Foreign policy or satire: Hard to tell

A major U.S. newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, actually reported the following as straight news and not satire …

One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.

“They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” he said.

That is now our official foreign policy — avoid mockery, which is the surest possible way to invite mockery.

38 comments on “Foreign policy or satire: Hard to tell

  1. Nyp says:

    are you for or against a military strike against Syria to punish it for using chemical weapons?

  2. There is no point in “punishing” people who pray for the apocalypse. You must kill them.

  3. Rincon says:

    The mistake was telling the enemy what we would do if they used chemical weapons. Never divulge your strategy to the enemy and never make a threat unless you plan to follow through. We need to keep our noses out of this except as part of a large coalition as in the Gulf War. Even then, we should avoid playing an overly large role.

  4. Rincon says:

    The “U.S. official” quoted should be terminated. Saying this to the press was stoopid with two o’s!

  5. Milty says:

    “No one starts a war–or rather, no one in his sense ought to do so–without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by the war and how he intends to conduct it.” ― Carl von Clausewitz

  6. As Krauthammer says, if you want to send a message, call Wester Union.

  7. Milty says:

    “We need to keep our noses out of this except as part of a large coalition as in the Gulf War. Even then, we should avoid playing an overly large role.”

    Yeah, we’ll just let the other country in the coalition (France) do all the work and get the job done, just like they did in 1871, 1940, 1954, etc. They aren’t our oldest ally for nothing.

  8. Steve says:

    The USA should do only one thing. Publicly condemn it.

    No ally has been threatened, not one US interest is under imminent danger.

    The US should let these people die.

    I know, harsh. It is. Its necessary to let people fall so they may learn.

    Thankfully, today, the US is nearly no longer in need of Middle East oil. Keep ready to support hose who are with us. The rest need to feel our absence.

  9. Steve says:

    What happened to my “t”?

  10. Nyp says:

    Nyp on August 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    are you for or against a military strike against Syria?

  11. Milty says:

    I am opposed to a military strike against Syria.

    How about you, Nyp, what’s your position?

  12. Milty says:

    Nyp, I’ll also say that our strategy in Syria should be to provide arms and other supplies to either side that needs it with the goal of achieving a prolonged stalemate where the two sides bleed each other white. If they’re busy killing each other, they’ll be less likely to kill anyone else.

    I know, I know, never gonna happen, but I’ve always been a hopeless romantic.

  13. Nyp says:

    I am in favor of a strong military strike using not only stand-off weapons but air assets as well. Something so punishing to the military and civilian command that they and others will conclude that the tactical advantage of using chemical weapons on their adversaries does not justify the adverse consequences.
    As for the wisdom of going to Congress, I’m ambivant.

  14. Steve says:

    Nyp supports “shock and awe”

    Color me unimpressed.


  15. Milty says:

    Unlike domestic issues where a lot of people have criticized President Obama’s end runs around Congress with executive orders, I think he has the authority to initiate military action in Syria without advance Congressional approval. My understanding of the War Powers Resolution is that it requires him to consult with Congress and obtain their approval after he’s taken action, not before.

    Of course, he’s an astute politician (like all presidents are), he probably sees the American public being against him on this, so he wants to bring Congress in on the act in advance. Just like the old saying, “Teamwork means never having to take all the blame.”

    A risk, but it gives him an out if Congress doesn’t give approval.

    What I’m curious about is if Congress gives approval, then President Obama says, “I can’t take the military action you’ve authorized me to take because of the sequester and the debt ceiling. We need to resolve those issues now…..”

  16. Nyp says:

    So you think it was wrong to seek Congressional approval?

  17. Steve says:

    “Congressional approval?”
    Seeking a “face saving way out” is what he’s attempting.

  18. Milty says:

    “So you think it was wrong to seek Congressional approval?”

    I think he’s basically in a no-win situation here. He drew a line in the sand (use of chemical weapons) that he thought Assad would never cross. Now that Assad’s supposedly crossed that line (although some people are saying that the Syrian government didn’t order the use of the weapons), President Obama’s credibility is on the line. If he doesn’t do something, the Iranians, Chinese, Russians and North Koreans are going to tell themselves, “This guy can be rolled,” That’s why the unnamed official said that the administration had to do something to avoid being mocked.

    I think that President Obama’s inclination is to be cautious. That was his inclination in Libya, too. He basically got forced into intervening in Libya because his secretary of state at the time told him that if he didn’t, she was going to resign and challenge him for the Dems’ 2012 presidential nomination. My guess is that the two newly appointed members of his national security team (Rice, Power) are trying to push him the same direction in Syria, but they don’t have the same clout as Hillary Clinton. However, the president painted himself into a corner by what HE said, so he doesn’t have much choice here.

    I hope I’m wrong, but when it comes to a vote, I think President Obama will get his authorization of force from Congress. There are enough Republicans who are either (1)Neocons (McCain, Graham), or (2)believe that the president is entitled to conduct foreign policy with minimal interference from Congress. These Republican votes should carry the day for the president in both houses of Congress.

  19. Interesting, Winston. Who used the WMDs?

    The left has made fun of Bush when none were found, though they probably were shipped to Iran.

    Is Obama being set up?

  20. Nyp says:

    Crazy paranoid stuff from the usual ugly places.

  21. Yep, the White House.

  22. Nyp says:

    That’s bullshit.

    On national security matters you have an extra obligation to write responsibly, and not to traffic on Alex Jones-style insanity.

  23. And having the objective of not being mocked is principled diplomacy?

  24. Winston Smith says:

    Y’know, it’s funny, because I had planned to use the original link that Steve used, because I know that some just knee-jerk dismiss Alex Jones out of hand because, eewww-eewww, he’s a raving conspiratorialist! But my copy-paste didn’t work right and the infowars link posted because I wasn’t paying enough attention. Then I thought, oh well, if some can’t handle an Alex Jones website, even though it links to the original story, then too f’n bad, they will just have to grow up and deal with it.

    Oh well…

    BTW, for you out there that think I picked up all my craziness from dear Alex, not so, Kimosabe. I have been following the machinations of the fascist/globalist banksters and their destruction of our fiat currency since about 1988, while Alex was still in middle school.

  25. Winston Smith says:

    Oh yeah, there are no such things as conspiracies in government, except…

    I guess the good general must be one of those wacky conspiratorialists!

  26. Steve says:

    The instant Nyp saw an Alex Jones link he simply refused to read it and posted “That’s bullshit”

    Mintpressnews seems to be careful in researching what they write. For instance they disclaim some of the article in question.

    Thing I cant get out of my mind, disinformation is rampant from all sides on issues like this. Our own “trusted” news sources use “undisclosed” sources just like Mintpress has.

    Our 17 intelligence agency’s better have clearer intel this time, or Nyps O-bot blindness is going to be severely tested.
    Unless Mintpress is correct and the Prez is simply looking for that face saving way out.

  27. Steve says:

    Nyp won’t do video either.

  28. Winston Smith says:

    You know, because I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, I am happy to advance certain principles and precepts that those partisans cannot see going together. I believe that marijuana and prostitution should be legal, in spite of not be a fan of either. But I am also against any socialist redistribution (theft) of wealth, because charity should be voluntary. I don’t believe that the U.S. military should be the World Police. In fact, if it wasn’t for nuclear weapons, I probably wouldn’t approve of any standing military. I believe in a strict adherence to the organic Constitution, but if someone wants create laws or regulations contrary to the powers that were initially delegated by the states to the feds, fine, just amend the thing first, so we don’t have to pretend our Founders would have approved of the new powers.

    It’s really just a matter of rejecting growing centralization of power and tyranny that some refuse, no matter what, to see. Now, sometimes it seems that no matter what info is presented, it will be automatically rejected, whether because of partisan brainwashing or what, I don’t know.

    There are rumors that certain federal agencies have people that purposely troll websites such as newspapers and TV networks, promoting Big Government with their comments, no matter which “party” is in power. Well, if that is true, then I hope those people at Langley and Ft. Meade get a clue, see how they are helping to destroy our liberty, and choose to alter their profession before they are tossed by the very system they helped create.

    As per usual…

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

  29. Winston Smith says:

    You know, when it comes to war, it would be cool if the hawks would read “War is a Racket”, by retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient Smedley D. Butler.

    After all of the false flag ops that we’ve had foisted upon us since that was written, you’d think the citizenry would have had enough. Of course, according to the polls, with Syria, it looks like we finally have.

  30. Milty says:

    Judging from the secretary of state’s comments on “Meet the Press” this morning, he’s going all in regarding the claims that the Assad regime initiated the chemical attacks, notwithstanding claims to the contrary regarding the origin of these chemicals:

    “In the last 24 hours, we have learned through samples that were provided to the United States that have now been tested from first responders in east Damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of sarin, So this case is building and this case will build.”

    “Bashar Assad now joins the list of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein [who] have used these weapons in time of war.”

    “The word ‘slam-dunk’ should be retired from American national security issues. We are saying that the high confidence that the intelligence community has expressed and the case that I laid out the other day is growing stronger by the day.”

  31. Milty says:

    It appears that the draft resolution authorizing force in Syria places no time limits on the use of force. It also doesn’t limit the use of force to air strikes, allowing for the possible future involvement of ground troops if the president deems it necessary.

  32. Nyp says:

    “Mint Press”

  33. Steve says:

    “Huff Post”

  34. Winston Smith says:

    Milty, I haven’t been really impressed by a Sec. of State since Jefferson…and I’m not going to start again with Kerry…

    BTW, anyone know it Syria is part of Eurasia or Eastasia?

  35. Milty says:

    Didn’t you like William Jennings Bryan as secretary of state, Winston?

    Nyp previously wrote, “On national security matters you have an extra obligation to write responsibly.” I would think that it would be even more critical for our government officials to act responsibly on national security issues, up to an including resignation when they’ve seriously bungled or misjudged a critical situation or issue. But the last high level official I can remember resigning or getting axed for a gross foreign policy or national security error was Allen Dulles after the Bay of Pigs.

    Going back to your link questioning who initiated the chemical attack in Syria, Secretary Kerry clearly asserted that the Assad regime initiated those attacks. There’s no wiggle room in his statements, they’re a very clear condemnation of the Assad regime. If his claims turn out to be false, would the honorable action for him be resignation? Will President Obama fire him? How effective and credible will he be as secretary of state for the next three years if the relevant question about him turns out to be, “Is he a liar or he is a dupe?”

  36. Winston Smith says:

    “Is he a liar or he is a dupe?” – The question I ask about pretty much every politician.

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