September 10th, 2013

The Syria situation segues into bizarro world

From the start, President Obama’s confrontation (for want of a better word) with Syria’s Assad was odd, then meandering and contradictory, but always somewhat mysterious.

What was Obama’s goal? Was it just to appear a certain way for political reasons? Or did he think bluster would actually work to cow the Syrian dictator? Or was he in fact intent on actually attacking Assad? Was his underlying message to Assad at all, or was it instead for Iran, or for Russia, or the low information voter, or the international audience, or some or all of the above? Was the whole thing a mostly mindless blunder or a strategic ploy of some sort?

Only the Shadow knows.

But yesterday the situation took a turn for the surreal when John Kerry casually and without much conviction called for Assad to surrender his chemical weapons to an international force and Putin said “Great idea!” I don’t have answers, but I share many of the questions Jeffrey Goldberg poses in this piece.

In addition, I’m with the first commenter to the Goldberg article:

So, throw away the reasons why what is proposed for Syria won´t work, both tactically and politically or what questions to answer to perhaps make the situation better and bring about a solution and just understand that now, today both by ridiculous and irresponsible “diplomatic error” by both Obama and Mr. Kerry, the influence on this issue and the real power now resides in Moscow and Tehran and to a smaller level, Damascus not Washington DC.

This also sets the stage for the real ending of American influence in that region.

Was this the goal all the time? Or did Obama and Kerry just wander into it serendipitously, although guided by their overarching vision of waning American influence in the world and submission to internationalism?

[NOTE: Even the usually Obama-friendly New Republic is skeptical:

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the White House was just as surprised as anyone. Asked if this was a White House plan that Kerry had served up in London, Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken was unequivocal. "No, no, no," he said. "We literally just heard about this as you did some hours ago."

So that's good. At least everyone's on the same page...

Last night, President Barack Obama, who, just over a week ago, had said he was ready to act, tells the nation's cable watchers that he's now discussing this bogus plan with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and that he's "going to take this very seriously" while also not letting up on the drumbeat of military strikes while. On Tuesday, Syria said it had accepted Russia's proposal and France said it would seek the UN Security Council's backing for the proposal.

This, in other words, is no light at the end of the tunnel. This, to borrow a phrase from a Congressional staffer at his wits' end, "is an unmitigated clusterfuck."

Please read the whole thing; quite an interesting piece for TNR to have published. The author, Julie Ioffe, seems to think the answer to the "Obama: fool or knave?" question is most "fool." I think it's "both," and have for quite some time.]

[ADDENDUM: Politico---another ordinarily Obama-friendly venue---is likewise critical:

“As soon as I saw Kerry [make his proposal], I said: ‘He’s in trouble,’” [Lee Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations] said.

”The Russians saw the opening right away and Syrians saw the opening right away, now [U.S. officials] have got to play this card out,” Gelb said. “I think most people see the Russian and Syrian response as a canard to delay any action and maybe weaken it entirely, but nonetheless you cant now just ignore your own proposal and their acceptance of it.”

“In international politics, it’s all about who takes the initiative,” said Toby Gati, who headed up the State Department’s intelligence bureau under President Bill Clinton.

“The Russians saw this opening – and part of the appeal of the opening for them is to tie down Gulliver — that’s us. That’s why I’m concerned that this can turn into a proposal from hell,” she said.

Harsh words from a former Clinton appointee.

Hmmm—former Clinton appointee, former Clinton appointee—one could speculate that perhaps part of the agenda is for Clinton supporters to criticize John Kerry, one of her potential rivals for the Democratic nomination in 2016?]

[ADDENDUM II: More.]

31 Responses to “The Syria situation segues into bizarro world”

  1. Baklava Says:

    Fool? Knave?

    Dangerous for sure…

  2. Baklava Says:

    About 39 nations gave towards the effort in Iraq and Afghanistan and liberals called that unilateral.

    At this point we can’t name one country supporting this blurred line nonsense.

  3. Roman Says:

    Fool or Knave, Fool and Knave. As the former Secretary of State once said: “At this point, what difference does it make?”

    Most of the scenarios that Chairman O has gotten the US into are at best, terrible, at worst, terrible and dangerous.

    We are a strong country and we will weather this, it may take a while, but we will get through it.

  4. George Pal Says:

    “This also sets the stage for the real ending of American influence in that region.”

    The ‘real ending’? That curtain came down long ago. We have had no influence for some time now other than such as we convinced ourselves as having but which was, in essence, payment for good behavior. That’s called extortion. And just what influence have we had on those countries in the region we’ve occupied”

    Here is inluence:

    “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”
    - General Sir Charles Napier

    the derivative and situational (which we would not dare):
    Be it so. This cutting of females is your custom; sharpen your blades. But my nation has also a custom. When men cut women in defiance of how God had made them, we cut them, and confiscate all their property. My surgeons shall hone their scalpels with which to amputate all concerned of all that is distinctly male when once the female is dismembered. Let us all act according to national customs.

    And instead, in Afghanistan, muslim men celebrate boys night (literally) out every Thursday and we avert our eyes. It’s we who are under the influence – and have been for quite some time now.

  5. Ann Says:

    Norman Podhoretz goes with both, too, with a heavy dose of knave: “Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure — The president may look incompetent on Syria. But his behavior fits his strategy to weaken America abroad”:

    As a left-wing radical, Mr. Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs. Accordingly, the fundamental transformation he wished to achieve here was to reduce the country’s power and influence. And just as he had to fend off the still-toxic socialist label at home, so he had to take care not to be stuck with the equally toxic “isolationist” label abroad.

    This he did by camouflaging his retreats from the responsibilities bred by foreign entanglements as a new form of “engagement.” At the same time, he relied on the war-weariness of the American people and the rise of isolationist sentiment (which, to be sure, dared not speak its name) on the left and right to get away with drastic cuts in the defense budget, with exiting entirely from Iraq and Afghanistan, and with “leading from behind” or using drones instead of troops whenever he was politically forced into military action.

    That sounds right. But not sure I agree with this:

    The problem for Mr. Obama is that at least since the end of World War II, Americans have taken pride in being No. 1. Unless the American people have been as fundamentally transformed as their country is quickly becoming, America’s decline will not sit well. With more than three years in office to go, will Mr. Obama be willing and able to endure the continuing erosion of his popularity that will almost certainly come with the erosion of the country’s power and influence?

    I’ll be very surprised if his popularity really does plummet.

  6. Charles Says:

    Bizarro world indeed; next thing you know we will be living the “Mouse That Roared”!

  7. physicsguy Says:

    Popularity plummet? Not a chance, even with this end run by the Russians. As we have said here before, he could kill babies and puppies on the front lawn of the WH and the media would still protect him.

  8. expat Says:

    Did you see the Eugene Robinson op piece at WaPo today. Even he is complaining. Let’s see, we’ve got Rangel and Robinson. Who’s next?

  9. artfldgr Says:

    From the start, President Obama’s confrontation (for want of a better word) with Syria’s Assad was odd, then meandering and contradictory, but always somewhat mysterious.

    really? i dont think so at all
    ONLY if you have hi pegged wrong do you get mystified

    OGZPY, EONGY ,CVX (Chevron), BRS (Bristow group), RDSA (Royal Dutch Shell), PTR (Petro China)

    and ROSN the big oil concern there went south…

    you only have to put things together..

    CLUE 1: he bowed to the saudis, not Qatar, so he would do what for saud? go to war… why? they are his benefactors, and you pay them back for college, and other help…

    russia, was never a friend, and they thought that birds of a feather would trump no honor among theives. ha! russia pulls a checkmate…

    CLUE 2: he acts like a bad wife… ie. does nothing for who they are married to, but will do things and deals for others. why? because once your married, your partner cant give you anyting you dont already own, so the only place for more is external

    CLUE 3: the gaggle of people and who cui bono and what their interests are…

    CLUE3: the previous kabuki show for similar reasons, having to do wth the excuse, the gulf, and suddenly making petrobras wealthy. as politicians are allowed to inside trade

    other clues take some work…

    like the pipeline and who wants what out of it and how much… and their coordinated work in the west to confound the peple and have them stop things for them. after all, the US people under teh sway of russia, can stop the stte easoier than a bunch of tanks, and pleas

    so you thinkn obam wanted to help the sauds, which is what is plausible. however, what he wanted was to seem to help the sauds while helping himselve and his cadre of others playing games…

    you can work this out if you make a list of all the people that are involved inthis obama game, and who are involved with other countries.

    AND you have to learn to read news in terms of cui bono, going back to remember things.

    who restructured gazprom and opened it up to outside investment? who was involved? Soros… the killed edmond safras, and his partner… german company Ruhr. Hermitage Capital Management. petrobras… Soros fund. Mikhail Khodorkovsky

    there is some serious money all around in this
    with player lined up on ech side and both sides too!!!

  10. Ann Says:

    I think you’re right, Neo — Kerry has handed the Clintons a huge gift with regard to 2016.

    I just watched the video of Hillary’s statement about Syria yesterday, and she comes across quite well, at least in comparison with Obama and the now super-bumbler Kerry. Love the way she says “and the Russians” around the 1:12 mark; it’s very Slick Willy–esque, in that she manages to imply surprise, a bit of worry and distrust, while perhaps hoping (if it all goes well) it will remind us of the “reset button” she once gave them.

  11. southpaw Says:

    There’s no way you will convince me all this bumbling and loss of US influence was planned by Obama. Quite the opposite – the whole support of the “Arab Spring” was supposed to garner support for us by showing them we were not backing the standing dictators who were in our best interest to keep in place. He was trying to show them we were willing to risk what may come in the new regimes by supporting the rebellions. A first class fool in this regard, but consistent with an egomaniac who thinks he knows more than any of his predecessors or ambassadors or advisors with years of experience.
    Obama has completely bungled whatever he was trying to do. This whole deal brokered by Russia is counter to what Obama wanted – it keeps the status quo — Iran and Syria are intact; Egypt has gone backwards. Libya is a disaster and a personal humiliation he refuses to acknowledge.
    This whole deal allows Putin an excuse to have a Russian presence – Obama just got his nose rubbed in doo-doo by Putin, and now it’s all over his face. But even with crap all over his face, the media is going to try and spin this like it’s what he wanted all along. Right. Assad is now blowing the rebels to bits with conventional weapons. All is right with the situation now — Assad is free to bomb and kill anybody he wants, but Barack has made the civil war civil again, restoring the rules of a fair war by making it chemical free. Like the commissioner of football banning steroids, he’s claiming that was the intention.
    Gimme a break. Anybody entertaining the idea that Obama planned this whole PR nightmare in order to reduce US influence is delusional. He could have done that a lot less publicly and saved a lot of personal embarrassment by simply meeting Putin in private and telling him he wasn’t going to intervene at all in the ME, and then doing just that. Nothing. He could have stayed out of Egypt, Libya, etc. Doing nothing and keeping his trap shut would have sent a very clear signal to the world he wasn’t interested in any ME affairs, and the Russians and Iranians would have a free hand.. Instead, he fannied about with a bunch of symbolic gestures, stupid comments, and a war in Afghanistan for which nobody has any explanation. Now the region is destabilized — with Obama being the central focus of incompetency.
    It would be an interesting argument to show how a person with Obama’s infinite ego would go through all idiocy to accomplish something he could have done without making a fool out of himself. All his actions the last few weeks have been designed to revive his image, while the Syrian rebels he was so concerned about the last couple of weeks go up in flames. Putin rescued his image for the American media, but not from the international stage, and it certainly won’t be free.

  12. neo-neocon Says:

    southpaw:

    For the record, I don’t think Obama planned it.

    But I think it happened this way in part because he was guided by certain principles and goals (which I’ve written about in previous posts, and which included wanting to weaken the US in deference to the international crew), and his “red line” was always a very reluctant and less-than-half-assed assertion of US power. He was only too happy to turn it over to the Russians and the internationals, declare victory, and call it a day, considering he dodged a bullet. I’ve actually been surprised that he’s gotten a certain amount of criticism from the liberal press, such as TNR.

    It will be interesting to see whether the whole thing ever comes to a vote in Congress.

  13. artfldgr Says:

    The pundits you guys want to listn to, do not do their research… ie. they dont know more, as they are lazier than the readers…

    1. Is Kerry a national-security genius, or a guy who says whatever half-baked idea comes to mind, or both?

    NEither, he is a servant, and just as the left in the US was taken aback by the sudden tactical change of the invasion of russia, and the loyalty changes, kerry, is not consistent because the needs of who he serves is not consistent… but pay attention to what he sided with, as he is too dumb to be a capitalist (a play on Richard Wrights out of print work “to smart to be a communist”, which is why they didnt let him join)

    2. Why are the Russians seemingly so ready to aid Kerry and President Barack Obama by helping relieve Syria of its chemical weapons? Since when is Russia interested in helping the U.S. out of a jam, even if it burnishes its own reputation in the process?

    this is idiotic… they are not seemingly anything. they have Gazprom, it has a monopoly worth over 1.5 trillion or more over 10 years, and if assad falls, so does their monopoly… but you wont see anyone mention it as no one mentions the dirty games and prior actions of russia and these other people. they have 3 day amnesia, which is ok, as the public has 2 day amnesia

    3. Do these early signs that Russia might be interested in making a deal to avert an attack prove that threatening to attack was the right thing to do?

    not even on the page.. ie. nothing bespeaks an actual game of manipulation, prparedness that goes back about 6 years, and so on… you would have to have more information to know that, but they hang and isolate points, so that they have no context… this question has no context… was the right thing to do in terms of what? outcome? finances? friends? future earning potential by out of work politicians?

    4. Who is making American policy on Syria? Kerry or Obama?

    what happened to geithner? jarret? the other crrew? what about the persons he gets advice from secretly over his blackberry? soros? ie. your attention is being hyperfocused on the puppets in front of you, so you dont remember they have strings…

    5. Why would Assad give up his chemical weapons? He saw what happened when Libya’s late dictator Muammar Qaddafi gave up his weapons of mass destruction program, which is to say, he lost some of his deterrent power.

    they cant be used? they make it possible for false flag from the makers? the move secures his leadership for the next decade at least?

    6. How do you possibly verify that Assad has given up all of his chemical weapons? The Syrian regime possesses hundreds of tons of these munitions.

    you cant any more than you know that russia has gotten rid of weapons and has not made more, and hs not stockpiled them for decades along with diamonds above a certain size, and percentages of gold outputs… dump them at the right point, then what?

    7. Does Syria get to keep its biological weapons under this still nonexistent deal?

    irrelevent, as the question is idiotic based on the prior question

    8. If the U.S. gives up the idea of an attack, would the remaining moderate rebels, so dispirited, start moving toward the al-Qaeda column?

    no… ie. it wont have any effect on anyting on the ground, the play is for consumption

    9. How do you secure and transport all of these chemical-weapons components in the midst of a horrifically violent civil war

    get off the weapons.. these are stupid questions…
    and have and in no way will, lead the readers to any kind of understanding even if all of themwere perfectly answered so far.

    its an entertaining waste of time…
    a foil..
    a distraction..
    a decoy

    and you guys step into them every time
    [edited for length by n-n]

  14. George Says:

    Putin’s objective is to strengthen Russian power and influence in Syria and to diminish ours – pretty much the same objective as Barracks. The “red line” gaffe was only the natural venting of someone who is carried away by the theatrical moment; the thrill of believing in his own specialness is irresistible. Putin the KGB man has sized up his opponent quite masterfully and has determined that having an inept, indecisive and bumbling president in power for as long as possible is a gift from heaven. He can now throw Barrack a lifeline re the chemical weapons angle, which will be magically portrayed by the boyfriends in the t.v. newsrooms as another sign of our leaders great peacemaking powers (or whatever). Vlad and the boys are smiling.

  15. southpaw Says:

    Neo – you’re probably right – I agree he wanted to appear to be a member of a big happy international community and play a lesser role in the world, but I don’t think he understood how that was not an option for him without also compromising other things he expected to do. He certainly had no understanding of how leadership as a president and as a country are inseparable from our economy, trade, and just about everything else that concerns us. And now having no real principles he stands for makes it impossible now for him do anything but twist in the breeze, looking for a lifeline from the media, an enemy, or any place he can to come out not looking like a dunce.
    The latest breaking news is that Russia is retracting the offer, at least without more humiliation – USA to promise no aggression ever or something along those lines.
    Or as ACE says, putting words in Putin’s mouth: “first you have to blow me”.
    It’s ironic that the greatest socialist power is teaching Obama that a common ideology isn’t a Kumbaiya moment. Obama’s grand notion of a one big world all living in socialist harmony meets the reality that every country has it’s own interests, and weenies are losers.

    Also a great tweet on AOSHQ :” Putin doesn’t take a dump on Obama’s chest without a plan.”

  16. Ann Says:

    @jpodhoretz: “Please, Russia, keep going. This is getting to be like the stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera.”

  17. Ymarsakar Says:

    Now comes the jingoistic Democrats stating we must “support the President”.

    Yeah, sure, bunch of Fing hypocrites telling me I have to do things sounds about right.

  18. sharpie Says:

    It’s perplexing and distresssing when family goes rogue. But all that distress can simply disappear for many when they realize Obama is not American, i.e., he’s not family. The bizzaro world he has brought upon Americans is his- and those who believe like him- creation.

    America has always been a set of noble and grand ideas that created and preserved a noble and grand nation. American is not a country. The slide into Bizzaro has happened to every nation in history, and now it happens to ours as it is not America anymore.

    Obama’s words and actions are bizzare and resist being understandable only in the sense that the commonsense understanding is too unbelievable. “You didn’t build that;” “Clinging to guns and religion;” “The future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet;” “The Holy Quran.” Then he “evolves” to the LGBT position. How does that square with his Muslim statements? Isn’t evolving to the LGBT position a slander of the Prophet?

    So what is the unifying principle?

    Whatever is anti America.

    What is America? Individual freedom, Christianity with limited tolerance for other religions (Judaism receiving the most favor), free market, rule of law, and the basic organizing principle of family, community, state and nation with each layer having less power and authority.

    When you see that every one of Obama’s positions and actions generate an anti-American result, bingo, you see that Obama stands more against something than for something. Of course, in his case, narcissism runs a close second.

    It’s funny to see the perplexity of his own followers as the Obama narcissist conflicts with his anti-Americanism. Notice how Obama tried to give an anti-American rationale, the “must enforce the international standard” argument. America enforces its interests. And Obama’s rational is really weak, only sort of kind of does it allow the former extreme peace-niks to become the authorities dropping bombs which may kill innocent people.

    So it is ironic and laughable how those damned near and dear to the heart of Obama Muslims ended up thwarting his myth and legend. Benghazi is, of course, another example. Let us remember to pose that question in the next set of elections.

  19. Oldflyer Says:

    The speech is in the air.

    He came before us to tell us that he was asking Congress for authority to punish Assad and deter the use of chemical weapons with a strike that is more than a pinprick, but very limited; but now he is not.

    Why, because his muddled policy had surprising results. The Russians, who our UN Ambassador just told us made any overture to the UN useless, has suggested that we go to the UN and get international control of Assad’s weapons.

    Of course we are supposed to believe that at the very time that the UN Ambassador was explaining why we could not get Russian cooperation, Obama and Kerry were working with the Russians.

    Who could have guessed?

    I will guess that Putin is not going to let Obama take credit for events of the past day or so, and that he will drop another shoe or two. Obama is like a little leaguer trying to hit major league pitching.

  20. sharpie Says:

    Of course, Bambi is now invested that the “give up my chemical weapons” will succeed. He will have to look the other way when nothing of substance is yielded because admitting that he was wrong about the “give up my chemical weapons” means he was wrong about the “give up my chemical weapons.”

    And we know how likely it is that Obama will admit he was wrong. He’ll crucify America upside down first. Yawn, it is all getting so unbelievably dreary.

  21. Otiose Says:

    What Obama/Kerry have done is 1) given Assad the upper hand by 2) giving the Russians a barn door wide opening to place assets inside Syria with Obama’s blessing no less.

    We will see Russians inside Syria ‘securing’ the chemical weapons which will involve terminating local threats.

    And once those assets are in place Obama loses whatever option he had for missile strikes. It just won’t be possible to strike at targets that will endanger the forces we invited to be there and who are (pretending to) cooperate with Obama’s stated intention of getting rid of the chemical weapons threat.

    Once it becomes clear that Assad can’t lose and will likely win in the end, fence sitters and anyone who can strike a deal will shift to Assad’s camp.

    Those who can’t will become or remain refugees outside Syria-or die.

    Thank you Mr. Obama

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    Then again, I can see Obama having a few accidents, killing some Russians, and letting an American admin take care of it afterwards. A sort of parting “FU” gift once they clean out the White House, him and Michelle.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    Btw, one of the postulated causes for why Indian widows burned themselves alive, was because during the Muslim conquest, no woman wanted to be caught without a male protector because they knew what would happen to them.

    To prevent such, they killed themselves along with their husband, to prevent being taken as sex slaves for the Islamic harems and slave trade.

    By the time of the British, their customs had been so ingrained, they may have even forgotten why they had it.

  24. sharpie Says:

    I really wish the muppets were in D.C. Miss Piggy could do a whole lot better in the Putin Swing Dance. She’d get that low center of gravity rotating and Putin would be out of there.

    What I really like is how even when the repugnant media “blames” Obama, they absolve him. Like the NJ article, “Syria tells you everything you need to know about Obama.”

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/syria-tells-you-everything-you-need-to-know-about-barack-obama-20130910?mrefid=site_search

    Well. Sure. But who’s telling. I love NJ’s point headings, and remember it’s the point headings that will stick around. Here’s the positive ones (which by the way come first):

    Openminded
    Unflappable
    Principles

    Here’s the negative:

    Naive about the levels of power
    Too cute by half
    No friends

    The first three are all Obama, baby. He’s really got some good him in. Although you could see openminded and unflappable as merely what we’ve seen domestically and why we’ve not had a budget for four years: No leadership, or in that wonderfully understandable euphemism “leading from behind.” (Is that a good or a bad strategy?) They call “not having a clue” openminded! Love you fellas up there in the press box. Keep em comin.

    And the negatives. Well, that first one, that’s not really a fault is it? Dang it. He’s a pure soul. And the “too cute by half.” Little darlings. They will create mischief. And as the last point under that point heading states “A broader problem is the Obama White House’s inability to break through the clutter of 21st century media to educate and persuade Americans on policy, a communications conundrum that dates to the 2009 health-care debate.” Are you running to the toilet yet?

    But “no friends?” Are you kidding me. Both chambers have been nothing but his friend until now. (Thank the Lord. Thank the Lord. Think black choir pentacostal singing here!) The riff the NJ really has is that the media can’t do jack shit with the non-U.S. world.

    How about that claim “At home, the presidency has ceded power to Congress in recent years.” What example can you think of?

    But here’s the corker sentence in a corker article: “Granted, in the heat of the moment, it’s far easier to catalogue the worst.” Why does the heat of the moment swing to the worst rather than the best? Heat of the moment isn’t relevant. It is what is and we judge sometimes wrongly accusing sometimes wrongly approving sometimes right.

    The NJ is sending out programing to their robots that says “wait for more spin, there’s nothing here that can’t be fixed.” All under a flop of a pretense of objectivity. Yeck.

  25. FOAF Says:

    “I will guess that Putin is not going to let Obama take credit for events of the past day or so”

    Putin may *want* Obama to take credit. He has taken the measure of BO and knows he is a vain weakling which is perfect for Russia. Putin may prefer that Obama maintains some superficial credibility – easy to get with the lapdog MFM – rather than embitter Americans with an obvious humiliation. The last time Americans felt that way they replaced Carter with Reagan and I’m sure Putin wants to avoid a repeat of that.

  26. sharpie Says:

    Andrew Sullivan hates the hacks at Fox who will excoriate Obama for doing what Roger Ailes demanded a year ago:

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/

    Wow. But why would the Fox hacks not support a valid removal/reduction of chemical weapons? They wouldn’t. What we reject is a faux removal for the protection of a fool’s credibility.

    But Andrew also has this:

    http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/09/11/reexamining-the-murder-of-matthew-shepard/

    Mathew Shephard wasn’t killed because he was gay? Uh oh.

  27. Eric Says:

    Be cautious and suspicious of Russia’s proposal. President Jimmy Carter, 1980 State of the Union Address:

    Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

    President Carter was, of course, addressing inimical Soviet machinations in the Middle East. It can be assumed that the Russians under Putin’s leadership are as interested as the Russian Soviets in wresting and replacing American influence in the region with a Russian-dominated order. The regional security guarantee of the Carter Doctrine with the later addition of the Reagan Corollary to the Carter Doctrine has been the cornerstone of US foreign policy in the Middle East for decades. It appears that President Obama is on the cusp of reversing the long-standing Middle East policy he inherited and handing over to the Russians what has been denied them by the previous 3 Republican and 2 Democratic Presidential administrations, just to escape the mess Obama made over Syria.

  28. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Putin just ate Obama’s lunch, and whoever first said that Putin (and some other world leaders) were playing chess (and a few 3D chess) but that Obama was playing checkers was on to something.

    Russia, which apparently supplied a lot of Assad’s WMD in the first place, is the last country I would want to be involved with in a deal like this, which I have absolutely every confidence will never come to pass, and will likely turn into a long drawn out charade, in which all sorts of “progress” will be reported that has absolutely no basis in fact.

    Assad gives up one of the few strong cards he has in his battle to stay in power and to stay alive? Suicidal, and thus not likely at all, especially if the Russians are involved in this “disarmament.”

    It’ll probably be similar to and about as effective as the old League of Nations disarmament inspections of German warships to see that they complied with the Treaty of Versailles naval tonnage restrictions, that were only able to certify German compliance by counting tonnage above the water line and not adding in the tonnage below it, so as not to come up with tonnage totals that were violations that would cause a whole lot of “unpleasantness” that nobody had the stomach to deal with.

    As for the genesis of this whole misbegotten supposed disarmament plan, Obama does not like to be shown up for his lack of intelligence or his ignorance, to be argued with or to be crossed so, he went out and filled his administration with third rate leftist hacks and ignoramuses, ideologues, and opportunists, leading to the kind of pathetic, horrific Three Stooges mess we have just witnessed.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    Obama is only allowed to appoint people Valerie Jarret vets. He doesn’t get as much say as people think.

  30. artfldgr Says:

    ok. i was off a bit and know now why

    gazprm and enogy are up… because the events favor them and their making the money that is being fought over.

    cvx has been up and down

    rds (royal dutch shell) tricked me… ie. they have been buying back their own stock when the price plummeted causing a reversal of what would be normal if they didnt do that. (ie they propped themselves up)

    BRS was my biggest mistake…
    ie. i should have looked a bit deeper
    they will not fall due to these events but will climb
    and will do so regardless of who wins or doesnt

    their business is helicopter service moving people in the oil industry where they need to go. so bad times, broken pipes, war damage, are all a boom to them

    i created a porfolio of the best risers..
    (ie no options).

    eongy
    ogzpy
    brs
    rds.a

    the last will only last as long as they are buying their shares back.

    announces that on 11 September, 2013 it purchased for cancellation 852,000 “B” Shares at a price of 2148.02 pence per share.

    Following the cancellation of these shares, the remaining number of “A” Shares of Royal Dutch Shell plc will be 3,821,611,712 and the remaining number of “B” Shares of Royal Dutch Shell plc will be 2,507,607,307

    on friday, as a test of my accumen. i purchased (for my non real porfolio for paper trading) these shares. 10 shares each. i did this when i saw that Obama was going to be i the thick of it.

    since yesterday i have found more
    and a portfolio created on freestockcharts with the four winners in this, is nicely positive today.

    glad i put BRS in once i found out what their role is
    they are up 28 dollars on 10 shares…

    there is more to find…

    and with putin escalating… each move that may reverse it will get scarier and scarier for obama

    ie. they are not nice players, when their opposition is down, they do not back up and give him time to recover like the US did. they kick him when he is down, rob him, and if possible throw him in a well. so you can be sure that they are going to squeeze hard now!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Putin threw Obama a rope, so that Obama could pull himself out of the world of shit that he and his crack national security/foreign policy team had created by their ignorance, empty bravado, fecklessness, bumbling, and stupidity.

    My guess is that that rescue is going to cost Obama dearly and the U.S. as well, and while in the case of Obama & Co. I couldn’t care less, I’m not happy thinking about the kind of punishment that might be handed out to the U.S. as payment for this rescue.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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