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AP Says Obama Overruled His Foreign Policy Team

From the Associated Press:

In first major test, Obama overrules new team

By Julie Pace | September 3, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Barack Obama’s new foreign policy advisers, the first test of their willingness to undertake military action wound up being a stark lesson in the president’s ability to overrule them all.

Obama’s abrupt decision to seek congressional approval before striking Syria also overshadowed what had been a surprising level of consensus among the second-term team members about how to respond to a deadly chemical weapons attack against civilians in Syria.

(Whereas Obama never bothered to get Congressional authorization before attacking Libya.)

People close to the deliberations say Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, national security adviser Susan Rice and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power largely agreed about the need to use force to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad…

The advisers, two of whom are former senators, were also willing to proceed without congressional authorization. But on Friday night, after a week spent speeding toward military action, the president made a stunning turnabout and decided he wanted approval from lawmakers before carrying out an attack.

"While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective," Obama said as he announced the decision Saturday…

In other words, Obama looked at the polling and decided that it would be better to blame whatever happens on Congress. That way, he can blame the Republicans in Congress if things turn out badly. And if things do turn out well, he can still take credit for everything.

This is what he calls ‘leading from behind.’

As Obama grappled with putting military action to a vote in Congress, he didn’t consult his foreign policy team. Instead, he sought out Denis McDonough, a longtime adviser who now serves as his chief of staff. And most of the administration’s foreign policy leadership was absent from the Oval Office meeting Friday night when the president informed several advisers about his decision to seek congressional approval.

Rice, a member of the White House staff, was in the room. But Kerry and Hagel were only informed about the decision later that night during phone calls from the president…

Well, Obama undoubtedly believes he knows more about foreign policy than any of his advisors. And the scary thing is, given who he has selected to advise him, he may well be right.

When the national security team gathered Saturday morning to discuss the decision, administration officials say there was pushback from some advisers, though they refused to say who was leading that effort.

Was Joe Biden pushing to divide Syria into three parts?

And at least publicly, the team now appears to be following the orders of the commander in chief…

Unless all of this backfires, then it will be Congress’s fault.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “AP Says Obama Overruled His Foreign Policy Team”

  1. mr_bill

    “…Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, national security adviser Susan Rice and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power…”

    Just those titles next to those names is enough to scare the bejeezus out of any normal person. It’s quite a coalition of the inept, and these are the people “leading” the policy decisions. God help us!

  2. Obama knows everything better than… everyone. At least that’s what we’re supposed to believe. And sadly, some do. I am not one of them. Obama’s foreign policy thus far has been either a series of hopeless, hapless, F-ups or a long term plan to further destroy America. He began his presidential reign by spontaneously offending every ally we had. Then there was his reset of our relationship with Russia. How’s that working out so far? Snowden ring any bells? Singing the praises of China, Cuba, and every middle eastern terrorist stronghold on the map was the next step. Obama ignored Iranians who wanted “democracy” or at least to be free of their current Islamic regime, and then championed the Arab spring. Now he’s going to stick his nose into Syria. And it looks as if he’s going to skip the whole harshly worded letter/speech too… so there!

    If someone asked me to come up with a 10 year plan to wipe out America from inside with systematic attacks on the social, fiscal, and military complexes of the USA, I could not have come up with a more effective plan than Obama seems to be executing.

  3. I’m sure someone, somewhere has already said this but I haven’t seen it.

    Okay, so nerobama drops a few bombs on Syrian runways and that makes his ego feel better. Now, whether Assad used the chemical weapons or it was the rebels, which makes more sense, he’s the one being punished for it. So what’s he got to lose? If the US is going to assist Al Qeada and the Sunnis in their overall civil war against the Shiites for the control of Islam and the countries that practice it then what does Assad have to lose. He may just use all his weapons and just get it over with and dare the US to put boots on the ground to remove him. Assad knows that he and his family are most likely dead if he loses this thing.

    I say let them kill each other until there are none left. No skin off my nose.




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