After long minutes of reflection the Mainstream Media have delivered their opinion on Obama's "handling" of the use of nerve gas to kill 1400 Syrians. And that reaction is uniformly praising the Lightworker for his masterful strategy.
Typical is Neil Irwin of the Washington Post
who wrote: “Was Obama’s Syria strategy brilliant or lucky?” before answering his own question with "This is a win for President Obama."
Such a claim would be laughable if not for the fact that in another month it will have become the official Narrative of the event, and thus beyond questioning. So before everyone buys the Democrat Narrative and forgets what actually happened I'd like to review the events:
A year ago Obama answered a question about Syria by saying that "if we saw bunches of [chemical] weapons being moved around, or used, that would represent a red line for us."
On August 21st some group in Syria fired rockets containing nerve gas at several neighborhoods east and south of Damascus, killing about 1400 people. Intel sources claimed to have intercepted radio communications suggesting the source was the Syrian military--though other sources claimed the forces fighting against
the Assad regime were responsible, in an effort to win U.S. support against Assad.
In any case Obama announced that using nerve gas on civilians was unacceptable and that he was prepared to order a military strike on Syria (presumably on Assad regime forces) to "deter [Assad] from using such weapons, or degrade his capability to use these weapons." Moreover, Obama announced that he didn't need congressional authorization to order a military strike.
Obama then asked leaders of other nations to support his proposed strike. British PM David Cameron put the motion to Parliament, which voted against it. The only militarily significant country supporting a U.S. strike was France.
At about the same time, Obama announced that even though he did NOT need the approval of congress, he would nevertheless put the question to a congressional vote. One can only imagine how Dems in congress reacted to this announcement, since it put them in the position of either having to go on the record as voting for a U.S. military strike, or else be portrayed as indifferent to the killing of 400 Syrian kids by nerve gas. No good way out of that bind.
Battle lines were drawn: With the senate being majority-Democrat--and with all Dem senators heretofore supporting Obama on every issue--it seemed certain that the senate would vote to support a strike. But the Republican-majority house was a different story. If the house voted no, would that still constitute "congressional approval" of a strike? Thus the administration pushed their friends in the media and Democrat leaders to support the president's proposal.
Watching people as ultra-liberal and anti-war as Democrat house minority leader Nancy Pelosi argue in favor of a military strike was either jaw-dropping or delicious hypocrisy,
depending on your party.
President Obama's hopes of winning congressional approval for a U.S.
military strike on Syria could come down to the persuasion skills of
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco liberal who was a
leading critic of the war in Iraq.
Pelosi wrote five letters to her Democrat colleagues
With a nod to the historical
irony, she is arguing to her Democratic colleagues that Syria is
different from the earlier conflict. She spoke passionately in an
interview about the "human rights catastrophe" in Syria, saying a
"limited, targeted" attack "that will be over fast" could prevent the
future use of weapons of mass destruction. And she called on Obama to
make a more forceful argument for military action.
Pelosi is expected to intensify her efforts next week when Congress
returns from its summer recess, pressing her 199 fellow Democrats in
sessions in her Capitol office and on the House floor and meetings of
the full caucus. Congressional aides expect the Senate to vote next
week, with the House to follow perhaps the week after.
urging them--albeit in very carefully-worded language-- to support Obama's announced intent of ordering a military strike. One can only wonder how much effort it took by Obama aides to persuade the ultra-liberal Pelosi to reverse her previous position so radically.
Obama tried to guilt all members of congress into voting for a strike, while simultaneously trying to disown his comment of a year earlier: In a speech in Sweden he claimed "I didn't set a red line. The U.S. congress set a red line. The world set a red line." This understandably triggered howls of derision on the right, though most of the public never got to see his original statement as the MSM elected not to run it.
But amazingly, house Republican leaders announced their support for a strike. Here's the Obama-loving NY Times:
President Obama won the support...of Republican and Democratic leaders in the House for an attack on Syria...
Uncertainties abound, particularly in the House, where the imprimatur of
the Republican leadership does not guarantee approval by rebellious
rank and file...
Support from top
Republicans--who rarely agree with Mr. Obama on anything--suggest the
White House may be on firmer footing than seemed the case on Saturday,
when the president abruptly halted his plans for action in the face of
growing protests from Congress.
Mr. Obama is now headed to Sweden and Russia, where he will try to shore
up an international coalition to punish Syria for a chemical weapons
But a funny thing happened on the way to Damascus: Despite a full-court press from the administration, not only did Obama not pick up much support in the house, even senate Democrats also started to defect. It soon became apparent that Obama couldn't even win a majority in the Democrat-controlled senate. Quietly, the much-ballyhooed vote was cancelled--with no fanfare and almost no comment in the media.
Now Obama found himself in a bind: Having declared that the use of chemical weapons by Syria would be a "red line," he was now forced to either order a strike without congressional approval--something he had claimed just two days earlier that he had the power to do--or forego military action and tolerate something he'd earlier said was unacceptable.
Enter the next member of the clown posse: Obama's secretary of state, John Kerry. In an offhand response to a reporter's question about how a strike could be averted, Kerry said "Assad could turn over all his chemical weapons within a week. But that will never happen--could never happen."
Spokespeople in the Obama administration immediately "walked it back" (the currently approved wording for "disregard that crock"). But then an unexpected player popped up to give Obama an out: The premier of Russia offered to supervise the declaration of all chemical weapons in Syria, and their placement under international control.
Having a keen instinct for seizing his own political advantage, Barry did a quick pivot: Suddenly not only was Kerry's offer not
a mis-statement, it was actually Obama's strategy all along.
In this new narrative Barry claims Assad only agreed to the Russian offer because of the threat of a U.S. military strike.
While this may sound plausible to the low-information voter, the notion that Obama's plan all along was for Putin to propose a last-minute way out strikes most rational adults as preposterous. There are far too many risks and disadvantages to doing it that way. But with the help of a adoring media this is the narrative the administration has decided to run with.
If you think this is hyperbole, here's the left-wing Politico this morning:
Vice-President Biden trumpeted the tentative agreement between
Russia and the United States to press for the destruction of Syria’s
chemical weapons as a signal success of the Obama administration’s
foreign policy Sunday, telling a crowd of Democrats here that it was a
credit to President Barack Obama’s “absolutely clear” vision for foreign
At [a Democratic
fundraiser] Biden told a hushed audience that it was thanks to the White
House that the world was taking action against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s use of chemical
weapons against his own people.”
[Obama] wasn’t going to allow it to happen on his watch,” Biden said.
“He is, in fact, the reason why the world community is facing up,
finally, finally” to the destruction in Syria.
But when you think about it, this sort of response is actually typical of Obama's whole career: Bullshit your way through--as when he and Bill Ayers talked their way into control of $120 million in the nearly-forgotten "Annenberg challenge" to improve education in Chicago. But that's another story.