President Obama’s case to intervene in Syria with missile strikes is some of the “most baffling” commander in chief leadership in history, Joe Scarborough said Thursday on Morning Joe.
“This is his default position. Mubarak must go. Gaddafi must go. Assad must go,” the show’s co-host said about some former leaders of other countries. “He’s backed America into a corner, and now he can’t flippantly just say, ‘Oh, hey, I had nothing to do with this. I was just sitting around smoking a cigarette and suddenly we’re in a position where we have to go to war.’ It’s ridiculous.”
Obama had previously designated the use of chemical weapons as a “red line” to spur unspecified U.S. action. That line was ostensibly crossed after top U.S. officials said mounting evidence suggested that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people.
“His credibility is so on the line,” Scarborough said. “Of course he pulls the United States of America with him because he’s commander in chief, but he is the one during the campaign that created the red line. He said it twice.”
But at a press conference in Sweden Wednesday the president said the international community’s credibility is on the line if it doesn’t hold Assad responsible for allegedly killing more than 1,400 of his people in a chemical attack last month.
“I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line,” Obama said Wednesday during his televised appearance to make a case for intervening. “When I said my calculus about what’s happening in Syria would be altered by the use of chemical weapons, which the overwhelming consensus of humanity says is wrong, that wasn’t something I just kind of made up. I didn’t pluck it out of thin air. There’s a reason for it.”
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution with a 10-7 vote Wednesday authorizing the use of force in Syria, but Obama didn’t immediately seek approval from Congress to strike.
Scarborough said he wasn’t being critical of the president for asking Congress to take action against Syria, but rather was for the odd sequence of events.
“The commander in chief’s credibility is not only on the line, the United States of America’s credibility is on the line,” Scarborough said. “That’s not just a message that is sent to Assad in Syria. That is a message that is sent to the mullahs in Iran who are not developing chemical weapons, they’re developing nuclear bombs.”
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