Barack Obama

Obama Explains His Syria Failure on 60 Minutes

"Look, there's no doubt that it did not work," says president.

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By clicking here, you can go watch Steve Kroft's 60 Minutes interview with Barack Obama that aired last night.

CBS 60 Minutes

It's well worth watching, especially the sections on the president's failed actions regarding Syria. Recall that back in the day, Candidate Obama campaigned against "dumb wars" and then managed to triple troop strength in Afghanistan while also pushing hard at various points in Iraq as well. Without congressional approval, he joined NATO strikes against Libya that unseated longtime tyrant Moammar Qaddafi and plunged that hellhole into its current anarchy.

In talking about his plan to arm Syrian moderates to push back against the Assad regime, here's Obama either flat-out lying or applying to be a Jesuit priest after he leaves the White House:

Steve Kroft: You have been talking about the moderate opposition in Syria. It seems very hard to identify. And you talked about the frustrations of trying to find some and train them. You got a half a billion dollars from Congress to train and equip 5,000, and at the end, according to the commander CENTCOM, you got 50 people, most of whom are dead or deserted. He said four or five left?

President Barack Obama: Steve, this is why I've been skeptical from the get go about the notion that we were going to effectively create this proxy army inside of Syria. My goal has been to try to test the proposition, can we be able to train and equip a moderate opposition that's willing to fight ISIL? And what we've learned is that as long as Assad remains in power, it is very difficult to get those folks to focus their attention on ISIL.

Steve Kroft: If you were skeptical of the program to find and identify, train and equip moderate Syrians, why did you go through the program?

President Barack Obama: Well, because part of what we have to do here, Steve, is to try different things. Because we also have partners on the ground that are invested and interested in seeing some sort of resolution to this problem. And–

Steve Kroft: And they wanted you to do it.

President Barack Obama: Well, no. That's not what I said. I think it is important for us to make sure that we explore all the various options that are available.

Steve Kroft: I know you don't want to talk about this.

President Barack Obama: No, I'm happy to talk about it.

Indeed, he is. If by talk, he means run out the clock during an hour-long interview.

Steve Kroft: I want to talk about the—this program, because it would seem to show, I mean, if you expect 5,000 and you get five, it shows that somebody someplace along the line did not—made—you know, some sort of a serious miscalculation.

President Barack Obama: You know, the—the—Steve, let me just say this.

Steve Kroft: It's an embarrassment.

President Barack Obama: Look, there's no doubt that it did not work. And, one of the challenges that I've had throughout this heartbreaking situation inside of Syria is, is that—you'll have people insist that, you know, all you have to do is send in a few—you know, truckloads full of arms and people are ready to fight. And then, when you start a train-and-equip program and it doesn't work, then people say, "Well, why didn't it work?" Or, "If it had just started three months earlier it would've worked."

Steve Kroft: But you said yourself you never believed in this.

President Barack Obama: Well—but Steve, what I have also said is, is that surprisingly enough it turns out that in a situation that is as volatile and with as many players as there are inside of Syria, there aren't any silver bullets. 

Read the full transcript here.

Given the daily stories of refugees and brutality coming out of Syria, it's easy to forget that in 2013, President Obama pushed the U.S. fully into the situation by giving an apparently off-the-cuff remark about how American forces would rain down holy hell if we found out the Assad regime crossed "a red line" by using chemical weapongs. He almost immediately shifted his language to argue that "the world" has long set a red line regarding triggers for intervention. Forget that Obama pushed for acting alone (or in concert with Great Britain, whose Parliament rejected Prime Minister David Cameron's call for strikes in concert with the United States).

That vote and Obama's promiscuous discussion of using force created a pushback that led ultimately the president to seek congressional approval for moving into a country at which we are not at war (the authorization to use military force issue was obviatted by, of all people, the Russians).

It's worth keeping in mind even (or maybe especially) recent history to get a sense of just how utterly failed Obama's foreign policy has been in virtually every instance. For all his early talk of grand plans (remember the Russian "reset" that worked out so great?), he clearly has no large understanding of world events and is always willing to come up with new strategy after the fact to explain away his contemporaneous actions and failures.

In this, sadly, Obama is hardly alone among post-Cold War presidents. Always ready to bomb places and dispatch troops when uncomfortable domestic situations arose, Bill Clinton didn't engage in strategic thinking. George W. Bush plunged us into two ruinous occupations that were not only ill-conceived but incompetently administered. And now, after almost two full terms of Barack Obama, the world's hot spots are still smoking. Earlier in the year, Sen. Rand Paul asked simply, "Was it a good idea to invade Libya?" We need more pols and citizens asking those questions rather rallying around the flagpole, especially in the name of national pride.

Needless to say, it doesn't have to be this way, with the United States compounding one failed intervention with more of the same. There's not just a principled case for non-interventionism but a pragmatic one as well, that goes under the rubric of "libertarian realism."

There's simply no reason for our country to be lurching "dumbly" from one ill-conceived and failed intervention to the next. Read all about it here.

NEXT: The best and worst Supreme Court decisions

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  1. What’s more interesting is why Kroft and the 60 Minutes producers think suddenly it’s okay to question the president.

    1. Hillary will be differentiating herself from him, and it’s time to start sniffing her throne instead of his.

      1. Yes, it’s time for them to start carrying water for Hillary.

    2. Better seven years late than never.

    3. Obama sure picked the perfect match when he choose Biden. Neither one of them have ever been correct about a single foreign policy issue.

      Jimmy Carter can die a happy man knowing that Obama has taken “The Worst President Of All Time” mantel away from him.

      Obama is just plain fucking STUPID! (And I’m a black man so don’t start in with any of that racist crap.)

      1. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST!

        *glares at ETG*

    4. I’ve HAD IT with these motherfucking facts on this motherfucking interview!

  2. That transcript reads like a scene from HBO’s “Veep”.

    1. The situation is very complex and nuanced.

    2. “I’m the Vice President of the United States, you stupid little fuckers! These people should be begging me! That door should be half its height so that people can only approach me in my office on their goddamn, motherfucking knees.”

    3. Veep is merely ripped from Obama administration meeting minutes.

  3. My God, if his name was Bush and he had said this on tv last night, the uproar from the left would be deafening today. And still Rand Paul’s support is practically nil: Americans want a president who can smite our enemies and “make America great again.” Or whose turn it is and has a vagina.

    1. *And who can the deliver Free Shit. Never forget the importance of Free Shit.

      1. Not free. Nothing’s free. Everything has to be paid for, one way or another. But so long as _you_ don’t have to pay, it’s fine. Right?

  4. “Let me clear Steve uh… there’s no good way to stick your dick in a hornet’s nest, but uh… there’s no sugar coating it, were uh … going to stick out dick in that nest.”

    1. And I have always maintained that, uh… sticking your dick in wouldn’t work. I was very skeptical of it. But you need to try, you know?

    2. “Let me be clear, Steve: you can’t stick a porcupine in the microwave and have it come out chocolate fudge.”

  5. he clearly has no large understanding of world events and is always willing to come up with new strategy after the fact to explain away his contemporaneous actions and failures

    That’s a lot of letters to spell “megalomaniac”.

    1. I thought it spelled “incompetent fucktard.”

  6. There are those who say that in my game of 4D Vulcan chess, I’ve been checkmated.

    Also, my Obot acquaintances are strangely silent about this. Something something the dog that didn’t bark.

    1. Like when the other guy’s pawn phases back into the board and blows up your queen.

  7. Even when I have a modicum of sympathy for his position, this guy is completely incoherent.

    It’s impossible to build a moderate opposition to Assad. Obama says as much here. That means the options on the table are Assad and ISIS. And he still wants Assad gone?!

    And can we please have our politicians stop with “well we’ve got to try different things….”?

    1. “We’ve got to try different things” is politician-speak for “I have no fucking clue what I’m doing but I can’t admit that”. You’ll note that they say it all the time.

      1. The worst part of it, though, is that they actually try doing shit. And It’s invariably stupid shit. And it’s invariably stupid shit that any reasonably intelligent person could have told them beforehand was stupid shit that will make things worse.

        1. Lisa: “Nuke the whales”? You don’t really believe that, do you?

          Nelson: I don’t know. Gotta nuke somethin’.

        2. Often it’s the same old thing, which has consistently failed, but this time, the magic will kick in, honest.

        3. The logic is pretty simple.

          This crisis demands that we do something: the US is the indispensable nation.

          Here’s some really stupid shit we could do: we could train and arm some moderate militant Mohammadans to oppose the Assad regime.

          Therefore, we must do stupid shit: we must train and arm Al-Qaeda in Syria because they are more moderate than ISIS.

          1. Here’s some really stupid shit we could do: we could train and arm some moderate militant Mohammadans to oppose the Assad regime.

            There is an argument to be made that if we had moved quickly after the rebellion started, maybe the “real” moderates would have been able to sustain a campaign. Instead we hemmed and hawed until the radicals (who had the guns) killed or drove away all the moderates — don’t forget there was a lot of fighting among the anti-Assad elements.

            But that is all water under the bridge and there are no good choices left in Syria.

    2. Serious question: why do we want Assad gone?

      Every secularish strongman we have ousted has been replaced by screaming, red eyed, blood thirst Islamists. Is that his goal? If not then what would he do differently?

      1. Really does make you wonder if Obama is really that fucking stupid, or if the conspiracy theorists are right and he really does sympathize with the crazy Islamists.

        1. No it doesn’t. He’s pretty clearly just that fucking stupid. Conspiracy theories are for morons.

          1. Seconded. I can get why the conspiracy theorists think that…it’s rare that you get a President as utterly stupid and disengaged as Obama in office, and it’s easy to mistake that level of incompetence for intent.

            But really he’s just brainless fucktard with an affirmative action law degree who’s been elevated well beyond his level of competence. That’s why his jobs before getting into politics were “community activist” and “senior lecturer”. He doesn’t actually know how to *do* anything. Hell, even Bush ran businesses before getting into politics…he was terrible at them, but at least he did *something*.

            1. He’s a constitutional scholar… Get it right, pal!

              /sarc

        2. I’m not sure he personally sympathizes with them but after helping install the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt it seems clear that he thinks they are better than the status quo when he took office. That is a kind of sympathy, I suppose.

          1. However, when the military overthrew Morsi in a coup d’etat, Obama refused to call it a coup since that would prevent US aid from flowing to Egypt. The coup occurred shortly after Morsi publicly declared, “The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine … The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists.”

      2. Those insane, screaming, red-eyed, bloodthirsty Islamists are at least brought in democratically-ish.

        1. Which is why the secular dictators are the least-worst option.

          Having the real troublemakers tossed into torture chambers is an improvement over a whole region plunge into stone-age tribal warfare where many thousands more are tortured and murdered.

          For those who disagree with my premises please explain how we can accomplish my preference which is to have nothing to do with the ME.

          1. Well, there are those who believe that if the U.S. were never involved in the M.E., it would be all rainbow sprinkles and human rightsy.

            1. What do you mean by “never involved”? How far back is “never”? Farther back than the US/British overthrow of a moderate, secular, democratically elected leader in Iran for oil?

          2. Believe it or not, this is what Don Imus said about 10 years ago re: Iraq. That we should just say, oops our bad, we didn’t realize what crazy fuckers the Islamicists are, so let’s just put Saddam back in power, write a check, and get the fuck out.

            Unfortunately, we keep doubling down on the stupidity, like Chevy Chase in Vegas Vacation.

          3. Secular dictators-at least the real tyrant types-end up leading to what we have now in Syria. They are not a solution.

            Toppling leaders in the ME isn’t a good idea, but this isn’t the primary cause of the problems. The primary cause is Saudi-sponsored religious mass indoctrination and radicalization.

      3. Serious question: why do we want Assad gone?

        It hasn’t been clear to me for a while that getting rid of Assad is a sensible goal.

        That said, I also think it’s possible Obama’s acting on ego. Assad called his “red line” bluff and his entire policy on the matter is about restoring his own face.

      4. Serious answer: Bloody chaos in the Arab world is good for Israel’s national security. When they are busy fighting each other, they have less time and fewer resources to threaten Israel.

        1. Then why is Israel so reluctant to topple Assad?

          1. Because, contrary to Cato the Chippers comment, having a flawed but stable multi-ethnic/religious country on your border is better than having the second coming of a Caliphate on your border.

      5. Because he’s a proxy for Iran, and a few years ago he was blatantly coordinating with ISIS and might keep them around as a cudgel to use against the less-evil opposition elements. Assad’s gotta go; unfortunately that does not yet mean there are tenable alternatives yet. Intervention can be sensible eventually but things need to ‘de-convolute’ first.

      6. Because we still have a metric crap ton of Cold War Hawks in positions of power that can’t stand the idea of the Russians having friendly inviting ground on the Mediterranean. It has been a Cold War Agenda to topple Assad for as long as he has been in power. Without Assad, the Russians have no presence in the Med.

    3. I wish they’d try different things with somebody else’s money. Enter Putin, I guess. Right now, I’d vote for anyone who told Syria, “funny how your country remains a war-torn shithole when you choose to keep killing each other,” and stopped answering the phone when they called.

      1. Killing each other? How many people in Syria, how many people in the Middle East, how many people in Latin America, would still be alive if the US shadow and/or official government hadn’t fucked with their countries in pursuit of wealth for a tiny minority?

  8. I miss Richard Nixon

    1. He and his Secretary of State were of at least average intelligence and competence. I don’t agree with everything they did but they are a hell of an upgrade from the Obama / Clinton / Kerry team.

        1. Kissinger was one of the greatest Americans ever. He grew to oppose Vietnam. http://www.politico.com/magazi…..ies-213236

          1. You must be joking.

      1. That’s what you get from a President who is a Whittier alum versus one who went to Columbia or some shit after he couldn’t even hack it at Oxy.

  9. Christ
    This guy is truly an unmitigated disaster. But hey, post-racial America, right?

    1. You only think he’s an unmitigated disaster because you’re a racist racist teafucker. Oh, and BOOOOOOSSSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!11!!!11!!!!!!! /retard

  10. We need to return to the time when party operatives determined who ran for president and get the stupid voters out of the system.

    1. Soooooo ……. Jeb Bush, then?

      1. Compared to Barak Obama or Donald Trump?

  11. weapongs.

    Obama doesn’t believe that Assad used chemical Weapongs, there’s no evidence he used any weapongs or has any plan to use weapongs. Therefore, Obama is 100% consistent with his stated goals.

    1. Skrimp is delicious. I like to eat skrimp.

    2. I think technically a “weapong” is some form of a paddle. But a chemical weapong? Beats me.

  12. Also, the headline is flat-out false.

  13. “because part of what we have to do here, Steve, is to try different things’

    Apparently saying “don’t do stupid stuff” is superb cover for doing lots of stupid stuff.

    1. Obama found that not doing stupid stuff is actually quite a bit harder than it looks from the outside.

  14. I’m not kidding when I say Obama never learned the lessons that most guys learn growing up. He never got called on his bullshit and never got his ass kicked growing up as a prep school poodle in Hawaii. Don’t let your mouth write checks that your ass can’t cash…I believe that’s the term. So he casually draws a “red line” with a serious fucker like Assad, and by extension Putin with no real grasp of the implications. Then he stands on the playground after they pull his pants down, and thinks he can explain why he wasn’t just humiliated.

    1. “He never got called on his bullshit and never got his ass kicked growing up as a prep school poodle in Hawaii.”

      Really? I thought he grew up on the South Side of Chicago

      e.g.

      “”Do you really think this country is going to elect a black guy from the South Side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the United States? That is crazy,” quipped the president as the audience laughed.”

      Its not the first time he’s suggested that he’s “From” the hood, rather than someone who insinuated himself into one for the purpose of self-advancement

    2. A week or two ago, Chip Kelly (head football coach for the Philadelphia Eagles) got a lot of criticism for saying the problems the Eagles were having on offense weren’t with the plays he called, but with the execution of said plays.

      It seems to me Obama has the same problem. He seems surprised when his plans don’t work and he can’t understand why. It never occurs to him the problem may be in his plans. He does not seem to understand other people motivations are not the same as his (which are the right and correct ones).

      I think this is part of what makes him easily manipulated.

  15. It’s well worth watching

    No, it is not. It’s just another boring, deferential Obama interview.

  16. “It’s worth keeping in mind even (or maybe especially) recent history to get a sense of just how utterly failed Obama’s foreign policy has been in virtually every instance. For all his early talk of grand plans. . . . He clearly has no large understanding of world events and is always willing to come up with new strategy after the fact to explain away his contemporaneous actions and failures.”

    When you reject the best of both neoconservatism and pragmatism, it’s bad. When you’re also unwilling to put American interests front and center by way of realism, it’s even worse. And Obama not primarily concerned with American interests–that would be elitism and American exceptionalism! So, Obama’s foreign policy has defaulted to being internationalist, collaborative, and I would argue post-colonialist and anti-imperialist.

    Obama really hasn’t had any consistency on foreign policy unless you count being naive and obtuse, which is just about the last thing you want in foreign policy. He’s been outwitted by Putin (several times), the Chinese in the East China Sea, and the Iranians are laughing at him. His decisions haven’t been as bad, long term, as Bush’s, but that’s mostly just because he didn’t initiate war in Iraq.

    1. He’s smarter than Bush Jr. was in terms of being reluctant to use ground troops, but that’s mostly, again, because of his quasi-Marxist, post-colonial anti-imperialism. It isn’t because of the Powell/Weinberger Doctrine. He isn’t being pragmatic about pushing our different interests in different ways. Obama is not pragmatic. He’s just naive, obtuse, and incompetent.

      Goes to show, though, that being reluctant to commit ground troops can make profoundly stupid people seem a lot smarter than they really are.

      1. “He’s smarter than Bush Jr. was in terms of being reluctant to use ground troops”

        I find this sort of ridiculous.

        He tripled+ forces in Afghanistan and then left them to rot rather than let a change in policy appear on the front page.

        he’s also struck with drones and SOCOM troops in plenty of places that others had been content to leave alone.

        The idea that boosh was some crazy, irresponsible “interventionist”, and Obama a careful plodding chess-player is absurd.

        If you examine the story of “why Iraq happened” in detail, the prime concern was actually to minimize troop levels and attempt to make the thing as swift and painless as possible. If anything, it was the paranoia over “over-commitment” that guaranteed the failure of the effort and the subsequent need to “surge” and…duh, over-commit

        Unlike Obama’s FP approach, Bush and Co chose their engagements and went after them with the aim to achieve decisive effects. This is the thing Obama has strove to avoid = never appear to have made a decision one way or the other, never commit to an outcome (which could fail), and never give anything enough resources to make a difference.

        Obama’s FP is about “looking involved” without being involved. For all the mistakes made by Bush & Co, they at least didn’t care about the optics, and just did what they thought would “work”.

        1. When you initially commit ground troops, the impetus to stay there until [insert wherever] is a beacon of freedom and prosperity becomes something close to irresistible. I’ve long thought it has to do with the reverence we place on our fallen and wounded soldiers. Once American troops have died fighting somewhere, pulling out seems to render their “sacrifices” as meaningless. Plenty of Americans still haven’t gotten over Vietnam. It’s probably even worse for Presidents who have met the families of the fallen at Arlington at their funerals.

          Obama feels that pressure just like any other President. The reason we haven’t pulled out of Afghanistan completely is because of that kind of the impetus. The reason we sent more troops to Iraq was because of that kind of impetus. It’s hard to resist the urge to double down with more troops. Lyndon Johnson couldn’t resist it. George W. Bush couldn’t resist it, and Barack Obama couldn’t resist the urge to double down on more troops either. The only modern President I can think of that resisted sending in more troops after there had been casualties (without total victory) was Ronald Reagan after the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon.

          1. “George W. Bush couldn’t resist it”

            At least that worked and crushed the insurgency!

        2. If it becomes irresistible to up the commitment once American troops have fallen, then the best way to avoid that is by not sending ground troops in the first place–essentially following the Weinberger/Powell Doctrine. That’s why George H. W. Bush didn’t topple Saddam Hussein in 1991. Obama managed to resist the urge to send in ground troops in Libya, as well. I give him credit for that (and pretty much that alone).

          In short, there’s a big difference between sending more troops (which few can resist) and never sending troops in the first place. Bush Jr. failed to resist, but his father did resist and held himself back. Obama resisted that urge to send ground troops into Libya, too, despite all sorts of pressure (especially from Congressional Republicans) to do so.

          1. I’m not sure what your point is other than to say that “troops” are some magical policy game-changer

            I’m not so sure its that simple. We have about 5,000 people in Iraq, and 2X that in Afghanistan. They are engaged, as the Kunduz debacle should have shown.

            I’m not sure there’s any real difference as far as the broad-brush concept of intervention goes whether we’re deploying small #s of troops, large #s of troops, or not using ground forces at all, but rather bombarding & droning targets willy nilly.

            The point I was making is that Obama has never been loathe to intervene unilaterally with force, and yet people seem to act like he’s this very-careful strategic thinker simply because he hasn’t deployed entire divisions……its quite the opposite = he’s been perfectly willing to stick his dick into anything, just as long as he could say, “aha, but no troops” as though the presence of Regular Infantry is the only thing that ever matters

            1. “I’m not sure what your point is other than to say that “troops” are some magical policy game-changer”

              Putting troops on the ground isn’t magical, but it is a game changer. That’s why the Powell/Weinberger Doctrine is so very important.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powell_Doctrine

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weinberger_Doctrine

              Following it was the reason we didn’t topple Saddam in 1991. Ignoring it was the reason we invaded Iraq in 2003.

              The whole point is to be able to avoid quagmires like Vietnam and Iraq. You can’t leave unless victory or defeat are absolute, and if the place doesn’t blossom into a democratic heaven on earth, then withdrawing the last of the troops is the definition of defeat. In fact, as long as you keep troops there, you can still claim victory is around the corner.

              I’d point out the troops we still have in Germany and Japan, after World War II, not to mention South Korea, but it goes back further than that. We still have troops deployed in the Philippines and Cuba after the Spanish American War. Once you deploy troops it is extremely difficult to withdraw them–and that is an excellent reason why we should avoid deploying them whenever possible. That is the point of the Powell/Weinberger Doctrine–avoiding ground troop deployments.

              I’d love to say I made up the doctrines myself, but but they’ve been kicking around since before they were talked about publicly by Weinberger in 1984.

          2. Ken this is a fallacy. One wrong (that being the seeming inability to withdraw troops after they’ve done their thing) doesn’t justify another wrong (never sending them in). Just go in, blow shit up and kill the bad guys, and then leave.

            1. “Ken this is a fallacy. One wrong (that being the seeming inability to withdraw troops after they’ve done their thing) doesn’t justify another wrong (never sending them in). “

              The way the Powell and Weinberger Doctrines are stated, it’s a check list of conditions for deploying troops. It doesn’t say we should never deploy troops. Want to avoid a quagmire? Go down this checklist: … The closer you follow it, the more likely you are to avoid a quagmire. The less you follow it, …

              Iraq failed the checklist in 1991. It failed the checklist in 2003, too, which is one of the reasons why I opposed the invasion in 2003. Wanna know why Jim Baker and company didn’t invade Iraq in 1991? Do one of two things. 1) Look at the checklist on the Powell Doctrine. 2) Look at what happened to us in Iraq because we ignored the checklist. They both tell you the same thing–never should have gone there.

              I should add two caveats. First, if you go down the checklist in the Powell Doctrine and pass everything, it still doesn’t mean you should deploy troops. It just means you’re less likely to end up in a quagmire. Second caveat, wars of self-defense probably always pass the Powell/Weinberger tests. But such occupations are still susceptible to incompetence (e.g., de-Baathification) and staying longer than we should (e.g., Afghanistan).

          3. “The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved.”

            Seems like he missed the first point. Note it says “forces,” not “troops.”

            But, I do give him credit for not sending troops into Libya. Just like I give him credit for not deploying nuclear weapons in Syria, and for not pooping himself on national television (as far as I’m aware).

            It’s easy to ignore what someone does, and give them credit for all the ways they could have made it worse.

            But, hey: we wasted less money in Libya. Awesome.

        3. This is the thing Obama has strove to avoid = never appear to have made a decision one way or the other, never commit to an outcome (which could fail), and never give anything enough resources to make a difference.

          In that, he’s perfectly representative of the current American culture–risk-averse, wishy-washy, over-managed, and constantly buck-passing.

    2. “”Obama’s foreign policy has defaulted to being internationalist, collaborative, and I would argue post-colonialist and anti-imperialist.”

      He seems to have shown little interest in advancing the authority of international bodies…. like the ICC

      That was something Clinton/Albright/Warren were pretty bullish about, and which Bush put the Kibosh on…

      …Obama’s posture compared to both is sort of consistent with his overall presidency = adopt the language of the former, and the policy of the latter.

      He (and Hillary) have said nice things about the ICC and alluded to a change in US attitude (and indeed, sent some delegates to some international mucky muck)… but in fact, has done absolutely nothing to suggest that there’s any change since Bush re: recognition of the court.

      Neither has he been aggressive with “Coalition Diplomacy” – spearheading multiparty talks between people like Israel and its neighbors, or the parties engaged in territorial disputes in the South China sea, or between China/North/South Korea, etc, or between Russia and EU nations re: Ukraine security concerns…

      again – that sort of shit was the hallmark of the Clinton-age, and exactly what the Neocons disavowed. Obama again plays the “Have Cake/Eat Cake” game

      1. Obama went to war in Libya becasue France, the UK, and Qatar were going.

        Obama has been repeatedly bamboozled by Putin because he has tried to collaborate with Putin.

        Obama is trying to collaborate with Iran on its nuclear program–essentially working with them to thwart the security concerns of American hawks over both nuclear proliferation and Israel.

        That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about by collaborationist. He wants the world’s leaders to work together with him. That’s his primary goal. He still thinks he’s a community organizer on foreign policy–organizing the world’s leaders against the stupid prejudices of the American right.

        And the world’s leaders keep exposing him as a fool.

        Even China’s recent foray into the waters off Alaska (while Obama was in Alaska talking about climate change) was meant to embarrass him personally.

  17. He really shouldn’t be doing interviews on foreign policy at all. He comes across as so inept and unprepared. Just who the hell does Obama have advising him. Before coming on TV to sling the bull****, one should first learn from the masters. During the Iraq war, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell were almost genius at selling that whole debacle — because they came prepared.

  18. FYI: The link to the full interview is not the interview that aired Sunday, but an old interview from 2011. @NickGillespie

  19. How’s The RESET with Soviets going?

    1. Oh, and, SMART POWER!

  20. Sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong – again.

  21. “”….surprisingly enough it turns out that in a situation that is as volatile and with as many players as there are inside of Syria, there aren’t any silver bullets.”

    Following interview = US Airlifts Supply of Silver Bullets To Rebels

  22. Ok, I’m not gonna lie: I don’t follow foreign policy very much. But one thing I know is that Obama thought it was a good idea to give arms and training to Syrian rebels.

    Is it just me, or is this a monumentally stupid idea? It seems like if we (the USA) give the impression that we will give free weapons and training to militant groups, militant groups elsewhere will start kissing up to us (even if they hate our guts) just to get weapons, then go back to being our enemies once they’ve gotten what they want.

  23. One more year of this Dbag is all we have to suffer – every real soldier in the military

    1. … is preparing to salute his/her new Commander-in-Chief: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

  24. The link at the top is to Kroft’s 2011 interview.

  25. “President Barack Obama: Steve, this is why I’ve been skeptical from the get go about the notion that we were going to effectively create this proxy army inside of Syria. My goal has been to try to test the proposition, can we be able to train and equip a moderate opposition that’s willing to fight ISIL? And what we’ve learned is that as long as Assad remains in power, it is very difficult to get those folks to focus their attention on ISIL.”

    The barrage of deception, misdirection, and history re-writing, in this single paragraph is astounding!

    1) You didn’t seem skeptical of anything. You championed this idea in front of a disapproving Congress.
    2) Did he really openly just use the term “proxy army”?
    3) The goal was never to fight ISIL, the goal was to assist the fight against Assad.
    4) What we’ve learned? You mean that after this failed approach to bring down Assad, you realized that the rebels fighting Assad weren’t going to cooperate with your change of narrative – that is, for this to have been all about ISIL all along. That’s Laughable.
    5) Did he really think the public was stupid or couldn’t remember something as simple as Assad and the war against him predating ISIL? Or that the priority for the Syrians, and the Hawks in Congress and the Pentagon, and his own administration for that matter, was to bring down Assad.

    Executive facepalm.

  26. Obama said he’d strike if chemical weapons were used. Putin knew such a strike would bring down Assad, and ordered Assad to give up his chemical weapons. Assad delivered them to the world and the world destroyed them.
    A victory for the international community and double for Obama.
    What?!, Assad is still there? Obama’s not superman?
    Be patient, Assad is not forever or even for long. Nor is ISIS.
    And no Americans are dying.
    And there won’t be unless one of the truly manic Republican Presidential candidates is elected.

    1. Hello troll; I like you because your optimism over floweth.

      Seriously though, if Obama got caught double Dutch-ruddering an illegal sex slave tranny would you call it a victory for equality in our time?

      1. Troll? Because he dares criticize the Republican clown show?

  27. It makes me sad we are relying on Putin to prop up Asad, so we aren’t faced with another Libya. Putin also might save us from the war hawk neocons demanding we do something after a lawless Syria pulled other countries further into the mix.

    If only the ME would follow prog-tard logic this whole Arab Spring would have been utopic.

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