home

Senators Heitkamp and Manchin float diplomatic alternative to military strikes on Syria

This seems a good development:

The United States would give Syria 45 days to sign an international chemical weapons ban or face the wrath of American military might, under a draft resolution being circulated by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). The alternative to a use-of-force resolution could forestall an immediate American strike and create an incentive for Assad not to use chemical weapons against his own people again. It may also provide a rallying point for lawmakers who are reluctant to either approve strikes or reject the use of force outright.

I think there are problems with the wording and details but I applaud the thrust. Restart the diplomatic track. The Obama Administration should take a look at this.

< Shellie Zimmerman Files for Divorce | Friday Afternoon Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Display: Sort:
    Amazing (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:45:19 AM EST
    .

    What is really amazing is that it now seems obvious that Obama had no plan whatsoever to win the vote in Congress.  LBJ must be spinning in his grave. Bill Clinton must be thinking, "How did this train wreck beat Hillary anyway?"

    Perhaps it was that His Awesomeness could not envision any but a handful not swayed by his powerful intellect.

    .

    Yikes! (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by sj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:29:55 AM EST
    I find myself agreeing with you :)

    Parent
    You've hit the nail on the head (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:06:42 PM EST
    Obama is an egomaniac that is surrounded by yes men.  I guess when you've become president by reading from a teleprompter well what else do you have?   Why wouldn't it work this time?

    Guess what the new plan is?  Big speech on Tuesday night.   That'll fix it.

    The fact that he tried to tell people a few days ago that it wasn't "his" red line is just proof that he can't admit when he's wrong.

    He is losing the respect of both America and the world.

    Maybe Clint was right after all?

    Parent

    Hey, you can still find plenty (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:12:35 PM EST
    of people (even in Britain) who think Churchill "won" the Battle of Britain partly with radio speeches..

    But thank you for the hyper-subjective and warmed-many-times-over commentary, Rush.

    Parent

    Standard (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:02:14 PM EST
    Don't like the message attack the messenger.

    For those of use that have never thought Obama knew what he was doing this is just proof that he's a terrible leader.

    For those that bestowed unearned respect on him this has to be alarming.

    His performance today was "embarrassing".

    No teleprompter will do that.

    Parent

    As I said below (none / 0) (#96)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 04:27:51 PM EST
    people look at the trash who want to privatize the post office and sell off the National Parks and they immediately start to "respect" (for lack of a better word) Obama.

    Parent
    Its tough being in the central (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Jack203 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:26:33 AM EST
    Which Obama is.  As a radical centrist, I love the guy.  

    The right hates Obama and would disagree with him if he said the sky was blue.  Both Tea partiers and neocon hawks hate him.   I really did underestimate the level of hate directed at him from the right.

    I'm not surprised the far left would turn on Obama though.  It was obvious after researching only a few hours back in 2008 1. He was a moderate, and 2. He was not insane.  

    Parent

    Agreed, too many on the left (4.00 / 3) (#141)
    by Towanda on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 05:27:56 PM EST
    did not do even a few minutes' research on Obama.

    (Research being not at all the same as watching prima donnas on tv or reading their puff pieces.)

    Parent

    Or he looked to the Right of him (none / 0) (#44)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:18:04 PM EST
    and knew that the even the benighted voters would move away from the stink of an open sewer..

    Parent
    Perhaps he would just as soon Congress (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:30:32 PM EST
    says "no."  Then the President has a reason not to unilaterally enforce his "red line."

    Parent
    Putin press conference at the G20 Summit (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:59:41 AM EST
    He has just said - live - to the whole planet - that the chemical weapons attack in Syria was a false flag operation, and that Russia "will help Syria" in the event of a military strike by the US.

    Putin: Syria chemical attack is `rebels' provocation in hope of intervention'

    "will help Syria" (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Visteo1 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:57:50 AM EST
    Will we help Syria? We will. And we are already helping, we send arms, we cooperate in the economics sphere, we hope to expand our cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, which includes sending humanitarian aid to support those people - the civilians - who have found themselves in a very dire situation in this country," Putin said.

    When Obama returns he should point out ALL the humanitarian aid Russia is providing.  Rhetoric to counter rhetoric...leading up to a diplomatic solution.

    Let the blood remain in others hands, as we seek a diplomatic solution.  Restraint can be a US asset for being a peacebroker IMO.


    Parent

    He's in (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:09:32 PM EST
    Mockery Avoidance mode, but it's not working.

    He might have to escalate it right up to nuclear showdown - or maybe even light one up - to prove he's a serious contender.

    Parent

    If Obama comes back (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:29:47 AM EST
    and bombs Syria unilaterally, illegally, with very low popular support, well...this will be his Katrina moment.  Buh-bye White House in 2016.

    The diplomatic alternative is a reasoned approach.  The children in the White House needs to grow up and take it.

    And What Happens if Assad Uses Them... (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:31:25 AM EST
    ...after it's signed, do we go through this whole debacle again, or immediate strikes assuming Assad launched them.

    I don't know how this proposal doesn't put us in the same position if he uses them again.  Instead of a crossing red line, it will be breaking a weapons ban from a guy whose already used them on his own people, allegedly.

    I want nothing to do with Syria, but it seems as if this proposal assumes Assad won't use them again and that if he does, none of the current denials and allegations, from both sides, will come into play.  If anything, this would be a good incentive for the rebels to use them, if they haven't already, knowing the US isn't going to hesitate.

    It will delay the bombing, and that's not bad, and there is a sliver of chance it might actually prevent it.

    F Obama, he had to bluster to the world about what he was going to do.  If the choice is Obama/US saving face or bombing the hell out of Syria and killing folks while depleting our wallets of billions, let Obama face the music he started.  He should be humiliated, he spoke out of turn.  All this talk of credibility and saving face, my god do these politicians think the US has any credibility after spending the last decade lying to everyone about everything including the evidence to start a war and it's international surveillance of just about everyone who uses the internet.

    Well said... (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:03:05 AM EST
    regarding US credibility and saving face...we lost all that sh*t a long time ago.  And it ain't worth killing over, it shouldn't even be a part of the discussion.

    PS OT...Look forward to a Turkey recap in the next Open Thread!

    Parent

    Turkey for the 2020 Summer Olympics? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:10:00 AM EST
    It's down to three to be announced Saturday: Istanbul, Madrid, or Tokyo.

    If you got an early bet in on Madrid you're sitting pretty with recent happenings in Turkey and Japan.

    Parent

    The U. S. government would improve (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:35:40 PM EST
    its international cred by offering Syrian refugees the opportunity to come here.

    Parent
    Excellent example... (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:53:02 PM EST
    of how to help ease the suffering...no missiles required.

    Parent
    Done Already (none / 0) (#91)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:52:16 PM EST
    Just a by the way (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by sj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 04:05:23 PM EST
    That is a pay site and only has 8 free articles per month. And your sentence of
    Exclusive: U.S. Will Now Let in Thousands of Syrian Refugees
    is accurate but misleading. According to that article, although the headline says "thousands" (plural), that is just barely true:
    The numbers are relatively small: just 2,000 refugees, compared to an estimated two million people who have fled Syria during the civil war.


    Parent
    OK (none / 0) (#95)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 04:21:59 PM EST
    2 million? Small potatoes..  we should not discriminate and stop with the Syrians, right?

    According to the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) the number of people currently in situations of displacement has hit 45 million, the highest figure for 14 years. The worrying news was announced just a day before World Refugee Day, which is held annually on June 20th.

    Want to adopt a few kids? Got room on your couch, willing to fork over a few bucks for refugees world wide?  Act locally, think globally.

    Oh, right you and oculus mean that Obama should take care of the refugees. Always easier when it is someone else's problem, no?

    Parent

    where do you come up with this stuff?? (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by sj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 05:00:24 PM EST
    You linked to an article touting the acceptance of Syrian refugees and oculus and I point out that it is talking about accepting 2000 refugees.  There is no subtext there; only specificity. You can come down to earth now.

    Parent
    What Are You Doing? (none / 0) (#101)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:07:31 PM EST
    Except complaining?

    Nothing I imagine...  

    Obama should just take care of it...  He is not doing enough, he is not the worlds policeman but he is not doing enough..

    IOW complain, complain.. but do nothing else.

    Parent

    Again, (5.00 / 5) (#106)
    by sj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:28:48 PM EST
    where do you get this stuff? Complaining? I am complaining about nothing. I am highlighting details of the article that you provided. I didn't write the article. I just read it. I didn't make up those numbers, I quoted them.

    If you don't want to discuss an article, then don't post a link to it. How hard is that?

    Oy.

    Parent

    Yes Complaints (1.67 / 3) (#108)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:42:04 PM EST
    oculus made a suggestion:

    The U. S. government would improve its international cred by offering Syrian refugees the opportunity to come here.

    I posted that a program is already in place.

    oculus complained that it is not enough..

    Your complaint #1

    Just a by the way  That is a pay site and only has 8 free articles per month.

    Complaint #2

    And your sentence of
    Exclusive: U.S. Will Now Let in Thousands of Syrian Refugees
    is accurate but misleading.

    Not my sentence but the linked article title.

    COmplaint #3

    According to that article, although the headline says "thousands" (plural), that is just barely true:

    Barely true?  sounds like a complaint to me.

    Factual.  

    Parent

    You start out being (5.00 / 3) (#115)
    by sj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:05:05 PM EST
    reasonable and then go completely sideways into gawd knows what.

    Silly me, I thought you might want to know that by the middle of month your links would be worthless to anyone who has followed your previous links. I would have wanted to know if I were bumping up against a limit.

    And my sentence of [whatever] is completely true. And it is from your freaking article. "Barely true" is absolutely correct. If the quota was even one less refugee then using the term "thousands" would be wrong.

    So, since you wanted to push it, that would be 1/1000 of the current refugees. That is one/one thousandth. Don't you think we could be doing more? You were the one bragging about the US accepting Syrian refugees. Now you say that that isn't enough help because I haven't opened my back yard or something.

    Go have a cocktail. In my area it is First Friday and the art galleries are open with special small showings and cheap wine. I'm going. I think you should see if your area has the same thing. Otherwise I think oculus is onto something.

    Parent

    Not Sideways (none / 0) (#116)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:14:43 PM EST
    You were the one bragging about the US accepting Syrian refugees.

    You may be the one deeply in need of a cocktail. Oculus implied that we did not take any Syrian refugees, and that it would help our credibility. I posted an article that showed that we were accepting Syrian refugees, contrary to oculus and perhaps other's beliefs here.

    To suggest that I was bragging is off the wall. And to nit pick attack me for posting an article to show that we are accepting refuges is also off the wall.  

    Maybe you need to look in the mirror.

    Parent

    For the final time (none / 0) (#130)
    by sj on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 01:57:53 AM EST
    There was no attack. I can't help how you look at things, I can only tell you what is. But I can say that "bragging" was a very poor choice of words on my part.

    And yes, as planned, I had that cocktail. Didn't see any art that I had to have, though.

    Parent

    Hahha (none / 0) (#136)
    by squeaky on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 10:31:15 AM EST
    Spilt hairs all you want, and yes there is a fine line between hostility and attacking... in any case your intent was clear.

    glad you both saved some money and got to chill.

    Parent

    ::shrug:: (none / 0) (#138)
    by sj on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 01:40:27 PM EST
    As you are some one who dishes out hostility on a regular basis I guess you can't help but assume the worst of everyone. Not just me. You misinterpret a lot of people.

    Wev.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#139)
    by squeaky on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 01:45:12 PM EST
    The only difference is that, unlike you, I am willing to admit it, not hide behind... who me, hostile?

    Your passive aggression.. downrating against TL rules, while crying like a baby when someone downrates you or complaining that others are acting badly..  mirror please!

    Parent

    2 million might be small potatoes (none / 0) (#97)
    by sj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 04:58:05 PM EST
    but 2 thousand is even smaller.

    Parent
    Set Up Camps? (none / 0) (#102)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:18:35 PM EST
    Got some land? Here are the stats

    If you have any ideas about where to house a few hundred thousand refugees, that would be a good start.

    Death Valley?

    Parent

    Not enough though. (none / 0) (#93)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:55:45 PM EST
    Got Land? (1.50 / 4) (#103)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:19:52 PM EST
    Tell Obama that you will take on a few hundred refugees... that should help, no.

    Oh, not in my back yard? Thought so,

    Parent

    Probably need not be in anyone's private (5.00 / 4) (#104)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:22:42 PM EST
    back yard. So really unnecessary  for you to insult me.

    Parent
    Insult? (2.00 / 1) (#105)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:26:24 PM EST
    Is pointing out that you are complaining that Obama is not bringing in enough Syrian refugees, while also complaining that Obama has no business being the worlds policeman. And that you are not interested in setting up camps in your neighborhood or taking on any of the refugees yourself, an insult, well then change your behavior if you are ashamed of it.

    Parent
    Go away. Now. (5.00 / 5) (#107)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:29:50 PM EST
    Actually (1.50 / 2) (#109)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:47:24 PM EST
    You were complaining that the US brings in no Syrians, then when
    shown that was untrue, you said it was not enough.

    Well what would be enough for you.

    Should we cut down on the refugees coming from the Congo?

    How many refugees should we admit each year?

    Should we set up camps, with paths to citizenship?
    What if the civil war lasts 15 years. Where should the people in the camps go?

    More interesting questions, than just complaining, imo.  

    Parent

    You know, squeaky, my initial comment was (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:54:11 PM EST
    not that we did not permit enough or any Syrian refugees into the U.S.  my comment was thatnwe would do more for our credibility tomhelp the refugees than to,bomb and possibly kill or injure more civilians.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#113)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:02:09 PM EST
    That was clear, which is why I pointed out the FP article. To write it off as not enough, well..  seems like nothing is ever enough for some here.

    And the refugee problem is serious, and I think quite complex for PR. WaPo wants us to skim off the professionals and leave the poor people. That would not look good..  Or take students from upper middle class and upper class families for University programs. Would't the world cry foul? What about the poor?

    And we already take in the most refugees than any other country the world, and I do not mean camps but as citizens... 70K a year.

    Does that help our credibility?  

    Not sure what you had in mind considering the enormity of the problem. It seems to me that whatever we did it would fall short, and be criticized as not being enough.


    Parent

    Need not be in anybody's own backyard (2.00 / 1) (#114)
    by Politalkix on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:04:39 PM EST
    A little cut in medicare and social security for every US citizen will go a long way in supporting all the world's refugees and help them start a new life in the USA. Think how much goodwill the USA will generate in the world!

    Parent
    Or, devote funds which (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:37:26 PM EST
    would be spent on military intervention to humanitarian intervention.

    Parent
    The SoS has said (none / 0) (#119)
    by Politalkix on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:48:35 PM EST
    that Arab countries will pay for military intervention.

    So if you want to pay for humanitarian intervention, say that we will not need funds from Saudi Arabia, UAE or Kuwait but will do so with cuts to Medicare or Social Security.

    Please don't back out now. You were almost looking good and I was beginning to think you really had a plan.

    Parent

    Been Waiting for an Open Thread... (none / 0) (#26)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:09:05 AM EST
    ...since Tuesday.  Multitudes better than anticipated and I had high expectations.

    Parent
    And what Manchin and Heitkamp are (5.00 / 6) (#18)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:32:54 AM EST
    pushing back against is this:

    And here we go. Just as the regime change resolution was passed it seems the Obama Administration wants a wider war. Rather than just attacking chemical weapons sites, President Obama has directed the Pentagon to develop an expanded list of potential targets in Syria. The expanded list is to include military units that could be part of an attack using chemical weapons - yes, it is a recipe for regime change.

       Mr. Obama, officials said, is now determined to put more emphasis on the "degrade" part of what the administration has said is the goal of a military strike against Syria -- to "deter and degrade" Mr. Assad's ability to use chemical weapons. That means expanding beyond the 50 or so major sites that were part of the original target list developed with French forces before Mr. Obama delayed action on Saturday to seek Congressional approval of his plan.

    I see we are back to Bush-era war semantics. So now "degrade" can justify any use of force. Destroying Assad's entire military - making room for Al Qaeda rebels to take over - would also "degrade" his ability to use chemical weapons. True story.

    Will be interesting to get a recap of Obama's press conference today...

    And it gets worse... (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:23:09 PM EST
    Via FDL:

    According to the Wall Street Journal, an attack by President Obama on the Assad government in Syria will lead to a series of retaliatory strikes by Iran and affiliates on US targets. Now a war with Iran is on the table.

       The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria, officials said, amid an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region.

        Military officials have been trying to predict the range of possible responses from Syria, Iran and their allies. U.S. officials said they are on alert for Iran's fleet of small, fast boats in the Persian Gulf, where American warships are positioned. U.S. officials also fear Hezbollah could attack the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

    Missile and air strikes would likely kill some Hezbollah militants who are allied with Iran. An Iranian retaliation for attacking the Assad government would likely lead to the US retaliating against Iran - and now we may understand AIPAC's support. A war with Syria will lead to retaliations by Syria's allies Iran and Hezbollah which would then justify strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities the Israelis have been practically begging for.

    Is that what this is all really about - opening a door to war with Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program? There is considerable evidence the Al Qaeda linked opposition in Syria has used chemical weapons, no word from the Obama Administration on that. And we know America participated in Iraq gassing Iran, so the general principle or "norm" of stopping chemical weapons since World War I is nonsense.

    It's the possibility of this kind of quagmire that should have us - and the rest of the global community that claims to be appalled by the violation of international norms - exhausting every last little ounce of effort at diplomatic resolution.

    It's all well and good to say we're only going to do something on a limited and discrete basis, but when one of the possible consequences is getting dragged into a war with Iran, it's time to quit trying to bamboozle and guilt the public into just trusting that they have this under control.

    Since I have no hope of Obama or anyone else being honest about any of this, I can hardly wait to hear what he has to say Tuesday night.  

    Parent

    I suppose (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:42:16 AM EST
    this is a good thing, but it really reads like a threat.
    And nobody likes threats.
    Especially heads of State.

    Assad is likely to repeat that he doesn't have chemical weapons. He is just as likely to refuse to sign any document when under threat by the US. Heads of State have egos, as we all know. They don't like to appear weak. The US knows this.

    Or he could say would sign if Israel and Myanmar were to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention - or if absolutely everybody signs - including holdouts Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan.

    Or unless the US and Russia and other members of the nuclear "club" agree to sign a ban on nuclear weapons...

    I keep feeling that, if weapons are really the issue, all weapons of mass destruction should be banned. Not just chemical. Nuclear - napalm - biological - anything that can kill more than one person at a time.

    But I also keep feeling that the issue is not in fact WMD. It is about our having yet another foothold in the Middle East - and control over their resources - either by conquest, or by regime change.

    People don't seem to be going for it.

    I beieve the following (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:04:21 AM EST
    to be a typo:

    Assad is likely to repeat that he doesn't have chemical weapons

    Meant to say hasn't used?

    I believe everyone is in agreement that Syria has quite a large stockpile going back to the early 70's.

    Parent

    One of the world's largest stockpiles (none / 0) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:22:42 AM EST
    And how they get their menace on, it is no secret.

    And as MKS pointed out they have to be well maintained or they become degraded and useless as some of the old forgotten stuff we did come across in Iraq was.

    Parent

    He (none / 0) (#50)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:42:22 PM EST
    neither confirms nor denies possessing these weapons, but denies using them. He asks for proof that he has used them from those accusing him. I have seen articles offering proof that they were used, but nothing definitively linking their use to Assad. I have seen just as many fingers pointing to the rebels.

    Incidentally - I'm just asking - but I believe we also possess these weapons - chemical and biological - in addition to our limitless supply of nukes? Is this not so?

    Parent

    Something I recently learned (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:27:18 PM EST
    The military classifies pepper spray as a chemical weapon too.  Soldiers cannot use pepper spray but our police force in the United States uses it on its citizens.  It's a strange world sometimes.

    Parent
    All Riot Control Agents... (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:28:40 PM EST
    ...including tear, gas are banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

    It does not apply to domestic law enforcement.  The US added the exemption to ensure the chemicals used for lethal injections would not get banned.

    So when you see authorities using tear gas anywhere in the world, just remember that it's legal because the US couldn't be bothered to find another way to legally kill it's own citizens deemed to bad to live.

    The military uses both, but not on the battlefield.  And if I am not mistaken, the gas used in Turkey and Egypt is some US corporate hybrid mixture of tear gas(CS) and pepper spray far more painful than either.

    Parent

    Yes... (none / 0) (#62)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:50:54 PM EST
    It is.

    Parent
    BS (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:46:40 PM EST
    There are certainly not just as many fingers pointing to the rebels. By far, most of the fingers are pointing to Assad.

    Hyperbole is silly here... it makes you sound like Kerry.

    Parent

    You (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:26:18 PM EST
    have a way with words squeaky.

    Parent
    OK (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:01:09 PM EST
    For the sake of argument, more fingers are pointing to Assad.
    Let's say... one hundred fingers.

    And then, on the other side, there are a number of fingers pointing to the rebels. Let's say... sixty fingers.

    Do we go about bombing a country and its people who happen to be in the wrong place when it is not absolutely conclusive one way or another?

    This is a matter of life and death for many - including us.

    Parent

    No (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:03:07 PM EST
    Best to find the guilty party and send them to war criminal court, be it Assad, or his general who went AWOL, or the rebels, or the responsible party at the CIA.

    Parent
    I'll (none / 0) (#81)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:24:02 PM EST
    go for that.

    Bring the guilty party to court.

    This has greater appeal to me then unleashing terror upon the Syrian people.

    Parent

    Too bad we didn't sign that. (none / 0) (#88)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:37:54 PM EST
    Yeah (none / 0) (#89)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:48:15 PM EST
    Sounds great on paper, but like corporations too big to fail, power trumps war crimes court. If war crime court had any teeth we would likely have it that wars are personally fought by leaders.

    Criticism of the ICC:

    The ICC has been accused of bias and even as being a tool of Western imperialism, only punishing leaders from small, weak nations while ignoring crimes committed by richer and more powerful nations. In an op-ed, concerning prosecutions at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in The Guardian, George Monbiot wrote:[129]

    The conviction of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, is said to have sent an unequivocal message to current leaders: that great office confers no immunity. In fact it sent two messages: if you run a small, weak nation, you may be subject to the full force of international law; if you run a powerful nation, you have nothing to fear.

    In particular, the ICC has been criticized for targeting only people from Africa; to date, all of the ICC's cases are from African countries.[18]

    Here are some war crimes. Clearly many who have committed war crimes have not been brought to trial.

    The following acts are, among others, are considered war crimes:

    wilful killing of a protected person (e.g. wounded or sick combatant, prisoner of war, civilian);
    torture or inhuman treatment of a protected person;
    wilfully causing great suffering to, or serious injury to the body or health of, a protected person;
    attacking the civilian population;
    unlawful deportation or transfer;
    using prohibited weapons or methods of warfare;
    making improper use of the distinctive red cross or red crescent emblem or other protective signs;
    killing or wounding perfidiously individuals belonging to a hostile nation or army;
    pillage of public or private property.

    It should come as no surprise that those who wield more power than the ICC are exempt from prosecution. The mechanisms of power are a natural law.

    Unfortunately, international law is once again protecting Assad's violations of international law. Syria is not a state party to the ICC (neither, for what it's worth, is the United States) and therefore its prosecutors don't have jurisdiction over crimes committed there. For Assad to be charged by the ICC, he would have to be referred by the U.N. Security Council which, as with an authorization for military intervention, isn't going to happen as long as Russia and China have seats.

    Slate

    Parent

    Re (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:04:53 PM EST
    your last sentence.

    Putin said the other day, that he would consider changing his opposition in the UN if he could be presented with definite proof that Assad used chemical weapons.

    That problem is not Russian intransigence, it is a case being pushed by one nation, a nation with a ton of WMDs, the US - and the case is not very convincing to most of the world or most of the American people.

    Parent

    Yes (none / 0) (#124)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:33:46 PM EST
    I posted that link and quote the other day. Considering that evidence is in the eye of the beholder, and Obama talked with Putin for 20 minutes with no resolve. That should have been long enough for Obama to reveal to Putin US tippity top secret evidence that Assad used sarin gas.

    Heaven and earth may align and Putin may agree to let the US bomb the Syrian government forces. Forces that he happens to be arming; forces that he is heavily invested in winning the civil war.

    I am not holding my breath.

    Parent

    If you believe Putin (none / 0) (#125)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:53:35 PM EST
    Trying to negotiate with Putin is to be pulled into a rope-a-dope.

    Parent
    I think we have plenty of proof (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:11:15 PM EST
    The clarity ends there though for me.

    Parent
    We have chem or bio weapons (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:24:19 PM EST
    Officially

    Parent
    Sorry, we have NO (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:28:39 PM EST
    Bio or chem weapons officially.  We are only supposed to be working on antidotes.  I asked :)

    Parent
    But (none / 0) (#65)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:58:26 PM EST
    unofficially, we have them... if I get your gist..

    Parent
    I have no clue (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:07:39 PM EST
    I say officially because there are a lot of secrets.  Just think about the NSA stuff we are finding out, or the Black Hawk helicopter that went down going after Bin Laden.  The NSA collecting on us did not officially exist, and the radar evading helicopter didn't exist until suddenly it did.  I have no clue though if we have chemical or biological weapons.  Officially we don't.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#67)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:01:29 PM EST
    That is what Israel says about how they are using their CW and respective industry which is quite large.

    They are using the CW to research antidotes.

    Assad is more straightforward about his stockpile, imo.

    Parent

    Yes... (none / 0) (#71)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:05:15 PM EST
    I believe we have nuclear weapons only for the purpose of looking for an antidote for nuclear radiation poisoning.

    Parent
    From an interview (none / 0) (#48)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    with Assad reprinted on nbc.com

    "I do not say that the Syrian army possesses or not these weapons," Assad said.

    Another translation from the interview of Assad in Le Figaro, a French newspaper is below. He neither confirms nor denies possession of these weapons, but emphatically denies using them. He also challenges anybody to present proof to the contrary and asks some pertinent questions which I, as a citizen of the US would like answered before even considering endorsing a bombing campaign on Syria:

    I am neither confirming nor denying that we possess such weapons - this is not a matter for discussion. For the sake of argument, if the army had such weapons and decided to use them, is it conceivable that it would use them in areas where its own troops are deployed? Where is the logic in that? Additionally is it really plausible that the use of these weapons in a heavily populated area in the suburbs of the capital did not kill tens of thousands; these substances travel in the air.

    But that is not the main thrust of my comment above, which I amend to say:

    This "negotiation" reads like a threat. Sign or else!
    Nobody likes threats.
    Especially heads of State.
    Assad is likely to repeat that he neither confirms nor denies having chemical weapons - but emphatically denies having used them.

    He is likely to refuse to sign any document when under threat by the US. Heads of State have egos, as we all know. All of them. Bush and Obama are no exceptions. They don't like to appear weak. The US knows this and can't serious think that he would sign such a document under these conditions.

    Or Assad could say he would sign if Israel and Myanmar were to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention - or if absolutely everybody signs - including holdouts Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan. Wouldn't that be interesting?

    Or unless the US and Russia and other members of the nuclear "club" agree to sign a ban on nuclear weapons...
    Even more interesting.

    I think this "diplomatic alternative" is similar to Bush's "alternative" to Hussein that if he wanted to avoid the obliteration of his country, he has to leave it. Of course Hussein, expressing both pride and his version of patriotism, stayed on... to the relief of the Bush regime which got to drop its shock and awe upon the hapless citizens of Baghdad.

    Parent

    Banning CW? (none / 0) (#43)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:17:38 PM EST
    What about banning war period?

    Maybe the Catholic Church had it right when it banned divorce.

    Parent

    You (none / 0) (#47)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:24:30 PM EST
    seriously be equating war and divorce?

    Parent
    Well (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:42:04 PM EST
    Gotta start somewhere..  

    Forcing people to live together changes the game. When war is simply not an option people learn to live together.

    Of course it is not possible. Nor is eliminating weapons.

    You are suggesting going back to revolutionary war type single shot rifles?. where all the soldiers stand in a line and get shot and then shoot the other side that is also standing in a line waiting to shoot or get shot?

    getting people to never use new or existing war technology has just about as much a chance as banning divorce.


    Parent

    You have (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:02:51 PM EST
    a way of changing or avoiding the subject which makes it difficult to have an exchange of points of view with you.

    If WMDs are the problem, all of them should be banned - not just the ones possessed by our adversaries.

    Parent

    Sure (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:05:37 PM EST
    War seems part of life, imo. It can start between two individuals or two gangs, or two towns, or two countries, or two blocks of countries.... and so on.

    Stop that and you will stop people from using weapons, be they legal or illegal.

    Parent

    It is not a threat, but rather (none / 0) (#78)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:28:51 PM EST
    it is hard diplomacy.  Then, should that agreement be broken, the expectations of enforcement by the world community would be rather clear.  Everyone has a lot to gain from such an arrangement ... and, if a party acts in bad faith then, there can be little argument that said party has brought the loss on by its own action. (To tell you the truth, lentinel, the type of carrot-stick proposal now surfacing is a favorite of government enforcement attorneys.  But, much more important, this kind of agreement shows that when we are all fully engaged in searching for a fitting resolution means, we as a people may find a means.)

    Parent
    Syrian Woman to McCain: (5.00 / 6) (#29)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:26:47 AM EST
    "To listen to you say there is no good option in Syria, I refuse to believe that," the woman told McCain. "The good option right now is to take Saudi Arabia and Iran and force them to stop supporting the two sides in Syria. And you could do it. You can do it by diplomacy, not bombs, Senator McCain. We cannot afford to shed more Syrian blood."

    In response, McCain cited his own trips to the region as proof of his familiarity with the conflict.

    LINK

    Then it's settled, McCain has been there, never mind she has family living there including a cousin killed by the rebels.

    Not that it matters, I don't there has been a international incident in which his answer hasn't been 'Bomb Them'.  

    Spot on (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by star on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 05:10:07 PM EST
    She is absolutely correct. This civil war in Syria is the product of Shia (Iran) and Sunni( Saudi) propping up their own side with money, weapons and propaganda. Russia and USA are one step removed and their sole interest is sale of THOSE WEAPONS via Saudi(USA) and via IRAN(Russia). These are in a competition to corner the bigger weapons market. That is the only "moral" urgency here.
    People like Rumsfield, Mccain are complete boot lickers of Saudi princes. Hence the huge push from Mccain to support the rebels. He is one of the biggest Saudi mouth piece in America right now. It was for this same reason that another huge Saudi lackey Bush invaded Iraq.Saddam was a thorn in Saudi side. It is they who are causing most of the unrest in the region. It is the loss of very lucrative weapons market to Russia , that is prompting the current hoopla about the so called 'Redline'. It is disgusting to see how little value is placed on the lives of common man.  

    Parent
    Weird (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:21:02 PM EST
    No mention of Russia?  that is really strange, imo.

    Parent
    Poll - Majority of Americans favor ... (5.00 / 6) (#30)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:35:14 AM EST
    ... sending Congress to Syria.

    "I believe it is in the best interest of the United States, and the global community as a whole, to move forward with the deployment of all U.S. congressional leaders to Syria immediately," respondent Carol Abare, 50, said in the nationwide telephone survey, echoing the thoughts of an estimated 9 in 10 Americans who said they "strongly support" any plan of action that involves putting the U.S. House and Senate on the ground in the war-torn Middle Eastern state. "With violence intensifying every day, now is absolutely the right moment--the perfect moment, really--for the United States to send our legislators to the region."

    "In fact, my preference would have been for Congress to be deployed months ago," she added.

    Yes, ... it's The Onion.

    At least there's something to (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:42:55 AM EST
    Laugh about today

    Parent
    I Would Imagine... (none / 0) (#34)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:02:36 AM EST
    ...the 9 of 10 would be conservative if someone were to actually do the poll.

    Obama should lead the charge and then they call understand what it's like to put your life on the life for people who haven't a clue as to what is actually going on.

    And pay them what soldiers make...

    Parent

    To (none / 0) (#84)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:28:40 PM EST
    paraphrase something attributed to the great jazz drummer Elvin Jones, we should make them all astronauts and lose their azzes.

    Parent
    This is a government /nation.... (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:42:04 AM EST
    ...that doesn't even think 40 hour a week workers deserve a wage that allows them to live without having an aneurism over paying bills. If you belive, yet again, the bullshit it slings about wanting to bomb, then you are a childlike idiot.

    Sorry, the truth hurts.


    Robert H. Scales at WAPO (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:08:10 AM EST
    Sept. 5, 13
    After personal exchanges with dozens of active and retired soldiers in recent days, I feel confident that what follows represents the overwhelming opinion of serving professionals who have been intimate witnesses to the unfolding events that will lead the United States into its next war.

    They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration's attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.

    They are repelled by the hypocrisy of a media blitz that warns against the return of Hitlerism but privately acknowledges that the motive for risking American lives is our "responsibility to protect" the world's innocents. Prospective U.S. action in Syria is not about threats to American security.
    [...snip...]
    They are outraged by the fact that what may happen is an act of war and a willingness to risk American lives to make up for a slip of the tongue about "red lines." These acts would be for retribution and to restore the reputation of a president.



    That said... (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:41:14 AM EST
    ...as former members of the single most anti-imaginative institution in the history of the nation, it's hard not to think they are a tad skewed in their POV, to the extent that, in the military today, the GOP and Christian Right have a sickening amount of sway. See the Air Force Academy, otherwise known as the Evangelical Flight School of Free and Censored America.

    Still, it says something, I'm just not sure exactly what. Bush The Elder didn't exactly sneak up on Saddam in Desert Storm. I am just so disappointed that in the year 2013 we can't even summon a Howard or Henrietta Beale, whether singularly or collectively, to oppose and obliterate the mindset that, over and over, gets us into these malevolent things.

    Parent

    A bunch of Beales need to attack directly (none / 0) (#40)
    by jondee on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:04:49 PM EST
    the underlying neoliberal dogma that "our vital interests overseas" and the interests of the ruling and investor class (and their lawyers) are synonomous.. This hysteria and spin about how attemptin to reining in the Goldman Sachses of the world would bring down the entire economy..

    A General Smedley Butler critique..

    The Machievellians and Hobbesians and Kissingerians have had their innings and been found morally-spiritually-and-ecologically banktrupt. F*ck 'em. And the whores that ride in on 'em.  

    Parent

    Scales is a Fox News commentator (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:01:32 PM EST
    And an Obama hater.

    He has some points, but he spews plenty of bullshit here, such as the Syrian military is tougher than the Serbs.  The Syrian military is conscripted (like Iraq's military was), some of them held hostage at their posts otherwise they'd run off (like Iraq's military was).

    And Iraq's military was feared, some of them rightfully so while others just wanted to surrender and go home.

    While it is true I believe that much of the military really doesn't know what they are supposed to do about Syria, nor does there seem to be clear obtainable objectives, to say the Obama administration has no war experience and doesn't understand war is hysterical.  This write up is an Obama hit piece, a hit piece on the military's CIC and embarrasses the military.

    Scales is only showing his Obama hating a$$.  There are a couple of reasons why he is "the past" commandant of the Army War College.

    Parent

    It's apparent (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:53:16 PM EST
    that everyone who doesn't want to bomb Syria is an obama hater.

    Maybe if obama would lead the charge into battle more people might be willing to follow him out of their armchairs?

    He could ride a Tomahawk in waving a stetson and hollering "charge!!!"? lol.

    Strange Love?

    Parent

    Dr. Obamakerry. (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:26:38 PM EST
    "God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural... fluids. God bless you all"


    Parent
    What a crock (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:07:57 PM EST
    It is, yes. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:11:36 PM EST
    For me, (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:54:55 PM EST
    whatever one thinks of Obama is not the issue.

    For me, the issues here are:

    One: Is there any conclusive proof that Assad used chemical weapons. I haven't seen it.

    Two: If he did, is that sufficient reason for the US to begin a bombing campaign.
    I don't think so for reasons I have previously posted, but will post again if you're interested.

    Parent

    Climate change deniers (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:54:58 PM EST
    still looking for proof too.....

    Parent
    These men & women are not cheering (5.00 / 4) (#118)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:57:25 PM EST
    Only conspiracy theorists would not cheer, of course. Of course. And obama haters, of course. Of course.

    MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
    FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
    SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap?
    September 6, 2013

    We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as "plausible denial."
    [...snip]
    Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers working on the Syria issue. They tell us that CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, the public - and perhaps even you.

    [...snip...]

    Thomas Drake, Senior Executive, NSA (former)
    Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
    Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan
    Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
    W. Patrick Lang, Senior Executive and Defense Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.)
    David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
    Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
    Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
    Todd Pierce, US Army Judge Advocate General (ret.)
    Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army, Iraq
    Coleen Rowley, Division Council & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
    Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

    Read all of it here...

    European Union backs strong action (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Politalkix on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:21:00 AM EST
    in Syria. link

    link

    The UN inspector's report is expected to be released around Sept 15 (in just a week).

    "The senior foreign policy official for the European Union, Catherine Ashton, said that it was clear that a large-scale chemical weapons attack had occurred on Aug. 21 and that it was "a blatant violation of international law, a war crime and a crime against humanity."

    Ms. Ashton said the evidence also "seems to indicate" that the Syrian government was responsible because it was the only side in the civil war that has chemical weapons and the means of delivering them in such a substantial quantity.

    But she endorsed the French decision to wait until United Nations inspectors had submitted their report, even though the results might be "preliminary." "


    It would give obama (4.50 / 2) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:08:39 AM EST
    a face saving way to extricate himself from his self created debacle, too.

    He might even come across as a reasonable thinking man for a few seconds.

    He's sinking himself, and he path he's on now is definitely no cakewalk into the history books.

    "Don't worry -- this war won't be another Syria."
    -- Whoever's president in 2023


    You appear to miss the point (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:21:43 AM EST
    The purpose is to find a productive solution. The only "debacle" is if the situation in Syria leads to chemical weapons use becoming the norm.

    Parent
    I can think of... (5.00 / 7) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:43:13 AM EST
    some other possible debacles...bombing the wrong place, killing more innocent people, helping rebels gain power who might be as bad as Assad and use chemical weapons too, escalating a civil war into a regional war or even a WWIII.

    No easy calls...sh*ts all fucked up as usual.  In my knuckleheaded opinion, the possible debacles are greater if we bomb than if we try some more diplomacy.

    Parent

    There are never easy calls (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:02:14 AM EST
    But putting the carrot or the stick combination on the table is never a bad international approach when trying to modify behavior with dictators. It could also force the hand of the UN Security Council.

    Parent
    We useth the stick too much... (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:53:30 AM EST
    the carrot too little.  Seems like the carrots are only coming out now because our allies, and the people, are balking at more stick.  We're all getting sick of the tired stick.

    Parent
    Not a carrot/stick situation (none / 0) (#133)
    by Jack203 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:10:22 AM EST
    More like stick, or grovel and kiss our feet for no stick.

    I like the attempt at any solution that avoids violence, but don't think this would be successful.

    I would be very happy if it did work though.  Even if Syria only gave the UN 75% of their chemical weapons, it would be a very good thing.

    Parent

    Heartened by this proposal (none / 0) (#76)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:18:08 PM EST
    That carrot-stick combo would make Teddy Roosevelt and many modern day behaviorists proud. In addition to forcing the hand of the Security Council, in toto, Putin would also have to show another card.  Hey ... maybe the Executive and Legislative branches could really come up with a way to move forward in a way that would officially forestall further use of such weaponry while setting up clear international expectations/terms for the involved communities.

    Parent
    Diplomacy. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:21:43 AM EST
    Who cares really about Putin calling (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:27:36 AM EST
    Others liars?

    Parent
    Exactly... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:57:13 AM EST
    Putin is Russia's cancer, we have our own diseases to worry about.  

    Parent
    What do suppose was our President's (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:26:37 PM EST
    rationale for arriving a half hour late for dinner at the Peterhof?

    Parent
    He was doing a life hack (5.00 / 2) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:02:36 PM EST
    He was in his suite alone standing there with his arms raised in the victory stance in order to feel better.

    Josh and I watched a life hack about that, and we tried it, and it does make you feel good doing it.  It's kind of freaky.

    Parent

    I didn't recall the term (none / 0) (#110)
    by sj on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:48:34 PM EST
    "life hack" but the google returned some interesting links. Some of these I'd seen before, but not all.

    Parent
    We started watching them on Netflix (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 06:50:41 PM EST
    When it was raining so hard here I thought we would be washed away.

    Parent
    I gave you a 5; (none / 0) (#137)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 12:04:35 PM EST
    Such a bizarre image: Obama standing alone with his arms raised in the victory stance.

    lol

    Parent
    Finding a productive solution (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:54:26 AM EST
    is the simplest thing in this whole debacle. Stop illegal attacks on Syria.

    Bombing Syria will only complicate things and lead you to having to come up with justifications for not bombing Washington for the same reasons.

    Parent

    Excellent idea (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:52:38 AM EST
    and with the limited time frame for Syria to sign onto the treaty, it forces a stronger attempt at a successful diplomatic solution that has thus far failed for the last two years. If Syria realizes there's a possible hammer at the end of 45 days, there is also the likelihood that the pressure placed on Syria from its allies to sign could also be much greater.

    Of course there may also be added International pressure built up for Israel to sign a similar treaty making this approach fall by the wayside.

    I don't know that Obama can be turned (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:35:50 AM EST
    Around.  Removing those not critical from certain embassies is a signal to me that he is doing this when he gets back from the G20 no matter what the House votes.

    I suspect those moves (none / 0) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:41:20 AM EST
    in the region are more likely related to the upcoming WTC anniversary rather than Syria.

    Parent
    Nah (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:46:42 AM EST
    According to news they intercepted communications planning embassy attacks if the US goes forward with its attack on Assad.  We don't depopulate embassies around 9/11, they go on alert but if they don't have intel about attacks they don't start shipping families and all nonessential staff out.

    Parent
    Listening to Obama speak (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:28:39 AM EST
    He is very reserved, careful, maybe even tired.

    Parent
    BTD... (none / 0) (#9)
    by fishcamp on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:46:48 AM EST
    Are tomorrow's football predictions ready?  Sorry to be off post but here it is Friday again.  BTW I hope Nichol's State is happy with all the $$ they must have gotten in that ridiculously lop sided game with Oregon.

    Up tomorrow morning but I made my picks for (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:56:36 AM EST
    the Amato and Armando radio show, just me this week though.

    Parent
    Go blue! (none / 0) (#86)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:31:27 PM EST
    Almost anything (none / 0) (#20)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:45:39 AM EST
    would be better that what is being proposed, whatever that actually is. "Shot across the bow'  to "change the momentum on the battlefield."    However, I would differ that we would be "re-starting" the diplomatic process.  More like, starting it.  Secretary Kerry should, in that starting or re-starting, if you prefer, take a back seat.

     Mr. Kerry seems to have a constituency of two:  McCain and Lindsey, and is dismissive of  other points of view.  In was disturbing in his interview with Chris Hayes, that he can only identify the rebel groups as "bad guys." and claim that the "fundamentals of Syria are secular."  Indeed the Heitkamp draft (fortunately, since it needs so much work)  essentially admits to the flaws and failures in diplomacy when it includes the requirement of submission to Congress of  A Syria strategy.  

    Obama was just asked about this (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:53:13 AM EST
    At the G20.  His reply was that we had previously approached Assad directly as well as through his allies about the previous accusations of chemical weapon use.  Diplomacy was attempted and failed, as Assad felt confident enough after that to conduct a proven chemical weapon attack upon his people.

    The President said he is willing to entertain other solutions but based on his facial expressions and words he obviously does not think this is worth the effort since his previous approaches of the Assad regime were followed by this proven chemical attack.

    Agreed. And, I do not (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 12:23:23 PM EST
    believe he is really willing to entertain other solutions.  At least, not in any material way.  Bombs it is to be.    President Obama has that determination he has shown before when personalized perturbations are perceived for good (START treaty) or not so good (pursuit of Snowden).

    Congressional approval does not look too good now, but it is not over.  It will be an intense full-court press on Congress with the discipline of Pelosi and Reid.   However, without approval,  I am not sure that he will go ahead with bombs, right away.   He is likely to be cautious, pause and try again later.

    Parent

    Indeed (none / 0) (#79)
    by woodchuck64 on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:04:58 PM EST
    There has to be 0% chance of Obama doing anything until the UN inspections report.  There are many good reasons for him to appear to be readying them, but no way to preserve his legacy for history if he does so.

    Parent
    The (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 01:57:01 PM EST
    attack has been accepted as having taken place.
    The perpetrators have not been conclusively identified.

    Neither the Assad government not the rebels appear to be particularly savory to me.

    Parent

    Listened to Diane Rehm (none / 0) (#74)
    by Slado on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:10:19 PM EST
    podcast yesterday about the "opposition" in Syria and one of the commentators made a good point.

    Assad and his regime are in survival mode and they will do anything and everything to stay in power because they know if they don't stay in power they will most likely be killed like Saddam and Gaddafi were.

    Point being that red lines and international threats are meaningless.   There is no negotiating with Assad because he's 2 years into a civil war he intends to win .   Putin and China have his back and losing means certain death.    The more desperate he gets the more desperate measures he will take.

    I'm all for negotiating but to me that ship has sailed.   Get involved for real (which I don't favor) or stay the hell out.


    What if (none / 0) (#75)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:13:12 PM EST
    Assad were to say he would sign if Israel and Myanmar were to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention - or if absolutely everybody signs - including holdouts Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan.

    Wouldn't that be interesting?

    Or if he were to say he'd sign if the US and Russia and other members of the nuclear "club" agree to sign a ban on nuclear weapons...

    Even more interesting.

    This is, as kdog says, just another red line.
    Another threat.
    Heads of State don't like to be threatened.  

    The US knows this.
    This is not negotiation.
    It is an ultimatum.


    As leery as many of us are re U.S. (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 03:49:35 PM EST
    Military drone assassinations, might the use of a drone to take out Assad solve the "red line" problem?

    Jeez Louise... (none / 0) (#122)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:12:25 PM EST
    Are you proposing that we assassinate the guy?   Assad has not only denied using chemical weapons, but asked a good question:

    For the sake of argument, if the army had such weapons and decided to use them, is it conceivable that it would use them in areas where its own troops are deployed? Where is the logic in that? Additionally is it really plausible that the use of these weapons in a heavily populated area in the suburbs of the capital did not kill tens of thousands; these substances travel in the air.

    Anybody got an answer?

    Parent

    Hmmm (2.33 / 3) (#129)
    by squeaky on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:12:28 PM EST
    Maybe he is your guy... honest, strong leader... good looking?

    Seems like he has more credibility for you than any US leader..  

    He probably can use a smart guy/gal like you.

    Parent

    How many of Assad's troops (none / 0) (#128)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:04:21 PM EST
    have been killed by chemical weapons?  Those looked like dead kids, not Assad troops.

    Parent
    I haven't seen any evidence (none / 0) (#132)
    by Jack203 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 09:03:25 AM EST
    the area gassed was controlled by Assad, or even contested.  There were no dead Syrian troops killed from the attack.

    I'm not buying Assad's excuses.  And considering that was Assad's lead defense....it's not a good indication for his argument.

    Parent

    Yearlong use of chemical weapons (none / 0) (#120)
    by Politalkix on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:00:23 PM EST
    What (none / 0) (#123)
    by lentinel on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:16:11 PM EST
    is your evidence that Assad did in fact use this chemical weapon?
    What is your evidence that the rebels did not use this weapon?

    What would your position be if Assad were agree to sign on the condition that Israel ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention ?

    The Israelis would never sign (none / 0) (#127)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:58:07 PM EST
    They are not going to bargain away anything, even if they would never use them.....

    The idea of Gandhi-like passive resistance is not the Israeli way.  

    Parent

    Not negotiation or diplomacy (none / 0) (#131)
    by Jack203 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 08:48:26 AM EST
    An ultimatum.

    I would think it unlikely Syria would comply.

    And then we would bomb after they deny they have weapons?

    Obama wavered and gave Assad strike two. There are positives and negatives to this decision. If Assad's regime uses them again, I am quite confident Obama will not give him another chance.