The whole idea of a red line is to dissuade bad behavior by declaring that there will be swift and decisive action following any crossing of that line. When such a line is laid down by the President of the USA it is supposed to mean something more than a statement of election year bravado.
Although his bluff has been called on many occasions, Obama has done nothing. Bashar Assad and his allies could therefore be forgiven for believing that he will continue to do nothing, thus feeling confident that their jeering at America and its vacillating President will continue to draw no response.
Now, in an attempt to salvage his shattered credibility as a leader, Obama has swallowed his egotism and asked Congress to bail him out.
However, by not keeping his word he has degraded his position as President and consequently dragged down the USA with him, revising downwards the way that its enemies view this country. It is therefore imperative that congress shows resolve by rectifying this situation, by whatever means.
(Even though, as a side effect it may salvage the President’s sorry “person”).
The US was "dragged down" in foreign relations about six years before Obama was elected. I will agree his administration has done virtually nothing to restore our standing in the international community. Our diplomatic efforts have been feeble and the White House staff has kowtowed to the military for fear of being seen as "soft" on "terrorists".
A red line should never have been drawn. Fundamental Islamic militants are part of the uprising against Assad - including Al-Qaeda. So which devil do we want to support?
I would agree with all of your arguments with the exception of the first sentence.
Six years before Obama the US was held in much higher esteem by our, let’s say, international rivals, and none would have shown the disdain and contempt that Assad and co. have recently displayed.
Obama and his total lack of understanding of international reality is by far the major cause of the newly acquired bravado our enemies.
Passin, OK make it five years and 2004. Our primarily unilateral invasion of Iraq was ill conceived, ill executed and futile. We intervened where we had no right nor need to be and without knowing the players or the results of our actions.
And, despite your assertion, Obama is not the major cause of our loss of esteem. The loss of our esteem comes from many years of actions based on our misperceptions of other countries.
Arranging a coup in Iran in the early 50s and installing the brutal regime of Shah Reza Pahlavi. Failing to take action once the Russians left Afghanistan and thus the rise of the Taliban. Failing to react appropriately when Sadam Hussein gassed Kurds after the first Gulf war.
So, I could agree we were held in much higher esteem in 2003 but that's like bragging about being the fstest turtle in a race.
Bryant, you can only judge Obama by his impact upon the reputation of the US since his election.
Just about every decision he has made as Commander in Chief, including the decisions he has refused to make, has turned out badly for the Country.
He quit in Iraq--the violence there is worse now than at any time since he came to office.
He is pulling out of Afghanistan; the Taliban is finalizing its plans for control of the country while waiting for him to leave.
He notoriously “led from behind” in Libya.
He disgracefully refused to acknowledge the true nature of the attack on Benghazi and a year later there has still been no retaliation.
N. Korea mocks him.
Moscow is too smart for him and is currently leading him by the nose in Syria.
Beijing ignores him.
As far as the current crisis is concerned, a wiser president would have built a coalition of support both within and outside of the country BEFORE boasting of “His” red lines.
Passin' you need to give up on your Obama bashing and stick to facts:
"He quit in Iraq--the violence there is worse now than at any time since he came to office." The withdrawal of troops was on the same timetable as the one proposed by the Bush administration. We shouldn't have been there in the first place.
"He is pulling out of Afghanistan; the Taliban is finalizing its plans for control of the country while waiting for him to leave." Thank God he is. Loss of focue and mission creep has caused us to be in Afghanistan far longer than we should have. We accomplished our original goals (except for killing Bin Laden) years ago and should have left then. Wouldn't have been the first time America failed to follow through with war time promises.
"He notoriously “led from behind” in Libya." This goes to your immediately following statement. What was notorious about his actions or the lack thereof? Benghazi is pretty much an outgrowth of us being involved at all. We supported rebels we didn't know against a despot we did know. And look what happened.
"He disgracefully refused to acknowledge the true nature of the attack on Benghazi and a year later there has still been no retaliation." When did he disgracefully refuse to acknowledge the "true nature"? Seems to me this issue was flogged unsuccessfully during the last presidential debates. And, pray tell, against whom are we going to retaliate?
"N. Korea mocks him." N Korea mocks everyone.
Tell you what, Bryant; I’ll give up on “bashing” Obama if you stop singing your ‘Obama can do no wrong’ song.
Your second and third paragraphs can be treated as one; in both cases the Commander in Chief of the USA announced to the enemy his plans to withdraw his forces. This is not recommended in any von Clausewitz military strategy manual as a “Smart Move”. Your comments such as “we should not have been there in the first place’” are valid personal opinions but not relevant to the subject.
Obama “lead from behind” in Libya (behind the French, no less!) showing a different definition of leadership than that which America is known for. It derived from two of Obamas apparent beliefs: that the relative power of the U.S. was declining, and that the U.S. was reviled in many parts of the world.
Bryant said “Benghazi is pretty much an outgrowth of us being involved at all. We supported rebels we didn't know against a despot we did know. And look what happened.”
At the time of the attack the Libyan government was friendly. It offered intelligence regarding Benghazi which the White House sneered at as it did not jive with their manufactured approach. Thereafter the Libyans lost interest in helping.
Although the average liberal democrat would like to believe that Benghazi was put to bed by the 2012 re-election of Obama that did not happen. There have been too many lies and contrived deceptions laid upon the American public since then. The cover up is obvious: what has NOT YET been admitted is why?....
passin, what "cover up"?
And read what I write not what you think I mean. I am not "liberal" by your apparent definition. And, I certainly do not sing an Obama can do no wrong song. His administration has made many missteps both domestically and internationally.
And Bush announced his withdrawal plans for Iraq long before Obama was elected. I agree it's a lousy policy but I like it better than "We're in it for the long haul" or whatever rhetoric someone spouts.
As far as I'm concerned, open talks with the Taliban, tell them we'll drone strike you to oblivion if you try the same crap you did when the Soviet Union withdrew, resume funding the former Northern Alliance tribes (as a back-up plan to drone strikes)keep a close eye on Pakistan (a bigger threat in my opinion than Afghanistan, Syria or Iran), negotiate a revision of the Durand line, and bring our men and women home.
Bryant, where did I define you as “liberal”? Maybe you should take your own advice and “read what I write not what you think I mean.”
What “cover–up”?” really? Well, how about:
CNN has learned the CIA is involved in an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out (8/02/2013)
(Shortened version) What were 35 CIA Operatives doing in the “Annex” during the attack? With at least seven being wounded? None have been allowed to be interviewed. All have been threatened with loss of their jobs (and other more sinister threats) if they consent to talk to Congress or the Media. Monthly polygraph examinations for all have been instituted to discover if anyone has talked.
Why is there such fear of the American public learning the truth about Benghazi?
Was a covert CIA weapons running operation in effect during the attack?
If so, were these weapons intended for Syrian rebels?
Or were the arms shipments to al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in the February 17th Martyrs Brigade?
Or weapons smuggled to al Qaeda-connected rebels in Syria through the Turkish consul?
We don’t know, not yet, but the administration and the W.H. must know that it is only a matter of time before this all becomes public knowledge.
And now, Obama wants to prosecute captured foreign terrorists in the U.S., under the U.S. civilian criminal code! This should delay knowledge of what happened for a few more years!
Which means, Bryant, that your suggestion of targeting uncooperative terrorists with drone strikes won’t work anymore as the new "prosecution strategy” has effectively removed that option!
CIA involved in a cover-up? Horrors! Do you believe actions on their part (if there were any) were illegal (Iran-Contra under Reagan) or are you just curious?
So, after having depleted a list of rickety arguments, you write off the discussion by tossing in a handful of non sequiturs.
Neither “illegal” nor “curious” is relevant, the crux of the discussion was “cover-up” which, in your usual manner, you failed to address.
OK, passin, no non sequiturs - all that you cite from CNN are from "anonymous" sources with no evidence of verification by CNN. The CIA is not supposed to talk about what they've been doing - they're a clandestine service.
As for your questions about weapons for Al-Qaeda, etc.; sounds like conspiracy theory run rampant.
There is a difference between secrecy to protect a (possibly) on-going operation with people at risk and a cover-up (which I interpret to mean nefarious wrongdoing on someone's part).