Expanded intervention in Syria’s civil war? The promised “red line” punitive strike? An equivocal pause for congressional rumination? Ambiguous postponement? Or… a “Saturday Night Live” Emily Litella “never mind” skit on the world stage — farcical incompetence an obscene response to obscene tragedy?
The five preceding sentence fragments framed as questions sketch five potential near-term futures, each either created by or now operationally constrained by President Barack Obama’s Aug. 20, 2012 “red line” declaration. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they could all occur. Near-simultaneity would be difficult, but given this past week’s combination of Keystone Kops and kabuki, don’t say it can’t happen.
There’s more, and of course you should Read the Whole Thing™.
Speaking of simultaneous actions — or in my case, reactions — I’ve been torn between amused dismay at the president’s strategery, and a sort of resigned shock, if such a thing is possible, at what’s going on in Syria. But then I skipped over to Drudge and saw what he has going on above the banner.
And here’s the quote from Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom himself:
“First of all, I didn’t set a red line,” said Obama. “The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudible] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for. So, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air. There’s a reason for it.”
So a made-up percentage of people said something inaudible which demanded — nay, required! — that Ditherton Wiggleroom make an off-the-cuff pronouncement so full of strategic ambiguities I thought maybe it was something my seven-year-old son might have said after getting caught with his little brother’s toys in his pants. If you don’t recall, here’s what Wiggleroom said last year: