Patterico's Pontifications

8/28/2013

More Obama 2008 – Where Candidate Teh One Contradicts President Teh One

Filed under: General — JD @ 10:41 am

[guest post by JD]

I am sure the MFM will be all over this. Maybe Letterman will ask him about it next time he gives an interview.

For the moment, let’s set aside the issue of whether or not going to war in Libya or Syria is the right thing to do. Let’s focus on what Obama and Biden claimed to the their underlying principles that would inform their decisions.

First, constitutional scholar Obama …

[Candidate Obama] responded in writing to a series of questions regarding executive power from Charlie Savage, then of The Boston Globe:

Q. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

OBAMA: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent.;

And then, resident dunce, Biden …

Vice President Joe Biden, who voted for the Iraq War, agreed with Obama.

“The president has no constitutional authority to take this country to war… unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked,” Biden said in 2007.

Biden, then a Democratic senator from Delaware, suggested presidential war-making was an impeachable offense.

Discuss.

UPDATE – Larger quote from Slow Joe

It is precisely because the consequences of war – intended or otherwise – can be so profound and complicated that our Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not the President, the power to initiate war, except to repel an imminent attack on the United States or its citizens. They reasoned that requiring the President to come to Congress first would slow things down… allow for more careful decision making before sending Americans to fight and die… and ensure broader public support.

The Founding Fathers were, as in most things, profoundly right. That’s why I want to be very clear: if the President takes us to war with Iran without Congressional approval, I will call for his impeachment.

I do not say this lightly or to be provocative. I am dead serious. I have chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. I still teach constitutional law. I’ve consulted with some of our leading constitutional scholars. The Constitution is clear. And so am I.

I’m saying this now to put the administration on notice and hopefully to deter the President from taking unilateral action in the last year of his administration. If war is warranted with a nation of 70 million people, it warrants coming to Congress and the American people first.

—JD

119 Responses to “More Obama 2008 – Where Candidate Teh One Contradicts President Teh One”

  1. Prememptory blanket denunciation.

    JD (b0f86f)

  2. They were talking about a different President.

    Dave (in MA) (037445)

  3. What? You believed they were answer in a serious manner instead of making political bonus points?

    Dupe!

    MJN1957 (d1de05)

  4. President Armslength Bombypants

    Colonel Haiku (90595d)

  5. that’s different you creepy a55 cracka rayciss.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  6. Luckily for the President, no one would follow Biden’s advice – presidential war-making (is) an impeachable offense.

    There goes his best shot at being called “Mister President”.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  7. Yeah, but pressing a button to send a few bombs is a message, not an act of war.

    Right?

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  8. As Samuel Goldwyn famously said:

    “If you want to send a message, call Western Union!”
    (Yeah, I know, they don’t send telegrams anymore)

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  9. http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-250_162-5090277.html

    Text: Obama’s AMA Speech On Health Care

    …So let me begin by saying this to you and to the American people: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage — they like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. They trust you. And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. (Applause.) If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. (Applause.) No one will take it away, no matter what.

    The Democrats were busy breaking this promise while their frontman was making it.

    He’s a con man. Like all con men he’s full of s***. All he cares about is if the s*** works.

    The fact is most people are so dumbed down that it does. Most people think that Obama’s Cairo speech was brilliant instead of the happy horse**** that it was, that when they watch an Oliver Stone movie or now Oprah’s racist propaganda flick “The Butler” that they’re seeing history, and don’t get me started on math or reading and writing.

    Which will only get worse with Common Core, by the way. Now 5+5=11 is an acceptable answer as long as the kid can explain his reasoning. Obviously wrong reasoning, which the teacher’s union rep won’t even try to correct.

    Just like in George Orwell.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  10. ==President Armslength Bombypants==

    Colonel-I don’t know if this is original or if you saw it somewhere and decided to share with us–but it is most excellent!!

    elissa (dda108)

  11. I just thought I’d add this:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/01/29/obama_health_care_bill_might_have_violated_pledge_on_keeping_some_doctors_and_insurers.html

    The last thing I will say, though — let me say this about health care and the health care debate, because I think it also bears on a whole lot of other issues. If you look at the package that we’ve presented — and there’s some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your — if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge.

    It was important to say one thing consistently, until it wasn’t. This about face came in January 2010, six months after he made the AMA speech.

    Now if you look at Obama’s official propaganda sites, those promises have been airbrushed from history. It’s no longer “you can keep your plan;” now it’s “Obama has given you new and better plans!”

    In marketing terms it’s called “bait-and-switch.”

    In any case if Obama didn’t pay a price for admitting six months after he made an iron-clad promise that he lied, I doubt he’ll pay a price for demonstrating that he lied five years ago.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  12. If the proposed bombing of Syria is a punitive action directed at a regime that uses chemical weapons against international law, then I can see the US taking limited military action, provided it obtains the approval of Congress and some sort of explicit sanction by the international community or at least significant allies. Domestic and international approval should be easy if the case is as clear-cut as advertised.

    If the US bombs without backing, I see Syria and other regimes potentially using this to attack us and our allies. Bluffs can be called. What do we do if several nations choose this as the time to be far more aggressive externally than what Syria did internally? Reluctant and faltering leadership is dangerous, and will eventually be exposed.

    The current administration seems to be too self-righteous to notice when they are isolated.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  13. President Empty Suit(tm) already broke his statement when he attacked Libya.

    SPQR (768505)

  14. 13. …The current administration seems to be too self-righteous to notice when they are isolated.

    Comment by Amphipolis (d3e04f) — 8/28/2013 @ 1:05 pm

    They’ll notice. They’ll just play the race card, and claim the only reason other countries opposed or refused to join in Obama’s attack on Syria is because they’re racists who can’t stand to see a strong black man in the WH.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  15. 14. President Empty Suit(tm) already broke his statement when he attacked Libya.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 8/28/2013 @ 1:20 pm

    Yes, but then even GOP congresscritters were making noises along the lines that a UN resolution was a legitimate substitute for congressional authorization.

    Now Obama won’t even get that. Not like that will matter to the true believers. If Obama does it, it’s OK.

    They’ll only notice when Obama kicks one too many tables over in the ME and it bites the entire country on the arse. It’s not possible to control events no matter how firmly the geniuses in DC think they can always get away with making war on the cheap. In this case, just enough of a tantrum to make it look like Obama knew what he was doing when he mentioned redlines.

    The situation in the ME somehow reminds me of Europe just before WWI.

    To paraphrase what Otto Von Bismarck may have said about the Balkans, “One day the great war will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Middle East.” And Obama is just the damned fool with the bruised ego to do it.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  16. Comment by Steve57 (713b70) — 8/28/2013 @ 1:37 pm

    My understanding is that one can sum up the general cause of war as miscalculation. Somebody thinks they can get away with something, or let someone get away with something then it will stop, or if you let someone get away with something you can easily stop it.

    I think “the” specific miscalculation is hard to predict.

    For all of our progress, I think the world is a more dangerous place in time of war and catastrophe. I think a farmer in Iowa is more dependent on a power grid tied to NY or LA than ever before, for example.

    MD in Philly (from a different computer and location) (226c84)

  17. The quotes certainly are interesting. But as a matter of law, the War Powers act grants the President a 60 day blank check. He has to consult with congressional leaders, but he doesn’t need a formal AUMF until day 61.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  18. You just wonder how many wars the guy’s going to start on his own without any national and congressional buy in. If he had any competent advisors with FP expertise this would not be happening the way it’s going down.

    elissa (dda108)

  19. I think just about all Presidents since Nixon have objected to the War Powers act although often complying with it.

    The argument is that only Congress has the power to declare war, but the president has the authority to command the army, and the power to declare war is not the same thing as the power to wage war.

    Obama (and most liberals) worry more about the United Nations, but he’s decided he can dispense with that too – there are other arguments you can make for legality.

    I think the real question is and would be is he doing the right thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  20. Comment by Steve57 (713b70) — 8/28/2013 @ 1:37 pm

    The situation in the ME somehow reminds me of Europe just before WWI.

    The truth is, the German General conspired to bring about a war.

    Austria-Hungary specfifically asked Germany would (declaring war or giving an ultimatum) to Serbia bring about a general European war and they were told no and that was a lie.

    Russia mobilized, (against both Germany and Austria because that was the mobilization plan) Germany declared war on Russia and invadede Belguim to get to France. For good measure even the riginal german mobilization had involved crossing tghe border wioth Luxembourg.

    There was no miscalculation on the part of Germany. Or rather it’s military.

    Correction there was: They didn’t think Great Britain would join in the war if they invaded France.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  21. elissa @19, Obama would never allow competent advisers with actual FP or national security expertise.

    The relationship he demands with his cabinet is in miniature the relationship he demands with Congress. He demands yes men in all things. He can’t control, yet, who is in Congress but he can inside the WH.

    How many wars will Obama start without Congress? As many as he needs until he’s stopped. We are in uncharted territory. We have a President who truly is unconcerned with the continuity of US credibility.

    He vowed to end wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was totally unconcerned how ending wars without winning them (he never mentions winning a war) would effect US credibility. He is unconcerned with US credibility on a whole host of issues, including undoing 40 years of US diplomacy intended to show that it was better to have the US as an ally then an enemy. That’s how Kissinger largely persuaded Sadat to leave the Soviet orbit.

    The only thing Obama is concerned about is his prestige. He stupidly said Asad would cross his personal redline if the Syrian government used chemical weapons. There is no discernable US national interest involved. Including US credibility; Obama has already destroyed that by demonstrating this country is one election away from electing a reckless fool. There is only Obama’s ego on the line, which in Obama’s mind is a national imperative. The US is nothing more than his personal fief.

    I have no idea what this thin-skinned narcissistic megalomaniac has to do before anyone reins him in, but the only thing on his mind when he enters the FP/national security arena is how his actions will make him look to his domestic fan club. To him the rest of the world is just backdrop, like those fake Greek columns at his DNC coronation.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  22. Sammy, I don’t know where you get your version of history but what the Austro-Hungarian Empire asked of the Germans was if they would support them should the other European powers enter the war on behalf of Serbia.

    They didn’t asked for Germany’s opinion. They asked for Germany’s commitment.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  23. 21. Weiner seems to have stablized at 10%. The new York Times in its editorial only discussed the top 4 (nor even Liu – they dismissed Weiner one sentence – as incompetent or something – in but they mentioned him. Others have tried to pick among the top 3 likely to make the runoff. I don’t know why DiBlasio is so high. The New York Times almost sounded it might endorse Lhota in the general.

    For Comptroller Spitzer is more or less where he was, with a possibility of Cuomo trying to publicly help Stringer.

    For Public Advocate nobody knows much about any of them but there wll palmost certainly be a runoff because there are 4 candidates, none dominant. (there’s a runoff when no candodate gets 40% forthe top three citywide races)

    There are primary races for Boro President but not for all boroughs. There is one for Brooklyn DA but a probably better candiodate pulled out, and now we’re stuck.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  24. 24. Comment by Steve57 (713b70) — 8/28/2013 @ 3:12 pm

    Sammy, I don’t know where you get your version of history but what the Austro-Hungarian Empire asked of the Germans was if they would support them should the other European powers enter the war on behalf of Serbia.

    They didn’t asked for Germany’s opinion. They asked for Germany’s commitment.

    On the condition it would not sdtart a European War. I read Professor fay’s book (published 1927) which attempted to assert it wsas not germany’s fault. His own book gave evidence against him. Austria Hungary spefifically asked that it not start a European War.

    Professor Fay also pretended that everybody knew about the Schlieffen plan which called for Germany to invade and defeat France quickly in the event of a war with Russia, but that was actually a secret, which he seems to have forgotten.

    The German General staff contrived this war, even against the will of the Kaiser. They convinced tghe top leaders of Germany theye were in some kind of a trap.

    Now you sdee you had this invasion of france if they were at war with Russia. they also had a war with Russia if Russia mobilized against Germany. Russis only had a mobilization plan aaginst both Russia and Austria.

    Austria knew this and they asked Germany if a war with Russia (or maybe just Serbia?) would mean a general European war and they were told no and that was a flat out lie, because Germany knew what Russia’s mobilization plan was and what they would do in response.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  25. But- but- but …

    You still don’t understand. There is no so-called “contradiction”, not at all, NO!

    Because “When *I* do it, it’s legal.”

    A_Nonny_Mouse (57cacf)

  26. They didn’t asked for Germany’s opinion. They asked for Germany’s commitment.

    On the condition it would not sdtart a European War.

    Sammy, that’s a non-sequitur. Despite what you say about conditional support the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war did start a European war, and Germany kept it’s commitment unconditionally.

    Which is exactly what the Austro-Hungarians wanted to know before declaring war on Serbia. They fully expected the Russians to intervene on Serbia’s behalf since the Russians had been competing with them in the Balkans since the 18th century. And they fully expected France to join in since France had never gotten over losing the Alsace and Lorraine to Germany in the Franco-Prussian war. Since France was too weak to take those territories back on their own, exploiting a wider European war would be their only chance to do so.

    It is precisely because the Austro-Hungarians expected war with Russia and France that they conferred with the Germans. The only area of uncertainty was if Britain would join in with the French and the Russians as well.

    But if Professor Fay has you convinced that what the Austro-Hungarian Empire really asked the Germans was to look into their crystal ball and give them guarantees about what would happen in the future if they rolled the dice in the Balkans, far be it from me to dissuade you.

    Apparently President Gradschool McMomJeans is using a Ouija board or conferring with a tarot card reader to work out his Middle East policy.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  27. You know, unlike most holes in which 0bama and Biden find themselves, they could very easily dig themselves out of this one. All they need to say is: “Over the past few years I have come to realise that what I said before was wrong. The president does have the right and responsibility to make these decisions, and I apologise to President Bush for what I said about him then. I’m glad he wasn’t impeached because that would have been wrong.”

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  28. their m.o is shut up they explained;

    http://minx.cc/?post=342898

    narciso (3fec35)

  29. I liked Joe’s “70 million people” figure. What a liar

    jb (c29242)

  30. Welcome, james!

    I’m happy you showed up.

    When I wrote this in comment #9 I was thinking of you. Not by name, of course, but by type.

    The fact is most people are so dumbed down that it does. Most people think that Obama’s Cairo speech was brilliant instead of the happy horse**** that it was, that when they watch an Oliver Stone movie or now Oprah’s racist propaganda flick “The Butler” that they’re seeing history, and don’t get me started on math or reading and writing.

    Thanks for stopping by and proving my point. Be sure to comment here often.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  31. “James” just happens to use the same multiple IP’s as “Mexican-American” and gets its jollies calling people racist Nazi shltheads. It will be back.

    JD (5c1832)

  32. 33. “James” just happens to use the same multiple IP’s as “Mexican-American” and gets its jollies calling people racist Nazi shltheads. It will be back.

    Comment by JD (5c1832) — 8/28/2013 @ 6:36 pm

    No doubt, JD. But he conveniently makes my point. When Obama or his minions speak, his audience is people who don’t know their arse from a hole in the ground.

    james asserts conservatives are hypocrites because the people who tell him what to think, who can say one thing today and the opposite six months from now, have filled his head with a fake history of events that he’s swallowed whole.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  33. Obama is such a joke that when he should listen to his inner-leftwing voice proclaim “down with war, down with the military-industrial complex!!,” he instead possibly will be inserting this nation’s military into a battle where both sides — ie, the ruling regime of Syria and the Al-Qaeda-sympathizing insurgents aligned against it — deserve to lose.

    That’s how worthless this current White House is. Obama generally is tilted quite far over to the left on most occasions except — except — in some key instances when instead of sticking with traditional principles associated with liberalism, he did just the opposite, apparently too dense to do otherwise.

    An earlier example that I’ve long mused about when realizing just how bad he truly is:

    weeklystandard.com, February 2010: [Liberal New York Times columnist] Paul Krugman is, I think, right to be amazed by Obama’s embrace of the $17 million bonus given to JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon and the $9 million issued to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

    If Obama’s idea of moving to the middle politically is to embrace Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks, he’s crazy. Usually Republicans are the party of Big Business and Democrats of Big Government, and the public’s hostility to both more or less evens the politics out. But if Obama now becomes the spokesman for Big Government intrusiveness and the apologist for Big Business irresponsibility all at once–good luck with that

    Mark (fd91da)

  34. 35. Obama is such a joke that when he should listen to his inner-leftwing voice proclaim “down with war, down with the military-industrial complex!!,” he instead possibly will be inserting this nation’s military into a battle where both sides — ie, the ruling regime of Syria and the Al-Qaeda-sympathizing insurgents aligned against it — deserve to lose…

    Comment by Mark (fd91da) — 8/28/2013 @ 7:09 pm

    Obama is no joke. He’s an astute America watcher just like the Muslim Brotherhood. The policies that he’s fronting for are having exactly the intended effects. And he’s learned how to get away with it by exploiting this country’s manias.

    He’s got the fools who are falling for his con job convinced they’re the sophisticates. Those who don’t fall for it, who see through it, are smeared as racists.

    When he leaves office he’ll have crippled this country just like his father would have wanted. And he’ll have demonstrated to the world that we can’t be trusted because this country voted for him twice.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  35. Who knows what Chimpy McHitler may do? He’s a crazed cowboy that will kill anyone on sight. He’s got the drone jones and all targets are available.

    We’re talking about Bush, right?

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  36. Has anybody already mentioned this? Nidal Hassan, the Fort Hood shooter, has been sentenced to death.

    nk (875f57)

  37. See #12, nk.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  38. Remembering all of the left’ criticisms of our military action under Bush, I am curious as to how many terrorists Obama has created since he has been in office.

    punslinger612 (be244b)

  39. Thanks, Steve. Busy afternoon. BTW, my eye surgery is cataract. It will be my third implant. Just call me n of k.

    nk (875f57)

  40. Best wishes with your implant, nk. As far as the Nidal Hasan thing goes, it’s local news here. They were all over it.

    In what is definitely not local news, this left me temporarily speechless:

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/28/state_dept_admits_it_doesnt_know_who_in_the_syrian_govt_ordered_chemical_strike

    State Dept Admits It Doesn’t Know Who Ordered Syria’s Chemical Strike

    We’re going to commit an act of war over this level of proof.

    On Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf admitted as much. “The commander-in-chief of any military is ultimately responsible for decisions made under their leadership, even if … he’s not the one that pushes the button or said, ‘Go,’ on this,” Harf said. “I don’t know what the facts are here. I’m just, broadly speaking, saying that he is responsible for the actions of his regime. I’m not intimately familiar with the command and control structure of the Syrian military. I’m just not. But again, he is responsible ultimately for the decisions that are made.”

    On Tuesday, The Cable reported that U.S. officials are basing their assessment that the Assad regime bears responsibility for the strike largely on an intercepted phone call between a panicked Ministry of Defense official and a commander of a Syrian chemical weapons unit. But that intelligence does not resolve the question of who in the government ordered the strike or what kind of command and control structures are in place for the use of such weapons. “It’s unclear where control lies,” one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable Tuesday. “Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?”

    Because of that lack of clarity, Harf took a beating on Wednesday. In a testy exchange during her daily briefing, Harf very nearly admitted that it makes no difference who in the Syrian government ordered the attack, a reflection of the lack of certainty that still shrouds U.S. understanding of the chemical attack that may have left as many as 1,000 people dead.

    This administration wouldn’t even allow Nidal Hasan or Tamerlan Tsarnaev be put under surveillance on this level of proof.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  41. One more time for emphasis; State Dept. Spokeswoman Harf stated:

    I don’t know what the facts are here. I’m just, broadly speaking, saying that he is responsible for the actions of his regime. I’m not intimately familiar with the command and control structure of the Syrian military. I’m just not. But again, he is responsible ultimately for the decisions that are made.”

    President I-don’t-know-the-facts-I-just-know-the-Cambridge-police-acted-stupidly rides again.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  42. And it comes down to cui bono? Whom does this benefit? Who profits from us further destabilizing Syria, actually the entire Arab Middle East, and strengthening Al Qaida?

    nk (875f57)

  43. When will our constitutional scholar President call Congress back into session to authorize his use of military force? (Or is that only a requirement for republicans?)

    It sounds like Cameron in Britain is getting cold feet because Labor will not agree to authorize British military force. Cameron knows he does not have enough votes. Obama should know he does not have enough votes either, but he will not care. Dictators and Totalitarians do not need to care either.

    rd (8c8a6e)

  44. 43. The Head of State is responsible?

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_UNITED_STATES_SYRIA_INTELLIGENCE_DOUBTS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-29-03-11-56

    Let’s just walk all this posture of definitiveness back. Spokesmodel Urkel doesn’t like standing alone in the daylight.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  45. Presentdente Litella: “Nevermind”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10272285/Emerging-market-rout-is-too-big-for-the-Fed-to-ignore.html

    Didn’t care to be mocked, eh? How’s that going? See youse in St. Petersburg Baby Ogabe.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  46. When I’m rooting for Russia, in favor of Syria … against America. Yeah, Obama is one hell of a leader.

    I think I’m going to become a Birther. A lot can be read into the respective dates of birth and the registration of the birth certificate on file. I wonder if that’s available.

    nk (875f57)

  47. No need to go there, his family history, that ridiculous Sundial piece, his patrons in Ayer,s Wright, et al’

    http://warnewsupdates.blogspot.com/2013/08/russia-has-just-delivered-advanced-anti.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  48. NK, best wishes on your eye surgery today. Are you getting one of the fancy kind?

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  49. That’s probably an impertinent question, but I’m interested in how well the newer multifocal ones cut down on glare.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  50. Hope it all goes smoothly and you get ideal correction.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  51. Ditto, nk.

    narciso (3fec35)

  52. Thank you, SarahW. No. I’m getting the monofocal, plano for distance, on the advice of my baby brother who does this. He is an ophthalmologist, unfortunately not in Chicago, so I’ll have to pay some other guy. 😉 He knows my history, he advised almost stridently against the multifocal.

    I’m told I’m too young for all this. Maybe I should check my antecedents? 😉

    nk (875f57)

  53. There is something called Trufocals (and some competitors) that allows you to adjust the focsl length on the fly. But I don’t know what effect using it would have.

    http://www.gizmag.com/trufocals-adjustable-focus-eyeglasses/16629/

    It’s been around for maybe a little over a year.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  54. 50. 51. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf

    That birth certificate is a recent reproduction based on Hawaiian records, probably printed from a photograph of the original. It’s not anything that’s been in Obama’s family since 1961 – which he probably lost, and which has no legal standing anymore. Donald Trump once produced his really really original birth certificate and was told it didn’t mean anything.

    It could be Obama’s big secret is he lost the really really original one(s) – or he was actually trying to create an issue, which he would smack down at a time when it did him the most good.

    You can see a typewriter was used to fill it out and it has a date stamp. But the green paper is more modern. It might even be wallpaper added by computer. The original was clearly bound together woth other birth certificates – you can see bits of the one to the left (or possibly some kind of an extension of the certificate) where the paper is curved on the left side. The paper is curved but the design is not.

    It has got certain boxes filled out in a way nobody these days could imagine filling anyone filling them out [Race of the father: African. He’s Barack Hussein Obama II, not Junior. His mother signed her name only Ann. and then had to add in Stanley on top]

    It thus bears the hallmark of genuiness.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  55. State Dept. Spokeswoman Harf stated:

    “I don’t know what the facts are here. I’m just, broadly speaking, saying that he is responsible for the actions of his regime. I’m not intimately familiar with the command and control structure of the Syrian military. I’m just not. But again, he is responsible ultimately for the decisions that are made.”

    There’s a theory that Maher Assad gave the order without consulting his brother. Part of the grounds for this theory is that seems reckless.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  56. If anybody lower ranking than Maher assad had given the order – first, it wouldn’t have happened, and second there’d be a bog shakeup.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  57. Regardless of whether I like or don’t like his politics, Obama will be the biggest fool and idiot to have ever occupied the White House if he, of all people, believes military action against Syria is necessary.

    At least with Iraq back in 2003, the opposition to Saddam Hussein wasn’t affiliated with outright terrorists networks like Al Qaeda. Then, too, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, as devious as he is, doesn’t have the label of “butcher” applied to his history of rule.

    The problem with leftists like Obama is they have a knack for being confused about or transposing good guys and bad guys, good situations and bad situations. The guy in the Oval Office did that with George Zimmerman and Treyvon Martin, and he could easily do it with the major players in Syria.

    Mark (fd91da)

  58. I think they have plans to prevent anyone else getting Syria’s chemical weapons, but it involves great risk of loss of life.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  59. I think they have plans to prevent anyone else getting Syria’s chemical weapons

    Sammy, if a little left-leaning voice in the back of your brain is making you mushy about issues like this one, it’s best to treat it like the crazy aunt in the attic.

    Mark (fd91da)

  60. Thank you, too, narciso and Sammy. Sammy, I believe that’s why my brother advised against the multifocals — they’re too new to know how patients fare with them long term.

    nk (875f57)

  61. Comment by MD in Philly (from a different computer and location) (226c84) — 8/28/2013 @ 7:02 am

    And, hey, did you see where there is the possibility that Snowden was a Russian spy all along?

    Well he stayed in the Russian Embassy while in Hong Kong. It doesn’t make him a Russian spy – that could be a joint operation with some others.

    And Snowden easily could be a useful idiot rather than a conscious spy. Somebody helped put him in a position to take all the information he took.

    It adds weight to the idea that the motive here was to slow down or stop spying that ought to take place, and/or to make public what had secretly alreday been conveyed so that a chance of tactics by some people the NSA was monitoring wouldn’t look suspicious..

    And we know what’s going on is/was it’s being misrepresented by Gleen Greenwald and others.

    453.450 cff. 387 Perhaps the soundest, if

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  62. 63. No they really do have plans. It’s been leaked any number of times. But they also don’t want to carry them out.

    And they are, or were till now, treating Assad like he’s no problem as far as using them is concerned but the only worry had to be that jihadists would seize them.

    As Benjamin Netanyahu has said, or said something close to that, at this point Syria has to be viewed as a puppet state of Iran. He also thought this was a “field test”

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  63. MD on another thread from a different computer and a different location – I think Comment 452 on 8/28/2013 @ 7:02 am

    452.

    This is a mess as far as Syria goes.
    We know Syria does have chemical weapons,
    we don’t know how much of Saddam’s stuff they have too.

    We don’t know maybe how much came from where. but
    I think they may have a good idea of the total quantity and where they are, or used to be.

    Probably nothing has been manufactured in the past two years, maybe for a long time before that.

    If Assad falls, it seems that the jihadist terrorist types will be the ones who get access to it all.

    That’s the overhyped worry.

    Just think what that will be like.

    Not much worse than Assad (and Iran) having them.

    It’s not like Iran and Syria have more moral scruples. They do have an address, and perhaps more to lose.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  64. Re: The only worry being jihadists: That amounts to a position that nobody (because once they fall out of his hands, there’s no telling where they’ll wind up) will be allowed to inherit Assad’s chemical weapons, but he can keep custody of them as long as he doesn’t use them.

    That’s been the policy up to now.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  65. MD:

    “Imagine” a world where people stood behind Bush’s efforts in Iraq. Khaddafi would be de-fanged in Libya, we could have told Iran to back down, we could have demanded that Syria let in inspectors to collect the stuff that went there by convoy.

    The British may be heading that way. (toward an ultimatum)

    Nothing will happen till the middle of next week at least unless Syria uses chemical weapons again or Iran or Syria attack anything outside their borders.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  66. 7. Comment by Amphipolis (d3e04f) — 8/28/2013 @ 12:18 pm

    Yeah, but pressing a button to send a few bombs is a message, not an act of war.

    To quote President Obama on PBS’s newshour Wednesday, August 28, 2013:

    A shot across the bow

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  67. nk – Good luck with the cataract surgery. I went through it a couple years ago for one eyeball (a side effect of the radiation therapy). I know you said this was your third implant, but I don’t know if you were just referring to eyeball implants, a pacemaker, hair plugs or what have you. In any case, if you haven’t had cataract surgery before, I’m sure someone has told you that it’s “no big deal”. If you’re like me, you’ll still be apprehensive before they start as with any new to you surgical procedure.

    They’re right. In & out in 15 minutes and no issues at all. You also get to wear an eye patch for a few days, which looks all dashing & such. Interestingly, when you wear an eye patch everyone wants to stare at it but nobody wants to ask you about it.

    I discussed getting the multifocals with my doctor and we agreed that the potential side effects made it not worth the risk. Apparently about 30% of the patients report severe halo problems with them and the surgery to remove an implant is more problematic than the original surgery. Oh well.

    As an interesting side effect, you will gain a superpower! You’ll be able to see farther into the UV spectrum than mere mortals. Black lights will annoy the hell out of you. :)

    Good luck.

    Semper Why (c8cf70)

  68. Sammy –

    A shot across the bow is a warning, presumably given in international waters or, if not, given to an intruder. It can be challenged such as by running a declared blockade.

    Cruise missiles are not warnings. Cruise missiles kill people and break stuff inside sovereign territory. That’s an act of war we would not tolerate if it was done to us.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  69. George Will understands this president pretty well and lays it out. The first paragraph in particular is a gem.

    Barack Obama’s foreign policy dream — cordial relations with a Middle East tranquilized by “smart diplomacy” — is in a death grapple with reality. His rhetorical writhings illustrate the perils of loquacity. He has a glutton’s, rather than a gourmet’s, appetite for his own rhetorical cuisine, and he has talked America to the precipice of a fourth military intervention in the crescent that extends from Libya to Afghanistan.
    …..
    The administration now would do well to do something that the head of it has an irresistible urge not to do: Stop talking.

    If a fourth military intervention is coming, it will not be to decisively alter events, which we cannot do, in a nation vital to U.S. interests, which Syria is not. Rather, its purpose will be to rescue Obama from his words.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-obama-talks-himself-into-trouble-with-syria/2013/08/28/8f1ef83a-0f3f-11e3-bdf6-e4fc677d94a1_story.html

    elissa (fdb36e)

  70. State Dept. Spokeswoman Harf stated:

    “I don’t know what the facts are here. I’m just, broadly speaking, saying that he is responsible for the actions of his regime. I’m not intimately familiar with the command and control structure of the Syrian military. I’m just not. But again, he is responsible ultimately for the decisions that are made.”

    That is soooooooooooo comforting. Heaven food they actually know the facts before they enter into a war of choice.

    JD (2c52bf)

  71. Thanks, Semper Why.

    nk (875f57)

  72. And bookmark that last commment of yours for your next autocorrect post, JD.

    nk (875f57)

  73. JD, it’s beyond parody. Obama, who never knows what his administration is doing until he learns about it on TV, is going to commit an act of war as an aggressive belligerent because even though no one in his administration is sure how things work in Syria ultimately Obama blames the guy at the top in other governments for being responsible for everything.

    That’s not how things work in the Obama administration, we are told. Obama is just as shocked as the rest of us to find out what his executive branch is doing. But, by Gawd, Obama doesn’t know how things work in Syria but he does know the buck stops with Asad!

    Indeed, President I-don’t-know-the-facts-but-I-do-know-the-Cambridge-police-department-acted-stupidly rides again.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  74. There doesn’t seem to be much of anything wrong with your eyes, nk. Good catch. And good luck.

    elissa (fdb36e)

  75. 72. Sammy –

    A shot across the bow is a warning, presumably given in international waters or, if not, given to an intruder. It can be challenged such as by running a declared blockade.

    Cruise missiles are not warnings. Cruise missiles kill people and break stuff inside sovereign territory. That’s an act of war we would not tolerate if it was done to us.

    Comment by Amphipolis (d3e04f) — 8/29/2013 @ 9:11 am

    President Tiger Beat really thinks he’s a military and naval genius. Recall the debate when he gave that smart-ass answer after Romney noted the USN has been shrunk to the fewest number of ships since WWI? Prom Queen snarked that things have changed; we also have fewer horses and bayonets. And we now have ships that can go under water or airplanes can fly from.

    They had both of those before WWI.

    Now we learn that, in naval terms, he doesn’t know the difference between a shot across the bow and shooting into the boiler room and the bridge.

    Or he thinks everyone else is too stupid to know the difference. Either way, he thinks he can shoot at Damascus and threaten Asad’s command and control, and also otherwise attempt to degrade his warfighting capabilities, with no more repurcussions then if he fired a shot harmlessly into the water in front of a ship.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  76. 62. I think they have plans to prevent anyone else getting Syria’s chemical weapons, but it involves great risk of loss of life.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (6c9102) — 8/29/2013 @ 7:36 am

    They have plans. They don’t have the troops to carry it out. It would take at least 75,000 troops to secure Syria’s WMD sites, and that’s assuming there aren’t any ongoing hostilities. If they had to secure those sites while fighting is still taking place, it would take the entire regular British Army plus some to do the job. A force equivalent to every single full-time British soldier would have to be in Syria.

    No one has committed troops to the job.

    And President Gradschool McMomJeans wants to make it more likely the weapons in these unsecured and unsecurable sites falls into the hands of AQ.

    Unbelievable.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  77. From AoSHQ:

    http://minx.cc/?post=342916

    Real New York Times Op-Ed Headline: “Bomb Syria, Even If It’s Illegal”

    The crowd that vilified Bush for acting imperiously now thinks its OK for Obama to do anything he wants, screw the law. And it’s as if the theme of Obama’s second term is, “Like what we said of Bush, but now with 100% more lawlessness and cluelessness!” And his fan club cheers him on.

    Let’s review; here’s what Obama said in March 2011 days into our involvement in Libya.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/libya-bloodbath-averted-says-obama-1-1544746

    In his weekly radio address to the nation, Obama stressed that it was in America’s “national interest” to help prevent “a bloodbath that could destabilise an entire region”.

    So according to the evolving Obama doctrine, it was in our national interest to intervene in Syria to prevent:

    1. A bloodbath.
    2. Regional instability.

    In Syria we have a bloodbath that started in the same month and year as the one we intervened in Libya to prevent, has been ongoing ever since, and has long threatened regional stability given the fact that Tehran and it’s Lebanese satellite Hezbollah have both sent expeditionary forces to Asad, AQ and the MB have taken over the opposition, and the refugees fleeing the bloodbath are overwhelming neighboring states.

    Yet it’s not in America’s national interest to do anything about an actual bloodbath and regional instability. Apparently just potential bloodbaths and regional instabiltiy. Now per the always evolving “Obama doctring” the national interest du jour is merely to deter despots from using WMDs when committing their regionally destabilizing bloodbaths.

    I think nothing highlights the stupidity of Obama’s do-it-on-fly foreign policy than pointing out the fact that deposing Ghaddaffi did destabilize the region. Directly leading to France having to intervene in Mali as Ghaddaffi’s weapons cache fell into the hands of AQ affiliates not only in West Africa but also Syria and the borders of Israel. Not to mention at the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.

    Never in my life have I associated an entire US diplomatic mission being destroyed and a US ambassador and others murdered with the concepts of regional stability and a bloodbath prevented.

    GWB never was anywhere close to being as incoherent as the SCOAMF. Neither were the people who supported him, unlike the Obamabots who now claim it doesn’t matter if what Obama does is legal or not.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  78. So according to the evolving Obama doctrine, it was in our national interest to intervene in Syria to prevent:

    Clearly I was referring to Libya in that instance.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  79. Pooter has something urgent to discuss with the Security Council.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-29/russia-calls-urgent-un-security-council-meeting

    Hope Ambassador Power can fit it in.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  80. gg @83, I’m sure it has something to do with this:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/29/syria-crisis-russia-navy-idUSL6N0GU1B420130829?feedType=RSS&feedName=industrialsSector&rpc=43

    UPDATE 2-Russia sends warships to Mediterranean as Syria tension rises

    As noted in the article, the Russian Navy sent a deployment of amphibious ships with embarked Marines to their base in Tartus in June. I don’t know if they rotated forces out, or those Marines and ships were in addition to any others already stationed their.

    The Russians are not going to give up their one Mediterranean naval base.

    Sending a guided missile cruiser and an ASW destroyer obviously complicates the USN’s problems. Ships would have to stand off out of range of Syria’s 162nm Yakhont anti-ship missiles. Still, Tomahawks can hit most if not all targets from that range assuming they fired them off of Syria’s relatively short Mediterranean coastline.

    Submarines could have approached closer, but now they’ll have to take that ASW destroyer into account. And if the Russian ships are along the threat axis then of course they can assume the USN ships are firing at them (yes I know the TLAM isn’t an anti-ship missile, but I’m talking about what the Russians can claim) and defend themselves.

    Obviously they can hit Damascus by launching missiles over Lebanon or Israel. But if Jordan won’t give permission to launch strikes on Syria from its territory, you can be sure Lebanon won’t give permission to the US to overfly its territory. Sending missiles over Lebanon if they deny permission to do so would be an act of war, then, against a second nation.

    Israel probably would give permission but then that means from that point Israel is involved in the Syrian conflict.

    The Obama doctrine: “We have to open Pandora’s box to find out what’s in it.”

    Steve57 (713b70)

  81. According to Wikipedia here are the lyrics to her greatest hit. Looks like it didn’t do her much good, tho. At least none of our dear leader’s exes have subjected us to this sort of imagery.

    Our factory comrades say in jest,
    Why, they tell me I am a virgin on a stallion,
    After a full day’s work I still have energy left…
    They say I am a virgin on a stallion,
    Mounting a stallion my Dear Leader gave me.
    All my life I will live to uphold his name!

    elissa (fdb36e)

  82. This is starts looking like the operning to Crimson Tide, except instead of Axerbaijan and Dagestan, Syria is involved.

    narciso (3fec35)

  83. If Kim Jong Un ever records a country song, it’ll be “All My Exes Are In Boxes.”

    Steve57 (713b70)

  84. “Yet it’s not in America’s national interest to do anything about an actual bloodbath and regional instability.”

    Steve57 – Meh, it’s another local news story.

    If a stupid red line in Syria on WMD is crossed does anybody really care? It’s not like anybody thinks Obama is serious about his red line on preventing Iran from getting nukes or anything.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  85. Real New York Times Op-Ed Headline: “Bomb Syria, Even If It’s Illegal”

    The Op-ed means illegal under international law.

    Of course that law is not codified anyway, and you can invent new grounds for intervention from time to time..

    As far as U.S. law is considered, it seems to be implicitly be taking the Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush position of the use of U.S. military forces.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  86. narciso, I was thinking more “Hunt For Red October” where Fred Thompson’s character says something to the effect that “this crap’s going to get out of control.”

    daley, if anyone was unclear that Obama is totally unserious about his “redlines” he’s about to drive home the point by doing an Emily Litella and back down from his strike on Syria; “never mind.”

    That very well could be why the DoS is now saying they don’t know who actually ordered chemical weapons use.

    Again, I keep remembering how the feckless Obama and Hitlery! vowed a strong response when the NORKs sank the Cheonan. And then slunk away after they settled for a UN resolution condemning nobody in particular for the attack.

    These or Prom Queen’s chickens coming home to roost.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  87. Daleyrock on another thread:

    Your talking points on Obamacare are almost as good as yesterday claiming Bush invaded Iraq to avenge Saddam’s attempt on his father’s life.

    No, I don’t think so. I said Saddam Hussein might have thought so, or thought the weapons of mass destruction argument was just a pretext.

    And so Saddam got rid of his chemical weapons (because he didn’t want to chance the inspectors finding them) but made sure Bush and Rumsfeld would think he still had them (to deter an invasion, because what with all the chemical weapons defense gear the U.S. soldiers were carrying Bush had to give the order before April 1.)

    He wanted Bush (but nobody else) to think he still had them.

    He knew Bush was waiting until the last possible minute to give the order. And if Bush thought he had chemical weapons, the last moment would be about April 1.

    And he knew the plan involved an invasion from Turkey.

    And he knew in advance the Turkish Parliament would pull the rug out from under Bush.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/02/world/threats-and-responses-ankara-turkish-deputies-refuse-to-accept-american-troops.html

    ANKARA, Turkey, March 1— The Turkish Parliament today dealt a heavy blow to the Bush administration’s plans for a northern front against Iraq, narrowly rejecting a measure that would have allowed thousands of American combat troops to use the country as a base for an attack.

    More Turkish lawmakers supported the measure than opposed it, but the resolution failed because the total number of ”no” votes and abstentions exceeded the number of favorable votes. Under the Turkish Constitution, a resolution can become law only if it is supported by a majority of the lawmakers present.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/10/world/threats-responses-turkey-once-banned-turkish-leader-elected-revives-us-hopes-for.html

    ISTANBUL, March 9— The leader of Turkey’s governing party, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, won a seat in Parliament today, setting the stage for his ascension to the prime minister’s office and a reconsideration of a measure that would allow American troops to use Turkey as a base in a war against Iraq

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/17/international/middleeast/17CND-TURKEY.html

    ISTANBUL, March 17 — Turkish leaders signaled tonight that they were giving fresh, urgent consideration to Washington’s requests for Turkey’s cooperation in an invasion of northern Iraq, resurrecting American hopes that had been fading fast.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/22/world/a-nation-at-war-ankara-turkey-sends-army-troops-into-iraq-report-says.html The White House has been frustrated by Turkey’s refusal to allow American troops mount a ground attack into northern Iraq from Turkey, and Turkey’s long delay in acting on a request for cooperation made over three months ago.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  88. Sammy, you weave together your speculations into these elaborate tapistries. But they are all made of speculations.

    SPQR (768505)

  89. Sammy –

    As far as I know, Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush consulted/informed congress or at least bipartisan congressional leadership on these matters in detail, even if they didn’t get resolutions passed like Bush did for his wars. I think that’s a significant and telling difference, as was Libya.

    Also, I believe the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of any state are codified in the UN Charter as well as various other treaties, going back to Westphalia in 1648. This is a serious issue and has been the stated cause of millions of deaths in combat, think of Belgium in 1914.

    We all can debate what these mean, but objections to this type of thing are not baseless and have been clearly articulated by his party, and even by himself. I see no reason why he would not seek to address both issues under these circumstances (prior to publicly stating his intent), unless his intention is to isolate the US and establish that he is a law unto himself.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  90. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/03/international/middleeast/03ASSE.html

    All last week, Mr. Bush’s aides expressed no doubt that within days American tanks and troops would be taking up positions along Turkey’s long border with Iraq.

    When the Turkish Parliament narrowly rejected the deal on Saturday, White House officials were stunned. Word arrived today from Ankara that Turkey’s leaders might give their Parliament a second chance to approve the troop deployment, and White House officials described their best hope of resurrecting the deal as a huge plunge in the Turkish stock market on Monday morning caused by investors realizing that large amounts of American aid may not materialize.

    But no one at the White House suggests — either on the record or off — that Mr. Bush will be deterred for a moment by the prospect that the military will not be able to divide Mr. Hussein’s forces along two borders, north and south.

    “There is apprehension but no panic,” one senior official said today.

    “There’s a Plan B,” the official said. “It’s messier. It’s more complicated. But it’s not likely to slow the president.”

    Saddam Hussein was not counting on Plan B.

    I think the reason the Turkish Parliament rejected the plan was likely that Saddam Hussein had bribed some members, enough to make a difference.

    That was his Ace in the Hole.

    But the Ace in the hole would only work, if there was a short deadline to start the war, and the only way there was a short deadline was if George W.Bush thought Saddam Hussein still had chemical weapons!!

    That created pretty much a drop dead date of April 1, 2003.

    Meanwhile, Saddam wanted no one else to think he had them, in the hopes of breaking apart the coalition, which it seemed Bush needed. He couldn’t risk any inspectors finding them, so he got rid of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  91. “He wanted Bush (but nobody else) to think he still had them.

    He knew Bush was waiting until the last possible minute to give the order. And if Bush thought he had chemical weapons, the last moment would be about April 1.”

    Sammy – Do you channel dead babies like John Edwards as well?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  92. Comment by Amphipolis (d3e04f) — 8/29/2013 @ 1:49 pm

    As far as I know, Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush consulted/informed congress or at least bipartisan congressional leadership on these matters in detail, even if they didn’t get resolutions passed like Bush did for his wars.

    They sometimes didn’t try. As far as tghe war Powers Act is concerned the president can do anything for 60 days as long as he notifies Congress after the fact, and there’s no reason to suppose that Obama won’t.

    Also, I believe the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of any state are codified in the UN Charter as well as various other treaties, going back to Westphalia in 1648. This is a serious issue and has been the stated cause of millions of deaths in combat, think of Belgium in 1914. </i.

    Belguim was a cause not because of a general prohibition against invasion but because its neutrality had been specifically guaranetted in 1830.

    I see no reason why he would not seek to address both issues under these circumstances (prior to publicly stating his intent), unless his intention is to isolate the US and establish that he is a law unto himself.

    Im sure he’s got lawyers working on it. I think he hasn’t decided on the legal justification yet, but it has something to do with international norms

    He is actually not trying to do it alone, but wants some kind of international backing.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c9102)

  93. Sammy, the time to get backing is before the speech declaring what he will do, not after. And there is no reason for him to act without consulting bipartisan congressional leadership in detail.

    No, this is different, and the difference goes well beyond the enormous hypocrisy. The difference is the foolhardiness of words quickly spoken without being carefully considered, and of not seeking national unity before deploying the military. This is not the behavior of the statesman we would need to avoid catastrophe.

    Like a monkey with a hand grenade is what it appears to me.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  94. Amphipolis, if you’re interested I posted a YouTube link to an interview former Ambassador John Bolton gave on Fox over at the other Syria thread.

    The whole thing is excellent, but Bolton reminds us that Obama made his redline comment just to look tough a couple of months before the 2012 election.

    To him the rest of the world is just the backdrop in his own personal starring performance. That’s the only thought this reckless fool gives to his statements; how it makes him look at that moment.

    The Obama Doctrine: “Just like cowboy Bush, but now with gratuitous stupidity!”

    Steve57 (713b70)

  95. He is drunk with power and has no internal filters–made worse by the fact that in believing he is smarter than anybody else he refuses to accept or even listen to any alternate and quite legitimate views.

    Sammy, I think you’re a good person with a good and trusting heart that unfortunately seems to make you uncommonly gullible sometimes. His actions simply do not deserve the loyalty and excuses you make for him.

    elissa (fdb36e)

  96. Erdogan was in favor of intervention in Iraq, whereas the military were not perhaps because or their long running conflict with PKK, however, in the former’s case, it was his opposition to Baathism
    that may have really motivated his stance.

    narciso (3fec35)

  97. Austria-Hungary thought they had every right to punish Serbia for a rogue assassination 99 years ago. Nobody in that relatively peaceful era expected the consequences that followed.

    We don’t know what will happen here, but I see a similar attitude that could make the current arrogant leadership end up considered enemies of humanity one generation hence, as happened a century ago.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  98. Comment by Amphipolis (d3e04f) — 8/29/2013 @ 2:29 pm

    Austria-Hungary thought they had every right to punish Serbia for a rogue assassination 99 years ago. Nobody in that relatively peaceful era expected the consequences that followed.

    I think there were people in the German General Staff who expected a quick victory over France and Russia and that Great Britain would stay out of the war.

    Austria actually had a problem with Russia, since Russia backed serbia.

    We don’t know what will happen here, but I see a similar attitude that could make the current arrogant leadership end up considered enemies of humanity one generation hence, as happened a century ago.

    Who was considered an enemy of humanity, besides possibly the Germans (who kept on trying to expand the war, even trying to sic Mexico on the U. S – and using chemical weapons of course.

    Also delivering Lenin in a sealed train to Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  99. The central powers expected Russia to respond, and that it was extremely likely that France would respond.

    But it’s true; no one expected what followed. Everyone marched off expecting a splendid little war that would be over by Christmas.

    One of the reasons why is precisely because WWI marked the end of the longest period of peace in modern European history. No one realized just how much technology had changed the nature of war.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  100. U.K. Parliament Rejects Syria Action – Wall Street Journal Updated August 29, 2013, 5:47 p.m.

    Thursday evening’s vote was nonbinding, but in practice the rejection of military strikes means Mr. Cameron’s hands are tied. In a terse statement to Parliament, Mr. Cameron said it was clear to him that the British people did not want to see military action.

    Facing vocal opposition from politicians and the public, Mr. Cameron had told parliament earlier that military action was justified on humanitarian grounds and the need to prevent the use of chemical weapons in Syria. He said the case for action wasn’t about taking sides in the Syrian conflict or about changing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad….But, he said, military intervention would be legally justified and pointed to the government’s legal advice, which says that even if the U.N. Security Council can’t agree on action, the U.K. would still be permitted under international law to act.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  101. The inspectors aren’t expected to leave Syria until Saturday.

    Then they were going to deliver a report as quickly as possible, Ban Ki moon promised. About 3 or 4 days.

    So the schedule was sometime between next Wednesday and the end of the following week..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  102. 106. The inspectors aren’t expected to leave Syria until Saturday.

    Then they were going to deliver a report as quickly as possible, Ban Ki moon promised. About 3 or 4 days.

    So the schedule was sometime between next Wednesday and the end of the following week..

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 8/29/2013 @ 3:07 pm

    But of course the Syrian crisis is just too time-critical for Obama to go to Congress and get approval.

    It’s an emergency!

    Steve57 (713b70)

  103. Egypt accusing Malik Obama,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_of_Barack_Obama

    …who is the first born son of Barack Obama Sr. from his first Kenyan wife, born in 1958…

    as “a major architect” managing investments for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/egyptian-official-ties-obama-s-half-brother-to-muslim-brotherhood


    For that reason, Shoebat said that the former Chancellor of the Constitutional Court of Egypt and current adviser, Tahani Al-Jebali stated that the reason the United States cannot fight the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood is because the brother of U.S. President Barack Obama is the architect of the investments for the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    There does seem to be some connection – earlier he was connected to the government of northern Sudan, whose president is under indictment for genocide, although you have to be careful about whether any of these allegations, or how many of them, are true.

    http://guardianlv.com/2013/08/obama-family-ties-to-the-muslim-brotherhood/

    Covered in the Egyptian and Saudi press, as well as CNN’s Arab-language division, but ignored by the mainstream media in the US, are the activities of the President’s half-brother.

    Malik Obama is the executive secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO). This entity was founded by Hassan al-Turabi, longtime leader of the Sudanese political party, the National Islamic Front – itself an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    For many years, al-Turabi was seen as the power behind the Sudanese government and permitted safe harbor for Osama Bin Laden, during the latter’s years in Sudan. In this capacity, it is claimed, Malik overseas [sic] the Muslim Brotherhood’s international investments. This claim has been made by Tahani Al-Jebali, former Chancellor of the Constitutional Court of Egypt. Al-Jebali proposes that the Obama administration has been overtly sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood precisely because of these family ties.

    Another – and perhaps even more disturbing – association is that of Malik Obama and Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s dictatorial President, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and other crimes against humanity. Although Malik Obama and al-Bashir seem to have been careful not to be photographed together, they were both speakers at a 2010 IDO conference in Khartoum. Also in attendance at this conference was Hassan al-Turabi and Suar Al Dahab, Malik’s boss at the IDO. Al Dahab, for his part, is a known associate of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas Prime Minister, and Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader….Malik Obama founded the Barack H Obama Foundation, which was arbitrarily granted tax-exempt status in the US.

    (The charity had solicited contributions for longer than the allowed 27 months without getting an IRS determination of whether it not it was tax exempt – when it finally applied, approval was speedily granted retroactively)

    This is worse than Billy Carter getting money from Quaddafi.

    (The above article claimed they have always been close, but Wikipedia says they never met until 1985, after their father was dead, but they were best friends at each other’s weddings. One of Malik’s weddings anyway. Wikipedia says Malik has 12 wives.

    Malik ran for governor of the Kenyan county of Siaya in 2013 and was defeated by a wide margin.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  104. “He [Saddam Hussein] wanted Bush (but nobody else) to think he still had them. [chemical weapons]

    He knew Bush was waiting until the last possible minute to give the order. And if Bush thought he had chemical weapons, the last moment would be about April 1.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 8/29/2013 @ 1:54 pm

    Sammy – Do you channel dead babies like John Edwards as well?

    That’s not John Edwards – Sherlock Holmes, although that’s really too high a standard to live up to.

    What other expolanation do you have for

    1) Saddam Hussein acting like he had weapons of mass destruction while

    2) Secretly getting rid of them?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  105. I think the simplest explanation of all the evidence is that Saddam Hussein, along with practically everyone else in the Iraqi government and army, thought the weapons existed, but in fact they didn’t, because the money that had been allocated for building them ended up in someone’s Swiss bank account. It was all a Potemkin Village, but so long as no order came to use the weapons nobody outside the people working on them had to know that they didn’t exist.

    And if this is true, if the fact that there were no weapons was kept so tight a secret that Hussein himself and his secret police didn’t know it, then one can hardly blame the CIA or other western intelligence for not discovering it.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  106. Milhouse, they existed. That was confirmed years ago. From a December 2007 interview with a consultant to DoD, NATO, and Britain’s MoD:

    http://www.newenglishreview.org/Jerry_Gordon/Syria%27s_Bio-Warfare_Threat%3A_an_interview_with_Dr._Jill_Dekker/

    New English Review: Syria’s Bio-Warfare Threat: an interview with Dr. Jill Dekker

    Gordon: We heard that some of the late Saddam Hussein’s Bio-warfare research and pathogens may have been transferred to Syria during Operation Enduring Freedom. Is that accurate to your knowledge, and who facilitated the transfer? What types of bio-warfare agents and materials might have been transferred?

    Dekker: Yes. It is important to remember that the Iraqi programs were far more advanced at the time than what the Syrians had, and were developing. The delivery of certain pathogens in a ‘weaponized’ form taught the Syrians new techniques they previously had not mastered. This is very problematic. I am less concerned about the types of pathogens or specific pathogens as these were available to Syria from other sources. What Hussein’s transfer taught the Syrians was more sophisticated ways of weaponization and dispersal. I believe Russian special ops- their Spetsnaz teams – transported sections of the programs. Remember these are not MIRVed ICBM’s we are talking about – you don’t need to stockpile biological weapons. It is the quality of the pathogen and ‘weaponization’ or aerosolization, milling processes that count, not the quantity. I don’t believe they moved some biological arsenals into the Baqaa Valley in Lebanon, perhaps sections of their chemical and nuclear weapons, but not the biological programs. Those are much too sensitive to dump in the desert. They must be carefully maintained in a defense laboratory. If you take something like Bot – I gram of crystalline Botulinium is estimated to kill about a million people if it were evenly dispersed – you don’t want to bury it out in the desert.

    You really have to look at foreign press to get around the “Bush lied, people died” chorus that is the US MFM.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  107. The research program existed. But there were no large stockpiles of weapons ready for use, and all the evidence was that there should have been. The simplest explanation is that the scientists who were being paid to make the weapons stole the money.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  108. Milhouse, what are you not getting? When it comes to biological weapons there doesn’t need to be a large stockpile. The whole point, the beauty of it so to speak, is that the entire WMD program can fit into a few standard shipping containers.

    Of course there are no large stockpiles. Again, that’s the point of developing biological weapons.

    Steve57 (ae55d7)

  109. There were supposed to be stockpiles of chemical, and possibly even nuclear weapons, which could be deployed at any moment. That was the reason the Bushies gave why Iraq had to be taken care of immediately, why we couldn’t wait a few years while we took care of more pressing threats. They said we couldn’t wait for an imminent threat, because by then it might be too late. Most of this was predicated on intelligence that indicated the existence of ready-to-use stockpiles of weapons. They should have been found. The convoys to Syria weren’t big enough to have moved all of them. And the documents discovered after the invasion seem to show clearly that they did exist. And yet they were never found. It’s a puzzle.

    And it seems to me that the simplest explanation is that they were supposed to exist, and the only people who knew that they didn’t were the people who’d been given the money to build them, and had only pretended to do so. Obviously they would have to keep this a complete secret from Hussein’s intelligence, or it would be the plastic shredder for them, so there was no way Western intelligence could be expected to find it out.

    As for bio weapons, your quote doesn’t say that there were actual live weapons, or methods of delivery. It’s consistent with the general view that the nuclear and bio development programs were kept at the research stage, and didn’t progress to production, but could do so with little notice, any time they decided on it.

    Milhouse (3d0df0)

  110. Where were the records of their destruction, there was an eighteen month period, before we were allowed to actually inspect the sites,a farce like the post war Allied Control Commission seemed logical, besides as Phrarrer, there were many instances in wikileaks of use of said weapons against coalition troops by insurgents

    narciso (c552e4)

  111. 114. …As for bio weapons, your quote doesn’t say that there were actual live weapons, or methods of delivery. It’s consistent with the general view that the nuclear and bio development programs were kept at the research stage, and didn’t progress to production, but could do so with little notice, any time they decided on it.

    Comment by Milhouse (3d0df0) — 8/30/2013 @ 5:04 am

    Uhh, Milhouse, if that’s your objection then you missed the entire point of the article.

    There being no reason to discuss the Iraqi biological warfare program in 2007, the interview was about Syria’s program. Dr. Bekker only discusses the portion of the program, the research and the pathogens themselves, that Saddam shipped to Syria. The first clue that you wouldn’t be reading about Iraqi munitions or delivery systems should have been the title.

    Syria’s Bio-Warfare Threat: an interview with Dr. Jill Dekker

    The second clue was contained in the question:

    We heard that some of the late Saddam Hussein’s Bio-warfare research and pathogens may have been transferred to Syria during Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Since that was the question Dr. Dekker doesn’t discuss the delivery systems which remained in Iraq because, again, the interview is about Syria.

    You also miss the point about having a biological weapons program. Deniability. Which is why, other than aerosol tanks for use on aircraft, the Iraqi program weaponized (successfully) these toxins, bacteria, fungi, etc. to be delivered by conventional weapons systems. Such as 155mm field artillery, 122mm rockets, or short range missiles. We found plenty of those.

    I’d say the Hussein regime was entirely successful when it came to maintaining deniability. Given what you retain as the conventional view.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  112. 115. Where were the records of their destruction, there was an eighteen month period, before we were allowed to actually inspect the sites,a farce like the post war Allied Control Commission seemed logical, besides as Phrarrer, there were many instances in wikileaks of use of said weapons against coalition troops by insurgents

    Comment by narciso (c552e4) — 8/30/2013 @ 5:18 am

    Like the Japanese in WWII, the Iraqis were able to destroy a lot of the records about the size, scope, and success of their various weapons programs. Unlike the Japanese, the Iraqis never surrendered unconditionally after Desert Strom I. So we couldn’t forcibly make them reconstruct and detail their activities, as the occupying powers did with senior Japanese officers and other officials in immediate post-war Japan.

    The Iraqis did produce false record trails that misled or obstructed the UNSCOM inspectors with varying degrees of success. For instance, they claimed they destroyed all their long range missiles, which they were not allowed to have per UN resolutions following Desert Storm I. In the mid-90s an inspection team discovered computer files and a diskette containing flight simulation data for the prohibited SCUD missile. UNSCOM determined the the simulation data went back to shortly after the end of Desert Storm I. They also determined the information was part of a larger set of data, which the inspectors never found and the Iraqis feigned ignorance of.

    So they were never able to determine the size and the intent of the program, just that the Iraqis continued prohibited long range missile activities long after Desert Storm ended.

    As far as biological weapons programs, Iraq undeniably had them during the Iraq-Iran war. Iraq was successfully able to mislead inspectors that the weapons programs were unsuccessful, and they produced a paper trail that showed only pursued medical research programs after the war.

    The latter effort was less successful. When UNSCOM uncovered evidence that Iraq had purchased growth media far in excess of what would have been needed merely for research the inspectors were able to prove the paper trail had been forged.

    After General Hussein Kamal defected in 1995 he provided evidence that Iraq had succeeded in producing working bio-weapons after all.

    You can read an interview with the General about various Iraqi weapons programs here:

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/un/unscom-iaea_kamal-brief.htm

    I’ll just quote a portion in which he discussed bio-weapons.

    Amb. Ekeus – we know that they weaponised agents in airbombs in December 1990

    General Hussein Kamal – yes, it was done at Muthanna. All agents were put in bombs with fibre-glass.

    Amb. Ekeus – you are referring to DB-0 and DB-2 bombs?

    General Hussein Kamal – I only remember fibre-glass munitions at Muthanna.

    Amb. Ekeus – were there any missile warheads.

    General Hussein Kamal – yes, but very few.

    Amb. Ekeus – 25?

    General Hussein Kamal – yes.

    Iraq had claimed it had destroyed all the filled munitions as well as the bulk pathogens. UNSCOM never was able to confirm that. It’s interesting that Ekeus asked specifically about 25 warheads because that’s the number of SCUD bio-weapons warheads for which UNSCOM never was able to account. As far as I know US teams that went in after Desert Storm II never was able to, either.

    Kamal didn’t have the big picture; no one individual would. But the evidence he provided was enough to force Iraqis to produce documents which stunned the inspectors. Both because they demonstrated that the weapons programs were successful on a far larger scale then they could have imagined. And that the Iraqis were able to hide the size, scope, and success from what they thought was a very strict and thorough inspection program.

    Steve57 (713b70)

  113. I’ll have to assume the furla candy bag is a Halloween promotion because I’ll never click on that link, cheap!

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)


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