On Wednesday's The Last Word, Lawrence O'Donnell blasted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Trump administration for Tuesday's chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people, which has killed almost 90 people, according to the count so far by human rights groups. "Men, women, children, and babies got gassed in Syria this week because last week, the Trump administration gave the signal that that was OK with President Trump," O'Donnell said.
It's never Dear Leader's fault, is it?
For those who haven't noticed — and that would be understandable, given the national press's and broadcast outlets' consistent lack of interest in the period involved — the ongoing and worsening disaster in Syria during the past three years has caused "physical, human and political damage on an unprecedented scale." That quote comes the subheadline at Anne Applebaum's Monday column in the Washington Post. The main headline: "The disastrous nonintervention in Syria." So here was Applebaum's problem: How does one chronicle this disaster without making it look like President Barack "Lead From Behind" Obama deserves the lion's share of the blame? Her answer: Blame then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
Giving proper coverage to the heartbreaking and tear-jerking scene out of Aleppo, Syria with a bloody and dusty young boy sitting in an ambulance, MSNBC/NBC’s Andrea Mitchell devoted a full segment to the matter on Thursday afternoon but of course made no mention of President Barack Obama or his administration’s inaction in Syria to dispose of the Assad regime or ISIS in the over five years since the conflict began.
On Tuesday's New Day, CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto tagged the Obama administration efforts to train Syrian rebels as an "utter failure" and he as CNN substitute co-anchor John Berman recalled the scant results of trying to build up Syrian rebels as opposed to the more substantial troops and weapons Russia has supplied to Syrian President Bashar Assad. The CNN correspondent saw a similar "indictment" of the Obama administration in the aftermath of the Taliban's recent seizure of Kunduz in Afghanistan.
Kudos to the Daily Beast for reporting this story. Don't hold your breath for the network news outlets to pick up on it and doggedly pursue it.
In an exclusive published at the website today, Josh Rogin and Noah Shachtman explain how there's credible evidence that regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad may have used chemical weapons in January 2014, something that U.S. intelligence officials are denying but which eyewitnesses on the ground insist occurred (excerpt follows; emphasis mine):
Expecting Syria to live up to an agreement between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for the cataloging, inspection, removal and eventual destruction or sequester of chemical weapons is a subtle seduction.
Why would a dictator like Bashar al-Assad relinquish his most potent weapon in the midst of a civil war? President Obama and his sycophants claim it was the threat of military action against Syria that focused Assad's mind. That hardly seems credible after Kerry's promise that any U.S. missile strike would be "unbelievably small."
It was bound to be overshadowed by breaking news of the fatal Washington Navy Yard shooting this morning, but today's Wall Street Journal front-pager, "Inside White House, a Head-Spinning Reversal on Chemical Weapons," would have likely gone unnoticed by the liberal broadcast and cable media regardless.
In a 66-paragraph masterpiece, Journal reporters Adam Entous, Janet Hook, and Carol Lee gave a behind-the-scenes look of how, "Through mixed messages, miscalculations, and an 11th-hour break, the U.S. stumbled into an international crisis and then stumbled out of it." Among other things disclosed, "The same day [Secretary of State John] Kerry made his fateful remark" that Syria could simply give up its weapons to the international community, "the State Department sent Congress a memo detailing: 'Russian Obstruction of Actions on Syria.'" It really is a great exploration of the Keystone Kops nature of the Obama team's bungling of Syrian foreign policy. Here's a taste (emphasis mine):
While the liberal media predictably focus on the domestic political ramifications for President Obama as regards his strange and ever-evolving policy on Syria, the real story worth reporting is how Obama may actually be strengthening Bashar Assad's hand, even making him "a national hero" who can not only survive but thrive as a result.
In her September 12 front-page story "Syrian Rebels Hurt By Delay," The Wall Street Journal's Nour Malas has an excellent story to that effect. Filing from Istanbul, she quotes Mohammmed al-Daher, "a commander in the rebels' Western backed Free Syria Army" as lamenting that he "wouldn't be surprised if the end result of these negotiations is that [Assad] remains as president and beyond that, turns into a national hero who saved his country." Malas continued (emphasis mine):
May you live through interesting times goes the wording of an ancient Chinese curse, or so I've heard many times through the years.
The possibility of US military intervention in Syria is producing something comparable -- we are living through unusually candid times, at least for some people who previously didn't seem capable of it. (Audio clips after the jump)
Never one to let down his macho guard, Geraldo Rivera has made an entertaining suggestion on President Obama should deal with Syrian leader Bashar Assad -- "Let's kill him."
Gee, what could possibly go wrong if we did that? Aside from possibly converting Syria into yet another lawless failed state in the Middle East turned jihadist launch pad. Aside from that. (Audio clips after the jump)
Seven words I never thought I'd say -- keep up the good work, Michael Moore.
What prompted this was a tweet from the leftist filmmaker after Secretary of State John Kerry's appearance last night on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" during which Kerry described why military action against the Assad regime in Syria is justified. (Video after the jump)
On Thursday's All In show, as he hosted Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson and MSNBC contributor Karen Finney to debate whether President Obama should attack Syria, MSNBC host Chris Hayes declared that it "sounds a little morally obtuse" for Grayson to use the words "not our problem" as he argued against intervention in Syria.
Referring to an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry from earlier in the show, Hayes asked if the Secretary said anything that Grayson found "compelling or convincing," leading the Florida Democrat to begin his response: