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Bridget Johnson


August 30, 2013 - 1:09 pm

President Obama said at a pool spray with the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this afternoon that he has not made “a final decision about various actions that might be taken to help enforce that norm.”

Obama spoke to reporters shortly after Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a snapshot of the administration’s intelligence on Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons usage and stressed “in no event are we considering any kind of military action that would involve boots on the ground, that would involve a long-term campaign.”

“Again, I repeat, we’re not considering any open-ended commitment. We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach. What we will do is consider options that meet the narrow concern around chemical weapons, understanding that there’s not going to be a solely military solution to the underlying conflict and tragedy that’s taking place in Syria,” Obama said.

“And I will continue to consult closely with Congress. In addition to the release of the unclassified document, we are providing a classified briefing to congressional staff today. And we’ll offer that same classified briefing to members of Congress as well as our international partners. And I will continue to provide updates to the American people as we get more information.”

The majority of the press availability, though, was focused on lauding the U.S. alliance with the Baltic states present and giving each of the leaders a chance to talk about missile defense and economic cooperation.

“We are still in the planning processes. And, obviously, consultations with Congress, as well as the international community are very important. And, you know, my preference, obviously, would have been that the international community already acted forcefully,” Obama said at the end of the availability when asked a question by a reporter.

“But what we have seen, so far at least, is a incapacity at this point for the Security Council to more forward in the face of a clear violation of international norms. And, you know, I recognize that all of us here in the United States, in Great Britain and many parts of the world, there’s a certain weariness given Afghanistan. There’s a certain suspicion of any military action post-Iraq. And I very much appreciate that,” the president continued.

“On the other hand, it’s important for us to recognize that when over 1,000 people are killed, including hundreds of innocent children, through the use of a weapon that 98 percent or 99 percent of humanity says should not be used, even in war, and there is no action, then we’re sending a signal that that international norm doesn’t mean much, and that is a danger to our national security.”

Obama added that “obviously if and when we make a decision to respond, there are a whole host of considerations that I have to take into account too in terms of how effective it is, and given the kinds of options that we’re looking at, that would be very limited, and would not involve a long-term commitment or a major operation, you know, we are confident that we can provide Congress all the information they can get, all the input that they need.”

“But ultimately we don’t want the world to be paralyzed. And, frankly, you know, part of the challenge that we end up with here is that a lot of people think something should be done, but nobody wants to do it. And that’s not an unusual situation, and that’s part of what allows, over time, the erosion of these kinds of international prohibitions unless somebody says, ‘No. When the world says we’re not gonna use chemical weapons, we mean it.’ And it would be tempting to leave it to others to do it. And I’ve — I think I’ve shown consistently and said consistently my strong preference for multilateral action whenever possible.”

The president concluded that “part of our obligation as a leader in the world is making sure that when you have a regime that is willing to use weapons that are prohibited by international norms on their own people — including children — that they’re held to account.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
Have you read about that diplomat in Benghazi? The one Obama and Clinton abandoned? The one who was tortured to death? (No. You don't want to know ha5t they did to him.) He suffered for the hands of the same people that Obama now want's to protect because our government and the MSM tells us that Assad gassed them?

The same people that Obama ant to protect are the same people who mutilated and hung the burned bodies of our men on a bridge. The same people who behead anyone they dislike. The same people who mutilate people who don't jump when they say 'Boo.'

That's who Obama wants to defend and protect.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, lots of people think something should be done...but John Cleese tells us how they usually go about doing it.

Via Powerline
This is making the rounds, and should not be missed:



The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Fine speech.

Now go deliver it to the Kurds...and you might take your NO vote with you when you go speak to them over the 300,000 graves.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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A lot of folks believe that Obamacare should not be implemented but Obama pays no attention and plows ahead. We have no real interest in Syria. He wants to appear strong in the history books. I care about American service members.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Folks, this is all Kabuki theatre 101! Need proof? While all this Syria strike, no - strike was on the table...master magician simply kept waving his left hand, while with his right hand - POOF! out he pulled from his tall black hat, amnesty reform in the form of an Executive Order. This totally circumvents everything Constitutional, Congressional and America's "Rule of Law!" Wow! What British crown couldn't accomplish in 100 years, Obama has decimated everything USA in a mere 5 years. The "new collective" is alive and well. Pray. Amen.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dear Mr. President:

You received your Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing. It would be an excellent strategy in this case to follow your OWN lead.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Um, how many more countries does Barry have to bomb before he is eligible for another Nobel??
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We are on our own. It is oddly comforting to know that Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Begin were all right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There is no winning side for us in Syria. Let the Muslim World deal with this. If we intervene, everything will be blamed on us. We may have used to be The World's Policeman, but that is no longer. Stay out.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We need to lower our expectations about the art of the possible in Syria. Chemical weopons being used by bad people is not a good thing. However in the face of an increasing array of global threats what does our president and dems do? Well naturally you downsize the military of course. You support the muslim brotherhood and give them a ticket to the white house for visits. You give speeches on college campuses to the ignorant and blinded youth continuously and target non-events as racist at every turn. Listen we did not vote for this clown but this is the guy who is president and now he wants to do something warlike to satisfy his pathetic ego. Some gave him a booboo and they will pay. Does anyone seriously think he cares about chemical weopons or how about nukes. The worst reason to go to war is for this guys pathetic performance as president and who set the table of his foreign policy of leading from behind? Non other than the greatest secretary of state EVVA the hildebeast clinton. Now followed by I served in vietnam John Kerry who no doubt is the second greatest sec of state. This hideous chapter in our history is all Obama's to own and be accountable for. He is a proven liar (healthcare, beganzi, IRS, energy). He is an incompetent boob on almost every level from economics to foreign policy. He is a ruthless idealogue and politician who will do anything to win. He is a racist (yes I said it) just take a look at the DOJ and almost every other government agencies. He does not deserve our trust or respect and if I were in the military I would have grave reservations about my fate under his leadership. What does it say about someone who has such flawed judgement to absolutely tell a bald faced lie about a video causing the riots in Bengahzi and abandoning our men and women in their last desparate hours. I say never again will I give this guy the time of day and certainly will not agree to risk the lives of our young men and women for this pathetic out of control ego.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Where are Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, the OWS crowd, and all of those committed peace-loving lefties? They don't agitate on holiday weekends? Doesn't Madam Hillary, with her years of foreign policy experience, have an opinion? Oh my god, Sean Penn, blessed be he, has been entirely silent; is he ill? Alec Baldwin can be excused, he too busy punching out gays. The Dixie Chicks, well, they've faded into obscurity, entirely. As for the MSM, they're furiously rewriting history in an attempt to salvage whatever is left of Barry's reputation. Has no one considered that a US attack on Syria will be a setback for Obama's Army Muslim outreach initiative. Obama's red lines are about as impressive as lipstick on a pig.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Arm the Kurds.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
France is without doubt America's 'oldest ally' without France's back stabbing attacks on the British, done more as an anti British thing than as pro America thing, there would never have been a USA.

The USURPER supporting "left' are hypocrites of the highest order , remember their vilification of Bush when he attacked Saddam, a man who with no doubt whatsoever killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Kurds, Iraqis and Iranians with WMD's. But now just so the USURPER can massage HIS narcissistic Political ego they are willing to support an attack on Syria, not the REAL culprits Iran and Saudi Arabia of course that would be far too logical, in an internal Muslim Sunni/Shia conflict where BOTH sides are our enemies.

Americans are forever bragging about how they rushed to save the UK in WWI and WWII but history does not back up their claims. In both World Wars
America initially sat on the sidelines selling to both sides and in the
process replacing the UK as the richest and most powerful country in the
World. Subsequent to WWII they used this power to speed up and force
the break up of the British Empire while at the same time establishing their OWN Financial Empire and to humiliate Britain and France
at Suez.

In WWI they did not join until late 1917 when it was just about over and
never got to France in numbers until 1918, the casualty lists tell the
story. In WWII they similarly sat on the sidelines and did not get
involve until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and GERMANY declared war on

So for America to criticize the UK now is hypocrisy of the highest order. BTW
their claim for France to be their oldest ally is true, without France's
British back stabbing assistance in the War of Independence there would
be no America.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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