Speaking at UN, Obama Tries to Claim He Was Always For Diplomacy in Syria

I had seen several indications this morning that Obama planned to call for a diplomatic approach to the ongoing conflict in Syria despite the earlier indications that he intended to pursue a military strike even if the UK did not join and the UN did not provide a resolution authorizing force. I was hopeful that this new-found reliance on diplomacy would go all the way to calling for a ceasefire to provide safe conditions for the gathering and destruction of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons.

Alas, my hopes were once again dashed as Obama fell far short of proposing a ceasefire and he wound up delivering very convoluted remarks as he tried to maintain the fiction that Bashar al-Assad’s forces have been proven to have carried out the August 21 chemical weapons attack and that he favors diplomacy over military action. The quotations I will use here are from the Washington Post’s transcript of his speech.

In a move that approaches Colin Powell’s historic spinning of lies before the invasion of Iraq, Obama stated that there is no dispute that Syrian forces are responsible for the August 21 attack:

The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood and landed in opposition neighborhoods.

It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.

As I stated shortly after the UN report came out, the report did not show that the rockets for which they determined trajectories carried sarin. That argument is strengthened further by the subsequent realization by others that not one of the environmental samples from the Moadamiyah site came back as positive for sarin. So now one of the famous lines that cross at a Syrian military installation has to be disregarded entirely because there is no evidence of sarin at the point of rocket impact. [Look for the website and reporters for the linked post to be attacked mercilessly. Both the Global Research site I linked to in one questioning post and the Mint Press site which suggested a Saudi false flag operation have been attacked savagely as to their credibility. Remarkably, I have yet to see any of those attacks actually contradict the questions that have been raised.*]

Let’s take a look at Obama’s logical gymnastics as he tried to justify both his initial intent to attack Syria and then his rediscovery that he prefers a diplomatic approach. Early in his Syria comments, he claimed ” A peace process is stillborn.” He gave no evidence of what, if any, role the US played in the peace process. In fact, his next sentence provides a partial clue to just how the peace process died: “America and others have worked to bolster the moderate opposition, but extremist groups have still taken root to exploit the crisis.”

You see, those moderate groups that we are arming are not able to defeat the extremists that others are arming. Sounds like a child caught fighting who says “he hit me back first”.

So that background of a stillborn peace process is why, even before the weak evidence from the UN that the US is misrepresenting came out, Obama insisted that he had to attack Assad. Obama’s ploy to support his actions approached a George W. Bush administration level of disdain for the UN itself as he supplied his rationalization:

Now, I know that in the immediate aftermath of the attack there were those who questioned the legitimacy of even a limited strike in the absence of a clear mandate from the Security Council. But without a credible military threat, the Security Council had demonstrated no inclination to act at all.

Yes, today Obama stood in front of the UN General Assembly and openly said that he has the right to carry out a military attack unilaterally if there is “no inclination to act at all” from the UN Security Council.

But fear not! Obama has actually been in favor of diplomacy all along (well, actually only since he and Kerry got boxed into it by Lavrov, Putin, Assad and Rouhani, but who’s keeping score anyway; certainly not the corporate press in the US):

However, as I’ve discussed with President Putin for over a year, most recently in St. Petersburg, my preference has always been a diplomatic resolution to this issue. And in the past several weeks, the United States, Russia and our allies have reached an agreement to place Syria’s chemical weapons under international control and then to destroy them.

But of course, all this diplomacy soft-talk still has to have room for Obama to blast the shit out of Assad later if he decides it’s necessary:

The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles. Now, there must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments. And there must be consequences if they fail to do so. If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws.

You know, Obama might just want to tread carefully on upbraiding the UN about its capability to enforce “the most basic of international laws”. Last time I looked, there were basic international laws against torture, wars of aggression and extrajudicial killing. Just sayin’.

*Update: In a new post at Brown Moses, we learn from Dan Kaszeta that while sarin itself was not found at Moadamiyah in the environmental samples, sarin degradation products were. That means there is evidence that at least some sarin was at the site. It is very encouraging to see questions met with evidence rather than attacks on the questioner’s credibility. Informed back and forth analysis of this sort is very constructive in attempting to find the truth.

61 replies
  1. bell says:

    “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.” i am happy to insult obamas reason and the legitimacy of the institution he represents.. it needs to be insulted more often! he is insulting our intelligence with this bullshit!

  2. TarheelDem says:

    Carrot-and-stick Realpolitik still dominates conventional US foreign policy thinking. The interesting thing about it is that it becomes self-fulfilling prophecy no matter how it turns out and can always justify using it again when there is agreement and escalating force when there isn’t. It is institutional with regard to the folks advising him and only personal to the degree that he is unreflective about it and seeking a politically risky new direction.

    Given the fact that President Obama’s actions are often contrary to his words, we should watch what he does. We will likely not get the clear backstory until every countries documents are available to historians.

    On Syria, what he as done is to allow Russia to save Assad’s butt for the moment. And to reduce the number of chemical weapons states by one by next year if the agreement is in fact fully implemented. It also puts the rebels under the microscope with regard to their actions, should they try to interfere with this process; likely the Saudis realize this.

    The chestbeating put the GOP sufficiently in opposition to a strike to make the vote doubtful. Those are the good points.

    But once again (likely for domestic political points) asserting American exceptionalism (as in “the laws don’t apply to us”) in the UN General Assembly makes diplomacy on everything more difficult.

    Today’s speech was stating a policy position, not a matter of truth or history. It was to a complicated set of audiences.

    The proof is in a changed relationship with Iran and facilitating in fact (contrary to its absence in words) the actions of Russia and Syria in dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities.

    If Obama always was for diplomacy in Syria, it was diplomacy backed up with a big threat of cruise missile strikes. And that seems still to be the stated policy. Diplomacy on our terms—but we can negotiate those terms.

    @Bay State Librul No. Russia hasn’t always blocked UN resolutions. It voted for referral of Gadhafi and two others to the ICC on crimes against humanity charges. It abstained on the UN Security Council vote on a no-fly zone in Libya based on US assurances that regime change was not the objective.

    Hasn’t the US always blocked UN resolutions calling Israel to account for violation of the Geneva Conventions on occupied territories?

    The ability of the permanent UN Security Council members (formerly thought of as the Great Powers) to block actions through veto is a feature to preserve the institution, not a bug. All five of them use the veto regularly to defend their national interests. Threatening military action rarely removes a veto and sometimes makes a permanent UN Security Council member more determined to veto.

    Besides. The Cold War is over. Russia is as much an ally on some issues as a competitor. Time to stop treating countries as enemies. That’s a bad US habit.

  3. sturgeonmouth says:

    If Obama was ALWAYS for diplomacy in Syria, where’s the proof? He’s only cited his 20 minute talk with Putin at the recent G20 and at last years G20 in Mexico, neither of which involved Syria. What about Kerry? Who has he been talking with in Syria and Russia over the last year? What were the results? Why was he so sure that Syria would never agree to what they’ve agreed to? The media and congress should be demanding answers to these questions.

  4. bsbafflesbrains says:

    Bottom line is Obama can’t be trusted and his word is meaningless. Is he doing the Truman Doctrine or the Truman Show?

  5. whispersd says:

    Why trust Obama and Kerry?

    It seems clear that the Obama administration has determined to go forth with the accusation that the chemical attack must have been the work of Assad, even lacking a proper investigation. The fact that they are showing contempt for proper fact-finding is itself reason to distrust them.

    The notion that Assad isn’t conducting warfare in a legitimate manner, when juxtaposed against all the American actions of the past 12 years, would be hilarious if it were not so self-serving and dangerous.

  6. TarheelDem says:

    @bsbafflesbrains: He kept his word to Max Baucus about health care reform. He kept his word to the GOP leadership about sequestration.

    It’s the public statements in which he cannot keep his word. Commitments made in private sessions are apparently more reliable.

  7. Bay State Librul says:

    @TarheelDem: Were you in favor of the Affordable Health Act? I think everyone here wants a Progressive Democrat, I would too, but he would never get elected in these times.
    Don’t you have to deal with “what is”, otherwise you become cynical.
    I dunno, but I’ve been extremely happy with Obama, not 100%, but on the whole — consider what we could have had with McCain and Romney…

  8. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Bay State Librul: In the foreign policy area, which is what this speech dealt with today, how would they have been much worse? Would either have kissed Israel’s ass more? Would either of them have spied on Americans more? Would either of them have told more lies in this Syria episode? Would either of them have said they had the right to kill Americans without jury or trial? Would either of them have used more drones to kill innocent people? Would either of them have been more standoffish at Israeli war crimes in Gaza? The list goes on…

    No offense, but I can’t tell the difference between Obama and the typical neocon. What the fuck has he done to make you ‘trust’ him – and Kerry?

  9. Bay State Librul says:

    @GulfCoastPirate: We are getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, I do not approve of his hard line on journalist, he is the consoler-in-chief, he is no way a Neo-con, I think he is nuanced, I think he reads the daily briefs and knows more than me and you about what’s going on. In other words, I trust his judgment. He is a good man.

  10. sturgeonmouth says:

    Indeed, why trust Obama and Kerry? Days before his accidental diplomacy, Kerry, like John McCain, embraced figures provided by a 26-year old fake expert on Syria — who was subsequently fired for lying about having a PhD — over figures provided by US intelligence. That, plus his strong advocacy for attacks, indicates that Kerry, as Secretary of State, wasn’t interested in diplomacy.

    Did Kerry ever make diplomatic efforts with regard to Syria’s chemical weapons? I want details. Obama hasn’t fired Kerry, or asked for his resignation, indicating that whatever Kerry has or hasn’t done, Obama is cool with it.

  11. CTuttle says:

    Bay State Librul, you do realize that Neo-liberals(Obama, Kerry, Power, Rice) are just as deadly as Neocons, right…? Responsibility to Protect(R2P) has been a disaster for all…!

    I would add that the only reason we left Iraq is because they wouldn’t approve the SOFA, and, hopefully Afghanistan will follow suit, if not we’ll still be in Afghanistan in 2020…!

  12. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Bay State Librul: He knows what’s going on? More than you and I? Nonsense – we all know what’s going on. It’s the same thing that has been going on for centuries in the Middle East. It’s the same thing that will be going on for centuries after all of us are gone. He’s caught up now and he doesn’t have the balls to say – ENOUGH.

    Let’s make this very easy to understand. The US and other western allies attempted to impose a colony of Jews on Arabs after WWII because they didn’t know what to do with the survivors in Europe and they felt guilty about what happened. The Arabs/Persians didn’t like it so much and despite decades of US and Israeli pressure have refused to yield. They aren’t going to yield anytime soon either. They live there and have the resolve to go on for however long it takes while we don’t have the resources to continue. Our economy is essentially ruined and we’re in the process of arguing over the dismantling of what little of a social state we have in order to continue to pour resources into a military that is both inefficient and unable to solve the problem. McCain and Romney were too stupid to understand this but Obama knows better. He’s smart enough to know that no matter how much we spend, how much we bleed, how much we make our poorest, sickest, youngest and oldest suffer in pursuit of an illusory goal that in the end it won’t make a dime’s worth of difference. We’ll lose because what we did to those people from the very beginning was wrong. That makes Obama far worse in my book because he knows we’ll fail but he doesn’t have the fucking balls to stand up and say ENOUGH, I’m ending this now – just like many of us expected him to do in 2008.

    He’s not playing eleventy dimensional chess. He’s just a fucking coward looking out for his own ass and what he considers his reputation. He’s turned out to be as bad as the worst neocon in DC.

  13. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @CTuttle: ‘I would add that the only reason we left Iraq is because they wouldn’t approve the SOFA, and, hopefully Afghanistan will follow suit, if not we’ll still be in Afghanistan in 2020 ‘

    Exactly. We didn’t leave. We were forced out because we couldn’t be certain we could protect our soldiers from their laws when we fucked prisoners in the ass or bombarded cities with chemical weapons, err, depleted uranium.

  14. Independent Analyst says:

    Some information about physics of explosions, rockets, rocket construction and rocket propulsion, what the UN inspectors called “warheads” in their report, and chemical weapon (gas) canisters, and the peculiar lack of any such in the evidences shown the inspectors:
    1. When explosive rockets explode the explosion goes in all directions. Shaped and directed charges are designed to focus the predominant portion of the kinetic energy of the explosion in a particular direction, or directions (depending on the purpose desired), but all explosions blow in all directions. 2. Rocket motors are on the back ends of rockets. For this, when a rocket-bourne warhead explodes the explosion blows the rocket motor backwards. Rockets impact at the ends of their flights, when their fuel-weight is zero, or near, and rocket motors are fuel-containers and nozzles, so minus fuel they are light. 3. Rocket motors burn at their nozzles only, so rocket-motor remnants that are burnt evidence rocket motors that have been in explosions. 4. Rocket motor remnants that are thrown by explosions fly any which way and land any which way. Rarely do they land “rocket-like”, as if they nosed in. Never can an explosion-thrown rocket-motor’s “azimuth” direction (compass direction of longtitude of the armature) be relied upon to indicate the direction the rocket traveled from. 5. The burnt rocket motor remnants in the photos in the UN Inspectors’ report are the motor-armatures (the central tubes, which are the rocket frame, onto which all is fastened), fuel-retainers (the things seen to be ‘fins’ with a ring holding them rigidly in place. Solid fuel must be held in a rocket, so it does not get left behind when the rocket accelerates, and must also be fed to the combustion-chamber just before the nozzle and part of the nozzle. Acceleration feeds the fuel, which is between the armature tube and the outer shell that forms the rocket body. Fin-like retainers hold cold fuel and let heat-melted fuel slide through to combust), and oxidizer tanks (To maximize power fuel burn is enhanced in load-carrying rockets by addition of oxidizer. The oxidizer combines with the solid fuel and provides an oxygen-enrichened mixture to the flame at the nozzle). 6. Rockets are thin and long. You can tell, approximately, the length of a rocket from the diameter. The lengths of the rockets described in the UN Report would have been about 3 meters (10 feet) for the 14cm diameter one, and about 7 meters (20+ feet) for the 36cm ones. There is a lot of rocket in each instance that is not accounted for. 7. As can be recognized from this information, the tanks called “warheads” in the UN Report,located 1meter 34cm from the tail of a 7 meter rocket is not likely to have been the rockets’ warheads. They are likely to have been the rocket-motor’s oxidizer tanks, and any residual oxidizer in the tanks at explosion likely contributed to the flash that burnt the motor remnants. 8. Chemical weapons are deployed in cannisters. Anyone who has seen a substantial demonstration quashed by police, in person or on TV, has seen tear-gas deployed, often rocket-propelled as grenades, has seen them land and perhaps seen them picked up and lobbed back by demonstrators. Obviously the cnnisters are not hot. Any who has seen an area wher a crowd was dispersed after the dispesal will have seen the empthy cannisters, not burnt, but with the green or yellow or whatever color paint still on them, perhaps dented and scuffed. 9. A recognized method for safely disposing of sarin gas is to burn, or incinerate, it. Sarin would not be dispersed in a fiery explosion that would leave the gas cannister burnt. There had to have been sarin-gas cannisters left, with paint and stencil-lettered warnings and labellings still on them after the gassing incident.

    So, what is presented in the UN Report is things called rockets that are not, placed to look “rocket-landed” and shot from where the planters wanted, oxidizer tanks described as “warheads”, and an absence of spent gas cannisters. The only real question the IN Report leaves to be answered is, where the IN Inspectors duped, or were they compllicit in thefabrication?

  15. Brenda Koehler says:

    @Bay State Librul:
    First of all we’re not out of Afghanistan, and it’s no thanks to Obama that we’re out of Iraq. He wanted to stay.

    He’s not a good man at all. He’s a war criminal in the manner of Bush and Cheney.

  16. ess emm says:

    Some interesting quotes from Rouhani:

    Coercive economic and military policies and practices geared to the maintenance and preservation of old superiorities and dominations have been pursued in a conceptual mindset that negates peace, security, human dignity, and exalted human ideals. Ignoring differences between societies and globalizing Western values as universal ones represent another manifestation of this conceptual mindset. Yet another reflection of the same cognitive model is the persistence of Cold War mentality and bi-polar division of the world into “superior us” and “inferior others.”

    This one was good too:

    Commensurate with the political will of the leadership in the United States and hoping that they will refrain from following the short-sighted interest of warmongering pressure groups, we can arrive at a framework to manage our differences…..In recent years, a dominant voice has been repeatedly heard: “The military option is on the table.” Against the backdrop of this illegal and ineffective contention, let me say loud and clear that “peace is within reach.

  17. bevin says:

    “The US and other western allies attempted to impose a colony of Jews on Arabs after WWII because they didn’t know what to do with the survivors in Europe and they felt guilty about what happened.”
    And they sure as hell weren’t ready to offer them the asylum they had refused throughout the 1930s.
    Who can doubt that the battered, terrorised, diseased and famished remnants of the “holocaust” would not have chosen north America over Palestine as a refuge? Instead tens of thousands of former Nazis and their, fiercely anti-communist, collaborators were allowed into Canada, and, no doubt, the US too.

  18. Bay State Librul says:


    Hey, lefty I’ll change my name to Bay State Troll, will that work for you?
    Geez, you guys are brutal in your attacks and hatred of Obama.
    I’m disappointed that such venom exists.
    I don’t think name calling such as war criminal, coward, etc. serve any useful purpose.
    I guess if I mentioned Obama got Osama bin Looney, you would tell me that he had nothing to do with it.
    I mean really can you give me a positive take on anything he has done.
    Nobody can tell me: Who in the Democratic Party fits in with your world
    view and can win the 2016 election so that your goals are attained?
    I do like the term “neo-liberal” rather than “neo-con” to categorize his
    foreign policy.

  19. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Bay State Librul: Speaking only for myself I don’t ‘hate the guy’. I’m also not fooled by him either. His track record speaks for itself and in terms of his speech today and his foreign policy it really hasn’t turned out to be much different than Bush’s and in some ways is worse.

  20. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @bevin: All true and regrettable but it doesn’t change the dynamic that Israel today is basically indefensible due to its geographic location and the advancement of modern science which includes low cost rocketry. No matter what has happened in the intervening years and how many speeches have been made the Israelis will never be safe in that location unless the US manages to occupy and then pacify land far enough out from Israel proper to remove the threat of those low cost rockets and Obama knows this. So do the Israelis but they don’t have the resources or manpower to do anything about it which is why they go to such great lengths to keep the US involved. It’s our intervening in all the societies surrounding Israel that is causing the problems today and unfortunately for the Israelis the US doesn’t have the resources or manpower to keep doing this indefinitely either. Obama knows this also. So does Putin, the Iranians and others in the area and time is on their side. The disappointment with Obama stems from his continuing and in some ways expanding a losing strategy while allowing our own society to continue to degrade from the inefficient use of resources as we direct resources to the military as opposed to internal development for our citizens.

  21. Bay State Librul says:


    Point taken.
    Your assumption that Bush = Obama, is in my opinion not valid.

    The NYTimes today underscores the issue:

    “In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama gave some coherence to his foreign policy vision, which acknowledges both America’s role in the world and its limited ability to determine events inside other nations. He also set important, if incomplete, priorities for the rest of his term. Mr. Obama is well known for giving good speeches, so the question is whether he can implement a consistent, effective strategy to achieve his goals.”

    The jury is out…. hope he can, but diplomacy is complex

  22. SpanishInquisition says:

    @Bay State Librul: “I don’t think name calling such as war criminal, coward, etc. serve any useful purpose.”

    War criminals should always be called out, which that does serve a purpose. Not calling them out only encourages there to be even more war criminals.

    “I guess if I mentioned Obama got Osama bin Looney, you would tell me that he had nothing to do with it.”

    Clearly it doesn’t as Obama has done absolutely nothing to roll back the post 9/11 security state and is in fact perpetuating it and enlarging it.

  23. SpanishInquisition says:

    @Bay State Librul: Yes, Obama gives good speeches, but it’s not exactly a big differentiator between Bush and Obama. However, I will grant you that not even Bush willfully assassinated US citizens, so I will grant you they are different that way.

  24. Lefty665 says:

    @Bay State Librul: @31 That’d probably make actual liberals feel better.

    It’s not name calling any more than saying Sarin is nerve gas. It is labeling based on observed behavior. Pretty rational really. Hard to understand how you could hang around here and not understand how pervasively O has failed us. Hence the troll suggestion.

    Please do not mistake, I do not hate O. I am profoundly distressed by many of the things he has done in our names as President. I believe that in a just world he would be impeached and put in the dock for war crimes abroad and sedition at home, right alongside Duhbya et al.

    I think it is wonderful O let Summers convince him not to nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the CFPB. That craven act gave us Warren in the Senate, and Summers NOT at the Fed. It’s a twofer.

    I would support Warren wholeheartedly in 2016. She is actually in the FDR, New Deal wing of the Democratic Party. That is opposed to the right wing, Clintonista, blue dog, DLC, Dick Morris toe sucking, neo-liberals that have been driving us down the road to perdition.

  25. Bay State Librul says:


    As I told you before, I’m not enamored. I don’t get daily briefs, and my expertise, if any, is in finance rather than diplomacy.
    I will give you my opinion on Obama’s goals: To call out Assad for gassing his own people and children…. Obama does not want war.
    It’s only an opinion, I’m not in Obama’s head nor am I an expert in foreign affairs diplomacy….

  26. Jeff says:

    “The President addressed Russian and Chinese obstructionism on Syria. Their abuse of veto power has, in the words of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, held the Security Council “hostage.”

    But the President wasn’t willing to acknowledge U.S. obstructionism and abuse of its own veto power. Since China joined the United Nations in 1971, that country has used its veto power eight times, while Russia (and formerly the Soviet Union) during that same period used its veto power eighteen times.

    By comparison, the United States has used its veto power during this period 83 times, most recently when Obama ordered a veto of an otherwise-unanimous UN Security Council resolution reiterating the illegality of Israeli settlements in territories under foreign belligerent occupation and calling for a freeze on the construction of new settlements.”


  27. DWBartoo says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    What is the evidence, BSL, irrefutable proof, at this time, or in the foreseeable future, that Assad is guilty of “gassing his own people and children”. What is the basis of your conviction that your assertion is true?

    Every citizen, regardless of their expertise, ought to be concerned with the whole of the truth, and especially with active deceptions which evade or deny the truth, for whatever is done shall be done in the name of we citizens … and we bear responsibility for everything that is claimed to have been done, or will be done, in our names.

    You might wish to take a look at this:


    or not …


  28. GulfCoastPirate says:

    @Bay State Librul: If you are not ‘enamored’ then my apologies; however, I fail to see how Obama’s goal is to ‘call out’ Assad or anyone else for the use of gas (chemicals) when he has failed to call out others (including his own soldiers) for the use of, among other things, Agent Orange, white phosphorus and depleted uranium. My expertise may be in physics as opposed to finance but I’m quite certain finance people are aware that phosphorus and uranium are chemicals.

    Look, people are disappointed in him because of his hypocrisy and his duplicity. If he was worried about the people of Syria then he would have called a halt to the initiatives of his ‘friends’ who are financing the Syrian invaders. He didn’t do that. He waited until those invaders were getting their asses kicked before going along with this chemical warfare stunt where it isn’t even clear he’s telling the truth when it comes to his indictment of Assad. He’s also being hypocritical when it comes to Iran. He has no problem exposing the Iranian people to the severest of sanctions when they have done nothing wrong, are members of the NNPT and cooperate with the IAEA while providing cover for the Israelis who have refused to cooperate or declare their arsenal to any of the international bodies.

    Even if many of us knew we would disagree with specific policies we didn’t expect a complete liar and hypocrite like those that came before him.

  29. DWBartoo says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    Ah, you cannot conceive of any other possibility? Who else is “party” to the “dispute”?

    These folks? The ones Obama claims are the “good guys”?


    You might consider the implications raised by the above linked post, BSL, for it may well bring further embarrassment and even disrepute to Obama. I suggest that it is worth the read simply that you not be taken by surprise, later on, that you might understand some of the skepticism regarding Obama and his intentions that you encounter here and possibly elsewhere.


  30. Bay State Librul says:


    I did not do well in Chem 101, although I didn’t blow up any of my
    Maybe you can experiment with this.
    I know you are disappointed in Obama. Did you vote for him in 2012?
    I get disappointed in my audits every day, but try not to sour if things don’t go my way. You win some, you lose some.
    Give Obama some slack, that’s all I’m saying.

  31. DWBartoo says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    “Give Obama some slack”.

    BSL, giving someone “slack” requires that you trust that person, that you trust them to be honest, that you trust them to tell you the whole of the truth.

    I’m now convinced that Obama has, repeatedly, failed that simple and necessary test … which is why there has been so much mention of deceit and lying … You may call that simply opinion, or the result of “hating on Obama”, yet when many, many people arrive at the same conclusion, as you must have noticed on this thread then, either you have missed something they have not, or you simply refuse to pay honest attention to the actual consequences of Obama’s policies and actions, not merely the cadence of his, so far as I am concerned, mesmerizing and intentionally misleading or blatantly dishonest words.

    And please, do not suggest that Obama would do better but the haters and the Republicans have tied his hands and stymied his best efforts.

    As evidence of his better doing, might EW’s post, “Question: What Do David Barron and Jay Bybee Have in Common?”, which follows this one, serve as typical example?


  32. DWBartoo says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    I am not certain who did do it, BSL, and that is why there is not (if ever there is) sufficient reason to kill anyone in “retaliation”, which is the very term Obama chose to use when he wanted to attack Syria.

    This is not about “belief”, it is about actual proof, and that quaint notion of due process, of knowing, based on actual fact, of assessing how much, if any, doubt surrounds what is known or may be discovered. I suggest there was a rush to judgment, an assumption of guilt, that has NOT been proven, at best, at the very best, there are questions, and this is where I ask if you have seen the UN report, if you have read it, or any discussion about it, beyond what the administration claims or implies that the report says?

    Giving someone some “slack”, by the way, does not mean that we should invite them to lead us into another war based on, at best, uncertainty, and at worst, another lie.

    “Slack” is appropriate when the outcome is not life and death or commitment to perpetual war. It is about whether you can trust the dog not to piss on the rug, that you hope he has learned that, if he has not, then back to the kennel … he goes.

    Ah, well, BSL … this has been …


  33. Bay State Librul says:


    Fair enough

    You do not know, and you want to wait for undeniable proof.
    I believe what Obama and Kerry have said.

    In any case, I think the “threat” of doing something hopefully will lead to results and progress (optimistic), and thankfully so far to
    no strikes.

  34. DWBartoo says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    No, that is not fair enough, BSL.

    You may believe Obama and Kerry, yet I do not see any indication that you have sought, for yourself and your own piece of mind, to even bother to examine such evidence as exists. Neither, for that matter, had Obama and Kerry before they launched their war-drum rhetoric, in fact, both wanted to push ahead without the UN report and even sought to denigrate its worth, or halt its completion.

    That is not the behavior I expect in those who represent my interests and those of my fellow citizens.

    Yes, I am glad further violence and destruction have been avoided, and hope that may auger well in future, yet I cannot see that Obama may claim, as this very post addresses, that such was his intent and the result of his efforts from the beginning. That he does so is disingenuous, at best, and definitely calculated, in any case, to deflect attention away from the rashness of this administrations first belligerent (and unthinking) response, all wrapped, as it was, in the colors of patriotism, political jingoism and far less than credible appeals to uninformed emotion. It was very Bush-like, in all regards.


  35. Lefty665 says:

    @Bay State LibrulYou seem to understand Warren. How do you fail to understand so much else?

    O has opposed, undercut, or at best given lukewarm support to Warren. How does that reconcile with “I trust Obama and Kerry”? That’s the easy stuff. It gets harder with:

    Bailing out the .1% and leaving the rest of the country to rot.
    Ordering the deaths of more innocents, women, children, old folks than all the domestic mass shootings combined during his administration.
    Murder of U.S. citizens with no due process.
    Massive domestic spying that guts the Bill of Rights.

    That’s just for starters. There is blood on those items.
    Devil’s advocate is one thing. Devil’s handmaiden quite another.

  36. DWBartoo says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    I doubt that you shall find any use for this link, BSL, as it confounds your beliefs, yet, in the hope that you might click on some links that might challenge, if not change, your thoughts I offer it to you and to others … for Kevin’s analysis, in my opinion, is superbly spot-on.


    and this, as well:


    written by Peter Van Buren.


  37. Bay State Librul says:


    I think you may be using hyperbole?

    I do not agree with Obama 100% of the time.
    He has made mistakes.
    I’d like to see criminal indictments on the financial meltdown.
    I do believe Obama believes in the middle class but has been stymied by
    Again, rather have Barry than the Republican dicks.

  38. DWBartoo says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    BTW, BSL, Van Buren includes a link to the UN report, and especially mentions the “Conclusions” on page 5 and a concern on page 22, that evidence might be being manipulated.

    And, if you think certain commenters, here, are given to hyperbole, then, no doubt, Black Agenda Report must often seem to you to be close to blasphemy? If you’ve never read BAR, Glen Ford offers this analysis of Obama’s UN speech:



  39. Lefty665 says:

    @Bay State Librul: “I think you may be using hyperbole?” Not really. The issues I’ve cited, as have others, merit impeachment and trial for war crimes. Period, fact.

    Obama has funneled more than a years worth of GDP ($15T+)into the TBTF banks, and left homeowners to rot. If you have expertise in finance you know that.

    Obama has ordered strikes that have in fact killed more innocents, even if you just count women, children and old folks than all the domestic mass shootings while he has been in office. Who is the bigger mass murderer, Adam Lanza or the Nobel Prize winning President?

    Obama has ordered strikes that in have in fact killed U.S. citizens, including at least one U.S. child without due process.

    Turning NSA inward and Obama’s massive expansion of its collection is precisely the general warrant our founders outlawed, and prior generations of NSAers warned enabled tyranny.

    It is disgusting to hide behind the “lesser evil” dodge. Under your logic I should trust Obama because he might not be as bad as Mittens might have been. Under your logic I should “trust” Obama because he has killed fewer innocents than Pol Pot. Bullsh*t.

    Have you no sense of decency?

  40. sturgeonmouth says:

    @Bay State Librul:

    To me, saying you trust Obama because “he knows more than we do” sounds a lot like “God works in mysterious ways.” Both are convenient phrases used to dismiss evidence that threatens one’s faith.

    Just a few days before Kerry’s accidental diplomacy, Kerry was caught embracing figures provided by a 26 year old, self-proclaimed “Syria expert” — who was subsequently fired because she lied about having a PhD — over the figures provided by US intelligence agencies. How exactly does that instill faith in Kerry? Despite both incidents, Obama hasn’t fired Kerry or asked for his resignation. How does that instill faith in Obama?

    I voted for Kerry in 2004, Obama in 2008 and 2012, and would do so again under those circumstances, but I don’t, and never did, have faith.

  41. Lefty665 says:

    @Bay State Librul: If that is true then 10% have their heads screwed on straight. That’s a start.

    One strike Obama ordered killed six more women and two more children than Adam Lanza did.

    If Lanza qualifies as a mass murderer why not Obama? Framed the other way, was Lanza just a few bodies short of a Nobel Peace Prize?

    Impeachment, and trial alongside Duhbya is the right thing. We are not likely to get it, but that is guaranteed if “trust” means we just step around the corpses and body parts.

    Once upon a time the citizens of Boston were roused to revolution in part by indiscriminate British searches authorized by general warrants. Today you would have us “trust” Obama that more invasive searches, conducted in secret on us all, are just fine and will not lead to tyranny. Sam Adams you ain’t.

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