Nobody, to my knowledge, bequeathed Syria in perpetuity to the Assad family. But let’s set that aside for the moment — and Hama, and the 100,000 dead of the past 30 months, and the more than two million refugees. It is not easy to overlook the crimes of a leader who will so slaughter and scatter his own. But let’s try, because a global question of overriding importance has now arisen out of Syria.At least this takes the subject seriously. Much better than the inane articles in the press that reduce the complexities of the Syrian conundrum to whether Obama's "winning" or "losing", a value judgment made by those least qualified to judge.
That is the question of the enduring credibility of the American “red lines” that have been a foundation of the post-1945 world order.
A candid moment in the Oval Office has some Barack Obama opponents and residential purists up in arms -- all over a foot and the president's desk.See the photo here.
A photo, taken in August as the president spoke on the phone with Speaker of the House John Boehner, shows Obama standing behind the Resolute Desk with his foot perched on the edge.
As [Sen. James] Inhofe’s conversion on the road to Damascus indicates, Republicans don’t like what Obama is doing in Syria — whatever it is.More politics and policy below the fold.
President Bashar al-Assad’s public activities — in which he acts as if nothing untoward is happening in Syria — mask his increasing aggression in battle and belie his supporters’ fears of an American attack.WaPo:
Virginia Republicans have been keeping their distance from E.W. Jackson ever since the fiery minister, who has compared Planned Parenthood to the Klan and linked yoga to Satan, won the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor.ICYMI, the WSJ sums up the latest Q-poll:
Turns out the feeling was mutual.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has surged to a commanding lead in the city's Democratic mayoral primary, raising for the first time all campaign the possibility that a runoff may not be needed to pick a nominee.Speaking of polls, here's that Reuters poll referenced at the top:
A poll from Quinnipiac University shows that de Blasio is the choice of 43 percent of likely Democratic voters, the highest mark any candidate has tallied all year. It also is the first time that any candidate has passed the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff; if no one passes that mark, the top two finishers in the Sept. 10 primary advance to a showdown three weeks later.
Former comptroller Bill Thompson places a distance second at 20 percent, according to the poll, which was released Tuesday. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is at 18 percent.
President Barack Obama has failed so far to convince most Americans that the United States should launch a limited military strike against Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.Maureen Dowd summarizes an important point about how W's Iraq screw-up continues to haunt us:
Some 56 percent of those surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria, while only 19 percent supported action, the online poll found. Some 25 percent said they did not know what course of action the United States should take.
Once more, we see the magnitude of the tragedy of Iraq because the decision on Syria is so colored by the fact that an American president and vice president took us to war in the Middle East on false pretenses and juiced up intelligence, dragging the country into an emotionally and financially exhausting decade of war and an identity crisis about our role in the world.Jeb Bush wants this (NY Times) to be the Bush legacy, not Katrina and Iraq:
W. was so black and white, as he mischaracterized and miscalculated, that he ended up driving America into a gray haze, where we’re unsure if our old role as John Wayne taking on the global bad guys is even right.
We now actually have a president who understands the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. But our previous gigantic misreadings of the Middle East, and the treacherous job of fathoming which sides to support in the Arab uprisings — are the rebels in these countries the good guys or Al Qaeda sympathizers? — have left us literally gun shy.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and his family are quietly gearing up to promote an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, long a defining issue for the Bushes.Good luck with that.