The Commander Guy has announced that, contrary to boldly leading from the front when he set the red line back in 2012, he was actually leading from behind then, too!
Yes you see, the world set the red line and the president was just reiterating the world's red line by making it seem like it was his own, using words like "my" and "mine". But don't let that fool you, he was speaking for the world not the US presidency at the time. Sort of as president of the world.
Criminy. In the world of bullshit artists this guy is absolutely tops. Wedged into a corner by having to finally uphold an ultimatum no previous president had articulated before 2012 (including him in his 2002 "dumb war" speech), he somehow has found a way to blame the US Congress and every other world leader as he removes any blame for himself, all with a straight face. Amazing.
OK, nobody should be amazed. The question is whether anyone will buy it, including his media water-carriers. Already the administration appears afraid of the media, blowing off their two primary press briefings (White House and State) since last Thursday. They are desperately trying to control the message here in what ranks as a rock bottom moment of his presidency. Obama himself has not taken questions standing by himself since the day before the chemical attack. In all other interviews he's been in the company of other world leaders, who act as pseudo human shields with the hope the press won't go too wild on the questions and embarrass the other leaders. Every trick in the book.
Does he not realize that by placing the blame on the world (and Congress) he runs the risk of legitimizing the dumb war in Iraq? Saddam used chemical weapons and nobody intervened to stop him or punish him specifically for that act. It wasn't until he invaded Kuwait that strong sanctions over WMDs were erected and an inspections program begun to find and destroy the arsenal. That should beg the question as to why the Iraq war was dumb if 40 countries were involved in trying to stop an unstable dictator who had crossed an international norm. And if it happens that some of Syria's stocks came from Iraq--as Obama's own DNI once contended--would that change his calculus on the notion of dumb? Would it then only be dumb because of the post-war mishandling?
No, of course not, they would find more spin. As to the congressional votes, whoopdee doo. Obama was going to attack anyway, which should allow each member to vote conscience and not be bothered. They will try to use the votes to split the GOP and bring Iraq and Bush back into the political mix again but far too much water is under that bridge for it to be effective. It just looks desperate. Of course they'll do it anyway.
The Republicans need only remind them of the differences between the two situations. They are not the same. Iraq was actually a more immediate and palpable threat and Saddam killed more people, including those from another country, while later invading a neighboring nation and firing unprovoked scud missiles on Israel. All those things could be taken as crossing international norms, especially in a post 9/11 environment. Or maybe they could take a page out of the liberal playbook and blame the Syria war on oil.