US Plans Missile Attack on Syria

Here are some details of the planned military strike on Syria. The UK is expected to assist the U.S. Tomahawk missiles are likely.

The blitz may last 48 hours.

The missiles would be unleashed to destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad’s command and control facilities, weapons delivery centres, intelligence bases and military training camps.

A former Syrian military official who has since defected says chemical weapons stockpiles are unlikely to be targeted. [More...]

Attacks on Assad’s stores of mustard gas and nerve toxins could result in deadly chemical leaks, or make the arsenals vulnerable to plunder by jihadist groups.

As to the expected response by Syria, Iran and others: It depends on a number of factors. But Syria remains defiant.

Syria "utterly and completely" rejects the allegations that it used chemical weapons, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday. He added that Syria would defend itself by means available. "We will surprise others" planning to attack Damascus, he said.
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    I fail to see how this ends well (5.00 / 8) (#1)
    by ruffian on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 04:02:11 PM EST
    Or ends at all.

    It won't (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dadler on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 04:14:19 PM EST
    Idiocy of the highest order, brought to you by people without a hair of imagination on their lumpy heads. These are folks whom if they had a single original idea, it would get lonely and run away within an hour. And they run the show.

    Don't shoot me just yet, but keep the safety off.



    Not so much a lack of imagination (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 04:52:28 PM EST
    as being comfortable in an old shoe.  Just follow the past, one-size-fits all, even if its wearing results in a big old bunion, once again. After all, that is what Chiropodists are for.    Civil war--get involved on one side even if there are many sides and all will eventually hate us for interfering with our bombs and missiles.   Use the old selling stand-bys, high degrees of certainty that weapons of mass destruction were used, and by whom, a humanitarian cause to save the children, used gas on their own people,   You know the drill.

    Now, if the Republicans wanted to be an opposition party in the decent sense, they might forego another vote on Obamacare repeal and take a look.  


    Seems like they are hoping (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 04:37:17 PM EST
    To contain Assad like Clinton defanged Saddam.  Saddam was isolated though. Syria has a major ally and supplier in Russia so wtf?

    Considering how frosty our relations are right now with Russia could such actions be considered a proxy war on the Realpolitik field?

    Spouse told me to not take all this too seriously yet, the Pentagon is supposed to have a plan for everything.  He said they even have a plan they can access tomorrow, print out, and wave around to invade Great Britain if it was of some kind of benefit to do that.


    Well, since our Pres. uttered the phrase (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 05:17:22 PM EST
    "Red line," we can't let him look like a sissy--can we?

    No (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:03:04 PM EST
    It is their job to have his back in such matters.

    But now Russia is pushing back


    Don't we have a Ross Perot-esqe (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:57:35 PM EST
    capability to,go in and capture or disable the chemical weapons?

    It's a risk getting caught on the ground (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:10:01 PM EST
    I would say though that yes, we do have those capabilities but aren't the stockpiles large and spread out?  How do you disable them all before the warning goes out?  Which is why you spread those caches out.

    I bet Rumsfeld (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by desertswine on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:45:22 PM EST
    knows where they are, just like he knew where those WMDs are.  Biden, by the way, is starting to sound like Dick Cheney.

    Recent reports are (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:19:46 PM EST
    The stock has been moved from previously known locations.  I doubt anyone in the United States knows where all the stashes are.

    I don't think Biden sounds like Cheney though, Cheney was making $hit up and what has happened in Syria is not make believe.

    What is your solution?  To do nothing?


    IMO, there IS no solution (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Dadler on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:21:04 AM EST
    Period. You can't bring back the dead, for one. And two, I simply do not believe my government anymore about anything. And certainly not anything having to do with military force. It would simply be absurd of me to do so, and self-destructive. With all due respect, the response of the Administration to Assad's delayed offer said everything I needed to hear. You can't hide evidence of a real gas or nerve agent attack, the stuff doesn't just disappear in days, it lingers for years. So saying it's just too little too late tells me that my government is basically full of sh*t.

    Life is simply not a series of solvable equations, and until the U.S. finds its national political imagination, whether again or for the first time ever, we have next to nothing to contribute.  When we really decide to make American anything approaching what it claims to be, then we can influence the behavior of others. Right now, we're only going to make more enemies, both of those in power in Syria and the rebels, who are largely no one we want to be associated with.


    Yes, imagination will fix this (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:38:15 AM EST
    So you can just look the other way?

    Russia, China, and the Arab League (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:44:22 AM EST
    do not support U.S. military intervention in Syria. Israel stands by wringing its hands. What solution implemented by the U.S. military do you think would forestall anyone deploying Syria's chemical weapons in the future?

    So you think we should do nothing? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:34:13 AM EST
    And you are fine with more chemical weapons being used and the precedent for the world that it sets?

    I am less certain that doing nothing is morally superior and will not lead to new standards condoning the use of chemical weapons.


    Don't be absurd (5.00 / 6) (#79)
    by sj on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:45:11 AM EST
    I don't think anyone is "fine with more chemical weapons being used and the precedent for the world that it sets". That doesn't mean the US is obligated to go in guns blazing without analysis, based largely on the content of "intercepted calls". Those are not the only two options.

    The count of innocents killed in this attack is unlikely to exceed the count of innocent deaths via drone, so the sudden outrage on the part of the administration is rather sanctimonious. And tell me how going in guns blazing is not going to create even more innocent deaths?

    And anyway I'm really leery of the justification via "intercepted calls". It reeks of attempting to justify world wide surveillance.

    Let the UN/inspectors do their job.


    This wasn't the first chemical weapons used (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:47:58 PM EST
    This is just the first that this administration says they can prove.

    So you don't even trust them that much?  If they wanted to lie about all this, they could have done it before now.


    This isn't either/or (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by sj on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:26:03 PM EST
    Stand down and think, don't just react.

    And the inspectors have been attacked (none / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:50:39 PM EST
    What makes you think that the President isn't making this show of force so they can do their jobs?

    So what do we do after we take out some targets (5.00 / 6) (#88)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:38:55 PM EST
    as punishment? There is still a war in which none of the possible victors are any clear benefit to us, and no reason to think whoever the victor is will refrain from using more chemical weapons.

    I don't know what thew right thing is. I just don't see how this will help anyone.


    I think we have to make (none / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:21:32 PM EST
    Some sort of stand though, lacking credibility we still must do something.  Will it come down to trying to weaken the Assad regime?  I hope not.  And without debate, well I just shake my head because the new standard for our Presidents now is to just throw up their hands and say, "Phuck it, I'm doing it."

    One person having all that say with no check or balance and no fiddler to pay makes us weaker, not stronger, emotional, not smarter.


    If what the U.S. plans to do will have no effect (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:52:09 PM EST
    on currently in Syria, our intervention isn't wise.

    Then you are setting a new (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:53:31 PM EST
    standard for tolerance of use of chemical weapons for the world.

    But we aren't taking out their CWs (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by nycstray on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:06:19 PM EST
    are we?

    We can't do that from the air safely (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:51:32 PM EST
    And this isn't a boots on the ground situation either if Assad can be persuaded in other ways.

    You have to try other things first unless you are George Bush and Dick Cheney.


    And if you are okay with that (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:56:32 PM EST
    Okay.  I am not okay with that.  I would like some debate on this.  I would like my leaders to go on the record on all this.  I want to know what my countrymen think too.  It isn't all about me, but I personally am not okay with a new world tolerance for the use of chemical weapons.

    It's a curse, sometimes, to have this (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:24:25 PM EST
    need to think...since I don't see myself changing from a thinking person to one who is oblivious unless I become afflicted with dementia, I guess, on balance, it's better to be a thinking person.

    Now, I just have to try to sort out my thoughts.  No easy task.

    Okay, so we basically have a completely useless Congress, I think.  A collection of people beholden to corporate interests, constantly working the angles to make sure an even cushier job awaits them in the private sector should the tragedy of failing to be re-elected befall them, determined not to give ground no matter how much sense something makes, and obsessed with either impeachment, or the ACA, or Benghazi, or Obama's citizenship, and, always, anything that involves private parts and who does and doesn't get to control them.

    Meanwhile, back at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we have a president who is either taking advantage of Congress' total dysfunction and by-passing it using whatever loopholes the OLC and DOJ can find for him, or he's simply so enamored of his own power and the belief that he, and only he, is smart enough to make the right decisions that he's deemed them irrelevant.

    And here on the home front, who is listening to us?  Other than the NSA and FBI, that is.  How is it that we have this behemoth of a surveillance operation determined to slide and slither around in the background hovering up data, but we have real, allegedly live people in the WH, in the Congress, who, even when we clearly, loudly, directly and plainly express our wants and needs,  are deaf to them, ignoring us as much as they can and still get re-elected?

    Why do we tolerate this?  Because we're all busy trying to keep roofs over our heads, food in the pantry, care for young children and aging parents, try to save for a retirement that we sometimes think we are never going to get, and all we have left is enough to get some small and momentary escape in some very bad TV.  Or we escape to sports, or we just tell ourselves that as long as we can keep living this life, as dreary as it seems sometimes, we can pretend that all is well.

    I don't know what to do about Syria, but even if I did, even if I had a specific opinion, what would it matter?  I have a nephew who enlisted in the Marines just before he graduated from high school,, who reports to Parris Island in early December.  My blood runs cold wondering where we're going to be on Syria by the time he's ready to be assigned somewhere, and whether by then it won't just be about Syria, but something bigger or worse.  

    We have lost our way.  We have so little credibility, and that's not getting better.  We are hypocritical, arrogant, increasingly cruel to our own people, and we're being bullied and intimidated and threatened more each week.  

    What happens in Syria will happen with or without our approval, so I almost don't even know what the point is in discussing the pros and cons, the ins and outs, the truth v. the lies.


    It matters, your opinion matters (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:47:08 PM EST
    I do realize that everyone is busy just trying to survive in bubble machine America.

    We have this dysfunctional Congress though because they have been allowed to become that.  And nobody demands debate any longer, shit is done in the backroom.  It has got to stop.  Finally we have a real issue on our hands that the President can call all of them back on and have them on the record or not...because to not be on this record means something too. We can nail down their opinions and beliefs and we can make them responsible for whether or not this is a successful outcome for the world and the country.

    And this is all up to our President.  Emergency powers are in his hands but if he doesn't call them back he is obviously intending for all power to be in his hands.  He must be a responsible President and call Congress back to debate this now.  If he doesn't more shame on him!  He can still do what needs to be done in the immediate and shame Congress for being so dysfunctional they are about to allow a new global standard for chemical weapon use.  It doesn't matter how dysfunctional they all show up, or don't show up...if you don't show up that speaks volumes to every war monger voter who wails and bellows about how the world is unsafe under Obama.


    Was Agent Orange considered a (none / 0) (#106)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:06:06 PM EST
    "Chemical" weapon?

    No, it is considered a defoliant (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:13:10 PM EST
    It doesn't kill human beings instantly.

    Not instantly (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:24:51 PM EST
    But consider the birth defects and other effects among the Vietnamese people, the ecological effects, and the effects on our own Vietnam veterans. Just because it did not kill humans instantly does not mean that it was not, in fact, a chemical weapon, Tracy. And a war crime, IMHOP. Link.

    Not all of the people in Syria who sought medical. (none / 0) (#129)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:23:54 PM EST
    treatment after the recent chemical weapons attack died. Source:  Doctors Without Borders.

    And this makes it (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Zorba on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:29:54 PM EST
    any better.........why? One does wonder about any long-term effects. And one also continues to wonder about just who really originated the chemical attacks.

    It doesn't "make it better." I was (none / 0) (#132)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:37:20 PM EST
    applying MT's definition of chemical weapons.

    I believe you know the purpose of Agent Orange (5.00 / 2) (#166)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:38:59 AM EST
    in Vietnam. It was used as an herbicide. It's purpose to kill crops and/or defoliate trees depending on where it was used. The purpose in Vietnam wasn't to spray people nor to injure people directly.

    We used to spray for mosquitoes from planes in the US with insecticides that proved to be harmful to more than mosquitoes. We used EDB on citrus in Florida to kill Mediterranean fruit flies until it was found it wasn't safe for humans. No one is classifying EDB as a chemical weapon of war.

    Chemical weapons to kill people are not in the same category as the use of Agent Orange. It's a hollow argument to lump them together.

    I can see why MT got her dander up. Go Padres!


    A very large portion of a museum in Vietnam (none / 0) (#167)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:53:12 AM EST
    Is devoted to the debasing permanent effect of Agent Orange on the people of Vietnam--their bodies, not the count it's foliage. Quite graphic.

    "Devastating" not "debasing" (none / 0) (#168)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:06:01 AM EST
    Understand your argument (none / 0) (#181)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:57:21 AM EST
    but in honor of the start of college football and today's lesson in sports betting...

    you're "past posting".


    Whoa...wait a minute oculus (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:21:30 PM EST
    That's not MY definition.

    What is your definition? (none / 0) (#156)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:28:55 PM EST
    It's banned (none / 0) (#158)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:36:23 PM EST
    I am more concerned with how to get depleted uranium banned for its after affects than I am worried about whether or not Agent Orange should be classified a chemical weapon or a defoliant.  I'm simply happy it is banned and I'm ready to move onto banning the current weapons taking the lives of the next generation.

    You just want to pick a fight.


    Your dander is up. Let's try again (none / 0) (#160)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:55:55 PM EST

    Okay (none / 0) (#161)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:03:38 AM EST
    I put an induction range in (none / 0) (#162)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:07:14 AM EST
    and none of my existing stainless steel worked on it.  Enterprise AL doesn't sell no duckshun cookin stuff either.  Had to order pots and pans, haven't had a decent meal in 2 days :)

    You don't portray yourself as a cook. (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:15:23 AM EST
    But necessity requires it w/kid at home. My sympathies.

    I cook for very picky people (none / 0) (#174)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:49:06 AM EST
    David Cameron says this morning (none / 0) (#177)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:53:27 AM EST
    That the Arab League is asking for Syrian intervention now.

    And who said anything about that? (none / 0) (#141)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:37:36 PM EST
    You know what I feel like around here all the time.  Like the only person military affiliated who will even talk to you guys so you think it is okay to take the boots to me over everything little thing that tweaks you.  Doesn't even matter if it's factual or reality based either.

    I often wonder why I even bother to discuss anything at all or participate at all.

    oculus asked a question about how the military and the Geneva Conventions defines Agent Orange and I replied.  It is a legal definition, not my own.

    And to pretend that I don't care about the after affects of war!  REALLY!??  I share things here that I find out or know about that nobody even cares to investigate.  I argue for things to be done.

    I feel like many commenters here don't want to really do anything about anything, they just throw out pithy slurs and self righteousness because they aren't involved in any of this.   Even though the standards that world lives by can and will be visited upon you.  I am beginning to think that nobody here wants to ever be a part of making any real decisions about anything, they just want to snark off snidely and feel self righteous.


    MT: Thank You (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:54:58 AM EST
    You said what needed to be said here, imo.  Coming from a TL "old timer," your words have import.

    Intervention in Syria (none / 0) (#164)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:16:28 AM EST
    is no doubt tricky business.

    Bill intervened in Kosovo and was generally lauded.   There is a strong resistance to the use of military force by much of the Left, which on the whole beats the Cheney way...But sometimes using our military can be appropriate....

    So long as we do not invade Syria, and there is no reason to believe we will, retaliating to respond to chemical warfare does not sound unreasonable....

    There is a difference between invading an entire country based on incomplete inspections, as we did in Iraq, and launching missile strikes.  Bill sent many missiles and bombs against Iraq based on less than complete information.


    Please correct the lastnsentence of your comment. (none / 0) (#165)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 12:20:15 AM EST
    President Clinton (none / 0) (#176)
    by MKS on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:51:51 AM EST
    bombed Iraq in 1998 as I recall.  The provocation was not adhering to U.N. resolutions....regarding inspections iirc.

    So, we bombed Iraq in 1998 on less than complete information.


    This puzzles me (none / 0) (#169)
    by sj on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:48:36 AM EST
    I am beginning to think that nobody here wants to ever be a part of making any real decisions about anything
    What decisions, pray tell, are we in a position to make individually? Even collectively we aren't listened to. There are many more voices more articulate than mine -- and many voices much less thoughtful, as well. I will add my voice where it will do some good, put my vote in the best place I can.

    But the only real decisions I can make are personal ones, not policy related.


    Look Zorba...Agent Orange is banned (none / 0) (#149)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:25:15 PM EST
    Because of its after affects but it is not legally considered a chemical weapon.  This is not my opinion.

    And the stuff is banned, what it does has been acknowledged, and if someone was using it now then I could understand what it was doing in a current debate.


    oculus: Does the fact of Agent Orange ... (none / 0) (#128)
    by christinep on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:18:16 PM EST
    Does the fact that Agent Orange was noticeably & demonstrably employed by the US in Vietnam mean that <fill in the blanks> forty+ years later, that same destructive agent or something comparable or worse will be used by the US in Syria at this time?  Or are you saying that when a country--the US or pick-a-country--denies initially and early on that it is engaging in something wrong sometime in history, that it is evidence that that will occur today in Syria?  Or what did I miss?

    I was pointing out the U.S. may not have clean (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:27:02 PM EST
    hands re use of chemical warfare, given our liberal infliction of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese people.

    Who was insinuating we had clean hands (none / 0) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:29:31 PM EST
    And it has been banned, just like chemical weapons.  If it was being used today then I would expect a debate about it today.

    It is other banned killers being used today, and who is willing to tolerate that.  If this is given a pass, aren't you opening the door for the use of Agent Orange to be tolerated too?


    Thank you (none / 0) (#151)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:26:55 PM EST
    In another thread someone mentioned (none / 0) (#120)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:21:36 PM EST
    that a possible response would be to go in there and take and presumably destroy the chemical weapons, if we can find them, not hesitating to fight anyone that tried to stop us. I could support that kind of an approach more than this missile strike punishment approach. At least it would accomplish something concrete.

    Well, if obama says it (none / 0) (#57)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:01:55 AM EST
    then it must be true, of course.

    Okay, there's part of the problem (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:00:40 AM EST
    I am not here to diss our President for the decisions he must make, and I am not here to argue for allowing a new a standard of chemical weapon use tolerance either.  Nobody wants to go there, believe me.  Chemical weapons are cheap and easy, and the only reason why they aren't being used in other parts of the world right now is because there is some apprehension about who will show up to whup yer ass.

    We are in a horrible situation here though, and Obama keeps talking about bipartisanship.  Why isn't our Congress being put to work on this?  All the Republicans honk and whine about Obama being a wussy but don't have to be responsible for the recent war time horrors their party is responsible for...it's easy for them, he makes them not responsible for any of the use of our military force any longer.  Make them responsible and let's see some argument here.  Let's talk about how we have no military credibility anymore, let's see Democrats come out and get serious about discussing our recent military history.

    I will diss the President for this, this is not all his call, Congress is supposed to be part of such decisions and our past Congress is not being made responsible for any of its past military decisions.  The country can do nothing to learn.  The voters don't have a chance and they don't have to care either, they can focus on stoopid $hit like how Kenyan and Soshulist the President is...they don't have to think about real problems or witness any real debate.


    Who calls Congress back into session? (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:15:17 AM EST
    The President can, in extraordinary circumstances.

    Where are Harry Reid and John Boehner in all this?  While they may be talking to Obama (and I haven't seen anything showing that Harry Reid is engaged in this), why don't they call their houses back into session?


    In the end, Obama does get make his (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:26:17 AM EST
    Own emergency use of force call.  He loses nothing insisting on debate and Congressional action.

    It is  too much power for one man to have.  And it is destroying the credibility of our military and the use of it.  Real life must be debated.  The ugliness must be debated, the risks must be debated, how we got here must be debated.  Otherwise nobody learns anything.

    I understand why Obama ran with the must look forward credo when he had troops in Iraq.  He must not be responsible for demoralizing them in the middle of a hell he is attempting to extract them all from.  That's over, and he's leaving Afghanistan after getting Bin Laden.  He doesn't have to be re-elected either.  It is time to look back.

    Also, at this rate there will never be need of a new Lion in the Senate, and where is my Jack Murtha...Iraq is over man?  If the use of chemical weapons is emergency enough to call for military action by phucking God it calls for a Congress in session.

    The will of the people of this nation has been completely removed from the use of its military.  Doomed.


    Who, if anyone, will play Barack Obama's role (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:58:01 PM EST
    In opposing U.S.  Invasion of Iraq?

    Obama: (none / 0) (#171)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 04:27:21 AM EST
    U.S. will go it alone if necessary.

    Russia blocked British efforts to seek a force resolution at the United Nations. British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country would hold off on joining any military efforts until a U.N. chemical weapons inspection team releases its findings -- a step that is unlikely to happen until next week.

    Still, the Obama administration vowed to take action even without the backing of allies or the U.N. The president said that while he had not settled on a response to last week's purported chemical weapons attack near Damascus, the U.S. has concluded that Assad's regime perpetrated the attack, which killed at least 100 Syrians. link

    The people are never consulted (none / 0) (#80)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:50:02 AM EST
    Nor should they be. That's what elected officials are for. And it's likely congress has no interest in weighing in on this. I don't see anyone wanting to rush back to DC. Hell the House can't even pass a bill other than to try and halt the ACA. They'd try to tie the ACA to anything they approved.

    I'm pretty certain you would be in favor of a response to the use of chemical weapons by Syria. The advertising of that response and its targets minimize deaths while accomplishing the stated purpose. It would be similar to what Clinton did (not Bush) in Iraq.


    It doesn't matter if Congress wants to (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:19:45 PM EST
    Weigh in on this.  My husband has been in the military since 1988, in the military that he originally joined Congress had a responsibility to its military.

    What do you mean that the people should never be consulted?  OMG...Vietnam!  Iraq for the matter, if the general public had not become demoralized over Iraq we'd still be there.

    It isn't so much the people consulted, but the choices of our leaders and the debate dictating who gets to be reselected and what policies our nation goes forward with.  That entire process is disappearing.

    I don't care if Congress wants to weigh in, I don't believe that is their option unless they are bunch a wussies.  And what was the AUMF then?


    Nailed it (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:37:32 PM EST
    I don't believe that is their option unless they are bunch a wussies.

    Republican House members would naturally want to respond to Syria, but they can't because Obama appears to be on that same side. Thus they have no interest. If they are against a Syrian response they appear weak to their constituents. If they are for it they are seen as backing Obama and thus weak by their constituents. They are faced with a no win situation. They'd rather stay home and ignore it.


    We need a larger debate though (none / 0) (#97)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:11:53 PM EST
    We need Democrats questioning the plan based on our recent past, then let Republicans show their a$$e$ to a war abused nation that now has a real problem on their hands and no human rights credibility or military  credibility.  The President still has power of emergency action.

    Our leaders act like we haven't lost any credibility, but the rest of the world disagrees to varying degrees.  Facing our past, that is the only thing that might get us some credibility back.

    Without serious debate by our leaders that the world and this nation witnesses, I fear where all this goes in the realm of realpolitik.  I think it is doomed to be a pissing match with Russia in the eyes of the world because are not one lick better about human rights anymore, we just pretend that we are.  We are living in our own bubble though and we can only come to regret that.


    Cameron is purportedly calling Parliament back (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:55:07 PM EST
    to debate the merits of his proposal.  

    Sigh..if only my ancestors (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:34:43 PM EST
    Hadn't made me an anchor baby

    That totally (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by sj on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:39:37 PM EST
    cracked me up.
    Sigh..if only my ancestors (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:34:43 PM MDT

    Hadn't made me an anchor baby

    I do agree with that (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:24:49 PM EST
    They are so good at passing resolutions that just express an opinion about various meaningless things. They could at least do that much for something real and important.

    Personally (1.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:16:34 AM EST
    I think it's a complete fabrication. Total bs. Part of the PNAC plan. And I think Wesley Clarke made it very clear a long time ago. obama is part of the problem and should be sharing a cell with bush and cheney.

    Personally, ... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:15:13 PM EST
    Edger: "I think it's a complete fabrication."

    ... I think that's the most foolish statement you've offered thus far this week on the subject.


    Welll Donald, what can I say? (none / 0) (#136)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:51:11 PM EST
    How could anyone argue with such well laid out logical reasoning as you've displayed?



    Here is a better link. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:33:36 PM EST
    Clarke is quite the whistleblower even mentioning those meetings.  The 7:00 minute mark states the "issue" clearly.

    Anybody remember Clarke's Gulf states policy position?

    My mind is so wasted, I can't remember Obama's.  That would be a more timely link.


    This (none / 0) (#92)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:55:20 PM EST
    CWs are unlike the other two legs of the WMD triad in that virtually any country in the world could make them with a little prep time (seriously weaponizing some pesticides is crude but would be effective)-- they don't because of international norms-- its not a line we want crossed.

    During the run up to the invasion (none / 0) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:22:00 AM EST
    of Iraq, I never bought into the fierce urgency of NOW. I was in the group who advocated to let the inspectors do their job prior to taking any action.

    There is from all accounts still some questions on which group or groups are using the chemical weapons. I am still of the same mind.

    Let the inspectors do their job prior to taking any action.


    More (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:38:45 AM EST
    From your link (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:57:50 AM EST
    However, U.S. spy services still have not acquired the evidence traditionally considered to be the gold standard in chemical weapons cases: soil, blood, and other environmental samples that test positive for reactions with nerve agent. That's the kind of proof that America and its allies processed from earlier, small-scale attacks that the White House described in equivocal tones, and declined to muster a military response to in retaliation.

    There is an ongoing debate within the Obama administration about whether to strike Assad immediately -- or whether to allow United Nations inspectors to try and collect that proof before the bombing begins. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the work of that team "redundant ... because it is clearly established already that chemical weapons have been used on a significant scale."

    But within the intelligence community, at least, "there's an interest in letting the U.N. piece run its course," the official said. "It puts the period on the end of the sentence."

    Anne, meaning no disrespect, (none / 0) (#69)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:11:56 AM EST
    but you might want to fact check:
    "thousands and thousands of innocent people with drone strikes"
    The options to the sinister drones could leave thousands of innocents dead.

    I am against our direct involvemnet, but there is no way we are going to topple the regime...it is not in the US interest to do so.

    A horrible thought, but plausable, is that the US weaken Assad so that he does not win.  We have an excuse now.  Then the US needs to become a peace broker.  The administration isn't going to tip their hand...sucks doesn't it.


    Why? (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:23:09 AM EST
    Anne, meaning no disrespect, but you might want to fact check: "thousands and thousands of innocent people with drone strikes"

    Are you suggesting thousands haven't been killed with drone strikes?  Or that they aren't innocent?


    There seems to be no agreement on (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:39:51 AM EST
    the numbers of innocents killed or injured in drone attacks - but wasn't there something not long ago where we learned that any male over a certain age was considered a terrorist, and therefore, not counted in the "innocent" column if killed or injured?

    So, who really knows how many innocent people have died, or been severely injured, or lost their homes?  Don't people ever wonder why there's so much playing around with those numbers?

    The point - which not everyone seems to grasp - is that we've been considering the loss of human life as collateral damage for some time now, and there's been no hand-wringing over it, or calls for accountability from within the administration.  We haven't even acknowledged that the drone strikes aren't making us more popular or endearing us to the residents in the region.

    I guess I'm just jaded after years of being okey-doked and bamboozled by my government, to the point where I just plain don't trust much of anything they tell me.  And I'm tired of them playing on my emotions when they are so cold and calculating themselves.


    The playing with numbers is always in effect (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:16:24 AM EST
    Don't people ever wonder why there's so much playing around with those numbers?

    Find me any war where there are actual numbers. They have always been guesstimates. In today's Internet world, numbers get made up and thrown around daily and meaninglessly and taken as truth and spread indiscriminately.

    Not war related but as an example of this phenomena, you can go online to find the death toll from Hurricane Andrew in Miami-Dade County. The number you will get is anywhere from 15 to 5200. Each August on the anniversary here you can still listen to people talk about refrigerated body trucks and incinerators. All BS but all still viral stories that remain in the brains of many who spout them as truth.


    For Yman, I don't have numbers (none / 0) (#82)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:56:07 AM EST
    off the top of my head, but what I gleaned was that drone collateral damage has been decreasing with respect to time.  

    I have written to a few people who are against the drone strikes, like the author of Barq.  This peon hasn't received any responses.  I hope my questions influence future articles in some way.

    Questions like, "how do you eliminate al-Qaeda once entrenched in communities of civilians?", were asked.  

    I would be disuaded from joining the Jihadists knowing terror might strike me from the air.  Those drones are horrible weapons of terror IMO, and should only be used on those bent on their own forms of terror. Al-Qaeda has no problem killing women and children.  I KNOW the US does.  I hope those in the region see a difference between the US and them.  I don't discount al-Qaeda propaganda will create followers, and the fear THEY spread will disuade local opposition.

    I'm not trusting of what our government tells me, either.  Nor do I trust a media, that is easily manipulated, lacks real fact-checking before releasing the simplest of articles.

    I agree we need more accountability on the drones.  I don't see why we cannot be told the truth about US strategies and results in this area.  

    I'm no fool.  Yeah, I already know the "official" reasons for the Syrian air strikes that are yet to come.   We aren't going to get much truth about the closed door sessions regarding Syria.  Realistically, all we can expect is some truth about the intelligence used to support the impending air strike...hell, I'm not ever going to completely trust any administration...no matter who is in office.  

    Too bad we can't bring back Bush.  He was more transparent and always willing to offer HIS view of the "truth".  I'm just sad I never voted for him.  


    If you don't have numbers, ... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:38:27 PM EST
    ... then why would you suggest Anne isn't being accurate and needs to fact-check her statement about thousands of innocents being killed by drones?

    I'm not I'm my office (none / 0) (#85)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:29:39 PM EST
    On my phone, so it's harder to look things up and provide links ... but the last couple if studies I saw were between 3 and 4 thousand.  Lindsey Graham (a proponent of drones) really put the number at 5,000.  The percentage of innocents varies greatly, but it's pretty high.

    "Thousands and thousands" is (2.00 / 1) (#109)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:14:32 PM EST
    at least 4 thousand.  Maybe going back to the Bush years you can get to that number.  

    What this visual from Pakistan strikes illustrates more than anything is the reduction in collatoral damage over time.  What is noteworthy is the drastic reduction in collatoral deaths beginning in 2011.  Notice the red disappearing wrt time.  I don't trust the numbers, but I do trust the trend.

    As an example of my distrust, put your cursor over Oct. 2006.  Pakistan first took credit.  Later, after the number of civilian casualties were known, Pakistan blamed the U.S.  The U.S. has never admitted responsibilty for that attack.  There is insufficient evidence to call this one a drone strike.  Go ask Bush.

    Again, the lack of past information is disturbing.  We should be demanding answers for what has happened in the past and what the future of drone strikes will be.


    Actually, the Bush link, (none / 0) (#115)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:37:39 PM EST
    above, has links to current numbers.  The numbers shown below are for Pakistan 2013 to date:

    CIA strikes - Obama 2013
    Total CIA drone strikes 17

    Total reported killed: 79-132

    Civilians reported killed: 0-4

    Children reported killed: 0-1

    Total reported injured:21-42


    Is that supposed to be ... (none / 0) (#125)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:34:44 PM EST
    ... a response to my post?

    Is that your critique? (none / 0) (#133)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 05:00:33 PM EST
    If that was supposed to be ... (none / 0) (#135)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:37:45 PM EST
    ... a reply to my post ...

    ... absolutely.


    Thank-you (none / 0) (#138)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:23:58 PM EST
    And there are still questions. (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:43:05 AM EST
    Here's this, via FDL (bold is mine):

    As US forces prepare a punitive strike on the Assad regime over alleged chemical weapons use, the United Nations envoy refused to claim that sarin gas was used merely saying some chemical "substance" was involved.

    Evidence suggests that some kind of chemical "substance" was used in Syria that may have killed more than 1,000 people, but any military strike in response must first gain U.N. Security Council approval, the U.N.'s special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Wednesday....

    "With what has happened on the 21st of August last week, it does seem that some kind of substance was used that killed a lot of people: hundreds, definitely more than a hundred, some people say 300, some people say 600, maybe 1,000, maybe more than 1,000 people," Brahimi said.

    More than 100, maybe more than a 1000? Even the people on the ground don't know let alone pontificating politicians in Washington.


    What's more, according to one former congressman, Obama may end up effectively acting as Al Qaeda's air force.

       Airstrikes on Syria would turn the U.S. military into "al Qaeda's air force," former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) told The Hill. The outspoken anti-war activist said any such action would plunge the United States into another war in the Middle East and embolden Islamist militants fighting Bashar Assad's regime.

        "So what, we're about to become Al Qaeda's air force now?" Kucinich said. "This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally. And to try to minimize it by saying we're just going to have a `targeted strike' -- that's an act of war. It's not anything to be trifled with."

    The general consensus by analysts seems to be that at one point there was a moderate, more secular opposition in Syria. Whether they are all dead or have been radicalized is unknown - what is known is that the forces in control of rebel forces today are linked strongly to Al Qaeda. Destroy the Assad regime, or what's left of it, and the power vacuum brings forces to power in Syria that the US government is technically still at war with.

    Is anyone thinking about that last part - about what happens after the regime falls?  I realize the powers-that-be are being careful to say that they are not looking to effect regime change, but isn't that a possible consequence of intervention?  And then what?

    I think it's terrible that there is so much death and destruction in the world - I'm reading about the keening and wailing among the power elite about the deaths from chemical weapons, and I can't figure out how we can react that way to this now, and at the same time pretend that we haven't killed and injured thousands and thousands of innocent people with drone strikes.  Is it how they died that isn't worth noting, or that we were responsible?

    No, I deplore all of it.  But I have no confidence - none - that this thing has been thought through, and the consequences of acting too soon, or in the wrong way, never get any better.


    It may have been (none / 0) (#62)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:02:10 AM EST
    thought through very well(sic).

    It's been extremely effective as a diversion form obama's (as he sees them) PR problems. And he even gets to be "strong defense and national security".

    Nobody is talking about the NSA now, and republicans will sound like idiots (to most people) if they oppose bombing Syria.

    Of course, at this point the Pentagon and the White House must surely be aware that no one in the world believes their bullsh*t, except most of the US population perhaps. And maybe that's all that counts?


    "Nobody is talking about the NSA now" (none / 0) (#64)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:08:34 AM EST
    Actually, jbindc mentioned proof by phone intercept somewhere in this thread.

    "acting as al qaeda's air force" (none / 0) (#63)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:07:00 AM EST
    (lol) - which will confirm at least one of the wackier right wing opinions.

    The Three Stooges (none / 0) (#94)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:00:15 PM EST
    of Syria and Iran: Russia, China, and the Arab League. Russia and China only care about their access to oil, and the Arab League -- the biggest stooge of all -- is a useless joke which never stands for anything or takes action on anything. ever.

    I'm not using this opinion as justification for bombing Syria (though I wouldn't shed a tear if Assad and his entire criminal regime were turned to dust). I'm only saying that the views of Russia, China and the Arab League shouldn't be used as justification for anything either. They don't really give a d@mn about the victims of the chem attack.


    The Arab League endorsed U.U. Intervention (none / 0) (#107)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:08:09 PM EST
    in Libya.  

    Hey, I saw "Syriana." We can do (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:16:02 PM EST
    anything, can't we?

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:23:24 PM EST
    I don't believe that Benghazi is a coverup in the sense that Republicans attempt to portray it, but it was obviously a CIA operation that went South one night.

    Preformed preprinted plans (none / 0) (#184)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:01:26 AM EST
    are no substitute for moment-by-moment strategic analysis.  I am afraid....

    Iraq, part 2 (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 04:05:00 PM EST
    Or, "How a great nation destroys itself with the deluded belief that it knows what's best for everyone."

    More "easy answers" from the top.

    Phucking idiots.

    The "rebels" in Syria are scumbags, for the most part. And so is the regime.

    So why do we give a sh*t.

    Because we're stupid.

    Again and again.

    Stew. Pee'd.

    According to a Syrian military defector (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 04:31:10 PM EST
    who is likely now on our payroll, chemical weapons stockpiles are unlikely to be targeted, "..because attacks on Assad's stores of mustard gas and nerve toxins could result in deadly leaks, or make the the arsenals vulnerable to plunder by jihadist groups.."  Or, alternatively, because there are no stockpiles (cf. Hussein, Saddam), or,  arsenals may be vulnerable to plunder by jihadist groups (e.g.,  groups of Syrian civil war rebels we will be, in effect, supporting.)

    I don't think (none / 0) (#8)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 05:19:55 PM EST
    the existence of stock piles is all that disputable in this case, I mean this isn't Iraq where the last use was two decades prior to invasion it'll be less than a week prior to a missle strike, the second concern though is valid.

    Well, as we, unfortunately know, (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 05:50:34 PM EST
    Saddam's stockpiles were, at one time, indisputable too.  And, the  intelligence was presented as being quite fresh--aluminum tubes and such.  As for Assad's stockpiles, do we know much about them, their quality and quantity?  There are stockpiles and then there are stockpiles.  Or Assad's willingness to use them

    He did not use them when he was on the ropes in the civil war, why would be use them now that the tide is turning more in his favor?  But then, maybe, Colin Powell can give a presentation about this at the UN.   My worry, is that we do not know enough despite claims of  having "no doubt"  about them, who is using them,  or what to do about them--Director Clapper's word notwithstanding.    


    I understand, keysdan (none / 0) (#30)
    by christinep on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:32:27 PM EST
    But, in honesty, do the lies we acted on about Iraq mean the same lies today?  Are we sure or are we (maybe even justifiably) cynical?  If it is true--if it is true--what do you think we should do?

    It seems to me that any cynicism (5.00 / 5) (#32)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:11:35 PM EST
    lies on the side of the Administration and it is wholesome for a democracy to be skeptical.  Calls for missile strikes as soon as this week, in the absence of Congress are curious.  And,  on the word of liars like Clapper, who does not tell the truth even when under oath before a congressional intelligence committee.

     If Iraq is too remote a memory, we can turn to Libya.  A humanitarian bombing in accord with UN Resolution 1973 that had a mission creep (or goal )of regime change.  

    As for Syria,  this is a civil war that has been going on for over two years, and claims for the use of  poison gas by parties of the first part, if not parties of the second part or third part,  have not occurred just this week.  Of course, there is now "no doubt"  (cf. Dick Cheney) that the intelligence is correct.  And, will the War Powers Act be invoked?  

    It is difficult to say what should be done when we do not know what will be done.  But apparently, the idea for a narrow and "simple"  strike with a few missiles to let Assad know there is a right  and wrong way to kill.  But, will we be get dragged in further in accord with mission creep (or goal )for regime change?  If Assad is hanged in a botched attempt or sodomized and strung up in a suburban meat locker is that a victory and all will then be well in Syria?    Not in my book, the president should stay on his previous course and strive for a diplomatic settlement, as tough as that may be--for that will be what it boils down to, military strikes or not.  As the president has said, he is not opposed to all wars, just dumb wars--and this is dumb.


    "A humanitarian bombing" (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 05:13:00 AM EST
    - an interesting turn of phrase.

    While air strikes (none / 0) (#93)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:59:37 PM EST
    are often over valued in terms of impact, I do think you can make the case that Humanitarian ends have been served by them and other military tactics at times- the Balkans for instance or honestly Libya where an entire city would have been reduced to bones and rubble but for air strikes.

    Yes, the Balkans is the closest comparison (none / 0) (#95)
    by shoephone on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:03:27 PM EST
    also because of the justification for the bombing (the murder of thousands of innocent Muslims).

    Juan Cole speaks to (none / 0) (#179)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:38:33 AM EST
    Diplomatic settlement (none / 0) (#36)
    by Politalkix on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:40:26 PM EST
    "Not in my book, the president should stay on his previous course and strive for a diplomatic settlement"

    Actually chances of diplomatic settlement will increase if Assad feels that he will get stuck in a civil war for the rest of his life. At this time he feels that he has the upper hand with support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, so he has no incentive to go for a deal.

    I supported the military action in Libya whole heartedly but am agnostic regarding military action in Syria. Irrespective of who wins in Syria, the outcome will be bad for America.


    Not sure bombing Syria (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:53:07 PM EST
    to the negotiating table will be an effective strategy.  There may be better options, starting with improved and longer view relations with Russia.  Besides,   Assad may not want to get stuck in a civil war for the rest of his life, but he probably feels that he would like to live the rest of his life. Probably no one will win, including, as you say, America.

    Actually, there is one winner (none / 0) (#180)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:40:02 AM EST
    if relations between America and Russia deteriorate.

    Edward Snowden.


    Who didn't see this coming? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 05:23:51 PM EST
    I love how we tailor our interventions now so that we never have to formally call them wars, Congress doesn't get a say, and neither do we.

    Over a decade of being beaten over the head with "al-Qaeda bad. terror! terror! terror!" and now all of a sudden, we're going to align with al-Qaeda against the Assad regime?  

    Yeah, that's going to end well, I'm sure.

    WTF is wrong with these people?  

    Congress wants in on the action (none / 0) (#10)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 05:28:23 PM EST

    Nearly two dozen House members have signed onto a letter demanding President Obama consult Congress -- and wait for its authorization -- before launching military strikes against Syria.

    "Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution," wrote Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.).

    The congressman also wrote that the president's decision to authorize the 2011 U.S. military in Libya without Congress's green light was unconstitutional.

    "If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your convenience," he wrote.

    Congress is slated to return Sept. 9 but the Obama administration has signalled action against President Bashar Assad may be imminent.

    I fear this sort of posturing by Rigell and (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 05:46:48 PM EST
    others has less to do with opposing yet another military action by the U.S. and more to do with trying to build a case for impeachment.

    Which is too bad because one of things we could surely use is an open and frank national debate about how and when we deploy our military assets.


    You know what? (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by sj on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:21:24 PM EST
    I fear this sort of posturing by Rigell and (none / 0) (#11)
    by caseyOR on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 04:46:48 PM MDT

    others has less to do with opposing yet another military action by the U.S. and more to do with trying to build a case for impeachment.

    Even if you're right, this possibility doesn't bother me overmuch.

    If you're not doing anything wrong or illegal then you have nothing to fear. That applies to governments as well as citizens.


    Well, that oughta clarify things. (Snark.) (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:11:46 PM EST
    I would refer to this public argument offered by the staunchly isolationist GOP Sen. Gerald P. Nye of North Dakota in mid-1939, when Congress was then discussing the looming prospect of war in Europe and what it portended for the United States:

    "When we are asked to underwrite a campaign for collective security, it is plain that we are not being invited to assist in the defense of powers, or to co-operate with powers that can properly be called democratic.

    "The defense of the British and French empires, were we to lend ourselves to a policy of collective security with those countries, would involve the continued subjugation of hundreds of millions of black and brown peoples among whom the spirit of revolt is already manifest. With Britain as our associate in a pledge of collective security, we should derive some protection from the activities of the British navy in Pacific waters where American interests ought not to lie.

    "But do we want to pledge ourselves to help Britain hang on to the spoils of the last war? Hongkong was Britain's toll from the unholy opium war. Do we want to help her to hold it? Collective effort is the way to win a hand in so doing.

    "It has been said that the leadership of the future lies with us; that it is henceforth for us to tell Great Britain and France what the terms of collective action are to be. Let me remind you, not cynically, but only in the interests of historic realism rather than of wishful thinking, that such leadership precisely was President Wilson's dream."

    -- Sen. Gerald P. Nye (R-ND), "Is Neutrality Possible for America?" [Tomorrow in the Making, John N. Andrews and Carl A. Marsden, eds., pages 420-435 (1939)]

    Yep. Congress can sure clarify things up real good.



    Well the unitary executive disenfranchising (none / 0) (#140)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:54:24 PM EST
    Everyone isn't anything to worry about.  I am disappointed in your response Donald because you know that the emergency trigger still belongs to Obama.

    What scares me?  I am part of an active duty military family right now and the disconnect from the will of the people at this time is frightening.  You should be out here feeling how little the people feel they are part of anything, just paying for it all while they view the entirety of D.C. to be a bunch of toxic neocons.  I am so over the squashing of debate in taking our troops into any military action.  I am done with it.


    Well, Congress need not apply. (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:13:19 PM EST
    Just use the Libyan model:  War Powers act did not need to be invoked in that case since the aerial bombing did not constitute "hostilities."  Perhaps a sternly worded letter will suffice.

    We also do not get a say (none / 0) (#186)
    by BackFromOhio on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:06:19 AM EST
    because there is no draft.  

    And stocks took a dive (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:04:58 PM EST
    What?  Nobody buys that war is the fastest way to wealth anymore?

    So much for the meme this (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:59:18 PM EST
    administration is totally beholden to Wall St.  Now whatever shall we discuss ad infinitum?

    now now, (none / 0) (#21)
    by sj on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:00:39 PM EST
    you know that one event does not a pattern make.

    Does Obama care more about children (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:13:29 PM EST
    Being gassed to death though than he cares about Wall Street?  Tonight it looks like he may possess that flaw

    It's not a meme... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:05:42 AM EST
    it's the truth...just as much money to be made on a market dip as a market rise, if you're in the 1%.  

    Beholden to the military industrial complex too...gotta spread the love around ya know.


    Oil was up (none / 0) (#53)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:07:51 AM EST
    Oil will probably go through the roof (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:49:54 AM EST
    Stocks are steadying today (none / 0) (#71)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:25:56 AM EST
    Syria was a good reason to slip in a correction (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:21:33 AM EST
    The "Sell in May and go away" backfired big this year. Those that did will be jumping back in soon.

    Apparently, Syria has had no effect on my beer stock which is now up 76% this year. Sadly for me I didn't pull the trigger on a solar stock earlier this year which happens to be up 88% without me.


    And the poll says only 9% of Americans (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by gadfly on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:52:34 PM EST
    want to go to war in Syria and for good reason: THERE CAN BE NO GOOD OUTCOME.  If Assad goes we get the Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda rebels.

    Besides, the strategy proposed is the same as we used in Iraq and everyone knows that boots on the ground will be required before the conflict can end. And our troops will get to contend with deadly sarin gas.

    We all know the answer to Billy Joel's question in his song.

    We didn't start the fire
    It was always burning
    Since the world's been turning
    We didn't start the fire
    But when we are gone
    Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on?

    Why does it have to be ours? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Visteo1 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:16:17 PM EST
    You hit on an important reality.

    everyone knows that boots on the ground will be required before the conflict can end.

    More than ever those in the region have a greater stake in this mess than the US.  Why aren't we in the business of brokering a deal between the two sides...I'm not talking about the Syrian sides, but the countries in the region that are the weapons suppliers to the civil war.  If the weapons are cut-off and a cease fire ordered by all nations, all that is need is the threat of world military action to keep both sides in line.

    Let someone else put the boots on the ground.


    You missed the memo, Visteo. (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 05:31:49 AM EST
    In 2011, the U.S. sold $66 billion worth of weapons, fully 3/4 of the world total.

    Nobody can say Obama isn't pro-business.


    It's amazing to have a manufacturing (none / 0) (#66)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:36:55 AM EST
    industry that hasn't been largely outsourced to China.  I'll still bet that plenty of lower level components (common IC's and discrete electronics (ie, transitors), the steel and other metals, etc.) are coming from offshore, but the bulk of the profits probably remain here.  Those details are probably secrets to avoid sabotage.

    If the US can invent plenty more GMO's, we can make the world dependent on the US for food and weapons.  We could really have the world by its pair.  (sarcasm)


    Keep on dithering a bit. (none / 0) (#35)
    by Visteo1 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:34:25 PM EST
    When and what response should the US have made?

    There were reports of Al Qaeda being part (none / 0) (#147)
    by Jack203 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:18:15 PM EST
    of the rebellion from the beginning.

    The Guardian: (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:25:46 PM EST
    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US military, General Martin Dempsey, told Congress last month that even "limited standoff strikes" against Syria would require hundreds of aircraft, ships and submarines and could cost billions of dollars.

    While such action would "degrade regime capabilities" and lead to defections, Dempsey told the House Foreign Affairs committee, there was a risk of retaliatory attacks and "collateral damage impacting civilians". He also warned of "unintended consequences" of any military intervention in the complex civil war.

    I am waiting eagerly to be convinced (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Jack203 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:54:24 PM EST
    that the chemical attack was definitely the Syrian government and not the rebels.

    The rebels are losing, desperate, and have the motive to do this (to get gullible Western powers to join the war on their side).

    The Syrian government has none of those motivations.

    I like Obama and Kerry, but they put up or shut up about any talk about going to war unless they are 100% sure who is responsible.

    After WMDs you would think we would have learned.  It is absolutely pathetic if we have not.

    Impatiently waiting. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Visteo1 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:42:26 PM EST
    Will the evidence be incontrovertible or something much less.

    The only real option (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Slado on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:26:11 PM EST
    Is to stay out of this.

    I'm sorry Obama went off the teleprompter a year ago and drew a red line but who cares?  He doesn't have any street cred in the Arab world already and his job as commander in chief is not to appear tough.   His job is to protect America and I don't see how lobbing cruise missiles at Syria keeps my kids safe.

    What's the point?  He isn't going to do enough to make a real difference so why bother?  

    To on TV and tell the American people that we can't get involved in another Arab conflict.

    Oh wait, that would take real leadership.

    Actually, not really (none / 0) (#81)
    by sj on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:55:39 AM EST
    His job is to protect America...
    Don't get me wrong; that should be a priority but it should be the result of his real job. The oath he took is to "...preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    Hey, remidners of the real oath (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:41:20 PM EST
    are usually my job! Thanks for filling in.

    Well (none / 0) (#91)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:49:12 PM EST
    There is that pesky thing called Article II of the Constitution as well....

    Sure (none / 0) (#113)
    by sj on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:34:17 PM EST
    There's all the executive type stuff that goes with, you know, the Executive branch. But being CinC "of the Army, Navy of the United States and militias of the several states" would apply to "protect[ing] America" if America (by which I assume he means the USA) was being invaded by hostile forces or in the event of an actual declared war.

    I wonder if the FF considered the "police action" loophole. Making war is not necessarily the same thing as "protecting America".

    That's neither "pesky" nor a gotcha.


    Sure (none / 0) (#124)
    by jbindc on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:28:42 PM EST
    But the oath is just an affirmation (and the one taken now isn't even the ACTUAL one spelled out in the Constitution).

    The Constitution, however, actually DOES spell out the president's job (as opposed to the oath, as you claim).

    I don't disagree:

    Making war is not necessarily the same thing as "protecting America".

    But that statement has nothing to do with what the president's actual job entails.


    I'm not taking (none / 0) (#126)
    by sj on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 04:04:55 PM EST
    this conversation any further sideways than it has already gone. Have a good afternoon.

    I prefer speak softly and carry a big stick (none / 0) (#150)
    by Jack203 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:25:19 PM EST
    Over bang your war drums and have an itchy trigger finger.

    Obama's pledge may prove to be a big mistake.  I understood the multiple reasons why he said it.  

    However, if what I suspect is true, that a faction of the Rebels set up the Syrian government.  They would have been highly motivated to do so in part thanks to Obama's own actions.

    I couldn't care less if Obama breaks his pledge though.  The election is over.


    Is there a Nobel War Prize? (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Payaso on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:05:58 AM EST
    There are no good guys in Syria, just bad guys on both sides and victims in the middle.

    No Nobel War Prize, but I'm sure (none / 0) (#65)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:12:58 AM EST
    Obama will use the occasion to deliver yet another 'historic' speech:

    Four wars and seven years ago...


    In late January this year (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 03:57:48 AM EST
    examiner.com published an article titled...

    Hacked e-mails reveal 'Washington approved' plan to stage Syria chemical attack

    January 28, 2013

    On Saturday, Cyber War News released a cache of e-mails allegedly hacked by someone in Malaysia from a British private defense contractor called Britam Defence.

    One of the e-mails contains a discussion between Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding and Philip Doughty, company founder. In the exchange, it's revealed that there is a plan to unleash chemical weapons in Syria in order to blame it on the Bashar Al Assad regime to justify a direct intervention by U.S. and NATO forces in the country's civil war. The plan, thought up by the government of Qatar according to the e-mail, is "approved by Washington."

    The Examiner article goes on to note that there were reports more than a year ago that Syrian "rebels"  had acquired chemical weapons...

    If this e-mail is authentic, it would confirm what has been reported in the past: that the al-Qaida connected Syrian rebels are planning to unleash chemical weapons as a false flag.

    In June, Russia Today reported that Syrian rebels had acquired gas masks and chemical weapons from Libya and "allegedly plan to use it against civilians and pin the atrocity on the Bashar al-Assad regime."

    More currently, Examiner reports today August 28 that Assad has fled Syria and is now in Iran.

    Assad flees to Iran

    Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad and his family arrived in Tehran Aug 28, landing at Khomeini Airport aboard his presidential jet. Iranian foreign ministry sources confirmed this with the Lebanese newspaper a-Nahar.

    Accompanying the Assad family was a group of senior Syrian government officials who together with Assad are officially there to hold talks with the Iranian government about a Syrian response to a possible US strike on Syrian WMD assets which is expected to take place in the near future.

    As this information made its way into a-Nahar, Syrian Army generals continued their dire warning that if Syria is attacked, `Israel will burn' and that if Syria weakens, `certain irresponsible groups' will be formed that would endanger Israel.

    Pres. Assad and his family fleeing to Tehran is no surprise. Iran and Syria have been decade's long allies since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. The Assad's are Alawite Muslims, which are an offshoot of Shia Islam which is the predominant Muslim sect in Iran.

    Considering the recent gift of US humanitarian intervention to Libya and the humanitarian sodomizing of Col. Ghaddafi with a knife by US supported "rebels", I suppose if I was Bashar al-Assad I'd make myself scarce in Syria too.

    Examiner must be reporting (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:34:03 AM EST
    true disinfo there, because their article  says that IsraelNationalNews.com says that newspaper Israel Hayom not only says that unnamed Iran Foreign Ministry sources say that Assad is in Tehran but also says that an unnamed senior official in the Syrian army says that if Damascus is attacked Tel Aviv will be attacked and Israel will be set on fire.

    There is no fog in war of course, and the only true blue source of real info you can take to the bank about this will come out of Carney Barker's mouth in the next white house presser. obama wouldna lie to you, now would he? We must bomb Syrians because Syrians bombed Syrians because we sent Al Qaeda to bomb Syrians, and besides, Snowden says that the NSA.... wait! Syria! Evil! obama (flex) must vanquish evil!


    We all know (none / 0) (#96)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:03:34 PM EST
    Russia Today doesn't have an agenda in Syria!

    Mmmm. (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:13:43 PM EST
    Neither does the white house. Nope.

    Not much.


    In Dec. 2012, Secretary of State Clinton (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:29:38 PM EST
    stated the forces opposing Assad may have gained access to the government's chemical weapons:


    I missed that in the article (none / 0) (#118)
    by Visteo1 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:50:07 PM EST
    Right link?

    Yes: (none / 0) (#119)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:55:29 PM EST
    After meeting other NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, Clinton said: "Our concerns are that an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons, or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating within Syria.

    Is anyone in the media questioning this?? (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Jack203 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:25:34 PM EST
    "We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks."


    Apparently that is our only "evidence".  I haven't read anything else anyway.

    So....we don't think the opposition has "rockets"...and that is our incontrovertible evidence?  What the ??

    Just saw CBS nightly news tonight, and apparently the way they were talking about the attack...it's not even in dispute who did it anymore.   Not enough for them to even say the word "alleged" when speaking of the attack.

    What motive would the Syrian government have to target women and children in a disputed area using chemical weapons??
    No military benefit and risking retaliation caused by Western stupidity.


    War history is filled (none / 0) (#143)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:50:56 PM EST
    with the burning of towns and killing civilians because it was believed they may have aided the enemy. If you are looking for a logical reason that makes sense you'll be looking forever.

    True (none / 0) (#146)
    by Jack203 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:09:58 PM EST
    But is there a shred of evidence of this?  I am looking for evidence not possibilities.  

    Why, because it's just as possible one of the (multiple) rebel factions were angry at these people for aiding the government, and not the other way around.  


    Obviously Assad and his regime (none / 0) (#153)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:38:23 PM EST
    are suicidal nutcakes who wanted to bring US cruise missiles raining down on their heads because they felt so guilty about winning the conflict with US backed and armed al qaeda terrorists masquerading as rebels already that the only way they could make this work was to gas the people they were already defeating only a few miles away from the UN inspectors hotel.

    It only makes sense, right? Of course it does. Of course.

    Also the fact that Assad enjoys a higher percentage of public support from the Syrian population than obama does from Americans had nothing to do with it, of course. Nothing at all.

    Or something. Carney and obama will put their heads together and come up with a few good lines the bots will swallow hook, line, and sinker. Evidence schmevidence. Who needs any stinkin' evidence.


    Digging into this more (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by Jack203 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:30:24 PM EST
    1) Jobar the site of the attack seems to have a Syrian jewish population.


    If it was heavily Sunni or Shia it would lead credibility to who the true culprit was....but not jewish.  That certainly wouldn't exclude forces loyal to Al Qaeda/rebels/Assad....all sides should still be suspects.

    An additional piece of evidence against Assad seems to be a intercepted call from Assad's regime by Israeli intelligence.  Better than nothing, but I can't say I'm overwhelmed.  So you can tack that on to the rocket evidence.

    I'm still not close to convinced either way.


    Well, we don't have (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:01:26 AM EST
    an intercepted call from Assad's regime by Israeli intelligence as a piece of evidence.

    What we have there is a claim by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a character with a known history of lying through his teeth about anything surveillance related to congress and the people whom obama has full confidence in  saying there is "an intercepted call from Assad's regime by Israeli intelligence" to support obama's narrative now lying again, and even unable to keep his lies coherent and organized in his own head.

    Atlantic Wire

    U.S. intelligence listened in on a phone call between a Syrian Ministry of Defense official and someone at the country's chemical defense unit. That call, according to a report at Foreign Policy, is more or less why the U.S. is certain that Assad's government bears responsibility for the massacre near Damascus.
    Previous reports have indicated that the U.S. was relying in part on intercepted communications relating to the chemical attack in their assessment. According to CNN, an intelligence report on Syria, planned for public release in the coming days, will include intercepted intelligence along with forensic information. That report is being compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and could be released by Thursday. Rumors of an intercepted phone call were picked up widely by the conservative press for days after the German magazine Focus spoke to an anonymous Israeli intelligence official, who claims that the intercepted phone call comes from intelligence gathered by one of their elite units. Foreign Policy, however, specifies that U.S. intelligence overheard the call.

    But as Foreign Policy's report explains, the call's content doesn't answer many questions still out there about the Assad regime's culpability here:

    Was the attack on August 21 the work of a Syrian officer overstepping his bounds? Or was the strike explicitly directed by senior members of the Assad regime? "It's unclear where control lies," one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable. "Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?"

    Nor are U.S. analysts sure of the Syrian military's rationale for launching the strike -- if it had a rationale at all. ... "We don't know exactly why it happened," the intelligence official added. "We just know it was pretty f**king stupid."

    So Clapper the known liar says they have an call intercepted by Israeli Intelligence, while Foreign Policy says they have a call from US Intelligence, another known liar.

    In any event, the lies are handy as they support what another known liar, obama, wants to do.


    Ooops. Typo. (none / 0) (#154)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:43:30 PM EST
    Evidence schmevidence. Who needs it.

    Precedent will do.


    An obvious (5.00 / 2) (#170)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 03:53:13 AM EST
    question is - how many civilians will be killed by this proposed bombing?

    Will we kill thousands to avenge the hundred?

    What if the world wakes up and notices how many civilians we have killed in our fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan? What if the world asks how many civilians we have killed since Obama took over from Bush?

    There might be, as Obama says, "consequences".

    Watching British Parliament argue this out (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:48:25 AM EST
    The United States and our leaders should be so embarassed right now.

    Jesus Frick (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 08:50:35 AM EST
    President Obama is calling Congress on the phone, actually phoning it in.

    Could be worse - he could be tweeting (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by Anne on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:03:37 AM EST

    I agree, though, it is embarrassing in contrast to the debate taking place in Parliament.

    Will the outcome be different?  Who knows?  But at least they're having the debate up close and personal.


    To be clear (none / 0) (#178)
    by CoralGables on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:27:32 AM EST
    that would be Congress phoning it in.

    I watched a little of the 50th anniversary of the MLK speech yesterday and, with Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter present, Republicans were noticeable by their absence. Both Presidents Bush were unable to attend due to health reasons which is understandable. Saw this morning that both Boehner and Cantor turned down invites to speak. Guess when those two couldn't phone it in they declined.


    Sad (none / 0) (#182)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:57:51 AM EST
    I saw the report of the Birmingham teacher standing up and saying that racism in the South is worse now than it was in the 70's because it is being preached from the pulpits.

    Disappointed that our President (none / 0) (#183)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:59:21 AM EST
    Didn't call Congress back though.  Let em not show up!

    But, do we know for sure (5.00 / 1) (#188)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 11:14:38 AM EST
    (or even close) what has been said at private meetings, golf course discussions, lunches, and presidential phone conversations?  Or are we guessing based upon what we fear?  (Actually, I'm being more rhetorical than asking a question here.)

    You know, MT, I have had the same concerns about the devolution of power to the Executive Branch...as especially practiced in time of foreign conflict.  Years of that development, together with much analysis by those equally concerned, leaves us with the reality that Congress has a job to do, but increasingly shies from the hard, public decisions to engage in the blame-game when the WH is held by the opposition party.  Until we the people push Congress--individual representative by individual member-- it seems that the situation will stay that way.  Meanwhile, with the Congressional vacuum, the WH increasingly exercises as much power as it can via Article II.


    I watched what I could today of (none / 0) (#190)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:14:54 PM EST
    Great Britain's parliament, and the opposition argued all the points that Democrats in this country ought to be bringing forward so that all the damage that Iraq did to our global credibility can be discussed.

    Opposition won, things agreed upon that they needed before they could back the U.S. in any of this is more evidence from UN inspectors and America's Congress must argue this out.

    Can't believe it, Great Britain has to tell our President that they won't consider going with us until we start acting like a representative democracy.


    September 2012 (none / 0) (#26)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:02:38 PM EST
    Here we see Qatar in direct competition with both Iran (as a producer) and Syria (as a destination), and to a lesser extent, Iraq (as a transit country). It's useful to remember that Tehran and Baghdad are adamantly against regime change in Damascus.

    The gas will come from the same geographical/geological base - South Pars, the largest gas field in the world, shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline - if it's ever built - would solidify a predominantly Shi'ite axis through an economic, steel umbilical cord.

    Qatar, on the other hand, would rather build its pipeline in a non-"Shi'ite crescent" way, with Jordan as a destination; exports would leave from the Gulf of Aqaba to the Gulf of Suez and then to the Mediterranean. That would be the ideal plan B as negotiations with Baghdad become increasingly complicated (plus the fact the route across Iraq and Turkey is much longer).

    Washington - and arguably European customers - would be more than pleased with a crucial Pipelineistan gambit bypassing the Islamic Gas Pipeline.

    And of course, if there's regime change in Syria - helped by the Qatari-proposed invasion - things get much easier in Pipelineistan terms. A more than probable Muslim Brotherhood (MB) post-Assad regime would more than welcome a Qatari pipeline. And that would make an extension to Turkey much easier.

    Ankara and Washington would win. Ankara because Turkey's strategic aim is to become the top energy crossroads from the Middle East/Central Asia to Europe (and the Islamic Gas Pipeline bypasses it). Washington because its whole energy strategy in Southwest Asia since the Clinton administration has been to bypass, isolate and hurt Iran by all means necessary.

    United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:16:19 PM EST
    is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command of the U.S. Department of Defense
    CENTCOM's main headquarters is located at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida, although a forward headquarters was established in 2002 at Camp As Sayliyah in Doha, Qatar, which transitioned to a new forward headquarters at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in 2009 to serve American strategic interests if the USCENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR)

    -- wikipedia


    VOR (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:27:32 PM EST
    the examination has unequivocally established that rebels had used the poisonous substance sarin on March 19 in Aleppo. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov exposed the details of the results of the investigation.
    "Our experts took samples, examined them on the spot in laboratories that are certified by the Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, and came to the conclusion that the shell and sarin that was in it were homemade. There are quite clear and unambiguous conclusions concerning the fact that characteristics of both the shell and this very sarin do not meet the standards used in industrial production. According to our additional data, the shell and this substance were manufactured in February, 2013, in the Syrian territory, which was then under the control of the Syrian Free Army, by one of the groups, which was affiliated with this Syrian Free Army".
    But even after the 80-page report of the Russian experts was in the hands of the Americans, the State Department Spokesperson Jennifer Psaki stated that "Washington still does not believe that the opposition used chemical weapons".

    -- 13 July 2013

    Testing for chemical warfare evidence after (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:40:51 PM EST
    some time has passed:


    u.s. satellites are all focused tonight (none / 0) (#44)
    by AmericanPsycho on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:08:40 AM EST
    Is this much cloud cover in Syria tonight?

    So is the UN securty counsel dead? (none / 0) (#48)
    by redwolf on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:59:14 AM EST
    What happened to no war without the UN approving it?  Obama is Bush on steroids.

    Has A Calculus Been Developed (none / 0) (#52)
    by RickyJim on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:27:34 AM EST
    To compare how many lives will be saved by a military action than be ended by it?  Does anybody claim that the number of Iraqi lives lost by the US invasion is less than the number Saddam would have taken otherwise?  One would hope the US military has a handle on this before they get involved in a fray.  

    If there are chemical weapons... (none / 0) (#67)
    by unitron on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:40:31 AM EST
    ...they don't need to be in the wrong hands.

    If Assad has actually used them, then they're in one set of wrong hands already.

    But at least he's likely to only use them in Syria

    If he's overthrown, or even sufficiently weakened militarily to not be able to keep all of the stockpiles of those weapons secure (if there are such), then who knows who is going to get hold of them and use them who knows where against whom.

    I fully understand that boots on the ground is not an option we want to pursue if we can avoid it, but if we have to take some military action, perhaps it would be best to overwhelm the country with our people long enough to grab all of those weapons and haul them (and us) out of there.

    We could tell Assad, and tell the world that we're telling him, we're coming in to take those weapons--stand back out of the way and nobody gets hurt. Any interference, however, will be vaporized.

    If this is what we were proposing (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by ruffian on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:45:18 PM EST
    We could tell Assad, and tell the world that we're telling him, we're coming in to take those weapons--stand back out of the way and nobody gets hurt. Any interference, however, will be vaporized.

    I could probably be convinced it made sense. However, according to the article Jeralyn linked to, we are proposing sending missiles to hit command and control centers and other targets, much like the start of the Iraq war. Either Iraq war. Really any war we jump into these days.


    The Archbishop of Canterbury (none / 0) (#117)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 02:48:48 PM EST
    urges caution:

    The gathering drumbeat of calls for intervention has alarmed some Britons, including the Most Rev. Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the world's 77 million Anglicans, who was quoted on Wednesday as urging lawmakers to avoid a rush to judgment about military action that could have "unforeseeable ramifications across the whole Arab and Muslim world."
    . [NYT.]

    Britain to await U.N. inspection: (none / 0) (#134)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 05:17:08 PM EST

    I don't think we could get a UN (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:52:58 PM EST
    Inspection though without Obama threatening them right now.  Snipers have already attacked the inspection team a few days ago.

    Whose snipers? (none / 0) (#155)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:27:08 PM EST
    I don't know (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:37:12 PM EST

    The British parliament has voted NO (none / 0) (#189)
    by caseyOR on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:20:18 PM EST
    to military action against Syria. It is a defeat for David Cameron, and leaves the U.S. standing alone on this issue.

    What now for the U.S.?

    Given the British situation (none / 0) (#191)
    by christinep on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 06:53:17 PM EST
    and despite a practical conclusion that the US purportedly has made to move relatively swiftly, I would hope that we suck it up and await the outcome of the UN delayed inspections.  From what the news is reporting tonight, it appears that Labour (as well as others in Cameron's own party) is still justifiably concerned about the harsh consequences of quickly following Bush into war in Iraq in 2003 ... and, that conclusion does make sense.

    It doesn't appear that the US, France, and now-tepid support for effective response can or should go it alone.  That, imo, is realpolitik; and, that is also part of the long-term ripples of that destructive mess we engineered in Iraq.  Even if this situation appears to be quite different morally and otherwise, memories are legitimately long.


    Message to Assad is clear (none / 0) (#192)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:27:36 PM EST
    Go ahead and do whatever you want, this dog barks but doesn't bite.

    I don't like the idea of military action, not bombing infrastructure or the Syrian people, treat them like Al Qaeda, target the leadership, not the foot soldiers.

    "target the leadership" (none / 0) (#193)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:31:41 PM EST

    Same as (none / 0) (#194)
    by Mikado Cat on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 10:56:23 PM EST
    Al Qaeda, drones or Seals, stop killing the people who don't make the decisions and let those that do feel the pain directly.

    * Not so much advocating some specific action as considering a different approach. Take out the middle man, deal directly with those in control.


    First They Came For... (none / 0) (#195)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:30:55 AM EST
    Once they get the leaders they go for the middle man..

    you may wind up on the list...  why not?

    you are supporting someone who is an enemy.


    I can't understand (none / 0) (#196)
    by Jack203 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 08:50:19 AM EST
    how Syria could be so stupid.  There was only one thing they couldn't do unless they wanted us to attack them....and they did it.

    I think Kerry made a strong case.