Washington Post political reporter penned a column for Thursday’s paper with the headline “Could Clinton’s position on Syria today resurface in 2016?” Balz spent a whole column recounting how Senator Hillary’s vote authorizing the Iraq war doomed her in the 2008 race.
Unsurprisingly, Hillary put out a statement supporting Obama’s plans for military action. What was surprising is that Balz wrote an entire column on what might come back to bite Hillary in a presidential campaign without ever remembering she insisted on CBS that Bashar Assad was “a reformer,” not the next Saddam-style international outlaw:
Yesterday in Stockholm at the G20 summit, President Barack Obama said the following in regards to the use of chemical weapons in warfare: "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line." For years, the press obsessed over the alleged untruthfulness of President George W. Bush's "16 words" ("The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") in his 2003 State of the Union address. Today, the Associated Press won't even directly quote the first six of Obama's.
Regardless of whether one thinks that Obama's statement is an attempt to abdicate personal responsibility for his original "red line" (i.e., in the sand) statement a year ago or an assertion that his year-ago statement merely affirmed what the rest of the world believes, it's news, and should be presented to the nation's readers and viewers in quotes. But not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, which is barely recognizing the existence of the "red line" at all.
Politics, we're often told, is the art of the possible. The potential for American intervention in the Syrian civil war is stretching what previously was believed scarcely possible.
Liberal Democratic congressman Alan Grayson of Florida, one of the party's most strident voices, a man who once said GOP policy on health care boils down to wanting you to "die quickly," finds himself inexplicably agreeing with that most demonized of all Republicans, Sarah Palin. (Audio clips after the jump)
Fresh from his summer vacation, left-wing comedian Jon Stewart became the latest media liberal to blast President Obama’s efforts to promote military action against the government of Syria.
In no uncertain terms, Stewart blasted the idea, saying that it was ridiculous for Obama or other American leaders to want to punish Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons against radical Islamic rebels in his country. According to Stewart, the Obama Administration’s statements about “red lines” and limited actions smacks of “seventh grade” behavior. Never shy to employ vulgarities to make his point, Stewart used several in his extended rant. Transcript and video follow.
Chris Matthews channeled his inner-Helen Thomas on Tuesday, railing against Barack Obama's "disastrous" plan for military action against Syria. The Hardball host mocked the proposed goal of sending a message to Syrian dictator BasharAssad, excoriating, "Will this mysterious signal get delivered? Will a signal go to Assad that he will never again use chemical weapons?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews raged against air strikes on Syria, insisting, "In other words, the only thing we really know is we'll be killing poor people, committing an act of war with this notion that somehow it's smoke signals." The usually pro-Obama reporter Howard Fineman appeared perplexed by the administration's presentation to the U.S. Senate: "...The only message we're sending to the world is one of confusion....It's just utterly confusing."
In an exclusive interview with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie attempted to blame the Bush administration for President Obama's difficulty in garnering support for military action against Syria: "Looming over this debate time and time again has been the specter of Iraq. Most recently, the U.K. Parliament, many members cited the failure of intelligence leading up to Iraq as the reason that they won't take action now in Syria..." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Turning to Rumsfeld, Guthrie wondered: "Do you personally take any responsibility for that? Or feel any responsibility for that?" Rumsfeld reminded Guthrie of the lengthy process that led up to the Iraq War: "President Bush went to the congress, got the support of the congress. Went to the U.N., got the support of the U.N. And fashioned a very large coalition. So it seems to me that all the appropriate steps were taken and the congress, a Democratic congress, voted for regime change in Iraq."
Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro is the kind of Hollywood sycophant Democrats adore.
In an interview published in September's Du Jour, De Niro said of Barack Obama, "He's a good person, period...he represents, I think, the best of the type of people that I would like to see running the government."
Catching up on a topic that eluded us over the weekend, it is worth noting that on Friday, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan decided to tackle the question of whether the newspaper is favoring the Obama Administration’s effort to build support for a war against Syria.
After talking to several top Times editors who inevitably aver that they are treating the anti-Syria PR effort with due skepticism, Sullivan reaches her own rather inconvenient (for her employer) conclusion that the Times is not being sufficiently skeptical:
Well, there was a Blue Moon just last month, so maybe the time was right for some rare criticism of President Obama by Andrea Mitchell.
Mitchell didn't hold back on today's Morning Joe, accusing the President of "bungling," being "ambivalent," and of undercutting his Secretary of State and Vice-President. For good measure, Mitchell suggested that in his heart of hearts, fellow panelist and former Obama spox Robert Gibbs agreed with her acidulous assessment. View the video after the jump.
Monday morning, 22-term Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York, as reported by Tal Kopan at the Politico, said that President Barack Obama's drawing of a "red line" on Syria is "embarrassing," and that he is against "putting our kids in harm’s way to solve an international problem."
Rangel is the third most-senior House member of either party. If a senior Republican congressperson similarly criticized opposed a Republican or conservative president in a matter such as this, there would be widespread establishment press coverage. In this case, there's very little. This is not unusual for stories detrimental to Democratic Party interests, as the rest of the establishment press all too often seems content to say, "Oh, that was already in the Politico, so we don't have to cover it."
The United States is poised to fire missiles at Syria in response to chemical attacks on Syrian civilians. But the assault will also pit the U.S. against one side of the civil war and aid the other side, which includes Al Qaeda. That falls just days before the anniversary of Al Qaeda attacks against both the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
Broadcast news outlets are clearly aware of the Islamic terror group’s role in Syria, but rarely report it. Nearly 94 percent of all Syria stories since the gas attacks have made no mention of Al Qaeda whatsoever.
It’s not like the networks haven’t had time. Since the gas attack, which happened Aug. 21 in Ghoutta, Syria, ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have done at least 171 stories on the conflict. Just 11 of those stories have made any mention of the terrorists of Al Qaeda, and all of those have been passing references. There hasn’t been one story focused exclusively on Al Qaeda in Syria during that time.
While covering Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, ABC's Martha Raddatz described the Syrian dictator as "looking poised and immaculately dressed." This light-hearted description is reminiscent of some of the softball questions asked by Diane Sawyer on February 5, 2007. The then-Good Morning America anchor dished with the man who, in August, allegedly used chemical weapons on his own people: "You like video games?...Do you have an iPod?"
After the dictator announced that he did, Sawyer sounded more like an Access Hollywood host: "And you're a country music fan. Faith Hill? Shania Twain?"She then moved on to the topics of what films Assad enjoyed. The fan of chemical weapons and gassing his own people touted The Pursuit of Happyness. He blurbed, "It tells you a story...Maybe there's many beneficial things to learn from, about real life." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Democratic Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton said Tuesday that at the current time, the only reason she would vote in favor of an attack on Syria was out of loyalty to Barack Obama.
Appearing on radio's Bill Press Show, the non-voting delegate from the District of Columbia also said if the President actually gets the votes he needs, "it’ll be because of loyalty of Democrats. They just don’t want to see him shamed and humiliated on the national stage" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In my soon to be 77 years as a citizen of the United States of America, having lived through Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the dark days of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Watergate, 9/11 and all the other serious and profound events our beloved nation has been involved in over the last three quarters of a century, I have to say with all sincerity that I have never seen a president as confused, befuddled, impotent, insincere and as out of his depth as Barack Obama has become in dealing with the Syrian issue.
When you're the leader of the free world, you don't make statements you can't back up and you don't draw lines in the sand, watch your enemies cross them with impunity and go off and play a round of golf.
Its actual headline is, "Obama's history-defying decision to seek Congressional approval on Syria." As Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds noted a short time ago: "You can read this entire article about Obama going to Congress over Syria without seeing any mention that Bush went to Congress over Iraq and Afghanistan." After the jump, readers will get as much as (or maybe more than) they can stand, complete with the "There were no WMDs in Iraq" lie (bolds are mine):
A day after Secretary of State John Kerry compared Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein, Britain's Daily Mail published a picture of Kerry dining with Assad in February 2009.
It's going to be fascinating to see how the Obama-loving press report this (photo courtesy AFP):
The president's call on Saturday for Congress to debate and pass a resolution authorizing airstrikes against Syria also served as a telegraphed message to the liberal media about how to spin the message in a way that puffs the president politically while turning a serious question of foreign policy and use of military resources into a domestic political grist for the 2014 midterms.
Well, the Wall Street Journal's Jay Solomon and Janet Hook smartly saluted and fired their salvo in a piece filed at the paper's website on Sunday afternoon headlined, "White House Girds for Battle With Congress." Here's how they began:
It's becoming apparent the Obama-loving media are displeased with the President's decision to seek Congress's approval to strike Syria.
On This Week Sunday, ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran said, "Obama's leadership image in the Syrian opposition is probably at an all-time low right now" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan had some harsh words for Barack Obama Sunday.
Appearing on ABC's This Week, Noonan said of the White House's surprising announcement Saturday that it was going to ask Congress for approval to strike Syria, "I think everybody pretty much views it as the president blinked."
In 2011, CNN's Fareed Zakaria revealed that he advised President Obama on foreign policy.
On his GPS program Sunday, Zakaria lambasted the current White House resident saying, "[T]he administration's handling of Syria over the last year has been a case study in how not to do foreign policy...the manner in which the Obama administration has first created and then mismanaged this crisis will cast a long shadow on America’s role in the world" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan is not surprisingly totally opposed to President Obama unilaterally striking Syria without approval from Congress.
Speaking to NewsMax TV’s Kathleen Walter Thursday, Buchanan said, “If the president launched an unnecessary and unconstitutional war, striking a country against whom we have not declared war and had not attacked us, that is de facto an impeachable act.”
On her Friday MSNBC program, host Andrea Mitchell tried to ease the concerns of Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee and other members of Congress calling for a congressional vote on military action in Syria: "Barack Obama, as you know better than I do, was one of the leading Democratic politicians against the Iraq War. So if he says that this is different, that the evidence is there....does that persuade you since he has always come at this from a very cautious anti-war perspective?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Accepting the odd juxtaposition of the President launching missile strikes from an "anti-war perspective," Lee responded: "And I'm very pleased that the President has come at this in a very cautious manner....But also that has nothing to do with our constitutional responsibility as members of Congress, Andrea."
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for the White House Thursday.
Commenting on Fox News’s Special Report about the British government’s decision to not take part in a military action against Syria, Krauthammer said, “It is a complete humiliation for the Obama administration.”