Door Number Two

Good news:

The United States and Russia have agreed that Syrian chemical weapons will be placed under international control and destroyed in a process that will begin with[in] a week.

International inspectors from the Organisation of the Prevention of Chemical weapons must be given “immediate and unfettered” access to Syrian chemical weapons, said the US secretary of state, John Kerry, while Syria must give a “comprehensive list” of its chemical weapons within one week.

This is a great outcome, and the reason we have it is because Obama has the good sense to be flexible in a crisis. A lesser President, like GWB, would have stubbornly stuck to a plan of military action once it had been announced. Obama didn’t, Kerry and the State Department followed up with solid diplomacy, and now Assad’s chemical arsenal will be in far better control than it would have been after a limited military strike.






180 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Give that man a Nobel Prize!

  2. 2
    the Conster says:

    You only have to play 1-D chess when everyone else is eating paste.

  3. 3
    RosiesDad says:

    Ahhhh…so is he the Zen-master who strategized to this outcome on his 11 dimension chess board or is he an incompetent, bumbling neophyte who lucked into a good outcome?

    Guess how the Sunday morning shows will portray it…

  4. 4
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader? says:

    Kerry is prolly going to get beat up pretty badly by the other bonesmen for not being able to start a war. I can hear them now, “Even a halfwit like Magog was able to start a war!”

  5. 5
    Suffern ACE says:

    @RosiesDad: stalling tactics for tyrants.

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    NeoCLOWN POV:
    What the hell do you mean, “NO WAR!”

    How is that even possible?

    oBAMBI looks weak.
    He makes America look weak!

    Jesus, George W. Bush would already have bombed Syracuse!!!
    And put boots on the ground in Siberia!!!!!

    PUSSY!!!

  7. 7
    DaveinMaine says:

    How nice to read something here about Syria where the President isn’t being accused of being war-mongering tool of the M-I-C who just wanted to get his fight on.

  8. 8
    c u n d gulag says:

    NeoCLOWN POV:
    What the hell do you mean, “NO WAR!”

    How is that even possible?

    oBAMBI looks weak.
    He makes America look weak!

    Jesus, George W. Bush would already have bombed Syracuse!!!
    And put boots on the ground in Siberia!!!!!

    WUSS!!!

  9. 9

    When you have an actual adult in the room, you tend to get better outcomes.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    The real winners here are Republicans, who no longer have to guess about how Obama’s failed us.

  11. 11
    debbie says:

    For those who have used Putin’s op-ed piece to bludgeon Obama, when do we start branding them as traitors?

  12. 12
    RaflW says:

    I recommend impeachment for this failure to start a new war.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    For the first time in my life, I’m looking forward to watching John McCain on the Sunday talk shows.

  14. 14
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Any chance Putin can get a Nobel Peace Prize too?

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    TPM has McCain saying that this may be his last term in the Senate. Wouldn’t that admission be a double-header for the talk shows?!

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    @debbie

    Or it will free up enough time so he can devote himself diligently to go for the Guinness record.

  17. 17
    Boudica says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: As I heard some strategist say on NPR yesterday….the US goal should be to get Putin to win a Nobel peace prize.

  18. 18
    recurvata says:

    That’s good, just wish it had been the plan from the start rather than the fallout from a gaffe. But hey, take reality as it is, not how you wish it would be.

  19. 19
    Jeremy says:

    Great victory for the President and Putin. This entire episode has played out like the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    As for what the neocons will say, here’s Elliot Cohen:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

    “For a president to confess to war-weariness is to confess weakness.”

    …aaand there’s nothing worse than weakness, needless to say.

  21. 21
    RosiesDad says:

    @recurvata: It may have been the plan from the start.

    Didn’t anyone else think that Obama blustering about unilaterally bombing another country (esp. one that had not attacked us) was incredibly out of character?

  22. 22
    Jeremy says:

    @recurvata: It wasn’t a gaffe. It was reported numerous times that this proposal was talked about for some time. Even at the G20 last week and the Russians confirmed it.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    I bet Pat Lang is having a stroke, he hates John “Winter Soldier” Kerry with the flame of a thousand suns!

  24. 24
    geg6 says:

    @MattF:

    Yeah because there is nothing more we want from a president than to make war!

  25. 25
    nineone says:

    All part of Pooty-Poot’s master plan. Watch and learn, Obots, how Gawd-fearin’ Christians (and we know who’s who) get stuff done.

  26. 26
    geg6 says:

    @raven:

    Well, Pat Lang having a stroke would be a major bonus to this whole thing.

  27. 27
    lol says:

    @recurvata:

    Gaffe? Someone’s been drinking right-wing talking points I see.

  28. 28
    MomSense says:

    @Jeremy:

    It was also discussed a year ago in Mexico. Gwen Ifill reported this.

  29. 29
    raven says:

    @geg6: That may be “another” stroke!

  30. 30
    Mike in NC says:

    Clearly impeachment cannot be off the table.

    ETA: #12 beat me to it.

  31. 31
    geg6 says:

    @MomSense:

    Not just Ifill. Can’t remember where, but I read it somewhere else, too.

  32. 32
    Amir Khalid says:

    @recurvata:
    Was it really the fallout from a gaffe, though? How do we know that the “gaffe” wasn’t actually a carefully-placed hint? From the beginning of this, I’ve had a suspicion in the back of my mind that there was more to the White House’s maneouvres than a drive towards military action. Obama doesn’t go in for showy but ineffectual actions like the proposed strike would have been, and he’s too smart to do anything purely to save face.

  33. 33
    MomSense says:

    @geg6:

    It has been reported lots of places – even USA Today.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The thing I like best about this president is one of the things the Village and GOP hate most about him: his willingness to think out loud, to change his mind in the face of new information, to say flat out “I don’t know” when he doesn’t, to hang out with ambiguity, to admit to ambivalence, and to occasionally sacrifice tactics in favour of strategy — nuance, shades of grey, complexity. I firmly believe Barack Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents this country has ever had. For his sake, I hope history will reach that verdict during his lifetime.

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MattF: yep. Obama should have talked about skewed polls. Really we’re just hungry for another occupation. The polls are just surveying the wrong people. Actually the problem is that they are surveying people. Once we control for that, and limit the polls to senior foreign policy professionals from the Bush years, our warmaking sentiment goes through the roof.

  36. 36
    mericafukyea says:

    It would have been good if the UN and Congress didn’t cock block the administration on military intervention. Even if it was just symbolic and never implemented.

    Now there is not enough negotiation leverage to allow Assad to be tried for war crimes. That is going to be seen as a major problem with this negotiated settlement if it in fact goes through. Assad was a prime candidate for war crimes prosecution long after the Syria conflict is settled.

    But of course people like muckymux and wr0ng way Cole as well as all the other ball juicers see everything as checkers when it is really chess.

  37. 37
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader:

    Putin for Nobel Peace Prize:

    That idea has a lot of merit.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    It’s like they played Dr. Strangelove backwards.

  39. 39
    geg6 says:

    @MomSense:

    Yeah, I’m thinking it was probably the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

    Gotta say, I’m pretty giddy over this. From the start, this is what I hoped would happen.

  40. 40
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I agree. I think that a good part of all the posturing over the last few weeks has been in service of diplomacy.

    Yes, Obama is lucky. He’s also very damned smart.

  41. 41
    geg6 says:

    @mericafukyea:

    There is nothing that would stop him from being charged with war crimes if he’s still alive when the civil war is over. But speaking for myself only, I believe this is the best of outcomes as things stand right now. We don’t need to meddle in their civil war. And if we’re going to meddle in one, a more bloody and long one has been happening in the Congo and we’ve done absolutely nothing about that one.

  42. 42
    Jeremy says:

    @MomSense: Yep. A number of outlets mentioned the plan.

  43. 43
    MattF says:

    Also, on the FP point that GWB wouldn’t have been flexible– GWB would have called it “negotiating with myself,” and GWB didn’t do that. Because, shut up.

  44. 44
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Two issues:
    1. Syria has to agree. With Russia and US agreeing on the course, Syria might test Putin’s resolve to attack by not agreeing (while not rejecting).
    2. Does Syria have a “comprehensive” list of its chemical weapons? First thing I’d do if I was AIPAC or National Review is start questioning on every Sunday morning show, “Does Syria have a list and would you trust it?”.

  45. 45
    Ron says:

    @MattF: Holy cow, you are completely right Elliot A. Cohen of Johns Hopkins and the Washington Post is a complete idiot.

  46. 46
    PsiFighter37 says:

    So what will the firebaggers say now? How has Obama failed them?

  47. 47
    chopper says:

    obama’s a warmonger! Waving dicks!

  48. 48
    Judge Crater says:

    On NPR yesterday they had some know-it-all journalists who kept repeating the current conventional wisdom that the President needed a “clear plan” for dealing with Syria. Great, except that all the clear plans for dealing with Syria were riddled with problems and political impossibilities. How do you have a “clear plan” when there is no outcome that is any better than the alternatives?

    Cole was right the other day. Our national decision making process is conducted at a grade-school level. Who’s got the biggest swinging dick, who’s got more muscles, who’s more “determined” and square-jawed. Who can kick sand in the face of the wimps who don’t have a “clear plan” for situations in which all the clear plans lead to disaster. Bullshit. Total bullshit.

  49. 49
    WereBear says:

    @recurvata: That’s good, just wish it had been the plan from the start rather than the fallout from a gaffe.

    Fer the luvapumpkincheesecake… this was entirely wanted, and planned, from the start.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    Well, there’s no single payer, for one thing.

    ETA: ;-) in case the snark isn’t evident.

  51. 51
    MattF says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    1. I have a strong suspicion that Russia has been blunt with Assad. Assad forced Putin into making absurd public statements about rebels gassing themselves, and I can’t see Putin being pleased with that. But we shall see.

    2. Another strong suspicion I have is that the gassing was the work of a rogue hardline faction in Assad’s military. The message was: “This is how your daddy would have dealt with the rebels.” I can’t see Assad Jr. taking a pass on that.

  52. 52
    WereBear says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: In other words… a functioning adult!

    So often, we only get a one-fer.

  53. 53
    Jeff(the other one) says:

    @Linda Featheringill: You have to be smart to be that lucky.

  54. 54
    nineone says:

    @PsiFighter37: His “stimulus” was too small, heh heh.

  55. 55
    different-church-lady says:

    Obama is such a fuck-up he even screws up his own supposed desire to lob bombs at people.

  56. 56
    Another Botsplainer says:

    @geg6: Good one !

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @Judge Crater:

    who kept repeating the current conventional wisdom that the President needed a “clear plan”

    I hate it because I think it comes directly out of overlaying a private sector model on government, and the (related) absolute abject worship of the CEO figure in the private sector model they’re applying (wrongly) to government.

    I wish they would stop doing it. It’s dumb and it’s damaging. Stop comparing. Resist the impulse to say this is “just like” this other thing, when they’re obviously jamming two unlike things into a frame where one doesn’t fit.

    It just reeks of fear to me. “We don’t know what this is and we cannot deal with uncertainty! Quick! Name it!”

  58. 58
    MomSense says:

    I don’t know if people here have read Roger Fisher or know about the Harvard Negotiation Project–but what has been ongoing between the US and Russia re: Syria is pretty classic.

  59. 59
    jheartney says:

    Obama used the threat of military strikes to motivate a diplomatic settlement. GWB used diplomacy to create cover so that he could launch a war. So clearly, both are exactly the same.

  60. 60
    IowaOldLady says:

    I look at events and outcomes, and then I look at what the MSM and Republicans are saying, and it’s like two different universes. How do you get from here to there?

  61. 61
    different-church-lady says:

    I’ll bet Obama would be willing to give Putin his own damned Nobel if it means he doesn’t have to resort to bombing. Guy was just as mystified by getting the thing as anyone else was.

    In the meantime the black guy continues to get no credit. Yeah, I said it. All the jackasses who KNEW KNEW KNEW Obama just wanted to bomb the shit out of everything and was all alike and just like Hitlerstalinbushnixon are now going to snit huff about “getting lucky” and Putin getting all the credit. Hey, you know what? Drink the Shut The Fuck Up on ice.

    Obama didn’t want to have to bomb Syria. Russia didn’t want Obama to bomb Syria. Syria didn’t want Obama to bomb Syria. They all went to work and figured out a way not to get Syria bombed. Grow the fuck up if you think any one person deserves all the credit for it.

  62. 62
    scav says:

    @Kay: Business leaders being notorious about announcing each and every detail of their corporate planning and negociations for broadcast and pre-emptive analysis by the money-honeys.

  63. 63
    Ruckus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    He won’t be called the greatest until all the racists are gone. On FB I get posts by “friends” that are along the lines of Obama is clearly the worst president ever, is in way over his head, couldn’t do anything about Syria, etc, with no actual reasons. I’ve got one and it’s racism. These are people my age or thereabouts who maybe wouldn’t join the KKK but they are racists. They just can’t believe that any black person could be far smarter and far more talented than them or any other white person. Reality is a harsh concept for people with little minds.

  64. 64
    Mike in NC says:

    TV news is saying Michelle Obama gave a talk and urged people to drink more water. This “controversial” statement has draw fire from critics. How soon will this “scandal” be called Water-Gate?

    She needs to apologize and instead urge all Real Americans not to drink bleach or anti-freeze.

  65. 65
    Poopyman says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Sheeeit, get real. He’s got no better chance than, say, Nasser Arafat.

  66. 66
    danielx says:

    But…but…demonstrating our national will! And making sure everyone knows we’re ready to kill people in the Middle East! What about all that? If it doesn’t end in killing people and breaking things, it’s the wrong outcome!!!

  67. 67
    ira-NY says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    The Baggers will claim Jill Stein would have done this and cured cancer!

  68. 68
    WereBear says:

    @Kay: It just reeks of fear to me. “We don’t know what this is and we cannot deal with uncertainty! Quick! Name it!”

    Have you read Dr. Altermeyer’s book, The Authoritarians?

    Everyone should. Essential for teabagger understanding.

  69. 69
    Botsplainer says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    So what will the firebaggers say now? How has Obama failed them?

    They’ll claim that achieving diplomatic success under the threat of force is unfairly coercive, and fails to demonstrate the positive results that could have occurred by simply announcing that no military solution would be forthcoming and asking Assad to please, pretty please stop in the name of peace and harmony.

    Doctor Saint President Jill Stein would have truly achieved great things. She may have personally participated in drum circles, hackey sack demonstrations and workshops in the creation of giant puppets on her own White House lawn.

  70. 70
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @MattF: About #2, that may be true but it won’t alter neo-cons ambitions and would be nigh-impossible to prove. And it wouldn’t deflect the doubt being induced. And creating fear & doubt that only a full-scale invasion would resolve is the basic neo-con formula for action. That’s what needs to be headed off and I don’t see this plan doing that (even if the plan does work).

  71. 71
    Botsplainer says:

    @ira-NY:

    The Baggers will claim Jill Stein would have done this and cured cancer!

    GMTA

  72. 72
    Anya says:

    @debbie: Worst than attacking Obama is the way they turned into fan boys and girls. It’s disgusting to witness.

  73. 73
    Ruckus says:

    @Botsplainer:
    I’m amazed that you could type that with your tongue so firmly in your cheek. That much pressure on one side of your face must cause your head to tilt at an alarming angle.

  74. 74
    different-church-lady says:

    @Botsplainer: ASSAD: “Okay, okay, take the chemical weapons! Take the conventional weapons! Hell, take my watch, just make the damned drum circles stop!

  75. 75
    Emma says:

    @different-church-lady: One of the interesting things that has emerged from all this mess is how quickly the hyper-liberals have been to adopt teabagger frames of reference about Obama while willfully ignoring their racist origins. Fun. Not.

  76. 76
    Jeremy says:

    Also at the same time the Obama administration has been communicating with the Iranian’s and sending representatives over there. It was reported a day or two ago that direct talks could be on the horizon.

    Anyone who say that Obama is just like Bush is ridiculous.

  77. 77
    jheartney says:

    @WereBear: That book is essential to understanding the current Republican party. My favorite part was about the international crisis simulation, where the RWA’s immediately blew up the world. Even given a do-over, they ended up in a significantly worse place than the non-authoritarians.

  78. 78
    MikeJ says:

    @MomSense:

    It was also discussed a year ago in Mexico. Gwen Ifill reported this.

    Having a very credible threat of actual bombs dropping seems to have focused a lot of thinking. It’s nice to talk about things, but the point of negotiations is to get things done. It was time to stop talking, and Obama made sure they knew it.

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    @scav:

    David Gergen does it. I could weep. So wrong on so many levels. Isn’t Gergen a famous pundit because he worked for all those elected officials in government?

    So, two things. Why is he applying a private sector corporate model to government, and even if I wanted to apply a private sector, corporate model to government (I don’t – it’s the wrong frame) why would I listen to him on how that should look? That isn’t where he worked.

  80. 80
    Ben Franklin says:

    Impeachment? Hey I’m just trying to wrap my thinking around…..

    Biden 2016

  81. 81
    different-church-lady says:

    @Jeremy:

    Anyone who say that Obama is just like Bush is ridiculous can drink a nice big glass of Shut The Fuck Up on ice.

    @Emma: Mockery is the only solution at this point.

  82. 82
    amk says:

    @jheartney: Great point. Tweeted.

  83. 83
    MattF says:

    @Jeremy: I think this is one of the higher-dimensional aspects of the Syria crisis. Use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war caused a deep and still unhealed wound in Iran– Obama’s success (so far!) in negotiating away Syria’s chemical arms will have a major effect on his image in Iran, I predict.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @Emma:

    I’m kind of sad so many liberals gave up on the importance of the chemical weapons ban in their efforts to oppose Obama on this.

  85. 85
    different-church-lady says:

    @jheartney: Wait, when did GWB use diplomacy?

  86. 86
    mericafukyea says:

    @geg6: Ahhh…you obviously are not aware that Russia made it requirement for any negotiated settlement. Assad cannot at any time after this be tried for war crimes.

  87. 87
    jenn says:

    @Anya: Seriously. I’ve got whiplash from the GOP going from the Soviet Union is our greatest enemy, during the election, to ‘we want Putin to be our President.’

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Mockery is the only solution at this point.
    I sure hope so, because nothing else is working.

  89. 89
    different-church-lady says:

    @mericafukyea:

    Assad cannot at any time after this be tried for war crimes.

    Ah, I think we now know what the new hyper-liberal chew toy is going to be.

  90. 90
    Baud says:

    Who’s the first wingnut to make a Neville Chamberlain reference?

  91. 91
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Baud:

    What is your take on CW? Why is it so bad next to, say depleted uranium and phosphorus?

  92. 92
    MomSense says:

    @MikeJ:

    Having a very credible threat of actual bombs dropping seems to have focused a lot of thinking. It’s nice to talk about things, but the point of negotiations is to get things done. It was time to stop talking, and Obama made sure they knew it.

    Here is the president on this subject. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetw.....interviews

    “We would not be at this point if there were not a credible military threat standing behind the norm against the use of chemical weapons,” Obama said.

    Obama also added that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had talked about the plan now on the table both during the recent G-20 meeting in Russia and during another meeting last year in Mexico.

    In other words, this is a true diplomatic breakthrough, not a plan that was born from a flippant reference by Secretary of State John Kerry.

  93. 93
    gnomedad says:

    @Mike in NC:

    She needs to apologize and instead urge all Real Americans not to drink bleach or anti-freeze.

    I honestly wonder whether reverse psychology didn’t factor into her “drink water” campaign; i. e., goading the crazies into coming out against water.

  94. 94
    jheartney says:

    @different-church-lady: There was lots of diplomatic hand-waving in the run up to invading Iraq. We don’t remember it because it was so obviously insincere.

  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @jenn:
    Little children that are begging for an authority figure(doesn’t have to be an actual authority, see bush the lesser) don’t see the nuance here. They are the ultimate S&M junkies.

  96. 96
    Anya says:

    @Emma:

    One of the interesting things that has emerged from all this mess is how quickly the hyper-liberals have been to adopt teabagger frames of reference about Obama while willfully ignoring their racist origins. Fun. Not.

    They’ve been doing that since 2009. They both think Obama is in way over his head, but at the same time clever enough to conceal his true intentions and fool everyone. He’s always sending coded messages and he never means what he says. Firebaggers and teabaggers are two sides of the same coin.

  97. 97

    @IowaOldLady: Find a tear in the space-time continuum and proceed through it.

    The goatees may be disconcerting at first…

  98. 98
    Botsplainer says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m amazed that you could type that with your tongue so firmly in your cheek. That much pressure on one side of your face must cause your head to tilt at an alarming angle.

    About 15-20 years ago, I read an awesome short story about an alternate WWII history where the Nazis defeated the UK and pushed through the Middle East into India, which they proceeded to occupy. Neither Ghandi nor Nehru fared well in that timeline; the German authorities simply shrugged heir shoulders about non-violence and hunger strikes and didn’t give a damn.

  99. 99
    hoodie says:

    That remark by Kerry was a prearranged out for Putin, the media fell for it hook, line and sinker. Obama is willing to let the Butcher of Grozny take some credit as a “peacemaker” to get to Assad’s CW, he knows most Americans, other than deranged wingnuts, wouldn’t trust Putin as far as they could throw him. A few weeks ago, Putin was still questioning whether there was an attack and then was pushing “the rebels did it” line. Putin probably knew Assad was lying but maybe trusted assurances from Assad along the lines of he didn’t order the attack, there would not be enough evidence to establish culpability, it wouldn’t happen again, etc. The UN report is about to issue and leaked accounts indicate overwhelming proof of a chemical weapons attack with signs pointing to the Assad regime. Egg all over Putin’s face if that comes out without some sort of deal already in the works. Assad probably was stupid enough to lie to Putin, who now no longer trusts him.

  100. 100
    JPL says:

    @geg6: Stroke of luck.

  101. 101
    MomSense says:

    @gnomedad:

    I honestly wonder whether reverse psychology didn’t factor into her “drink water” campaign; i. e., goading the crazies into coming out against water.

    I hope she starts a campaign on the benefits of oxygen before the midterms.

  102. 102
    ruemara says:

    @recurvata: Reality has said differently many, many times.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader? says:

    @Anya: it’s more likely to be paranoia and mind reading on your part than a massive conspiracy.

  105. 105
    jenn says:

    @Ruckus: yeah, I *still* shake my head at the Romney campaign’s repeated references to the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, among other no-longer-existing countries.

  106. 106
    MomSense says:

    @hoodie:

    The rockets used in the chemical attacks were in pretty good condition. Betcha Putin saw some photos of rockets that were made in Russia.

  107. 107
    IowaOldLady says:

    @jenn: I still shake my head that the Romney folks were sure they were going to win.

  108. 108
    aimai says:

    @jheartney: Yes, its an incredible book. For history buffs who want to see it in an applied context: people should definitely read John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience. I was reading that book to learn more about Watergate and found that Dean was using Altemeyer as a template for understanding his own experience once he was cast out of the inner republican circle. Without it he couldln’t understand how near familial relations with other conservatives could have been so instantly destroyed by changes in perceived allegiance and political expediency.

  109. 109
    Davis X. Machina says:

    ….and now Assad’s chemical arsenal will be in far better control than it would have been after a limited military strike.

    But will Shirley Sherrod head the Department of Agriculture? Or Van Jones the EPA?

    And where’s my bloody public option?

  110. 110
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @PsiFighter37: Scroll up. It was a ‘gaffe’. The Firebagger Tribe can never be wrong, so the administration can never be right, therefore Obama and Kerry must have lucked into this. Somehow. The Firebagger Tribe has always been at war with Eastasia.

    Not that this thread hasn’t been entertaining from the Obama Tribe either.

  111. 111
  112. 112
    jenn says:

    @IowaOldLady: Well there’s that, too!

  113. 113
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kay:

    Why is he applying a private sector corporate model to government,

    It’s the state religion, First Amendment be damned. And priests give marriage advice all the time.

  114. 114
    Ruckus says:

    @Botsplainer:
    I believe that someone here posted about that story a few years ago, as I’ve heard about it before. Was it you?
    The nazi thought process would probably been along the line that non violence and hunger strikes would have saved them from having as much risk in taking over India.

  115. 115
    ruemara says:

    @Anya: Any critique of anyone who has earned labeling with the “firebagger” nomenclature is what he is mocking. So now he’s painting what you said as conspiracy theory. Because criticism of firebagger theory is as wacko as an Alex Jones fan.

  116. 116
    different-church-lady says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Pssst: Yellen.

  117. 117
    RobertDSC-iPhone 4 says:

    I’m glad. I didn’t want missile strikes, even with understanding the President’s position better after the prime time speech.

  118. 118
    Jeremy says:

    @MattF: You make a great point.

  119. 119
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant): I still say you’re lucky that branch held. ;-)

    Funny thing was, the night diplomacy broke out I was really ready to start pouring that stuff down people’s throats over at the GOS, but I didn’t want to jump the gun. Then the next morning I saw that a bunch of other people had beat me to it. Seems there was a built-up urge to play toastmaster among the sane-atariat.

  120. 120
    different-church-lady says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader?:

    it’s more likely to be paranoia and mind ordinary reading comprehension on your part than a massive conspiracy.

    Fixed that for you. Whether you wanted it fixed or not.

  121. 121
    Anya says:

    @ruemara: Is he disputing the fact that firebaggers and teabagers are irrational in their hatred of President Obama? And how is this assertion a “massive conspiracy”? WTF am I missing? I am genuinely puzzled.

  122. 122

    Ah, something pleasant to wake up to — thanks, mistermix!

    Though I do love how desperate the firebaggers are to cling to their “incompetent Obama” meme. He totally didn’t have anything to do with it! It was a gaffe by Kerry! It was all Putin!

    My reply is the two words I said when hints of this diplomatic solution first started being seen publicly: Meep. Meep.

  123. 123
    The Dangerman says:

    Can’t Obama do ANYTHING right?! This is 24 hours too soon; this agreement should have been done as McCain, et al, were getting their makeup done for the Sunday shows. Now they have 24 hours to get their talking points in order (weak President, Putin victory, yada yada yada).

    ETA; I agree with my neighbor above. Meep, Meep. There were some missteps and it was looking good for the Coyote for a while, but, once again…

  124. 124
    scav says:

    @Kay: seriously, what transparent and clear and public “private sector model” is he going on about? The legendary all true plan As and exact financial data released to all eyes as practiced by Lehman et al in 2008? We know nada about what plans, clear, modified to fit evolving circs or held on to grimly despite the odds there were. Welcome to negotiations in the real world where the CEO and board don’t brief facility management at a staff meeting before the fact.

  125. 125
    amk says:

    @Anya: Preemptive poutrage is the hallmark of both baggers.

  126. 126
    ruemara says:

    @Anya: There’s no dispute. It’s just mockery of your view. He does not believe there’s hate. He does not appreciate the firebagger term. It’s just mocking.

  127. 127
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If you’ve read about things like the First and second Moroccan Crises, or Fashoda, or various other long-forgotten contretemps from the world before the Great War, there’s a very old-fashioned feel to this present diplomatic exercise, a distant echo of the way business was done before we could blow up the world.

    Potentially very nasty for the Syrians in Syria, but all very Long Century.

  128. 128
    Botsplainer says:

    @Ruckus:

    I believe that someone here posted about that story a few years ago, as I’ve heard about it before. Was it you?

    I don’t remember mentioning it before, but I could have, late at night, after some drinks.

    The nazi thought process would probably been along the line that non violence and hunger strikes would have saved them from having as much risk in taking over India.

    That’s pretty much what I remember. Basically, Ghandi and Nehru had a meeting with the German commander, and had a discussion where they laid out their plans for nonviolence and hunger strikes. The German bemusedly accepted each proposition of their version of resistance.

    The author was making a point about rhetoric directed to to Western world about the historical negatives of colonialism and governance, and set out clear distinctions.

  129. 129
    Anya says:

    @jenn: If they can make it possible they would invite him to their retreats and maybe he’ll be competing with Ted Cruz for the Tea Party support. As Rachel mentioned on her show last night it’s really embarrassing. Sarah Palin might be over but Putin is now sending a little starbursts through the screen for the conservatives.

  130. 130
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Remember how the big criticism of Obama used to be that he “pre-compromised” in negotiations by making an offer that was already in the middle?

    So… now in this case the criticism is that he was indicating a willingness to go to war unilaterally, which was so alarming. And, whew, what a relief that something goofy happened such that his final position ended up somewhere in the middle!

    Seems to me that Obama did exactly what the critics of his negotiations have been pleading for him to do in every other case. But somehow it’s still totally wrong.

  131. 131
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I’m listening to “Wait, Wait” and they are having more damn fun with Obama being all confused and Kerry totally pulling that “gaffe” out of his butt. This, alas, is how memes become received wisdom.

    Sigh. Even the liberal NPR….

    /snark, in case it wasn’t obvious

  132. 132
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader? says:

    @ruemara: This makes sense to you? To create a fantasy group of people and then ascribe them motivations?

  133. 133
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anya: I’m tellin’ ya, their 2016 convention wraps up with Putin firing a Kalashnikov into an empty chair.

  134. 134
    Botsplainer says:

    @Anya:

    Sarah Palin might be over but Putin is now sending a little starbursts through the screen for the conservatives.

    He can be a guest speaker at CPAC, on several panels. He will be hugely popular on the “Stomping on Them Hellbound Homersekshuls” and “Gittin’ Them Nosy Goldurned Reporters” discussion rounds.

  135. 135
    different-church-lady says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader?: Seems like Obama’s motivations (“Let’s have another war because I need to swing my dick!”) got ascribed aplenty.

    Have you no sense of irony, sir? At long last, have you no sense of irony?

  136. 136
    dww44 says:

    @DaveinMaine: Agreed. But, hey, it’s worse at other “progressive” blogs, like Hullabaloo and GOS and Eschaton. I’m sure there are others.

  137. 137
    Botsplainer says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Have you no sense of irony, sir? At long last, have you no sense of irony?

    *swoon*

    Bigamously marry me!

  138. 138
    aimai says:

    @Botsplainer: I always find these counterfactuals–which were raised at the time, btw, since Gandhi argued the Jews should have used nonviolent resistance–to be somewhat silly. They are supposed to show us that a particular tactic doesn’t work except under a particular historic set of conditions. Well, of course it doesn’t always work. And if it doesn’t work within a pretty short space of historical time the individual and the community almost always rethink it and rework it.

    If person X preaching non violence and etc… were to go to war with a completely ruthless Nazi-esque opponent whose goal was to depopulate and seize land minus its workforce the first thing that would happen is that the preacher of non violence would be killed, or would lose his influence with his followers, and he’d be replaced by a Zealot. People are not stupid, not at all. You couldn’t get to the level of non violent strikes and resistance under a situation of the kind of total war that the Nazis waged against the Poles and the Jews (for example) because it would become discredited as a mode of action and not enough people would join the movement.

    Rather than arguing (as people do) that the Indians were naive or whatever and that their methods couldn’t be applied everywhere it is more reasonable to argue that non violence was a particular tactic that lots of people thought worked at the level of propaganda and opinion building both at home and abroad and that does work in (some) cases and -might I add–the Nazis were very fearful of bad propaganda. I am reading “Collaborator” right now, a new historical study of the ways in which the Nazis forced Hollywood, as early as the early 1930’s, to cut scenes from movies that made the Germans look bad–to cut such scenes from all films that were going to be shown in the US and in Europe, not just in Germany. Hitler was very interested in waging a war for public opinion both within Germany and outside of Germany and he was very sensitive to issues of the portrayal of Germans as warmongers in the 1st world war and of Germans as anti semitic.

  139. 139
    Morbo says:

    I assume they’ve negotiated a cease fire then because if they haven’t then the access is going to be pretty fettered.

  140. 140
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Well Putin does want to run a country (or two or three) and conservatives are looking for an authority figure who has little grace and charm because that’s a sign of weakness…

  141. 141
    dww44 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Actually, he might. And, I’m sure the tea party/Foxified crowd is pulling for him to do so. Anyone see Jon Stewart’ s Thursday program (whose rebroadcast I caught yesterday)? He had a great bit about Roger Ailes and his crew at Fox. In it Stewart provided a transcription of Aile’s months ago prescription for the Syria problem. Pretty much exactly what happened. “Allow Putin to get all the credit”.

  142. 142
    Chris says:

    @jenn:

    yeah, I *still* shake my head at the Romney campaign’s repeated references to the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, among other no-longer-existing countries.

    @IowaOldLady:

    I still shake my head that the Romney folks were sure they were going to win.

    The fact that the Romney folks thought they were going to win was another reference to another no-longer-existing country – the United States circa 1980.

    (As many of us pointed out at the time, if the white/nonwhite ratio now was still what it was in the Reagan years, Romney would’ve won in a landslide. Whoopsie).

  143. 143
    Ruckus says:

    @aimai:
    How can you bring reality into the story?
    This is what I saw when I first heard of the short story being discussed. It’s all fine to rewrite history to make a point(which is what I believe the story’s author was trying to do) but not to try and change history or human nature.

  144. 144
    Anya says:

    @different-church-lady: I’d pay money to see that.
    @Botsplainer: I think you’re selling him short. He’ll be the keynote speaker. Maybe the Koch brothers will invite him to one of their super secret GOP retreat.

    @different-church-lady: I think I just fell in love with you!

  145. 145
    AliceBlue says:

    @different-church-lady:
    I’m gonna need a new keyboard after that one.

    (Reminder to self: refrain from imbibing beverages while reading BJ comments).

  146. 146
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Replace the words “Chuck Norris” with “Barack Obama” and you achieve something approaching realistic hyperbole. #ChillTheFuckOutIGotThis

  147. 147
    Chris says:

    @RosiesDad:

    Ahhhh…so is he the Zen-master who strategized to this outcome on his 11 dimension chess board or is he an incompetent, bumbling neophyte who lucked into a good outcome?

    For my money, neither. I think the threat of force was sincere (the use of chemical weapons being a serious enough crime that, for a lot of people, it was warranted), but the willingness to entertain diplomatic alternatives was equally sincere, and that’s what we’re seeing now. Whether the idea came from Obama, Putin or Assad is really immaterial – the point is that Obama was willing to entertain it, which makes all the difference between him and President McCain, under whom we’d already have boots on the ground.

    Naturally, the MSM will ignore all that and talk about nothing but the posturing.

  148. 148
    Botsplainer says:

    @Anya:

    I think I just fell in love with you!

    .

    Hands off her! She’s mine, dammit.

  149. 149
    Ruckus says:

    @Chris:
    (As many of us pointed out at the time, if the white/nonwhite ratio now was still what it was in the Reagan years, Romney would’ve won in a landslide. Whoopsie).

    It is nice to break down complex issues into, well black and white or either or thinking. Lots of white people voted for Obama, there is not enough evidence to make the claim that had the ratio been different all the white people would have done something different. You are leaving out history recent and long term in the recounting of the regan years. You are leaving out the opposing candidates. You are leaving out the difference in communications over the decades. Trying to put this down to only demographics is a mistake. A huge one.
    And just to keep it interesting, you could be completely correct. Just don’t mistake demographics as the entire rational for events.

  150. 150
    hoodie says:

    @different-church-lady: Either that or shirtless cameo from a Siberian tiger hunt.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Nice post.

    Good result. Now comes the fun of trying to verify and enforce, but that is better than either bombing or letting Assad keep and use the weapons.

  152. 152
    dww44 says:

    @Ruckus: Golly, you must have the same circle of friends and relatives as I. That’s all that’s ever on Facebook and in the email forwards I get and mostly, sadly, it’s not only from my 60’s something generation, it’s also from those a generation younger. So, I don’t see the racism dying out very soon.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    @dww44: Neither do I.
    Racism seems to be inherent in humans. I believe it is one of the things we have to overcome, to put behind us. I do see racism changing from when I was a kid to now, and the change is actually dramatic. Might not be to some one of color but most people I knew when I was a kid were open racists or at the most kept their mouths shut about it. But in my lifetime we have had huge changes in society. Not enough change but still huge. And there will always be people who cling to some distorted view of what they think life was or should be, both theirs and everyone elses.

  154. 154
    nineone says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    What is your take on CW? Why is it so bad next to, say depleted uranium and phosphorus?

    Because Dear Leader sez so, and shut up, that’s why.

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Not that this thread hasn’t been entertaining from the Obama Tribe either.

    Because both sides do it, donchaknow.

  155. 155
    ruemara says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader?: I don’t have to ascribe to them anything. They say what they mean. Just as you like to mock us because you don’t agree with what we’ve said, I can read what they said and react accordingly.

  156. 156
    gelfling545 says:

    @recurvata: I suspect that it was, if not part of a plan, at least a hope which unfortunately would never have been realized without the threat. I do not believe in the whole “gaffe” thing in any way. I don’t think the President was sitting about silently at the G-20 while Putin just happened to come up with this idea which could have happened at any time before but didn’t. I think it more likely that the President just asked Putin what he had to put on the table if he really didn’t want the strike to take place and if the President or SoS had appeared at all eager or sanguine about a diplomatic settlement there would have been none. I feel comforted knowing that neither the President nor the SoS is so egoistic that he can’t accept the results he wants even if someone else is publicly credited (unlike a certain political party who shall be nameless).

  157. 157
    YAFB says:

    From the OP:

    the Organisation of the Prevention of Chemical weapons

    Tsk. The Telegraph also has a similar mis-cite, probably via “the agencies,” and apparently neither paper can afford sub-editors any more.

    It’s the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

    Still, not quite as bad as the community center over here that listed the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds.

  158. 158
    Ruckus says:

    @gelfling545:
    Why should they be nameless?
    Little children in adult bodies and complete assholes should be pointed out and laughed at. Or as DCL pointed out mocked mercilessly.
    They are republicans. They are libertarians. They are conservatives.
    Now I know that some say we need opposition parties but what we don’t need is a political party and a spoiled kindergarten class.

  159. 159
    Ben Franklin says:

    @nineone:

    Heh; I thought I could roust up some acrimony about the tortured form of death, and the potential escalation to nukes. Alas, many are bound by shrill rhetoric, and that’s the extent of it.

  160. 160
    Ruckus says:

    @YAFB:
    Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds.

    Didn’t they get that from Jeremy Clarkson?

  161. 161
    YAFB says:

    @Ruckus:

    Didn’t they get that from Jeremy Clarkson?

    This was around 1983-ish PC (Pre-Clarkson). It went out in thousands of local guides.

    I wouldn’t be so bothered, but the OPCW isn’t just some campaigning body, it oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

  162. 162
    Keith P says:

    Due to the inevitability that he gets to spend Sunday on Meet the Press et al. complaining about how Obama didn’t take us to war and made us look weak to the Russians, this is good news…for John McCain.

  163. 163
    Chris says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m not assuming that it’s the only thing that mattered. I’m pointing out that Romney, like many Republicans for the last half-century, ran on a campaign that pretty much wrote off the entire nonwhite segment of the population. Back in Nixon and Reagan’s day, you could do that and it’d be a reasonable risk because nonwhites were still a definite minority and what you lost in their votes, you could easily make up for in votes from white racists. “Be the white people’s party” doesn’t override every factor, obviously (since Democrats did win some elections even after that), but it’s generally agreed that it’s a pretty crucial part of why the GOP’s been so strong since the sixties.

    It’s also generally agreed that one of the smartest things the Bush campaign did for its party was to recognize that the country was changing from its makeup in the Nixon/Reagan years, and that the GOP would have to make inroads into nonwhite voter blocs if it wanted to keep up. That the GOP has backtracked from that position since then also isn’t in dispute. Is it the only thing that factored into their electoral loss? No, but they were at the very least… how can I put this charitably… tempting fate, in light of how much more these demographics matter now than they did in the old days.

  164. 164

    @aimai:

    I’ll have to look for that book — it sounds like it will fit right in on my upcoming blog.

    Don’t forget the phrase that was used against people in front of the HUAC after the war: “prematurely anti-fascist.” If you distrusted the Nazis prior to December 1941, you were a dirty Commie.

  165. 165
    nineone says:

    @Ben Franklin: I love the smell of acrimony in the morning…..

  166. 166
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    “Don’t forget the phrase that was used against people in front of the HUAC after the war: “prematurely anti-fascist.” If you distrusted the Nazis prior to December 1941, you were a dirty Commie. ”

    Winston Churchill was a dirty Commie?

  167. 167
    Ruckus says:

    @YAFB:
    So Jeremy got it from them?

  168. 168

    @Robert Sneddon:

    Winston Churchill was called to testify in front of the HUAC?

  169. 169
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Don’t forget the phrase that was used against people in front of the HUAC after the war: “prematurely anti-fascist.” If you distrusted the Nazis prior to December 1941, you were a dirty Commie.

    I’ve always wondered how many people nowadays watch Casablanca and pick up on the fact that Rick Blaine was either a socialist or so neck-deep in socialist company that the McCarthy Was Right! crowd wouldn’t have bothered to differentiate.

    (If he wasn’t, Lazslo, a top figure in the international anti-fascist underground movements, most definitely would have been).

  170. 170
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris:

    Rick Blaine was either a socialist or so neck-deep in socialist company that the McCarthy Was Right! crowd wouldn’t have bothered to differentiate.

    But he said he was well paid for both fighting against Franco in Spain and running guns to Ethiopia. He had to flee Paris because the Nazis were socialists and wanted to punish him for being a capitalist.

    /wingnut

  171. 171

    @Chris:

    Humphrey Bogart helped organize public protests against the HUAC, so he may have been a dirty socialist in real life, too (though he was officially cleared of being a Commie). 😄

  172. 172
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    I did not know that. Well done Bogart.

  173. 173
    WereBear says:

    @gnomedad: I honestly wonder whether reverse psychology didn’t factor into her “drink water” campaign; i. e., goading the crazies into coming out against water.

    Heaven knows I’m not a saint above tempting. I would have done it on purpose.

  174. 174
    greenergood says:

    “This is a great outcome, and the reason we have it is because Obama has the good sense to be flexible in a crisis.”
    Around three weeks ago, the vote to join the US in bombing Syria came up in the British Parliament and the opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband refused to support it. The reaction from the Conservative gov’t was scorn, rage, etc. etc. We had the vampirically undead Henry Kissinger, and America’s Best Bombing Buddy Tony Blair on the radio declaring that this was a ‘sad day’ for Britain. If the British Parliament had voted for bombing Syria, we might be now looking at a Middle East flattened into glass. I’ve no love of Miliband, but am interested in how what seems to be a somewhat minor political detail may be the domino that starts things falling in a completely unexpected way. And yes, this despite the fact that there’s been under-the-radar talks going on between US and Russia for a while about what to do with pesky Syria.

  175. 175
    TAPX486 says:

    McCain and his pal Lindsey are horrified at the proposed Syrian deal. It will only encourage Iran and North Korea to misbehave. Now this is something that I have wondered about for a long time.. Why does beating up on dictator A have any impact on dictator B. By the end of 1945 we had turned German and Japan into piles of smoking rubble but it didn’t seem to have much impact on the North Korean’s in 1950 or Ho Chi Min in the 1950s-1975. We dropped 8 million tons of bombs on various places in South east Asia, three times what we dropped in WWII but the Iranians still took out diplomats hostage in 1979. Reagan taught Khadafy a lesson in 1986 and he returned the favor by blowing up Pan Am 103. The list goes on and on and yet we continue to insist that by bombing dictator A then dictator B will some how see the error of his ways and will start to play nice. So despite Vietnam and Iraq , the only lesson the hawks have learned is to use a bigger bomb!

  176. 176
    Chris says:

    @TAPX486:

    By the end of 1945 we had turned German and Japan into piles of smoking rubble but it didn’t seem to have much impact on the North Korean’s in 1950 or Ho Chi Min in the 1950s-1975.

    Yes, but then Roosevelt sold out Europe at Yalta, and Truman lost China. People everywhere laughed at the size of the American penis. And the Communists were emboldened to go to war. Also, Truman was weak and didn’t nuke China.

    We dropped 8 million tons of bombs on various places in South east Asia, three times what we dropped in WWII but the Iranians still took out diplomats hostage in 1979.

    Yes, but because DFHs stabbed us in the back, we lost Vietnam anyway. People everywhere laughed at the size of the American penis. And the Iranians were emboldened to take hostages. Also, Jimmy Carter.

    Reagan taught Khadafy a lesson in 1986 and he returned the favor by blowing up Pan Am 103.

    … SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP!

  177. 177
    Beth in VA says:

    @Baud: no you don’t. Of course McWar is still not satisfied
    http://www.politico.com/story/.....html?hp=f1

  178. 178
    Beth in VA says:

    @Baud: no you don’t. Of course McWar is still not satisfied
    http://www.politico.com/story/.....96805.html

  179. 179
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Baud: @Ben Franklin:

    It’s a trap. Don’t engage it.

  180. 180
    Bob h says:

    @mericafukyea: undoubtedly we will now embark on a long period of the UN inspectors being jerked around, sniped at (literally), but at least people will not be getting gassed. Obama in time will have to consider the use of force again. I want to see Assad and his posh wife strung from a lamppost like Mussolini and Clara P.

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