won't be taken seriously.

I have a feeling no respectable country takes us seriously when they look at the man we have for a Secretary of State. Who's next in line? Fonda?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was in the post office when his 'speech' came on their propaganda box and it was all I could do to not suck my teeth and cuss.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was able to get to the radio and turn it off within a few lies, I mean, seconds. How can a man fit three distinct lies into a single sentence? That's talent.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's a regular prodigy ain't he?

http://youtu.be/wmin5WkOuPw
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Obama attacks Syria without Congressional support or any legal justification and it goes badly, maybe this would be taken as grounds for impeachment.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Even if it goes well, it is still a violation of the US Constitution and the War Powers Act. As such, it would be yet another reason to impeach him, besides the half-dozen other crimes and lawless acts he's done by executive fiat.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
And all you need is the votes in the Senate to convict him.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Before that, you need the votes of the so-called "leadership" of the Institutional Republicans to allow it to come to the floor of the House. Not going to happen, even if Obama openly declares himself God/King.

Subotai Bahadur
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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