George F. Will: The best course in Syria now would be for Obama to stop talking

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  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    Obama dug a hole he finds himself in with the red line comments, the best way out of it would be to give it to Congress and when they reject it (which they will, they can't get anything done these days) then he can dust his hands off it in a "well I was going to but they didn't want to so you know that's how we do things here".

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 30, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    @WRZ said..

    "A smart president would have asked himself: 'What would happen if Assad actually used WMD (which he got from Iraq's Hussein over ten years ago) on his people if I engage in the perils of loquacity?' Apparently, this president lacks the necessary foresight for that kind of elementary analysis."

    Interesting comment. So what WRZ is claiming is that the analysis that led us to war in Iraq was correct, that the fact that we did not intercept these so called weapons that made their way to Syria was not a failure of planning, or that the the lives we spent, the 4,400+ and over 31,000 with permanent disabilities now.... was all part of the grand plan.

    Could it not be that just perhaps the president doesn't want to follow the same path of achieving next to nothing, at a great cost in both lives and dollars. A minimum of 110,000 civilians were killed in Iraq from a conflict we started, that lasted more than a decade.

    We saw what the cowboy shot first - aim later approach achieved. Perhaps a measured response is an analytically sound next move.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:39 a.m.


    If loquacity is now the bane of Presidential leadership, we can be thankful the loquacious George Will is not occupying the Oval Office. His ostentatious use of language is harder to endure than anything I've ever heard from the President.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 30, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Here's the best synopsis of todays political culture and the two sides. Deseret News "George F. Will: The best course in Syria now would be for Obama to stop talking’. Salt Lake Tribune, same article " The perils of Loquacity".

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:01 p.m.

    "His rhetorical writhings illustrate the perils of loquacity."

    Brilliant, George!!

    @Craig Clark:
    "The current President who prides himself on his analytic prowess seemed like a natural for the bully pulpit part of the job."

    A smart president would have asked himself: 'What would happen if Assad actually used WMD (which he got from Iraq's Hussein over ten years ago) on his people if I engage in the perils of loquacity?' Apparently, this president lacks the necessary foresight for that kind of elementary analysis.

  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Aug. 29, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    Keep up the nonsense republicans. Another defeat is only a few years away for you. You will never win elections now that people are on your computerized vote flipping.

    So just go on and KEEP talking.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    re:LDS Liberal

    When Bush left office there were less than 500 killed in Afghanistan. The death toll now for US servicemen and women is over 3000. It was BARACK that decided to escalate the war in Afghanistan....not George Bush..not Mitt Romney ... not Ronald Reagan not Abraham Lincoln or some other Republican you can think up. Afghanistan is ALL Barack and by the way - what exactly have we accomplished in Afghanistan? The region is WORSE than before we did the Obama escalation. Also - who is it that wants to lob bombs in to Syria? Once again this is all Barack. No congressional approval like BUSH DID GET with Iraq ...just wing it from the hip and let er rip and for what purpose???? Yes we all know why bombs will be dropped on some meaningless targets in Syria - to keep Barack from looking like an idiot from his red line comments. Recall Joe Biden's comments about how he would IMPEACH any president who attacked another nation that was NOT threatening the US WITHOUT getting congressional approval. Well Joe - your boss is about to do just that. Is Joe going to call to impeach Barack now??

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    "...stop talking...".

    The republican caucus is demanding that President Obama talk to them in order to receive their blessing...

    gwill apparently missed that republican talking points memo...

    No problem...

    There's always tomorrows memo.


    The best thing for everyone would be for gwill to keep writing...

    Comedy Central is always in need of ongoing material.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Iran has a pact of aggression with Syria.
    They have vowed retaliation is anyone invades Syria.

    Romney and the Republicans have clamored for more wars all along.
    Since they LOST the election,
    the only thing they have left is to goad Obama into it.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    Oh please. President Obama is trying to negotiate the most intractable of situations, one with absolutely no good answers, and all George Will can do is gripe about the President's rhetorical style. Fish or cut bait--do you want us to invade Syria, and if so, what do you hope to accomplish? Or, conversely, pull out completely, and watch a civil war escalate and drag in Lebanon and Turkey? Or, maybe, just maybe, see if some kind of international cooperation might be possible?

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    Utah Blue Devil

    You did not mention that Obama, when senator, greatly criticized that very Bush debt. Then he proceeds add 7, well 6 point something, to that very debt. But as Hillary would say "What Difference Does It Make?" A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money. And Blue, Obama has taken only a little over 5 years to run up his debt. At least Bush took the whole 8 years to waste his lot. What will we be looking at in 2017 at this rate? CBO and others suggest about 20 trillion. I suggest that if the next President is not the Anti-Obama when it comes to spending then the coming inflation will make 1930s Germany look like the good old days. To me, this is not about politics and people, it is about national survival. Bush was bad with our money, Obama is looking worse.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    I'm just guessing here but I am betting Barack made the stupid and careless red line comment prior to the 2012 election to get some credibility for his re-election not really thinking he would actually have to carry out that threat. Now his bluff is being called ...a second time... and the man now calculates a silly two day bombing of some cinder block buildings will pacify his moronic voting base into believing he actually did carry out his threat. In other words this is ALL about Barack as everything always is. I don't want to wish some sort of escalation here but it is very possible and likely Syria isn't going to just sit around and allow us to lob bombs at them from the gulf and I am betting Barack is already getting his blame game ready just in case something does happen. This arrogant clueless little man is a nation wrecker.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 29, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    What a President says doesn’t always foreshadow what he does. Jefferson and Lincoln are both historic proof of that. When Bush 41 woke up to the realization that he had to raise taxes, no one had to read his lips. When a President has to eat his words, it sometimes works out for the better. How Obama handles Syria should be about more than rescuing him from his words as George Will now cynically predicts.

    Republicans seem to watching with bated breath as this plays out. John McCain from atop his high horse has been a gadfly in publicly lecturing the President on America’s responsibilities in region and in the world. It comes with turf of being President. None of that has to matter in what course the President decides to take in what is essentially a sectarian war now entering its fourth year.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 29, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    @ M G Scot...

    Point of clarification on the numbers you raise here with this statement "LDS Liberal, you can add 7 trillion to that debt figure."

    The reality is under Obama the national debt in his first 4+ years has risen from 11.909 Trillion to 16.006 Trillion... a 34.8 percent increase.

    Under Bush - for comparison sake - those years where the conservatives ruled both sides, the national debt went from 5.8 Trillion to 7.9 Trillion... a 36.5% increase over the same period of time. In fact, through 2008, Bush's last full year, the National Debt rose to 10.024 Trillion, at 78 percent increase in debt.

    So under Obama - if you want to blame him - the national debt has grown at a slower rate of increase than when the Republicans were in the White House and a Republican congress wrote the budget.

    Reality here is neither is totally responsible, nor should get all the credit. But when you through out that 7 Trillion number, with no context, it really does lead itself to misrepresenting the truth.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 29, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    Will - whom I used to respect - seems desperate to achieve rhetorical whit. His statement "I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action." in reference to Libya... some how trying to draw parallels between the two conflicts, clearly knows the increased danger in a unilateral military strike here. Libya did have a Russian military base that the US would need to fly over. Libya didn't have the same defense systems Syria has. The risk of lost life - lessons Reagan learned when he waded into the pool - is far greater in Syria than Libya.

    There are even parts of the conservative movement that don't agree upon what the right next step should be. But behind his word processor, with no ones lives at risk, Will sure seems to feel the answers are easily had.

    Instead of criticizing, why doesn't he share his wisdom on how to engage here without risking delivering Syria into extremist welcoming hands.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    No more wars!

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    LDS Liberal, you can add 7 trillion to that debt figure. Under Obama that is. And, OBL may be dead, but why are we still in Afghanistan then? Mission accomplished right? The best thing Obama can do, is not only shut up, as Mr. Will suggests, but to also do nothing in Syria, because there is absolutely no national interest for us there. If he feels he has to do something because of some off the cuff remark about red lines, then he will show himself to be an even more unprepared, and immature person than he already has shown himself to be. And that will be pretty bad.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    One of Obama’s predecessors advised that America speak softly while carrying a big stick. On another occasion, that same President was apparently in a different frame of mind when he described the office of the President a bully pulpit.

    The current President who prides himself on his analytic prowess seemed like a natural for the bully pulpit part of the job. Does it matter if his red lines all bluster and bluff? You bet it does as he now weighs a policy decision for which there is no option that is without peril.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    “Providing military assistance to the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups is necessary, but at this late hour, that alone will not be sufficient to stop the slaughter and save innocent lives. The only realistic way to do so is with foreign airpower" - John McCain, March 2013

    "I don't care what it takes. We need partners in the region. But I'm here to say, if the choice is to send in troops to secure the weapons sites versus allowing chemical weapons to get in the hands of some of the most violent people in the world, I vote to cut this off before it becomes a problem." - Lindsey Graham, March 2013

    How things change in a few short months. Republicans were in support of even more military action than is what is being proposed now.

    Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria. When will we ever learn?

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Well said George Will. To analyze Obama is simple. Like the wise man said never mind what a liar says but pay attention to what he does.

    @ Happy they already have given it a catchy name. Operation Indecision

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Such an obvious play by Republicans. They're goading him into military action in Syria, and then will immediately criticize him for the action when he takes it.

    I miss the Reagan-era Republicans when the party still had admirable values. Now its just a collection of contrarians. "Whatever the president is doing, criticize."

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    Bush = 100,000 dead Iraqis, 5,000 dead Americans, $3 Trillion unfunded spent, NO Osama Bin Laden.

    Obama = 1 helicopter, NO U.S. casualties, and Osama Bin Laden is dead.

    Based on set track records,
    I trust that Obama will handle things better than Bush did.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Mainly Me said: "Obama's problem is that his drones won't accomplish what he wants.'
    100,000 troops on the ground sound good to the conservatives? or should we deploy just enough to never accomplish the task we set out on, but keep those no bid contracts running for say ten years.

    Yeah we need a clever name like Operation shock and blah blah blah, and again what would george will do?
    Oh yeah, what he does best, complain and keep talking even when he has nothing to ad except chum to the partisan hacks because his guy didn't win. Which is good or we would be at war in Iran and half heartedly fighting in Syria.

    Maybe if he just hung a huge banner that said "Mission Accomplished" they would stop fighting.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 29, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    Obama only talks about things he knows nothing about: the economy, foreign policy, poverty and the military. Things like fast and furious, IRS, Benghazi, NSA and A.P, however, he knows a lot but never says anything!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    I saw we should invade Syria, just like Bush. Ready, fire, aim!

    Just look at how great Iraq and Afghanistan turned out...

    Why not invade Egypt and Iran too? Lets just invade the entire Middle-East?

  • Albert Maslar CPA (Retired) Absecon, NJ
    Aug. 29, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    President Obama to stop talking? A man gotta do what a man does best, at least in his mind's eye.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 29, 2013 2:34 a.m.

    News flash! Obama just drew another red line in the sand after shaking his finger at Assad and saying, "Naughty, naughty, no, no, no. If you do that again, I'll do something you won't like."

    Obama's problem is that his drones won't accomplish what he wants.