Monday, November 21, 2016


President Obama at yesterday's news conference in Lima --

With respect to Syria, as I said I think even on this trip in a previous press conference, I am not optimistic about the short-term prospects in Syria. Once Russia and Iran made a decision to back Assad in a brutal air campaign and essentially a pacification of Aleppo, regardless of the potential for civilian casualties, children being killed or wounded, schools or hospitals being destroyed, then it was very hard to see a way in which even a trained and committed moderate opposition could hold its ground for long periods of time.

White House National Security official Ben Rhodes selling the Iran deal 15 months ago --

And this (Gulf) visit will be an opportunity for the President to follow up on the progress we’re making on the Camp David agenda, to discuss the Iran deal, and also our efforts to push back against malign Iranian activities in the region, but also, of course, to discuss a full range of regional issues.

A key sales pitch for the Iran nuclear deal was that the other bad stuff that Iran was doing was irrelevant to the case for the deal, because there would be other ways to counter that other bad stuff.

Now the President is saying on the way out that it's kind of a shame that Iran is assisting Bashar al-Assad to flatten Aleppo. 

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