Predictable … and Pathetic

 

From the Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON – The U.S.-Russian plan for the removal or destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough just days ago, appeared to run into trouble Wednesday as the Obama administration backed off a deadline for the Syrian government to submit a full inventory of its toxic stockpiles and facilities to international inspectors.

The State Department signaled that it does not expect Syrian President Bashar Assad to produce the list within seven days, as spelled out in the framework deal that Washington and Moscow announced last weekend in Geneva.

Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman, said Wednesday that “our goal is to see forward momentum” by Saturday, not the full list. “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline.”

There’s a playbook for these kinds of things and it looks like the Syrians will follow it to perfection. Exploiting the combination of bureaucratic inertia and diplomatic indulgence, they’ll drag every step of the process out as a long as they can, all the while watching the Western will to respond decline.

They know President Obama was simply looking for an escape hatch from his “red line” commitment and that actually implementing the plan is superfluous to the political needs of all parties involved. Be prepared for a very long and embarrassing dance.

There are 21 comments.

  1. Devereaux Inactive

    I admit this is embarrassing for Obama, but I see no embarrassment for the rest of us. Syria is a civil war. Both sides are brutal. It is silly to think that the “rebels” would not use chemical weapons if they had them.

    Personally I don’t much care who wins. Assad may be the lessor of two evils. He has been reasonably secular, protecting the Christians, who are now being butchered by the “rebels” – of which there is little talk. ?Where’s the “red line” there.

    • #1
    • September 19, 2013, at 8:36 AM PDT
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  2. WI Con Member

    Yes, but he personally killed Bin Laden while playing bridge.

    • #2
    • September 19, 2013, at 8:37 AM PDT
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  3. Done Contributor

    And you all said the administration didn’t have a foreign policy. “Predictably Pathetic”

    It doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Freedom Agenda”, but it is alliterative.

    The State Department signaled that it does not expect Syrian President Bashar Assad to produce the list within seven days, as spelled out in the framework deal that Washington and Moscow announced last weekend in Geneva.

    “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline.”

    Under the Predictably Pathetic doctrine, the administration cannot be wrong, as the goal posts are constantly moving.

    • #3
    • September 19, 2013, at 8:39 AM PDT
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  4. Devereaux Inactive
    Frank Soto: And you all said the administration didn’t have a foreign policy. “Predictably Pathetic”

    It doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Freedom Agenda”, but it is alliterative.

    The State Department signaled that it does not expect Syrian President Bashar Assad to produce the list within seven days, as spelled out in the framework deal that Washington and Moscow announced last weekend in Geneva.

    “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline.”

    Under the Predictably Pathetic doctrine, the administration cannot be wrong, as the goal posts are constantly moving. · 5 minutes ago

    Rather like “I didn’t draw a red line.”

    • #4
    • September 19, 2013, at 8:46 AM PDT
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  5. Omid Moghadam Inactive

    Whatever deterrent President Bush established is now squandered away. If I was an American ally like Japan and South Korea, I would be seriously thinking about developing alternatives to the promises made in US mutual defense treaties. Perhaps Honda and Samsung should start making missile defense systems and nuclear war heads.

    • #5
    • September 19, 2013, at 8:55 AM PDT
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  6. Liver Pate Inactive

    “The 1970’s phoned Mr. President; Carter wants his capitulation back.”

    • #6
    • September 19, 2013, at 8:57 AM PDT
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  7. tabula rasa Member

    You would think that a filthy despot with WMD would keep a good current inventory.

    We’ll get the list sometime in 2015.

    • #7
    • September 19, 2013, at 9:09 AM PDT
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  8. Mike H Coolidge

    Has it ever been this transparent?

    • #8
    • September 19, 2013, at 9:10 AM PDT
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  9. Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Indeed. This is happening because Obama wanted not to stop Assad from using chemical weapons but to get out of his own rhetorical quicksand.

    • #9
    • September 19, 2013, at 9:10 AM PDT
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  10. KC Mulville Inactive

    Perhaps Obama can set up a blue ribbon commission to study the matter, issue a report, and then submit it for his review.

    ‘Cause as we all know, nothing says deterrence and intimidation from using WMDs like a blue ribbon commission.

    That’ll show ’em.

    • #10
    • September 19, 2013, at 9:23 AM PDT
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  11. Marion Evans Inactive

    Michael Totten writes that this project is Mission Impossible in Syria. He says that the US destroyed a chemical weapons arsenal in Oregon and it took them eight years to do it, although it was under the full control of the US army and in peaceful Oregon. Read the article, it is worth it.

    This deal is unrealistic not only because it is irrational to think that Assad will be truthful with disclosure etc., but also because destroying or securing these weapons in the middle of a civil war would be very difficult, if at all feasible.

    • #11
    • September 19, 2013, at 9:48 AM PDT
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  12. Paul Dougherty Member
     “We’ve never said it was a hard and fast deadline.”

    I think the bigger point is that, even if they had said it was a “hard and fast deadline”, at this point, what would it matter?.

    • #12
    • September 19, 2013, at 11:23 AM PDT
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  13. Man With the Axe Member
    Mike H: Has it ever been this transparent? · 2 hours ago

    Now we know why they call themselves the most transparent administration in history.

    • #13
    • September 19, 2013, at 11:34 AM PDT
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  14. barbara lydick Coolidge

    While this could be expanded into a three-page essay, herewith the bones:

    Perhaps this is what O meant when he whispered to Medvedev in March of 2012 that he could be more flexible in his second term – in addition to missile defense, that is. Putin did not let this go un-noted in his long-term strategy. Enter Kerry – who, somehow forgetting that Putin opposes American foreign policy on Syria (and Asia and Latin America) set the stage for Putin’s entrance into the situation. And Putin has been playing O ever since, with Assad taking his cues from Putin as evidenced by O’s latest red line fiasco.

     What are the predictions for North Korea, et al.?

    • #14
    • September 19, 2013, at 11:45 AM PDT
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  15. Raw Prawn Member

    The last time I saw Assad on TV, he was complaining that it would cost at least a billion dollars to get rid of the chemical weapons he doesn’t have and wondering if the American government would be prepared to bear that cost. He was clearly offering Obama a way to save face. Obama could buy the chemical weapons and, should the worst happen, he could use them on the tea party.

    This Syria mess is like the Skip Gates affair on a global scale. Obama ran his mouth on the basis of his prejudices and without being in possession of all of the facts.

    This shambles is a product of the Democrat practice of running foreign policy for domestic consumption, and not for any long term goal but for next weeks gallup pole.

    The free world can only hope this affair will disappear down the memory hole when the next disaster happens, and a next disaster will surely happen.

    • #15
    • September 20, 2013, at 2:45 AM PDT
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  16. Larry3435 Member
    KC Mulville: Perhaps Obama can set up ablue ribbon commission to study the matter, issue a report, and then submit it for his review.

    ‘Cause as we all know, nothing says deterrence and intimidation from using WMDs like a blue ribbon commission.

    That’ll show ’em. · 4 hours ago

    What are you, a warmonger? How dare you suggest the use of a blue ribbon commission in a conflict where the US has no vital strategic interests?

    By the way, in the photo above, does it strike anyone else that Kerry and Obama are posing for the camera while discussing the relative merits of Cap’n Crunch vs. Frosted Flakes?

    • #16
    • September 20, 2013, at 5:42 AM PDT
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  17. Paul Dougherty Member
    KC Mulville: Perhaps Obama can set up ablue ribbon commission to study the matter, issue a report, and then submit it for his review.

     

    I humbly point out one stage you left out. The stage where he ignores what his panel does and never mentions it again. (Simpson-Bowles anyone?).

    • #17
    • September 20, 2013, at 6:00 AM PDT
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  18. Scott R Member

    Ah, the “great step forward”, according to Rand Paul.

    And, yes, I understand that taking that swipe makes me a statist. Or something.

    • #18
    • September 20, 2013, at 6:46 AM PDT
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  19. Annegeles Reagan

    Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum.

    Yale and Harvard. Big deal.

    • #19
    • September 20, 2013, at 8:31 AM PDT
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  20. Rudolf Halbensinn Member
    Raw Prawn: The last time I saw Assad on TV, he was complaining …

    The free world can only hope this affair will disappear down the memory hole when the next disaster happens, and a next disaster will surely happen. · 6 hours ago

    No, no Prawn. Don’t let the free world let it disappear down the memory hole. Don’t ever forget.

    • #20
    • September 21, 2013, at 7:49 AM PDT
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  21. Omid Moghadam Inactive

    I wish I was a third world despot now… boy, could I have fun with this clown college worth of clowns running US foreign policy.

    • #21
    • September 23, 2013, at 9:28 AM PDT
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