Red Line? What Red Line?

I’m kind of a neo-con. Kind of. I have no qualms about using overwhelming military force in defense of US interests. I’m not a GWB kind of neo-con, because I would have flattened any neighborhood in Baghdad (or any other city) where our forces took fire and I would have reduced Fallujah to rubble about the size of my little toe nail and paved over that. I prefer a “kinder, gentler” kind of war where our troops take less hostile fire because the price is too high, and I don’t believe in the concept of a “civilian” in Middle Eastern fight.

So, bottom line, I have no issues with bombing Syria into the stone ages. However, I have real issues giving Barack Obama Congressional permission to do it.

I don’t find any constitutional restrictions that would stop Obama from launching a missile strike on Syria without ever mentioning it to the Congress. After all, the best President in my lifetime, Ronald Wilson Reagan, conducted a three day shooting war in Grenada with boots on the ground and didn’t mention it to the Congress.

Red Lines in the SandMy problem is with Mr. Obama, and I find the action he wants to undertake to be nothing more than an exercise in fecklessness. It’s his opportunity, as President of the United States, to vote “Present” and use “his” military to do it. This President (or should we refer to him as “Present”) is known for obfuscation and dalliance when it comes to decision making. Word is that Valarie Jarrett actually gave the “GO” on the bin Laden attack, he didn’t even bother with a briefing on Benghazi and he’s been waffling on this for over a year.

As the president has weighed military action, talk of a moral response to the atrocity has been clouded by a discussion of how America’s reputation would suffer if Obama did not act. A year ago, Obama said Syria’s use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line.” If you read his entire answer, Obama tries to dilute his comment almost immediately. He says his “calculus” and his “equation” would change, words that are meant to give him room to move. He didn’t want to box himself into a military-only response. But when you use terms like “red line,” it tends to make people not listen to the rest of the sentence. That’s why you use the term in the first place.

Keep in mind, that paragraph comes from Slate Magazine, a renowned cheerleader for the Present’s agenda.

Tough talk but so what? Well, here’s what.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey being questioned by Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) speaking about a resolution to authorize military action.

Keep in mind that Obama made the “Red Line” speech over a year ago so the administration has had lots of time to put together a military response.

DEMPSEY: The answer to whether I support additional support for the moderate opposition is yes.

CORKER: And this authorization will support those activities in addition to responding to the weapons of mass destruction.

DEMPSEY: I don’t know how the resolution will evolve, but I support –

CORKER: What you’re seeking. What is it you’re seeking?

DEMPSEY: I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.

Got that? No plan. As in no “Plan A”, no “Plan B”. Zip, nada, bupkis, zilch, zero. Nothing.

The Present is asking Congress for permission – when there is no Constitutional reason for him to ask and his aides have agreed with that position – to attack Syria. To put US troops in harms way – Syria apparently has the latest version of a Chinese anti-ship missile – and they don’t have a plan.

I don’t go to the grocery store without a plan and this jackass wants to put US troops under the gun without a clue what we’re going to do? Oh, and Boehner, Cantor, McCain, Graham and the STUPID caucus are supporting this stupidity.

Call your Congress Critter and your Senators. Tell them Hell No. In a nice way please.

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  • GarandFan

    Barry has a plan. As soon as things turn to shit, he’ll run like hell, making sure to blame Congress for not stopping him. The Chosen One shot his big mouth off, now the libs (and stupid Republicans) wail that we must do something or the credibility of the US is at stake. Really? So I guess I’ve been sleeping and that Iran has stopped it’s uranium enrichment program, and North Korea has stopped it’s ICBM program. Right?

    The only “credibility” at stake is Barry Obama’s. And given Fast and Furious, Libya and Benghazi………….HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY LEFT!

  • Lawrence Westlake

    Retarded blog post. Very emblematic, sadly, of the horrible demographics that disproportionately populate the Internet’s chattering classes. Sorry, Cochise, but petulently acting out like a two-year-old in his “no” phase is not how a country is run. Not in the real world. Not outside trust fund baby circles. Obviously Obama is a rank moron. Unquestionably the administration is a farce. Clearly they’ve botched this issue in ways that make Keystone Cops appear competent. Obviously he doesn’t need Congressional OK. All that goes without saying. But the reality — not the spoiled brat fantasy — is that he went to Congress for the OK. That’s what happened. So unless you want the U.S. to complete its descent into a banana republic — and to mirror the effeminate, useless Brits — the only conclusion is that Congress needs to play ball. “Sending messages” are for Western Union, not for people with actual responsibilities. Clue in. And grow up.

    • jim_m

      Sorry, if playing ball is giving this would be dictator the right to use the military without any plan whatsoever as to how he will use them the answer must be no.

      The fact is that the US will look weak and ineffectual as long as obama is president and probably will continue to do so if a dem replaces him.

      The issue is whether or not military intervention is warranted. To stop innocent civilians from being gassed – Yes. To aid al qaeda in its takeover of Syria – No. Military intervention made sense well over a year ago if you could have installed something that looked like a secular democracy. You can’t do that now. We have passed the point where intervention makes sense.

      Doing it to save obama’s image makes the worst sense of all.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        I can understand wanting to make Assad “pay” for using gas on his population [if that is what happened]. And, I will look past the fact that the North Korean regime has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of times as many of its population as has the Assad regime – all without any threat of retaliation.
        But, in my book, national interest trumps what appears to be at best humanitarian, at worst gratuitous, war-making. Who is going to pick up the pieces after Assad is gone? Who’s going to have access to Assad’s WMDs? Right now, my money is on Al Qaeda, you know that group thatt Obama single-handedly vanquished. Why are we making it possible for Al Qaeda to take over an entire country with its arsenal of weapons?
        If our goal is not to weaken the Assad regime so that it falls, then we look impotent [which is what Obama wanted, when he went on his apology tour of the middle east]. Assad appears from his bunker after the last cruise missile has done its limited damage and thumbs his nose at the US, making himself a hero to at least half of the middle east.
        From what I’ve read, we have no plan, no goal and little hope that anything good will come of this. Why are we doing it? To save what little credibility the utterly feckless Obama has left?

        • jim_m

          To be honest, with Egyptian television airing claims that obama is a member of the muslim brotherhood I wouldn’t doubt that he wants to intercede in Syria on behalf of the rebels simply because they are mostly al qaeda.

          (Now I will say that I take these allegations with a very large grain of salt. Right now the two most hated things in Egypt are the muslim brotherhood and obama so it does not surprise me that their news is trying to connect the two. But then again it would certainly make a lot of sense out of his ME policy)

          • That unfortunately makes sense out of a lot of things coming out of the White House these days. What happens when you combine Alinsky and Al Qaeda?

          • jim_m

            What happens when you combine Alinsky and Al Qaeda?

            You get a war where democracy and freedom are the first casualties.

          • Retired military

            We already had that war in Nov 2012 and democracy and Freedom lost.

      • I’m not even sure we should intervene in the case of Assad (or Al Quaeda) gassing civilians – as long as they’re HIS (well, nominally) civilians.

        We seem to have had little to no problem with them slaughtering each other (aside from the occasional ‘Tisk, tisk, naughty people!’ which seems to be what passes for international condemnation these days) with conventional munitions.

        It’s an internal matter, after all. As Walter points out, we haven’t done jack shit about North Korea, and there’ve been plenty of civil wars we haven’t stuck our (appendages) into overtly on either side.

        Are chemical weapons the red line, no matter how they’re used? If Assad had used them on another country, then no question – but as an internal matter it’s been our policy to stay out of civil wars. (Kinda. Supposedly.)

        Where’s the overwhelming need to intervene in the Syrian conflict?

        More and more it’s starting to look like Obama’s ego is calling the shots – and that’s not going to end well.

    • Retired military

      “Sending messages” are for Western Union, not for people with actual responsibilities.”

      Obama in Sweden: Failing to act in Syria will send message that despots ‘can continue to act with impunity

      Obama: Plan is a ‘limited, proportional’ strike to ‘degrade’ Syrian capacity and ‘send a message’

      Maybe you should tell Obama that

      “Sending messages” are for Western Union, not for people with actual responsibilities.”

      Oh and while you are at it
      “Clue in. And grow up”

  • Paul Hooson

    With the defeat in Parliament in Britain, and days of endless and fractured debate here in the U.S., Syria has already won here. – Syria now feels little will happen if they use chemical weapons again and even Iran feels emboldened that maybe using nuclear weapons in the future at some date won’t really evoke much of a reaction from a fractured Western coalition either, shellshocked into accepting anything goes as the norm as an aftermath of Iraq.

    • Texas_Accountant

      Why is this the “aftermath of Iraq?” I spoke at length with my son after he returned from Iraq (he was a counter insurgency officer). He used the image of the U.S. as the “toughest guy in the bar” and no one wanted to take him on – except to throw a bottle at the door while the tough guy was walking out, and claim that you “chased him out.” The current president made it look as though we were “running out of the bar” and our enemies no longer think of us as the “toughest guys.” Is there anything the current president has done to make any rogue nation believe that we are the toughest guys? Libya? I hear things are going just “swimmingly” there. Egypt? Syria?

      • Retired military

        Paul just wants to stick up for his hero. he is using Chico’s Option C canard.
        “Obama is bad but Bush was worse”

    • Retired military

      ” at some date won’t really evoke much of a reaction from a fractured Western coalition either”
      Hell the whole world knows that Obama wont act unless it benefits him politically and if he can blame someone else for it if it goes wrong.

  • jim_m

    I think we can safely say now that with McCain endorsing this insane course of action that we can once and for all dismiss his opinion on anything regarding the use of the military.

    I’m no isolationist but we should permanently dismiss anyone endorsing using military force where the Secy of State has said that he will not rule out putting “boots on the ground” and where they admit that they have absolutely no plan on what they are doing.

    [edit] SO by the admin’s own admission we will commit to an attack that will not stop Assad from killing civilians, won’t destroy his chemical weapons capability, won’t dramatically change the balance of power and may lead to sending troops to Syria. I can see no rational reason to do this. obama admits that it will be ineffective and may lead to our being embroiled in a situation that is worse than Iraq or Afghanistan. And McCain supports this? Who votes for this idiot?

    • Paul Hooson

      Jim M. Mr. Assad would like to thank you for your support here….But, more seriously, I like John McCain’s plan much better than whatever is going on with this White House. He has visited Syria and found a reliable group of rebel opposition to support that are moderate and committed to building a moderate nation. All that McCain is asking is that we knock out Assad’s air force, crater the military airport so Russia can send daily arms shipments to Assad’s army, and supply guns and light arms to this group. Sounds reasonable to me. – The other plan, by the new isolationists is to do nothing, build up resentment against the U.S. among these moderate rebels, and get a new government someday when Assad loses power, that is about as antiAmerican as Assad, but much better for the people of Syria than Assad.

      • I have seen no one here supporting Assad.

        Why do you want to spill the blood of our servicemen in a fight in which we have neither friends nor national interest, nor clear plan regarding desired outcome.

        Why do you hate our servicemen so?

        • Paul Hooson

          You’re talking to a man with a long family line of military service representing all four branches of service going back for generations here, Rodney. I’m well aware of any costs of American lives, that’s what I like about McCain’s plan. – There are no American boots on the ground just long range cruise missiles as well as aid to one particular rebel group. – The Obama plan is even more limited, and only seeks to degrade the potential for Assad to use his military to use more chemical attacks, and has no plan to arm a particular rebel group.

          • jim_m

            obama’s plan is even more limited than that. There is no hope whatsoever that he will degrade Assad’s chemical weapon capacity in any meaningful way. Furthermore Kerry admits that once we engage in such a manner he can see a circumstance where we are drawn in to committing troops on the ground.

            Not only does obama not have plans to arm the rebels he has no plan at all. They cannot even articulate how it is they intend to degrade Assad’s chem weapons capability.

          • Retired military

            Obama’s plan is to throw a few cruise missiles into Syria and say “hey we responded. They know better next time”
            sorta like when the UN sends a very very strongly worded letter to a dictator warning them that if they continue to act up that they will send another very very very strongly worded letter condemning them.

          • Texas_Accountant

            Mr. Hooson,
            How do you know President Obama’s plan? From what I have seen of the Senate hearings, the Commander of the Joint Chiefs does not think the President has a plan. I don’t understand your comment “a long family line of military service.” So what? I have as well. I also have a son serving in a combat unit and that doesn’t make Mr. Graves’ comment any less worthwhile.

          • Retired military

            But the libs have been saying FOR YEARS that if we bomb someone than
            a. we are just causing them to join Anti US terrorist groups.
            b. that we creating enemies of the people who get bombed and have nothing to do with the issue.
            c. committing war crimes with the collalateral damage.
            etc etc etc.
            Of course all that doesn’t matter anymore since a democrat is president.
            Were is Code Pink? Where are the Viet vets against Iraq?
            Where is Cindy Sheehan?
            Oh wait. The MSM has been told not to cover them if they dare open their mouths. Carry on, nothing to see here.

          • Of course you do…

      • Going in without an actual plan, and saying “Well, we’ll just lob some cruise missiles, then figure things from there” is a hell of a way to run a war.

        If you were to take a look at this histories of Gulf War 1, you’ll find that the insanely rapid response to the invasion of Kuwait was because of a lot of wargaming that had been done on various scenarios, and plans had been developed based on those scenarios. Nothing exactly fit – but (for example) an invasion of Europe by the USSR through the Fulda gap would require airlifting a metric fuckload of people and equipment as quickly as possible to a country far away – temporary camps would need to be set up, temp airfields, and so on. So a lot of the basics could be worked, while specifics were figured out.

        Like all wars, the plan worked until it made contact with reality – but they could adapt and overcome because they knew what the goal was – to kick Saddam out of Kuwait.

        In this case? There’s no goal. There may be a plan – but you don’t go blathering out your war plans to the media trying to make yourself look manly and decisive – even if that’s not what you’re going to do.

        As it is, Assad’s got plenty of time to disperse his assets and generally ready himself by putting the one thing we can’t target directly around them – civilians. Every death will be trumpeted in the ME media, and it won’t be Assad’s fault they were killed.

        It won’t be Obama’s fault, either. It’ll be the Republicans, evil nasty warmongers who forced, FORCED I say, Obama to go to war.

      • jim_m

        I like John McCain’s plan much better than whatever is going on with this White House.

        Sorry, but it’s hard to take seriously the man who was playing video poker on his smartphone during the hearings.

        He has found a moderate faction? I can find a seashell on the beach but it doesn’t mean that the beach isn’t made of sand. The opposition is overwhelmingly islamist.

        It’s funny listening to the left say how this is all reasonable without UN Security Counsel buy in, without any allies and without any plan. W had all that, including allies that can actually be named but his actions were declared “unilateral” by the left. Now obama comes in with none of the international support, indeed with international warnings and condemnations, and the left thinks that this is great!

        • “Sorry, but it’s hard to take seriously the man who was playing video poker on his smartphone during the hearings.”

          If his mind was already made up, then there’s no real need to pay attention to the blathering, is there?

          Seeing the swings, I’m wondering if there isn’t a file somewhere of those politicians caught in compromising positions. “Support Obama, or those pictures of you with the goat and the octopus on that drunken night 20 years ago are going to go viral.”)

        • Retired military

          But but DWS said that we have dozens of allies. All of them are on super secret probation though so we cant know who they are.

          • jim_m

            we have dozens of allies

            yeah, like the Republic of Candy Land and The Island of Misfit Toys,

          • Retired military

            You forgot the united socialist state of unicorn farts.

      • Retired military

        ” The other plan, by the new isolationists is to do nothing, build up resentment against the U.S. among these moderate rebels, and get a new government someday when Assad loses power, ”
        We have resentment no matter who is in charge in that reason. That is why I have repeatedly said that we don’t need to do things to make friends in that reason as they will hate us no matter what we do. Since that is an indisputeable fact we should simply do nothing as long as they don’t attack us.

    • Retired military

      McCain needs to go away. Not go away mad. Just go away.

  • Commander_Chico

    At least the essay comes to the right conclusion – vote NO.

    But has to show his creds as a tough-guy neocon. Woulda massacred everyone in Fallujah, does not believe in “civilians in a Middle Eastern fight,” “I have no issues with bombing Syria into the stone ages [in principle],” yada, yada.

    Then – – involved in the “pro-life” movement. You can’t make this shit up.

    General Dempsey has made it quite clear he is against this war.

    • Texas_Accountant

      I hate it when I agree with Commander_Chico.

    • SteveCrickmore075

      You’re practically the only dissenter Chico on this site, from the crazies, who have taken over here, (as well as in the Republican party), and learned absolutely nothing from the Iraqi war or the Vietnam war. But remember nearly every day, jim m and company, informs us that conservatives, such as our poster, Michael Becker ” I would have reduced Fallujah to rubble about the size of my little toe nail”, are known for their nuance and sensitivity and liberals are the fascists who are unable to treat and see individuals as sovereign. You are right you can’t make this up!

  • Asking for Congress approval kind of gets Obama off hook for the ‘red line’ comment. While it will make him look a little bad on the world stage if Congress votes against him, it won’t appear as bad as Syria calling his bluff and him not doing anything.

    • Hank_M

      “Asking for Congress approval kind of gets Obama off hook the ‘red line’ comment. ”

      Exactly. And yet, at the same time, one has to marvel at the unbelievable irony of this action by Obama.

  • LiberalNightmare

    As much as I enjoy watching the democratic party turn into the progressive wing of the neocon party, the whole thing does prompt a question or two.
    Does the president have the legal authority?
    Meh. Probably. Its not likely that he has the balls to pull the trigger without finding someone else to blame first – *cough* congress *cough*. And of course, it wouldnt be right if I failed to point out that our present commander in chief questioned that authority when it was politically useful to him.

    Does the democratic party have the moral authority to lead the nation into war?
    The answer is no.

    These are the same democrats that voted to allow bush to invade iraq, then spent years claiming the war was illegal. Remember “bush lied people died”?

    Remember Harry Reid declaring the war in Iraq lost?

    Remember the mock impeachmenttrial that the dems held in the basement?

    Remember mothers putting their kids in front of army supply trains? Code pink?

    Hey, here’s a question – where did those Syrian chemical weapons come from anyway?
    Former Iraqi general Georges Sada claimed that in late 2002, Saddam had ordered all of his stockpiles to be moved to Syria.

    Let us not forget, Americas representative to the world, winner of three purple hearts, unofficial ambassador to the north vietnamese army, the winter soldier himself … John “I never met a soldier that I didnt accuse of human rights violations” Kerry.

    And now, these feckless, pieces of crap want to drag us into a war. If you are a democrat, you should be ashamed of yourself and your bullshit, politically opportunistic party. Your party stands for nothing.

    • jim_m

      Kerry says that air strikes on Syria will not be an act of war.

      Remember Pearl Harbor? I’ll wager the men still on board the Arizona think differently.

  • Hank_M

    Have you seen the latest from the bloviator-in-chief?

    “President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the red line he outlined last year
    regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons came from international treaties and
    past congressional action, and now it is time for the international community to
    make good on its opposition to the banned armaments.

    “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line,” Obama told reporters…”

    • alanstorm

      A “red” line?


      Sorry – having attacks of liberalitis lately. That’s where your IQ drops to zero and your ego inflates to infinity.

      • Retired military

        I was for the red line before I was against it.

  • Vagabond661

    Obama, August 20,2012:”We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation.”

    Obama, September 4, 2013:”I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line,” Obama told reporters on the first day of a four-day trip to Sweden and Russia to attend a G-20 summit in St. Petersburg.

    I see….it’s the world’s fault.

    • Jwb10001

      When everything is good it’s all I, me, mine. When it turns to shit it’s Bush, international community, congress, republicans, Rush Limbaugh. The buck definitely gets passed from his desk to the underside of the bus.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        When you look at the totality of President Present’s record, I think the only thing he’s taken responsibility for is personally leading Seal Team 6 into Pakistan to kill Osama. Other than that, as you say, it’s Bush’s, the Republicans’, the world’s, and/or the galaxy’s fault.

    • jim_m

      “If you have a red line, you didn’t draw that red line, somebody else drew it for you.”

  • Par4Course

    Fox News is reporting that John McCain has withdrawn his support from Obama’s plan – because it’s not aggressive enough! “Ariz. Sen. John McCain, the president’s strongest ally for a strike in Syria, deals administration a setback by opposing a Senate proposal for use of force, pushing for a more aggressive approach.” McCain is wrong (as is becoming usual for him) but perhaps his stance will get a more Republicans thinking about whether this is a good idea. A Drudge Report Poll showed less than 9% support for attacking Syria. All the national polls show well under 50% support for this insanity. I don’t doubt Assad is a monster who murders his people by the tens of thousands but he’s been doing that throughout this revolution, not just in the last month. We have abandoned our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we don’t need another war – especially a war with a country like Syria that poses no threat to the U.S.

  • Retired military

    “the buck doesn’t stop here” – President Obama Sept 4, 2013

  • Retired military

    Personally I think we need to stay the hell out of Syria and not go anywhere near them. Assad is aligned with Iran and the muslim brotherhood is the opposition. Lose lose of us no matter which one wins.
    Obama should have given a speech and say that given his previous statements of not interfering with other countries (the MSM would conveniently leave out Libya) that the UN should handle Syria without the US sending any money, troops, supplies or bombing anyone for any reason. As long as the US is left alone than we will leave them alone.
    Instead Obama stuck his foot in his mouth and make the red line comment and now he looks like a coward Typical liberal.

  • Retired military

    Every republican in the house should vote present and say they were inspired by Obama’s record of votes in Congress. Let the dems hang this one around their necks along with McCain, Graham, and all the other Rinos.

  • Retired military

    Has Obama the wonder boy thought of this.
    a. Obama has stated that Assad has used WMD.
    This of course means that Assad is guilty of international war crimes.
    b. Since Obama has stated we have proof that Assad is guilty of international war crimes than Assad has 2 futures.
    b1. He stays in power. Which means that he wont be punished.
    b2. He loses power.
    Now lets look at B2.
    Assad gets thrown out of power which means he is a dead man either by
    a. The people in the streets tearing him limb from limb
    b. The international criminal court
    c. Fighting for his life in the war.
    Since we have now established that Assad has no chance at a long life except by staying in power than he has EVERY reason to use EVERY thing at his disposal to stay in power.
    Simply put. If Assad didn’t use chemical weapons before he now has every incentive use them and everything else in his arsenal to stay in power and thus stay alive.
    Thank you Mr President “the buck doesn’t stop here”

  • Retired military


    • jim_m

      It’s about neither. It’s only about obama’s image.

      • Retired military

        Too true

  • Retired military

    I don’t know anything about this site but could Obama be interested more in natural gas than in deadly gas.

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  • Commander_Chico

    Kerry’s at the end of the clip –

    I got a comment in on a story on him in Stars and Stripes