What’s interesting in the news today?
The President continues to shore up support for military action in Syria.
From Politico “A new use-of-force resolution for Syria sets a 60-day deadline, with one 30-day extension possible, for President Barack Obama to launch military strikes against the regime of Syria President Bashar Assad — and it will also bar the involvement of U.S. ground forces in Syria.
The revised resolution was crafted by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman and ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, following several days of negotiations. The panel could vote on the proposal by Wednesday.”
More here on the arm twisting, also from Politico.
And all this despite public opposition to it. Here’s the latest poll, from ABC/WaPo
And here’s further evidence that if we do this, we help the radicals. Seems there’s already delays to previous weapon supply programs because they can’t find anyone who isn’t a radical to give the guns to.
From TheWallStJournal “In June, the White House authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to help arm moderate fighters battling the Assad regime, a signal to Syrian rebels that the cavalry was coming. Three months later, they are still waiting.
The delay, in part, reflects a broader U.S. approach rarely discussed publicly but that underpins its decision-making, according to former and current U.S. officials: The Obama administration doesn’t want to tip the balance in favor of the opposition for fear the outcome may be even worse for U.S. interests than the current stalemate.
U.S. officials attribute the delay in providing small arms and munitions from the CIA weapons program to the difficulty of establishing secure delivery “pipelines” to prevent weapons from falling into the wrong hands, in particular Jihadi militants also battling the Assad regime.”
The White House seems to think they can bomb Assad to punish him, and at the same time not help the radicals? Seriously? That’s one of the stupidest things I’ve heard yet. Any action tips the conflict, that’s reality.
Some are asking what’s the point of all this? Good question.
From BuzzFeed “Frederic Hof spent President Obama’s first term as the State Department’s point man on Syria. He is now a furious administration critic, and a symbol of the growing consensus in the professional foreign policy community that the Obama Administration — no matter how its last-minute detour through Congress turns out — has badly bungled its Syria policy through two years of popular uprising turned bloody civil war.
“The events of the past ten days suggest that there was no administration forethought to the possibility of a major chemical incident in Syria,” wrote Hof, currently a fellow at the Atlantic Council, where his former boss is Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Hof had floated the specter of a chemical attack by the regime months ago.
“The results of this mystifying lack of preparedness have been abysmal,” he wrote, calling Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for the strikes “constitutionally sound, but strategically appalling” and suggesting the White House find “an objectives-based strategy.”
Our own Generals can’t even tell what the mission actually is here.
From TheFreeBeacon “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey couldn’t answer what exactly the U.S. was seeking in Syria Tuesday during questioning from Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) about a resolution authorizing military action there:”
Elect an amateur, this is what you get. Consequences, ya know. It seems to be an awful lot about the White House trying to save face now. And Obama’s ego.
As you all know I’ve been rough on the anti-war crowd from the Bush years and the disappearing act they pulled when Obama was elected. Some are stirring from their slumber, so it’s only fair I point it out. They’ve been picketing Kerry’s house, and heckling him while he ”testifies” to Congress. Yes, even the nuts at Code Pink.
With some photos.
Here’s a not at all shocking piece.
From TheWashingtonExaminer “Just minutes after 35 jihadists crashed through the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, nearly one year ago, the facility got word to the State Department, FBI and Pentagon that terrorists were attacking, according to a forthcoming book that provides the fullest review of the assault to date.
In “Under Fire, the Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi,” it is revealed that an unidentified security official in the Benghazi compound protecting Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens messaged the U.S. embassy in Tripoli: “Benghazi under fire, terrorist attack.” Stevens and three others died that night.
Twenty-five minutes after it began, the operation center at State received an electronic cable announcing the attack, according to authors Fred Burton, a former State Diplomatic Security agent and Samuel Katz, an author and expert on international special operations and counterterrorism.
Their findings in “Under Fire,” based on exclusive interviews of those in the battle, refute days of claims by the administration that the attack was sparked by Muslim anger at a U.S.-made anti-Muslim film, and raise new questions as President Obama eyes military action in Syria that U.S. diplomatic posts in the region are properly protected.”
It’s just one foreign policy failure after another.
From TheIndependent/UK “A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.
Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.
Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.
As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.
Next, to National Review, and the total destruction of that whole “smart power” meme thingy.
From NationalReview “Democrats Suddenly Realize What They Miscalculated About the World: Everything”
“Being nicer to countries like Russia will not make them nicer to you. The United Nations is not an effective tool for resolving crises. Some foreign leaders are beyond persuasion and diplomacy. There is no “international community” ready to work together to solve problems, and there probably never will be.
You can pin this on Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Susan Rice, but most of all, the buck stops with the president. Those of us who scoffed a bit at a state senator ascending to the presidency within four years on a wave of media hype and adoration are not quite so shocked by this current mess. We never bought into this notion that getting greater cooperation from our allies, and less hostility from our enemies, was just a matter of giving this crew the wheel and letting them practice, as Hillary Clinton arrogantly declared it, “smart power.” (These people can’t even label a foreign-policy approach without reminding us of how highly they think of themselves.) They looked out at the world at the end of the Bush years, and didn’t see tough decisions, unsolvable problems, unstable institutions, restless populations, technology enabling the impulse to destabilize existing institutions, evil men hungry for more power, and difficult trade-offs. No, our problems and challengers were just a matter of the previous hands running U.S. foreign policy not being smart enough.”
And last, well fine then, I guess I’ll just continue to be a bad person. At least in this lady’s eyes.
From HotAir “We still have four more months left in 2013, but we may have found a winner for the single most vapid column of the year, courtesy of Slate. Allison Benedikt wrote a “manifesto” which appeared on their site today demanding that parents stop using private schools for their children, because — and I am not making this up — putting more children in failing schools is the path to improvement. Benedikt begins her argument by pronouncing herself ignorant on education policy, and proceeds to demonstrate a nearly endless supply of ignorance throughout the rest of the article.
Actually, I’ve gotten ahead of myself. She starts off her argument by pronouncing anyone who does not put their children in public schools a “bad person”:
Take a moment to mull over that gem. Benedikt’s entire argument is that non-participants in an organization ruin it by their non-participation. It’s not the actual participants who are to blame for the institution’s failures – not the teachers, not the administrators, and not the policy-makers — but the people who avoid the failure that should be blamed. That argument conveniently lets the participants in this “most-essential” institution off the hook for their own failures. We’ll get back to that in a minute.”
And then it goes downhill from there.