The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obama’s Syrian Dilemma

Posted on | April 29, 2013 | 20 Comments

“Obama: Anatomy of a World Leader,” by Alex Gray (detail)

President Gutsy Call promised serious consequences if Syria’s Assad regime crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons against anti-government rebels. Now that there is clear evidence that Assad used chemical weapons? Well, it’s nuanced, Chuck Todd explains:

“I can tell you there is regret about that red line comment … I mean, they meant it. They do mean it on the chemical weapons. But saying it creates this political conversation. They didn’t want to go public last week that they had this early evidence yet. They weren’t ready. And yet they knew Congress was going to get this briefing and it was all going to get out, so they decided to go public with it last week because they felt they had no choice, that it was all going to start leaking out … But they’re not ready. There is no good answer.”

Frank J. assesses Obama’s miscalculation:

I guess he never actually thought Syria would use chemical weapons, thus he could sound tough threatening them and then never actually have to do anything.

Ed Morrissey rounds up the latest Syria news and weighs the options for the administration, but as I explained yesterday, there are no good options in Syria, unless you count as “good” the likelihood that Obama will suffer further disastrous embarrassments.



20 Responses to “Obama’s Syrian Dilemma”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    April 29th, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

    This deserves quoting from Team America: World Police …

    Hans Blix: Let me look around, so I can ease the UN’s collective mind.
    Kim Jong-il: Hans, ya-breakin’ my barrs here, Hans, ya breakin’ my barrs!
    Hans Blix: I’m sorry, but the UN must be firm with you. Let me see your whole palace, or else…
    Kim Jong-il: Or erse what?
    Hans Blix: Or else we will be very, very angry with you… And we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.

  2. Da Tech Guy On DaRadio Blog » Blog Archive » Newtown Syria and Red lines
    April 29th, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

    […] Update: Stacy McCain reports that mis­sion is not going well: […]

  3. Adjoran
    April 29th, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    Why is Obama suddenly worried about keeping his word? It’s never been the slightest concern before. Remember his vow to track down the perpetrators of Benghazi? Well, the State Department is blocking lawyers from representing survivors who want to testify before Congress, which is the most they’ve done in that “investigation.”

    As soon as the FBI found out that Gilligan Tsarnaev’s sister-in-law called them with a heads-up they were on the news, they Mirandized him to prevent any other inconvenient tidbits from slipping out and embarrassing Obama, peace of the prophet be upon him.

    And the media can’t even keep up with how many times he has “pivoted” to job creation, but the current calculation at is that he has spent more time on vacation and golfing than in meetings on the economy.

    So what’s so different about Syria? Just one more lie to cover up.

  4. 20thCenturyVole
    April 29th, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    “Mouth writing checks his butt can’t cash” syndrome.

  5. gastorgrab
    April 29th, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

    Exit strategy?

  6. Esau's Message
    April 29th, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

    Unfortunately, when Obama suffers embarrassments like this, it jeopardizes the safety of this country and our allies. And it heartens our enemies.

  7. richard mcenroe
    April 29th, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

    Be fair now, his entire life has led him to believe that someone else will do the heavy lifting for him while a grateful world basks in his brilliance.

  8. Rosalie
    April 29th, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

    That’s what bothers me too.

  9. Esau's Message
    April 29th, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

    Me too.

  10. JeffS
    April 30th, 2013 @ 12:29 am

    So what’s so different about Syria?

    Perhaps of relevance, and perhaps not: Syria is full of Muslims.

  11. BruceC
    April 30th, 2013 @ 2:54 am

    Maybe Obama is looking for the Benghazi perps in the same spot that OJ looked for Nicole’s killer….on the golf course….

  12. Breakfast Links | Points and Figures
    April 30th, 2013 @ 5:01 am

    […] Syrian dilemma.  The Big Red Car had something to say on bluffing as […]

  13. Bob Belvedere
    April 30th, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    Lotta places to hide on the greens, you know.

  14. Bob Belvedere
    April 30th, 2013 @ 8:19 am


  15. knowyourcliches
    April 30th, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    People seem to forget that (1) Obama used to be a college professor and (2) there is no red line in college.

  16. JLM
    April 30th, 2013 @ 10:01 am


    You cannot conduct a foreign policy based on a bluff.

    When we bluff, we lose.

    Read about it here:


  17. Bonnie_
    April 30th, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    What’s the downside to letting the Syrians fight each other? We’re almost at energy independence with fracking and we no longer have to care if the oil keeps flowing from the region. Let them battle each other until Mohammed is knifing Hussein over a dusty patch of sand. I’m heartbroken over the human devastation but I’m tired of our blood and treasure being spilled for these savages.

  18. richard mcenroe
    April 30th, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

    The world is outraged at Syria’s use of chemical weapons.they were supposed to save that shit for Israel.

  19. DaMav
    April 30th, 2013 @ 2:15 pm

    Dead muzzies on both sides, Obama looks like a putz, our guys not getting shot at, costs minimized — where’s the downside?

  20. The Highly Ironic Syrian End-Game? : The Other McCain
    May 5th, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    […] last we examined the mess in Syria, President Obama was embarrassed that the Assad regime had crossed his “red line” by reportedly using chemical weapons against the rebels (who are, by the way, a dangerous mob of […]