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01 December 2015

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kao_hsien_chih

With regards Obama's comment on the Russians, it sounds to me like a statement that he'll do everything to ensure that nothing does change as consequence of the Russian intervention. A fighter against international terrorism he is not.

With regards his "Democrats" blather, sickening and anti-American. Tempted to never vote for Democrats from this point on if that's the attitude of their top leaders.

The Twisted Genius

Wow, Baghdad Bob had nothing on this guy. Does he truly believe these things or is he just a practitioner of information operations... as in bullshit artist?

JerseyJeffersonian

I cannot wait to see the back of this creature. I did not trust him when first he was rolled out as the Borg's new front man, and my distrust has been replaced with contempt and loathing over time. Entirely unjustified arrogance is his stock in trade, a narcissist's first and last resort. Incurious and unreceptive to challenges to the received "wisdom" of the harpies with which they cocoon him. Like Walrus, I fear that he will do something truly, catastrophically stupid that will embroil the world in war before his time runs out.

Sorry, not much content in this comment beyond my detestation of this thoroughly destructive, self-serving bounder.

The Beaver

Colonel,

Speaking of Qatar:

"The army and police personnel seized by Nusra and Islamic State in August last year came from across the sectarian spectrum, so the affair transcended the sectarian rifts that bedevil Lebanese politics.

They included Christians as well as Muslims of different denominations. The Druze chief, Walid Jumblatt, played a key role in discreet mediation led by Qatar, which has channels to the Syrian militants."

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34973173

So now we will have JAN in the backyard of Hizb'Allah!

Macgupta123

1. The transcript of the press conference:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/01/press-conference-president-obama

2. The Democratic successor:

Quote:

Jeff Mason.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Do you believe that Turkey is doing enough to strengthen its northwest border with Syria? How is it that a NATO country with as large a military as Turkey has, has not sealed its border? And is that something that you raised today with President Erdogan?

And then, to put a finer point on the climate change question, can leaders gathered here believe that the United States will keep its commitments, even after you’ve left office, if a Republican succeeds you in the White House?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Just with respect to my successor, let me, first of all, say that I’m anticipating a Democrat succeeding me. (Laughter.) I’m confident in the wisdom of the American people on that front.

But even if somebody from a different party succeeded me, one of the things that you find is when you’re in this job, you think about it differently than when you’re just running for the job. And what you realize is what I mentioned earlier, that American leadership involves not just playing to a narrow constituency back home, but you now are, in fact, at the center of what happens around the world, and that your credibility and America’s ability to influence events depends on taking seriously what other countries care about.

Now, the fact of the matter is there’s a reason why you have the largest gathering of world leaders probably in human history here in Paris. Everybody else is taking climate change really seriously. They think it’s a really big problem. It spans political parties. You travel around Europe, and you talk to leaders of governments and the opposition, and they are arguing about a whole bunch of things -- one thing they’re not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether or not we have to do something about it.

So whoever is the next President of the United States, if they come in and they suggest somehow that that global consensus -- not just 99.5 percent of scientists and experts, but 99 percent of world leaders -- think this is really important, I think the President of the United States is going to need to think this is really important. And that’s why it’s important for us to not project what’s being said on a campaign trail, but to do what’s right, and make the case.

And I would note that the American people, I think in the most recent survey, two-thirds of them said America should be a signatory to any agreement that emerges that is actually addressing climate change in a serious way. So the good news is, the politics inside the United States is changing, as well. Sometimes it may be hard for Republicans to support something that I’m doing, but that’s more a matter of the games Washington plays. And that’s why I think people should be confident that we’ll meet our commitments on this.
...."

Sorry, I fail to see how this is off-base. Elucidation, please.

oofda

Utter arrogance and hubris-- very disappointing. Especially regarding the Russians. Amazing- who wrote this stuff?

Regarding the remarks on U.S. politics- indeed remarkable- but considering what the Europeans are saying about the present Republican clown-car, not surprising that this was included. He may have been meaning to reassure them.

Ishmael Zechariah

Col. Lang,
obama's statements in "Point 2" reinforce your conclusion in Point 1.
I am willing to bet that any post-Assad Syria will be long after post-obama USA.
Ishmael Zechariah

steve

Heard a bit of Bob Gates this weekend. As I recall he was also saying that we have to go along with the Turks and/or Gulfies if we want to have allies in the area. That getting rid of Assad is priority number one. Among Obama's many transgressions, his persistence in prioritizing removing Assad over dealing with ISIS is one of the worst.

The Beaver

Colonel,

This is interesting also:

"Lebanon's political crisis has taken a dramatic turn with the possibility that a friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could become president in a power-sharing deal aimed at breathing life back into the paralyzed state.

The idea of Suleiman Franjieh, a childhood friend of Assad, becoming head of state has taken aback many Lebanese, not least because of who tabled it: Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni politician who leads an alliance forged from opposition to Syrian influence in Lebanon. He would become prime minister under the deal."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/us-mideast-crisis-lebanon-presidency-ins-idUSKBN0TJ26620151130#IZRrW8ICKrh7H9JI.97

Would be interesting to read PB's take on this!
Fat chance for Samir Geagea or Michel Aoun who were hoping to be the president .

confusedponderer

Five years, huh? They say drunks and children always speak the truth. I wonder, which is he?

tim s

Given that he is primarily a politician, and most all North American politicians are practitioner of information operations, I'll go with the latter. Of course, they can begin to believe their BS, but that's another matter. Chicken/egg....

DC

Enlightening -- I rely on this Community to point to the reality I don't see. Today's snapshot shows, yet again, the importance of a President -- the next one -- who has deep experience with foreign policy and, yes, matters of war. We need a leader who will step in on day 1 and address the harsh reality of conflicts that cannot be resolved through diplomacy alone. Or mere wishful thinking. None of the candidates on the slate do I have confidence will be that leader. We must do better.

Macgupta123

In a totally non-partisan way, whether it is US debt obligations already incurred by Congress, or whether it is the nuclear deal with Iran, the Republicans have threatened default. In particular, both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have said that the next President need not honor the deal with Iran.

What the POTUS candidates think: https://ballotpedia.org/2016_presidential_candidates_on_the_Iran_nuclear_deal

It is therefore a very valid question, made necessary, not by Obama and the Democrats, but by the Republicans themselves, of whether the United States will honor the commitments it made while Obama was POTUS - on climate change, or on Iran or on anything else. That is why reporters asked the question, (and not just once). Suggestions please, on how Obama should answer this, and why it is his fault, not the Republicans', that makes the world to have reasonable cause to suspect that the US might renege on commitments.

StoneHouse

I was jarred when, during his last presser (Sukhoi shootdown), he referred to the Russian President as 'Putin', not 'The Russian President', or 'President Putin'. More irritating still, at the time he was saying that he had repeatedly warned 'Putin' about all the mistakes he has been making. As if, a not-so-bright individual, who apparently spent his youth as a drug addled rent boy, could credibly stand with, let alone "warn" Putin, Shoigu, and Lavrov. Yes, he knows nothing of war. He knows nothing of diplomacy. He knows nothing of law. He knows nothing of governing that most fractious of beasts - the Constitutional Republic; no subtlety or refinement of any kind does this individual possess. Great article by the way, puts it all in perspective, painful and embarrassing as it is to witness.

robt willmann

And now both Britain and Germany want to send airplanes into Syria to bomb ISIS, and apparently will vote this week to do so. Britain tomorrow--

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/nov/30/commons-vote-syria-airstrikes-labour-jeremy-corbyn-isis

And Germany later in the week, as "Chancellor" Angela Merkel's cabinet wants to do so--

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-01/merkel-s-cabinet-backs-german-warplane-deployment-in-syria

When Merkel -- an informant for the Communist East German Stasi -- first ran for chancellor in Germany I told friends that she was a phony and was going to be trouble. And are David Cameron and Associates in Britain really saying that there are 70,000 "moderate" fighters in Syria, separate and distinct from ISIS, who are trying to overthrow Assad, as the article seems to say? How much U.S. tax money is being used to bribe these people? Or are they being shown a file containing photos of them in an intimate relationship with a goat?

I do not know what British or German law says about going into another country and waging war, which is what bombing is. Are they going to "declare war" on Syria, since Assad "has to go"? Or declare war on ISIS, a vague group that is being actively helped by other countries?

Obviously, the U.S. is getting Britain and Germany involved so as to try to create such a crowd of planes and advisors with boots on the ground there that if Russia, Iran, and Syria drive the opponents out of northwest Syria, they will have a hard time turning east to get rid of ISIS, which would make Syria whole again. With the U.S., France, Britain, and Germany all claiming a piece of the action, this group will then face Russia, Iran, and the Syrian government and say, "Since we are all here now, and ISIS has been neutered, there is no need for you to march eastward, and there will now be a 'transition' government, without Assad, 'to govern' Syria. And you cannot now fight the 'moderate rebels' because they are not 'terrorists' and are not ISIS and they will part of the one, big, happy family that Syria will become."

bell

the journey of the exceptional nation continues..

plantman

This really underscores the absolute inflexibility of US foreign policy.
No amount of failure or human suffering can deter these people, they are simply impervious to anything beyond their own zany ideas of what they want...whether it is achievable or not.

Obama, "Assad must go."
Putin, "Nyet".
Who will prevail????

J

A self-absorbed narcissist.

Matthew

TTG: And what about calling the Ward Boss of Istanbul "President" Erdogan and then calling the President of the Russian Federation "Mister" Putin?

Obama just sounds childish.

William R. Cumming

Normally I would follow the dictum watch what I do not what I say but this is evolving into a tragic end for this Presidency and his Administration. It is true that lack of Constitutional clarity seems to yield wider discretion in the arena of US FP than domestic policy for any President. Yes he/she is Commander-In-Chief but the complexity of the modern world may well entail a lifetime of study and experience to begin to fathom it. Then add science and technology as almost totally independent factors in determining the "long run" the toughest job in the world clearly has exceeded the grasp of this man IMO!

First do no wrong?

mbrenner

This is but further evidence that it is pointless to look for strategic logic of any kind in the Obama administration. He, and his advisers, clearly have lost their bearings. To anticipate what they might or might not do in the future, we should abandon standard forms of political analysis and look into clinical psychopathology instead. Having tried my hand at that at times, I can attest that it has some payoff.

Bill Herschel

The Su-24 was shot down to prevent Hollande bringing Russia into the "Coalition". President Nuland-Kagan was fully aware. Obviously, the hope was that Putin would over-react. The CIA got it right that he would be enraged, but got it wrong that he would over-react.

He gifted the by-elections after each Presidential election to the Republicans. In the first, by focussing everything on the Affordable Health Care act despite its being a nothing-burger to the American people; in the second, by saying that Ebola was no big deal, despite justifiable terror in the minds of the public. He, being a consummate politician, did these things intentionally. In the first case, because he is definitely interested in his "legacy" and perhaps does not mind a Republican Congress (he has praised Reagan highly).

He is accustomed to having no loyalty except to himself. What a garden of Eden for the neo-cons!

And do not forget that, but for a few British Conservative backbenchers, there would be a lot of American troops in Syria right now. That there aren't is probably the reason why Isis has suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

different clue

I heard his talk about Russia as a poorly veiled threat to assist the pet jihadis on the ground in causing Russia so many casualties that Russia will be successfully extorted into compliance with the Axis of Jihad's wishes. ("Coalition of the Whatever" never took off, so its back to Axis of Jihad for me. Iran caused any confusion by naming its group Axis of Resistance. It is up to Iran to clear up any confusion by changing the name of its group. Maybe to something like Alliance of Lawful Authority or something like that).

I heard another hidden message in Obama's talk. When Obama said "ensure the election of a Democrat" he means- in coded language - " ensure the election of NOT SANDERS". Because Sanders is NOT a Democrat. He caucuses WITH them, but that is not the same thing. If the Sanders supporters really understand what Obama means here, they may go wild with rage and hate. Hopefully they will settle down to plot their long-term revenge on Obama and the Democrats . . . especially Clinton.
A President Sanders could cost Obama's owners some prospective profits. Even some real money. If Sanders gets elected, they may decide to reduce their future payoffs to Obama somewhat.

By now Putin and Lavrov must long-since know what a vandalistic arsonistic cry-ass sh*tty-baby Obama is, always was, and will always be. They will do their best to stay strategic and chessful.

different clue

Macgupta123,

Obama's global-heating climate d'chaos decay material is not what was being addressed in this post . . . I don't think. Obama's climate material can stand or fall on its own merits.

We here were discussing Obama's statements of pro-Jihadi support as self-appointed World Leader of the Axis of Jihad.

different clue

The Beaver,

Perhaps a President Franjieh could work with Hezbollah and others in opening Lebanese ports to a vast and massive resupply effort of the Lawful Authorities Army in Syria.

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