Michael Gerson: Obama's empowerment of Putin a sad moment for America


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  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    The President was undercut temporarily by the tea party and right wing. This new peace movement to embarrass the President is embarrassing. Would congress have wanted to stop the bold Pakistan invasion to get Bin Laden to criticize the Administration? The radio-right will spin everything even if not in the countries best interest and ignore reality.

  • Liberal Today Murray, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 10:18 p.m.

    What you don't know is that John Boehner was the one who texted Putin the idea of righting a letter and submitting it to the NY Tims.

    The neocons put him up to it. Wait? Is that right? What is a neocon anyway?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 6:14 p.m.

    But look at the bright side - we aren't invading Syria.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:17 p.m.

    Gerson can think what he wants about what a "sad moment" is, but wouldn't attacking Syria be a sad moment for us, Syria or both? If the price of avoiding that while ALSO ridding the country of chemical weapons means giving Putin a moment in the limelight, so what? Assuming no one (except perhaps McCain, who never met a war he didn't like) wants into step into a civil war which requires making an ally of terrorists at some point, I wouldn't even grumble if they gave Putin the Peace Prize, even though he's a stone killer.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:18 p.m.

    michael gerson is a former speech writer for a republican POTUS, a former senior policy member at the heritage foundation, a ghost writer for charles colson, a one time one of the most influential evangelicals in America, a one time recruit of karl rove...

    What else would an inquiring mind expect to read from gerson?

    In an article by Matthew Scully (one of gerson's co-speechwriters) published in the Atlantic (September 2007) gerson is criticized for seeking the limelight, taking the credit for other people's work and for creating a false image of himself.

    "...It was always like this, working with mike...many things that never happened were reported as fact. For all of our chief speechwriter’s finer qualities, the firm adherence to factual narrative is not a strong point...".

    gerson has pretty much touched all the bases of the typical suspect who is a republican hater of all things other than the republican party.

    As I commented earlier, what else would an inquiring mind expect from gerson?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    "The only empowerment given to Putin is by the conservative/tea/republican/ party"

    If that were only true, but it isn't. Russia has taken a huge leap on the world stage, especially in the Middle East, you know, the part of the world that controls most the oil. Won't it be great when they get their oil at a reduced rate, or in exchange for weapons, while we pay double the price? The conservative/tea/republican/ party didn't do that. Obama did.

    And the rest of the world, Russia looks reasonable and fair, the US looks like an aggressor tyrant nation that the benevolent Russians stopped from massacring Syrians with bombs.

    But at least the president's personal face was not egged. He ducked at just the right time and it hit the nation instead.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    Obama ought to let Putin know that Syria's chemical weapons must be verified and destroyed before the winter Olympics are to take place. If it doesn't happen the U.S. pulls out of the Olympics.

    Not fair to the athletes? The Olympics are rigged with corrupt judges and corrupt, steroid-injected athletes.

    Hold the Olympics over Putin's head. He is desperate for them to show-case his country and leadership.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    Well to all of you who wanted Obama to fail, don't worry, he has. At least in foreign affairs. I only wish he had failed in getting Obamacare passed.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    @Happy Valley Heretic
    Orem, UT

    In 1933, group of wealthy businessmen that allegedly included the heads of Chase Bank, GM, Goodyear, Standard Oil, the DuPont family and Senator Prescott Bush tried to recruit Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler to lead a military coup against President FDR and install a fascist dictatorship in the United States.

    11:45 a.m. Sept. 13, 2013


    I've read bits and pieces about this before in many history books, but have never found it summarized in one paragraph like this.


  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 4:09 p.m.

    @KGB;"leader who puts the lives of innocent children over his own political gain".

    Really? What we have is a Leader who would put American lives at risk to bail himself out of the corner he painted himself into. ie Our Military. All of a sudden he felt compelled to enforce his red line? There had been over 100,000 dead in that sink hole country.The reason? That was the way he could divert attention from those so called phony scandals and an economy that is in the toilet. American lives are of no consequence. Bengazi is proof of that. One thing though Assad (even the despot that he is) did not blame the attacks on a Video. But I didn't do it is a rally cry for his defenders.It's not my red line.It was someone else. And the grand daddy of them all Bush did it Remember his statement of Oct.2008 "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America”? You like how that looks??

  • Swiss Price, Utah
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    Of course Obama wanted to tomahawk Syria, he would get rid of at least four destroyers worth of missiles and not replace them. He has been on a mission to make the US a weak nation since he was elected.
    He has said that America should not be the lone Superpower more than once. He has managed to kill more NATO troops in Afghanistan the Bush lost in eight years.
    He is succeeding just as he planned and said he would.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 12:39 p.m.


    In the course of two posts across 9 minutes time, you manage to place blame on Obama in one and on the american people in another, then have the gallto make the following statement...

    "A nation of victims is a blame someone else nation instead of an ambitious get it done nation"

    You are priceless entertainment...please don't change.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    re:Eric Samuelsen

    The president and Kerry are wise? Really Eric? How many on the right or the left agree with that silly point? The last time I checked both left and right in congress and even the left wing media and entertainers (Letterman, Leno) were all bashing Barack and Kerry for being ANYTHING but wise. Barack and Kerry were both schooled by Putin. It is Putin who got EVERYTHING he wanted out of this Syrian mess and Barack and Kerry opened the door wide for exploitation. Putin just took what they gave him.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:46 a.m.

    Obama did have an out. Leave policing the world to UN forces. Only Congress has the power to wage war. The president does have authority for use of military force when the US has been attacked. Syria did not attack US military. He should have manned up and admitted that he made challenges that were outside his authority and if Congress so decides then action will be taken. He could say that he took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and that staying true to that oath is more important than trying to save face making off the cuff challenges.

    The truth in this is that Obama, or the powers pushing him, want a war in Syria. It is good for business. American taxpayers are charged a trillion dollars to destroy Iraq and now taxpayers are being charged tens of billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq. Military Industrial Complex companies are making tons of money. The taxpayer gets the bill. Look at the stock worth of defense companies over the last ten years. Times are good for them.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Patriot said: Every nation that eventually crumbles does so because the majority of people want it to be so.

    Too funny coming from the "I hate Obama and want him to fail" spokesperson.

    Just because Mitt and his minions of low information voters continue to whine about their hope for America to fail, doesn't mean the rest of us hate our country.

    I think your statement is ludicrous, nations crumble because of many thing, none of which are because the majority wanted their country to fail. On the other hand, minorities often wanted failure.

    In 1933, group of wealthy businessmen that allegedly included the heads of Chase Bank, GM, Goodyear, Standard Oil, the DuPont family and Senator Prescott Bush tried to recruit Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler to lead a military coup against President FDR and install a fascist dictatorship in the United States.

    I believe the Neocons and their radio voices now lead this endeavor.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    It's been obvious for months that there could be no diplomatic resolution in Syria without Russian intervention. I understand that wars are cool--all that great CNN footage of buildings exploding--but the President and Secretary Kerry are wise to negotiate and perhaps head war off.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    Barack Obama began his nightmarish presidency with a world apology tour and now we are seeing the bitter fruit from that tour. World leaders see Barack as weak - the weakest US president ever - and they are taking full advantage of this weakling. This little Harvard academic is being bullied by Russia, China and even Syria. Bullying never stops until you stand up for yourself ...and that will NEVER happen as long as we have a progressive left wing president. Hard facts. Hard times for America.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    Who exactly is to blame for Americas sad decline? Is is Obama? Is it congress? Is it our culture today and the sad state of the majority of low information Americans? I would say it is all of the above but remember that Obama didn't elect himself - twice!!! The people did!! Every nation that eventually crumbles does so because the majority of people want it to be so. Mitt Romney expressed frustration during the campaign about the 47% who didn't care to work and identified themselves as victims. Mitt was a little off - it is more like 55%. A nation of victims is not an exceptional nation by any stretch. A nation of victims would rather accept hand outs than work. A nation of victims is a blame someone else nation instead of an ambitious get it done nation. One only need listen to the core message of Barack Obama and the progressive left to understand why America has now become Europe .... lazily looking for handouts and excuses rather than boldly reaching for the American dream.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Mr Gerson is implying a level of intervention, something the American people won't support. "Assad is a moral monster — who is now our partner in negotiations. The consequences would be terrible "if we fail to act". I say so what. We negotiated with Stalin, a moral monster, and his followers for 40 years and it was a success...No "boots on the ground", no american casualties, and no use of weapons of mass destruction. Now that Russia and Syria have acknowledged a problem and expressed a resolve to solve it, the world focus is on them and less on our pending action.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    I believe the President genuinely wanted to proceed with a strike on Syria. The American people, however, and the congress, were far less enthusiastic about it and forced the president to waffle on the idea. Putin is just an opportunist who took advantage of it.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    The only empowerment given to Putin is by the conservative/tea/republican/ party, no-one else is suddenly a fan of Putin, but these radio devotees who it would appear by their inconsistent stance on everything are just parrots.

    It is so easy to be a republican right now, all you have to do is wait for the president to say anything, then oppose it, claim it's a conspiracy to bring about the destruction of America, because Obama Hates America. Then provide No evidence, No facts, No logical explanation why, and the sheeple cheer.

    The Russians are suddenly, on the conservative good guy list. What would Ronald say?

  • Midvaliean MIDVALE, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Geo-Politics aside, I'm personally glad Russia gets to deal with this. In the big scheme of things Russia is still no match for US military. We are stretched a bit thin across the middle east. Lets let Russia get stretched a bit thin as well. Russians are not bad people any more than Americans are. We all want to live in happiness with our families. Sharing the burden of world police is ok. We have enough on our plate as it is. I disagree with this opinion that its egg all over America's face. The chemical weapons were used, precedence says that we put a stop to it. Does it matter that we bossed Russia into doing it? Certainly we don't have to do every dirty job in the world. If anything, it makes Russia look like a eager beaver trying to impress.

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    The only thing I can count on 100% is that conservatives will twist and turn their opinions to oppose a democrat.

    In contrast democrats on the belief that the forged evidence after 9/11 was true, supported the president of the United States.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    Don't let facts ruin a good rant.

    Before the G20 was over, 11 countries - including Great Britian - had reviewed the evidence and reached the conclusion that Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks. They all agreed a response was necessary.

    Russia had expressed support for Assad.

    Just because a remark is casual, doesn't mean it is a gaffe or not meant.

    And the fact that the words were barely out of Kerry's mouth before both Russia and Syria were jumping all over them, is an indication of how much they wanted a way out of this that allowed them to save face.

    On top of which, Tea Party darling Rand Paul was just saying last week the Obama should get Russia to intervene and so many pundits were against the use of military force - but now that Russia is involved and there is a viable alternative, everyone is slamming Obama. Which goes to prove, even when Obama does what the Tea Party wants, they are going to be unhappy.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Sept. 13, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    And if President Romney has acted the exact same way as Obama has, you'd be praising him as a savvy and humble leader who puts the lives of innocent children over his own political gain.

    And so it goes...

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    The truth hurts:
    "But this remains a sad moment for America. We have seen a Putin power play, based on a Kerry gaffe, leading to a face-saving presidential retreat — and this was apparently the best of the available options."

    This was from the get go a rescue Obama operation. An attempt to be a tough guy, he gets called on the farce, and slinks away. But like always it wasn't him. It wasn't me who made a red line" he said A boat load of Pinochios. An embarassment to the USA

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Sept. 13, 2013 1:11 a.m.

    His empowerment of Putin may be a sad moment for America, but the Dear Leaders election was an unmitigated disaster.