September 9, 2013

"President Obama’s toughest Syria hurdle: The calendar."

Oh no! Our leader, assailed by the calendar!
Obama will sit Monday for interviews for six TV news programs, which will air within an hour of what had promised to be the week’s most highly anticipated Washington event: the NFL Redskins’ season opener against Philadelphia....

If Monday Night Football pushed Obama’s address to the nation on Syria to Tuesday, odds are low for the president to have the nation’s attention to himself the rest of the week either.

The Sept. 11 anniversary comes Wednesday, the same day the Senate could vote for cloture. Yom Kippur begins Friday night.
Oh! That pesky September 11th anniversary, randomly popping up as a "tough hurdle" on Obama's — what's the metaphor? — race toward war! And this year, it's not just the usual anniversary of the day the terrorists declared war on the United States, it's now the first anniversary of the attack in Benghazi. Oh, my lord! The double 9/11 and football.
Obama won’t even have Tuesday to himself. Hillary Clinton is due to deliver a speech that afternoon in Philadelphia. Voters in New York City will head to the polls for that city’s primary elections. And the new iPhone event scheduled for that day has become an annual media spectacle.
Fate has no mercy on this man, this once-golden savior of the world! The double 9/11, football, and Hillary gives a speech in Philadelphia. A speech! In Philadelphia! (I wonder if she'll talk about Benghazi? What difference at this point does it make?) The double 9/11, football, and Hillary gives a speech... and New York has a primary... and Apple has the audacity to do another one of its PR events.

Here's Bill Clinton's old press secretary Mike McCurry:
“How do you hold the attention of the American people when it is increasingly hard to do so with the distractions of the NFL season and religious holidays and back-to-school nights?” 
Increasingly? Is football new? Is going back to school new? Is Yom Kippur new?! (Note: Only 1.7% of Americans are Jewish.)
“This is the challenge of the presidency, the ability to gather the nation around a common campfire is just not there anymore. You have to go for the sporadic bursts of attention and deal with the perpetual A.D.D. that people have.”
And now we are to be blamed for A.D.D.! People are tired of 12 years of war. It's not A.D.D. to react with an instinctive "no" to another war, a war that should have been explained already.

Why would a normal person — with a normal attention span — believe that Obama will tell us something new on Tuesday? Why didn't he look us in the eye and explain everything clearly when he first proposed it or when he said he was submitting the question to Congress? It's not A.D.D., it's common sense to reflexively turn away.
Timing has worked against the White House from the very start. The Aug. 21 attack that prompted the administration to gear up for a Syria strike left Obama violating his predecessor’s key rule on selling the public on a war: Don’t do it in August.
Politico writes as if war is funny and the real issue is the little things that bug Obama.

48 comments:

Tarrou said...

The media continues its relationship with their anointed one. Slavering adulation never felt so good or ruined the reputation of an entire industry so completely.

tim in vermont said...

This whole thing is embarrassing. Too bad Obama and his supporters worked so hard at delegitimizing all of the arguments that he now is making.

Kind of like when he voted against raising the debt ceiling as a Senator...

Henry said...

When in the last time Obama gave a speech that accomplished anything? 2004? And what that speech accomplished was drawing attention to Mr. Obama.

Here's a fanboy list of "Obama's 5 greatest speeches evah!"

Pop Quiz: The 2004 is number one. Name any of the others. If you guess one (educated guessing will pull up one or two), quote a single memorable statement from said speech.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm planning to skip either the interviews or the speech; they'll both, hopefully, have the same info in them. I'll probably watch the speech; it is less likely to be filtered [and I got to work late today, so I'll be leaving late.]

Honestly, I feel that we deserved this information before reaching this point. This is sort of like when I would go to my parents after the fact: "But I already told my friends I could go!"

Robert Cook said...

Given that Obama is sitting for these multiple separate interviews with separate media entities--rather than having a joint interview with all of them at once...you know, kind of like a press conference--it's obvious this is intended as the big sales pitch to convince Americans of the lie that it is necessary and warranted for America to commence a Kerry War** with Syria.

If it were really necessary or warranted, the American people would not have to be sold on it in this manner and Obama would not consent to these mutually self-serving snow jobs.

**(A "non-war" war, i.e., a self-contradiction, an absurdity, a lie.)

PackerBronco said...

The calendar is racist.

MadisonMan said...

Why would a normal person — with a normal attention span — believe that Obama will tell us something new on Tuesday?

Exactly.

It's not war fatigue so much as listening-to-politicians fatigue. (Given my complaints about Bush and Obama this is an ironic stance for me to take -- but politicians need to sift and winnow their message so only the important talks are made)

Robert Cook said...

Can we be attacking Syria over natural gas? Also, Grayson in classic form...understated but piercing like a spear right through the obvious dissembling and obfuscations by those who purport to serve us.

BarrySanders20 said...

How about careening toward war, or bumbling toward war? Racing toward war implies Obama has a plan, goal, or destination. And who is he racing against? Funny to think of him as a . . . racist.

Somebody needs to put that racing car in a ditch and distract Obama with a Slurpee.

PH said...

I'd much rather watch a football game than listen to another presidential address filled with war rhetoric.

C Stanley said...

Things get all wee-weed up in August.

Marty Keller said...

Well, the excuse-mongering now passes for the curtain behind which the little man desperately manipulates the roaring wizard. We must keep up the pretenses at all costs--don't we?

History will marvel at the mass hypnosis that permitted this man and his ideological mania to "remake America." What is with us that we were willing to shove our beloved country so cavalierly into this tawdry corner?

SteveR said...

So this Obama version of the "wait until your dad gets home" strategy isn't really working out, since dad had to work late.

Tank said...

R Cook

If it were really necessary or warranted, the American people would not have to be sold on it in this manner and Obama would not consent to these mutually self-serving snow jobs.

Of course.

If some two bit dictator actually lobbed a few bombs into an American city, killing Americans and busting up our stuff, no convincing would be necessary. Americans (except for the lunatics) would line up immediately for "war." A brief speech to Congress asking for a declaration of war or authorization would be approved, probably unanimously.

chuckR said...

It is well documented that O was nearly defeated by an open umbrella and an arched gateway. It is not at all surprising that a calendar could get the best of him, or that he could be defeated by chewing gum if he needed to walk to the next office.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Robert Cook

I am not sure that I believe the bribes- but would not be surprised either -but being reminded that there is more "there" than meets the eye is a good thing.

Obama is going to lose this one. A lot of Dems were railroaded into Obamacare and this seems like a perfect opportunity for payback because the folks at home are "agin" it.

chuckR said...

It is well documented that O was nearly defeated by an open umbrella and an arched gateway. It is not at all surprising that a calendar could get the best of him, or that he could be defeated by chewing gum if he needed to walk to the next office.

MadisonMan said...

quote a single memorable statement from said speech.

I can't do this with any speech of Obama's, W's, or Clinton's.

GHWB would get me a thousand points of light. Clinton's I did not have sex with that woman isn't exactly a speech.

Presidential speeches are either less memorable these days, or I have less inclination to remember them.

chuckR said...

O was nearly defeated by a dastardly open umbrella working in concert with an arched gateway. It is entirely possible that a calendar could best him.

Hagar said...

The "big thing" here is that even those who are in favor of a strike on Syria cannot understand what this president thinks he is doing.

chrisnavin.com said...

The calendar may not be racist, but it is a Christian, patriarchal, Gregorian tool of hetero-normative oppression.

Only Barack Obama's buoyant rhetoric keeps hope afloat. Only his changing words keep us progressing towards a final solution.

Lean forward.

Leit Bart said...

Well Russia just fixed his calendar problem.

After Kerry said this morning that Assad could hand over all his CWs in a week's time, Russia jumped in to say, "Brilliant! We will work immediately to get Assad to hand them over."

Wow! Who can argue against chemical weapons control? It's UN-friendly, warm and fuzzy, and best of all, it's a political solution! And we already know from our gun-control efforts that bad guys obey good laws.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/john-kerry-in-london-campaigns-for-world-to-support-military-strike-against-syria/2013/09/09/e8ad7a72-193d-11e3-80ac-96205cacb45a_story.html

grackle said...

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."

http://tinyurl.com/p97gs3x

Hey, Bashie, look … we're going to have to take out a few assets. Yeah, I know. But, man, don't get the idea we aren't still buddies. Just an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort. A few airstrips, a couple of transport centers, that kind of thing. Short, sweet and over before you know it.

Naw, don't worry. No boots on the ground. A few Tomahawks and that's it.

Meanwhile, Bashie, could you go easy on the Sarin for awhile? I mean it really puts the Boss in a bad light. Video got out and went viral this time. He can't just ignore it, now can he? Don't make him be the 'bad guy.' And August is always like happy hour in a whorehouse around here.

The latest joke going around? Sure, go ahead.

Hahahaha. THAT'S funny. Love the punch line: "No, the red line on your cracker ass, Vladimir." The Boss will be in stitches when he hears it.

Hey, buddy, been good talking to you … try to keep your people in line and Ixnay on the arinsa until things cool down, got it? We don't want things do get out of hand do we?

And look at it this way – you'll be a hero among your own folks after it's over and will probably be invited to speak at some our best universities in a couple of years. There's an upside to everything.

RecChief said...

Just a couple of questions:

1. Since the administration is claiming that Assad used chemical weapons (on scant evidence), has anyone asked the administration where Assad obtained them or where they came from??

2. Why did Obama trot out Susan Rice to make the case for war in Syria (like she made the case that a video was to blame for Benghazi)?

2a. Given how Rice is now seen as discredited, is that act the act of a president or a petulant teenager, who actually wants a NO vote?

I think he is waiting for Congress to bail him out.

Cedarford said...

Developments continue.

1. Charlie Rose scored an interview with Assad to be aired Monday night in which Assad says he and other high Syrian officials had no involvement ording chem weapons use, if such chem weapons existed..(Syria denies it like Israel denies it has nukes keeping it in "undeclared" status.)

2.Russia announced it is willing to investigate and help as "guarantor" that such weapons will not be used.

3. Investigation into why the NY Times published, then deleted or relegated the following from a headline piece to other less prominent settings (A-40, Boston Globe) continues:

Administration officials said the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee was already at work pressing for military action against the government of Assad, fearing that if Syria escapes American retribution for its use of chemical weapons, Iran might be emboldened in the future to attack Israel. In the House, the majority leader, Eric Cantor of Virginia, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, has long worked to challenge Democrats’ traditional base among Jews.

One administration official, who, like others, declined to be identified discussing White House strategy, called AIPAC “the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” and said its allies in Congress had to be saying, “If the White House is not capable of enforcing this red line” against the catastrophic use of chemical weapons, “we’re in trouble.”


AIPAC has long pushed hard for the US to "handle" Israel's problems in the region with military force. The deleted/relegated section of the article backs up reports by some in Congress that AIPAC is pressuring US officials in Congress and the White House hard.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:

If it were really necessary or warranted, the American people would not have to be sold on it in this manner and Obama would not consent to these mutually self-serving snow jobs.

How many wars do you think are necessary that you would sign off on wthout being sold on them by an administration? How many wars are not self serving snow jobs in your mind?
You're not exactly an honest broker here when it comes to necessary wars.

jr565 said...

Robert Cooke wrote:
Can we be attacking Syria over natural gas? Also, Grayson in classic form...understated but piercing like a spear right through the obvious dissembling and obfuscations by those who purport to serve us.

Why is the go to argument from the left always that we are attacking the ME regime because of a pipeline or over oil. That was the same argument used for the first Gulf War, the Iraq war and even the Afghanistan War. In the case of the First Gulf War, if it was about oil, why did we not get the oil field. If it was about oil in the Iraq War, why did we not get better deals when it came to oil. In the case of the Afghanistan war if it was about the pipeline, why is that pipeline not built?
Yet it doesn't stop you lefties from making the argument over and over again.

And now lets look at Grayson. Shouldn't we take whatever he says with a grain of salt since its his assertion that we are fighting the wars yet again over oil. He can believe whatever he wants, but if his objection to an action is based on an imagined sinister scenario not borne out by history, then maybe his objections are themselves bullshit?

We are we looking to Grayson and saying his arguments against this or any other war is legitimate? He's pushing his lefty agenda. America is just going to war becuase of American imperialism and to steal the resources of the other country filled with brown people. Heard it how many times before?
Why not come up with some newer arguments?

n.n said...

Another hurdle:

Russia to push Syria to surrender chemical weapons

Russian leadership.

jr565 said...

Maybe Russia is supplying Syria with chemical weapons because of their natural gas and so they're willing to supply Syria with chemical weapons and look away while the regime gases its enemies, in furtherance of Russia's desire to get cheap natural gas.
Why are you not speaking out against that Robert?

jr565 said...

n.n. wrote:
Another hurdle:

Russia to push Syria to surrender chemical weapons

Russian leadership.


What is Russia proposing should happen to Syria if Assad refuses to go along with Russia's suggestion?

avwh said...

Putin must not want Obama TOO discredited on the world stage (which means Putin must have some doozies coming he needs Obama still sorta-kinda not in charge for).

This political solution for Syria's chemical weapons proposed by Putin sure seems to bail out our Vacillator-in-Chief.

Cedarford said...

"avwh said...
Putin must not want Obama TOO discredited on the world stage (which means Putin must have some doozies coming he needs Obama still sorta-kinda not in charge for)."
===============
Putin is hoping the Affirmative Action President will continue to oppose pipelines, drilling and other means to get us off Arab oil.

That and Obama running around further weaking and dividing America to continue the American decline that started gaining momentum under Bush. And of course, Obama's pledge to Eurolefties that he will force a big reduction in America's strategic nuclear capacity.

Right now, I hope that many Obama supporters "lady parts" are throbbing, but not in a good way.


tim in vermont said...

Yeah, we are starting a war... Obama is starting a war to get the same kind of natural gas that the US has in abundance, I guess, in order to undermine our own prices and power in the world... Nutbag arguments like this are almost enough to make me support the whole Obama "pinprick that can't be mocked" strike on Syria... Almost.

tim in vermont said...

I'm sorry, I am still laughing at the idea that Obama is starting this war over a pipeline... I guess I can see Putin not wanting a pipeline to happen, but the US, being another global NG giant, despite the best efforts of the anti frackers and their OPEC paymasters, shares Russia's interests here.

n.n said...

jr565:

I don't know. What are they suggesting? At this point, with only circumstantial evidence to support Obama's claims, there is no justification for retribution, limited or otherwise. Whether Assad chooses to accept or reject the terms, the burden of proof will not shift. However, if Assad does voluntarily comply, then the allegations brought by Obama will be further degraded, and Putin may do what Obama will not even consider: diplomatic intervention, presumably to judge the veracity of the speculation masquerading as undeniable facts.

CWJ said...

Jr565,

You appear to be far too invested in this issue to be credible. Your arguments amount to nothing other than we should somehow handle this correctly, but over dozens of posts you give no indication of how anything THIS administration has proposed would accomplish that. You brush aside every other commenter's objection with fact free assurance. You've made your point, the same point, dozens of times. Enough already! You've not refuted anyone's position, you've just disagreed. We know your opinion, let other people have theirs for God's sake.

Putin's proposal alone shows that they are well inside our decision making loop. Because of vacillation and delay, every move this administration is likely to make has already been gamed and now anticipated by our opposition. There is nothing we can do that will not be met with scorn and metaphorical laughter. The wise move is to limit the damage. Stop digging!!!

Robert Cook said...

"How many wars are not self serving snow jobs...?"

Just about NONE.

WWII maybe was a necessary war for us to join.

Can't think of anything else in the last 100 years, at least.

cassandra lite said...

If 9/11 had fallen on a Monday, we'd at least know where the president was that night.

CWJ said...

Robert Cook,

WW2 was MAYBE necessary? With the Pacific Fleet sunk in Pearl Harbor, I would have hoped that you would have found a way a little beyond "maybe".

David said...

Being President is hard.

What a shock.

Jason said...

People like Robert Cook and his commie fellow travelers opposed even involvement in WWII... until Hitler invaded Stalin.

Then the Russians started paying commie groups in the U.S. to go hammer and tongs for war.

All of a sudden, pinkies were all about fighting fascism. But not a minute before Operation Barbarossa kicked off.

jr565 said...

CWJ wrote:
Putin's proposal alone shows that they are well inside our decision making loop. Because of vacillation and delay, every move this administration is likely to make has already been gamed and now anticipated by our opposition. There is nothing we can do that will not be met with scorn and metaphorical laughter. The wise move is to limit the damage. Stop digging!!!

if everything we do is well inside their decision making loop, and every move anticipated by the opposition, and every move met with scorn and laughter, then how are you suggesting that the move that gives Russia what it wants an example of strength? And are we limiting the damage if we give what Russia what they want? Wouldn't that be causing more damage?
You're saying they have us over a barrel because of our weakness. So then We should stop digging by giving the game to Russia at the expense of our credibility.

jr565 said...

CWJ wrote:
Putin's proposal alone shows that they are well inside our decision making loop. Because of vacillation and delay, every move this administration is likely to make has already been gamed and now anticipated by our opposition. There is nothing we can do that will not be met with scorn and metaphorical laughter. The wise move is to limit the damage. Stop digging!!!

and I'm saying, if they are within our decision making loop and our actions are indications of weakness, then we need to be cognizant that us capitualting on their terms is not an act of strength. So don't pretend that it is.
And if they are in our decision making loop there is no reason we have to continue to allow that. But what you are counseling is guaranteeing that they stay within our decision making loop.

Hannity is complaining about how the president is cowering before Putin. But how is making the president back down not an example of the president further cowering before Putin?


Yes Obama is wrong to say that the engagement should be limited and not regime change and a tiny fight. But the alternative is not to counsel something that's even weaker that makes Russia even stronger. At the very least then dont go around and say that the president is acting like a weakling if you are counseling Making Russia stronger at our expense.

And I'm saying this as a critic of Obama to my republican friends. Romney was right to say that Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe. Critics who say that Putin is making Obama his monkey are right.
But that's because we are deliberately making the case against us projecting our strength while allowing Russia to do so at our expense. So, now Republicans are letting it be known that they too are going to be Putins monkey. They think it will embarrass Obama but do they think it will not embarrass them as well?
If Obama acting like a weakling is wrong, then how is making Obama act like a weakling right?

jr565 said...

Leit Bart wrote:
"Who can argue against chemical weapons control? It's UN-friendly, warm and fuzzy, and best of all, it's a political solution! And we already know from our gun-control efforts that bad guys obey good laws."

you sound sarcastic when saying this and seem to be suggesting that this is a cynical ploy on Russians part to suggest something that is complete bullshit.

Um, yeah. So why are Republicans suggesting that we should be following Putins lead on this as opposed to holding Syria to account (at the expense of our credibility if we don't after saying we would).

jr565 said...

Republicans are mocking Obama because he's telegraphed our actions by saying it would be a small response and there would be no boots of the ground. And I agree that Obama did in fact do this and this shows that his response is weak.

I would be supportive if our response was stronger. If it was not phrased as a limited strike that will be tiny and limited. What would those republicans argue if that's how the argument were phrased?

Rand Paul,is now saying we need to give diplomacy a chance and work with China and Russia on this. Only working with china and Russia to strengthen the Assad regime is a fools game. All that would be doing is working diplomatically to further Russias agenda. Saying we are doing this in the furtherance of diplomacy is still putting Russia's interest ahead of ours and putting us over a barrel.

jr565 said...

Russia is suggesting we move this into the international community. Wasnt this already pushed to the international community and no one stepped forward to hold Syria accountable? So what makes anyone think that the international community will actually be able to do anything to hold Syria accountable?

We already have most countries signing treaties to not use Chemical weapons. And somehow Syria never got the memo. And it has already used chemical weapons. S

The International community is only valid and relevant if it has a threat of force behind it. Otherwise it is only furthering the agenda of dictatorships.

So now the international community is going to get involved a d what, hold Syria accountable? Like its holding Iran accountable? With Russia having a veto over any action?

jr565 said...

Robert cook wrote:
Just about NONE.

WWII maybe was a necessary war for us to join.

Can't think of anything else in the last 100 years, at least.

so then when you say you are against a war shouldn't we take into consideration that you are arguing from the point that almost no war is necessary?
For WWII we get a maybe. My guess would be that it wouldn't have met your test if you had to decide it while it was going on, or if you had to make a decision as to whether we should be involved in the first place.
Besides, I'm sure if you were around in WWII the argument would be that we were only waging the war to get countries resources, or that what happens in Germany has no Bering on what happens in the US. Even when faced with the massacre of the Jews the argument would be that it was really none of our business.

Robert Cook said...

CWJ...

I'm being a tad rhetorical there.

A little context: more than once previously on this blog I've challenged the boilerplate regarding our military fighting "in defense of our freedom", stating that WWII was the only war about which that can be said, the only war we have fought in more than a century that was necessary or warranted. (And I'm not too sure how many other wars we've fought in the preceding half of our history were "necessary" to "defend our freedom." I'd say equally few.)

In response, other commenters have countered me that WWII was not a necessary war, and they have provided their own reasons. These comments do not issue from anti-war folks or lefties, but from commenters who have supported our recent "war on terror," (sic) people who see Al Queda and like groups as being existential threats to us, (an absurd notion).

So, my response has been, "Well, I'm open to being convinced that it wasn't necessary. But it's the only war we've fought in the last hundred years I can agree as having been even arguably necessary" to defend our freedom.

I'm conceding a point others have made, with the underlying meaning being, "If even WWII was not necessary, then NO wars we've ever fought can be said to have been necessary or fought in defense of our freedom ."