Obama Asks Congress for Syria Strike Approval

President Obama today said he has asked Congress to vote on launching a strike on Syria when it returns Sept. 9. John Boehner says the vote will be the week of September 9.

Obama said he believes he has the authority to act without congressional approval, but asked lawmakers to weigh in and shoulder the responsibility for the decision.

“The country will be stronger if we take this course,” Obama said. “We should have this debate.”

Yesterday, Obama released this 4 page summary of a U.S. report detailing intelligence on the suspected use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on Aug. 21. [More...]

It begins:

The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack. These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting.Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence – but what follows is an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of what took place.

The report finds 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, were killed in the chemical attack.

Here at home, the FBI is increasing surveillance of Syrians.

Senior national security officials at F.B.I. headquarters in Washington have told the bureau’s field offices in recent days to follow up with sources who have ties to Syrians in an attempt to find talk or evidence of a retaliatory strike, the officials said.

...And Syrians implicated in continuing investigations will be put under even closer scrutiny, the officials said. F.B.I. agents are expected to interview hundreds of Syrians in the coming days.

Among the concerns: Iran and cyberattacks.

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  • Display: Sort:
    What is he doing? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Slado on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:38:58 PM EST
    Yesterday Kerry made the case for us to strike.

    For days the administration has made the case they don't need approval.  Even during the speech he said he doesn't need it.

    He did no such thing before striking Lybia.

    He is not calling congress into session but instead waiting 10 days and going to Europe.

    This is beyond laughable.

    Just say we're not going to strike and get it over with.   Which I approve of by the way.

    Instead the cynic in me says like in all things Obama he is more concerned with the way he looks.   He wants to look tough but not strike.   I don't know what he thinks really at this point.

    One thing is clear.  This president can't lead.

    The political problem he has (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:45:03 PM EST
    is that he should have never drawn a line. That way he could have ignored the situation.

    But he didn't.

    Now he has a lose lose.

    The American people want nothing to do with this, recognizing that when our enemies fight each other that is good.

    Syria has already announced victory and we appear weaker and weaker.

    We have become the mouse that roared."

    You know, some idiot is going to attack us and we'll wind up in a major war.


    Oh by the way (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Slado on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:45:57 PM EST
    Biden and Obama went straight from the Rose Garden to the Golf Course.



    Really bad optics. Tells us a great deal. (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:52:35 PM EST
    Optics Seem Perfect to Me (none / 0) (#155)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 03:34:55 PM EST
    What optics would you choose to portray, were you the PR person?

    Worry? Pumping up his chest (or codpiece) in front of the troops ?
    Prayer? Going to church? CHildren's hospital? Arlington?

    Going to golf (labor day weekend) seems like a good message to Assad...  but really, how would you have staged it?


    "Now, (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Nemi on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:32:52 PM EST
    "Standard"? (none / 0) (#104)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:15:06 AM EST
    What is that supposed to mean?

    Slado is saying that (none / 0) (#117)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 11:23:25 AM EST
    he has applied his "standard" response '-).

    It comes straight from the GOP playbook, "What to Say When Talking to the Left".


    Maybe, if that was his mistake though (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:49:01 PM EST
    He's fixed it and you just don't want to see it, and several other problems he has had lately.

    He has bought himself some Constitutional credibility (what recent Republican President has even had the sniff of such a thing?), and doubled down on being the national security President.

    I know it vexes you badly Jim but this President is brilliant.  He's gotten us all today.  And Mr. Constitutionality is still listening to my phone calls.

    If only one Republican President could hold a candle to such political brilliance.  


    It remains to be seen how brilliant (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:22:56 PM EST
    this move is; a lot can happen in 9 days.

    Here's a sample of what lies ahead (bold is mine):

    Barack Obama has taken a potentially huge political gamble by putting the decision over whether to attack Syria in the hands of Congress, writes the Guardian's Washington correspondent Paul Lewis:

    Republican and Democratic leaders may be expected to back the president's call for military action, but support among lawmakers, who have become increasingly restive in recent months, is by no means guaranteed.

    With a vote not scheduled to take place until the week beginning September 9, when Congress returns from recess, Obama faces days of intense political debate over the evidence of a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government and the rationale for military strikes with limited international support.

    In a sign of the battle ahead, US Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both hawks who have advocated aggressive strikes on Syria, said they would use the vote to push for a more significant intervention than the one proposed by Obama, who said on Saturday it should be "limited in duration and scope".

    "We cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the president's stated goal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests," they said in a statement.

    Democrats control the Senate, but Obama could face the toughest battle in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, which is staunchly opposing the president on a range of issues from healthcare to immigration reform and tax and spend policies.

    What is he going to give them in exchange for their votes?  And what are the chances he will give them things they end up not having to pay for with a "yes" vote?

    It would be swell if our Congress could just address the immediate issue, but that almost never happens anymore.  I'm as appalled and sickened as anyone on the needless and painful deaths from chemical weapons, but I may be more sickened by those deaths becoming political footballs for a whacko GOP agenda and a president who's already announced this is a show debate, since he's locked and loaded and ready to go whenever he wants.

    I pray that nothing else happens that has the president announcing that, gee, he knows he said he wanted Congress to okay it, but we really can't wait...he'll give them a rain check on the next crisis.


    There is like no gamble here that I (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:42:11 PM EST
    Can see.  He got inspectors in and out, and now he has figured out how to not have to strike while sitting there offshore with his very serious guns trained on Assad and the Pentagon monitoring everything they do continuously and collecting more and more information on them.

    He took this chemical weapon thing on because he is good guy, he appeared to allow inspection because he is a good guy, now he going to have debate and in fact the world can while he sits there being a good guy.  There is zero gamble for him...zilch.

    I think maybe he played the whole world being all puffed up just so he could get the inspectors out.  They come bearing evidence.

    And he doesn't need their yes vote Anne, he made that clear.  He has reserved his authority to make strike decisions where he feels our national security is at risk.  He is asking for their authorization and he is asking for their debate, but he doesn't need it if Assad starts tweaking...ever

    Why is everyone so afraid of the GOP and debating them about gassed children and global standards?  I am not afraid.  They are gross evil self serving pussies, this is their opportunity to make that all too obvious to the world.


    Brilliant might be overstating it, (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:47:10 AM EST
    But I do mostly agree. I think the most alarming thing I have heard this morning is people saying that going to Congress for authorization makes the USA look week. huh? Isn't our democracy supposed to be our strength? This gives a more public and thorough airing of the evidence for both Congress and the people here and abroad. I know I am more and more convinced the more I hear. And makes Congress go on the record.

    The Syrian regime will know what tipped the scale on the side of American intervention if it happens. The analogy I have heard of punishing the dogs too long after the bad behavior is ridiculous. These are not dogs or 3 yr old children.


    It's frustrating this morning (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:23:36 PM EST
    If Congress doesn't approve, the Sunday shows say we are a paper tiger.  Germany can say no, the UK can say no based on the evidence they had....they aren't less than, they aren't weak.  When they make such decisions they are being strong and smart.

    And it is important if we do this the reasons are very clear, the world hears the arguments.

    I am fine if we decide to not do it, obviously Assad knows if he does it again our President will immediately hit him.  So Obama has changed the possibility of future.  I find value in that.

    Even Fareed keeps throwing out there he question of whether or not the UK "messed up" based on Iraq.  I don't see what the messed up, and Iraq was obviously a time when countries went to war without accurate information.  Very frustrating how this is being trotted out.


    Sorry for typos (none / 0) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:44:20 PM EST
    I have a sinus infection, all jacked up :)

    It isn't as if they can make him have (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:50:20 PM EST
    a Bigger war Anne, they can't

    Or any war actually. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:54:40 PM EST
    Making me chuckle (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:58:16 PM EST
    Someone is mistaken (not you Anne) (none / 0) (#65)
    by Visteo1 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:27:04 PM EST
    "achieve the president's stated goal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's removal from power"

    Is it McCain or Graham pulling the GOP tactic of attributing false statements to Obama?

    The President has made it clear.  Any attack will NOT have this goal.  Graham and McCain are looking for a new Iraq...ain't gonna happen.


    Correct (none / 0) (#67)
    by CoralGables on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:46:03 PM EST
    A lot of false statements flowing. Many of them made up right here by supposedly knowledgeable people at TL

    Well, (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Left of the Left on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:50:06 PM EST
    I know it vexes you badly Jim but this President is brilliant.

    one persons brilliance is anothers desperation.

    He did this for political cover after things blew up in Camerons face. It may be his best political move to make now, but HAVING to take it is hardly a sign of brilliance. The complete 180 actually makes this WH look foolish.

    Besides, they still said he doesnt need it. They've allowed themselves the opportunity to ignore COngress in the future. If this buys him credibility its only with those not paying attention and willing to accept anything anyway.


    Brilliant? So was Nixon. (none / 0) (#199)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:05:34 AM EST
    And like Nixon he is not concerned with what is right, but being in control.

    The issue is simply this.

    What is our national interest?

    In Syria we have two groups of our enemies fighting each other.

    That is in our national interest. Saving people may make you feel good, although I doubt that is your motivation, but it does nothing to keep us safe.

    As to whether or not he needs it..... I haven't seen a real debate about our attacking another country without proof that they are (at least) helping our enemy and planning on attacking us.

    I think that he went into a delay mode when he was told he couldn't win in Congress or in the courts.


    Oh good grief, MT (none / 0) (#132)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:17:23 PM EST
    All he has done is admit that he doesn't have the credibility to act. And he has admitted that the American public is flat out against him attacking an enemy of al-Qaeda.

    So yes, he is playing politics.

    It is all he knows how to do.


    Why should a lame duck Pres. care? (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:53:30 PM EST
    Not very lame (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:49:43 PM EST
    He's got his tomahawks out :)  And golfing

    I really hope the Congressional straw vote (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:51:26 PM EST
    is negative, causing the Pres. (like Cameron), to back away from military intervention. Then, at the U.N. the U.S. may make its condemnation  of the use of chemical weapons, and the supporting investigation that the Assad regime is responsible.

    President Obama has, no doubt (5.00 / 5) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:09:34 PM EST
    changed course in the face of the cumulative elements of the past few days.  The vote of Parliament, leaving Cameron (and Obama) in the lurch, the absence of public support from the Arab League, and  the apparently growing voices of dissent as well as recent polling results in this country are among impacting factors.

    However, the tipping point, in my view, as I registered in earlier comments, would be broadly-based disapproval of Republicans--McCain and Lindsey, the Administration is finding out do not reflect that party's influential Tea Party gang.

    Democrats dissent would be much, much lower in the order of priorities for Administration concern. Most, sadly, will get on board (cf. Pelosi, Nancy).  

    It seems that the strategic error in the advisors such as Rice and Powers, was to use their Libyan model.  An unworkable one, in the civil/religious war of Syria with the Shias, Syrian (Alawite), Hezbollah, Iran) lined up against Sunnis of al Qaeda, Saudis, Qatar) with Lebanon caught, once again, in the middle.  Even Hamas will be happy to get into the regional mix, lobbing their own messages into the air.    Dropping a punitive bomb in the volatile Middle East is not the same as a no-fly zone in the sub-Saharra, which was no walk in the park.  

    For the president, he got lucky. Planned or not, it is the best course.  Relax, play golf.  Eliminate the false time-sensitivity, put the onus on Congress, and abide by the results. Does not admit that he must go to Congress, and he takes any success or shares the blame.

    For the country, it would be best if the message was that of Cole Porter, "Let's call the whole thing off."  Go to the UN, present the case (leave Colin Powell and his ilk home) and call for a Security Council vote.  And, try to convince China and Russia.  But win or lose, the point will have been made, and the US condemnation will stand.


    Well said (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jack203 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:50:19 PM EST
    It is Obama's safest (and most likely best) play.  I am concerned the rebels will be demoralized and Assad empowered (for staring down the great Satan, and the great Satan flinching).

    For the life of me I can't figure out why Syria would be so stupid to commit the attack in the first place.  Maybe they wanted this confrontation?  Who knows...Most likely they are just that...stupid.

    I think it might be best if congress votes No.  As pathetic as it sounds....have this chemical attack  as strike two....three strikes you're out.  They can't be that stupid to try it again...can they?

    The American public, including myself, are sick of being the policeman of the world.


    Of course they wanted a confrontation (none / 0) (#98)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:28:47 AM EST

    The gas attack on the anniversary of the "red line" declaration was calling Obama out.  Now we see Obama is unable to build a coalition. If congress fails to vote his way he will look even more impotent.




    Do you have a recommendation? (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:53:42 AM EST
    My recommendation to Obama (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:17:44 AM EST
    is remember the First Rule of Holes.

    I wouldn't be so sure (none / 0) (#110)
    by Jack203 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:57:12 AM EST
    It's borderline suicidal.

    Apparently not (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:23:24 AM EST

    So far it looks like Obama has handed Syria, Iran, and Russia a big fat victory.  If this is the vaunted "smart diplomacy" let's hope this administration switches to something that does not smart as badly.  This smarts just to watch.

    I don't trust your judgement (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:32:37 AM EST
    Let me explain the reason. People like you, jim and slado were convinced that everything BHO was doing before the general elections in 2012 were helping Romney coast to a big fat victory.

    It was really funny to see how you were left clutching your n*ts the day after election day.


    Politalkix, I admit to over (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:22:29 PM EST
    estimating the intelligence of the Low Information voters.

    And look what they have brought us...

    Continuing war and millions of part time jobs!



    You can thank Bush and Cheney (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:50:00 PM EST
    for the wars (one of which was totally unjustified and illegal) and a housing crisis not seen since the days of the 1903's depression.

    Who's the low information voter? Look in the mirror.


    The housing crisis? (2.67 / 3) (#181)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:15:44 AM EST
    You mean when Democrats stepped in and forced banks to make loans to people with bad credit?

    It wasn't magic or deregulation that caused the collapse, it was a massive number of people defaulting on mortgages they couldn't or wouldn't pay on houses that were not worth appraised values.


    Yep - the housing crisis (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by Yman on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:54:23 AM EST
    Except, without all the BS right-wing talking points that it was caused by "Democrats forcing banks to make loans to people with bad credit".

    Sadly, some people actually believe this garbage.


    LOL. (none / 0) (#185)
    by shoephone on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:03:42 AM EST
    Come back when you're serious.

    1930's Depression (none / 0) (#142)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:50:36 PM EST
    "Low information voters"? (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:15:24 PM EST
    The ones who ignore hundreds of actual scientific studies on global warming in favor of wingnut blogs?  They're the same voters that want creationism taught in science class and gave of 8 years of GWB.

    Continuing War (none / 0) (#168)
    by Jack203 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:27:06 PM EST
    If only we had a Republican in the office to provide us peace....

    Give me a break.


    Really (none / 0) (#182)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:19:50 AM EST
    Hard to imagine anybody doing worse, but if it makes you feel better nothing wrong I guess with imagining it.

    Apparently some eejits (5.00 / 2) (#190)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:23:21 AM EST
    never heard about how those "bad loans" were tirelessly and fraudulently promoted by the der egulated shysters and then sold off ultimately to us..

    Of course, Bill O'Reilly and Rush always manage to skip that part in their anal-ysis..


    the only problem with that (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:05:39 PM EST
    is that Obama and there for the nation will look even weaker than he/we already do.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#94)
    by Jack203 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:48:03 PM EST
    we shouldnt care too much what we look like.

    What we "look like" (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:01:19 AM EST
    is how the world perceives us, how effective our foreign policy can be without taking military action, and how effective a given level of military action may be.

    The debate is most important to me (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:54:18 PM EST
    Along with French parliament.  I am no fan of a new world chemical order.  This is the foundation for dealing with that from here on out.  These arguments will be built upon in the future.  I expect to hear very good arguments, humane standards enforced.

    Obama doesn't have to strike now either, he can sit there with his guns trained being all Constitutional.  And he got the UN inspectors out breathing down the regimes neck.  Even you know that Syria is dangerous for folks that are supposed to be able to rely on getting a wartime pass in combat zones.


    "[E]ven me!!!! (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:27:13 PM EST
    Oh, to the contrary, Slado (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:53:03 PM EST
    The measured build-up so that the facts can be made known, the WH position/argument heard fully, and the coming Congressional debate is precisely the way a democratic republic should attempt to handle such a situation.

    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:45:49 PM EST
    In this case no action may be best, or at least no military action, but swatting the dog a week after he leaves a bomb on the rug doesn't teach him anything. Sometimes the president needs to decide and take responsibility and act immediately.

    This past week with Syria explains a lot about Benghazi. A dangerous situation with a need for immediate action, but with a lot of political risk to taking action, so no action.


    I think (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:33:31 PM EST
    I am going to start manufacturing diapers that say Benghazi on them and giving them to conservatives to wear.

    A diaper? (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:56:53 PM EST
    Sad that you seem to think Benghazi was a spontaneous event. It was a well planned and timed movement with no need for a diaper except in the WH.

    You miss (none / 0) (#154)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 03:24:04 PM EST
    the point. Conservatives say Benghazi over and over like it's the only word in their vocabulary just like a toddler.

    Wow, so you're praising the terrorists? That is interesting. Largely I think it was just another tragedy in a string of tragedies going back over 30 years or more. If we are going to be involved in the middle east, this kind of thing is going to happen many more times.


    Why so much interest in a phony scandal? (5.00 / 1) (#183)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:23:59 AM EST
    Its a bump in the road, no reason for Americans to know why Obama let the people die in Benghazi, why substandard walls and security were used, no reason whatsoever to tell us.

    I doubt if Putin could get away with it.


    Conservatives (none / 0) (#189)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:59:14 AM EST
    surely don't seem 1/100th as concerned about the over 4,000 that died in Iraq do they? This is why people laugh at conservatives. They know it's just something that the GOP is trying to gin up. The GOP is pushing this because they want to try to "scandal" their way into the presidency in 2016. It's nothing more nothing less. They certainly were never concerned about any of the other deaths and were actually praising American deaths in the middle east with statements like we have to fight them over there instead of over here.

    And the GOP is not interested in finding a solution to any problem. That is obvious from their behavior and their falsifying of information. I mean how many times is the GOP going to keep lying to you about stuff before you tune them out?


    Ga8th you're asking for a miracle (none / 0) (#193)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:05:00 AM EST
    The results of the Fairleigh Dickinson University study will continue to hold true. Fox viewers are less informed than those that watch no news at all.

    I could (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:53:28 PM EST
    agree with you if Obama were to say that he would abide by the decision of the Congress of the United States.

    But, instead, he and his Powell, Kerry, are saying that they don't need the approval of Congress to do what they want.

    So, the whole thing becomes an empty exercise.

    Cameron, over in England, who was looking to be the new Blair, at least had the decency and the modicum of intelligence to follow the wishes of the people and the Parliament.

    But over here, all I get from the executive branch is a sense of utter contempt for the people, the Congress and the Constitution.


    He's leaving his carriers in place (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:45:39 PM EST
    He isn't exactly walking away

    I assume Russia is doing the same. (none / 0) (#79)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:41:01 PM EST
    The U.S. Air Force has air superiority (none / 0) (#82)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:50:43 PM EST
    I doubt the Russians will try to challenge that.

    We will apparently launch missile strikes....The Russians do not have the ability to shoot them down.    What will they do?  Launch a sortie against our fleet?    


    A scramble. (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:03:57 PM EST
    You mean "scramble" (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:08:49 PM EST
    their jets, i.e., get them airborne and threaten a strike?

    Very risky by the Russians....They really haven't done anything like that since the days of the old Soviet Empire.

    Cleary there are risks associated with a strike.

    But there are risks with inaction too.


    If Russia tries to shoot US missiles down (none / 0) (#88)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:13:05 PM EST
    they will be at war with the entire NATO alliance.
    Putin is not stupid. He will not go to war over Syria.

    Where is Tom Clancy when you need him? (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:18:25 PM EST
    The U.S. air superiority is near complete.  If Russia tried anything, they would have their jets shot down in quick order.....

    The last time, iirc, that the Soviet MIGs went up against the U.S. Fighters was during the last Arab Israeli conflict.  The Israelis shot down some 90 something Syrian MIG's without losing a single aircraft....They had modified what the U.S. had provided them....but that type of advantage has only grown over the years...


    Please note the U.S. now contracts out to Russia (none / 0) (#103)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:59:41 AM EST
    To ferry our personnel and materiel to the International Space Station

    I guess you are right about leading. (none / 0) (#120)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 11:59:49 AM EST
    Obama put the rhetoric and the limited evidence out there and the majority did not want to follow.  A good leader would have everyone behind him.

    A bad leader would just do it anyway.


    "What is he doing ?" Getting cold feet ! (none / 0) (#173)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:18:11 PM EST
    He seeks (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:35:07 PM EST
    congressional approval, letting them know in advance that he doesn't need their approval.

    Translation (none / 0) (#13)
    by christinep on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:58:02 PM EST
    Defining what your position is, detailing why it is so strategically & legally, then opening up the formal debate to provide one more check & balance via Congress, then fulfilling your leadership role as President to make the ultimate decision about any military response.  



    There (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:33:44 PM EST
    is no check and balance if he is announcing in advance that he'll do whatever he wants anyway.

    His Wording (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:07:30 PM EST
    In a Rose Garden statement Saturday, President Obama said he's approved a US military attack on Syria. But he said that wouldn't happen without a public debate and vote in Congress.



    That's (none / 0) (#36)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:44:06 PM EST
    what I said.

    He'll have a debate, a vote, and he'll do what he chooses.

    By the way, he also said he would provide them with the facts they need.... A very reliable and balanced source I'm sure.

    And God forbid he should wait for the results from the UN inspectors - who have samples of blood, tissue, urine and hair.
    These do not degrade.

    But, as I have said, if the issue is the use of chemical weapons, we should have a debate about the use of drones that incinerate people. And how about our former fav, napalm? Or the ominous fact that we are circling the globe 24/7 with nuclear weapons ready to end all life on the planet should we so choose.

    This whole thing smells of an unspoken agenda.

    And I would like Hillary to be on the record about this - since she is positioning herself for 2016. I know where Bill is. He says Obama has to bomb to show that he's not a wimp. Great. Let's see if Hillary has learned anything from her unconscionable vote to let Bush turn loose his savagery on the people of Iraq.


    Just wrong (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:19:26 PM EST
    Let's see if Hillary has learned anything from her unconscionable vote to let Bush turn loose his savagery on the people of Iraq.
    That is not what she voted for. You should go watch her statement before congress concerning that vote. If more people had followed her lead,we may never have gone to Iraq.

    You had two choices on AUMF (5.00 / 4) (#77)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:38:38 PM EST
    Yes or No.   Everyone knew what a Yes vote meant with Cheney at the controls....

    "Evryone knew" (none / 0) (#107)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:07:53 AM EST

    That *is* what she voted for... (none / 0) (#106)
    by unitron on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:36:10 AM EST
    ...regardless of how it was worded on paper.

    And either she knew that or else she had no business being there in the first place.

    I knew that giving Bush the AUMF and expecting him to do everything in his power to avoid having to use it was like giving a teenager their own credit card "for emergencies only" and expecting them not to be very creative in defining "emergencies"

    And if I knew, so should everyone in Congress have known as well.

    Which means either they didn't know because they're too stupid to be there or they did know and went along with the whole "only as a last resort" charade to avoid being labelled as soft on defense or not hard enough on terrorism or just not lovin' America enough next time they ran for office.


    Some of us believed the GOP (none / 0) (#119)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 11:37:05 AM EST
    rhetoric that all possible means would be exhausted before we went to war with Iraq.

    Do you believe that happened?

    Some of us believed there really were WMDs in Iraq.

    Do you believe there were?

    Some of us believed we were being told the whole truth by the GOP...no hiding contradictory evidence.

    Do you believe we were told the truth?

    We won't be fooled again.


    What a Fool Believes (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:19:01 PM EST
    Only a fool would have believed the GOP about WMD's in Iraq. C'mon. Bush and Cheney were trying to blame Saddam for 9/11 by six o'clock in the morning on 9/12.  

    Lots of Fools Back Then (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:16:51 PM EST
    Guess who?

    In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

    So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War. Regrettably the current Administration failed to take the opportunity to bring this issue to the United Nations two years ago or immediately after September 11th, when we had such unity of spirit with our allies.



    As I watched the first building (none / 0) (#143)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:58:51 PM EST
    fall on 911, a QC manager called out, "there must be bombs!"

    As someone with some knowledge of the properties of materials, I told him, "No, the steel was weakened by the heat, yielding and eventually failing."  I knew at that point, it was likely the second building would fall, as well.  

    I haven't gone back to figure this out.  My mind was trying to put a face with the attack.  I don't remember if I said it out loud, "I'll bet it is the work of Saddam Hussein."  

    It didn't take Bush or Cheney to put that in my mind in the hours after.  It was already there. Maybe they had already put it there.


    Sheesh. "Fool" doesn't even cover it. (none / 0) (#145)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:02:08 PM EST
    Fool? How so, Shoephone? (none / 0) (#164)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:02:30 PM EST
    In the hours after the 911 attack, didn't you ask, "who is responsible?"   Did you make a better guess?

    As a matter of fact, as my sister and I watched (5.00 / 3) (#177)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:30:54 PM EST
    on TV and saw the towers falling early that morning, the very first thing we said to each other -- at exactly the same time -- was "this is Al Qaida." Really and truly. So, I guess a couple of chicks who pay attention to global news as a routine felt pretty damn sure -- and were right -- before you and all the other fools who wondered if it wasn't Saddam Hussein.

    Katie Couric (none / 0) (#175)
    by sj on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:40:35 PM EST
    was the first person I heard mention Osama bin Laden, and then was (I think) fairly early on the first day.

    I guess you are right Shoephone. (none / 0) (#172)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:48:17 PM EST
    In the vote to authorize the Iraq invasion, nearly 100% of the GOP voted for the resolution.

    The Dems were split nearly 50:50.

    By your words:

    100% of the GOP are fools
    50% of Dems are fools

    I didn't get to vote.  I just remember Bush saying he would only use his authority as a last resort.

    I NEVER THOUGHT HE EXHAUSTED EVERY OPTION AVAILABLE. Every fool should have known Bush lied when the invasion began.  

    It took the revelation there were NO WMDs, and the discovery of a one-sided presentation of fact for many other fools to figure it out.

    I'll bet there are some really really big fools that think there were WMDs even today.  Kimmel or Leno just needs to go out on the street and ask some passer-bys, "Were you suprised when we finally found WMDs in Iraq?"


    I always knew Bush was a liar (5.00 / 3) (#178)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:35:52 PM EST
    He and Cheney both, from day one of the Bush presidency. As for your calculation that half the Dems were fools, well, they were either fools or they were just a$$holes who wanted an excuse to go into Iraq. You see, I don't care about party politics, and I'm just barely a Dem, if that helps your understanding. I was appalled that HRC voted for the AUMF. I listened to every single Senate speech and the one I was proudest of was the one made by my Senator, Patty Murray. It was a very thoughtful speech and she showed integrity and courage. She voted "NO."

    I also marched against the invasion of Iraq (5.00 / 3) (#179)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:41:26 PM EST
    along with nearly 50,000 other people in Seattle, and millions of others around the world, on February 15, 2003. Furthermore, every one of my male relatives who served in the military (all WWII and Korean vets) thought Colin Powell made a big a$$ of himself during his presentation to the UN, and despised Cheney for being such a fraud with his five deferments. None were in favor of us going into Iraq.

    I'll give you an opportunity to call me (none / 0) (#196)
    by Visteo1 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:39:09 AM EST
    a fool, again.

    It would not take much to convince me otherwise, but I wonder if Bush was just a pawn in a conspiracy of his advisors.  Sh*t like that can happen when you vote an idiot into office.

    I think Powell was initially a pawn, as well.  He is no idiot.  After he realized the truth, you could see it in his face, hear it in the reflection of his voice.  He stayed on, towed the adminstration line, but you could see his heart was no longer in it.  Team player - a conservative trait?

    Feel free to make me less of a fool, if that's what you think.


    Yes (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:49:18 PM EST
    For you this is all about Obama..  and Hillary.

    He was an a$$ for going on this alone, now he is an a$$ for having congressional debate and according to you, only allowing Congress to look at his evidence.

    Your fake empathy for Syrians is only to make a case against Obama.

    Boooooooring but predictable.


    Hillary will publicly support (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:53:28 PM EST
    the Strike.   She is more hawkish than Biden....

    Bill is for it. She will not duck.


    BS (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:16:15 PM EST
    She is not more hawkish than Biden, what a silly thing to say. Claiming she would think just like Bill does is sexist. She is not his rib after all.

    Yes, she is (5.00 / 0) (#75)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:37:02 PM EST
    Hillary supported the surge in Afghanistan.  Biden did not.

    Hillary supported the strike against Bin Laden.  Biden was against it.

    I doubt very seriously she would be at odds with Bill over such a big issue.  It is about her knowing Bill and having better access and vice versa than anyone else.  I am assuming Bill is her closest advisor.

    You just project all your beliefs onto her.  I will support Hillary but do not need to remake her to do so.


    Let's let her speak for herslf. Or not. (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:40:07 PM EST
    (Maybe she could make a speech to less than 100 people and lrecord later what she says she said )

    Just my prediction (none / 0) (#84)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:57:28 PM EST
    If I am wrong so be it....

    I would (none / 0) (#72)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:14:31 PM EST
    like to hear her say that publicly.

    It would be interesting were she to offer a different opinion, now that she is independent of the administration.

    I doubt she will.

    But seeing as how her last vote on an issue such as this - the Bush Iraq war resolution - cost her mightily - she might consider this an opportunity to reinvent herself in the eyes of the voting public.

    I am expecting that she will say nothing unless directly and publicly asked to do so.


    Hillary could duck (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:43:41 PM EST
    but it will be hard....Especially since there will be at least a week of build up before the vote.

    I love the fact that Obama is going to make Congress go on record.  Others will be pressed.  Especially our last Secretary of State.

    It would be easy to overlearn the lesson from Iraq.

    With Pelosi, DiFi, Boxer and Reid on the record, the pressure on her will be enormous.  If she wants to be President, she has to show leadership.  I know she has it, but she should not duck....  


    Howard Dean is suggesting (none / 0) (#83)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:55:23 PM EST
    he could run.

    A challenge from the Left was always possible.

    It will be interesting to see the former Hillary supporters on the Left....would they go to Dean?  

    Hillary's staunchest supporters could ironically enough include us so-called and maligned "Bots."


    I was an original Dean -- (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:11:16 AM EST
    a very strong one. I wouldn't support him in the primary, should he run in 2016. He doesn't seem like much of a maverick to me anymore. But I'm also hoping HRC will choose not to run (though it is looking more and more like a real possibility). I want new blood.

    If Dean (none / 0) (#109)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:43:23 AM EST
    came out smokin' - that is laying reality out there, I would support him.

    I was rooting for him last time... but the "scream", the media and Kerry's money ended his run. The media were already portraying him as "angry" etc. And his "scream", really dumb - he didn't need to rally the troops that way - played right into their hands.
    They replayed it more times than Clinton's "that woman".

    As I remember, Dean was leading in the primaries until Kerry "lent" his own campaign an extra million.

    I do remember that I liked his wife, a doctor, who was going to continue her practice if he was elected. It would have made a nice change from the "first lady" mold. And I liked that Dean was fine with that.

    She also made it plain that she didn't want to be campaigning, because she was a doctor and had patients depending on her.

    I too hope that Hillary doesn't run.
    She is too immeshed in the Bush-Obama continuum and has swallowed whole most of their neo-fascist b.s. (imo)

    And the thing in the air, as if she is owed something...

    Really - I want a change.
    If we have one more election with two chumps, one perceived to be less worse than the other worse... I think the US as I once experienced it is
    O V E R.


    The Dean Scream... (5.00 / 4) (#129)
    by unitron on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:55:23 PM EST
    ...was a manufactured deception.

    If you had hung a mic overhead and gotten a realistic recording of the entire event, you'd hear that the crowd was so loud Dean could hardly hear himself speak.

    But if you just take the feed from his microphone, which was a lot closer to him than to the crowd, you hear it in a way that misleads and takes the sounds he made out of context.


    I assume (none / 0) (#146)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:02:41 PM EST
    you're right about the sound - but I also thought the gesture that went with it was over top. I didn't think he needed that football coach stuff.

    What the media did with it was inexcusable in any case.

    They were uncomfortable with him from the git-go because he had not been playing the game.


    Me, too - new blood, that is. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Anne on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:02:51 AM EST
    I think time will tell on Hillary, but I think what happens in Syria could end up having an effect on her decision; right now, I think she's kind of stuck with it - or it's stuck to her - and I just don't see her criticizing Obama.  I think if she wants to run, she has to hope this whole thing turns out well, because if it doesn't, somehow the GOP would manage to make the decisions she made as Secretary of State responsible for things ending up going sideways.

    So, maybe it's a case of just not having the energy to keep fighting that same old fight - the one where Hillary is evil and everything's her fault, and all the misogynists come out to play, and the media helps.  I suppose I should want to have that fight, just to maybe see her triumph in the end, but I'd like to find someone who'd really challenge the bulk of the status quo, and I don't think she's it.

    But who is?  I have no idea. I have half a suspicion that no matter how new the blood is, it more or less has to be replaced with cash in order to have half a chance at winning.  And once you replace the blood with cash, it all changes.  And not usually for the better.

    But even if it could, I don't see the current power structure allowing it to happen.  Maybe if we got all the private and corporate money out of it we'd have something resembling a level playing field, but that's not going to happen in time for 2016, if ever.

    Will there be more interest in the third party option?  Maybe - there have to be so many people like us who are just so completely disgusted with the total lack of representation at our level, don't you think?

    So depressing.  


    "Maverick"...Was that some (none / 0) (#118)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 11:28:26 AM EST
    Freudian slip?

    Howard (none / 0) (#108)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:28:40 AM EST
    got me interested.

    The media killed him.
    But, when I saw the "scream", I knew they would.

    Maybe he will do it better this time were he to run.

    He had the least b.s. of any candidate in recent memory imo.


    Here are some links (none / 0) (#76)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:38:26 PM EST


    Hillary Clinton  

    Although Hillary Clinton hasn't weighed in on possible military intervention in the days since the latest chemical attack in Syria, she discussed the conflict in Syria often as secretary of state including in her last interview in that position with ABC News' Cynthia McFadden in January. McFadden asked Clinton what it would take for "America to intervene."

    Clinton answered that while she thinks "we have been very actively involved," there needed to be a "credible opposition coalition," saying, "You cannot even attempt a political solution if you don't have a recognized force to counter the Assad regime."

    Clinton told McFadden that the "use of chemical weapons, as President Obama said, is a red line, but I think if you look at the administration's effort on the political front, on the U.N. front where we still believe we need to get Security Council action on the humanitarian front, the president just announced a hundred million more on the humanitarian front."

    When asked if the U.S. would "permit" Assad to use chemical weapons, Clinton answered, "No, no and President Obama has been very clear about that."

    However, she did add, "It is very hard to train and equip opposition fighters. It is very hard to know who is going to emerge from this and making the wrong bet could have very severe consequences. So there are certain positions and actions we've taken and we've also laid down the red line on chemical weapons because that could have far-reaching effects beyond even the street-to-street fighting that is so terrible to watch and it could also affect other countries."

    The day before Clinton left the State Department in January she told reporters the conflict "is distressing on all fronts."

    "I think I've done what was possible to do over the last two years in trying to create or help stand up an opposition that was credible and could be an interlocutor in any kind of political negotiation," Clinton said.

    In February it was revealed that the president rebuffed a plan last summer by Clinton, then CIA Director David Petraeus and then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to arm the Syrian rebels.


    If Congress says "don't" and (none / 0) (#136)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:27:22 PM EST
    Obama goes ahead then we will have a full blown Constitutional crisis and impeachment.

    I guess you forgot that he already (5.00 / 5) (#139)
    by Anne on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:34:16 PM EST
    did this on Libya: Congress said "no," and Obama flipped us off and did what he wanted to do.  I guess I missed the impeachment that followed.

    My guess is that Obama would not have offered to put the Syria action to a vote if he didn't think he had the votes, so in my opinion, this is all just theater.


    Anne, he didn't first invite (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 03:42:58 PM EST
    Congress to vote.

    Big difference.


    Congress does not require an (none / 0) (#163)
    by Anne on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:00:34 PM EST
    invitation from the president to vote, jim - why are you acting like he's allowing them to do something for which they don't need his or anyone's permission?  And why is it important to your Constitutional crisis-in-the-making that he invited them to vote?  Is that how you're skipping over the "no" vote on Libya?

    He's already announced that, vote or no vote, and regardless of the outcome of that vote, he believes he has the right to act.

    This is just a show, jim, one we've seen before.


    Or it is a way to share (none / 0) (#147)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:10:53 PM EST
    in the outcome, or time to muster public support, or a way to bow out as gracefully as he can.  I am sure there is more we can speculate.  Just sayin...

    It was a good thing that the President (none / 0) (#174)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:27:51 PM EST
    flipped you off and did what he did in Libya. The action in Libya can generally be called a success (success in the ME or north Africa is of course a relative term).

    I like the President's cautiousness combined with his ability to take calculated risks. He displays a more strategic vision than most contemporary politicians.


    You guys and your wished-for ... (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:26:12 PM EST
    ... "full blown Constitutional crises".

    Suddenly, you always find religion and want to reign in presidential authority when a Democrat is POTUS or else it's impeachment time.

    Too funny.


    I can (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:32:07 PM EST
    only imagine what it must feel like to know that a superpower is about to bomb your country.

    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:35:40 PM EST
    You must be empathizing with Assad..  Hillary was all for supplying the rebels with arms..guess you switched sides.

    What an (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:47:13 PM EST
    absolutely ridiculous comment, squeaky.

    I'm empathizing with the Syrian people currently fleeing their country lest they be slaughtered in an American air strike.


    In Your Mind Only (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:51:33 PM EST
    80,000 civilians dead already in a civil war that has been raging for 3 years. Now, once Obama says he is going to target Assad's missile launchers, you start feeling empathy for the Syrians?



    I'll set (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:06:00 PM EST
    Yes. It is a civil war.

    We are talking about, once again, getting involved in a civil war in a foreign country. This hasn't worked out very well for us in recent history. It didn't work out too well for the Russians either you might remember.

    Of course I am aware of the casualties of that civil war. But the people I am talking about at this moment are the ones who are being threatened by us. The United States.

    They are fleeing by the thousands as we speak.
    They are fleeing from us.
    Yes. I empathize with them.


    Fleeing? (none / 0) (#53)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:14:28 PM EST
    And you are certain about that, and the reason? Have you been following Syrian opinion polls? Got someone on the ground there?

    You wouldn't suppose that people are fleeing poison gas attacks?
    Nah, that is all a fiction that Obama is cooking up to boost his ratings.

    I do not think you have any idea about what kind of war zone it is over there. It is only about Obama for you, which translates it is only about you.


    Read (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:24:33 PM EST
    the papers.

    To the people who are currently fleeing Syria, it is not about me.
    It is fear of the threatened military action by the United States.


    2 Million Refugees To Date (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:37:19 PM EST
    And you think that the US plan to attack Syrian Military bases is causing another million to flee, 500K, 100K..?

    I do not think you understand the situation over there. A war is on over there. People are without water, medical and basic services. They are leaving because they cannot survive under the current conditions, not to mention gas, bombs, mortar, rocket fire on a daily basis.

    Do you imagine Syrians in their living rooms sippin tea and eating small cakes, worrying about a US attack and fleeing?

    The problems of Syrian civilians are not the US at this point, that is for sure, despite what your newspapers say.


    I don't know, Squeak (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:48:24 PM EST
    There is a point at which accusing the other person, in almost liturgical fashion, of being reactively anti-Obama becomes that it becomes as big a joke as the thing you are purporting to criticize and satirize. We murder people all the time, whomever we want, whenever we want, wherever we want, and that's just reality. We sell all the same violent tools to the same scumbags. Trying to hold us up, in the last half decade as some sort of liberating force, I don't know, I think you'd have a hard time making that case logically. You can make it, and it might hold in isolated cases, but the military in this nation has been almost exclusively a profiteering tool of the sort Eisenhower warned us about 60 years ago.

    Entrusting so much of your "greatness" to the single most anti-imaginative institution in the nation isn't the best idea. To say the least.



    Context (none / 0) (#122)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:19:41 PM EST
    There is a point at which accusing the other person, in almost liturgical fashion, of being reactively anti-Obama becomes that it becomes as big a joke as the thing you are purporting to criticize and satirize.

    Sure, if you want to make believe that lentil has anything but deep enmity for Obama. He may as well be BUSH.

    So please stop making believe that his or her comments regarding Obama are anything more than spew.


    Link? (none / 0) (#28)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:46:46 PM EST
    OK (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:57:01 PM EST
    NYT. After Obama and his peeps won that debate, Hillary spoke that arming the rebels would be a bad idea as our weapons could get into the wrong hands.

    Many were pissed at Obama for not doing anything back then, other than weak sanctions.

    Here is another argument, more recent for arming the rebels.


    I support President Obama's decision (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Payaso on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:34:05 PM EST
    I support President Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization to use force.  It's the right thing to do.  It's also politically smart.

    On the other hand I hope Congress votes against using force in Syria.

    Hey frisky (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:36:25 PM EST
    Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld set Saddam up in chemical weapons.  Don't know for sure where Rumsfeld lives but you wouldn't need a passport and it might even be on the google.  Cheney lives in Jackson Hole WY, go get em tiger.

    Looks like (none / 0) (#102)
    by Mikado Cat on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:24:25 AM EST
    Iraq was into chemical weapons back in the early 80's.

    Link to the wiki about it.


    Two quotes out of Syria today (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by CoralGables on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:39:54 PM EST
    after the Obama speech that will likely backfire on them:

    "Obama backed off of his decision. He must admit the victory of Syria" Sheikh Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun - The the Grand Mufti of Syria

    "The Syrian army's readiness warded off U.S. aggression against Syria"  Kadri Jamil - Syrian Deputy Prime Minister

    This is when Assad should say, those two a$$holes don't speak for me.

    We were listening to some quotes last night (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:43:58 PM EST
    Reminds me of Baghdad Bob, "Don't believe your lying eyes."

    Damascus Mufti is the new Baghdad Bob (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:48:47 PM EST
    Damascus Mufti seems to be angling for his own show in Russia Today.

    So, we were probably listening (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:52:06 PM EST
    To the same goof :)

    There is no justification. (5.00 / 4) (#91)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:30:10 PM EST
    Period. An avowed enemy. We are supposed to help by protecting people from a non-examined gas attack?

    After a UN examination, let the UN handle this. The USA does not have any interest in Syria, whether Syria uses poison gas against its citizens or unleaded gas in its cars.

    The USA... Cowboy justice. If we likes ya, you're ok.

    Hey, Jeff, nice to see you around these (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by caseyOR on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:38:14 PM EST
    parts. How's it going?

    No interest in Syria? But, but what (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:55:52 PM EST
    about Israel?  Isn't this ultimately about Israel?

    Marcy Wheeler weighs in (and she is not easily distracted by the unified message coming out of the WH and now out of the media):

    Item One: Assad's alleged decision to use Chemical Weapons that he originally obtained to deter Israel against rebels presents "a potential threat to staunch ally Israel's security."

    In recent months, Israel has successfully struck at Syria twice, and Syria didn't even try to retaliate. Why does the US have to take a stand for the norm against using CW, when the Israelis are perfectly capable of doing so. I get that Israel can never be viewed as a neutral party with Syria, they do have unrivaled ability to stand against the use of gas against civilians.

    Item Three: The US ratified the Chemical Weapons Treaty. But Syria did not. In the same way that Israel didn't sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Why do we expect Syria to abide by the former when we don't require Israel to abide by the latter?

    Item Four: A strike on Assad is likely to strengthen the Syrian rebels. Who are made up, increasingly, of a bunch of extremists with ties to al Qaeda. If we make it easier for the rebels to replace Assad, doesn't that actually raise the likelihood terrorists will get Assad's CW?

    I'm glad the Administration has decided to go to Congress. But their argument is just as weak as it was.

    [Jeff - I am so glad to see you!  I think about you often, have missed your input and perspective on things - hope things are going well, and that you can hang around here for a bit and let us catch up with you.]


    Difference between Syria and Israel (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 11:16:25 PM EST
    Syria has ratified the Geneva Protocol of 1925 that ban the use of chemical weapons.

    Israel didn't sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but has not used nukes on its own people or people in other countries. It is idiotic to bring up this example until Israel uses its nukes. Syria has ratified the Geneva protocol and has already used chemical weapons.


    Hey Jeff, hope you're (none / 0) (#157)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 03:38:12 PM EST
    hanging loose and all is okay!

    I'm still crashing the chips. Any chance you might visit??


    Re-tooling US foreign policy goals (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:51:33 PM EST
    LA Times

    One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity "just muscular enough not to get mocked" but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.

    "They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic," he said.

    "Mockery Avoidance." It's too beautiful to f**k with.

    Next up, John Kerry will take a page from John Cleese's soon to be released Diplomacy for Dummies and go silly walk the sh*t out of 'em.

    obama's new (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    theme song

    There are, no doubt, lessons here for the contemporary reader. The changing character of the native population, brought about through unremarked pressures on porous borders; the creation of an increasingly unwieldy and rigid bureaucracy, whose own survival becomes its overriding goal; the despising of the military and the avoidance of its service by established families, while its offices present unprecedented opportunity for marginal men to whom its ranks had once been closed; the lip service paid to values long dead; the pretense that we still are what we once were; the increasing concentrations of the populace into richer and poorer by way of a corrupt tax system, and the desperation that inevitably follows; the aggrandizement of executive power at the expense of the legislature; ineffectual legislation promulgated with great show; the moral vocation of the man at the top to maintain order at all costs, while growing blind to the cruel dilemmas of ordinary life- these are all themes with which our world is familiar, nor are they the God-given property of any party or political point of view, even though we often act as if they were.

    BBC reported (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Mikado Cat on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:42:16 AM EST
    UK will not respond even if chemical weapons are used again in Syria.

    The expectation that either side in the Syrian conflict will show restraint of any kind once pushed to the wall seems very unlikely. It will get nastier as time goes on.

    My sympathy goes to the people caught in the middle that want to live their lives in peace and don't really care who in is power.

    And now the Arab League says (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by shoephone on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:10:20 AM EST
    they do want action taken against Syria. They really, really do!

    As I said a few days ago: the Arab League is totally useless. Let's not kid ourselves--the only reason this phony conglomerate of countries is spouting off today is because they got strong-armed by the Saudis, who are hellbent on taking out Assad, no matter what. Ah, the Sunni vs. Shia games has yet to reach a final score.

    Take a look (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:27:52 AM EST
    at what powers the Obama administration is actually seeking in this go with Congress.

    It ain't just about Syria.

    It would give them license to attack Iran as well, for instance, if they "determine" that Iran has a "connection" with the use of WMD in the Syrian civil war.

    The same license would be available to them, without further "consultation" with congress to go after Hezbollah.


    These people are shady and less than forthcoming about their intentions.

    As with GW Bush, this resolution they are seeking will open the door to widespread madness.

    Read this from the LawFare blog.

    Smog. (3.67 / 6) (#124)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:30:48 PM EST
    domestic spying by the NSA invasion of privacy Snowden Manning

    Thought So (none / 0) (#153)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:36:25 PM EST
    Looks like your empathy for the Syrian people was very short lived.

    They are fleeing by the thousands as we speak.
    They are fleeing from us.
    Yes. I empathize with them.

    Back to your regularly scheduled program... Hilary <DEL>2004</DEL> 2016!!!  


    Anger at the diversion. Empathy for the victims. (none / 0) (#165)
    by lentinel on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:30:21 PM EST
    A fabricated issue for the administration evoking terror in people who have been threatened with American bombs. Both are happening. Bush did the same thing. Pursuing an agenda, and terrorizing a people, the Iraqis, in the process.

    I guess you didn't read my other post about hoping that Hillary drops out... try reading this...

    I honestly don't know what it is about my opinion, admittedly a leftist one, a skeptical one, that brings out such venom from you.

    I think the administration is using a trumped up issue in order to diffuse a major headache for them - the disclosers by Snowden and Manning.

    I also think that the threats they have made in pushing this issue forward have terrorized thousands of Syrians who are fleeing into Lebanon. I feel for them. I know how I would feel if similarly threatened.


    Diversion? (1.00 / 1) (#169)
    by squeaky on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:30:34 PM EST
    WOW... that is nuts, imo. You almost sound like ppj.

    It does not appear that you have been following the events over the last couple of years in Syria. Obama's involvement and recent stance has zero in common with BushCo  Iraq, which was a totally different animal, imo.

    Obama and Syrian big problem started , April 2011.

    As far as scaring Syrians, well if the Syrians are scared enough to stop using CWs, then that is a really good thing, imo.

    I understand you believe that NSA spying is the only thing worth paying attention to, but if you find a few minutes or spare time this may informative, or here two arguments for arming the rebels.

    Whether or not the US decides to shoot missiles at Syrian military targets, or arm the rebels, I do not believe the the US under any circumstances will enter into the Syrian civil war. Not going to happen in this admin in any case, imo.

    And as far as Hillary running in 2016, I believe she will run and win. No chance for Dean or anyone to the left, imo, as sad as that is.


    Double baloney, lentinel (none / 0) (#176)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:08:26 PM EST
    While you may question & disagree with the apparent path that the US is following in response to the illegal use of chemical weaponry against citizens in Damascus, it is quite another thing to categorize the Administration's (and many others )genuine concerns with the use of illegal chemical weapons (incl. the suspected use of sarin) as a "fabrication."  Please don't allow your own predisposition about the WH and your own focus on Snowden to overtake all reality in this matter.  Facts or fantasy?

    So, (5.00 / 3) (#187)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 04:23:44 AM EST
    let's wait for the report from the UN inspectors.

    I recognize a pattern here - as do others in England for example - that was last used by Bush - and by Lyndon Johnson before him.

    You trust in the word of the government.
    I do not.
    You believe in the goodness of their motivation.
    I do not.
    You believe what we are being told is honest.
    I believe that the government has an agenda.

    Two points of view.

    As I have said here repeatedly, the weapons we choose to use so freely incinerate people. We also have freely used napalm that burns the victim alive. We are also circling the globe with nuclear weapons (which we have demonstrated that we will use) 24 hours of the day. The people we kill are just as dead as the people they kill.

    The issue, it seems to me, is the banning of these sorts of weaponry that kill indiscriminately.

    I can only imagine what it would feel like to have a country with our kind of power give notice to us that they intend to bomb us within a matter of weeks.


    I believe that the government has an agenda. (none / 0) (#195)
    by Visteo1 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:18:52 AM EST
    Certainly they do and maybe it will be revealed to get the votes needed.

    Why do you tell us what Christinep believes?  Why not ask?

    Why use WWII and VietNam as evidence of what we would do TODAY?



    Christine (none / 0) (#197)
    by lentinel on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:52:28 AM EST
    has expressed her views many times.

    I did not refer to WW2.

    I referred to the recent history of what Bush did to us regarding the deception employed to get us into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    I also referred to Vietnam because it was the roadmap for Bush.
    Johnson claimed that we had been attacked, and railroaded a resolution through congress - with the result that 50,000 Americans were killed, many more maimed, and countless Vietnam were slaughtered.

    Read this if you think that Obama, who has worked to immunize Bush and Cheney from prosecution for their crimes against the American people, is any different... Look for the power he is seeking under the guise of going after a "limited objective" in Syria.

    He wants the same power that was carelessly, stupidly and hurriedly given to Bush. He has gotten that domestically with his spying programs, and now he wants it internationally.

    I believe that the slender relics of what is left of our democracy is in the balance if we let Obama get away with this.


    Actually (none / 0) (#202)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:08:55 AM EST
    you did indirectly reference WW2 in your comment.

    Members of both parties (5.00 / 2) (#200)
    by MO Blue on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:07:23 AM EST
    believe that the resolution requested by President Obama is too broad.

    Members of the Senate plan to narrow President Obama's authorization request for military action in Syria, Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Sunday.
    A House Republican who led the calls for congressional authorization for Syria strikes said the language in the White House resolution is at odds with Obama's promise to pursue limited action.

    "It is a broad document," Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) ...

    "And given the specificity with which the president has been speaking on this, it is a little difficult to reconcile what he has asked for in the statements that he has been making with the document that is now before us," he said.
    A number of lawmakers have complained that the document - which gives Obama permission to use "necessary and appropriate" force - is too broad and open-ended.

    Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said on Sunday that he considered the draft Syria resolution to be "very, very broad." link

    Another AUMF in the making?


    So narrow it (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by CoralGables on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:20:24 AM EST
    that's their stinkin' job.

    I did see that only about 70 of the 535 members of the House and Senate showed up for the briefing. The other 460 should at least return to work tomorrow rather than skipping another week.


    Obama gasses America (3.67 / 3) (#125)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:38:53 PM EST

    Following a chemical weapons attack in Syria on Aug. 21, tensions between the Assad regime and the west have risen dramatically -- and we've seen a corresponding rise in social media talk over a possible U.S.-led response.

    Quite interesting to note is the effective disappearance of the very big story surrounding ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has been leaking documents detailing top-secret surveillance programs since June.

    Only two days ago, the entire budget of the U.S. intelligence community -- the so-called "black budget" -- was made public for the first time, thanks to those leaks. Despite these huge developments, and those still waiting to be revealed, it seems that Snowden and the NSA have fallen off the radar.

    Here's a chart illustrating this from Topsy Analytics. As you can see, the rise of "Syria" mentions completely tower over any mentions of "NSA" or "Snowden."

    Business Insider, Aug 31
    CHART: Syria Tensions Have Knocked The NSA Spying Scandal Completely Off The Radar

    It's a special gas (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:05:09 PM EST
    they've developed they can deliver through pressers and tv screens to put whole countries to sleep.

    Or the IRS or Obamacare... (none / 0) (#158)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 03:39:13 PM EST
    The view from outside (3.50 / 2) (#121)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:12:15 PM EST
    One thing the Obama administration wishes to divert our attention from is its strategic incompetence. The expectation that the US would strike if Assad used chemical weapons arose from a gaffe President Obama made at a press conference in August, 2012. He used the phrase "red line" in response to a reporter's question.

    In doing so, Obama surrendered the initiative. If such weapons were used, either he would have to strike or he would look weak. He created a perverse incentive for the Syrian rebels to stage chemical attacks that appeared to be the responsibility of the regime. He also created the problem of how much was enough: just what size of chemical attack would draw a US response? "Pin prick" chemical attacks over the past year sapped the credibility of the US and its talk of red lines.

    The president learned nothing from his mistake. As initial reports came in of the most recent attack, he termed it a "big event", tying his hands tighter. The problem is that not only is Syria arguably not the US' biggest worry in the Middle East right now, little is to be gained from US military intervention there - either for US national interests or for the ideal of preventing the use of weapons of mass destruction.

    The reason little is to be gained from intervention is the real scandal. The chemical strike in Damascus has laid bare not only Western hypocrisy but also Western powerlessness.

    -- Gassing the West in Syria, Al Jazeera, 30 Aug 2013

    The utter dysfunctionaily! (1.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:45:29 PM EST
    "The actual reason is that the West has been defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan and would face a third defeat in Syria."

    The dysfunctionality of the "stick it to America" crowd is best captured in the lines above.

    Had they defined "victory" as good governance to improve the lot of people in their own countries and not ruining their nations through civil wars and chemical attacks, they would not have achieved the kind of dysfunctionality that they have.


    As I understand it... (none / 0) (#14)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:06:33 PM EST
    ...we would hit the facilities that launch the missles that deliver the chemical weapons.

    I guess if we have to destroy something that makes as much sense as anything, but it leaves the actual weapons in place and intact, and apparently they're already in the wrong hands and if Assad is overthrown they're almost certain to wind up in even "wronger" hands, greatly increasing the chances of them being used outside of Syria without a government that can be pointed to as the culprit.

    (of course bombing the weapons themselves would be a disaster as they get spread on the wind)

    Delivery systems are the (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:01:12 PM EST

    It takes a sophisticated program to keep chemical weapons viable. They have a shelf life and need maintenance.  Otherwise, they become a bunch of toxic chemicals that might make people a little sick now and get cancer in 30 years....


    But waiting for over a week to do it? (none / 0) (#27)
    by EL seattle on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:46:29 PM EST
    With that sort of schedule, by the time the missles fly those sites might be sharing space with cute and friendly relief shelters for lost puppies and kitties. And lots of webcam streaming systems all ready to spread the joy while the missles strike.

    I'm guessing that this move is a will leave room for folks to come up with better options between now and then. But it's been a clumsy effort so far, though.


    At least he's (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:08:26 PM EST
    Your article... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by desertswine on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:39:28 PM EST
    about Saudi involvement in the Syrian war was very interesting.  There is always more going on than meets the eye. I would hope that it instigates further investigation by some of these so-called news groups.

    I expect that (none / 0) (#25)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:43:20 PM EST
    what it will instigate is a lot of "It's not happening!!!" shrieks and messenger shooting.

    Since obama was (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 04:26:35 PM EST
    murdering innocent kids around the world with drones during his first term and this was no secret but instead was common knowledge at the time of the 2012 election, and it was no secret that he fully intended to go after social safety nets in America with his "sequester", and it is now no secret that he is supporting and funding al qaeda in Syria, the only reasonable and honest conclusions that can be drawn after the fact are that...

    • obama is a terrorist by all definitions of the word.

    • obama is a terrorist who deserves to be in prison enjoying fairer and more humane treatment than he doles out to his victims with hellfire missiles and sarin gas and to his American torture victims like Manning.

    • obama's response to being outed as a terrorist has been to escalate and expand his foreign terrorism to include domestic terrorism against US citizens with his sequester.

    • obama is not only sanctioning Iranians, with his sequester he is sanctioning Americans, and cowardly going after the old, the weak, and the sick in America - the people least able to withstand his assaults.

    • Back at home thousands of Medicare patients lost chemotherapy because of obama's sequester. In one series of clinics in NY, over 5,000 Medicare chemotherapy patients were turned away because of the sequester. Multiply that nationwide.

    • obama belongs in a cell, with Bush and Cheney. He is their getaway driver.

    • Anyone who voted for obama in 2012 and is still supporting him is either consciously and intentionally a terrorist sympathizer and supporter, or is just not paying attention. Or worse...

    But this guy is good. Maybe he'll be able to fire his Tomahawks in time to destroy the evidence. But not the knowledge.

    And people will cheer.

    I'm bushed. Disgusted, too.


    I supported Obama in 2012 (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:06:13 PM EST
    and still support him in general.

    I am not a terrorist....


    And I pay attention (3.50 / 2) (#49)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:07:00 PM EST
    You and Glenn Beck would get along well.

    Obama's sequester? (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by unitron on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:15:09 AM EST
    The one he forced on Congress, who were powerless to stop him?

    Obama is a terrorist? (none / 0) (#44)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:58:44 PM EST
    By your definition all those who use military force are terrorists....

    Social safety nets are intact.  What over the top rhetoric this is....Generally standard fare....Crying wolf and Obama is a terrorist.  

    You find moral equivalence between Obama and Bin Laden?


    To (3.00 / 2) (#52)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:09:38 PM EST
    the people Obama has targeted and killed, he is a terrorist.
    To those he threatens, he is a terrorist.

    To us, people who target us are terrorists.
    For the people we target, we are the terrorists.

    Each side strikes terror in the hearts of the other.


    I will ask you, then (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:26:12 PM EST
    Do you find moral equivalence between Obama and Bin Laden?

    Is the use of military force by the U.S. ever justified?

    You do sound like Glenn Beck.  My Mom always said the far, far Right and the far, far Left actually meet each other as they go so far around the bend.


    But but but (none / 0) (#137)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:29:02 PM EST
    he is our terrorist.

    The problem we have is how to control him.


    One things certain (1.00 / 1) (#138)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:31:41 PM EST
    This is a boon for Obama haters.  You don't have anything in particular that you want done other than hating Obama.

    Yes. (none / 0) (#140)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:34:28 PM EST
    Same issue we had with bush.

    This is a biblical prophecy (none / 0) (#167)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:32:24 PM EST
    this is what some evangelicals are thinking. link

    To fundamentalist evangelicals (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:46:10 AM EST
    everything they see from the moment they walk out the door is a manifestation of prophesy..

    and the more apocalyptic it is,the better..

    just as just about every event pertaining to this nation is "a boon for Obama haters"..


    There is an old Arab saying (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:08:01 PM EST
    "if you don't try, you'll never know" Its the practice of testing the resolve of your opponent, give them a poke and see what the actual response is.

    Makes me wonder why the chemical weapons were used, for an immediate purpose, or to test our reaction?

    Sometimes a slow response from your opponent is all that is needed for success. What do we do now if Assad makes a decisive use of chemical weapons against the rebels?

    What happens if we launch missiles and somehow Assad is able to retaliate and strike one of our carriers?

    Syria just smells like Vietnam to me, civil war with strong intervention by larger more powerful neighbors and allies, and a no win situation for the US getting into it.

    Asad has no chance (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 05:55:40 PM EST
    of hitting our "carriers."

    First, the Syrian Air Force will not fly that day if they want to live.  And they know it.  

    Second, the missiles are not fired from carriers.


    Don't some ships fire them? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:07:10 PM EST
    Don't know which ones.  

    Destroyers, I think (none / 0) (#57)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:27:47 PM EST
    Guided Missile Crusiers (none / 0) (#156)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 03:36:19 PM EST
    and some submarines and some aircraft.

    No, destroyers (none / 0) (#166)
    by MKS on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:31:01 PM EST

    Commanders on guided-missile destroyers and submarines in the Mediterranean could launch the missiles soon after a presidential order.

    Ha ha ha (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 06:02:28 PM EST
    It smells like Vietnam?  I thought it smelled like Benghazi to you a minute ago?

    What you smell (2.00 / 0) (#66)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:33:15 PM EST
    depends on the direction of the wind.

    Syrian conflict looks like the same sort of mess that Vietnam was.

    Obama's response to use of chemical weapons in Syria makes me think his response to the events in Benghazi were the same, wait and avoid all political risks no matter who dies.


    People die every day (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 08:41:53 PM EST
    Sometimes they die of benign things and sometimes not so benign.  How many contractors died in Iraq?  How many embassy personnel died from attacks during Dubya Bush's presidency?  You should look those things up.  It would shock you because the only thing missing is the faux scandal.  When my spouse goes to a war zone I also accept the fact that he may be killed there.

    You seem to think Assad didn't piss himself right after the inspectors left the country.  I know different.  He was a wreck.  He has been granted a reprieve.  Don't be shocked if he decides to give us his chemical caches.  I won't be.


    Not the same thing, MT (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 04:31:16 PM EST
    Benghazi was on 9/11.

    The attack was planned.

    The people asked for help.

    No help was given.

    No one knows who stopped the help from coming.

    No one knows where Obama was.


    Except Jim.. (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by jondee on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:09:27 AM EST
    that you fell over yourself making excuses for everything that happened while Bush was President
     that you could've been typing from an ICU somewhere.

    A little faltering attempt at objectivity, please.


    Jondee, I supported the troops (none / 0) (#201)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:07:57 AM EST
    You should try that.

    He's a friggin' eye doctor in over his head (none / 0) (#160)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 04:22:34 PM EST
    Always has been, IMO. That he's a wreck is no news at all, again IMO. Not to mention the little fact that the U.S. don't need to show you no stinkin' proof to do a godd*amn thing to you, and everyone knows we don't. But the eye doctor, yeah, I could see him wetting himself.

    My eye doctor (none / 0) (#198)
    by Peter G on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:04:19 AM EST
    is very smart.

    No ground troops, no Vietnam (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by MKS on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:44:25 PM EST
    No ground troops (none / 0) (#85)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:57:50 PM EST
    No Vietnam, no Iraq, no Afghanistan.
    There will be no conflagaration in the middle east. Russia or China will not get militarily involved. They cannot afford to do so.

    However, a media war will be launched. Same as what happens when Israel strikes Palestinian territories or Lebanon. Those who get their news from Russia Today or state media (like in Syria or Egypt) will hear that America is just killing little children and civilians in hospitals and wedding ceremonies with military strikes.

    However, Al Jazeera is not on Syria's side and people in the Middle East will get to hear more balanced reporting (despite the prevalent anti-Americanism in the ME).


    No boots on the ground (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:26:50 PM EST
    from Russia or China, but fair chance of other forms of military aid to Assad. Iran and Hezbollah already have boots on the ground, rebels have Al Qaeda fighters and people from various other areas.

    Its plenty quagmirelike.

    What happens if Assad guesses what some targets might be and stores some of the chemical weapons there?

    I like to weigh what could go right, vs what could go wrong, and seems like plenty could go wrong.


    Everyone agrees (none / 0) (#93)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:40:04 PM EST
    that there are risks involved (from things going wrong to unanticipated things happening).

    However, not doing anything also has great risks. What is to prevent Assad from deciding that gassing his opponents is the way to achieve total victory and make the rebels relinquish all territorial gains that they have made in the civil war?

    Saddam Hussein used to put down rebellions using chemical weapons.


    This is about more than Syria (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by christinep on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:57:17 AM EST
    It is about more than what Assad may well do in future if there is no relatively swift & sure response to the violation of international law under his auspices.  It is not just about opening the door to broader use of chemical weapons on citizenry if we ignore or condone it ... it is about shoving that door right open in the face of those who will undoubtedly face another scourge of such weaponry's results.  IMO, the clear strategic interest that the US -- and all societies-- have in the Syrian use of banned chemical weapons comes down to what this world and its inhabitants are, who we are, what will we turn from and, thereby, condone; and, it is about our own humanity.

     We often talk here about whether certain actions are steps backwards or forwards, and we debate different approaches toward what is or is not desired progress.  One thing about passivity after an in-your-face-use of chemical weaponry (reported as sarin this am): There can be no conclusion but that the events of August 21st, if allowed to go unanswered, will forever be seen as a fundamental leap backwards for humanity. All the hand-wringing in the world doesn't cut it.


    The boots on the ground belong to (none / 0) (#128)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 12:49:41 PM EST
    Those who live there.  The "fighters" from other areas are usually tribally related our religiously related and taking part in the Sunni vs, Shiite war that has kicked off.  None of which has anything to do with the United States government but is certainly a lesson in why there must be a separation between church and state.

    What constructive advice looks like (none / 0) (#131)
    by Politalkix on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:05:45 PM EST
    Joe Lieberman assures his FOX friends (none / 0) (#144)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:00:57 PM EST
    he is one of them. I see a talk show looming over Jilting Joe's horizon...

    I guess Obama's support of Lieberman doesn't run both directions.

    I gag every time I remember that (5.00 / 4) (#150)
    by Anne on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:17:02 PM EST
    this odious, war-mongering, poor-excuse-for-a-man was almost our VP...ugh.

    Glenn Greenwald today:

    There are few things more bizarre than watching people advocate that another country be bombed even while acknowledging that it will achieve no good outcomes other than safeguarding the "credibility" of those doing the bombing. Relatedly, it's hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one's national "credibility" depend upon periodically bombing other countries.

    He reminds us, too, that:

    It's a potent sign of how low the American political bar is set that gratitude is expressed because a US president says he will ask Congress to vote before he starts bombing another country that is not attacking or threatening the US. That the US will not become involved in foreign wars of choice without the consent of the American people through their representatives Congress is a central mandate of the US Constitution, not some enlightened, progressive innovation of the 21st century. George Bush, of course, sought Congressional approval for the war in Iraq (though he did so only once it was clear that Congress would grant it: I vividly remember watching then-Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden practically begging the Bush White House to "allow" Congress to vote on the attack while promising in advance that they would approve for it).

    But what makes the celebratory reaction to yesterday's announcement particularly odd is that the Congressional vote which Obama said he would seek appears, in his mind, to have no binding force at all. There is no reason to believe that a Congressional rejection of the war's authorization would constrain Obama in any way, other than perhaps politically. To the contrary, there is substantial evidence for the proposition that the White House sees the vote as purely advisory, i.e., meaningless.

    "We, the people," is an increasingly meaningless concept.


    And this is why we need new blood: (5.00 / 3) (#152)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 02:27:37 PM EST
    I vividly remember watching then-Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden practically begging the Bush White House to "allow" Congress to vote on the attack while promising in advance that they would approve for it.

    All the same old bought-and-paid-for pawns, happy to lead us to war if they just keep getting the chance to keep their seats warm for another tow or six years.


    We the people..meaningless (none / 0) (#180)
    by Jack203 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:59:38 PM EST
    No it's not.  The voices of radicals should be marginalized, discredited, and not acted on.

    I am so out of my paygrade... (none / 0) (#161)
    by DebFrmHell on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 04:23:15 PM EST
    when I ask this question.  If the USA has warships in play and Russia has brought in a couple of their own, if we fire first on Syrian targets will the Russians then threaten us?

    I am kind of simple but opposing warships in the same waters makes me jittery.

    It is obvious your paygrade is (none / 0) (#170)
    by Visteo1 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:44:32 PM EST
    not commensurate with your abilities.  I think you need to ask for a raise.

    Since the experts have not answered...IMO It adds to the tension in the region, but Russia has commented that their presence is not related to the Syrian situation.  A signal, I believe, that Russia will not intervene at this point.