Saturday, September 07, 2013

Norm!


The worst part of Obama constantly invoking an “international norm” against chemical weapons is that when I hear it I feel an irresistible urge to yell “Norm!” Too many episodes of Cheers, I guess, if there could be such a thing. He used the term no less than 16 times in today’s press conference. There is evidently an “international norm [Norm!] on banning chemical weapons.” Remember how Assad has lost his “legitimacy,” according to Obama and Hillary? That was another measure which could be defined and enforced by Obama personally.

The problem is that a “norm” does not exist in concrete terms unless its terms are specified by international law or treaty. There is no such law, and no treaty signed by Syria. So Obama can certainly make a moral case for stopping Syrian use of such weapons, but there is nothing to “enforce” or “breech.” Or even unravel: “when there’s a breech this brazen of a norm this important [Norm!], and the international community is paralyzed and frozen and doesn’t act, then that norm [Norm!] begins to unravel. And if that norm [Norm!] unravels, then other norms and prohibitions start unraveling.” I hate those unraveling norms, you wind up picking threads out of the furniture for weeks.

“There are a number of countries that, just as a matter of principle, believe that if military action is to be taken it needs to go through the U.N. Security Council.” And by “as a matter of principle,” they mean as a matter of international law.

He says he would “greatly prefer working through multilateral channels and through the United Nations to get this done,” but he’s gotta protect that norm. And Assad would probably prefer to win his war without chemical weapons (if he did order the use of chemical weapons), but Obama and Assad will disregard those preferences in order to get their way.

“As I said last night, I was elected to end wars, not start them.” Funny how that happened, huh?

“And what I’ve tried to explain is we may not solve the whole problem, but this particular problem of using chemical weapons on children, this one we might have an impact on, and that’s worth acting on.” Way to set a nebulous goal to which he can’t be held.

“that experience with the war in Iraq colors how people view this situation not just back home in America, but also here in Europe and around the world.” It’s called learning from past mistakes.

“Now, is it possible that Assad doubles down in the face of our action and uses chemical weapons more widely? I suppose anything is possible, but it wouldn’t be wise.” And if Assad has proven himself to be anything, it’s wise.

“I think it would be pretty hard for the U.N. Security Council at that point to continue to resist the requirement for action, and we would gladly join with an international coalition to make sure that it stops.” Gladly. With a song in our heart and a cruise missile in our pants.

“These kinds of interventions, these kinds of actions are always unpopular because they seem distant and removed.” Yes, it’s not like the Civil War, which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

“I want people to understand that gassing innocent people, delivering chemical weapons against children is not something we do.” We have drones for that.

He met with the presidents of Brazil and Mexico, both of whom ae pissed off that the NSA has been spying on them (personally, as well as their countries). “I said that I would look into the allegations.” You’d have thought he’d have “looked into” them before actually meeting the two presidents. You can tell it wasn’t Obama that McCain was losing to at phone-poker, because Obama sucks at bluffing.


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3 comments:

Eli Stephens, Left I on the News said...

US actions which killed 1/2 million Iraqi children, and which were for all intents and purposes chemical and biological warfare: http://lefti.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-largest-biological-and-chemical.html

Christopher said...

“that experience with the war in Iraq colors how people view this situation not just back home in America, but also here in Europe and around the world.” It’s called learning from past mistakes.“that experience with the war in Iraq colors how people view this situation not just back home in America, but also here in Europe and around the world.” It’s called learning from past mistakes.

There's something about the leaders of the world, where they get really, really, really irritated if you stop trusting them because of the mistakes they made.

Actually, Obama (Like many others) deals with scandals in this really exasperated, condescending way, like the public are children and by god he's trying to explain it to us with the smallest words possible but if we don't get it we should just shut up and let him do what he wants because father knows best.

He really is just like George W. Bush when it comes to war and the national security state.

Holy shit, Nader was right!!!

WIIIAI said...

It was funnier when Bush was the one who thought he knew best.

Leaders also get annoyed when they do the same thing as their predecessors, but we fail to perceive that their motives for doing the same thing are pure.

Obama has indeed adopted Bush's theme that we'e just "tired" of wars rather than philosophically opposed to them or that we've learned the limitations of the war-based approach to problem-solving.