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If Obama Doesn't Bomb Syria Now, He's Toast

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Apologies for another Syria post after this morning’s essay, but sometimes the news gives you no choice. From the Times this morning, we see that the President is still floundering, unwilling or unable to level with himself or the public about just how ugly his self-created Syria predicament has become:

“I didn’t set a red line; the world set a red line,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference in Stockholm on the first day of a three-day visit to Sweden and Russia, where he will take part in a summit meeting that is likely to be dominated by the war in Syria.

“My credibility’s not on the line,” he said, appealing to lawmakers and foreign leaders to back his plan to retaliate against President Bashar al-Assad. “The international community’s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress’s credibility is on the line.”

President Obama could not be more wrong. It is precisely the President’s credibility as a spokesman for the “international community” (whatever that is) and for US foreign policy that is glaringly and horribly on the line. An effective leader would have consulted with key people in Congress and made sure of his backing before making explicit threats of force. Now the President is twisting lonesomely in the wind, and the question is whether Congress will ride to the rescue. If it doesn’t, it will be the closest thing the American system has to a parliamentary vote of “no confidence”, where Congress explicitly declares to the world that the President of the United States does not speak for the country.

That would be very dangerous. Foreigners will no longer know when and whether to take anything this President says as representing American policy rather than his own editorial opinions. We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.

If Congress declines to support what even proponents of a Syria strike must agree is a massively screwed up policy, then the President will face another choice. He can do a “Clinton” (President Clinton bombed Serbia in the teeth of congressional disapproval), or he can fold like a cheap suit. If he chooses the latter course, Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” stunt at the 2012 GOP convention will look eerily prophetic. For purposes of foreign policy, the United States will endure something like a presidential vacancy until Mr. Obama is replaced in 2017 or until he finds a way to restore his authority and prestige.

Considered in the abstract, the planned attacks on Syria may or may not be smart. But thanks to this latest round of “smart diplomacy,” if bombs don’t fall on Syria, President Obama will have bombed his own credibility into oblivion.

[Photo courtesy Getty Images.]

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  • Anthony

    The reason Congress might vote it down has as much to do with the social group Professor Mead belongs to as it does with President Obama specifically.

    The American elite has given us massive outsourcing, stagnant wages, credit default swaps, a low wage economy, out of control health care costs, and out of control higher educational costs. We are told that we just don’t have enough money to pay pensions promised to government workers – who by the way aren’t entitled to ANY money from social security – yet apparently we can afford to invade another country in the Middle East.

    It was this same elite group that has given us two wars that have dragged on longer than a decade. The war in Afghanistan began when I was a senior in high school; I’m now thirty years old.

    You know who provides the moral support for American wars? Answer: the middle class, and right now it is not in a trusting mood.

    In professor Mead’s previous post, he rightfully chastised Congress for not coming to grips with the full consequences of voting for a war resolution. Now, he is essentially saying that they HAVE TO VOTE FOR IT OR ELSE. I sense a little inconsistency here.

    • Scott Walker

      Bingo. We have a winner.

    • sez-who

      We seem to have several billion for a new NSA building in Utah, too. How is that?

    • freeinaz

      Please don’t forget the absence of securing our borders. So if we piss these people off by raging war they can easily come into our country via the porous border and cause all kinds of hate and discontent.

  • Michael Rodgers

    “We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    Yes, that is one argument. But, this disgraceful man shifts blame wherever he can. This, along with his arrogant “I won” attitude, has made him few friends at home and abroad. He has brought this on himself, and quite frankly, I could give a damn about his image.

    The decision should be based solely on what political purpose is to be translated into military strategy. To protect him? No. Uphold a red line he created for this country? No. Achieve some other objective? Maybe.

    The enemy gets a vote too. So, we had better make sure that what we ask of our military to accomplish is worth the risks. To date, he has not done this, but instead, has tried to shift blame once again.

    • Pete

      Obama is a man-child. He never grew guy, so hence, like a child, he tries to shift blame everyday he can.

      And while we’re at it, realize that the mainstream media bears a huge responsibility for America having this child in the Oval Office.

      Not only did the media refuse to examine Obama, his shallow background, and dubious associations, but it acted as a propaganda arm towards his election. Never forget that.

      • bpuharic

        Conservatives yawned while the flag draped coffins arrived at Dover from Iraq. they borrowed money we didn’t have to pay for a war they never intended to win

        But now the entire future of the US rests on Syria

        Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.

        • J D

          You just did.

        • Rol_Texas

          Obviously you haven’t been reading The American Conservative on foreign policy for the past decade.

        • Dave Gamble

          Oh goody, yet again the “Bush did it too” defense for a president that could not possibly have run any harder as the anti-Bush candidate.

        • Th_Ph

          I had bpuharic, once. Lesson learned: never eat food sold by street vendors.

          • Nate Whilk

            bpuharic is the involuntary sound I made a couple of hours after eating food from a sketchy street vendor.

        • ThomasD

          Flag draped coffins have continued to roll through US airports during the entire Obama presidency. Yet you, and your ilk – including the media previously so gung ho to display those images – has turned a blind eye to it all.

        • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

          We lost the Iraq and Afghan wars? Hmm. Who did that, would you say?

        • Mwalimu_Daudi

          they (sp) borrowed money we didn’t have to pay for a war they never intended to win

          Saddam Hussein could not be reached for comment.

          • bpuharic

            So we should spend 2 trillion and 4400 US lives to get rid of every dictator on the planet?

            Yeah, you and five others have no common sense at all.

        • George Scoresby

          can I have some of what you’re smoking

      • GardenGnomeLF

        The media did examine his background. He is one of them. They are the same.

  • jeburke

    VM makes some good points, but I think this fiasco tells us something more than that Obama is inept. I think it tells us that his heart — his deepest convictions — are leftist, “antiwar,” and critical of America’s role in the world. We have seen clear signs of this throughout his first term — the Cairo speech, the slobbering over Chavez, the comical Russian “reset,” with its back of the hand to Poles and Czechs, the zeroing out of US troops in Iraq, etc. But of course, we also saw Obama continuing and expanding the war in Afghanistan, ramping uo drone attacks on al Qaeda, even knocking off Gaddafi, albeit “from behind.”

    But Obama is also a politician, one who always had his eyes on 2012. Waging the “good war” was a campaign theme, and no President could afford to go soft on al Qaeda. Now, that he’s been reelected, looking back, Obama feels he was rolled by the military and advisors like Hillary and Gates into the Afghan escalation. He feels he was pressured by France and Britain into the Libya intervention when he still had an election to win ahead of him. Similarly, I’ll bet he resented the pressure to do something about Assad.

    Then, the British Parliament surprised everyone and voted against intervention, and Obama said to himself, “That’s it! Why don’t I ask Congress for permission. If they vote, no, which is likely, I’m off the hook.” He didn’t go to Congress to shore up support for military action but to rule it out.

    • bpuharic

      He’s so inept he’s kept us out of wars that conservatives got us into. He’s got the economy growing and we have universal healthcare

      If that’s inept, I’ll take it over the “Mission Accomplished” attitude of the right wing any time.

      • ronchris

        We already had universal health care, and the economy is growing IN SPITE OF obama not because of him, and he is blundering his way out of Iraq & Afghanistan.
        Inept is barely sufficient to describe how bad this administration is.

        • bpuharic

          I’m a volunteer EMT. A volunteer with hospice. Former student nurse

          As Edith Keeler said in “Star Trek”, a lie is a terrible way to say hello. ANd you’re lying. THere’s no other way to put it. You’re a liar. We do not have universal healthcare.

          And the ‘blunder’ was done in Afghanistan LONG before Obama got there. It was called “Iraq”, a war we NEVER should have fought. It was a failure the moment the first US troops set foot there

          Thanks to conservatives.

          • Mwalimu_Daudi

            I have a question: were you born stupid, or did you have to practice at it?

            We have universal health care. Just deal with it. And 2+2 still equals 4.

          • bpuharic

            We have universal healthcare?

            True. But only Martians get it.

            See. I can make up lies as well.

  • lukelea

    US foreign policy . . . is glaringly and horribly on the line

    Somebody has glaringly strong opinions on this issue. Why shouldn’t the President be allowed to change his mind? Why might it not be better for the West to keep its powder dry til such a time when our credibility really will be on the line, namely, when it comes time to make sure Iran doesn’t obtain nuclear weapons?

    What scares me is the possibility that if the US if the US bombs Syria and thereby weakens the Assad regime we will have implicitly assumed responsibility for what happens in Syria in a post-Assad era.

    I can see how Israel might like to see a post-Assad era (though look out for what you wish for) but after what has happened in Iraq, and then Afghanistan, you have to wonder if the US can afford another to pour another trillion dollars down a rat hole. The biggest threat to US military credibility is that we can no longer afford major undertakings when our national security is not directly and plainly on the line.

    But, hey, I may be wrong. I wish WRM would show a little humility too.

    • cubanbob

      The Israeli’s aren’t pushing for the US to get involved in Syria. They know that however bad Assad is what comes after is even worse.

      • Kevin

        Figuring out the Isreali position is not easy. AIPAC is lobbying in favor of a vote for war. Israel would like to see Iran, Hezbollah, etc undermined but isn’t enthusiastic about the Syrian opposition either. They care far more about Iran’s nuclear program than Syria. Netanyahu has tried to keep his (unruly) cabinet quiet but hasn’t been totally successful on this. Overall my sense is they are in favor of a pro-war vote but they are divided and have been keeping quiet mostly.

    • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

      Syria is an Iranian proxy. No one questions that. Already Iran has declared an equivalent to Bush’s position on Kuwait. Whether they are doing as seriously remains to be seen but yes, folding on Syria will mean an emboldened Iran but maybe that is to the good as well. When it is even more obvious that they cannot be reasoned out of their Holy War maybe it will become conventional, functional wisdom.

  • NCMountainGirl

    So let him be toast. I hate to be a pessimist but too much of what is happening right now on the world scene is vaguely reminiscent of the events of the summer of 1914 when world leaders went to war to save face and for very parochial concerns. They too were certain they could control events and many planned for a short war.

    Unfortunately today’s leaders seem even more inept. Perhaps the saving grace will be there seem to be a lot fewer fools ready to heed their rulers cries and enter into the breach.

    • avery12

      Exactly. Let him be toast. He isn’t the only president ever. Sometimes they don’t turn out right, like a pancake, and you have to scrap it and move on.
      A good president will be respected because his actions and words will command respect. A good president will have a great deal less blaming and excuses and vilifying others for his own shortcomings and limitations. A good president won’t seek to burden/sacrifice everybody else to the advantage of himself.
      We should be looking to minimize the damage of a bad president if we care about the well-being of this nation and the future generations.
      Our best course as a nation would be to ensure the administration meets its own consequences while we try to spare the citizens.

    • George Scoresby

      That is the most hopeful thing to come out of the past couple of weeks. Here in the UK, the MSM has been hot for war, calling for another vote in Parliament, because they didn’t like the last one. But if anything, opinion against bombing Syria has hardened.

  • John Stephens

    I did not vote for Barack Obama, and I have vehemently opposed all his policies both foreign and domestic. I repudiate him as President, and I declare to the world that he does not does not speak for me. I have instructed my Congressmen to oppose military action in Syria under any circumstances.

    I understand and accept the potential consequences of this position.

    • charlesrwilliams

      You’re right. Retreat is better than advancing under this man’s leadership. Somebody else will have to pick up the pieces in 2017.

      • bpuharic

        We could have had McCain…in which case US troops would now be fighting their way into Damascus

        You guys happy with that? After all, conservatives never saw a war they didn’t want to fight. No matter how many decades and trillions of dollars it took

        • Mwalimu_Daudi

          Interesting. Obama and McCain have the same position on Syria, yet McCain is the war-monger?

          Please try very hard to think. Please.

          • bpuharic

            Let me type this slowly so you and the other 6 reading impaired right wingers can read it

            NOWHERE…not once…have I said I support the president’s position here.

            You wanna make up stuff? Stick to bedtime stories since you don’t have much of a talent for much else

        • JDanaH

          Yes, McCain sucks too. So what? That doesn’t make Obama suck any less.

  • Aengelholmare

    “there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution
    simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve
    got.” I do´nt think President Obama has that much credibility left among world leaders.

    • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

      And even if they did so, and ‘saved’ Obama on this issue, won’t he just do the same dern thing again on some other one? Really, hasn’t he already been given the benefit of ten thousand doubts that have been proven out?

  • ColoComment

    “Foreigners will no longer know when and whether to take anything this President says as representing American policy rather than his own editorial opinions. We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    Sorry to break it to you, WRM, but the international community obviously doesn’t listen to anything this President has to say in any case.
    An unprovoked attack on Syria, which of course this would be, as it would be done absent imminent threat by Syria to the U.S., and without the support and resolution /authorization of the U.N. or other appropriate international body, is justifiable how? If Syria’s neighbor states refuse to take direct action themselves, and neither the U.N. nor the American public support this action, then WTF is Obama doing pursuing it? It is not, as some (including you) argue, the credibility of the U.S. that is jeopardized by inaction, the credibility of the U.S. is already diminished to almost nothing by the incoherent, principle-less, and ad hoc foreign policy of this administration. Rather, Obama wants to lead the U.S. into a military attack on a sovereign nation because he made a stupid statement about a red line, and his ego and arrogance will not permit him to acknowledge his mistake. The U.S. may stand to REgain some international credibility by refusing to accommodate this man’s doltish ego.

    Going to war to assuage Obama’s personal pique is most emphatically not a basis for the U.S. to interfere with a sovereign country where our enemies are in the process of attriting themselves.

    • freeinaz

      I believe you summed this up very nicely. The U.S. has no right to wage war on Syria as this should be up to the useless UN. Too bad Obama’s inept appointment to the UN, Samantha Powers, is clueless and believes maybe a group hug would fix it.

  • Anthony

    WRM’s social proclivities aside, the issue has redound to United States credibility for many and the application of U.S. power. Congress remains a legislative labyrinth but behind it stands the entire economic social order with hold of both economic life and material resources of the nation. So, we shall see…

  • mgoodfel

    Congress needs to grow a pair and decide these things on their merits. Instead, whenever the administration waves the flag of national security, Congress folds.

    Their attitude is “go ahead and spy on Americans, order assassinations with drones, or even bomb another country with no idea what you are trying to accomplish. Just don’t blame us!”

    I hope Congress shoots him down and then owns the foreign policy that results. If Congress gives him a pass on starting a war, even when the reasons are crap, and the Supreme court OKs things like Obamacare (oh, it’s a tax, not a mandate!), then we don’t have three functioning branches of government. Just an uncontrolled executive branch.

  • charlesrwilliams

    It is wrong to go to war to cover Obama’s rear end. He has no credibility to lose.

    • bpuharic

      The US had no creibility to lose after conservatives did their nation builiding in Iraq.

      • Lyle7

        Bush also defeated Saddam Hussein. Will Obama be able to say the same about Assad?

        • bpuharic

          If bush won the Iraq war…why were US troops still there in 2009?

          • Tom

            Because of the Iranian-supplied guerrilla fighters and the stupidity of firing the entire Iraqi army?

          • Michael Gebert

            Apparently we lost WWII to judge by the troops in Germany.

          • bpuharic

            You GOTTA love how conservatives keep proving they’re brain dead when they come up with arguments like this

          • Michael Gebert

            I’ll take that as insults representing the lack of a counterargument.

          • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

            You are stuttering…. duh, duh, duh, duh, duh…..

          • bpuharic

            Ah, so we didn’t ‘win’ the war

            Thanks I already knew that

          • Tom

            We beat Saddam, seeing as we did kind of hang him.

          • ronchris

            If FDR/Truman won WW2, why are US troops still in Germany in 2013?

          • bpuharic

            You GOTTA love conservatives when they show how brain dead they are with arguments like this.

            No wonder they lost the last 2 presidential elections

          • gitarfan

            So you have no reply that makes any sense. What a peckerwood.

          • cubanbob

            And they will win the next one. Then what are you going to say?

          • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

            Is there a response somewhere in that cloud of flatulence? Non.

          • Mwalimu_Daudi

            In other words – you are wrong.

          • George Scoresby

            That works on so many levels. Because conservatives must be responsible for what is going on now. Doh!

          • bpuharic

            Ever hear of Iraq?

            How’d the conservative nation building there affect our credibility? Think that may have had something to do with it?

          • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

            I guess the Nazis and the Chrysanthemum Empire are triumphant! Not to mention N Korea.

          • George Scoresby

            Because he invaded the country and occupied it. Next question?

          • bpuharic

            What’s pathetic is this answer actually makes sense to you and 1 other person.

  • DiaKrieg

    I’m not defending Obama — can’t stand him, in fact. But I don’t understand WRM’s logic here: If Obama can “do a Clinton” without Congress’s blessing, then why would his credibility in foreign affairs be dangerously damaged by a no vote? And if Congress’s yes vote would just be a rubber stamp anyway, as WRM argues with his waiter metaphor in the earlier essay, then again, how is Obama’s prestige at stake? If Obama gets the yes vote, he could continue to be weak and indecisive in Syria — and that would be disastrous. But I don’t see how Congress’s vote helps or hurts him, either way.

    • lewy14

      Clinton’s Serbia campaign had some substantial measure of popular support at home and the full support of NATO. Europe was begging for us to do something.

      The Serbian conflict also had some clear objectives. It succeeded militarily and politically, and we knew going in what success (and failure) would look like.

      Not seeing any of that with Syria.

      WRM makes the case that credibility matters – but it’s only half the story.

      Obama has skillfully maneuvered himself and the country into a position where our credibility is shot whether or not the bombs drop.

      And the international community is “seeing through” this lost credibility now and acting accordingly.

    • Corlyss

      If he were going to barrel ahead without Congress’ approval, that would generate a lot of breast-beating and hair-pulling from the prima donnas on Capitol Hill, but it would be a nullity as far as blowback because at its root the War Powers Act is unconstitutional and theirs ample evidence that it is ineffective except as propaganda. And it would show something of a spine, which is seriously in doubt at the moment.

      If he were going to ask for Congress’ support/permission and having be meaningful, he should have done it after he shot off his mouth about a red-line and before Cameron was so rudely knocked back by Parliament. Right now, it looks transparently like blame-shifting for anything that might go wrong or for propaganda purposes if the Republicans vote no in both houses.

      I agree with you in a practical sense. It has no international consequence except to make him look incredibly weak and even more useless than he has appeared hitherto. Whether he shoots up some empty buildings in Syria or not, the Iranians won’t be fooled for a nanosecond.

  • ColoComment

    It occurs to me, on re-reading these comments, that what I really should have said is: This country was founded on the principle of “We The People.” It is We The People by whom and for whom government acts, not the reverse.

    We The People express our will via our representatives in Congress. That is what the founders designed, and it was done with the clear vision that the executive who is charged with fighting a war should NOT be the one who decides WHETHER a war should be fought. Rather, that decision for or against war was given to the People’s representatives.

    Those representatives are now hearing from their constituents and, hopefully, will make a decision that is responsive to them.

    If that decision reflects that We The People have directed that this nation should NOT attack Syria, then the President should respect that decision as indicative of the People’s will.

    The President is not a dictator who may overrule Congress. Yes, he may take action when danger is imminent and the national defense may not be delayed for a Congressional debate and vote. But, in this case, sending Tomahawk missiles to Syria is not that circumstance, and the President should not proceed without the resolution of Congress.

  • bpuharic

    Foreigners will no longer be able to take the president at his word?

    Well…perhaps we should just go in and nation build…you know…mission accomplished stuff…

    That’s done wonders for our credibility. Funny how WRM has such a short memory on these issues.

    • gvanderleun

      bpuharic, you really should not be so eager to parade an intellect that was petrified somewhere in the seventh grade. You need to be more ashamed of your non-ability.

      • bpuharic

        Part of the problem with the right wing, inter alia, is they think an insult is an argument.

      • ThomasD

        I used to think similar, but have come around on the subject.

        His arguments are reliably weak and cliched.

        I doubt he even recognizes the damage he routinely does to his ’cause.’

        Reverse Moby, maybe?

  • bpuharic

    A few cruise missiles, more or less, won’t have any effect at all on US credibility

    What DID have an effect was 8 years of pointless war in Iraq, which conservatives told us would resolve the ‘clash of civilization’ situation.

    It was a catastrophe. Conservatives are unwilling…or unable…to learn from their mistakes.

    • Mike55_Mahoney

      You don’t know or recognize the difference between a conservative and a RINO. A RINO is a democrat running for office in a republican district. That’s who made the mistakes in Iraq. McCain was dumped by conservatives and indies. Your ignorance is laughable.

    • ThomasD

      “A few cruise missiles, more or less, won’t have any effect at all on US credibility.”

      So, at this point, what difference would it make?

      As good an argument against Obama as there is.

      Bravo

  • USNK2

    Toast, sourdough bread lightly toasted with a smear of unsalted butter, has always had more credibility than President Obama.
    A NO Confidence vote in the House is exactly what he needs. Maybe that will stop him from unleashing the too-temperamental Larry Summers as the first WMD to chair the Federal Reserve Bank.

    • bpuharic

      Funny watching consevatives, who laid the groundwork for the greatest recession since 1929, lecture anyone about economics.

      Kind of like an arsonist lecturing on fire safety.

      • Lyle7

        Lecture me on Detroit man.

        • bpuharic

          1. detroit is small potatoes compared to the 19 trillion in equity and the 8 million jobs right wing economics has cost us

          2. part of the problem with detroit was the 7 billion in tax subsidies given to businesses over the last decade

          3. states like TX, OK and LA are in deep trouble. They’re not detroit

          You were saying

          • Tom

            Now prove that TX and OK are in trouble.
            And if you think the results of the American power bubble that appeared after WWII are the right’s fault, I have a bridge to sell you.

          • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

            Whatever ‘trouble’ those states are in it is nothing compared to California where the Red/Green Dream has run rampant for decades. The good thing is the one moron most responsible for it, Jerry Brown, has returned to the scene of his many crimes for comeuppance. Not much probably, but some.

          • cubanbob

            NY, Il and CA should be lucky enough to be in those states financial situation.

      • WilliamK

        Fool, read reckless endangerment. The housing bubble is on the GSEs and the dems that propped them up.

      • cubanbob

        Really? You mean the Federal Reserve Bank had nothing to do with both in 1929 and 2008? You have yet to make one intelligent fact based comment.

      • Brian O’Connor

        But . . . but . . . so many of us voted for Obama because he said he’d fix it all!

  • gvanderleun

    “We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    You should hate to say it. Instead you should learn the phrase that pays, ‘No blood for ego.”

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    Please, you think that’s a strong argument to go to war, are you nuts? Is it ethical or honorable to kill people in another country to maintain an incompetent President’s credibility? NO it isn’t.

    • http://whenfallsthecoliseum.com/author/kwatson/ megapotamus

      Kissinger ain’t dead yet. Not literally, not figuratively.

  • Corlyss

    “We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    Strong as the article is in its tardy denunciation of the latest in Obama’s foreign policy vagaries, the assumptions behind this remark fail to deal credibly with the fact that Obama has a track record that wouldn’t inspire trust in the most enthusiastic of foreign allies or fear in the most timid of enemies. The world has the cut of his jib. They know him to be completely undependable, period. He has no credibility to defend. He’s a serial prevaricator the likes of which we haven’t seen since Clinton without Clinton’s charm. He whores after the good will and reciprocity of our enemies; he scorns long-standing allies.

    Recommending attacking Syria solely to save something that’s already demonstrably nonexistent is utterly irresponsible and something I would never have expected from WRM or the ViaMedia staff.

  • M Hayne Hamilton

    The US has no credibility to preserve, and the American people, by a vast majority, have no confidence in President Obama or his ability to manage the consequences which most certainly will follow a token response to his and his only red line. That red line was also the Rubicon of our nation’s credibility. The die has been cast…getting us into a war with many participants, none of whom are accountable to anyone or anything,will only make the United States legislature and people all appear to be as feckless as this administration. Starting a war have not the slightest positive effect on restoring a resolve hat is an illusion. Hayne Hamilton

    • ThomasD

      The Iranian Green Revolt

      Libya & Benghazi

      Egypt

      We cannot give Obama a ‘do over’ on those screw ups either. His credibility is already spent. Better we fess up and show that the rest of the nation has some degree of sensibility.

  • stevewfromford

    So President Zero has proclaimed that the incredibly stupid position he has maneuvered himself, and us, into is the fault of,literally, everyone in the world but Mr Obama. I truly fear the mans grasp upon reality has been unhinged. To give such a man the power to kill others through an attack upon Syria would be absurd and evil.

  • ReformedTrombonist

    > “We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    It might be the best argument, but that doesn’t make it a strong one. If it’s true we have such a weak presidency, well, we’re the ones who put the fellow in office. So we should pay the price for that, not inflict it on others.

  • 500_lb_Gorrila

    Given the idiocy of the democrats “smart diplomacy” I’d say it would be a good thing for the world to realize that this President does not represent our country as a whole, but is just an aberration.

    • WilliamK

      Great comment.

      Obama is weak. Bomb or no bomb. Congress votes no or Congress votes yes.

      Obama has proven what many of us knew from the beginning, he is an incompetent product of affirmative action.

      • bpuharic

        Well let’s see…so far we have right wingers comparing Obama to a monkey, and now saying blacks can’t get anywhere without affirmative action

        Nah…there’s no racism in conservatism

        • cubanbob

          Funny not all that long ago leftist were calling Bush chimpy Mc Halliburton.

        • Brian O’Connor

          Really! Reference please?

          Once you provide it, I’ll see what some of your far-left fellow travelers have said about black conservatives.

          You know . . . the ones who celebrate diversity and worship tolerance.

          And I’ll expand from there.

          Go for it, dude!

  • Notjack

    No blood for Obama’s image.

  • Notjack

    Every promise Obama has made has an expiration date. Every single one.

    Of course, when the war goes bad, Obama and the MSM will be blaming Republicans and the US military.

    • bpuharic

      The difference between Obama and the right wing is Obama’s smart enough not to put US troops in harm’s way

      Number of US troops killed in wars started by Obama?

      Zero.

      How’d the right do in IRaq?

      Oh….4400 US dead

      • markbuehner

        Just ask Chris Stevens.

        • bpuharic

          To the right wing, 4400 US dead make no difference at all. Chris Stevens is FAR more important than any number of young men and women in uniform.

          • markbuehner

            It would appear that to the left, facts are just suggestions.

  • markbuehner

    Obama’s best move right now would be to launch a strike before the vote on some pretext (we saw them moving chemical weapons around etc). Yes it will draw hellfire from the Republicans, but its better to be hated than laughed at. As much as I dislike the idea, its best for the country. Launch the strike he SHOULD have launched the day after the gas attacks, sudden brief, almost reflexive, against the things Assad values (air bases, surface to air assets, expensive toys). Thats a slap down, and it should have been done instantly and automatically. Too late for that now, but he can at least do the next best thing and demonstrate some unpredictability.

    • ThomasD

      Obama didn’t go to Congress because he feared Congress. Obama went to Congress because he feared going it alone.

      Your idea would have some merit (if only as a way of him pulling his bacon out of the fire) ASSUMING Obama was the sort of leader who could actually take charge of a situation.

      Obama wants to be Presentdent, not President.

      • markbuehner

        I agree. The only thing that concerns me right now is pulling American prestige off the fire. I doubly agree that the kind of man that could save himself with boldness from this mess would never have gotten himself in this mess.

  • Notjack

    The only war that Obama is really committed to is his war on republicans, conservatives and the American tax payer.

    He wants to make all of us beggars, except 60 million immigrants he wants to let into the country.

    • bpuharic

      Hmmm…the right wing has given us 30 years of middle class wage stagnation, the deepest recession in 60 years, and the richest rich class on the planet, paid for by a middle class bailout

      But it’s Obama’s fault, you see…and so was Pearl Harbor and the extinction of the dinosaurs

      • Brian O’Connor

        Argument by assertion. That’s a particularly lazy fallacy.

        But okay . . . I can play that game too: No. You’re wrong. It’s the left’s fault.

        Boy! That was easy!

  • ronwf

    We are in this mess because Pres. Obama and the echo chamber he’s filled with “yes” men (damn few women, have you noticed?) all think they’re the smartest people in the room and that they can push around Congressmen and world leaders with “community organization”, the permanent campaign groups he’s whipped up and the brilliance of his rhetoric. Now he’s being treated like the empty suit he is. He has no friends in Congress and he has isolated himself on the world stage. He’s actually got lower approval from both the populace of the Middle East and their leaders than a President who unashamedly actually invaded and occupied one country and threatened another.

    He’s f**ked this up so badly that I’m seriously starting to consider this is a violation of Hanlon’s Razor.

    • bpuharic

      And yet we lost 4400 US troops in the right wing caused war in Iraq. Guess there weren’t any ‘yes’ men in the White House then, were there?

      Number of troops killed in Obama started wars?

      Zero.

      • ThomasD

        Since you are so big on body counts.

        How many US soldiers have died in Afghanistan since Obama took office?

      • Brian O’Connor

        And then there’s always the example of the 1930s, when peace through appeasement was given a chance.

        How’d that work out for you?

  • ronwf

    And no – we don’t go around killing people just because NOT doing it will make our President look bad.

    Seriously? Are you that much in the bag for this guy that you’ll kill for him? Is he that much more important than anything or anyone else? Jesus wouldn’t let people kill for him even when the Romans showed up to drag him away to the Cross.

  • tweell

    President Obama has credibility left to trash? News to me.

  • Mike55_Mahoney

    The senate looks to pass a resolution that is a nullity in order to dupe the people into thinking small war, shot across the bow. Today, Drudge reports a huge increase in targeting; a broadside fusillade in the making, ground troops as advisors/trainers. Ah, memories of 1963/4. Not a soul wonders how in the heck Israel and Saudi Arabia got on the same side on this. Why Russia stipulates as to the use of chem weps but rebuts US. claims of the responsible party. Then, no one even dares think this may all be a Trojan Horse designed to further cover up the weapons dealings involving Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi, Libya. WRM, put the puzzle together instead of being mesmerized by the incoherent pieces.

  • Notjack

    How’a all of that affirmative action working out for you, WRM?

  • HAPPY

    WRM: “…..this latest round of “smart diplomacy,”….

    Other than the potential seriousness of “this latest round”, Lord forgive me, this is the most entertaining “round” yet.

    So many of the predictions of BHO, by 3 am-call Hillary, “Amature” Bill Clinton, & Romney…..are unfolding in prime time, live, world-wide.

  • jb willikers

    Horse/barndoor. Obama has no credibility to lose which is why there is no international backing whatsoever or congressional backing. Lobbing a few missiles will likely diminish it further at this point. The best we can hope is the Congress can puts him in a straitjacket for the rest of his term.

    • submandave

      If anyone had given it any consideration there were so many escape avenues and much wiggle room before. For example, Pres Obama could have used his Nobel Prize status as a pretense for seeking “less escalatory” consequences for crossing the “red line.” While it may have made him appear weak to Assad and his ilk, but they don’t really care what any US President says, it would have been a timely Presidential response to a violation of stated standards that was in keeping with precedent (e.g. Carter and the ’80 Olympic boycott) and demonstrated consistency of policy. This team, however, seems to do everything on the fly, as if anything they say or do needs to internal or external consistency with anything else they’ve said or done. Like everything is a new experience every day and they’re just trying out whatever seems to be expedient at that moment.

      • jb willikers

        That’s a good description of how they respond. Their algorithms are dominated by appearance and political benefit without a significant input that comes from a sense of deeply rooted patriotic or national identification. They are good at accruing political benefit at the expense of bringing real competence and thinking to real world problems. It is a characteristic of children. Great initial enthusiasm and response, short attention span, and getting through the moment.

  • SmoovB

    Do cheap suits fold easily? The cheap suits I’ve owned were rather stiff and cardboard-y compared to the couple of decent ones I have.

  • submandave

    After Fast and Furious, IRS, NSA, Benghazi, etc. etc. I contend that Pres. Obama has already practically squandered every possible shred of credibility he might ever have had, both at home and abroad, with any but his most abject admirers. Launching attacks into Syria at this point has no chance of attaining any positive goals (rescuing Presidential credibility or deterring future use of CW) but significant chances of producing unquantifiable consequences (weakening of Assad regime and the effective transfer of CW and BW agents into an opposition camp with unknown long-term objectives). As bad as Assad and his use of CW is (and it is utterly deplorable) at least he has not proliferated these agents to transnational terrorists, something that their prospective new owners might be willing to do.

  • catorenasci

    If the only serious argument for bombing Syria is that Obama will be a hopelessly ineffective lame duck, and no one will take him seriously – and WRM pretty much concedes it’s the strongest argument – then it’s not even a close call:

    Is there any serious American willing to ask American servicemen and women to put their lives in danger purely to bolster Obama when there is no vital American interest at state?

    Not likely.

    And, that does not even take into account the possibility of strikes on Syria igniting – as many are threatening – a wider war and an almost direct confrontation with Iran and Russia.

    Is Obama’s personal credibility worth risking a general regional war – with unknown scope and casualties, including the possible use of WMD?

    NO FREAKING WAY.

    Congress can stop this — and if Obama defies Congress and attacks anyway, Congress can, and should, cut off funding and impeach Obama.

  • Th_Ph

    “That would be very dangerous. Foreigners will no longer know when and whether to take anything this President says as representing American policy rather than his own editorial opinions. We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    Worst. Argument. Ever.

  • AD_Rtr_OS

    He could always resign, and turn this mess he’s created over to the “foreign-policy expert” that is his VP (Heaven help us).

  • daitken

    I think a No vote is the best option to also send a message to the voters who still think this President is brilliant. They’ll never get it as long as other people continue to save his butt.

  • Diggsc

    Leftards around the world proclaimed that Bush asked for Congressional approval to attack Iraq because Saddam had threatened his father. They chanted, marched, protested, stole, vandalized and raped all as a show that they didn’t like Bush’s war.

    Now the Leftards stand silent as we go to war to save Obama’s galactic ego. Well, that’s not entirely true, some Leftards are on the sidelines (literally, since none of them serve) cheering on the war. It’s almost like they weren’t anti-war at all, and simply just a bunch of phony pseudo-intellectual poseurs who hated Bush because he wasn’t a phony pseudo-intellectual poseur like them, and like Obama.

  • ChuckFinley

    “For purposes of foreign policy, the United States will endure something
    like a presidential vacancy until Mr. Obama is replaced in 2017 or until
    he finds a way to restore his authority and prestige.”

    Given the grotesque incompetence with which President Obama has failed in his foreign policy obligations, a vacancy is probably a better option than having him lurching around breaking things.

    Tell the world we are currently indisposed but we would like to hear back from them in January 2017.

  • ThomasD

    America has survived some disastrous presidencies before, we’ll survive this one too.

    We chose poorly, but that’s no reason to double down.

    Never mind the ‘lesson’ future presidents will draw from such a pad precedent. Better that they recognize their bounds.

  • Brian O’Connor

    It is not in our strategic interests to attack Syria, and in fact is against them: Imagine the scenes of mutilated children and women that the world would be treated to, and our own demonization (genocide, racist attack, indiscriminate, war crimes, etc.) if we do lob a few missiles in.

    The obvious target is Iran. Taking out their nuclear capability furthers a long-standing interest of the US, and it would serve notice to the world that the US is back in the game.

    Both Iran and Syria are threatening massive retaliation if we hit Syria, even if our action is merely symbolic.

    That being the case, why not earn their retaliation, and along with it their fear, and hit Iran?

    But let’s not announce it before hand, okay?

  • Dantes

    Obama burned through his credibility years ago. Offering up human sacrifices in vain to shore up his ego…which dictates what American policy is, not what is in the best interests of the United States…is a deadly and useless fool’s errand.

  • cubanbob

    Obama lost his credibility in his first year. For America to regain her credibity Zero and Plugs need to resign and let the Senate appoints new President and Vice President. Nixon had more credibility in foreign affairs the day he resigned than Obama has today.

  • Michael Gebert

    Mr. President, we cannot allow a mineshaft gap!

    I am just old enough to remember when every argument for protecting Obama’s credibility came with LBJ and Vietnam in it.

  • Rick Caird

    President teleprompter got himself in trouble (again) because he spoke off the cuff. He needs to understand neither the country not the “international community” responds well to a playground bully. Obama seemed to think he could go it alone and “diss” our allies and our “special relationship” with England and there would be no consequences. He really is an arrogant man.

    When you try to tell a liberal that Obama forgot the first rule of relationships (you have to work at them), you get a blank stare and a claim that it really is all Bush’s fault,

  • DocRambo

    And if he does bomb Syria, he’s Toast! This is a true no-win situation for Obummer. See the Syrian rebel video executing the soldiers-these barbarians do not deserve our support-they all want to kill us, and these libtards are going to arm them? They are going around killing Christians left and right, and not a freakin’ word from one of this administration’s people. Washington has gone insane-McCain supporting this? WTF! There are no good guys in the Syrian situation.

  • avery12

    WRM’s argument here is that we need to pretend the naked emperor is wearing clothing because it will be dangerous for us to be seen to acknowledge a reality the rest of the world has already grasped.
    I disagree. We need to begin from acknowledging reality. There is no other feasible place to start from, and until we get to that starting place – we are doomed to suffer and contribute to suffering. This woudl be most unwise and most un-benevolent.

  • HarrySchell

    Mead is correct that Congressional disapproval of Bumps’ plan will be a “vote of no confidence”. If he takes Congress’s refusal and backs off, his “credibility” has to be weakened further.

    If he does another Libya and fails to reach the goals he has set, Bumps’ credibility will be weakened to the same extent or worse, and we will have expended treasure and perhaps lives. For a chance to save Bump’s “credibility”.

    If Bumps had any credibility, I would be more worried about it. As it is, I think the best outcome of a strike would be a delay in his credibility being “blown to oblivion”.

    Maybe we should get it over with and keep the inventories of weapons. We might need them.

  • Rich K

    “trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    Good Walter, as we the people could give a Rats Behind what happens to Captain “Precious” on this issue. As my mom used to say; You made your bed now lie in it. America has survived dummer events that this and we sure as heck can survive one more stupid man in the white house.

  • Boritz

    Wasn’t it Bush who set the red line? Isn’t this just one more mess the president inherited?

  • bo ure

    No. Sorry, nice try but not good enough. If that is the price as you analyze, then that is the price this Party must pay. They dragged us into this, they must MUST realize the consequences. The answer is resounding, “No.” Now squirm.

  • Michael W. Perry

    You wrote: “there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.”

    True, but there’s also a strong argument that a defeat now might beat at least the semblance of good sense into Obama. He’d either make fewer ‘red line’ threats or back the ones he makes with swift and decisive responses rather than all this dithering and delaying.

    Don’t forget that Reagan struck back at Libya only ten days after the bombing of a Berlin disco. That was leadership. This ridiculous incompetence is what’s destroying Obama’s credibility. A few cruise missiles won’t fix that.

    –Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas that Led to Nazism and World War II

    • bpuharic

      Well let’s see…he’s been pres for five years.

      Number of troops killed in wars he started?

      Zero

      If only conservatives could say the same about Iraq.

      And Reagan struck back after US troops were killed in the Berlin bombing. Not that conservatives are particularly concerned with history, making it up as they go along

      • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

        Strain at gnats … while ignoring how his policies have led to a lot more deaths in Libya and Egypt.

        Including a U.S. Ambassador.

        None of those were killed on Mr. Bush’s watch, BTW. I can strain at gnats, too.

        • bpuharic

          US deaths:

          Libya: zero
          Egypt: Zero

          And you guys killed 1000X more people in Iraq than were killed in Benghazi. ANd it took you 2 trillion dollars to do it

          No wonder you’re running, screaming, from your failures.

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            Benghazi is in Libya.

            And Iraq was headed in the right direction … until the lack of resolve on the part of “your team” let them regress. So typical of Re-, er, Progressives.

            I don’t consider Iraq a failure on our part – what failed was that our leaders listened to Progressive ideas on how to conduct that war … ideas based upon moral equivalence between tyrants and rights-respecting leaders, and upon misplaced colonialist guilt.

            When Mr. Bush stopped listening to y’all, we actually made progress towards sustainable peace.

            Spare us your talking points. Progressivism is fundamentally flawed and unsustainable – here and abroad – no matter how many parrot droppings and strained gnats you try to throw on the wall in the hopes that they will stick …

            … wanna cracker?

          • bpuharic

            “headed in the right direction”

            Which is why Rumsfeld lost his job in 2006, after the elections

            The American people were so satisfied with the war, Bush fired him

            You don’t consider Iraq a failure?

            Res Ipsa Loquitur.

            Conservative ‘nation building’ leads to nothing more than “Mission Accomplished’ all the while blowing holes in our budget and getting US troops killed while letting Al Qaida take over

            Rumsfeld was a failure, which even Bush knew, Rush bot

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            Rummy made the mistake of trying to run the war as Progressives would like it … “minimize the footprint” so we didn’t look “imperialist”.

            Sorry, it was nation-building – or more accurately, re-building – that made Germany and Japan what they are today. Iraq is not yet a failure – until the next Saddam or Iran takes total control. And you can thank your Progressive Messiah for letting that happen. They were headed in the right direction until he showed up.

            And BTW – you can’t fire a term-limited President in his second term.

          • bpuharic

            No wonder your name is rich because THIS is rich!

            Rummy was a PROGRESSIVE! So when your argument fails you just invent a bald faced lie and use the No True Scotsman fallacy to prove you were right all along!

            Great argument. Lemme play:

            Progressives have failed because they tried to use CONSERVATIVE policies!

            Hey…that’s fun!

            Germany and Japan aren’t Muslim countries., Rush bot

  • Goldenah

    The death of innocent Syrians is so serious, that we should allow our President to drop a few bombs and kill innocent Syrians to show that he has credibility. I never realized mass murder could be rationalized in such a manner.

    Maybe when we have the sun’s polarity shift again we could re-enter a period of sane thinking and logical behavior, ’cause right now absolute crazy doesn’t explain what’s going on these days.

  • George Scoresby

    So according to your reasoning, Congress will save the President’s credibility by supporting his incredible policy?

    That’s not even coherent.

    I do realise we are all in a panic because the plane is going down and we’ve finally discovered that Obama is still in diapers – but really – you might appeal to something more than “Yes, the Prez is an idiot, but those foreigners will know he’s an idiot if we don’t support him.”

    Let Obama twist in the wind. It’s a learning experience for his cheerleaders and our enemies already know he’s a fraud.

  • Michael Lorton

    We hate to say it, but that is so dangerous that there’s a strong argument for Congress to back the Syria resolution simply to avoid trashing the credibility of the only President we’ve got.

    I hate to say it too, and fortunately the appealing-sounding logic is wrong.

    The game-theoretic analysis is this: if Obama can be defied now with impunity, other countries will defy him in the future, which is bad for the US. Therefore, Congress (in the best interest of the country) should support him.

    But that analysis doesn’t go far enough. If the Congress can be manipulated in this fashion, Obama and future presidents will certainly do so. They’ll issue bold pronouncements and expect the Congress to rubber-stamp them.

    There are the choices: risk making Obama irrelevant or risk making Congress irrelevant.

    Don’t forget: Obama will be gone in 39 months. Congress is supposed to last forever. January of 2017 there will be a new president, potentially one whose word can be trusted because he doesn’t give it recklessly. Let’s start with a strong Congress today.

    • bpuharic

      Hmmm….”congress can be manipulated’

      Funny… a lie killed 4400 US troops in Iraq after Bush lied to congress.

      But the right is weeping about the apocalyptic effects of a few tomahawk missiles in Syria.

      Pathetic

      • Michael Lorton

        So since we invaded Iraq because the president believed, on flimsy evidence, that a dictator was using chemical weapons, we invaded should also invade Syria because the president believe, on flimsy evidence, that a dictator was using chemical weapons?

        • bpuharic

          Is ANYONE proposing we invade Syria? AFAIK, only WRM has made that proposal.

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            He’s proposing worse – the geopolitical equivalent of hitting a hornet’s nest with a stick.

            Inadequate … you want peace? Nothing less than permanently getting rid of BOTH sides of this war in Syria will produce that.

            And I KNOW you are not willing to do what it takes to make that happen, parrot.

          • bpuharic

            And how’d putting 2 trillion into Iraq and getting 4400 US troops killed work?

            Oh…Al Qaida killed 1000 Iraqis.

            The Rush bot says MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            It was working pretty good in 2007-2008 … until putting a Progressive into the White House and letting him take over caused the Iraqis to question our commitment to protecting their liberty.

            Now, your Messiah wants to emulate Clinton, and shoot million-dollar missiles at ten-dollar tents and call that a “response”.

            Some of those he was trying to hit, gave us their own response to that about twelve years ago … and almost three thousand Americans didn’t live through it.

            Progressives fail to understand that without freedom, and the resolve to protect it with sustainable rights-respecting governance, the only sure peace is that of the grave.

          • bpuharic

            It was working so well it was on the verge of failure which is why Bush proposed a ‘surge’

            Only the right would say a failure is a success.

            And I’d rather shoot missiles than fill C141’s with the bodies of dead 19 year olds…a fact the right wing just shrugs off.

            And 9/11 happened under a CONSERVATIVE administration. They were warned. They failed us. YOU guys let that happen.

            I was there. I was part of the response team. Thanks much

            The right never understands that America can’t be the world’s cop

            We don’t have enough 19 year olds nor enough C141’s to transport their bodies back home

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            9/11 was the product of PROGRESSIVE foreign policy … including those missile strikes … an abject lack of RESOLVE to DEFEAT and REMOVE tyrants is its defining feature.

            THAT is what leads to “war without end”, and a continuous parade of draped coffins.

            Progressives don’t understand that without freedom, and the protection of it by rights-respecting governance that is willing to defend it here and abroad, the only sure peace is that of the grave.

          • bpuharic

            Uh..Bush was president on 9/11. Even you right wingers can’t lie enough about history to change THAT. He had plenty of warning. Sandy Berger TOLD Condolezza Rice that Al Qaida was America’s primary threat

            Right wing response? Nothing.

            And YOU guys started the war in Afghanistan AND the war in Iraq. NOT progressives. Again your lies can’t keep up with truth.

            Right wingers don’t understand America does not have enough money nor enough 19 year olds to police the entire world

            But that doesn’t matter. The right hates America and the middle class so war is a good way to destroy both.

            Mission Accomplished!

  • JackTors2012

    The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner puts his size 12 wingtip into his mouth then denies having done so despite his speech being rendered unintelligible by his foot stuck in his mouth. He then requests that Congress aid in the extraction process by lending its imprimatur to his firing cruise missiles at God knows what, possibly killing innocent civilians, and with completely uncertain prospects for deterring Assad from doing anything more significant than leaving the seat up after using the toilet in the master bedroom. What a perfect story for “The Onion”! The U.S. has survived far worse in it’s 237 years of existence than the flailing of the most feckless, embarrassingly unqualified POTUS ever. Consequently, Congress should vote the conscience of the people by giving Obama an America-style “No confidence” and move on.

  • Mark Lehrer

    This article is utter insanity, for too many reasons to list.

    America has its greatest influence when it can project power. When we actively use it, it reduces our influence.

    It shows strength, not weakness, to back down from a situation like this. The right approach is to bring this up at the U.N. as often as possible — and doing nothing until at least the Arab League is on our side.

    And maybe we could even use this to start thawing our relationship with Iran. The hostage crisis was > 30 years ago, get over it already.

    • I BarKahn

      Nuclear weapons produce stupendous amounts of heat; your relationship with Iran is guaranteed to thaw.

    • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

      Tyranny doesn’t “get over” you … it seeks to rule you, and doesn’t stop until either it does, or it is confronted by the credible threat of force.

      Key word: “credible” … which is our problem in Syria.

      We are right back to the 1990’s paradigm of firing some million-dollar missiles through ten-dollar tents and hitting camels in the butt – while the miscreants continue to plan and plot.

      That, not the strength of restraint, is why we need to stay out of Syria … until we clear our heads of the detritus of Progressive foreign-policy paradigms, and are again willing to act in credible ways AND see them through to a credible end: the establishment of sustainable rights-respecting governance in place of tyranny.

      • bpuharic

        Progressive foreign policy paradigms…like Rumsfeld’s ‘nation building’ that got 4400 US troops killed.

        Because you KNOW what a progressive Rummy was.

        • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

          Progressive foreign policy like “minimizing the footprint” too early, parrot.

          Had we conducted the entire war like we did the “surge”, and showed the Iraqi people we would stand WITH them for their liberty from the get-go, Iraq would have made far more progress.

          Right now, however, liberty-loving people can’t trust Progressives like Obama, and you, to do the right thing and stand BY them with RESOLVE.

          • bpuharic

            Or right wing foreign policy like a 2 trillion dollar failure in Iraq.

            We were on the way OUT when Obama took office. You guys said the war was won. You guys said we could get out.

            Instead you turned the place over to Al Qaida, with your failed right wing ‘nation building’ political theology

            Mission Accomplished!

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            No, we were trying to negotiate a way to keep some troops in there … and your Messiah and his party undercut that effort, starting with their very vacillating presence as a possible replacement for Mr. Bush.

          • bpuharic

            Keep troops in there?

            After 2 trillion spent, and 4400 US dead to protect people YOU right wingers caused to hate us

            Why would we want to do that?

            You guys scream about deficits but borrow money for perpetual war.

  • wygrif

    I am deeply unclear about why we should spend ~ $1 billion to defend the “credibility” of Mr. Obama. What value should the American taxpayer expect to receive for that money? Why wouldn’t we expect the same diminution of credibility when Mr. Al-Assad is not defeated after we bomb him?

  • I BarKahn

    Shouldn’t Obama have been “toast” very soon after he announced his candidacy for an office for which he was constitutionally ineligible? And shouldn’t have Mead been among the first to put Obama into the toaster? And, if failing to be among the first wave of Conservative toasters, shouldn’t Mead have been in the second, or the third, or…wait…there were no Conservative media Obama toasters then–or since. Mead, and the entire establishment Conservative media (N.P.I.), have maintained a resolute silence about the root issue: Obama’s constitutional ineligibility, identity, and past. Maintained a blackout on these issues even as Obama continues his on course, on time, march to this nations ruin. Am I being to harsh with Mead? No, not nearly harsh enough. When Mead voluntarily put on the robes of intellectual honesty and moral authority–the only respectable garments in the Conservative punditry wardrobe–he assumed an affirmative obligation to protect you, his rank and file Conservative readers and followers, from the machinations of the Democrat Party. Has Mead met his obligations? Rather than meet his obligations,
    Mead ran away, ran as fast as his heavy robes would permit, ran from the subject of Obama’s legitimacy, Obama’s identity, Obama’s past. You he left to fend for yourselves. Meanwhile, from the shameful but safe place he ran to, Mead began to whine and complain about Obama’s domestic and foreign policies, a whining and complaining which has been very serviceable to Mead–increased readership, public appearances, dinner invitations–but has done nothing to protect you against Obama’s depredations. “If Obama doesn’t bomb Syria now, he’s toast.”
    Let us pray that Obama doesn’t bomb Syria and becomes toast. Once Obama is toast, everything Obama has done goes away. Away goes Obamacare, away goes the trillion dollar stimulis, away goes a stagnant economy, away goes under-employment, away goes our support of retrograde Islamist fundamentalism, away goes Benghazi, away goes the IRS’s violations of the Fourteenth Amendment, away goes NASA’s violations of the Fourth Amendment, away…but Meads stain on his profession will never go away; it is indelible.

  • GardenGnomeLF

    We risk war with Russia and Iran to protect this idiot in office.
    We would put jihadis in charge in Syria who would then make Assad look like a Christian.

    Obama’s credibility is on the line and everyone knows it. This is what progs voted for.

    • bpuharic

      Conservatives, of course, would give us another perpetual war we couldn’t win, while borrowing trillions to not pay for it

      Mission accomplished!

      • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

        WRONG.

        Iraq was in far better shape prior to 20 January 2009, than it is now. The forces of liberty and peace were winning … your team couldn’t sustain it, parrot.

        Progressivism’s moral equivalence between dictator and democrat is what leads to “war without end”.

        Wanna cracker?

        • bpuharic

          So you’re saying we should have kept 100,000 US troops in a country where we weren’t wanted and where they were killing us…

          to protect Right wing foreign policy?

          Betcha ALOT of 18 and 19 year olds wearing green would disagree

          But conservatives don’t seem to mind the C141’s filled with flag draped coffins….

          Progressivism recipe is to stay out.The right wing is

          MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            No, to protect the lives and liberty of the Iraqi people, and by extension many other free people.

            Just like we did in Japan, and Germany, post-WWII.

            And a lot of those 18 and 19 year olds re-enlisted DURING THE WAR, even during its dark moments. That’s a vote of confidence … one your Messiah shouldn’t expect this time around.

            And it now doesn’t look like we are “staying out”.

          • bpuharic

            And the reason it’s our job to do that…in which the right wing failed since Iraq is not free?

            Any reason we shed OUR blood and OUR capital? Why do right wingers think OUR 19 year olds have to die for places like Iraq?

            And we got into WWII because we were ATTACKED. THere are over 170 countries on the planet

            You guys don’t want to feed the poor in America, nor give universal healthcare

            But you’ll kill our 19 year olds to ‘protect freedom’ for people who hate us

            Mission acomplished, Rushbot

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            Iraq is not free, because Progressives won’t finish the work to make it free, in their misplaced idealism and colonialist guilt.

            Yes there is a reason … this world is too tightly interconnected to allow expansionist tyrants to stand and expand. Sooner or later, it WILL spill out and the cost to interdict it will be far higher, in both blood and treasure. Yours is the approach of Neville Chamberlain … and had the free world not listened to him, Herr Hitler would have been merely another Saddam in the eyes of history, instead of the symbol of ultimate evil.

            We have no problem feeding the poor, or providing healthcare … our problem is with YOUR insistence that the government should be the helper of first resort and/or to the exclusion of all others, when it can’t know individual needs from statistical averages … let alone “discriminate” enough to apply those resources with effect and efficiency.

            If ordinary Iraqis hate us, it is not with the hate of those we fight – it is the hate of those who lack the RESOLVE to live up to their own principles of liberty, and help them achieve it as well.

            Which is also why your Messiah is out on a limb re: Syria right now.

          • bpuharic

            YOU guys were losing the war in 2006 which is why Bush lost the mid term elections and fired Rumsfeld

            Rummy was NOT a progressive.

            And how many TRILLIONS and how many DEAD do we need to finish a job YOU right wingers started and FAILED to finish?

            You won’t feed America’s poor nor give them healthcare but you’re willing to kill TENS OF THOUSANDS of Americans in defense of places like Iraq all the while telling us how worthless the middle class is

            You hate America. Face it.Your love is Wall Street, Rushbot

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            Face it, you ignore history.

            Rummy adopted the “minimize the footprint” philosophy in response to the criticism of Progressives.

            And we would need a lot less to finish the job today, if Progressives had not been undercutting us for YEARS in the name of politics.

            And like I said, I am willing to feed the poor and provide health care to those who CAN’T obtain it themselves.

            But not through government, which can’t reliably tell the difference between CAN’T and WON’T, just so Progressives can outsource their PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to do so.

          • bpuharic

            I love your argument that he was a progressive

            Actually progressives adopted the arguments of conservatves, so when Rummy adopted progressive policies, he was adopting right wing policies

            This is fun!

            And you’re willing to kill every American teenager and spend money we DONT HAVE to protect Iraqi freedom

            All the while blaming the middle class for being lazy

            How right wing!

      • GardenGnomeLF

        Projection.
        The Tea Party and conservatives are against this war to put Al-Queda in power in Syria, just like Obama did with Libya.

        Insane progressives are showing they were never against the Iraq war at all, they just wanted to destroy Bush because they were THAT filled with hate.

        • bpuharic

          Gee WRM’s for it. And progressives were right to be against Bush’s war because it killed people and bankrupted the country. But that’s why conservatives were FOR it. And you guys put AQ in power in Iraq.

          Thanks.

          • GardenGnomeLF

            Democrats were FOR the war at the time but then pretended afterwards they were against it. Progs can do that sort of fantasy and believe it afterwards.

            Libya is what results when you do it Obama’s way.
            Iraq, Bush’s way. And that is when Al-Queda came out all over to fight in Iraq, and even today it is the closest to a stable country in the Middle East.

            Bush tried to make the world a better place.
            Obama tries to grab power for his Muslim Brotherhood friends.

          • bpuharic

            Colin Powell, BUSH’S SecState, said the presentation he gave at the UN on Iraqi’s WMD’s was the worst mistake of his career.

            You right wingers invent your own view of history. Paranoid and delusional, it makes for wonderful reading.

            Bush lied. Powell knew it. No one expects a president to lie us into war

            But Bush did. THAT’S why dems voted for it.

            Let me know when you learn history

  • koblog

    Al Qaeda has killed thousands of Americans.

    Al Qaeda is backing the Syrian rebels, and may have used the chemical weapons (which they acquired last September when they overran one of Assad’s bases) on their own people to draw Obama into their civil war.

    Obama has placed us in position to be, as Sen. Ted Cruz has said, Al Qaeda’s Air Force.

    President Obama, Nobel peace prize recipient, has acted stupidly.

  • koblog

    Putin called Secretary of State John Kerry a liar.

    Some reset button you pressed there, secretary Clinton and Pres. Obama!

  • koblog

    “…the United States will endure something like a presidential vacancy until Mr. Obama is replaced in 2017 or until he finds a way to restore his authority and prestige.”

    The office has been vacant since 2008.

    • bpuharic

      The previous, conservative, occupant having gotten us into a useless war in Iraq, spending 2 trillion he borrowed, killing 4400 US troops and presiding over the greatest depression in 60 years.

      But the right says that’s OK. Obama’s a bad president, you see. Just look at the success of the predecessor.

      • teapartydoc

        What you just said implies that conservatives are capable of learning while liberals are not.

        • bpuharic

          I just learned you’re wrong

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            Given that Mr. Obama, in his efforts to bring “change”, has brought it … change BACK to the failed policies of the 1960’s and 1970’s, right down to the same kinds of actions that gave us Vietnam … looks to me like Progressives are incapable from learning from mistakes … especially their parrots …

            … wanna cracker?

          • bpuharic

            Vietnam syndrome? Funny the right wasn’t saying this when they sent 100,000 US troops into Iraq and spent 2 trillion dollars

            to let Al Qaida take over.

            Nice job you guys did, Rush bot

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            There is a big difference between a hesitant, vacillating escalation and a full-on war.

            In fact, the Iraq war started going bad when we followed the Progressive line of hesitation, and “minimizing the footprint”.

            You can’t handle the truth, parrot.

          • bpuharic

            Yeah. wars get our troops killed

            As you conservatives keep proving again and again and again and again

            Thanks for the reminder.

            And the IRaq war was going so bad in 2006 that Bush lost the by elections and fired Rumsfeld

            Rushbot

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            And he learned his lesson, and turned it around … only to see that progress squandered by your Progressive Messiah.

            No matter how many parrot droppings you throw, they won’t stick.

          • bpuharic

            Uh, how did he ‘turn it around’? Because the war cost McCain the presidency…along with the failed supply side right wing economics which bankrupted the middle class

            You guys lost 2 elections in a row precisely because your policies are failures

      • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

        5% unemployment until Democrats took over Congress, derailed expansion of domestic energy production (until the frackers worked around them) … followed by energy-price spikes even as the chickens of Progressive-inspired housing and finance policies came home to roost.

        Now, this President has borrowed more in five years, than his predecessor did in eight … and based upon the latest jobs report, if you are willing to look deeper than the unemployment rate, his policies are NOT making things better.

        But keep on squawking the words of your “betters”, parrot … for we need an example of the mindless attitude that facilitates Progressivism …

        … wanna cracker?

        • bpuharic

          Dems had congress for 6 months when the depression hit as a result of supply side right wing economics

          We deregulated banks. Busted unions. Cut capital gains taxes…all right wing policies

          And got the worst recession in 70 years.

          See I can name the policies that got us here. All you can do is channel Rush (PBUH).

          And deficits ALWAYS go UP in a recession

          If you knew economics you’d know that. But Rush (PBUH) hasn’t let you in on that one.

          So you guys blew up the economy THEN complain about the results

          Like the arsonist complaining about the fire dept.

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            I have pointed out the rest of the story, beyond your talking points, repeatedly here … how Progressive housing, finance, and energy policies, adopted by BOTH parties, led to the crash.

            We didn’t “bust” unions … they busted themselves with their mindless greed, along with LYING and obstructing the rank-and-file when it came to doing what it takes to secure sustainable employment and build upon it. What is left of the unions is mostly in the public sector, where politics protects them as a valuable campaign-money-laundering system. Crony capitalism at its finest.

            Supply-side economics works, for those who exercise the INITIATIVE to utilize the opportunities it provides. Your Keynesian economics has been, and always will be, a failure.

            Reality will show that Progressivism is fundamentally flawed … the only question is, how hard will the lesson to learn that be for us?

          • bpuharic

            Wrong.

            Clinton signed the deregulation. He was a member of the DLC…the Democratic Leadership Council which had a SPECIFICALLY ANTI progressive ideology.

            So that’s lie number one

            Union busting? Penalty for firing people organizing? None

            Lots of right to work states that bust unions

            And Germany out exports us even though their workforce is 16 percent unionized. Here near Atlantic City, the city’s only NON union casino is going bankrupt. Unionized IBM has routinely outcompeted its competitors.

            There’s a reason middle class wages stagnated as the unions died. Cause and effect.

            If supply side economics works, why did we have the deepest depression in 70 years after it was adopted? Why do we have 30 years of wage stagnation? Where’s the money for the MIDDLE CLASS?

            Your excuse is that Wall Street is perfect and the middle class is lazy

            Which is what I’ve said all along:

            The right wing hates middle class America, Rushbot

          • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

            Unions hide behind laws that favor them, instead of making sure their members deliver the productivity that justifies the wages they seek.

            Those of us who are non-union, still prospered as the unions died. No one was cutting us off. I remember when the unions were last powerful … in the 1970’s, as the cracks of the Blue Social Model began to appear.

            Some of us adapted to that reality. Unions did not.

            Unions screwed themselves. How Progressive.

          • bpuharic

            Corporations and billionaries hide behind laws that favor them making sure their companies have unilmited power to take ALL earnings instead of buidling a strong middle class

            Proof? in the last 2 years, the rich have had their incomes grow by 11 percent while the middle class FELL by 0.4 percent.

            And if people are propering

            why are millions laid off? Why has middle class income been stagnant for 30 years?

            Oh…the rich have tripled their income in the last 30 years…which, to the right wing, IS America

  • teapartydoc

    I think we can bomb the Syrians into thinking like Swedes. Let’s try it for good old progressivism.

  • RIRedinPA

    You’ve got to be kidding me. You posit to go to war, to rain death and destruction for some vague concept as American “credibility”? What exactly does that mean? Did American credibility exist post Vietnam? Did we still have it after Reagan pulled out of Beirut and trumped up a reason to invade Grenada? Was it still around after the Libyans bombed the Lockerbie flight, because we had bombed them previous to that. How about after Clinton pulled out of Somalia or tepidly launched some missiles into Afghanistan? Was American credibility still around after Powell delivered his WMD speech at the UN, or Abu Gharib or Gitmo?

    What are we, some fucking Pakistani tribe living out in their frontier that feel the need to send our young people to kill and die because our honor has been slighted.

    You’re a fool to think that lobbing some missiles from afar will maintain American credibility in any part of the world. You actually have to have something in order to maintain it.

    Syria presents no imminent threat to us. It is a sectarian civil war between Alawithe thugs and their allies and fundamentalist Sunni theocrats and we have no business risking American lives or furthering the suffering of those caught in the middle.

  • lhfry

    The best description I’ve read of how Obama avoids responsibility for the many mistakes he’s made:

    “Like other truly talented phonies, Barack Obama concentrates his skills on the effect of his words on other people — most of whom do not have the time to become knowledgeable about the things he is talking about. Whether what he says bears any relationship to the facts is politically irrelevant.

    A talented con man, or a slick politician, does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.”

    This is from RealClearPolitics: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/08/27/a_truly_great_phony_119720.html

    With the help of a compliant (less so now) press, he has used this technique very effectively.

    • bpuharic

      One wonders how conservatives, dedicated to fundamentalism in religion and in economics, have the temerity to even show their faces. In other countries, people would be hunting them with dogs.

      Conservatives gave us 30 years of middle class wage stagnation, the longest war in US history, trillions of borrowed dollars to ‘pay’ for this war, 4400 US dead and the deepest depression since 1929

      But they’re here to tell us they know a mistake when they see one!

      • https://www.facebook.com/ritchietheriveter Ritchie The Riveter

        What gave us wage stagnation is millions of people NOT exercising their initiative to prosper from the opportunities of supply-side economics, which has been persistently encouraged by the Progressive fiction of a “working class” that is absolved of the responsibility of treating their careers like a business.

        What led to that “longest war” is Progressive views of foreign policy that let dictators and tyrants stand as morally equivalent to rights-respecting nations … letting them grow stronger and bolder, instead of interdicting them at their weakest.

        And those trillions of borrowed dollars for war are more than matched by borrowing and future mandates for Progressive soico-economic programs that not only have, and will fail, but also suppress the personal initiative that is one of the best ways to deal with the causes of socio-economic dysfunction.

        And atheist Progressives like you are far more “fundamentalist” than those of us who don’t assume we are the be-all-end-all of sentient life … for you seek to jam your socio-economic morality down our throats with the coercive force of law, leaving us without recourse to deal with its inevitable failures.

        … wanna cracker?

        • bpuharic

          So Richie says…rather than blame the few thousand billionaires on Wall Street

          Let’s blame the middle class. For 30 years the American middle class refused to make the rich even RICHER all the while being lazy

          So it’s the fault of the middle class. Because Wall Street is never wrong.

          And Rush (PBUH) says so

          Folks, you can’t make this stuff up

      • lhfry

        What you say may be true. The problem is that the Obama administration and the Democrats have not improved on that record.
        I voted for Obama in 2008 before knowing enough about his character, probably like a lot of those who supported him. He is the perfect President for our time: shallow, ignorant, self-absorbed.

        • bpuharic

          Sure they have

          GDP is growing

          Jobs are being created, whereas we were losing 800,000 a month when he took office

          Number of US troops killed in wars started by Obama? Zero

          Deficit is down to 842B, down over 20 percent

          Universal healthcare

          I realize you don’t know what you’re talking about, but those points are pretty significant.

          • Asmund Hairy-Arse

            The workforce participation rate continues to drop. The unemployment rate edged slightly downward because people gave up and left the workforce, not because they found jobs.

          • bpuharic

            I notice you ignored the fact we’re ADDING jobs after you conservatives caused the economy to shed jobs at 800K a month

          • Brian O’Connor

            A great many of those, perhaps most, are part-time jobs. Plus, many employers are cutting the hours of their full-time workers to below 30 hours per week to avoid Obamacare.

            So what role do you think the Community Reinvestment Act might have played in the collapse several years ago?

          • bpuharic

            I agree; the damage done to our economy by right wing supply side economics is so vast it will take decades to recover.

            Thanks.

            And the CRA had no role. Want me to run the numbers for you? I know Rush (PBUH) wants to blame it on the dark folks, but it wasn’t the CRA.

            Sorry.

          • Brian O’Connor

            Let me see if I understand you correctly: Obamacare isn’t at fault for the employment issues, it’s those pesky folks who want their businesses to survive?

            Bwahahahahhahaha!

            Government tinkering, prominently and importantly in the form of the CRA, was hugely responsible for the collapse.

            And let me remind you that the democrats owned, lock, stock and barrel, both houses of congress and the executive for fully two years during which time they could have done pretty much whatever they wanted to.

            But tell me, in all seriousness, should there be any limits on governmental power?

          • bpuharic

            Businesses are sitting on 1.8 trillion in cash. Convince me Obamacare’s a game changer.

            And the CRA had no responsibility at all for the crash. Wall Street greed, however, did

            And this happenened under a GOP congress and GOP president in 2006/2007

          • Brian O’Connor

            Er . . . businesses are siting on 1 trillion dollars in cash? Might that not convince you?

            Wall Street had no choice but to Invest in the Community! They then sold off the mortgaes to Fannie and Freddie! Dude! What planet do you live on????

            Though I do not agree with you that “all this” happened under the GOP (like the CRA, 1977, passed under which president????), even if true, that hardly exonerates the Dems, who promised The Cure. They had 2 years and their power was incontestable. So . . . why didn’t they, you know, fix things?

            And I note with interest that avoided my question: Should there be any limits on governmental power?

          • bpuharic

            Er no. Because they’re in business to make money.

            You’re really struggling here, aren’t y ou? The GSE’s didn’t get into the underwriting game of subprimes until the GOP congress changed the regulations late in the game. Again, they had little role.

            The CRA had NO Effect on the bubble. NOne….it was the 20,000% run up in credit default swaps which bankrupted Lehman and AIG and other banking and insurance firms. That’s what the facts show.

            I’m in favor of responsible govt power

            The right believes that if you deregulate bank robbery there won’t be bank robberies

          • Brian O’Connor

            Should it be illegal to be in business to make money?

            Would it be a responsible use of its power for the government to make it illegal to “make money?”

  • koblog

    Jimmy Carter was also a weak, ineffectual president who hurt America’s economy at home and our standing in the world.

    The day President Ronald Reagan came into office, the world knew a better, more principled man was setting America’s course and policy.

    Obama is no President Reagan. At best he’s Carter Jr., but worse.

    Who could have ever conceived that our elites would approvingly speak of the President as “leading from behind?”

    • bpuharic

      Conservative leadership got 4400 killed in Iraq and put a 2 trillion dollar borrowed hole in our budget.

      Thanks.

  • bohemond

    “An effective leader would have consulted with key people in Congress and made sure of his backing before making explicit threats of force.”

    What? The God-King consult? Never!

    • bpuharic

      Guess it musta been another Boehner Obama consulted with who said he supported the president.

      • bohemond

        Plainly he didn’t make sure of his Congressional backing, because there is none.

  • Asmund Hairy-Arse

    Then let him be toast. Better Obama be toast than America.

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