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Obama, Rumsfeld and the Redline

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 8, 2013

Since before his first election, it became evident that Barack Obama has a different “calculus” when it comes to straight talk and honesty.  Before the election there was the of Rev. Wright issue.  Obama sat in the pews listening to this racist preacher for years, but stood in front of the cameras and told the American people he didn’t hear any racist rants.

Since his first election Obama has broken too many promises to list in this short posting.  Examples include the promise that if the Congress passed his Stimulus Spending Program, the unemployment rate would not exceed 8% and the spending would go to shovel ready projects.  Not only did the unemployment rate significantly exceed 8% after the spending, but the President glibly blamed this increase on shovel ready projects that were not ready.

Another example involves Obama’s signature legislation, Obamacare.  One of its promises included that millions would be added the roles of those with medical insurance, but not increase overall costs.  Preposterous!  The program is barely getting started and the cost for medical insurance is skyrocketing.

Last week President Obama took the misrepresentations to a new level concerning a most serious matter, taken the Country into battle in Syria.  In a Stockholm, Sweden news conference, Obama incredibly stated that he did not one year earlier draw a redline concerning Syria’s use of chemical weapons stating (emphasis added):

First of all, I didn’t set a red line.  The world set a red line.  The world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are [inaudble] and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war.

Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty.  Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability  Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for.

So, when I said in a press conference that my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up.  I didn’t pluck it out of thin air.  There’s a reason for it.”

Fortunately for the American people, today when important politicians make important statements they are generally videotaped and become a record that is unalterable.  The video below shows Obama’s exact comments in context that include the following statements (emphasis added): “A redline for us is, we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.  That would change my calculusThat would change my equation.”

In the President’s comments one year ago he used the word “my” twice in three short sentences.  The meaning is clear, it is his calculus, his redline, not the world’s nor the Congress’s.  The question as to whether Obama’s redline was appropriate is a subject for another discussion.  However, the President’s unwillingness to man up and take responsibility for his own statements and policies is yet another sign of the office being too big for the man.

Over the weekend former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was interviewed by Greta Van Susteren on Syria and the red line.  Whether or not you like Rumsfeld or his policies, you have to admire him for his willingness for straight talk and to take responsibility for what he says.

 

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