Thursday, September 5, 2013

Obama Masters the Art of Denial

Many who support President Obama’s desire to punish Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons believe that America’s and the president’s credibility is on the line.

We cannot, they argue, make it appear that words uttered by the President of the United States are nothing but empty rhetoric. Our president must be good to his word.

Which word would that be? They have been thinking of the threat Obama uttered in his famous “red line” remarks during a news conference a year or so ago. He said:

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….

Yesterday, to the chagrin of his supporters, President Obama took it all back. He denied that he ever said it. Apparently, he was trying to show the world how not to lead.

In his words:

First of all, I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world's population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war.

Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that—in a piece of legislation titled the Syria Accountability Act—that some of the horrendous things that are happening on the ground there need to be answered for.

Point number two, my credibility is not on the line. The international community's credibility is on the line. And America and Congress's credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important

Providing leadership, taking responsibility… these concepts are alien to the Obama mindset.

Accepting that he is President of the United States, knowing that his words have consequences… these concepts are also foreign to our president.

Perhaps Obama sees himself as president of the world. At the least, he has no notion of America’s national interest.

[For a full analysis of Obama’s rhetoric, see Jean Kaufman’s article on PJ Media.]

When it comes to the world, however, only the French have signed up for the mission.

Apparently, world leaders have taken the measure of our president and have decided not to risk their own prestige and credibility on his inconstant leadership.

Give Obama credit for one thing. He has mastered the art of denial.

There are three ways to deny:

1. I never said it.

2. If I said it, I didn’t mean it.


3. If I meant it, I didn’t know what I was saying.

6 comments:

Sam L. said...

He's been taking Bill Clinton lessons.

Last month, Rush celebrated 25 years on the air, and replayed a piece I heard years ago--he said he supported Clinton in something, and when callers called to complain, he denied he ever said such a thing. I thought it a brilliant piece.

Anonymous said...

I guess Consigliere Valerie Jarrett changed her mind, eh? That's certainly a woman's prerogative, but it's dangerous as President of the United States. Very dangerous. That whole thing on Saturday was so weird, it could only be Valerie at the helm.

I still stand by what I said with my prior Syria comments: we must be our word as a nation. The President is the sole executive of our nation, and he is responsible for foreign affairs. Passing the buck to Congress or imaginary la-la land stuff like the "international community" is patently (and Constitutionally) absurd. We have lots of treaties we don't fully comply with or actively enforce, and Congress cannot deploy the armed forces of the United States.

Obama is making a fool of himself. More seriously, he is making our nation look foolish and is damaging our standing and power in the world. If he thinks he has an undo button for what he has actually said in the past, he is delusional.

I don't want to get involved in Syria. It is a messy, awful civil war and there is no true Syrian state that is accountable right now. That said, our President declared chemical weapons as a "red line," regardless of whether his imagination says otherwise. He's responsible for the ridiculous volume of stuff he says, and he's our most visible national figure. I'm in on taking action worthy of a "red line," but find myself disgusted when he denies he said it in the first place. Disgraceful, shameless and more of the same. If he can pretend he never said something, I can withdraw my support for him in dealing wth the consequences his foreign policy blunders.

Again, this isn't about Syria, it's not about Putin's interests, either. This is about Iran. They're all intertwined. And we'd better wake up to who the Iranian leaders are and get a clear eye on what we're going to do in the face of their frightening ambitions. Is Obama going to forget he said Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon?

Tip

Jeff Dorsai said...

"Is Obama going to forget he said Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon?"

I think he already has ...

Anonymous said...

I believe you are correct, Jeff. Or at least I have no reason not to think so. And that is despicable.

We are going to have to fight a full-out war with Iran at some point in the future, and I think it almost unconscionable that we've avoided it to this point. They are our ultimate enemy in the world, and have been since the fall of the Soviet Union, and certainly in the Middle East since 1979. Saddam Hussein? HA! he was an amateur in comparison to Iran's leadership. It is an abominable regime that is dangerous to our country in almost every dimension. Their only cover to this point is that they are not a clear and present danger (other than the large number of covert agents they have stationed in the United States). But they are everything up to that "clear and present danger" distinction, and that's the way they play their game (meaning that we play their game, not ours). That is what Syria is about, and what few are discussing. Our reticence and/or indecisiveness in this situation is incredibly dangerous.

Tip

Dennis said...

A president not meeting the responsibilities assigned to him. A Congress not meeting the responsibilities assigned to them and a Judiciary that cannot figure out whether the Constitution is guiding document of this country. Congress is the only institution that can legislate, but increasingly they turn over much of that job to the executive branch and the bureaucracy.
Between "penumbras" and "emanations" one wonders in what realm of unreality the judiciary resides in. How in the HELL did we get to the point, John Marshall and the furthering of "judicial review," where 5 lawyers believe they can adjudicate the culture we live in at the expense of the citizens who live in this country?
We have gone so far afield that there is no wonder that people are confused as to who does what under what authority. I have to admit that I am increasingly beginning to believe that we need the States to call a Constitutional Convention to right this "ship" that seems to have lost its way. We need to reinstitute, and reenforce, the checks and balances that were meant to keep the government from growing into an anathema to its citizen's freedoms.
James Madison, in Federalist 51 stated, "But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" Obama is just an example of how far we have strayed from understanding that our government reflects badly upon us and makes us in to fools. We have the government that we have voted for and we have not guarded our freedoms from those we have allowed to increasingly control every aspect of our lives. We have created this monster and we are going to have to fix it. As the old commercial stated, "Pay me now or pay me later."
If any of these people who are our government actually did their jobs they would not have time to insinuate themselves into our lives.

Anonymous said...

As I was saying, the TRUE antagonist enters stage right...

Plotting "revenge" on our embassies in Iraq?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323893004579057271019210230.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Raping the First Daughters?
http://o.dailycaller.com/thedailycaller/#!/entry/iran-threatens-brutal-attacks-on-americans-obama-family-if-us,5228e567da27f5d9d017c963

When, oh when, will we ever look beyond the actual events and circumstances and consider who is REALLY shaping them?

Valerie, rebuttal? Oh, that's right... you were born in Iran. Since you lived there until you were five, your earliest memories are likely happy ones. Probably fond memories, kind of like President Obama's while he lived in Indonesia. How adorable, how... blinding. What do you think of their monstrous leaders now, hmmmm? You probably don't want to believe it, but that doesn't make it true.

The Iranian regime are true monsters. They know no boundaries. They will stop at nothing. Wake up, America! See your enemy. Know your enemy. Bashar al-Assad is a gnat. Please see at the elephant behind him.

Tip