Obama's views on Syria: Confused or calculated?

May 2, 2013 Full story: The Kansas City Star 32

On Wednesday, Brendan Porter, a senior at Olathe North High School, was named the Kansas winner for his underwater-themed doodle.

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“My Bad! Just hold me. ”

Since: Aug 07

Orion's Belt

#1 May 2, 2013
~sigh~ Really?!

“I know where you are,”

Since: Jun 08

Right here under my thumb

#2 May 2, 2013
Obama's views on Syria: Confused or calculated?
Full story: The Kansas City Star

On Wednesday, Brendan Porter, a senior at Olathe North High School, was named the Kansas winner for his underwater-themed doodle.

Wtf?

“'" Always Thinking '"”

Since: Nov 12

Greensburg, IN

#3 May 2, 2013

“I know where you are,”

Since: Jun 08

Right here under my thumb

#4 May 2, 2013
Sorry, but as much as I'd love to get spammed by some two-bit posted link - I think I'll just pass and get my facts from the WSJ.

Since: Oct 08

Middlesex, NY

#5 May 2, 2013
Calculated.

“My Bad! Just hold me. ”

Since: Aug 07

Orion's Belt

#6 May 2, 2013
GEORGE WILL
Obama’s views on Syria: Confused or calculated?
May 1
BY GEORGE WILL
The Washington Post

People who talk incessantly often talk imprecisely, and Barack Obama, who is as loquacious as he is impressed with his verbal dexterity, has talked himself into a corner concerning Syria and chemical weapons.

His policy is better than his description of it, and his description is convoluted because he lacks the courage of his sensible conviction that entanglement in Syria would be unwise.

Nine months ago, Obama said:“We have been very clear to the Assad regime … 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.” This is less a policy than a large loophole masquerading as a policy.

“Moving around or being utilized”(emphasis added) suggested that moving the weapons would cross the red line. Now, however, the argument is entirely about whether they have been used.

How much is “a whole bunch”? Can less than this be utilized without changing his “calculus”? What, if anything, might a changed calculus mean in terms of U.S. actions?

By last week, the “red line” had been demoted to just “another line”:“To use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law.… That is going to be a game changer.” Well.

What about the use against other than civilian populations? Do Bashar al-Assad’s armed enemies count as civilians? How might the game change? Or is the use of such weapons itself the change? Does the line matter only with regard to international law and norms, not to U.S. policy?

An unidentified Obama aide did Obama no favor when he characterized (to The New Yorker) Obama’s policy as an oxymoron —“leading from behind.” Those who have the courage of Obama’s convictions should praise his policy as an escape from the delusional ambition that the United States can and should lead everywhere.

The argument about what, if anything, the United States should do about developments — at once appalling and opaque — in Syria is just the latest flaring of a controversy that can be said to have been kindled in 1990 when Jeane Kirkpatrick urged the United States to resume its life as a “normal nation.” Although Kirkpatrick was a Democrat until 1985, she was in accord with Ronald Reagan, for whom she served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., regarding foreign policy.

In an article written after the Berlin Wall fell and before Iraq invaded Kuwait and the United States prepared to reverse this aggression, Kirkpatrick wrote:“With a return to ‘normal’ times, we can again become a normal nation.… It is time to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status.”

One of those benefits is that those who make U.S. foreign policy can scrub from their vocabularies the word “unacceptable,” which usually denotes something America actually must accept.

Or even already is accepting, as when Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, strangely said “the United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”

In December, Obama said:“The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable.” Not partially but totally, so …

Remember Colin Powell’s U.N. speech detailing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, a speech the accusations in which Powell meticulously vetted during days he spent at CIA headquarters? Obama is muddled about his own red lines but he is rightly cautious about what it is possible to know about the Assad regime’s behavior.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “it is in our DNA” to believe “there are no limits on what is possible or what can be achieved.” Obama seems to know better. Certainly his confused — or perhaps calculatedly confusing — words about red lines serve his policy of sensible caution.

(that is what the article states)

“My Bad! Just hold me. ”

Since: Aug 07

Orion's Belt

#7 May 2, 2013
GEORGE WILL
Obama’s views on Syria: Confused or calculated?
May 1
BY GEORGE WILL
The Washington Post

People who talk incessantly often talk imprecisely, and Barack Obama, who is as loquacious as he is impressed with his verbal dexterity, has talked himself into a corner concerning Syria and chemical weapons.

His policy is better than his description of it, and his description is convoluted because he lacks the courage of his sensible conviction that entanglement in Syria would be unwise.

Nine months ago, Obama said:“We have been very clear to the Assad regime … 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.” This is less a policy than a large loophole masquerading as a policy.

“Moving around or being utilized”(emphasis added) suggested that moving the weapons would cross the red line. Now, however, the argument is entirely about whether they have been used.

How much is “a whole bunch”? Can less than this be utilized without changing his “calculus”? What, if anything, might a changed calculus mean in terms of U.S. actions?

By last week, the “red line” had been demoted to just “another line”:“To use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law.… That is going to be a game changer.” Well.

What about the use against other than civilian populations? Do Bashar al-Assad’s armed enemies count as civilians? How might the game change? Or is the use of such weapons itself the change? Does the line matter only with regard to international law and norms, not to U.S. policy?

An unidentified Obama aide did Obama no favor when he characterized (to The New Yorker) Obama’s policy as an oxymoron —“leading from behind.” Those who have the courage of Obama’s convictions should praise his policy as an escape from the delusional ambition that the United States can and should lead everywhere.

The argument about what, if anything, the United States should do about developments — at once appalling and opaque — in Syria is just the latest flaring of a controversy that can be said to have been kindled in 1990 when Jeane Kirkpatrick urged the United States to resume its life as a “normal nation.” Although Kirkpatrick was a Democrat until 1985, she was in accord with Ronald Reagan, for whom she served as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., regarding foreign policy.

In an article written after the Berlin Wall fell and before Iraq invaded Kuwait and the United States prepared to reverse this aggression, Kirkpatrick wrote:“With a return to ‘normal’ times, we can again become a normal nation.… It is time to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status.”

One of those benefits is that those who make U.S. foreign policy can scrub from their vocabularies the word “unacceptable,” which usually denotes something America actually must accept.

Or even already is accepting, as when Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, strangely said “the United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”

In December, Obama said:“The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable.” Not partially but totally, so …

Remember Colin Powell’s U.N. speech detailing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, a speech the accusations in which Powell meticulously vetted during days he spent at CIA headquarters? Obama is muddled about his own red lines but he is rightly cautious about what it is possible to know about the Assad regime’s behavior.

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “it is in our DNA” to believe “there are no limits on what is possible or what can be achieved.” Obama seems to know better. Certainly his confused — or perhaps calculatedly confusing — words about red lines serve his policy of sensible caution.

(I tried to send this once. Have no clue. But is what the article states)

“I know where you are,”

Since: Jun 08

Right here under my thumb

#8 May 2, 2013
Editorial by yet another Conservative.

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#9 May 2, 2013
Calculatedly confused or confusedly calculated. Either way, it really hurts his credibility and makes him appear weak, not good for a President. Just sayin'

“Geaux Tigers!”

Since: Jun 12

Down on the bayou

#10 May 2, 2013
milwaukee69 wrote:
Editorial by yet another Conservative.
LoL. Will is about as conservative as Obama.

“I know where you are,”

Since: Jun 08

Right here under my thumb

#11 May 2, 2013
65007noogard wrote:
<quoted text>
LoL. Will is about as conservative as Obama.
George Frederick Will (born May 4, 1941) is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Will
DonkeyEstonkey

Hampton, VA

#12 May 2, 2013
Calculated, but not necessarily correct.
eg; I felt the whole red line chem weapons statement was ill advised, painting himself into a bit of a corner...

“Geaux Tigers!”

Since: Jun 12

Down on the bayou

#13 May 2, 2013
milwaukee69 wrote:
<quoted text>
George Frederick Will (born May 4, 1941) is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Will
If you read down further, you'll see that many of his stances are not conservative.

“I know where you are,”

Since: Jun 08

Right here under my thumb

#14 May 2, 2013
65007noogard wrote:
<quoted text>
If you read down further, you'll see that many of his stances are not conservative.
Not many - some. And he's pissed off everyone including the Pope.

“Geaux Tigers!”

Since: Jun 12

Down on the bayou

#15 May 2, 2013
milwaukee69 wrote:
<quoted text>
Not many - some. And he's pissed off everyone including the Pope.
LoL. Gotta like a guy that's not afraid of pissing off the pope :)

“A *wink* and a smile!!”

Since: Apr 10

USA

#16 May 2, 2013
I think Calculated. He still stands behind the Red Line comment but he's smart enough not to go into that situation without the true facts and support by other countries..

“ROCK ON ROCKERS!!”

Since: Mar 11

Rockin' USA ;)

#17 May 2, 2013
Naughtyrobot wrote:
Calculatedly confused or confusedly calculated. Either way, it really hurts his credibility and makes him appear weak, not good for a President. Just sayin'
I should take a switch to you.. for that remark!!..THE "Let'S Invade Iraq Tactic"..has cost innocent American service members lives.. DUE to believing there was Weapons of Mass Destruction there!!.. Obama ISN'T WEAK...he is USING Common Sense..He wants PROOF... that Chemical Weapons were possibly USED...Because. he Knows if he DOES go in there with blazing guns...A CHAIN REACTION WILL OCCUR.... Can we say NUCLEAR WAR from a WHOEVER has a problem WITH America being in EVERYONE'S BUSINESS!!!..
GET A GRIP!!

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#18 May 2, 2013
Colorado Chick wrote:
<quoted text> I should take a switch to you.. for that remark!!..THE "Let'S Invade Iraq Tactic"..has cost innocent American service members lives.. DUE to believing there was Weapons of Mass Destruction there!!.. Obama ISN'T WEAK...he is USING Common Sense..He wants PROOF... that Chemical Weapons were possibly USED...Because. he Knows if he DOES go in there with blazing guns...A CHAIN REACTION WILL OCCUR.... Can we say NUCLEAR WAR from a WHOEVER has a problem WITH America being in EVERYONE'S BUSINESS!!!..
GET A GRIP!!
Oh, I don't disagree with you that we should stay out of Syria, if that is what you are saying. What I meant was that Obama should not have tried to talk so tough and laid down a "Red Line" to be crossed. By saying what he said and then painting himself into a corner, it undermines his authority and makes him look weak. Now he is in a real pickle and I am also fearful that he will arm radical extremist muslims that will eventually use those weapons against us or our allies and that he might put more of our men and women of the armed forces in harms way in Syria for a dubious cause and a people that hate us and will always hate us to varying degrees(very, or very much). Yeah, sounds like Iraq all over again.

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#19 May 2, 2013
Naughtyrobot wrote:
<quoted text>Oh, I don't disagree with you that we should stay out of Syria, if that is what you are saying. What I meant was that Obama should not have tried to talk so tough and laid down a "Red Line" to be crossed. By saying what he said and then painting himself into a corner, it undermines his authority and makes him look weak. Now he is in a real pickle and I am also fearful that he will arm radical extremist muslims that will eventually use those weapons against us or our allies and that he might put more of our men and women of the armed forces in harms way in Syria for a dubious cause and a people that hate us and will always hate us to varying degrees(very, or very much). Yeah, sounds like Iraq all over again.
We are already arming the terrorists there. They even use children as soldiers. http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-president-showin... They were the ones that tried to down a Russian passenger jet recently, with 159 people on board. http://www.infowars.com/did-al-qaeda-try-to-d... Even Russia has tried to help by supplying the names of the terrorist leaders we are arming http://www.trunews.com/russia-usa-arming-al-q...

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#20 May 2, 2013

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