September 9, 2013

"Unbelievably small."

John Kerry.

80 comments:

El Pollo Raylan said...

Nobody wants to plaster cast John Kerry.

cubanbob said...

Fortunately for Lurch and Zero Comrade Putin might save them from further embarrassment.

Tom Gallagher said...

Unbelievable being the operative word; thanks for the heads up.

Original Mike said...

Pussies.

David-2 said...

Holy cow, did you get a look at that photo of Kerry at Slate?

Zombie, robot, pod person?

I just hope it was a bad Photoshop job.

Hagar said...

This is Democrat Party spin.

If Putin can swing this deal and rake Obama's chestnuts out of the fire for him, Putin will look like the grownup in the room. It will be a win for both Putin and Russia.

In any case, the threat of missile strikes now dissolves into interminable jaw-jaw.

But this whole administrations had better look for some clothes to put on. It is going to be a cold winter.

David said...

This silliness is what happens when you have absolutely no idea what you are doing, or why you are doing it.

Sam L. said...

He will stick his tongue out at Assad!

Carol said...

Geez, just do it already. Even Clinton was better than this at small wag the dog stuff..what did Bush say, lobbing a missile into Afghanistan and hitting a camel on the butt?

That was something anyway.

St. George said...

"Horror... Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends.... I remember when I was with Special Forces... seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out.... And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters, these were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment! Because it's judgment that defeats us."

Marlon Brando riffing as Kurtz in "Apocalpyse Now"

Original Mike said...

"He will stick his tongue out at Assad!"

Now. Go away or I shall taunt you a second time

Meade said...

As he was leaning toward Medvedev in Seoul, Obama was overheard asking for time - "particularly with missile defense" - until he is in a better position politically to resolve such issues.

"I understand your message about space," replied Medvedev who handed over the presidency to Putin last May.

Obama: "This is my last election ... After my election I have more flexibility."

Medvedev: "I will transmit this information to Vladimir."

(months later, after Obama's reelection)

Putin (to Medvedev): "Hah. I've got his flexibility."

"It's in Syria. Tell Barack he can come and get it."

Meade said...

“My credibility’s not on the red line, the international community’s credibility is on the red line. And America and Congress’ credibility is on the red line.”

“Second of all, I didn’t set a red line. I set a red point.
A flexible red... point.”

madAsHell said...

It's nothing but wedgies, and noogies from this point FORWARD!!

cyrus83 said...

It will be so unbelievably small, nobody will be able to see it.

Meade said...

"A flexible unbelievably small red point."

"Unbelievably small -- just like your vote in my last election."

EDH said...

Kerry's swollen, amorphous chin makes him look more Muppety than a Muppet with a fabric face.

James Pawlak said...

The "Swift Boaters" were correct.

Tom said...

This is the "Just the Tip" Strategy. Usually, high school guys or wedding crasher use it...

Tom said...

I will say one thing, we never really did get to the bottom of the IRS scandal or Benghazi. If Obama listens to the American people, he's avoided three scandals in one! Oh, and immigration. Oh, yeah, and shitty obamacare.

Oso Negro said...

Do people who vote for Democrats ever pause to think just what they are doing? I am pressed to think when I have heard something more preposterous from a government official.

Joe said...

"I will fart in your general direction!"

gk1 said...

Lurch just confirms what a dingus he is. He an Obama are just trying to get the base to sign on and are having a miserable time of it. By the time they convince them any attack will be of no significant value, they will lose any hawks they had managed to sign on like McCain. Just give it up guys, you stink at this!

AlanKH said...

Kerry is believably small.

jr565 said...

Stop arguing that the response will be small. Instead argue that the response will be big enough to be effective. Does it mean boots on the ground? Hell if I know, but even if it doesn't you don't tell the enemy that it won't. You tell the enemy that all options are in the table.

Assad said that if we attack them that we should expect everything. That's the way you make a threat. .

jr565 said...

Our foreign policy goal has always been to get rid of the Assad regime to weaken Irans hold in the region. Now, we've allowed Putin to checkmate Obama and the price that Putin will ask is strengthening of Russia's hand in the middle Eastand a propping up,of the Assad regime.

And this is the suit of Obama, but now is even more th fault of Obamas critics. Because Obama is actually putting down the red line that would in effect weaken the Assad regime and Putins hand. He's doing it the wrong way by saying his reprisal won't actually do anything. But his critics are wrong in that they aren't demanding that his reprisal be strong enough to not allow Russia to checkmate us. They should be demanding that Obama's threat isn't stronger!

Republicans, especially ones who agree with Romney about Russia being our biggest geo political foe should understand this. But they are thinking short term that embarrassing Obama is more important than giving Russia the upper hand. Long term it will be catastrophic for us

Don't talk to me about how Russia is in our operational space already. Only if we allow it. We are allowing it. B choice. Knowing that it will lead to our further weakening.
Shame on republicans for putting Putins I treat ahead of The US's interest.

If Romney were president they would not be counseling such capitulation, since the implications would be obvious to them.

jr565 said...

Greg Gutfeld made the excellent point that saying the attack will be small is like something a dentist would say to a patient. Not what you say to our enemy. Basically telling us, and them " it won't hurt much".
Ad he's saying this because he is an anti war president. He's trying to assuage the American people that we won't have another Iraq but he undermined Iraq and undid all our gains there.

I've never heard of a president undermine his own argument for use of force so effectively.

jr565 said...

Having said what I just said, its funny that republicans are counseling actions that are even weaker than Obama while saying that Obama is weak.

I was just watching the Five, and all the republicans on the panel were arguing how weak Obama was in his messaging. Bob Beckel then made the point that Obama was the one suggesting we should hold Assad to account.
And one of the republicans said "now he is".i would counter, "now THEY are". But it undermines the principle of peace through strength.

averagejoe said...

Vice President Biden will go out on the white house lawn and fire off a shotgun round. That oughta do it.

Dale Light said...

The confusion results from disagreement within the administration as to which of our enemies poses the greater danger. If you believe Iran is the greater long-term threat you want to remove Assad so as to deprive Iran of a valuable ally. If, however, you think Al Qaeda is the greater threat you want Assad to remain in power so as to keep his WMDs from falling into the hands of Sunni radicals. Without clear direction from Obama as to which course of action he prefers, functionaries are flailing around.

Note that if Assad is stupid enough to relinquish or destroy his WMDs without gaining adequate guarantees of protection from Russia he will be toast because there will be no reason to keep him around. In that case his best hope is that the American public will restrain Obama from any serious military action.


tim in vermont said...

John Kerry is an unbelievable successful gigolo. Starting from almost nothing, he married into tons of money twice. If it is unbelievably small, my respect for him goes up.

Illuninati said...

Thanks for the link to the article in Slate. I didn't know that John Kerry is a comedian but he certainly comes across that way. He look so mournful as he delivers his howlers. He is perfect.

FleetUSA said...

According to a friend that was a classmate of JK at Yale, he was a bit of a lightweight jerk.

He is still a lightweight jerk.

Thank goodness he wasn't President.

tim maguire said...

As cubanbob said, this is the second time Putin has offered to save Oama's ass in Syria. Fortunately, he seems to have wised up enough to accept the help.

Matthew Sablan said...

Besides being unbelievably small, Kerry assures us it will be extremely fast.

Old Dad said...

Shorter Putin to Obama:

"I fart in your general direction, you silly American person. Leave at once or I will mock you again."

surfed said...

A bunch of Buster Keaton's.

Bob Boyd said...

So now Obama will be asking Congress for the authority, not to strike in punishment for using chemical weapons, but to strike if Syria doesn't follow thru on promises to turn over control.
Can Congress say no to that?

Bob Boyd said...

I wonder about Putin's motivation. Is he interested in a solution or is he interested in a prolonged crisis? Oil and gas exports are a huge portion of Russia's GDP. Higher prices benefit them tremendously.

Also the US is heading toward becoming an energy rival.

Is Putin interested in sucking the US further into the quagmire of trying to police the Muslim world? Our efforts to do so over the last ten years have depleted our national treasure, we have become divided and this has weakened us as a nation.

madAsHell said...

Years ago, I heard that as a punch-line to a penis joke. Today, it has become foreign policy.

BarrySanders20 said...

Folks, this is a master stroke of genius from the smartest, savviest man ever to be president. Don't you remember that the media said Obama was the best poker player ever? It was part of the strategy when he opened his yap and said "Don't call my bluff." And now Kerry says give us all your weapons or else face unbelievably small consequences. Imagine the box that puts Assad in. And that rube across the table, Vladimir, just thinks that he is looking statesmanlike compared to us. All the democrats in Congress just think they are being forced into the worst possible political situation. C'mon Tammy, bend over and take one for the team!

Not only is he the best poker player, but Obama is playing three-dimensional chess and the rest of the world is playing checkers. Ha! They are so dumb!


Our adversaries are off balance trying to see behind the feints and misdirection to the real strategy behind what Obama and Kerry say. Because there has to be some grand master plan behind the comedy, right? No American president is this inept.

Just you wait for Obama to tell us tonight how Assad and Iran and Russia are fucked worse than us no matter what happens next. Just you wait.

jr565 said...

Old dad wrote:

Shorter Putin to Obama:

"I fart in your general direction, you silly American person. Leave at once or I will mock you again."


While I certainly agree that this is happening, I have a problem with republicans counseling that this is what SHOULD happen and that its somehow a projection of strength to not honor a red line by an American president
When to not do so will lead to further taunting by Russians over our weakness.

Doves are going to argue this point because they ultimately want America to be taken down a peg. But republicans who believe in peace through strength are fools to counsel that we should capitulate to Russia or Syria.
Not even Obama is that weak. Republicans are going to make the case that Their response is to let a terror backing regime that has American blood on its hands backed by our number one geo political foe and a proxy state for the country we are trying to contain be able to get away with gassing its own people and that we are powerless to hold it to account even after a president puts down a market as to what we will and will not allow?
But Obama is weak for saying he wants to hold the regime accountable.

Ok, then. You just keep on believing that republicans.
Putin just rolled Obama again! He's so weak! Yes, but you said we needed to back down because Russia and Syria are just so tough that we can't do anything. So bending over for Russia seems to be your counsel.
Propping up Irans proxy seems to be your counsel. But we should still be tough with Iran. On what grounds? Did Iran use chemical weapons? Will there not be reprisals if we were to get tough with Iran? Is Russia. Not going to assert itself there too? Stop acting like battered wives and project American strength already.
I expect it of lefties because the are useful Idiots. But repubs are sounding like bigger weaklings than John Kerry even. And that's scary.

Scott M said...

Obama used the word "continuably" toward the end of the Chris Wallace interview last night. Thank God he didn't also say "nucular" or, perish the thought, hail from Texas. Otherwise, he'd be an idiot in the eyes of his acolytes.

If anyone still retains the opinion that this motley crew at 1600 Penn Avenue is anything but a clueless bunch of idealistic amateurs, I'd love to hear your reasoning.

jr565 said...

Israel bombed Syria in 2006for developing a covert nuclear program. Nearly everyone says it was the right thing to do. What reprisals did Israel face? It barely made it to the front page of newspapers. Did Israel even get bombed by Syria in turn?
No, because Syria had no play. Its talk of reprisals is bluster. It can argue the case because we think any action is the equivalent of starting Iraq II. But did Israel even put a single boot on the ground?

Russia similarly has a weak hand here, but we,re pretending like it has a royal straight. Russia does not have the military it had when it was the USSR, and doesn't have that much influence in the ME at all. What it has is a strong leader willing to bluff, convinced that his opponent is weak enough that he won't call his bluff. What it does have is Obama presidency afraid to exert power.

Call his bluff.

Scott M said...

Stop arguing that the response will be small. Instead argue that the response will be big enough to be effective. Does it mean boots on the ground?

On Dec 7th, 1941, the Empire of Japan conducted unbelievably small air strikes against very specific (and very few) targets with no boots on the ground. How'd that end up for them?

jr565 said...

Tim maguire wrote:

"As cubanbob said, this is the second time Putin has offered to save Oama's ass in Syria. Fortunately, he seems to have wised up enough to accept the help."


you really think that Russia is helping us here? And lefties are naive?

Hagar said...

One big trouble with allowing "international inspectors" access to Syria's chemical weapons is that rockets and artillery rounds are labeled. Immediately one can tell if the labels are in Latin, Arabic, or Cyrillic alphabets, then in what language, and, if you are in the business and know the codes, the plant and date the thing was made.

So, I don't think I will hold my breath waiting for such inspections to actually happen.

jr565 said...

Barrysanders wrote:
"Folks, this is a master stroke of genius from the smartest, savviest man ever to be president. Don't you remember that the media said Obama was the best poker player ever? It was part of the strategy when he opened his yap and said "Don't call my bluff." And now Kerry says give us all your weapons or else face unbelievably small consequences. Imagine the box that puts Assad in. And that rube across the table, Vladimir, just thinks that he is looking statesmanlike compared to us. All the democrats in Congress just think they are being forced into the worst possible political situation. C'mon Tammy, bend over and take one for the team!"


but that suggests that Obama should not say Syria should face small consequences. He should say Syria should face big consequences. Shouldn't repubs then say the weakness is the feeble response and not that there is a response?

If the argument is lack of support because Obama is telegraphing that his response is weak that's one thing, but a lot of repubs are actually arguing that we shouldn't honor the red line the president set at all even though they know this will only strengthen the Assad regime and Russia (and Iran) over US interests.

As Kristol said, he finds it hard to beleive that republicans rare going to run on a platform whose key plank is that Republicans should have voted to let an "Iran-supported, terror-backing dictator with American blood on his hands off the hook after he's used chemical weapons."

WaitingToBuy said...

If Obama is true to form he will blow this deal. Instead of accepting this face saving offer, he will, after much debate in the media, demand additional concessions from Syria that they cannot accept. We will end up right back here in, say 1 month.

jr565 said...

Here's max boot talking about Obama's big blunder:
"The result if the U.S. does nothing: Bashar Assad will get away with the most significant use of chemical weapons since Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1988. This, in turn, will send a signal to weapons proliferators such as North Korea and Iran that the U.S. lacks the will to stop them. Any hopes of a negotiated stop to the Iranian nuclear program–admittedly slim to begin with–will disappear altogether. Israel will be left standing alone against the Iranians and their Hezbollah proxies. The opposition in Syria will suffer a substantial blow and Assad may well be emboldened to employ sarin gas again.

Beyond the Middle East, a failure to back up the president’s threats regarding the “red line” will be read–correctly, I fear–as proof that America is retreating from its global responsibilities, a development which will dismay allies from Taiwan to Poland, gladden rivals such as China and Russia, and cause American influence to plummet.

On the home front, meanwhile, Obama will be seen as a lame-duck president with the defeat shadowing his entire second term.

All this because Obama chose to do something he repeatedly stressed he didn’t need to do–ask Congress for approval for airstrikes of the kind that previous presidents from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton routinely launched without asking for Congress’s approval in advance. Indeed the War Powers Act gives the president 90 days to seek congressional approval; it doesn’t require approval in advance. As a practical matter presidents only ask for such approval when they are contemplating the use of ground forces for a major campaign–e.g., in the Gulf War of 1991 or the Iraq War of 2003."


He didnt even have to consult congress over this. That shows what a fool he is.
But can the isolationists in the house or those saying we should capitulate to Russia deny that the results of said capitulation be exactly what max boot say will happen?
How is any of that in America's interest?
And here republicans are saying Obama is weak. Yet in the house a majority woul vote against authorization, even though if they get their way what will occur is exactly what max Boot says will occur. How are they then going to criticize Obama for not playing Into Russia's hands. If Max is wrong then explain why he is. Because otherwise its republicans even more than the president who are advocating retreating from their global responsibilities

jr565 said...

Waitingtobuy, it's (Russia's offer)not a face saving offer. You think Putin wants to have America save face? It's a Trojan horse.

jr565 said...

Waitingtobuy wrote:
"If Obama is true to form he will blow this deal. Instead of accepting this face saving offer, he will, after much debate in the media, demand additional concessions from Syria that they cannot accept. We will end up right back here in, say 1 month."

this is what the Obama administration and lefties would fall for and then after falling for it would call it smart diplomacy for acquiescing to it.
Russia likes us. It really likes us!

jr565 said...

What if Obama makes a counter offer and says that we will accept the international community monitoring so long as Russia gives up its veto power over any response that might occur were Syria to not fully cooperate? Think Russia will go for that?

damikesc said...

Jr, I could care less what Kristol thinks. We are being asked to support military action against a country that poses no threat to us on the basis of a chemical attack that nobody knows was done by the government.

Is it our job to fix the Middle East? Because that requires a lot more than we can provide.

Scott M said...

How is any of that in America's interest?

You're making an assumption that this White House understands how do carry out an air strike campaign of this nature...read as, not Libya.

What's worse? The scenario you lay out, or one in which POTUS went ahead and launched the strikes, completely by surprise (which is what you're supposed to do...not a week of political and very public soul search and 'walks' first), and they ended up as nearly or completely ineffectual?

Worse than the perception of ebbing American influence globally is very real evidence that our vaunted military is a paper tiger. While I disagree with that statement, I would acknowledge fear that this White House would micromanage the affair into "unbelievably" negligible results, and possible with the odd orphanage or wedding party bombed into oblivion to boot.

Scott M said...

"Since Vlad is just running up the score now, I am wondering what last minute policy the Russians are going to announce just before the speech to make the whole thing look ridiculous."

I think he meant, "Even more ridiculous."

BarrySanders20 said...

JR,

1. It's not our fight. Why do you think it is smart to make it ours?

2. There is not a good side and a bad side here, only two bad sides. Which bad side do you want to help?

3. There are worse outcomes than Assad. Do you think we get to choose who comes next? Why do you think the next dictator will be better for our interests than leaving Assad where he is?

4. Obama has fucked up not getting involved. Do you think he'd do a great job of getting involved? Do you have confidence that he will show steely resolve and focused leadership for whatever the consequences of bombing will be? Do you think he has a plan or even a clue what he is doing? I know you think you know why we should bomb, but do you think Obama knows why he should bomb?

5. You don't say what your end game is. Do you want a massive don't-ever-think-about-using chemical weapons again bombing, or are you good with a Kerryesque polite excuse-me bombing? Seems you need a big one to save face. A little one is worse than none at all. Do you want the civil war to end? If so, who wins and with what result? Or do you want to degrade Assad just enough so that the war contines? Just enough so that he and Iran thinks twice about using chemical weapons again or ever? What level of bombing will do that? Or do you not give a shit about Syrians but just want to hope that future threats of strikes by American presidents are not discounted as the utterings of a pathetic weakling?

6. Once Obama made the threat, he needed to have the balls to carry out the consequences immediately and let the chips fall. But he doesn't have the balls to do that. Now that he hasn't, any lessons he hoped to teach are gone. If he was so sure this was in America's interests, he should have done it and then justified it with a big fat Fuck You to anyone who opposed it. Asking permission was foolish when he had no plan to win permission from allies, the UN or Congress. Do you think bombing now saves face?

The least bad option now is to let Vlad ride to the rescue. Not to help us, but to stick a thumb up Obama's and America's ass. Amazing that Obama let that happen.

Cedarford said...

JR - Max Boot is an infamous Neocon. Any new war he can get us in that doesn't serve America but is seen as halping Israel in some way, he is a strong cheerleader for.

From your extensive war drum banging, JR565..is it fair to term you a Neocon??

Scott M said...

"Now see here, Mr. Putin, I am going to put my dick in your cash box, an' since I am a magnanimous citizen of the world I trust you won't--"

( SLAM )
...
( SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM SLAM)

CWJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meade said...

"Syria is to Russia as Israel is to the US. Now reverse the roles with Russia threatening to bomb Israel. What would the US do."

The government of Israel targeted and gassed Israeli women and children? That would be weird.

CWJ said...

Meade, I'd like to think that last comment was beneath you.

The equavelence I was making was geopolitical, not moral.

But I would hope you knew that.

CWJ said...

I went back to delete the duplicate comment and now both are gone.

Oh well, whatever.

jr565 said...

damikesc wrote;
Jr, I could care less what Kristol thinks. We are being asked to support military action against a country that poses no threat to us on the basis of a chemical attack that nobody knows was done by the government.

Does Iran getting nukes pose no threat to us? I ask to simply find out where you are on the question. If you say no, then of course bombing Syria makes no sense whatsoever. But if you say yes, then you are beyond idiotic in thinking that Syria isn't directly related to our dealings with Iran.
And you should still have to answer the charge about whether what Kristol asys is in fact true or not. Is letting an "Iran-supported, terror-backing dictator with American blood on his hands off the hook after he's used chemical weapons." good for our interests.
If you're Robert Cooke you would even have a problem with the idea that an Iran supported regime is a bad thing. But to someone like myself the question answers itself. What perspective are you coming from?

jr565 said...

Cedarford wrote:
R - Max Boot is an infamous Neocon. Any new war he can get us in that doesn't serve America but is seen as halping Israel in some way, he is a strong cheerleader for.

From your extensive war drum banging, JR565..is it fair to term you a Neocon??

Well I'm not a jew. So would that mean I'm not a neocon?

But this is a common tactic for you and Cooke. Rather than address the point vilify the speaker. For you its the neocon for Cooke it's the neocon and anyone who isn't as far to the left as him. Obama suddenly becomes a neocon who is out to get the resources of the brown people, even though he was a lefty when the lefties elected him.

How about instead address the point that Max Boot made. Does it make sense? If not, then explain why it doesn't.

jr565 said...

Damikesc wrote:

"Jr, I could care less what Kristol thinks. We are being asked to support military action against a country that poses no threat to us on the basis of a chemical attack that nobody knows was done by the government.

Is it our job to fix the Middle East? Because that requires a lot more than we can provide."

Does Russia think it can fix the ME? then why is it propping up the Assad regime? Is it Russias business? Then why is it there? Why is it saying that were we to attack that it would act as a shield? isn't that butting into a countries business?
Russia's great idea that you say we should adopt instead of bombing Syria would require Syria turning over its chemical weapons to the International community and they will monitor the chemical weapons.
I've already said why this is a completely stupid idea (since Russia can veto any action that might hold Syria to account) but is it the international communities business? Can THEY fix the ME? and aren't we the primary actor anytime the international community gets involved with dealing with a rogue country anyway? How then is it not our business on some level? even Russias solution that doesn't involve war still requires other countries butting into Syria's business.

why do the rest of us sign treaties prohibiting chemical weapons anyway? What obligation are you saying its supposed to have considering we are limiting our sovereignty by agreeing to the terms?
Is it Syria's business what Iran does? is it the ME's business what Israel does? All these countries though seem to order themselves around coalitions that serve their interests.
Which suggests that "none of your business" isn't really applicable in the world.

jr565 said...

What's worse? The scenario you lay out, or one in which POTUS went ahead and launched the strikes, completely by surprise (which is what you're supposed to do...not a week of political and very public soul search and 'walks' first), and they ended up as nearly or completely ineffectual?


Based on how our country conducts war its very hard for us to engage in a strike that ends up a complete surprise for those we are are targeting unless we are already at war with them.

jr565 said...

Barry Sanders wrote:
1. It's not our fight. Why do you think it is smart to make it ours?

Because Russia is making it theirs. Because Syria is a proxy state of Iran and we have this idea that we should prevent Iran from getting nukes. Thus any policy that strenghens the proxy state of Iran also strengthens Iran. And because it then makes it harder to actually tell IRan that they have to stop with a nuclear program. Because they already know our word is shit.
Because having a country use chemical weapons and have no response only means that future wars will escalate to chemical weapons use.
Because if American power, or the perception of American power is weakened because our enemies think we will not back up our words with actions it emboldens our enemies an makes us weaker.
Because our allies are relying on us being able to keep our word. If we can't, why wouldn't more countries back Russia since they seem to be able to keep theirs.

jr565 said...

Barry Sanders wrote:
2. There is not a good side and a bad side here, only two bad sides. Which bad side do you want to help?

I know the Assad side is bad. I know that Iran is bad I know that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe. Therefore the Assad regime is bad and its in our interest to see regime change if we can get it. I also know that elements of the resistance are also bad and are tied to Al Qaeda and or Muslim Brotherhood. but not all the resistance are those people. There are some moderates in the bunch.
And I don't know if backing those moderates to some small degree will lead to them taking control of the country. But I do know that Assad's regime standing makes Iran more powerful, Russia more powerful etc.
So, what could a bombing achieve? It could remove Assad's advantages against the rebels. We could bomb them and then sit back and see what happens. If it seems that the muslim brotherhood is the one that's taking over, or Al Qaeda is taking over and not moderates, then we could engage in another bomb strike that weakens THEIR ability to fight.
Is Russia going to back Al Qaeda, will Iran potentialy be at war with Al Qaeda if we topple Assad? If not then I can see a much weaker regime to deal with (since they wont be backed by two of our enemies). But if Iran were to back them, well then aren't we at war with AL Qaeda? So why not deal with Al Qaeda in Syria as it tries to control Syria? Al Qaeda is good at terrorism not so good at running countries. And, I'd imagine, a lot of Syrians would have problems with Al Qaeda trying to run their country.

SO what would the end game be? It would be a limited operation .Take out targets that help Assad use chemical weapons or wage war, then let the war play out and push it in a direction that is in our national interests.

Meade said...

CWJ: Here is your duplicate 2:17 comment that got deleted:

CWJ has left a new comment on the post ""Unbelievably small."":

jr565 @ 11:27

Everything you cite Max Boot as saying has already happened. Authorizing military force now will not unring that bell.

As others have noted, toppling Assad as bad as he is does not lead to a good result. In fact, it may very likely lead to genocide against Syria's Alawites, Druze, Shia, and Christians. These groups' safety is secured only by a secular government in control. Playing God in Syria's internal affairs, as sordid as they are, is not my cup of tea.

Finally and most foolishly, you have dismissed the possibility of a Russian direct response. Alternately, saying that they wouldn't do it, or are no longer strong enough to do so.

You have not thought that one through. Syria is Russia's one remaining ally and client in the ME. Surely Russia is cultivating other potential allies there and has influence, but Syria is Russia's one remaining card carrying ally and the location of Russia's one remaining military base in the Med.

Syria is to Russia as Israel is to the US. Now reverse the roles with Russia threatening to bomb Israel. What would the US do.

In short, as weakened as Russia is, stop acting like the US is the only actor in this drama and that the only factor we need to consider is a failure of will.

That's why Obama publicly laying down a red line was so irresponsible and naïve. And why it needs to be walked back. You don't reinforce unforced errors for the sake of pride. You may wish to be a Hapsburg in August 1914. You may wish to arrogantly risk the possibility of a larger war, but I am not.

CWJ said...

Wow, thank you Meade!

jr565 said...

Meade wrote:
"That's why Obama publicly laying down a red line was so irresponsible and naïve. And why it needs to be walked back. You don't reinforce unforced errors for the sake of pride. You may wish to be a Hapsburg in August 1914. You may wish to arrogantly risk the possibility of a larger war, but I am not"

You wouldn't reinforce the red line because of pride. you would reinforce it becuase to not do so weakens your position in the world by not doing so.

And who are you kidding? If Obama were to reinforce his red line comments with action sooner rather than later do you think that would somehow prevent the risk of a possible larger war? Do you think those who would risk a potential bigger war would do so because Obama looked like a bozo before dropping bombs as opposed to Obama dropping bombs?

You can't walk something back once you've laid down your red line. You can either honor it or not honor it and then the world (and our enemies will judge you on whether you were serious or not. Waking it back would be an example of them judging you as weak.

It's not arrogant to uphold the idea that if you use chemical weapons there will be a reprisal. It's arrogant to think you can use chemical weapons and there wont be.

So, you making some distinction about us honoring a red line for principle of solely for pride is irrelevant if it came to the possibility of expanding a future war. Would you be ok with Obama honoring his red line, if it was done so principally but then Syria or Iran bombs Israel because of it? That's going to happen or not happen because of decisions made by Syria and Iran in response to our action not on whether we are principled in making the action in the first place.

And lets also be honest. Right now it looks like the House is leaning against authorizing a military response. But these things take time. Our rush to war in Iraq took months in the leadup to war. Obama might ultimately get enough people to agree with his strike. OR he might find congress to be so useless he gives up on the idea of getting them to agree to give him the power to honor his commitment and not weaken his ability to act as a commander in chief.

So how does that work when you make the argument that we need to walk back our honoring the ultimatum we put down with our red line if the congress takes more time to decide to go to war than it does for us to lose some advantage in not going to war early?

jr565 said...

Meade wrote:
"Finally and most foolishly, you have dismissed the possibility of a Russian direct response. Alternately, saying that they wouldn't do it, or are no longer strong enough to do so.

You have not thought that one through. Syria is Russia's one remaining ally and client in the ME. Surely Russia is cultivating other potential allies there and has influence, but Syria is Russia's one remaining card carrying ally and the location of Russia's one remaining military base in the Med,"




From the movie Casino:

All right, I'm gonna give you a choice:

You can either have the money and the hammer or you can walk out of here.

What do you want?

So you're thinking of Russia having that influence now. But realistically, that will not be the same scenario that Russia will face were it to confront us directly. Because we would HAVE to by necessity expand the war to directly deal with the what Russia just did to us personally. Could Russia maintain it's influence in the region if we are directly attacking their interests in the region? No. It's only able to do so because it's keeping us in check diplomatically.
You can take the hammer and the money (meaning you'll get the money but we're going to break your hand) OR you can walk away but lose the money. You wont get both. Which is why Russia might work behind the scenes to prop up the regime but it would be beyond stupid for it to think it could directly target us and not expect a reprisal or that the regime it was backing was still standing. If it received such a reprisal, could it still maintain it's influence in the region?
Russia cannot support its navy long term in the region, especially if the navy is engaged in combat operations against the US. And what would be the benefit that they wouldn't get by simply getting the money from arming Syria?

Russia is not going to get involved in a direct war with us. That's not where Russia is strong. Especially not in the middle East where it's only strong diplomatically but not militarily.

jr565 said...

Meade wrote:
Syria is to Russia as Israel is to the US. Now reverse the roles with Russia threatening to bomb Israel. What would the US do.

In short, as weakened as Russia is, stop acting like the US is the only actor in this drama and that the only factor we need to consider is a failure of will.

When we had the Iraq war Iran lobbed cruise missiles into Israel. Did Russia get inovled in the war with Israel? Did Russia attack us when we invaded Iraq? Did Russia attack Israel when Israel bombed Syria over it's nuclear program?
When the Muslim Brotherhood lobs missiles at Israel do WE attack the muslim brotherhood?

jr565 said...

Meade wrote:
That's why Obama publicly laying down a red line was so irresponsible and naïve. And why it needs to be walked back. You don't reinforce unforced errors for the sake of pride. You may wish to be a Hapsburg in August 1914. You may wish to arrogantly risk the possibility of a larger war, but I am not.

So, Im not saying we need to go to war with Iran YET. But I am saying we are arguing that we need to hold iran to account and putting down ultimatums for them to not cross various red lines or else. Is it irresponsible of us to do that? What if they call our bluff one day and we feel they are on the verge of getting their nukes and that is the one line that we wont allow to be crossed. Would it be naive to have put down those ultimatums in the first place and assume that Iran wouldn't cross them and that we might need to deal with the repurcussions? If we aren't prepared to deal with the potential there would be consequences for them crossing that line then there is no reason we would ever, say, contain, a country for a nuclear program. Or contain Iraq for its WMD program.
And similarly,why is the onus on us to not honor our obligation to the red lines we put down and not on the regimes that are insistent on crossing them. Who is the one pushing for a potential war?
The country that uses chemical weapons even though we said in on uncertain terms that there would be consequences if they did. Are they worried about the potential war that might ensue were they to cross that line?

jr565 said...

Meade wrote:
"Everything you cite Max Boot as saying has already happened. Authorizing military force now will not unring that bell."

Even if you argue that it has happened it doesn't mean that it has to keep on happening.
So,you can unring the bell to a certain degree simply by not continuing the policies that are hurting you.
So, I'll go through Max's first paragraph to show you what I mean:

"Bashar Assad will get away with the most significant use of chemical weapons since Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1988. "Only if Obama doesn't honor the obligations he set down. If he capitulates then obviously Syria gets away with it. But if he doesn't then Syria doesnt.It's all predicated on the choice we make.

"This, in turn, will send a signal to weapons proliferators such as North Korea and Iran that the U.S. lacks the will to stop them."

Again, only if we don't honor the commitments we set down when we say that Syria would be accountable. You could unring that bell simply by not doing what you are saying we must do. It's not predetermined. We would choose to put ourselves in that position.

"Any hopes of a negotiated stop to the Iranian nuclear program–admittedly slim to begin with–will disappear altogether."

Yes, if obama doesn't honor his commitments, but not necessarily if Obama does. Do you personally think that we can negotiate a stop to Iran's nuclear program or is that bell unrung too? How do you propose we do that other than by honoring our words and holding Iran to account. And if you are saying that we can never do so, why shoudn't Israel bomb them to the stone age tomorrow? Because you're saying we CAN'T hold Iran to account diplomatically. Therefore Israel would NEED to hold Iran to account militarily. unless it wants to live in a world where Iran is threatening it with nukes. how are you then stopping a greater war by counseling we should act like cowards?

"Israel will be left standing alone against the Iranians and their Hezbollah proxies."
This is only a forgone conclusions if you make it your policy that we dont honor our obligations. Do we HAVE To do that? I would say no. YOu are choosing that path!

The opposition in Syria will suffer a substantial blow and Assad may well be emboldened to employ sarin gas again.
You didn't stand for holding them to account the first time, and they got stronger because of it, you wont hold them to account the next time either.
But all of these consequences are choices you are are suggesting we MUST make and then saying we can't do anything about it because it's already happened. What absolute bullshit!

jr565 said...

Sorry, I though Meade made the statement that CWJ made (Meade was just reposting the comment). So my last comment was directed at him and not Meade

jr565 said...

CWJ's doom and gloom scenario where only Russia is capable of honoring its red lines and only the rogue regimes are allowed to get their way, and any actions to counter said moves are a forgone failure on our part is a lefty trope based on the argument that the US is responsible for all evil and that our enemies only act in reaction to us. otherwise they are inert automatons.
My guess is CWJ is actually a libertarian so his focus is sllightly different. But it's still the same basic argument.

Fundamentally though what happens when a country doesn't honor its word after putting down a red line.
Well, Russia is putting down its own red line. What would happen if Russia didnt do what it said. would it be stronger or weaker because of it?
CWJ is arguing we cant honor our red line and do what we say becuase Russia will honor its red line and do what it says. But that just means we must always cede our foreign policy to what other countries say, almost definitionally. And they never have to.
because there will always be consequences if we do what we say we'll do.
Are there never consequences though, if they do what they say they'll do. Or they do what we say not to do?
Why is CWJ's world such where Syria can use chemical weapons on its people and never have to deal with consquences for said action, but if we DARE to try to hold them accountable it's a forgone conclusion that we must lose, because they will react to us?




CWJ said...

jr565,

I made my points. Why did it take you 7 comments to make yours, and still fail to deal with any of my points coherently? I'd reply but I'm at a loss as to what I should or could reply. I'm done.

good night.

Mellow said...

Heh, bet he changes a certain VPs diapers.