No, we don’t know what we’re doing – don’t have a friggin’ clue, in fact, but our new friend Vladimir is gonna help us out
Kerry’s blunder jumped on by Putin. Depending on the time of day, I vacillate between thinking Obama is an evil sick bastard scheming to destroy the United States or just the dumbest, least prepared president in the entire history of the United States. This evening, I’m back in the “he’s really this fuckin’ stupid” camp.
In what looks like an off-the-cuff blunder, Secretary of State John Kerry might have accidentally given Russian President Vladimir Putin the opportunity to muddy the international diplomatic waters and buy his friends in Syria some time.
During a press briefing on Monday, Kerry said that Assad could avoid American air strikes by giving up all his chemical weapons within a week. Within hours, the State Department was forced to walk Kerry’s new red line back with the claim that he was making a “rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons he has denied he used.”
It seems, then, reasonable to conclude that Kerry spoke out of turn. Kerry was not authorized to offer Syria an “out” or a new ultimatum. But Kerry’s hypothetical hyperbole appears to have already backfired.
In an obvious desire to make Kerry pay for his flub and throw a wrench in Obama’s determination to go to war with Syria, Putin has seized upon Kerry’s hypothetical and called on Syria to accept Kerry’s offer and turn over all of its chemical weapons. No one believes Assad would ever willingly give up his chemical weapons, but should he agree to an offer the Obama administration did not mean to make, it could stall American action for weeks and even months.
Syria is already warming to the idea.
This complication could be a major blow to all of the Obama administration’s prepared plans to punish Assad for using the weapons and to change the balance of power in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Public opposition to Obama’s war is already surging. Weeks or months from now, after the torturous international diplomatic process that no one believes would end with Assad giving up the chemical weapons that keep him in power winds down, it is doubtful Congress or the American public would be ready to stomach a renewed push for war.
But now that Putin has suggested Syria say “yes” to an offer Kerry was sure no one would accept, the Associated Press is reporting that the State Department will take a “hard look” at Russia’s proposal.
James Taranto apparently does for me what I will not do for myself: watch those Sunday morning news shows, and he’s resurfaced with this gem from John Kerry, Obama’s hand-picked choice to run our foreign affairs.
Kerry said the Americans were planning an “unbelievably small” attack on Syria. “We will be able to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what we are talking about doing–unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”
Pathetic? Of course, but wait! Unfortunately, there’s more!
USA Today describes the administration’s strategy: “A second senior official, who has seen the most recent planning, offered this metaphor to describe such a strike: If Assad is eating Cheerios, we’re going to take away his spoon and give him a fork. Will that degrade his ability to eat Cheerios? Yes. Will it deter him? Maybe. But he’ll still be able to eat Cheerios.”
Well, the commander of the Marine Corps Reserves is a Gen. Mills. But perhaps it’s no coincidence that shortly after Barack Obama took office, the homonymic company discontinued Kaboom.
You sayin’ I’m stupid?
Angelo Codevilla: Parting ways with the American People
Some three fourths of Americans oppose making war on Syria. Hence the Republican leadership class’ reflexive advocacy of entry into Syria’s civil war is cutting one of the few remaining ties that bind it to ordinary Americans.
Since September 2008, when President George W. Bush, Congressman John Boehner, Senators Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and the entire Republican Congressional leadership plus Karl Rove and his big donors backed by The Wall Street Journal editorial pages were key to foisting the $816 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program on a country that opposed it three to one, the Republican Establishment has united with the Democratic Party again and again to legislate the ruling class’ domestic priorities. Before President Obama elevated the Syrian civil war onto the national agenda, the same cast of characters was chiefly occupied with gathering votes to secure funding for Obamacare against a popular movement to de-fund it.
In short, by 2013 the Republican Establishment had proved itself so alien to the domestic concerns of that majority of Americans who dislike the direction in which the ruling class is pushing it, that the party was becoming irrelevant. Despite the Bush Administration’s disastrous commitment to Nation-Building however, the memory of Ronald Reagan’s and Dwight Eisenhower’s forceful, levelheaded patriotism still lingered about the party.
But by urging war on Syria more vehemently than Obama, the Republican Establishment may have finished off the Republican Party, as we know it. Surely it has discredited itself.
Yesterday I suggested that Obama’s failed foreign policy was a feature, not a bug, for this community organizer determined to rid America of what he saw as Imperialistic urges. Today The Wall Street Journal is out with the same point (no, they don’t read this blog, they just have a longer deadline).
Summing up the net effect of all this, as astute a foreign observer as Conrad Black can flatly say that, “Not since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, and before that the fall of France in 1940, has there been so swift an erosion of the world influence of a Great Power as we are witnessing with the United States.”
Yet if this is indeed the pass to which Mr. Obama has led us—and I think it is—let me suggest that it signifies not how incompetent and amateurish the president is, but how skillful. His foreign policy, far from a dismal failure, is a brilliant success as measured by what he intended all along to accomplish. The accomplishment would not have been possible if the intention had been too obvious. The skill lies in how effectively he has used rhetorical tricks to disguise it.
The key to understanding what Mr. Obama has pulled off is the astonishing statement he made in the week before being elected president: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” To those of us who took this declaration seriously, it meant that Mr. Obama really was the left-wing radical he seemed to be, given his associations with the likes of the anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright and the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, not to mention the intellectual influence over him of Saul Alinsky, the original “community organizer.”
But I whammad wit!
A reader sent me a link to Greenwich Patch under the subject header, Whaa Whaa Whaaa”. That seems apt. Our former and unlamented Democrat candidate for First Selectman has penned a 367-page screed to the Patch “editor”, detailing what went wrong, how it wasn’t fair, what she actually meant to say and then blasting Republicans for running such a nasty campaign against her.
There’s not much worth responding to here, since the lady is toast and off the scene, but it is sort of amusing that she blames Peter Tesei for her woes, very much like her fellow Greenwich Democrat party leader Bill Gaston blames Bush for Obama’s blunders in the Syria.
From what I can tell, it was Paulmeno’s own party that done her dirty, because her friends were pissed at her: she was supposed to just serve as placeholder on the ballot until a qualified candidate could be found, but once she tasted the dizzying glamour of being the subject of a genuine Greenwich Time headline, she wouldn’t let go.
So they let go for her. Bye ku,
Criminals injured while performing community service jobs hit the jackpot.
A criminal who hurt his ankle while cutting back brambles for community service was paid £73,000 compensation, it emerged today.
Probation Service bosses admitted this morning that offenders who injured themselves doing unpaid work had claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash.
One convicted criminal was given £94,666 after he broke his arm falling from a ladder while doing community service with Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust, while another got £18,600 after injuring his back using a wheelbarrow.
Apparently, the process is: get hurt, file wildly inflated claim, wait for postman to deliver cheque. Britain’ a funny place.
Greenwich Democrats find still another candidate to run for First Selectman, who immediately calls for more debt, more spending. “We thought we’d try something different this time,” Democratic Chairman Francine X. Fudrucker told FWIW, “but then figured, ‘why bother?’ “
you may kiss the bride
Judge Judy marries grandson in elaborate wedding. Destruction of the traditional marriage continues. Grandparents marrying grandchildren, can man marrying man’s best friend be far away?