Outmaneuvered

Putin's strategy pushes bumbling administration further into failure

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President Obama was his usual smooth-spoken self in his speech on Syria Tuesday night, and his emotional appeals were compellingly delivered.

But like meringue, which takes up a lot of space without much substance, his speech dissolved in an instant, amid events that are leading him, rather than the other way around.

Despite his Pee Wee Herman-like attempt to portray the Russian peace proposal as his initiative all along – “I meant to do that!” the comedic character would say when events spiraled out of his control – it’s clear to most observers that Mr. Obama and his administration have been outmaneuvered at every turn. And the American bumbling now has the perverse effect of making Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad look peace-loving and magnanimous.

We know that’s not the case, of course. Assad is annihilating his own people, allegedly at times with some of the cruelest chemical weapons known to mankind. Putin, meanwhile, has, with China’s help, blocked any United Nations efforts to slow Assad’s assassinations.

How an American president put such people in the driver’s seat will just have to be sorted out by head-shaking historians. But this all made for the most bizarre presidential prime-time address in our nation’s history.

“Here’s a president,” summed up syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, “who urgently addresses a nation on all (television) channels to call for a pause on something that the nation doesn’t want to do in the first place. This is almost unbelievable.”

Putin’s maneuver, a brilliant chess move, forced the Nobel Peace Prize President to back away from a military strike. That, and the fact that Congress and the American people were about to do it themselves. Now the American president is forced to consider a completely disingenuous proposal. Who truly believes the Syrians would hand over their complete stockpiles of chemical weapons, or that their chief patron at the Kremlin even wants that?

The terms are a nonstarter, as well: Obama must agree to have the American military stand down. In short, unconditional surrender. What exactly is there to mull over?

“A farce,” is how Krauthammer characterized the Russian proposal.

To understand the magnitude of Obama’s folly and its collateral damage to the prestige and credibility of the office of president, imagine the Cuban missile crisis – only with the Russians winning.

Whatever the klutzy, accidental outcome, it should not involve a strike on Syria. What Assad has done is pure evil, but it is simply not in our capacity to eradicate all the planet’s evil, or to punish its incarnations militarily. We have no business in Syria, our national interest is not obtainable with the nose of a missile, and Mr. Obama has yet to explain away the possible consequences of a strike.

All the blundering, too, will likely have repercussions.

For one thing, the next president will have to get a color other than red to draw lines. With his reckless talk, inept actions and incoherent policies, Mr. Obama has made red lines an international joke.

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Bizkit
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Bizkit 09/12/13 - 05:21 pm
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What was it I said about

What was it I said about these phony scandals sprouting legs-looks like the IRS scandal is sprouting legs and "someone" needs to starting begging for immunity before she goes to prison. Uh oh.

carcraft
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carcraft 09/12/13 - 07:22 pm
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Bizkit, I noticed that on the

Bizkit, I noticed that on the news today. I also noticed the Fast And Furious Court action by the House is picking up steam. How many scandals and crises can one community organizer handle at once, phony or other wise ?

Bizkit
31505
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Bizkit 09/12/13 - 08:51 pm
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I agree Car, I don't

I agree Car, I don't understand why the Rep can't get their political machine together to make hay over all this as Dems would do. Not just one scandal but a growing lists needs an equal and opposite reaction to keep the yin-yang of govt in balance. I supported all the investigations of Bush for fair and honest govt so I'd expect the same now too-especially with so many concerns. Before ideology we have to have honest govt-but who am I kidding.

carcraft
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carcraft 09/12/13 - 09:55 pm
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Bizkit, the problem for

Bizkit, the problem for Republicans is that the press simply doesn't cover Democratic scandals the way they do Republican scandals. Can you tell me the last time Obama was pressured by the about if Holder should go because of all the scandals? How much has the press pushed Obama about Bengahzi? I can think of 3 reporters. One in ABC and she has been harassed by Obama admin and her boss! Major Garret and s Fox reporter. The same with the IRS scandal. Rare reporting and almost a denigration of the TRUTH when reported. How many people know the unemployment rate is higher than when Obama took office and we have 94 million FEWER in the work force? I blame the press who have ties with the politicians and cover for Obama to protect thier relatives who work for Obama and thier interests in the administration.

dahreese
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dahreese 09/12/13 - 10:34 pm
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"Assad is annihilating his
Unpublished

"Assad is annihilating his own people, allegedly at times with some of the cruelest chemical weapons known to mankind."

It's not an unfair question to ask if the same victims had been killed by a bomb would Obama, or the conservative right on this forum, or the editorial writers of the AC care?

This editorial is more to slam Obama (what's new) than it is a concern about the gassed victims. Admittedly, however, Obama stuck his foot in his mouth and we should wonder why? What's in the back ground of that decision that we don't yet know?

This gassing is part of an ongoing civil war among a number of different religious and ethnic factions.

(It is also a fact that Saddam killed a large number of Kurds with gas chemicals sold to him by this country. (And yes, HA, I can "prove it"). Little was said about it by the U.S. or the British media).

The type of military strikes called for by the likes of Charles Krauthammer and other war hawks could have serious consequences this country/military is not prepared to deal with.

"The fact is that the US could inflict far more pain on the Syrian government with nonviolent means such as tightening the financial boycott on its banks.... President Obama should show some backbone and buck the war party inside the Beltway, and insist on non-violent but effective punishment of Damascus for its atrocity, instead of the somewhat juvenile insistence that “action” equals violent action."

carcraft
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carcraft 09/13/13 - 05:03 am
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Dahreese, we have three

Dahreese, we have three SEPERATE issues. The first is humanitarian, the second is constitutional, the last is US integrity. Why are Syrian deaths more note worthy than deaths in Darfur? Why Syria? Why Months after chemical weapons have been used by the rebels we are now arming? Does Obama have the power to bomb a nation that is not a threat? Constitutional scholar Obama as a Senator said it was an impeachable offense. Constitutional sholar Obama says he can as President, but choose to go to Congress anyway. If Congress refuses to OK it what would constitutional scholar Obama say then? Obama drew the red line in the sand putting American integrity on the line . Well if youdo that you had better follow up. Krauthammer 's big concern is that Russia and Iran will become dominant in that region of the world.Obama has dithered while Assad has consolidated power, kicked rebel tail and allowed jihadist factions to become increasingly power full among the rebels. Now basically the only salavageable issue is our integrity which Kerry and Obama have allowed Putin to snatched away!

carcraft
25928
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carcraft 09/13/13 - 05:14 am
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Dahreese, Obama should show

Dahreese, Obama should show some backbone and buck the war party? Lol, it was community organizer Obama who threatened violence! It is community organizet Obama who failed to understand the problems of Syria being a Russian client state, this is Obama's doing!

carcraft
25928
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carcraft 09/13/13 - 08:25 am
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The other great irony of this

The other great irony of this farce is that Obama excorieted Bush for Afghanistan and Iraq then used segments of Bush's speech justifying Iraq in his speech justifying Syria!

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