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Obama's Blink on Syria Could Bring Peril to Allies
Townhall.com ^ | May 2, 2013 | Michael Barone

Posted on 05/02/2013 4:46:51 AM PDT by Kaslin

"We're eyeball to eyeball, and I think the other fellow just blinked," Secretary of State Dean Rusk famously said during the Cuban missile crisis.

Barack Obama has been doing a lot of blinking lately. On Syria especially.

"There would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movements on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons," he said back in August 2012. Chemical weapons were a "red line."

Presumably the president hoped that his statement would deter Bashar Assad's embattled regime from using chemical weapons. And presumably he hoped that his demand in 2011 for Assad to relinquish power would be obeyed.

Obama surely hoped back then that the Syrian dictator would be overthrown quickly, as his counterparts in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya had been. Unfortunately, Assad has proved to be tougher and more ruthless.

Last December, the U.S. consul in Istanbul reported evidence of chemical gas attacks in Syria to the State Department. Last week, it was reported that all U.S. intelligence agencies believe that sarin gas has been deployed there.

But Obama has been unwilling to change his policies significantly. He has not ordered imposition of a no-fly zone, as Bill Clinton did in Kosovo in the 1990s.

He has not pledged support for the Syrian rebels. Instead, he has indicated that intelligence "assessments" are not conclusive.

"We've got to do everything we can to investigate and establish with some certainty" -- an interesting standard -- "what exactly has happened in Syria," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

"We will use all the assets and resources that we have at our disposal. We'll work with the neighboring countries to see whether we can establish a clear baseline of facts. And we've also called on the United Nations to investigate."

These are conditions that seem impossible to meet. The United Nations will not act because of the veto of Assad-supporting Russia.

Other nations' intelligence services have already chimed in, concluding that chemical weapons are indeed being used in Syria. Our ability to "investigate and establish with some certainty what exactly has happened in Syria" is limited.

This president, like his predecessors, has to make decisions based on incomplete and imperfect information. It comes with the job.

The red line has been crossed, but the president has decided not to change the game.

This could have perilous consequences. Will Israeli leaders take seriously Obama's pledge that he will not allow Iran to deploy nuclear weapons?

Will our Asian allies be confident of our backing in their disputes with China over islets in the East China Sea? Will China be deterred from attacking them?

Blinking at the evidence that Syria has crossed what he called a "red line," Obama may be hoping to avoid getting bogged down in a military quagmire there. But weakness is provocative, and appeasement can lead to a wider war.

Last week, Obama also blinked on the sequester, as Senate Democrats led the charge to give the Federal Aviation Administration explicit flexibility after the agency furloughed air traffic controllers.

He had said earlier that he would veto legislation giving administrators flexibility in adapting to spending cuts. But -- blink -- he signed the bill, instead.

"The Democrats have lost on sequestration," wrote the liberal Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein. By agreeing to "ease the pain," he said, "Democrats have agreed to sequestration for the foreseeable future."

That's probably right. Obama's prediction of dire consequences from sequester cuts was undermined by the administration's two most visible cuts in service.

The idea that mandatory cuts required cancelling White House tours didn't meet the laugh test. Fodder for late-night comics.

And the idea that a 4 percent cut in FAA funding required delaying 40 percent of airline flights was equally laughable.

It antagonized two classes of strategically placed frequent flyers: members of Congress and members of the press. No way they were going to tolerate needless flight delays.

Obama's acceptance of the sequester means ratcheting spending levels down in the future, just as the Obama Democrats' stimulus package ratcheted spending up.

That's a policy defeat for liberals, but the general public will probably not suffer much from Obama's sequester blink. The consequences of his Syria blink could be much more ominous.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Israel; Russia; United Kingdom; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911truthers; allies; antiwardotcom; impotent; iran; israel; lebanon; lewrockwelldotcom; maheralassad; nato; obamateur; pestcontrol; potassiumfluoride; randsconcerntrolls; russia; sarin; sodiumfluoride; syria; thebrotherdidit; unitedkingdom; waronterror; wetnoodle
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1 posted on 05/02/2013 4:46:51 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
.


"Zero" (the kenyan) didn't "blink" at all ...

He simply hasn't gotten his daily marching orders from his puppeteers ...



Barry's puppetteers are quite content to keep their "boy" playing golf and acting like a low-class version of the Jeffersons ...

while the puppeteers (George Soros, et al) use "tools" like Barry Soreto and Ben Bernacke to continue their attempted destruction of the American Republic.


The Bottom Line:

"Zero" isn't anymore qualified to play the international game of geo-politics than the (gay flame) Liberace was qualified to lecture on astrophysics.



.
2 posted on 05/02/2013 4:56:13 AM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (Piss upon Obama, and his False Prophet Mohammed)
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To: Patton@Bastogne

Syria is simply none of our business...

If Assad Pest Control, Inc. is spraying a few cockroaches, he is doing us a favor.

The so-called “rebels” are Salafist terror groups.


3 posted on 05/02/2013 4:59:48 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood ("Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???")
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To: Patton@Bastogne
Barry's puppetteers are quite content to keep their "boy" playing golf and acting like a low-class version of the Jeffersons ...

Don't compare Obama to the Jeffersons. George Jefferson worked his tail off to make a fortune in dry-cleaning, and realized the American Dream. B. Hussein has had his skids greased ever since he was recruited by Bill Ayers.

4 posted on 05/02/2013 4:59:49 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Nothing is more savage and brutal than justifiably angry Americans. Don’t believe me? Ask the Germa)
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To: Kaslin

Cracks in the armor?


5 posted on 05/02/2013 5:02:56 AM PDT by upchuck (To the faceless, jack-booted government bureaucrat who just scanned this post: SCREW YOU!)
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To: Kaslin

Chicken shit is a bad characteristic if you want to be a world leader.

The world laughs


6 posted on 05/02/2013 5:06:45 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 .....History is a process, not an event)
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To: Kaslin

Barone supports gay marriage...

I frankly don’t see any U.S. interest in helping the Salafist terror groups opposing Assad and placing American troops into the middle of a terrorist shooting gallery.

If Assad is spraying those cockroaches, he is doing us a favor.

I would much rather trust Bashar al Assad than John Kerry or an senator that voted to confirm him as secretary of state.

Barone can go take a gay wedding holiday for all I care...


7 posted on 05/02/2013 5:07:20 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood ("Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???")
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood
What does this article have to do with Gay marriage? Absolutely nothing. Please stay on topic. Syria is the Topic, not the Author
8 posted on 05/02/2013 5:12:58 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

In most wars, there is no good guy. In most wars both sides are bad. Same with this one. Either we help neither side, or we help both sides and hope they annihilate each other.


9 posted on 05/02/2013 5:14:57 AM PDT by Daveinyork (."Trusting government with power and money is like trusting teenaged boys with whiskey and car keys,)
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

I read the issue more as we can’t be trusted, that we are weak. Not that this or that group deserves our support. Obama should have kept his mouth shut, or said it does not ffect us or something. Instead, he has shown the words and promises of the USA are worthless.


10 posted on 05/02/2013 5:15:32 AM PDT by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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To: Kaslin
This administration has no coherent foreign policy based on American interests. They have a great love for the United Nations and take thier cues from that body. They stated as much when engaging us in the Libyan civil war.

However the UN is stuck when it comes to Syria. They can't get any resolutions passed by Russia and much of the world is very tepid in their support of the increasingly radical rebels.

So whoever is setting American foreign policy (Jarrett? Alexrod? Kerry?) is at a loss with no clear direction from outside. They think they want the rebels to win. They like over throwing long term dictators in the Middle East but they don't want to tick off Russia and they aren't sure how they feel about bombing Iranian soldiers who they know are operating in Syria.

11 posted on 05/02/2013 5:16:25 AM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
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To: Kaslin

This constant drumbeat in the media about Syria should give everyone a pause...

Arming Salafist terror groups who oppose Assad is the same modus operandi as smuggling guns to narcoterrorists in Mexico.

I would sooner trust Bashar al Assad than I would trust John Kerry or any senator who voted to confirm him.

Syria is none of our business...

The so-called “rebels” are Salafist terror groups.

I trust Valdimir Putin more than Obama or McCain on this... let the Russians have a go at them if they like.

Putin doesn’t have gay pride marches with his army...

Barone can go have his gay wedding for all I care... I don’t trust a thing he says anymore...


12 posted on 05/02/2013 5:17:21 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood ("Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???")
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

Exactly. I suspected long ago that “weapons of mass destruction” has become nothing more than an excuse for U.S. military intervention anywhere around the world. These big-government globalists — whether they are Democrats OR Republicans — shredded their credibility a long time ago.


13 posted on 05/02/2013 5:17:49 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: Kaslin
Meanwhile...in Iran.....
14 posted on 05/02/2013 5:21:52 AM PDT by ryan71 (The republican party is dead to me. Dead. Don't bother trying to revive it.)
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To: Pan_Yan

Syria is simply none of our business...

The United States is not a military welfare program for the rest of the world.

The United States military personnel aren’t toy soldiers on a game board for the leftist internationale.’

The constant drumbeat in the Maoist media about Syria should be ringing alarm bells.


15 posted on 05/02/2013 5:21:57 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood ("Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???")
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To: Kaslin

He’s got that “What difference does it make?” look.


16 posted on 05/02/2013 5:22:50 AM PDT by ryan71 (The republican party is dead to me. Dead. Don't bother trying to revive it.)
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To: Patton@Bastogne

“Zero” isn’t anymore qualified to play the international game of geo-politics than the (gay flame) Liberace was qualified to lecture on astrophysics.”

Funny, I’d say his puppet masters are pretty dang lame on foreign policy as well. Not a one of ‘em has an ounce of savvy between them. They are out for one thing and one thing only; bring America to her knees.


17 posted on 05/02/2013 5:24:33 AM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: Alberta's Child

I would say bring the US Army home, put them on the Southern border, and send the Marines in to kill all the narcoterrorists.

Immigration reform, Patton style...


18 posted on 05/02/2013 5:25:25 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood ("Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???")
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To: Daveinyork

Blockade them so they all starve to death.


19 posted on 05/02/2013 5:27:10 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood ("Arjuna, why have you have dropped your bow???")
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

Agreed. Let them go at it.


20 posted on 05/02/2013 5:27:34 AM PDT by ryan71 (The republican party is dead to me. Dead. Don't bother trying to revive it.)
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