Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"The proposal is a true diplomatic breakthrough long in the making"

Frankly, sometimes I'm a bit shocked at the ignorance of a lot of punditry. There are those out there who are actually suggesting that this potential for a diplomatic solution to Syria's use of chemical weapons just fell out of the sky yesterday. Anyone who suggests something like that should be automatically dismissed from ever reporting on things like this. That's not how it happens.

Here's Gwen Ifill reporting on her interview with President Obama last night.
In an interview with PBS, President Obama said if there is a diplomatic path to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria it would be "overwhelmingly my preference."

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, the proposal is a true diplomatic breakthrough long in the making.
That's how diplomacy happens folks. So while President Obama was trying to convince the US and the world to join him in waging the "stick" of military intervention, he was secretly talking to Russia about the "carrot" of a diplomatic solution. Notice the word "secretly." That is done to help world leaders save face as they explore options. It is absolutely necessary to arrive at diplomatic solutions. Remember that when some folks (cough...Assange...cough) suggest that it is evil for governments to keep secrets.


  1. I was going to make another snarky, "Nah, Obama just got lucky" comment, but fuck it.

    At this point anyone who falls back on the "he just got lucky" excuse doesn't deserve the consideration of snark. They are just idiots.

    1. People who keep attributing the president's successes to "luck" are basically saying that he is Forrest Gump with a tan.

    2. I once heard an expression (from a hip hop artist): "Folks keep calling me lucky/Funny, the harder I work, the luckier I get."

  2. What makes a person be willing to be THAT bad at their job? Is it just the money? Or is it being on TV five nights a week? I don't get it.

  3. Well, the New Republic already started...and I'm sure there will be others. Even though it's been made clear that the President's been working behind the scenes on this, nope, they can't--or won't--give him the credit.

    A shame, really. But not surprising.

  4. Thank goodness there are some smart pragmatic people out there like on this blog! I just opened up "Politico" and nearly passed out. The hyperbolic ridiculousness of that rag is sickening. The writers vacillate from saying Obama "stumbled" upon a solution, to having no plan, to weakening America blah blah blah.

    No matter that this President is actually solving a crisis with no boots on the ground and minimal money spent! Where were these "politicos" during the Bush years? Oh yes, they were shouting down thoughtful critics as being "against the troops!" or terrorists.

  5. The punditry can say all they want about whether this is to Obama's credit or not. Their credibility is at the lowest after the past week of hyperventilating and issuing dire threats. I don't think he gives a rat's ass about their opinions. He was in this for the long game. For the people on the right and left who believe that Obama has lucked out again and this is Putin's moment to shine, screw 'em.

  6. I am frequently reminded of the Doonesbury cartoon from about 1973: The President Is a Lot Smarter Than You Think. Yes, I know Trudeau was originally saying it about Nixon, but it was probably true then and it's certainly true now, for very many people on both sides of any issue.

  7. I wish members of the media would take as many recess breaks as Congress.

  8. A year long development of a plan is a long range diplomatic mission. Resets only last so long.

    It requires thoughtful consideration and compelling vision, by all involved.

  9. In general, Americans are lazy when it comes to educating themselves on very important issues. Another major failing that many Americans share is a reliance on news networks and on unscrupulous bloggers, politicians, and pundits for information. This prevents them from being capable of engaging in a serious discussion on any issue. If it's not related to some sort of inane reality show, many Americans can't be bothered to pay attention to anything. Plus, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that those in the MSM have played a huge role in spreading misinformation on every topic from foreign policy to economics, and everything in between.

  10. In the early 1980s Nightline ran a role-playing simulation of the President and his national security advisors resolving a crisis with the Soviet Union over Iran. Arguably the most important discussion didn't occur in the Cabinet room. Back-channel discussion between lower-level people in the US and Soviet diplomatic services, who already had a working relationship and met on a regular basis, established the terms for high-level public diplomacy without fear that either government would be embarrassed.


Israel owes Obama a huge debt of gratitude

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