Maybe it’s jet lag.
Maybe it’s the sleeping pills.
Whatever. Barack Obama has melted down. Reality has slipped his grip like a wet salmon. Obama has always been one to take credit for everything (“I got Bin Laden”) and own everything (“my military”) yet never, ever take responsibility for anything. At his news conference in Sweden he said things that a rational person could never utter.
STEVE HOLLAND, REUTERS: Have you made up your mind whether to take action against Syria whether or not you have a congressional resolution approved? Is a strike needed in order to preserve your credibility for when you set these sort of red lines? And were you able to enlist the support of the prime minister here for support in Syria?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Let me unpack the question. First of all, I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation titled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous thing that are happening on the ground there need to be answered for. And so, when I said, in a press conference, that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air. There was a reason for it. That’s point number one. Point number two, my credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress’ credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important.
The world set the red line? Which world is that??? Not this world. Let’s crank up the Wayback machine.
Obama issues Syria a ‘red line’ warning on chemical weapons
“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” Obama said. “That would change my equation. . . . We’re monitoring that situation very carefully. We have put together a range of contingency plans.”
That sounds very much to me like he set a red line.
Obama said Syria does not pose an imminent threat:
“We may not be directly imminently threatened by what’s taking place in a Kosovo or a Syria or a Rawanda in the short-term but our long-term national security will be impacted in a profound way and our humanity’s impacted in a profound way.”
Wait- what? That’s not what he’s been saying.
Again, the Wayback machine:
In a speech at a 2002 anti-war rally, Obama, then an Illinois state senator, conceded that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was “a brutal man,” “a ruthless man,” “a man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.” He noted that the Iraqi dictator “has reeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.”
In short, there was no question that “the world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.” Still, Obama said, “Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States.” Hence a U.S. invasion aimed at overthrowing him would be “a dumb war,” “a rash war,” “a war based not on reason but on passion.”
Notably, Saddam’s crimes against his own people included using chemical weapons against Kurds in northern Iraq, a campaign that killed some 5,000 men, women, and children. That murderous assault, in Obama’s view, did not justify U.S. intervention.
Today, by contrast, Obama says a sarin-gas attack that caused about 1,400 of the 100,000 deaths so far in Syria’s civil war demands an American response in the form of missiles aimed at President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. “What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?” Obama asked in a speech on Saturday. Presumably the same message he was willing to send when he opposed war with Iraq.
And BTW, his credibility is not on the line. Ours is.
“My credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line and America and Congress’s credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — For more than a week, the White House had been barreling toward imminent military action against Syria. But President Barack Obama’s abrupt decision to instead ask Congress for permission left him with a high-risk gamble that could devastate his credibility if no action is ultimately taken in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack that crossed his own ‘‘red line.’’
The stunning reversal also raises questions about the president’s decisiveness and could embolden leaders in Syria, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere, leaving them with the impression of a U.S. president unwilling to back up his words with actions.
This is astonishing, even for Obama.
Let’s be very clear here. Obama blurted out the “red line” thing. Not the world. Obama put his credibility on the line- not ours. He is now desperate to drag us into something most Americans oppose. I do not believe it has to do with anything other than pulling his ass out of the fire alone. We have seen no compelling evidence for action. He has not made the case to the UN. Speaking which, the UN Secretary General said that any action by the US without UN approval would be illegal.
And that makes things very interesting.
Should the US act alone- is it an illegal act in the eyes of the world? What would that do to our credibility? Would Russia be justified in responding to such an illegality? Would Iran? Would Assad be justified in tossing some munitions at US bases in Iraq?
It is only fair for the rest of us to wallow in the same self-righteous indignation Senator Obama so enjoyed prior to sitting in the big chair.
It’s not so easy, is it?
This is about Obama’s ego more than anything else. I hope that liberals will finally catch on to this charlatan, this empty suit. If it’s the world’s problem, let the world take care of it. If the world set the red line, let them handle it. It can’t be our credibility on the line for something the world did.
It’s time to put on the big boy pants, Barack, and stop blaming everyone else. As you sow, you know….