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Maureen Dowd: Obama's handling of Syria 'amateur hour

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WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House on September 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Obama blended the threat of military action with the hope of a diplomatic solution as he works to strip Syria of its chemical weapons. Credit: Getty Images

Veteran George W. Bush critic Maureen Dowd, columnist for the New York TImes, weighs in on the Obama administration's response to the ongoing violence in Syria:

The administration’s saber-rattling felt more like knees rattling. Oh, for the good old days when Obama was leading from behind. Now these guys are leading by slip-of-the-tongue.

Amateur hour started when Obama dithered on Syria and failed to explain the stakes there. It escalated last August with a slip by the methodical wordsmith about “a red line for us” — which the president and Kerry later tried to blur as the world’s red line, except the world was averting its eyes.

Obama’s flip-flopping, ambivalent leadership led him to the exact place he never wanted to be: unilateral instead of unified. Once again, as with gun control and other issues, he had not done the groundwork necessary to line up support.

@eScarry

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