Friday, May 10, 2013

Perceptions Count?

President Obama is still talking big on Syria, even though John Kerry is in Russia agreeing with Putin that we will join Russia in hosting peace talks between Assad and the rebels. Obama is still pounding the pulpit and saying that “Assad must go,” so there seems to be the usual lack of communication within the Obama Administration. Perhaps they need to learn how to use email.

Obama was asked about his “red line” statement during a press conference with the president of South Korea and told the questioner not to worry, that he was definitely going to bring Assad to justice. I'm not quoting there, because what he actually said was, “in the end, whether it's bin Laden or Qaddafi, if we say we're taking a position, I would think at this point the international community has a pretty good sense that we typically follow through on our commitments,” which is a clear implication that he is merely waiting for a convenient opportunity to assassinate Assad.

Well, given the shaky grammar and convoluted sentence structure, it's not really a clear indication of anything. If you make your sentences long enough and complicated enough no one can figure out what the hell you are talking about, but you'll sound intelligent and they'll think it's their failure.

He also got rather Clintonesque with another the “red line” questioner, saying that, “The operative word there, I guess, Stephen, is ‘perceived.’” Apparently everyone else is convinced on the chemical weapons thing, but he is not and, “I don't make decisions based on “perceived.’” Indeed. And it depends on “what ‘is’ is,” too.

Not to mention that the decision as to whether or not to go to war in Syria is for him to make, not Congress. Screw the constitution.

The international community may have “a pretty good sense that we typically follow through on our commitments,” but the domestic community is somewhat less sure according to recent polls which show that only 49% believe that he is “able to get things done.” They didn’t ask about whether or not he even wants to get things done.

As to his claim about “typically following through on our commitments,” I guess that doesn’t apply to closing prison gulags on Caribbean islands, or keeping campaign promises not to raise taxes on middle class. The latter might be back to the “operative word perceived,” however, as when Republicans let tax cuts expire it counts as a tax increase but when a Democrat lets the payroll tax cut expire it doesn't count as a tax increase. It’s all in how you “perceive” it, you see.

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