We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.
Congress made him say that. Treaties made him say that. And 98% of the whole wide world forced Professor Wiggleroom to explicitly state that he might have to reassign some math homework if some bad stuff happened or appeared to be maybe about to happen. Or something.
To which I ask, “Professor Wiggleroom, where is that 98% of the world?”
We have France, sort of. The United States military, if the order is given. And nobody else, including the American people, really seems to give a rat’s ass what happens in Syria. Maybe they would, if Wiggleroom had — oh, I dunno — actually led on this issue a year ago. Gone to the UN, gone to Congress, hit the bully pulpit, built a coalition. Little things, like that Cowboy Diplomatist did during his 14-month “rush to war” in Iraq. Instead, Wiggleroom finds himself in the uncomfortable and unaccustomed position of having to lead from the front — and there’s nobody behind him but France, looking nervously for the exit. The president who loves to talk has talked himself into a war — and almost nobody else.
It’s clear from his “red-line-not-red-line” statement from last year that Wiggleroom didn’t want a war. It’s also clear that he doesn’t want to look like a total ass on the world stage. But he already has the latter, and he’s probably going to get the former in his increasingly desperate attempts to deny the obvious truth of the latter. What we have here isn’t a rush to war, so much as a stumbling into war.
Red line, schmed line. Did say it, didn’t say it, might have meant it, might not have meant it. It’s 3AM. The phone is ringing. And there’s nobody there to answer it, nobody at all.
What I feel now isn’t amusement and it isn’t shock. It’s shame. It’s red-faced, staring-down-at-the-floor shame for my country that an irresponsible man-child such as this should lead it.
Now Wiggleroom is trying to shift the blame on the GOP half of Congress for approving a war (even though they may not), to pin the blame on treaties for requiring a war (even though they don’t), and to place the blame on world opinion for demanding a war (even though nobody is). But the blame, the responsibility rests solely on the shoulders of a president who would order better men to their deaths for the noble cause of removing his foot from his mouth.