Patterico's Pontifications

8/31/2013

Obama Will Seek Congressional Authority for Syria Strike

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:13 pm

A dictator in the Middle East uses poisonous gas on his citizens. The world refuses to agree to support a U.S. attack, but the President decides to go “unilateral” — after seeking an authorization to use military force from Congress, of course.

Thank God we’ve changed from the days of George Bush and Iraq.

FLASHBACK:

[Obama’s] approach is a far cry from then-candidate Obama’s campaign-trail appeals for international cooperation.

During an April 2007 speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Obama said the U.S. cannot try to “bully [the world] into submission.”

In a 2007 essay in Foreign Affairs, he specifically warned about breaking off from European allies: “In the case of Europe, we dismissed European reservations about the wisdom and necessity of the Iraq war.”

During his July 2008 campaign speech in Berlin, Obama told Europeans that “no one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone.” He warned that “on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny” and that neither America nor Europe can “turn inward.”

Hope and change, baby. Hope . . . and change.

439 Responses to “Obama Will Seek Congressional Authority for Syria Strike”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. He’s praying someone will save him from his own ego.

    JD (5c1832)

  3. Wow! Bawling Boehner. Mushy Mitch. What to do?

    This is like an old silent movie with Obama tying up Congress on the RR tracks, twisting his putter and charging off to the first tee while doctors rush to Putin to make sure he doesn’t die from laughing too hard.

    Inspiring ain’t it?

    cedarhill (d0779c)

  4. Now, it will all be the fault of the Republicans in congress if it becomes a nightmare…and there is no way it can ever be considered a ‘success’ …

    Janetoo (05e6b3)

  5. I’m betting he got a reminder about Carter’s haboob.

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_SYRIA_DECISION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-31-18-35-46

    Five mulligans on the tees today also figured in his decision.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  6. The only thing president fore is moving forward on is the next set of tees.

    mg (31009b)

  7. Janetoo, nonsense. The bulk of the opposition is the Left. The people who claimed that Obama was “Change”.

    SPQR (768505)

  8. Oh, please, gag me:

    Senior administration officials describing Obama’s about-face Saturday offered a portrait of a president who began to wrestle with his own decision – at first internally, then confiding his views to his chief of staff, and finally summoning his aides for an evening session in the Oval Office to say he’d had a change of heart.

    narciso (3fec35)

  9. Well he has “evolved” on issues before, Narciso.

    elissa (1a5407)

  10. narciso, nauseating isn’t it?

    SPQR (768505)

  11. Hypocrisy was perfected by the democrats.

    mg (31009b)

  12. #NameObamasNewWar

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  13. Option A: Obama is stupid. He genuinely thinks It is likely Congress will pass this.

    Option B: Obama doesn’t care anymore about Syria after the PR fiascos this week. He just wants Congress to share blame for whatever happens.

    Option C: He doesn’t have the funding (as some have reported) but is too embarrassed to admit this.

    Either way he screwed up.

    CK (ae4bf1)

  14. Senior administration officials describing Obama’s about-face Saturday offered a portrait of a president who began to wrestle with his own decision – at first internally, then confiding his views to his chief of staff, and finally summoning his aides for an evening session in the Oval Office to say he’d had a change of heart.

    Skittish Democrats, angry Republicans, and negative polls had no effect on Dear Leader’s change of heart, of course. It was all about his “wrestling with his conscience” and not about him realizing that he couldn’t even sell his own party or more than half of his media lickspittles on this turd sandwich.

    JVW (23867e)

  15. ==Skittish Democrats, angry Republicans, and negative polls had no effect on Dear Leader’s change of heart, of course. It was all about his “wrestling with his conscience” and not about him realizing that he couldn’t even sell his own party or more than half of his media lickspittles on this turd sandwich.==

    I think we can say that he unwittingly forged a coalition of the unlikely.

    elissa (1a5407)

  16. I don’t see the comparison between Iraq and Syria.

    Iraq was an oil rich country bordering other oil rich countries controlled by a genocidal madman who invaded/threatened his neighbors, developed not only chemical but biological and nuclear weapons, tried to kill an American President, and was in material breach of a dozen U.N. resolutions.

    Syria is a country with no oil resources, controlled by a rational dictator who voluntarily evacuated Lebanon and is merely defending himself against a rebellion during which he may have used chemical weapons on a large scale one time.

    CK (ae4bf1)

  17. As usual, Mark Steyn has the funniest and most accurate take on all this:

    http://nationalreview.com/article/357287/accidental-war-mark-steyn

    JVW (23867e)

  18. President Appeasements dithering on Syria, makes me think Iran, North Korea, Russia and China just had multiple orgasms.

    mg (31009b)

  19. Well no it has provided sanctuary to Hezbollah, to Hamas, provided a pipeline to the jihadists that attacked coalition forces in Iraq, just the alternative is worse,

    narciso (3fec35)

  20. They would rather rule by degree, much less messy;

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114563/congress-worst-case-scenario

    narciso (3fec35)

  21. Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 8/31/2013 @ 5:09 pm

    Senior administration officials describing Obama’s about-face Saturday offered a portrait of a president who began to wrestle with his own decision – at first internally, then confiding his views to his chief of staff, and finally summoning his aides for an evening session in the Oval Office to say he’d had a change of heart.

    The policy of planned fecklessness is gone.

    The shot across the bow with Syria’s Assad being “too vital to the peace process to fail” is off the table.

    Now the options, according to ABC are either an attack on things having to do with chemical weapons, or a more general attack, including destroying the Ministry of Defense etc.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  22. He’s passing it off to Congress for one reason: he doesn’t want to do it.

    What a cold, cynical guy.

    He can blame the GOP now every time a video of gassed children is released/faked by the rebels, whoever the heck they are these days.

    Patricia (be0117)

  23. Patricia–do you really want this irresponsible man to undertake an act of war in your name because you’re afraid if he takes it to congress he’ll be able to blame Republicans later? He always blames Republicans, anyway, doesn’t he?

    elissa (91e21f)

  24. 4. Well, we only lost 4 in Benghazi, during the peace. As the ugly Dana said the other day that would prolly count as a better to best scenario this time out.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  25. I know that the Alinsky playbook is in play, but I think the President is channeling Ali.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  26. Hilary’s been pretty quiet. I imagine she’s glad she’s not Sec. of State. But she’s got her finger up to see how the wind is blowing on this one, I’ll bet.

    Lurch is scheduled to do a full Ginsburg tomorrow morning.

    elissa (91e21f)

  27. the better part of valor, would be to go to Nantucket, and pretend this weekend was like the 1984-85 season of Dallas,

    narciso (3fec35)

  28. The President will ask Congress. Congress will tell him no. He will rant about nasty Republicans – no matter how many Democrats oppose him on this – and call them racists and haters of women and children. Then? Then, he’ll go ahead and bomb the crap out of Syria like he wants to do, as he has intended to do all along. He’s using the opportunity to squeeze a little more “juice” out of it first to get at the GOP and show all America what a bunch of unpatriotic advocates of child murder they are.

    Ike (a2a956)

  29. 23, 24. It does seem what he doesn’t want is the responsibility.

    Particularly, the responsibility of failure.

    He’s thinking, look at pasty(not patsy) Cameron. Like a weakling he took this to Parliament, a herd of cats if ever there were.

    But, OTOH, I could lose a stealth bomber over a Chinese counterfeit military electronics failure. Or a troop carrier. Like Carter in the desert, a military screwup.

    Ah, but if the Sauds can just help me out and gas another 10K, well, I’ll be golden and Congress will be asses for not backing me the first time.

    His whole timetable seems to accept this war is going to last a long while.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  30. I think one of many scenarios is going on, and I have no idea which one it is:
    – does the President realize he’s just been blundering and has no idea what he is doing, so he is going to stick the mess onto Congress no matter what happens?
    – does he know he is in a corner and wants to use a repub Congress to give him cover to back out?
    – as above, but then blame Congress for whatever bad happens in Syria?
    ???

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

  31. Patricia is right. This is over. I hope the GOP will not take the bait, but they will.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  32. I think my problem is that I’ve read The Guns of August too many times.

    Even with a “limited strike” how will there not be a response/retaliation? Nobody seems to want to talk about that–or how we’d answer the retaliation. This is not three days of sterile bombing and then everybody goes home happy.

    elissa (91e21f)

  33. == I hope the GOP will not take the bait, but they will.==

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say “take the bait”. What do you want the Repubs to do? Or conversely what is it you think they will not do–but should? Sorry that I’m missing your point because your points are usually good ones.

    elissa (91e21f)

  34. 4. Now, it will all be the fault of the Republicans in congress if it becomes a nightmare…and there is no way it can ever be considered a ‘success’ …

    Comment by Janetoo (05e6b3) — 8/31/2013 @ 4:34 pm

    Unfortunately, every word of this is true.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/28/sen-john-mccain-calls-clear-policy-syria-warns-ref/

    Sen. John McCain calls for clear policy on Syria, warns refugees will ‘hate’ U.S.

    Ramping up pressure on President Obama to lay out a clear policy toward Syria, Sen. John McCain said Wednesday the nation’s growing refugee population will come to “hate” the United States if it does not do more to assist the opposition forces.

    …“There is no way that there will be American boots on the ground. No one would support such a thing. You can rule that out,” Mr. McCain said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “But we need to have a policy, and we need to assist those who are fighting against the overwhelming odds.”

    Stupidity is bipartisan. Doing just enough short of “boots on the ground” to avoid refugee children hating us is not a rational objective.

    Only a deranged mind could form these thoughts.

    Steve57 (dcc108)

  35. 4

    Now, it will all be the fault of the Republicans in congress if it becomes a nightmare…and there is no way it can ever be considered a ‘success’ …

    Maybe they shouldn’t vote for it then.

    James B. Shearer (94136b)

  36. 17. ‘The “unmatched” superpower cannot impose its will on Kabul kleptocrats, Pashtun goatherds, Egyptian generals, or Benghazi militia.’

    20. Hormuz and the Persian gulf, as Peters ably maintains, is the displaced point of fracture. Just as oil must necessarily skyrocket, so too will Iranian missile artillery.

    Lord of the Flies wants it bad, the Iranian eschatologists more.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  37. 36: I think you may be missing the point. Regardless of what Congress votes, it absolves the President. Nothing is his fault.

    Re: the Limbaugh Theorem.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  38. Hey, how is Obama’s pivot back to jobs working out?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  39. Mr. Shearer, they shouldn’t. But when a Senator like McCain pops off about how we need to do something short of boots on the ground but more that we’re doing now so refugees don’t hate us I’m forced to ponder.

    Who among us imagines that refugees around the world sit around calculating just how much effort the US must engage in short of delivering them victory to stop hating us? Other than John McCain?

    I may not be accurately giving voice to this. But like I said, it’s the product of a deranged mind.

    Steve57 (dcc108)

  40. No, it’s not that we can’t, they just don’t, besides why go to the barrel, (the straights) when you can go to the three, the pipelines along Hasa and Hejaz, the Shia regions ‘it’s a metaphor from the Untouchables, namely Malone,

    narciso (3fec35)

  41. So how does Hte One takes this issue to Congress? Presumably a member of his party will be required to author some sort of bill. And it will have to be in the Senate unless Boehner has already conceded this one. Which lying, Democrat, hypocrit will step forward to say that proof of nerve gassing one’s citizens is all that is needed for U. S. intervention. Oh I forgot, and as Steve reminds us, there’s always good, old, reliable John McCain who will play the fool if only to spare the D’s the embarrasment in return for the MFM treating him nicely for a few hours. Look for the gang of one pressing this bill thru the Senate in some sort of procedural gimmic that will obviate the need for recorded votes. Then on to the House for branding as Republican war mongering plus any needed funds. And finally Het One can reluctantly launch multimillion dollar missiles to kill a few unlucky janitors.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  42. I have been wondering which sect of Islam was the madras Barry attended when he was a young man in Indonesia?

    He has demonstrated unflinching support for Sunni extremists so I think we can conclude that his madras was not Shia. I can still remember people saying that his Islamic teaching had no significance.

    It is now clear to me why he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.

    highpockets (6d4364)

  43. 41. No, it’s not that we can’t, they just don’t, besides why go to the barrel, (the straights) when you can go to the three, the pipelines along Hasa and Hejaz, the Shia regions ‘it’s a metaphor from the Untouchables, namely Malone,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 8/31/2013 @ 9:40 pm

    I always read every word that you write, narciso. But I don’t always understand what you’re driving at.

    A suggestion. If you’re talking restricted waterways the word is strait. Not a synonym for heterosexual.

    Steve57 (dcc108)

  44. Predictions for the vote to authorize an attack on Syria.

    House of Representatives:
    Voting Yes — 145 Republicans, 110 Democrats
    Voting No — 88 Republicans, 90 Democrats

    Senate:
    Voting Yes — 33 Democrats, 35 Republicans, 1 Independent (King)
    Voting No — 21 Democrats, 9 Republicans, 1 Independent (Sanders)

    JVW (23867e)

  45. To me, the interesting question is how badly Obama needs Democrat votes. Is it important to him to get a majority of support within his party? Does he want an overall super-majority in both houses of Congress, and is it important enough for him to lean on recalcitrant Democrats? By the same token, how do Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid view this? Is it something that will divide the party just as they are trying to put together their election message for next year? Are Democrats scared that military action won’t accomplish anything, or might even make the situation worse, which would be an embarrassment for Democrats in 2014?

    I don’t expect Obama, Pelosi, and Reid will allow this to be a huge dividing point for their party. As I predicted above, they will make sure Obama gets a majority of the party caucus and rely on the GOP to provide enough votes to ensure passage. Obama will bomb a couple of airstrips and a few factories, then announce that “his military” has degraded the Syrian chemical weapons program by 88% or some other made up number. Everyone will forget about it and go back to talking about the GOP War on Women and how residents of New York City saw their health insurance premiums drop last year.

    JVW (23867e)

  46. Buddha says: If it is the karma of the Syrians to get their asses bombed, they will get their asses bombed. The material world is an illusion and looking outward for words to justify the Way of the Nameless only leads to frustration. Look inward for Unity with the All That Is Nothing and achieve Inner Peace.

    nk (875f57)

  47. Fire is as refreshing as water. Let us dive in and quench our thirst.

    See?

    Now Obama’s foreign policy makes sense.

    Steve57 (dcc108)

  48. Protests Against US Involvement in Syria Hit Sacramento Streets

    SACRAMENTO –

    At the very time President Obama was addressing the nation, anti-war activists came here to the Federal Courthouse in Sacramento to argue against any kind of retaliation.

    Chief among them was Vacaville resident Cindy Sheehan, who gained notoriety for camping out near President George W. Bush’s home to protest the war in Iraq after her son was killed there.

    Like others here, Sheehan believes that the chemical attack on civilians could have come from rebels, and not the Assad Government.

    “Even if he did does this give us the right to bomb them?” Sheehan asked the crowd.

    “Hell no,” the crowd responded.

    Sheehan believes Vietnam shows that the United States should stay out of another country’s internal disputes.

    “It’s all about regime change. We shouldn’t be in the business of regime change,” said Sheehan.

    Sheehan is back, but you wouldn’t know it from the media coverage. She’s consistent.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  49. As totally unimpressed as the world is with Barry’s leadership, that’s how unimpressed Barry is with his opposition in Congress.

    He’s going to let his Peacenik Wing have their say and start WWIII anyway.

    “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.”

    I think its time to make the preparations we can’t afford.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  50. Whatever Obama decides to do in Syria, it won’t be much. Domestically, he can’t afford to put boots on the ground. Politically, he can’t do anything that might prove Bush was right about Iraqi WMDs.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  51. Horseface is on MTP right now. Go for it, SoS! Keep digging!!!

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  52. If it is so critical to strike at Assad, why hasn’t Dear Leader called for a Special Session of Congress – it’s one of the few enumerated powers that he wouldn’t have to make up.
    Or, does he know (as some have suggested that the GOP should do) that he’ll need every Dem in the House to pass a Use of Force Authorization, and that the GOP will only give him the bare-minimum 17-votes?
    And that there’s no way he can garner all of the Dems in the House. Does anyone think that Commissar Barbara Lee from the Oakland/Berkeley Socialist Republic will support another foray into the Middle East? If she does, one or more of her relatives are being “entertained” in Chicago.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  53. Teh One should send a shot across Assad’s bow wow wow and then He should eat the sandhound.

    Colonel Haiku (ac1628)

  54. Teh ghey mullahs will close teh Dire Straits of Hormuz

    Colonel Haiku (9849a1)

  55. First Obama talks about “my military” and now David Gregory claims Obama may go forward in Syria even if Congress refuses to authorize military action. Donald Sensing is right that this may be the biggest Constitutional crisis we’ve faced as a nation.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  56. Like others here, Sheehan believes that the chemical attack on civilians could have come from rebels, and not the Assad Government.

    An interesting example of a leftist who isn’t bending with the wind based on whether the occupant of the White House is also of the left or not.

    All her fellow liberals who, unlike her, are struggling not to give big hugs to Obama for his requests regarding Syria do make me suspect that it isn’t pure sarcasm to snort that if Obama were a conservative, a good number of people on the left truly would lose their ardor for civil rights, diversity and “racist this, racist that” rhetoric. IOW, they’d all become Alec-Baldwin-type liberals.

    Mark (fd91da)

  57. Did David Gregory really say that Teh One has already made up his mind to attack Syria, and will do so regardless of the outcome of the Congressional vote?

    JD (1ad966)

  58. Predictions for the vote to authorize an attack on Syria.

    House of Representatives: Voting Yes — 145 Republicans, 110 Democrats

    Senate: Voting Yes — 33 Democrats, 35 Republicans
    Comment by JVW (23867e)

    Regrettably, you may be correct. If so, it will be another sign of the ongoing peculiar form of decadence and exhaustion of this nation.

    It will be a variation of the weepy-eyed response of various Republicans (eg, Lindsey Graham) towards the issue of reforming (or “reforming”) immigration. Or sort of like Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s going against his publicly stated policies (and, oddly enough, better angels) and secretly funneling money to hostage-taking Iran. Or an updated version of George W Bush’s “compassionate conservatism.”

    Mark (fd91da)

  59. Did David Gregory really say that Teh One has already made up his mind to attack Syria, and will do so regardless of the outcome of the Congressional vote?

    Yes, he did. SoS Kerry did a bang up job on the two interviews (Fox & NBC) I’ve seen. He showed he can’t lie fast enough to keep up with the WH.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  60. I think this is the David Gregory statement that Sensing mentioned. It sounds like Gregory thinks Obama has made up his mind but Obama’s decisions are always changing, so who knows? It’s also interesting that Gregory says the decision to seek Congressional approval was made by Obama and his legal counsel, but all other advisers disagreed.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  61. R.I.P. David Frost

    Icy (b23af1)

  62. Did Gregory check with Obama about his thoughts on the AUMF before or after he played golf Saturday?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  63. DRJ – basically his going to Congress is yet another political kabuki theatre directed by Teh One.

    JD (1ad966)

  64. As much as I feel for the innocent people caught up in the Syrian mess, it’s very instructive for progs to realize that ANY decision a President makes regarding foreign policy, it doesn’t have to involve ulterior motives, like the ridiculous notions of “war for oil” garbage they peddled during the GWB administration.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  65. DRJ, I am seeing a lot of odd reports such as his reversal to ask Congress surprising the rest of his advisors. He seems still to have learned nothing of basic leadership.

    SPQR (768505)

  66. President Gutsy Call will back down when he doesn’t get support in Congress.

    Of course the ideal “leadership school” way to get support from a legislative body is to first announce that you’re going to do it anyway whether they approve or not.

    The Bamster has shot himself in the foot so many times in so many ways that I’m surprised he has any toes left.

    Comanche Voter (f4c7d5)

  67. Pre-announced limited duration surprise attacks have always been a powerful weapon in the arsenal of waning superpowers to punish rogue actors.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. 3-years, 4-months, 19-days!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  69. A chess game requires thinking about many moves ahead. Iran and Putin (Assad’s allies) ought to announce that any US intervention will lead to WW III.

    The “red line” comment was the beginning of Obama putting himself in a box. Ironically it was an off-the-cuff remark and not from the teleprompter.

    Hope and change from a community organizer.

    AZ Bob (c99389)

  70. This is what fundamental transformation looks like.

    AZ Bob (c99389)

  71. elissa, no way was I implying I want him to do this strike/war/whatever!!

    I was criticizing him for politicizing it: deciding on his own to do it, then deciding not to, then looking for someone else to blame. Pretty cold, cynical when people are dying in Syria, I’d say.

    Patricia (be0117)

  72. Just heard Syria’s moving personnel and assets to civilian locations by christiane amanpour on cnn.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  73. “Did David Gregory really say that Teh One has already made up his mind to attack Syria, and will do so regardless of the outcome of the Congressional vote?”

    Obama basically said that in his statement yesterday.

    sfar (9031e1)

  74. There is no reason for high-fives here. Barry-O has already stated that he will not be bound by a congressional vote.

    I believe he wants them to say “No” so he can defy them (again). The intent of this is to either provoke a constitutional crisis or completely marginalize Congress.

    creeper (05e9f8)

  75. Yes, and the Syrians are emptying their jails and busing the prisoners to likely targets.

    So no matter what Obama strikes, the military sites where weapons and personnel were or the civilian sites where the weapons and personnel now are, the Syrians will have a nice big civilian body count to show the press.

    Steve57 (dcc108)

  76. The intent of this is to either provoke a constitutional crisis…

    Maybe this guy really wants to get impeached. I can see that working for him on multiple levels.

    Steve57 (dcc108)

  77. “A chess game requires thinking about many moves ahead. Iran and Putin (Assad’s allies) ought to announce that any US intervention will lead to WW III.”

    That would not show thinking many moves ahead.

    sfar (9031e1)

  78. At the end of the day a chemical weapon is just another weapon. Those 1,400 dead aren’t any less dead than the other 100,000+. Kerry thinks the procedure of crime is more important than the actual crime.

    Furthermore, given that Assad is accused of doing this in a covert deniable manner to defend himself there is no reason to think that the “norm” has suddenly changed. Iraq’s open use of chemical weapons for five years in the Iran-Iraq war did not result in anybody else using them so why on earth is this going to change anything?

    CK (ae4bf1)

  79. Sfar is just precious.

    JD (1ad966)

  80. Regardless of how ill-conceived zippy’s foreign policy is, any failure will be attributed to “Bush f’ed it up so bad it’s impossible to recover EVAH”! Any perceived victories, like UBL kill will be attributed to the zipster’s attention to detail.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  81. zippy individualizes his successes, and socializes his failures.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  82. 75. I agree with Creeper, Ogabe wants the whole ball of wax, monarchy, total war, the maximum in anarchy, pain and suffering with this roll of the Constitution.

    I know that’s a multiply mixed metaphor, but there it is.

    This is Islam’s play for domination of the West and if the Sauds lead the win today they will be in body bags in a week.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  83. http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/stunning-images-of-destroyed-syrian-city/?_r=0

    Stunning Images of Destroyed Syrian City

    The level of destruction shown at the link did not cross any red lines.

    The .01% of Syrians killed thus far by Assad that were killed on August 21st with chemical weapons did.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  84. WMD in Syria? Another phony scandal…

    Colonel Haiku (b452c0)

  85. This is what happens when the low-info voters have voted precocious adolescents and their smart diplomacy into office

    Colonel Haiku (b452c0)

  86. If you missed Kerry on Fox this morning, it’s up over at HotAir.

    It was fascinating in the way train wrecks usually are. I was amazed how he insisted that “we don’t lose anything militarily” by waiting until after Congress comes back on the 9th and debates and votes on this, immediately followed by him listing all the actions Assad is taking now that the Obama administration has put him on the “defensive.”

    Which was nothing more than a catalog of what we lose by waiting. We give the Syrians weeks to prepare for the attack. Now Operation WTF Did I Say? is going to take a lot more cruise missiles to do a lot less damage.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  87. I seem to be in the minority on this but I do not think the US Congress will vote to authorize this. The American people do not want this. I don’t think the congresspeople from either party want to face the ads from their opponents in the next election if they vote for a strike. (War is kind of different than passing Obamacare–especially for Democrats) I do not think the president will bomb away anyhow without the authorizing vote or he would already have done it. Getting enough of his own party on board will be very very hard.

    Yes, it’s all political theatre, gamesmanship and Washington gobbletygook. I don’t believe a word about anything that comes from his lips or from the lips of his close advisers who “were stunned” by his turnaround, or from the Washington media who are, as usual, unquestioningly repeating what they have been told to say.

    elissa (91e21f)

  88. Steve57, Kerry isn’t the dumbest guy in Obama’s administration …. but only because the competition is so great.

    SPQR (768505)

  89. Elissa – merely the assertion that they will proceed regardless shows that submitting it for Congressional authority is political theatre, and should give everyone the cover they need to vote against it. If they are proceeding regardless, and they tell you that in advance, when they go out on that limb all alone, they should not be surprised when no key goes along with them. Blaming someone else is harder to do when your own mouth got you out there on that limb, and when you are sawing off the limb you are standing on, it is really hard to blame those that told you to not go out there, and not saw off the limb, for the results of your self inflicted actions.

    JD (5c1832)

  90. Cowgirl diplomacy!!!!

    JD (5c1832)

  91. The Washington Post says Obama made the decision to seek Congressional authorization with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, not his legal counsel:

    During his daily wrap-up meeting with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Mr. Obama and Mr. McDonough went on a 45-minute walk around the White House grounds.

    During the walk, Mr. Obama told Mr. McDonough his thinking—that consulting with Congress wasn’t enough—lawmakers should have to go on the record one way or the other.

    Current and former officials said it was no surprise Mr. Obama would make such an important decision after consulting with Mr. McDonough, who in his previous role as deputy national security adviser emerged as a leading voice of caution against intervening in Syria. Mr. McDonough’s successor on the National Security Council has overseen a gradual expansion of U.S. support to the Syrian opposition, but he doesn’t have as close a relationship with the president.

    He’s looking for an out, not a basis to go forward.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  92. Here is the draft resolution Obama sent to Congress authorizing action in Syria.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  93. Easier to read version here.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. “I’m comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that, so far, has been completely paralyzed

    Declaring legislative bodies that do not do his bidding as paralyzed and gridlocked is his SOP to give himself authority not granted to him.

    JD (5c1832)

  95. As suggested in this article, Obama could use Syria to split the Republicans in the House in order to win here and help him win the budget battles later. That’s even worse than Wag the Dog.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  96. Conservatives should succeed from the republican party, before they are linked with the collectivist g.o.p.

    mg (31009b)

  97. 96. This article hasn’t figured out what happens if he loses, doesn’t got ahead, Syria and/or Iran does another outrage, or act bolder, giving another cause for an attack, they then hold a second vote – or maybe a third vote, maybe after another outrage, and this time he wins.

    How do you think the people who voted against authorization or approval the first time look?

    The vote carrying the second time (or the third time) indicates that the first vote was wrong, because an opportunity to deter wss lost.

    Now I don’t think Obama is quite that Machiavellian, although David Axelrod may be.

    Obama I think very much wants to win the first vote.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  98. Kerry’s unbridled support for the Sandinistas in the 80s is all you really need to know about him.

    Colonel Haiku (e00f91)

  99. I recall the controversy awhile back originally centering around the idea that Obama was being pushed into a confrontation with Syria not on his own free will but because of prodding from French and British interests. That he presumably really didn’t want to use the military option and instead favored a more passive “peacenik” approach. In the case of Syria, I certainly couldn’t get annoyed if he preferred listening to his inner-liberal, Nobel-Peace-Prize voice. So what is motivating him now is puzzling to me.

    Is he being cajoled by Saudi operatives? By Israel operatives? Is he again susceptible to reverse, upside-down sympathies, as he was with the issue of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin? (So renegade Islamicists become Obama’s idea of sad, poor, struggling minorities working against the Man, fighting the good fight, pitiful underdogs who merit a few high fives.) Whatever the case, this country is being run either on creaky auto-pilot or by a driver who’s philosophically both inebriated and pixilated.

    There are comments at a forum linked to the drudgereport regarding this photo where Obama’s foot is on the Oval Office’s historic desk, evoking a sense that he doesn’t mind treating it in the same overly casual, un-serious way that the US military has become his “my military.” One commentator snarked that the fingers of Obama’s right hand are posed as the only type of gun he approves of—although some children in grade schools have been reprimanded and expelled for doing something similar.

    Loony times in the USA.

    Mark (fd91da)

  100. Donald Sensing warns of the fork in the road — read it all (it’s short.)

    htom (412a17)

  101. The vote is not the attraction to me. The debate will be interesting and, I suspect, may be too much for Obama to handle. That is his fatal conceit. He will not control the agenda in Congress. His Senate majority is mostly left wing. They might not be able to control themselves. They will try to stifle the debate but they can’t control the House.

    MikeK (dc6ffe)

  102. “What difference does it make” whether a dead Syrian was gassed or shot in the back.

    AZ Bob (c99389)

  103. “That is his fatal conceit. ”

    It is bizarre when one realizes we have essentially been led and ruled not just by fiat, but more so by Obama’s fatal conceit. It is the compass that guides him.

    Dana (6178d5)

  104. Chuck Hagel, John Kerry and Barack Obama are going to be fighting a war in the Middle East. What could go wrong?

    Birdbath (716828)

  105. Kerry’s unbridled support for the Sandinistas in the 80s is all you really need to know about him.

    that’s just icing on the treasonous cake: his support for North Vietnamese Communists in their war of aggression to enslave South Vietnam is all you really need to know about him.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  106. A chess game requires thinking

    which is why our SCOAMF doesn’t play chess. in fact, i believe the evidence shows that a quick game of “52 Pick Up” would take his mental acuity, even if his opponent was holding the deck of cards at the start of the session.

    all of his personal conceit and the lies by the MFM to the contrary, Barry isn’t the “smartest man in the room” even when he’s the only one in it.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  107. It must be an odd feeling for Kerry. Not aligning himself with the Russians and their allies for the first time since he left high school.

    At least his string of always backing the violent anti-Americans will remain unbroken.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  108. The very fact that Obama has agreed to go to Congress for authorization suggests to me that Nancy Pelosi has promised Obama that he will get at least 50% of House Democrats, and Boehner is also promising a majority of Republicans. I think the House is the only chamber in which the resolution may have failed, and that the Senate will give him 70 votes for the go-ahead.

    JVW (23867e)

  109. JVW, the resolution may pass. But King Putt never learns from his mistakes and always leaps before he looks. The epic diplomatic fails started early in his first term, when he went to Copenhagen to agitate on Chicago’s behalf for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    And the Olympic committee gave it to Rio.

    Diplomacy 101 tells you that the President doesn’t put his prestige on the line until it’s a done deal. The underlings do the negotiating, make sure all the “i”s are dotted and the “t”s crossed, and then the Preezy shows up for the signing ceremony.

    But not this doofus.

    I expect his decision to go to Congress is no more thought out than his red lines gaffe.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  110. Obama doesn’t seem able to get this executive thing. It’s not like the senate, where you make a public statement and vote and you’re done. Now people expect him to actually accomplish things.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  111. Look at the link to Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy (an aggregator of interesting tweets) to see what Ace did to Obama’s fanboys Chuck Todd and Ben Smith on Twitter. He absolutely destroyed them.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  112. The Kossites are not happy with the president, or his “limited strike”, or his propaganda machine. Taking all with a grain of salt, I think this short article and the comments touch on what the president is up against with his base and many of the Dems in congress.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/01/1235519/-Obama-Administration-Now-Saying-It-Can-Attack-Syria-Even-If-Congress-Votes-Against-Authorization

    elissa (91e21f)

  113. I see John McCain and Lindsey Graham have announced they won’t vote to approve these strikes because they don’t do enough to turn Syria over to AQ.

    http://news.yahoo.com/republicans-mccain-graham-cannot-support-limited-syria-strikes-195506108.html

    Republicans McCain, Graham say cannot support limited Syria strikes

    effing incredible.

    Meanwhile Zerohedge notes the unimpeachable nature of the Obama administration’s evidence.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-30/released-us-report-proving-assads-use-chemical-weapons-based-youtube-clips-full-repo

    “Proof” Assad Used Chemical Weapons Is One Hundred YouTube Clips: Full Report Attached

    …In other words, America may be about to launch World War III on the basis of one hundred videos, which it believes “the Syrian opposition does not have the capability to fabricate.”

    God help us all

    We live in such an Obamanation of country we now have a government that makes all its major decisions based on assessments of YouTube videos.

    I wonder what agency is charged with assessing the Syrian opposition’s video fabrication capabilities.

    You know, when I was in the Navy we had bombs that were smarter than every single top official in this cluster****.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  114. As of this moment in history, any person who was against Bush’s war(s) and hasn’t been appalled by Obama is revealed as an absolute imbecile.

    C. S. P. Schofield (adb9dd)

  115. I think that would include David Gregory. I’m sure he was against Bush, but he thinks a war in Syria is a great idea as long as Obama starts it.

    He had Rand Paul on and was really, really trying to get the Senator to commit to support Gregory’s boyfriend and this attack on Syria.

    It was pathetic. It also didn’t work. Gregory thought it would be clever to try to play on Paul’s political aspirations, wanting to know how any President would look if he announced that he was going to take military action and then Congress refused to give him that authorization.

    Paul essentially told Gregory that he wouldn’t be stupid enough to run his mouth without considering the ramifications of what he was saying like the current Bozo.

    Paul estimates the Senate will rubber stamp whatever Obama asks for, but its 50/50 if any authorization to use force in Syria will pass the House.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/09/01/rand-paul-5050-chance-congress-will-authorize-syria-strike-video/

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  116. Reuters is pouring some realistic cold water over “the gambit”. And, oh, Peter King, please go away.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/01/us-syria-crisis-congress-analysis-idUSBRE98000W20130901

    elissa (91e21f)

  117. “Hope and change, baby. Hope . . . and change.”
    You betcha.
    Speaker Boehner should get his buddies back in their seats for a reasoned, informed, meaningful, debate.
    Then vote. On record. oh. yeah.

    Isn’t this worth increasing their 9-day September schedule?

    tifosa (9006e2)

  118. Obama just wants to play a little golf on a Labor Day weekend.
    Can’t you guys let him alone so he can eat his waffle ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  119. Tifosa,

    Why do you support a strike against Syria ? Is it because you hate Muslims ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  120. Actually, could you be more specific exactly what your own position is on bombing Syria, tifosa? What will you be asking your senators and congressperson to do when you contact them about this?

    Your comment at 3:08 prolly made sense to you when you hit “submit” but it may not be clear to much of anyone else. Thanks.

    elissa (91e21f)

  121. I ask, tifosa, because it’s pretty obvious from scouting the internet and the morning shows that both parties are internally roiling on this issue of starting another war– and that there is no clear “party line” from either party. On the occasions when this happens it makes congressional votes interesting and highly unpredictable.

    elissa (91e21f)

  122. Here’s my position elissa:
    Speaker Boehner should get his buddies back in their seats on 9/2, for a reasoned, informed, meaningful, debate.
    Then vote. On record. oh. yeah.

    I’d like my Reps to be present, informed, vote it up or down. On the record.
    I’m unconvinced that any strike at all would achieve anything.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  123. Obama said in 2007, he was opposed to the surge, because it might work, not because it mught fail, that even the threat of genocide was not reason enough to stay there, even though that was in part what Zarquawi was doing at the time,

    narciso (3fec35)

  124. As the administration geniuses make their case using their unimpeachable YouTube evidence to strike Syria, this kind of thing may just come up:

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/05/31/306366/turkey-seizes-sarin-near-syria-border/

    Turkish security forces have confiscated two kilograms of the nerve agent sarin after raiding the homes of militants from the terrorist al-Nusra Front fighting against Syria, Turkey’s media report.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  125. Libya had 6500 metric tons of sarin, before the fall,
    something to consider,

    narciso (3fec35)

  126. Mr. Obama could have called them all back on an emergency basis to vote on his resolution—-but he did not seem to feel the urgency to do so–maybe because he’s going to be out of country for awhile and might be uncomfortable launching an attack while he and Air Force One are abroad. Why on earth is it up to Boehner to drag everybody back to reconvene on Tuesday?

    elissa (91e21f)

  127. Boehner and Reid could, imo should, call them back. After all, ball’s in their court.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  128. p.s. Obama doesn’t need to be present for the debate/vote.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  129. Well it’s a nonstarter, it won’t achieve the goals that it is meant to,

    narciso (3fec35)

  130. Why, I should think he’d want to address the joint congress on television as he has when championing other issues of great importance to him.

    elissa (91e21f)

  131. p.s. Obama doesn’t need to be present for the debate/vote.

    He would just vote “present” anyway. Then pivot to gay Russian Olympians.

    Tiffy is a freakin clown.

    JD (5c1832)

  132. Why talk to them? Talk to us. We talk to them.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  133. I’d like my Reps to be present, informed, vote it up or down

    Yes, calling everyone back tomorrow and forcing an immediate vote would sure make it an informed vote. Tiffy is a mental midget. Why are you in an actual rush to war, tiffy?

    JD (5c1832)

  134. I still find it ironic that now this administration is going to violently lash out in the Middle East over something they saw on YouTube.

    And that yesterday the President demonstrated the only thing he considers “time sensitive” is a reservation to play golf. His Rose Garden shindig wasn’t about to interfere with that.

    Enforcing his red lines not so time sensitive. That can wait til whenever.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  135. It’s fun to watch the trolls, I guess. Yes, they make a lot of noise. But you know, late at night, they grind their teeth over all the broken promises and lies from their Chosen One. Say what you want about Republicans, but they don’t idolize their Presidents.

    Next time trolly comes to play, ask her/him about the White House Visitor List now made secret. I wonder why?

    Simon Jester (5b6e83)

  136. tifosa is a troll. With Obama, the ball is always in someone else’s court. No leadership at all.

    SPQR (768505)

  137. Yep, secret White House visitor list. Trying to do a better job of hiding the impeachable acts.

    SPQR (768505)

  138. SPQR, I thought you’d love his most recent move. Didn’t you comment that it would be unconstitutional not to go to Congress.
    Day-before-yesterday?

    tifosa (9006e2)

  139. not unconstitutional, “impeachable.”

    tifosa (9006e2)

  140. tifosa, no, I didn’t say that. I quoted people who said it, you troll.

    Obama and Biden.

    SPQR (768505)

  141. “…If Obama begins striking Syria, he won’t “no better than George W. Bush” – he’ll be much worse and impeachable.”

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 8/30/2013 @ 12:52 pm

    tifosa (9006e2)

  142. You were quoting ….who?

    tifosa (9006e2)

  143. Obama and Biden – from 2007

    SPQR (768505)

  144. #79 Was quoting Obama/Biden?
    But if he decides to unilaterally invade Syria without the backing of the international community then he is no better than George Bush whom he criticized for Iraq.

    The Emperor – how can you say this? At this point, Obama has the backing of …. France. And no Congressional approval.

    George W. Bush had a couple of score of countries, some UN resolutions regarding non compliance with the terms of the resolution of the previous Gulf War, and Congressional approval. All for the Iraq War.

    If Obama begins striking Syria, he won’t “no better than George W. Bush” – he’ll be much worse and impeachable.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 8/30/2013 @ 12:52 pm

    tifosa (9006e2)

  145. The last paragraph wasn’t your opinion?
    And you call Obama a blamer?

    tifosa (9006e2)

  146. 138. tifosa is a troll. With Obama, the ball is always in someone else’s court. No leadership at all.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 9/1/2013 @ 4:56 pm

    Providing leadership, like striking Syria, just isn’t “time sensitive.” Chillax, dude. He’ll provide leadership when he gets around to it. Really the Chairman of the JCS tells him that it doesn’t matter if Tiger Beat provides leadership today, next week, or next month.

    It makes no difference if he provides leadership before he strikes Syria, after he strikes Syria, or without striking Syria.

    Providing leadership can definitely wait until after golf. Which is time sensitive.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  147. Tiffy is in a desperate SQUIRREL moment. Tifosa – go look at the post of Obama and Biden’s position on this in 2008.

    JD (5c1832)

  148. The last paragraph wasn’t your opinion?

    tifosa (9006e2)

  149. Here’s SQUIRREL: Whitehouse list blah blah :)

    tifosa (9006e2)

  150. Suing to prevent disclosure of visitors to the White House that they closed to citizens is the pinnacle of transparency, tiffy. And your orgy of asshattery shows quite clearly now bad this is for your Savior.

    JD (5c1832)

  151. Hi. la. ri. ous!
    Alinsky meets O’keefe.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  152. Kristol: “Given where we are now, there was really no strong reason not to go to Congress and good reasons to go. I think he did the right thing. I think we’ll have a healthy national debate for the next week or two.”

    tifosa (9006e2)

  153. Tiffy – your efforts to spin this as anything other than an abject failure of leadership, and an indictment of his FP failures worldwide is laughable.

    JD (5c1832)

  154. I’m in favor of healthy national debates. Hopefully Obama will use this time to play more golf.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  155. The time for the healthy debate was before the Obumble admin informed us we are going to war regardless of how congress votes on it.

    JD (5c1832)

  156. They should smoke alarms, for all the strawmen he will be torching,

    narciso (3fec35)

  157. Link JD?

    tifosa (9006e2)

  158. Hush, tiffy, you are an idiot. If you cannot be bothered to follow the )27485836 positions taken by President Nobel, the. We have no responsibility to educate you. It was linked above, and in the speech on Friday, etc etc

    JD (5c1832)

  159. This just in. Pope Francis called for a “Day of Rage” when the faithful gathered for the traditional weekly blessing in St. Peter’s square.

    Calling the Islamist militias “the sons of apes and dogs” the pontiff praised the Syrian government’s reported use of chemical weapons, saying that it was a justified response to the Islamist militias numerous attacks on Christians in that war torn country.

    Just before leaving the balcony to mingle with the crowd filling the square he offered a prayer for long life and great success in prosecuting the war against Muslim extremists for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has long protected the Christian minority.

    “Blood must flow in streets across Syria in revenge for the crimes committed against Syrian Christians by those infidels,” the pope said after kissing a baby in the crowd. “These criminals must be exterminated along with their families and offspring and cast into the fires of hell.”

    Pope Francis is said to be particularly incensed by the kidnapping and subsequent beheading of Rev. Paolo Dall’Oglio, a fellow Jesuit.

    The leader of over 1 billion Catholics around the world took one final opportunity to exhort the faithful to “wash their hands in the blood of the infidel Muslims” before climbing into the popemobile, signalling the end of the blessing. Worshippers streamed out of Vatican city into Rome, burning cars, looting Muslim owned shops, and vandalizing mosques. Over 100 people have been hospitalized, and 2 fatalities have been reported.

    Just kidding:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Pope-announces-world-day-of-fasting-prayer-for-Syria/articleshow/22211074.cms

    Pope announces world day of fasting, prayer for Syria

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  160. tiffy wants a thinkregress link, otherwise—no joy!

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  161. “The time for the healthy debate was before the Obumble admin informed us we are going to war regardless of how congress votes on it.

    There’s no such statement that I’ve seen/heard. Not Kerry, not Obama, no one.
    Yes, please edumakate me.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  162. There’s no such statement that I’ve seen/heard. Not Kerry, not Obama, no one.
    Yes, please edumakate me.

    You are asking for the impossible. Regardless, see David Gregory’s quotes above. And Obama’s position that he does not need Congressional approval. Up until Friday night, when he realized he was all alone. See the admin positions that he does not need to go to Congress. See Libya. Blah blah blah. You don’t give a shlt, tiffy. That is apparent.

    JD (5c1832)

  163. I’m in favor of healthy national debates.
    Hopefully Obama will use this time to play more golf.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 9/1/2013 @ 5:36 pm

    Thread winner

    I imagine some people take Sec. of State Kerry seriously,
    but when I heard him speak of the use of heinous weapons, I couldn’t help but think the question:
    Which is worse, using heinous weapons, terrorizing women and children in the middle of the night contrary to local custom, or acting in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan?
    Perhaps not helpful to bring it up, but all of it is already in the public domain, for those who are willing to remember such things.
    Of course, he was not helped by being thrown under at least one wheel of the bus by the President after going out of his way to argue for urgent action one day only to turn around and argue for Congressional debate a day or two later.
    Maybe President Obama will end up alienating enough high ranking folks in the Dem party that they will quit defending his every whim.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  164. Actually, I think I saw John Bolton say he didn’t need Congressional approval either.

    What the law really means at any given moment is hard for me to figure out these days.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  165. Of course, then there was the sidesplitting comment about troops in Iraq, in three different decades, he defamed soldiers in Vietnam and Iraq, and intelligence officers in Central America

    narciso (3fec35)

  166. Tif- with respect to the link you asked JD for, the discussion of Obama planning a strike regardless of a yea or nay congressional vote was nicely covered with significant handwringing in the DailyKos piece I linked above. If it’s any comfort to you they were aghast and could not believe it either.

    elissa (91e21f)

  167. tifosa is a troll.

    That to me implies someone is posting comments not because he truly believes his own words but merely to stir things up, to cause flame wars among people in a forum. In a way that would reflect better on tifosa than if she instead is such a partisan fool that she sincerely and honestly is performing back flips and contortionist routines for Obama.

    I can’t believe anyone, particularly a legitimate liberal, doesn’t realize just how idiotic and inept this whole situation is, thanks to the bumbling and fumbling of the guy now in the White House. And this is one of those issues that should cross all types of political boundaries. I know when I come across even a conservative/Republican saying that we have to fight the good fight by going into Syria, I become no less irritated by his or her opinion than if I were listening to a flaming, flat-out liberal/Democrat.

    businessinsider.com, August 31: After President Obama delivered a speech in the Rose Garden where he said the United States “should” strike Syria following a deadly chemical weapons attack, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) took to Twitter to dispute that claim with comments from those who would likely carry out that order.

    “I’ve been hearing a lot from members of our Armed Forces,” Amash tweeted. “The message I consistently hear: Please vote no on military action against Syria.”

    Since Amash’s initial tweet, he’s been retweeting comments that have been sent in from military members and veterans. Many of my own military sources have expressed reservations with action in Syria, especially following service in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    libertycrier.com, September 1: Military members are donning their uniforms and posting pictures of themselves with signs covering their faces that read, “I didn’t join the [military service branch name] to fight for Al-Quaeda in a Syrian civil war.”

    The first image surfaced on the internet a few days ago and now another military member has made their own version.

    Have military members finally found a way to speak out against U.S. Imperial foreign policies?

    Mark (fd91da)

  168. elissa, there’s nothing in that piece, or anywhere, that says “we are going to war regardless of how congress votes on it.”

    tifosa (9006e2)

  169. In fact, it looks to me like, if anything, the proposal will be narrowed/limited more.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  170. teh synapse sputter
    teh full mental straightjacket
    it’s Tifitita!

    Colonel Haiku (5a049c)

  171. I’m tired of babysitting you Tifosa. This is the headline of the Kos piece:

    Obama Administration Now Saying It Can Attack Syria Even If Congress Votes Against Authorization.

    It is followed within the article with a link to a Sept 1 NYT article where this line appears:

    “Still, White House officials indicated that Mr. Obama might still authorize force even if Congress rejected it.”

    Also there are the president’s own weasel words in the rose garden.

    What is your problem? Does this meet your own qualifications and demand for a “reasoned, informed, meaningful, debate. Then vote. On record.”, if in actuality he’s contemplating and willing to ignore congress if he doesn’t get the result he is hoping for?

    As far as I can see he, and no one else in the administration, has stated that teh NYT statement as repeated at KOS and elsewhere does not accurately reflect the White House position.

    elissa (91e21f)

  172. Il Douche does have an evenhanded way of irking everyone to the point of distraction.

    He says, asking Congress to take up his plan, that he has the authority he just wants to give them a chance to look good supporting himself.

    So the Sauds aren’t happy having to cool their heels, Congress is offended. He slapped Cameron and Britain upside the head after they declined.

    What a piece of work.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  173. Since when is President Obama constrained by what Congress thinks or what he has previously said on a topic?

    If Congress won’t do it, he declares an executive order, or states that Congress is in recess.

    If he decides something different than what he said before, no different than gay marriage.

    It really doesn’t make any difference what he has or hasn’t said, or for that matter what he will say…
    we will know what he does after he does it.
    I have no idea how to fathom it.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  174. Elissa – I made the mistake of thinking tiffy actually wished to discuss this.

    JD (5c1832)

  175. 173. La, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you. Keep talking to me, this is the only place I ever get attention.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  176. Painted Jaguar (Sleepily raising his head and opening one eye ever so slightly):

    Hey, you know what they say about the weather in Chicago,
    if you don’t like it, give it 5 minutes.

    Maybe prevailing opinion among politicians from Chicago works the same way.

    Painted Jaguar (A sockpuppet) (f9371b)

  177. No matter how you spin it, Obama being capable (“can” “might”) is a far cry from “informed us we are going to war regardless of how congress votes on it.”
    Seems pointless to explain that further.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  178. 175. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 9/1/2013 @ 6:59 pm

    Since when is President Obama constrained by what Congress thinks or what he has previously said on a topic?

    In fact on this, he said he;s not constrained.

    But he needs it for the next time, or something like that. It would be better is were united.

    It really doesn’t make any difference what he has or hasn’t said, or for that matter what he will say…we will know what he does after he does it.

    Certainly as far as going ahead or not goiung ahead after losing the vote.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  179. * It would be better if we were united (is the idea now0

    And Kerry’s going around saying the president made the right decision.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  180. go slow Joe Biden
    Prez Armslength Obombypants
    needs your help, poor sod

    Colonel Haiku (a21054)

  181. From a fox news article.
    One senior State Department official, though, told Fox News that the president’s goal to take military action will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes to approve the use of force.
    Other senior administration officials said Obama is merely leaving the door open to that possibility. They say he would prefer that Congress approve a military attack on the Assad regime, in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons, and will wait to see what Congress does before making any final decisions on authorizing military force.

    Like Painted Jaguar said, if you don’t like a statement from an administration spokesperson,
    give it 5 minutes.

    But if anyone wants a nice concise summary of Ms. Sheehan’s complaints:
    http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/obama-indicts-obama/?singlepage=true

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  182. Rebels are complaining – if you knew this up to 3 days in advance – why didn’t you warn us?

    Most likely it a failure to connect the dots, or to pay attention to something obscure, or an unwillingness to believe it.

    This adminsitration always took the position that the Syrian government was innocent until proven guilty, so merely getting poison gas out of storage and preparing things wouldn’t prove they intended to use it, or were seriously thinking of doing it.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  183. Apparently, he didn’t provide gas masks to them either, as was part of the supplying agreement,

    narciso (3fec35)

  184. “Since when is President Obama constrained by what Congress thinks or what he has previously said on a topic?

    If Congress won’t do it, he declares an executive order, or states that Congress is in recess.”

    MD in Philly – Exactly. Congress is no barrier to:

    Nonrecess appointments to NLRB and CFPB
    Changing Immigration Enforcement
    Changing Obamacare
    Changing Welfare Rules
    Politicizing IRS
    Racializing DOJ
    Conducting War on Libya

    Who needs Congressional approval to address lobbing a few cruise missiles with undefined goals, but not regime change or tipping the balance in a civil war, in response to a three year old humanitarian crisis recently escalated by a rogue dictator repeatedly crossing a red line created by President Drone Kill List’s incautious words with the fierce urgency of whenever, dude?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  185. tifosa,

    I agree that the “cans” and “mights” are irrelevant. What matters is what Obama believes, and we know from his own words that he believes he doesn’t need Congressional approval to attack Syria:

    While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective,” the president said Saturday in an address in the Rose Garden. “We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  186. Apparently he didn’t think we needed a debate on Libya, or Syria for the past 6 months.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  187. Exactly what I’ve been saying DRJ, thank you.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  188. 169. elissa, there’s nothing in that piece, or anywhere, that says “we are going to war regardless of how congress votes on it.”

    Comment by tifosa (9006e2) — 9/1/2013 @ 6:25 pm

    Not true. There’s been plenty of reporting “anywhere” that says exactly that.

    http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/2013/08/31/fnc-james-rosen-note-states-he-was-told-that-president-obama-will-carry-out-the-military-action-regardless-if-congress-votes-to-approve-use-of-force-click-to-read/

    FNC James Rosen note: states he was told that President Obama will carry out the military action regardless if Congress votes to approve use of force; click to read

    Fox isn’t the only outlet reporting these DoS leaks.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  189. tifosa,

    Glad to be of service in whatever your cause is. So is it your claim that Obama does need Congressional approval or he doesn’t?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  190. “Declaring legislative bodies that do not do his bidding as paralyzed and gridlocked is his SOP to give himself authority not granted to him.”

    Did you really just compare the UN security council to the Senate? Do you constantly have to find new things to dislike about Obama? If you didn’t, you wouldn’t say nonsense like this.

    sfar (595f9e)

  191. elissa @173, State Dept. sources are definitively stating that these strikes will happen no matter how Congress votes.

    From the Rosen piece:

    A senior State Department official tells Fox News the president’s decision to take military action in Syria still stands, and will indeed be carried out, regardless of whether Congress votes next week to approve the use of such force.

    …“That’s going to happen, anyway,” the source told me, adding that that was why the president, in his rose Garden remarks, was careful to establish that he believes he has the authority to launch such strikes even without congressional authorization.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  192. I think he’s right, he doesn’t need it.
    He’s also exactly right to seek it.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  193. 194 *face palm*

    elissa (91e21f)

  194. I pass the baton to your worthy hand, Steve57

    G’night all.

    elissa (91e21f)

  195. It’s gone fully Stone Henge,

    narciso (3fec35)

  196. “…I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets,” the president said. “I’m also mindful that I’m president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy…”

    tifosa (9006e2)

  197. It’s so precious how tiff quotes the President, as if Barack Obama were actually serious about any banality that emanated from his pie-hole.

    JVW (23867e)

  198. tifosa citing John Yoo for the proposition that Obama was wrong when he said the President needed Congressional authority in these circumstances.

    That’s hilarious, tifosa. Do you know how stupid that link makes you look?

    SPQR (768505)

  199. SPQR, the last paragraph was your opinion. Yours. Right?

    tifosa (9006e2)

  200. Hmmm, tifosa? Any clue how stupid you look?

    SPQR (768505)

  201. Yours alone. Right? :)

    tifosa (9006e2)

  202. http://www.democrats.com/protest-john-yoo-charlottesville

    Democrats accuse John Yoo of being a war criminal.

    That’s how stupid you are tifosa.

    SPQR (768505)

  203. tifosa is actually citing someone that Democrats stood on the House floor and denounced as a war criminal – for the proposition that Obama can strike Syria without congressional authority.

    The “constitutional law professor” Barack Obama says that the President can’t. But tifosa would rather cite to John Yoo.

    That’s how stupid tifosa is.

    SPQR (768505)

  204. Oh, this link is hilarious. I may hurt myself laughing at this link as its too much for my strained ribs to take.

    SPQR (768505)

  205. Yours. :)

    tifosa (9006e2)

  206. Yoo hand-picked for you SPDQ.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  207. tifosa,

    When does a President need Congressional authorization to go to war?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  208. The Democrats claimed that there was a “fierce moral urgency” to replace George W. Bush because of war policies that tifosa now defends.

    Joe Biden stated that going to war without Congressional authority was an impeachable offense and he would work to impeach a President that initiated military action where there was no threat to the US.

    Chris Matthews: You said that if the United States had launched at attack on Iran without Congressional approval, that would’ve been an impeachable offense. Do you want to review that comment you made?

    Joe Biden: Absolutely. I want to stand by that comment I made. The reason I made the comment was as a warning. I don’t say those things lightly, Chris. you’ve known me for a long time. I was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee for 17 years. I teach separation of powers in Constitutional law. This is something I know. So I brought a group of Constitutional scholars together to write a piece that I’m going to deliver to the whole United States Senate pointing out that the president HAS NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY to take this country to war against a country of 70 million people unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked. And if he does, I would move to impeach him. The House obviously has to do that, but I would lead an effort to impeach him. The reason for my doing that — and I don’t say it lightly, I don’t say it lightly.

    SPQR (768505)

  209. DRJ, Lots of circumstances, including when it’s not an issue of national security.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  210. I’m supporting that this goes to Congress.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  211. “to go to war” is not this circumstance, btw

    tifosa (9006e2)

  212. tifosa, you are a moron. Attacking another nation with airstrikes is an act of war. It has been since the airplane was invented.

    SPQR (768505)

  213. 215. “to go to war” is not this circumstance, btw

    Comment by tifosa (9006e2) — 9/1/2013 @ 8:48 pm

    Yes, it is. That’s exactly what this is. Obama proposes committing an act of war. A war of aggression, btw, since Obama can not remotely make the case that Assad’s Syria poses a threat to the US.

    You can not get a little bit pregnant. You can not go a little bit to war. Just because this country elected a foolish amateur who thinks he can end wars with a speech doesn’t make that true.

    If you commit an act of war, you go to war. What happens after that is not in your control.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  214. DRJ: “When does a President need Congressional authorization to go to war?”

    tifosa: “DRJ, Lots of circumstances, including when it’s not an issue of national security.”

    You are incoherent tifosa. No one can even tell what your comment is supposed to mean. You are as incoherent as Obama.

    SPQR (768505)

  215. Kristol: “Given where we are now, there was really no strong reason not to go to Congress and good reasons to go. I think he did the right thing. I think we’ll have a healthy national debate for the next week or two.”
    Comment by tifosa (9006e2) — 9/1/2013 @ 5:29 pm

    — That’s right. There really WAS (past tense) no reason not to go to Congress IMMEDIATELY; but, instead, President Neverending Campaigner had to see how it played in Peoria first.

    Icy (4c5dc2)

  216. I can’t tell if tifosa is ignorant of the hypocrisy or just celebrating it.

    SPQR (768505)

  217. Do you think the Syrian civil war affects our national security, tifosa?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  218. Democrats who said in 2007 that the President could not attack a nation where there was no threat to the US, without congressional authority:

    Barack Obama
    Hillary Clinton
    Harry Reid
    Joe Biden
    Nancy Pelosi

    President Obama gave a response to a Q&A with the Boston Globe in Dec. 2007 in which he said “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.”

    SPQR (768505)

  219. Mind you he’s the smart one on Morning Joke’s guest roster,

    http://twitchy.com/2013/09/01/steve-rattner-we-should-attack-syria-because-if-we-dont-obama-will-look-silly/

    narciso (3fec35)

  220. Yes, please edumakate me.
    Comment by tifosa (9006e2) — 9/1/2013 @ 5:54 pm

    To dream … the impossible dream,
    To reach … the unreachable star!

    Icy (4c5dc2)

  221. Of course, Barack Obama lied to the American people about what he thought the President’s powers were many times.

    From the Boston Globe:

    4. Under what circumstances, if any, would you sign a bill into law but also issue a signing statement reserving a constitutional right to bypass the law?

    Signing statements have been used by presidents of both parties, dating back to Andrew Jackson. While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability.

    I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation. The fact that President Bush has issued signing statements to challenge over 1100 laws – more than any president in history – is a clear abuse of this prerogative. No one doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president’s constitutional prerogatives; unfortunately, the Bush Administration has gone much further than that.

    Basically, Senator Obama and Senator Biden would both argue for the impeachment of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

    SPQR (768505)

  222. #221 Do you think the Syrian civil war affects our national security

    not only our national security, but security of allies in the region.
    The question will come down to what America believes our role should be, if any.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  223. I have been calling this sort of thing alphabetism for some time. That’s how the Left can flip flop so quickly. It’s not about anything other than a “D” versus an “R”. They dont believe in anything other than one letter.

    Simon Jester (5b6e83)

  224. It’s about power pretending to be principle, Simon, anything they needed to undermine the administration, and when possible become rich in the process,

    narciso (3fec35)

  225. It’s nice to see tifosa coming down on the side of W.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  226. The Syrian civil war affects the US national security? That’s ridiculous. Its Baathist Party versus Al Queda. If the Israelis don’t think that they need to intervene, and they are actually neighbors then the US has no national security interest.

    But Obama, Biden and other Democrats, when attacking George W. Bush, did not say that “affecting our national security” was the test for a President acting unilaterally, tifosa.

    They said that no authority ” unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked.” (Biden) and “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.” (Obama)

    SPQR (768505)

  227. So, tifosa, where is the actual or imminent threat to our nation from Syria?

    SPQR (768505)

  228. They might claim refugee status, and overrun the country.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  229. “To dream … the impossible dream,
    To reach … the unreachable star!”

    To watch… as hypocrisy minces,
    To choke… as teh chicken comes roosting

    Colonel Haiku (fffde6)

  230. Bring it to Congress Obama.
    oh yeh, he did.

    Risk to our nat’l security: Assad’s use of chemical weapons (if proven)
    Not a risk: mythical WMD

    tifosa (9006e2)

  231. 226. #221 Do you think the Syrian civil war affects our national security

    not only our national security, but security of allies in the region.
    The question will come down to what America believes our role should be, if any.

    Comment by tifosa (9006e2) — 9/1/2013 @ 9:32 pm

    None of whom are joining us in this, because it’s so obviously stupid.

    All those allies in the region who Obama claims are threatened by Assad’s use of chemical weapons? They want nothing whatsoever to do with this infantile tantrum Obama wants to throw merely because he ran his mouth about red lines.

    Again, just because Barack Obama says stupid crap, that doesn’t make it true. It’s just stupid crap.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  232. I stand with Jordan! One of our faithful allies in the region that is threatened by Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Which has vowed that…

    Hell will freeze over before they allow the US to launch strikes against Syria from their territory.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  233. So, the GOP vote no-go.
    Sweet.

    tifosa (9006e2)

  234. I think it’s high time for another finger wagging lecture from our Preezy to a regional ally in which he holds forth on how he, Barack Obama, better understands what’s in their true national interest then their own elected leadership.

    Doesn’t everyone else? Like limited, tailored, finely-tuned air strikes designed to do just enough but not too much, those rhetorical interventions have always gone swimmingly.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  235. 237. So, the GOP vote no-go.
    Sweet.

    Comment by tifosa (9006e2) — 9/1/2013 @ 10:39 pm

    tiffy, I don’t know what the GOP will do. I know what I’d do. I’d vote against the “feel good cruise missile strike of the summer.”

    But seriously, tell me how many of our regional allies who face the existential threat of Assad’s chemical weapons are chomping at the bit to join us in these strikes? Maybe like those mythical Republicans Obama talks about in his weekly radio addresses, they secretly confide that they’d love to jump in, but they can’t because they’re afraid of what Rush Limbaugh would say about them.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  236. I think he’s right, he doesn’t need it.
    He’s also exactly right to seek it.

    Comment by tifosa (9006e2) — 9/1/2013 @ 8:01 pm

    Then Senator Obama’s quote from 2007 (in the context of attacking Iran):

    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.

    Then Senator Biden’s quote from 2007:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I drafted an outline of what I think the Constitutional limits have on the war clause. I went to five leading scholars, constitutional scholars, and they drafted a treatise for me that’s being distributed to every senator. And I want to make it clear, and I made it clear to the president, that if he takes this nation to war…without congressional approval, I will make it my business to impeach him. And that’s a fact!

    There it is.

    Tifosa disagrees with Obama, Obama disagrees with himself, and Biden wants to impeach him (but not now, and that’s a fact.)

    One has to admire the irrational constructs a liberal needs to craft, in order to embrace a hollow political philosophy.

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  237. New York times editorial Saturday morning (before Obama’s surprise announcement that he would ask Congress)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/31/opinion/absent-on-syria.html

    Of course, Mr. Obama has not asked Congress to authorize military action. He brushed off this responsibility, required under the War Powers Resolution, when he used military force in the Libya operation, but in that case he did have Security Council approval.

    Mr. Obama’s approach on Syria now seems wholly at odds with the strong position he took in 2007 when, as a candidate for president, he told The Boston Globe: “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.”

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  238. A weak Syria is of great importance to Israel. Israel suffered its most recent, if not its most humiliating, defeat in Lebanon at the hands of Hezbollah who could not have done it without Syrian backing. It’s not something that’s been forgotten by anyone down there.

    Turkey has its own problems in Kurdistan. (BTW, uttering the word “Kurdistan” in Turkey is worth a year in prison. A Turkish prison.) It’s a very complicated situation — ranging from Turkey not ever giving up another inch of territory; to not having its 25 or so ethnicities splitting up; to control of the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates. We have been keeping our pet Kurds more or less calm in northern Iraq but Turkey doesn’t want Syria creating a Hezbollah-like group there.

    So these are two natural allies who will benefit from a chaotic Syria. I think we should just send them a touring pole-dancing troupe but nobody listens to me.

    nk (875f57)

  239. The puppet master:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-01/guest-post-who-benefits-war-between-united-states-and-syria

    Already she consumes a quarter of her production, by 2020 it will be 50%.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  240. 216. Guess he’s picked sumpin’ from his mentors at Long Dong length, the Kims of NK.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  241. Yup. A lot to be said about the Golden Apes’ hands in this, too, gary. No argument from me on that front, either.

    nk (875f57)

  242. Obama loves him some sunni extremism. When he brought these thugs into the mix in his Cairo speech it created the turmoil in Libya Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Over 100,000 dead. Crickets from the democrats.

    mg (31009b)

  243. 242. My hope is Turkey is a big loser in this fustercluck.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  244. 241. The WH is feverishly trying to cover the Won’s soft bottom. In the long run its really hard to see him not retreating as the Syrian’s taunt.

    But with the Benghazi attempted Blind Sheikh swap, there is reason to fear the worst.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  245. I diagree slightly with 243, it’s about faith not oil

    narciso (3fec35)

  246. 243. I know who benefits from there NOT being a war between he United States and Syria – and actually calling the most that might happen a war between the United States and Syria is too much – but who benefits from nothing happening and that’s principally Russia and Iran (and of course the Assad regime in Syria)

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  247. EVERYBODY f***ing benefits when’s there no f***ing war, Sammy!

    nk (875f57)

  248. 252. Comment by nk (875f57) — 9/2/2013 @ 6:51 am

    EVERYBODY f***ing benefits when’s there no f***ing war, Sammy!

    Generally speaking, if you mean no war at all.

    But there’s not no war at all, nor no threats of use of chemical and nuclear weapons across an international boundary.

    And/or the weapons being used to get concessions or to get immunity for otgher things.

    Russia (and China) benefit from people having no hope of overthrowing a dictator.

    More China. Russia just wants loyal, permament allies with no more moral scruples.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  249. ==we should just send them a touring pole-dancing troupe but nobody listens to me.==

    I see that nk has sorta updated the “make love not war” meme for 21st century tastes and sensibilities.

    elissa (a7644f)

  250. You fight wars in self-defense or in defense of an innocent third party. Not to gain power, whether it’s power over another country or power in your own country by taking over its government. Are the rebels fighting for separatism? Are they even fighting for regime change to a new government with some semblance of western constitutional democracy? It sure doesn’t seem that way to me. They’re looking to be the new boss, with maybe an Islamist form of government. And even that religious component is more likely to be window dressing and they just want a dictatorship of their own.

    nk (875f57)

  251. Didn’t we burn enough in Libya and Egypt? I was going to say “get burned” but we had that coming, and I only feel sorry for the Libyans and Egyptians caught in the crossfire.

    nk (875f57)

  252. Russia (and China) benefit from people having no hope of overthrowing a dictator.

    Yea, and the rebels trying to overthrow Syria’s strongman are so much better, so much more decent, so much more trustworthy. The US can really rely upon them to do the right thing.

    In this case there are no shades of gray, no lines of ambiguity, no points of amorality. So Russia and China once again are being big meanies. They’re truly heartless and ruthless.

    Mark (fd91da)

  253. tifosa,

    Syria is a humanitarian disaster for its people but the two groups fighting for power are the Rusdian-backed Assad and the Rebels who have basically become an arm of Al Qaeda. It’s in America’s interest for these two groups to continue fighting each other, instead of helping one or the other consolidate power and target its neighbors or Westetn interests in the region.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  254. It’s in America’s interest for these two groups to continue fighting each other

    By contrast, there is a theory floating around out there that Israel (or, perhaps more so, Saudi Arabia and Qatar—for financial gain) is goading for a major conflict to be triggered so as to force everyone’s hand. To force everyone (particularly Iran) to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. If so — and although I feel sorry for the Hobson’s Choices that Israel has long faced — that could easily turn out to be a strategy where the cure is worse than the disease.

    Mark (fd91da)

  255. Obama’s efforts to justify US military intervention in Syria are nothing less than cynical attempts to replace his lost gun running operation in Benghazi with more effective measures, ones that can’t be canceled out by a few hundred fighters in a single night raid.

    Obama’s goal remains unchanged: to bring the Arab Spring to Damascus. Once his Libyan supply line was choked off by the murder of our Ambassador and the looting of the CIA weapons storehouse in Benghazi Assad’s Syrian forces began to gain the upper hand. They were on the verge of victory.

    In order to prevent the collapse of al-Qaeda’s insurgency something dramatic had to be done, a game changer was necessary. So, Saudi Arabia arranged for Soviet era chemical weapons to be smuggled into Syria and used in a false-flag attack Obama could blame on Assad.

    So, as it stands now, only the American people and the US House of Representatives can stop Obama from using the US military to intervene in Syria on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood and their al-Qaeda insurgents.

    Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. Call your elected representatives and demand the Congress tell Obama to Stand Down.

    ropelight (f48dd4)

  256. I blame McCain, the “very senior” deadwood from Arizona, a lot for this. He thinks he should be President, he played a game of one-upmanship over Obama by meeting with the rebels, and the SCOAMF feels he needs to one-up him.

    nk (875f57)

  257. They are weasels in the extreme;

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121262346490946859.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  258. Obama has a habit, surely honed in the greatest deliberative body in the world, of making statements that he firmly wishes were true and feasible. He seems to think he has God’s ability to speak things into being.

    He has always been praised for his speaking ability. He has never had his categorical statements effectively challenged, at least not until he occupied an executive position where these statements actually mean something. He has not learned, even after a full term as President, that he has to do more than cast a vote for a preference. He finds himself in the odd position of being held responsible to do what he says, and to have his ducks in order before he says it.

    If he was a capable person he would be far more dangerous. In this case, the danger comes more from his ineptness than from his policy.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  259. 260. Comment by ropelight (f48dd4) — 9/2/2013 @ 7:24 am

    Obama’s efforts to justify US military intervention in Syria are nothing less than cynical attempts to replace his lost gun running operation in Benghazi

    I don’t think he was running guns into Syria. He was trying to stop the running of guns into Syria.
    It was saudii Arabia and/or Qatar, with the help of Turkey, who were running guns, including SAMs, to the wrong rebels, which he was slowly realizing were the wrong rebels. And that’s why teh Ambassador was killed.

    This theory requires some Saudi or Qatari infiltration of the Moslem Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia is now against the Moslem Brotehrhood but Qatar was always for them. The thing is, if this was only Qatar, why would they have bought into the theory the attack was unplanned?

    Obama’s goal remains unchanged: to bring the Arab Spring to Damascus.

    That’s true. The opnly thing is, he thinks, oor thought, that needs the co-operation of Bashir Assad.

    Once his Libyan supply line was choked off by the murder of our Ambassador and the looting of the CIA weapons storehouse in Benghazi Assad’s Syrian forces began to gain the upper hand.

    It was getting new fghetrs form hezbollah, and creating elite trustworthy units with the help of Iran, not to mention more weapons from Iran (overflying Iraq. the Administration seems to have given up on asking Iraq to stop it)

    It is not that rebels ran out of ammunition or weapons – it is that the Syrian government got more, and had better, more disciplined, and trained, soldiers and officers. The government was also concentrating on one thinbg at a time, particularly on getting defined territory.

    They were on the verge of victory.

    They were getting closer, but their advance into the rebel controlled territory near Damascus was stalled. So the use of chemical weapons made military sense.

    In order to prevent the collapse of al-Qaeda’s insurgency something dramatic had to be done, a game changer was necessary. So, Saudi Arabia arranged for Soviet era chemical weapons to be smuggled into Syria and used in a false-flag attack Obama could blame on Assad. </I.

    The one thing that consulting Congress will definotely do is kill that theory, because every member of Congress will be given the evidence. You won’t hear any member of Congress subscribing to that, and if one or two do, they’ll be shunned by the pther members of Congress.

    What you’re echoing here is nothing but Russian and Syrian disinformation. Russia is so involved because it was probably Russia – Vladimir Putin – who encouraged Syria to use the poison gas.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  260. “The thing is, if this was only Qatar, why would they have bought into the theory the attack was unplanned?”

    “they” being the CIA and the Obama Administration.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  261. “. And that’s why teh Ambassador was killed.”

    I mean not because Ambassador was realizing they were the wrong rebels, but because he, amd teh CIA, was trying and to some degree succeeding in stopping the arms shipments. As a result of the attack the entire CIA operation in eastern Libya was abandoned.

    That was not an attempt to gather weapons for the Syrian rebels, but to gather weapons so that they wouldn’t go to the Syrian rebels.

    So far Obama has been very reluctant to arm any Syrian rebels. At last news, he still hadn’t given up on a negotiated settlement.

    Which is abject nonsense.

    The only thing to negotiate with Assad is the peaceful surrender of Damascus, and safe condict to the Hague, with visiting privileges for his wife and children, and a possible chance of acquittal, through a tough standards for conviction and limited evidence (the war crimes rules at the Hague are being changed at American initiative, so that mere knowledge by a commander is no longer enough to make him responsible)

    But it is question, anyway, if Assad even could surrender Damascus since there are other people facing death too.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  262. tifosa is now calling Iran’s nuclear program “mythical” – so I guess tifosa does think Obama is a liar.

    SPQR (768505)

  263. Check this out:
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/09/01/woman-violently-arrested-for-playing-banjo-in-wrong-place-at-syria-war-protest-in-philly/

    And where were those lovable human shields? I want my human shields. Are they and the media that sustains them all on vacation?

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  264. ==The one thing that consulting Congress will definotely do is kill that theory, because every member of Congress will be given the evidence. You won’t hear any member of Congress subscribing to that, and if one or two do, they’ll be shunned by the pther members of Congress.==

    Sammy– lesson #1. Nobody should take at face value or believe any “evidence” that comes out of the mideast and is presented as unimpeachable “evidence”.

    elissa (a7644f)

  265. “The F.B.I. has increased its surveillance of Syrians inside the United States in response to concerns that a military strike against the government of President Bashar al-Assad could lead to terrorist attacks here or against American allies and interests abroad, according to current and former senior United States officials.”

    So at least the FBI believes that a strike would increase the danger to the US. The opposite of tifosa’s vague implication.

    SPQR (768505)

  266. 270. So at least the FBI believes that a strike would increase the danger to the US.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 9/2/2013 @ 8:41 am

    When you commit an act of war, you bloody well are going to war. Whether President Gradschool McMomJeans says so or not.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  267. Comment by elissa (a7644f) — 9/2/2013 @ 8:31 am

    Nobody should take at face value or believe any “evidence” that comes out of the mideast and is presented as unimpeachable “evidence”.

    there’s too many sources of different kinds, including U>S. technologica survellance.

    As Kerry said, we know where the rockets were launched from. We know where they landed. We know these were all areas under attack. We know it was sarin. We know who had sarin. We know someone uin the Syrian military was sure they had done it.

    And members of Congress will know it’s not just John Kerry saying this.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  268. tifosa makes up quotes to suit the occasion, and is devoid of integrity. Ignore the troll.

    ropelight (f48dd4)

  269. If we “punish” Assad for having used chemical weapons, and if the rebels regroup and are able to depose him and install their own government, what do we do if (make that when) the rebels turn out to be the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda and start attacking Syrian Christians? Do we “punish” them for their transgressions, or is everything cool as long as they don’t use chemical weapons?

    JVW (23867e)

  270. Well said, Amphipolis #263.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  271. Good point, SPQR #270.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  272. So we already know we can’t believe anything the government tells us about Obamacare or FBI profiling or Benghazi, but by gosh we can take what they tell us about Syria to the bank? Is that your position, Sammy? Really?

    elissa (a7644f)

  273. “As Kerry said, we know where the rockets were launched from. We know where they landed. We know these were all areas under attack. We know it was sarin.”

    Sammy – Well, Kerry did say we had 1,000 pieces of evidence, FACTS, from social media, and we all know absolutely nobody lies on social media, see OFA, so I would take that evidence right to the bank.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  274. Sammy, you accuse me of repeating Russian and Syrian disinformation, then go on to predict that every member of congress will be given the evidence to kill the theory Saudi Arabia supplied the chemical weapons for the false-flag attack. I disagree. How about we square off on that specific issue: Mano y mano?

    I say you’re kissing Obama’s ass and parroting the Democrat party-line. Without the Administration’s idiot disinformation, you wouldn’t have enough bovine fodder to fill half your numerous nutty incoherent comments. Do I hear a second?

    So, here’s the proposition.

    If the Administration has hard conclusive evidence and presents it to Congress, you win, and I’ll say Uncle. Right here, in bold italics, addressed to you specifically.

    However, if the evidence is loosey goosey, manufactured, inconclusive, or unpersuasive and/or Obama’s minions insist they have hard evidence but make excuses why they can’t produce it, you lose, and you have to say Uncle.

    So, Finkelman, what say you?

    ropelight (f48dd4)

  275. So we already know we can’t believe anything the government tells us about Obamacare or FBI profiling or Benghazi, but by gosh we can take what they tell us about Syria to the bank? Is that your position, Sammy? Really?

    elissa, especially since our intelligence community has compiled such a stellar track record over the past decade-plus.

    JVW (23867e)

  276. JVW – This is different!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  277. Drudge has a kul photo heading his site right now.

    elissa (a7644f)

  278. ropelight, you should know by now that Sammy NEVER takes anything at face value.

    Icy (4c5dc2)

  279. Syria is the flying, glow in the dark squirrel Obama has been looking for.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  280. 0bama gazed across the table at His National Security Advisory meeting at the lantern-jawed John Kerry and, for a brief moment, wished that he had Kerry’s steely determination, intestinal fortitude and iron will…

    Colonel Haiku (6a0ab0)

  281. “As Kerry said, we know where the rockets were launched from. We know where they landed. We know these were all areas under attack. We know it was sarin.”

    The one thing Sammy said I agree with; Kerry did say rockets.

    Which is why it’s odd that no one, apparently, had any visible injuries. The WH is citing the lack of visible injuries as evidence the Assad regime used chemical weapons.

    If you deliver chemical weapons by rocket (or bombs or artillery shells) there has to be a detonation to disperse the agent. Unless you want to bury the agent into the ground, it has to be an air burst.

    Such a detonation obviously has to be powerful enough to disperse the rocket containing the agent. Creating shrapnel. Which creates visible injuries.

    The lack of visible injuries is more consistent with some other means of dispersal. Some form of aerosol or uncontrolled release rather than explosive dispersal.

    The Germans used one form of uncontrolled release in WWI. When the wind was right the Germans would just open containers of chlorine gas and let the vapor drift toward enemy lines. It was uncontrolled in the sense that you couldn’t ensure the safety of your own troops if the wind shifted. The advantage of using rockets or artillery shells is that you get the agent far enough away from yourself that you’re out of danger (but you do tend to incinerate some of the agent when the explosive dispersal charge goes off).

    Another form of uncontrolled release is simply having an industrial accident. That would mean that the rebels accidentally did it to themselves. Which is what some of the press is reporting.

    I don’t know what the congress critters are being told in those classified briefings, but if this administration was trying to convince me I’d be looking for evidence that there were effects consistent with the delivery method they claimed the Assad regime used. Not just evidence that some people were killed by Sarin gas, because that could have happened several different ways.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  282. R.I.P. boxer Tommy Morrison

    Icy (4c5dc2)

  283. Steve57, chemical warheads have very small bursting charges. Little shrapnel results.

    SPQR (768505)

  284. I don’t think Obama’s squirrel will be effective because the squirrel ass raped Obama before it could be deployed.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  285. “So far as we know, most everyone in the government was expecting the bombing would start on Saturday afternoon, Washington DC time. Government officials, above all those with expertise in military operations, were told to cancel their Labor Day vacations and show up for overtime work. No golf for them! Then President Obama–in the face of most all the advice from his ‘national security team’ (I even heard a national radio network broadcaster call it ‘the war cabinet’)–changed his mind. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Surprisingly. How? Why? . . . We don’t have an answer, which suggests to me that we’re missing some key element in the story.”

    SPQR (768505)

  286. Above quote from todays column by Michael Ledeen PJmedia.

    SPQR (768505)

  287. This is what President Obama said to justify American intervention in Syria:

    In the speech Saturday, Obama called the Syrian poison gas attack “an assault on human dignity” that “presents a serious danger to our national security. It risks making a mockery on the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm. In a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted.”

    I count 4 reasons for intervention and offer the following rebuttal:

    1. “Use of chemical weapons is an assault on human dignity” that “presents a serious danger to our national security.”

    Obama seems to conflate humanitarian concerns with national security concerns. As horrible as these deaths are, they do not by themselves represent a threat to American national security.

    2. “It risks making a mockery on the global prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.”

    Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against the Kurds made a mockery of global prohibitions. I don’t recall that argument convinced Democrats during the Bush years.

    3. “It endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.”

    The mere existence of Syria backed by Iran and Russia endangers its neighbors. But those neighbors are arguably safer as long as Syrians are fighting among themselves, instead of aiming their weapons and violence at their neighbors.

    4. “It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to terrorist groups who would do our people harm. In a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted.”

    I agree with that statement. Too bad it was overruled by Democrats during the Bush years regarding Iraq. But that may not such a bad thing in this case since the Syrian conflict involves two bad groups fighting over power and weapons. I may not like seeing Assad holding the keys to WMDs but I’d hate to see the Al Qaeda-backed Rebels get them, too.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  288. I listen carefully to whatever Michael Ledeen says but I think Obama simply ran out of political cover for his plans in Syria, so he’s going to Congress. Leaders are willing to take risks in order to lead, but Obama is a politician and politicians don’t take personal risks when they can avoid it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  289. 286.SF: “As Kerry said, we know where the rockets were launched from. We know where they landed. We know these were all areas under attack. We know it was sarin.”

    Kerry added that about sarin on Sunday.

    He kind of loudly said on TV evidence is coming in all the time, we have new evidence – what he means is they tested some samples. But they knew what it wsas before anyway.

    Comment by Steve57 (35dd46) — 9/2/2013 @ 11:34 am

    The one thing Sammy said I agree with; Kerry did say rockets.

    Which is why it’s odd that no one, apparently, had any visible injuries. The WH is citing the lack of visible injuries as evidence the Assad regime used chemical weapons.

    The rebels made a big point of that before the administration did.

    But this is not odd at all.

    You are not seeing a random sample. Rockets were being shot in all the time, so showing somebody presumably dead with injuries wouldn’t prove anything. They could have died from injuries.

    Gas is proven by a large number of people lying dead next to each other (or a large number of bodies collected) ALL without visible injuries.

    If you deliver chemical weapons by rocket (or bombs or artillery shells) there has to be a detonation to disperse the agent. Unless you want to bury the agent into the ground, it has to be an air burst.

    Such a detonation obviously has to be powerful enough to disperse the rocket containing the agent. Creating shrapnel. Which creates visible injuries.

    Yes, but such people are not evidence of use of chemical weapons.

    The United States government and others may have some pictures, or doctor’s reports, of people both with both gas and sharpnel injuries, but that isn’t what was prepared for wide distrubution by the rebels.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  290. DRJ, if it was just the lack of political cover from Britain, it certainly reinforces the lack of leadership from The Empty Suit(tm).

    SPQR (768505)

  291. 288. Steve57, chemical warheads have very small bursting charges. Little shrapnel results.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 9/2/2013 @ 11:51 am

    Yeah, but the debris still is travelling at pretty high velocity and it all has to land somewhere.

    At Halabja the Iraqis killed 5,000 Kurds. The survivors reported Iraqis used 14 sorties of 7 to 8 aircraft each along with artillery to do the job, concentrating on the center of town and routes leading out of it. The artillery barrage reportedly lasted from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

    Here are some pictures taken during the attack.

    http://image1.frequency.com/uri/w234_h132_ctrim_ll/_/item/3/7/4/1/Halabja_Iraqi_Genocide_Against_Kurd_37417046_thumbnail.jpg

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-56jDA3O_h8s/T2S8Tl9jl8I/AAAAAAAAAKM/nmjglRERkfU/s1600/halabja+%282%29.jpg

    I can’t see how the Assad regime could deliver enough Sarin to kill 1400 people without doing quite a bit of damage. Not as much as the Iraqis did at Halabja, obviously, but more than I’ve seen in those videos the Obama regime is using as evidence.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  292. This didn’t originate from one, or two, or three locations, but many.

    They published a map. I am not sure how good the quality of the pdf is here. I can’t enlarge it, and maybe that’s as good as it gets.

    http://www.c-span.org/uploadedFiles/Content/Documents/08302013Map.pdf

    It was also in the New York Post Saturday, where it is a little bit etter than that pdf file but also a little bit blurred, but is somewhat clearer here: (or maybe the same as the New York Post)

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/08/30/text-of-u-s-assessment-on-syrias-use-of-chemical-weapons/

    It seems to show 12 different locations from which the poison gas dispersed, most in opposition dominant areas (5 in contested areas, 3 of them, right near the more secure areas) Eight of the 12 sites are near each other, at least 3 miles away from a regime dominant area.

    The map states:

    Note: Reports of chemical attacks originating from scene locations may reflect the movement of patients exposed in one neighborhood to field hospitals and medical facilities in the surrounding area. They may also reflect confusion and panic triggered by the ongoing artillery and rocket barrage, and reports of chemical use in other neighborhoods.

    Perhaps all the errors might not be pure mistakes, but thats no reason to doubt the general attack.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  293. The lack of visible injuries is more consistent with some other means of dispersal. Some form of aerosol or uncontrolled release rather than explosive dispersal.

    This was dispersed over a wide area, so most people exposed wouldn’t be right near where a rocket landed. And pictures of such people would not be selected for widespread distribution, And we wouldn’t see pictures with shrapnel injuries, but just the opposite, because there were plenty of rocket injuries, and showing anybody injured by shrapnel wouldn’t signify anything.

    There was so much fire all the time, they had a routine. People had been told to go into basements when they came under bombardment, but this was exactly the wrong thing to do when chemical weapons were used. Medics also rushed to the scene, as they usually did and succummed as well. Apparently patients or their clothing give off gas when there’s alot of it, so this endangers people coming near them.

    The United States issued a report Friday saying 1,429 people (at least) were killed with 426 of them being chldren. Earlier, Doctors without Borders had reported something like 336, but they had only treated some of them. the rebels had a high estimater but not as high as 1.429. I assume this is the result of an attempt to get names o victims.

    There was some uncertainty at the time, as to where the attacks took place or they had corrected something earlier.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  294. I read also, by the way, that this was not entirely expected. They had atropine (they were prepared somehat for this) but far too little.

    The Germans used one form of uncontrolled release in WWI. When the wind was right the Germans would just open containers of chlorine gas and let the vapor drift toward enemy lines. It was uncontrolled in the sense that you couldn’t ensure the safety of your own troops if the wind shifted. The advantage of using rockets or artillery shells is that you get the agent far enough away from yourself that you’re out of danger (but you do tend to incinerate some of the agent when the explosive dispersal charge goes off).

    This isn’t World War I. It’s reasonable to think there’d be some improvement since that time. Nobody would do that, any more than they would use wooden airplanes.

    Another form of uncontrolled release is simply having an industrial accident. That would mean that the rebels accidentally did it to themselves. Which is what some of the press is reporting.

    It looks like zrussian disinformation. There appear to hhave bene at least half a dozen – more likely a dozen – separate loci, and it all happened at around the same time, in the middle of the night.

    We assess that the scenario in which the opposition executed the attack on August 21 is highly unlikely. The body of information used to make this assessment includes intelligence pertaining to the regime’s preparations for this attack and its means of delivery, multiple streams of intelligence about the attack itself and its effect, our post-attack observations, and the differences between the capabilities of the regime and the opposition They could add, if it hapepned that way, the regime would have some evidence, and be able to prove it.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  295. SPQR:

    DRJ, if it was just the lack of political cover from Britain, it certainly reinforces the lack of leadership from The Empty Suit(tm).

    I think what happened in Britain was a big part of Obama’s decision.

    If I were an Obama enthusiast , I might credit him with renewed idealism after seeing what happened in the House of Commons and Cameron’s response, i.e., the people spoke and the government listened. But I’m not a starstruck fan and I don’t believe Obama is capable of ever putting anyone’s interests ahead of his own.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  296. I don’t know what the congress critters are being told in those classified briefings, but if this administration was trying to convince me I’d be looking for evidence that there were effects consistent with the delivery method they claimed the Assad regime used. Not just evidence that some people were killed by Sarin gas, because that could have happened several different ways.

    Yes, a good point. If you know where the rockets landed, you certainly would have details like that.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  297. I still think he’s looking for a way out through the political cover that Congressional authorization would give him to go forward in Syria. He’s so convinced of his own abilities that I doubt he really believes Congress might say no but, if it does, I’m sure Obama also believes he can come up with an excuse or an explanation that will turn the situation into something favorable for him.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  298. If nothing else, he can use GOP opposition to bludgeon Congress on the debt limit.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  299. Imagine how many photos we’ll see in the media of gassed Syrians if Congress says no.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  300. * 299. I read also, by the way, that this was not entirely UNexpected. (chemical weapons weer used before, earlier this year)

    The Administration was in kind of denial about this, then had to admit it, but thought that was small scale and perhaps Assad would get the message after a while.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  301. re: 303… now, we’re getting to the heart of the matter! This guy has no principles, it’s all politics with him. Assad could gas 50K Syrians and it’s all about how potential scenarios can be used to beat the opposition about the head, shoulders and groinal area.

    Colonel Haiku (c74ae3)

  302. “Imagine how many photos we’ll see in the media of gassed Syrians if Congress says no.”

    I wouldn’t bet that the Democrats are on board. He might get a surprise there. He has disdained the Democrats almost as much as the Republicans although not as openly.

    Mike K (dc6ffe)

  303. DRJ wrote:

    “..I’m sure Obama also believes he can come up with an excuse or an explanation that will turn the situation into something favorable for him…”

    With great respect, I submit that this POTUS is not anywhere near as smart as he thinks he is. So he will rely on the pandermedia for ideas and excuses. My guess is that has been his style throughout his privileged life.

    Simon Jester (1a5c20)

  304. The Germans used one form of uncontrolled release in WWI. When the wind was right the Germans would just open containers of chlorine gas and let the vapor drift toward enemy lines.

    This isn’t World War I.

    That’s not the point. The point is that chemical weapons are easily desseminated. They can be lethal without anything remotely resembling a sophisticated delivery system.

    And yes, people such as terrorists or insurgents would still do it that way if that’s the only means available. The Aum Shinrikyo killed 13 people and sent 5,000 more to Tokyo hospitals when they attacked the subway system with nothing more than not-very-lethal Sarin disseminated using nothing more than plastic bags and umbrellas with sharpened tips.

    This was dispersed over a wide area, so most people exposed wouldn’t be right near where a rocket landed. And pictures of such people would not be selected for widespread distribution…

    Precisely why those photos aren’t evidence. Neither are the YouTube videos the Obama administration is pointing to.

    They were selected by the rebels.

    The Syrian rebels are also displaying parts of rockets they say were used in the attack, but they don’t appear large enough to me to cause those kinds of casualties.

    There are plenty of reasons to doubt this administration’s version of events.

    Three hospitals in the Damascus area received approximately 3,600 patients displaying symptoms consistent with nerve agent exposure in less than three hours on the morning of August 21, according to a highly credible international humanitarian organization.

    1,429 fatalities so far and 3,600 patients sent to the hospital. Some, but clearly not all, of the fatalities are from those 3,600 who made it to the hospital before they died.

    That’s a high fatality rate. The Hussein regime used sarin (but not only sarin) at Halabja and 5,000 were killed, 60,000 injured. The Iraqis didn’t use sarin during the Iraq war, but they did use another nerve agent in the G series, tabun. Which also wounded many more times than it killed.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible to launch a chemical weapons attack that kills almost 1,500 people but only manages to wound at most 3,600. It doesn’t seem likely because even if you’re just peripherally exposed to Sarin you’ll need to go to the hospital.

    I would definitely get an independent opinion from someone trained in chemical warfare before taking this administration’s story at face value, if I were a Congresscritter.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  305. Possibly the best piece of the genre

    http://www.michaelyon-online.com/syria-outrage-is-not-a-strategy.htm

    narciso (3fec35)

  306. 308. This is dead-on IMO.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/09/01/a-vote-of-no-confidence-is-in-order/

    Comment by SPQR (19047b) — 9/2/2013 @ 1:59 pm

    It was right on the mark. You could tell from the comments. It infuriated exactly the kind of kool-aid drinkers who’d subscribe to the WaPo in the first place.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  307. ==We don’t have an answer, which suggests to me that we’re missing some key element in the story.”==

    SPQR– it could just be political fallout as DRJ suggests. But it also could be some sort of threat or blackmail perhaps? One of the articles linked above suggested that Putie is buying safety from Chechnyan rebel attacks (brokered and insured by Assad) for the upcoming Winter Olympics in his country. Did Assad or someone else in the region make the American president “an offer he couldn’t refuse” with respect to starting a war, retaliation, or something else possibly even personal? It’s horrible to contemplate such a thing but I don’t think such a scenario is entirely out of the question.

    elissa (a7644f)

  308. tifosa,

    Syria is a humanitarian disaster for its people but the two groups fighting for power are the Rusdian-backed Assad and the Rebels who have basically become an arm of Al Qaeda. It’s in America’s interest for these two groups to continue fighting each other, instead of helping one or the other consolidate power and target its neighbors or Westetn interests in the region.

    Comment by DRJ

    McCain and Graham want the rebels armed, Assad gone.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/02/white-house-syria-congress-mccain/2755051/

    tifosa (9dec00)

  309. It looks like zrussian disinformation.

    Speaking of which, and closer to home, the audacity and amazing dishonesty of this current White House to have insisted that a stupid video posted to Youtube.com triggered the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi is why I don’t trust a thing they say or do. Combine that with their poor perception of allies like Israel and doing sort of a George-Zimmerman-ing of foreign leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu is why — sadly and oddly enough (as thought we’re living in a parallel universe) — I don’t sense that Vladimir Putin is much less trustworthy than Barack “Goddamn America” Obama.

    Mark (fd91da)

  310. McCain and Lyndsey are wrong almost as often as Teh One. Tiffy’s performance art and asshattery last night was epic. Must have been a heckuva hangover.

    JD (5c1832)

  311. McCain and Graham want the rebels armed, Assad gone.

    So?

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  312. McCain and Graham also want the borders unsecured and illegal aliens amnestied.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  313. McCain and Graham want the rebels armed, Assad gone.
    Comment by tifosa (9dec00) — 9/2/2013 @ 3:27 pm

    — They want a lot of things. Sometimes they actually want the right things.

    Icy (216b6b)

  314. tifosa:

    McCain and Graham want the rebels armed, Assad gone.

    If I’m ever tempted to second-guess my opinions, knowing that McCain and Graham disagree confirms I’m right.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  315. tifosa,

    Do you want to risk turning Syria into an Al Qaeda state and empowering the Islamists to rise up in Jordan and destabilize Iraq? Because that could happen.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  316. By the way, I think McCain and Graham support Obama’s attack on Syria because they don’t want to see a weakened executive branch. McCain initially opposed intervening in Syria. I think his change of heart has more to do with support for the powers of the chief executive than a realistic opportunity to take out Assad.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  317. DRJ, that was the LindseyMcCain response, not mine.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  318. tifosa,

    One of the (extremely small) benefits of Assad’s leadership of Syria is that it’s basically a secular state. That won’t remain true if the rebels prevail. Even idealistic Democrats need to think long and hard about that possibility.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  319. Yes, of course. And you pointed it out for no reason in particular.

    Icy (216b6b)

  320. That last was for tiffy

    Icy (216b6b)

  321. So, DRJ, your position is no response for the use of chemical weapons in a domestic attack in Syria? In Iran?

    tifosa (9dec00)

  322. McCain and Graham want the rebels armed, Assad gone.

    If I’m ever tempted to second-guess my opinions, knowing that McCain and Graham disagree confirms I’m right.

    😉

    nk (875f57)

  323. tifosa,

    My response is to think through what we can do and what the results might be so we can decide on the best course of action. I agree with Vali Nasr that there are likely two outcomes of Obama’s plans and neither are good:

    The first is that the Assad regime falls, which would mean that Syria, or chunks of it, could be ruled by radical Islamists associated with Al Qaeda — producing new and unwelcome threats to global security that could invite an even larger American intervention down the line.

    The second is that American military strikes will level the playing field between Mr. Assad’s forces and the rebels, so that the civil war would go on for a long time, destroying more of the country, killing more of its population, and sending even more refugees into Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. That would make the Syrian conflict even more dangerous. With no American deterrent on the horizon, the Assad regime might use chemical weapons again, while extremists might provide havens for terrorists of the kind the Afghan war produced for Al Qaeda in the 1990s.

    The only answer is full military intervention — air, sea, and boots on the ground — like in Iraq. I don’t think America has the stomach for that and, in all likelihood, our military isn’t prepared for that and can’t afford it.

    Like it or not, we can’t help these poor people.

    1. We can attack Syria and hurt

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  324. 1.. We can attack Syria and hurt

    Sorry for the typo.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  325. A commenter here talked very elegantly about “alphabets” earlier, explaining that to D’s it’s never the consistent policy or the logic of an issue or process–rather it’s defense defense defense of their guy no matter how idiotic or illogical. The only thing that matters to some is the alphabet letter R or D next to a name. Yet, always there is the hypocrisy that if an R pol or pundit does something, the D’s claim that it’s terrible, mean, over the top, extreme, no good, stupid, aggressive, impeachable, racist, etc. But if a D does the very same thing it is always roses, sparkly unicorns, rainbows, gutsy calls, brilliant politics, and deep thinking.

    It is to laugh that tifosa holds up a position McCain has taken on Syria as if to say the rest of us are not responding properly to the party line or not following his hallowed lead. The (entirely warranted IMO) dislike for Senators McCain and to a lesser degree Graham, which is regularly expressed here by many voters of their party, shows that R’s are willing and able to criticize their own with vigor when we believe they are wrong and their positions are dangerous.

    Who on the Dem side have you ever criticized in the same manner, tifosa? Can you think of anyone? And if so, what were the circumstances? Or are you just a confirmed “alphabet”?

    elissa (a7644f)

  326. is that a trick question elissa?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  327. “If I’m ever tempted to second-guess my opinions, knowing that McCain and Graham disagree confirms I’m right.”

    Hear hear.

    SPQR (0b1257)

  328. The Wash Post oped blog piece I linked to above is still dead on IMO in explaining just how incompetent Obama is and damage resulting from his lack of any leadership talent and lack of character.

    Jimmy Carter II was indeed best case and we are not even that lucky.

    SPQR (0b1257)

  329. elissa, I have several criticisms of Obama.
    ~continued the Bush NSA pgms
    ~ACA is basically nationalized Romneycare
    ~continues current minimum wage
    ~continued tax cuts for ~continued Bush’s NSA pgm and Patriot Act
    ~hasn’t lead on issue of Wallstreet reform
    and more.
    We have awful D’s just like you have awful R’s.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  330. But Buuuuuuuuuush

    JD (1ad966)

  331. You can’t even be honest in your criticism.

    JD (1ad966)

  332. Is Obama an awful D, tifosa?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  333. k, JD, I usually just laugh at ignore your comments, but I’ll bite, which was a lie?

    tifosa (9dec00)

  334. No DRJ, but Weiner, the SF guy, are.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  335. Past DINOs in Congress were: Baucus, BlancheLincoln

    tifosa (9dec00)

  336. I think most are Fox employees now.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  337. Well, it’s just a troll of an alphabetist (thanks for the kind words, elissa), but notice that the “bad” things are just continuations of Team R policies from the troll’s perspective.

    It’s really pretty amusing.

    Simon Jester (a39672)

  338. R.I.P. Frederik Pohl, Science Fiction Grandmaster

    Icy (216b6b)

  339. Yeah, I was sad about that, Icy. “Gateway” was really, really good. “The Space Merchants” was wonderful SF societal satire.

    But entropy always wins.

    He lived a long time, and he was still active until the very end.

    Much missed.

    Simon Jester (a39672)

  340. Simon, what are the D positions you agree with?

    tifosa (9dec00)

  341. Whos’s left from that era, Pouernelle, anybody else,

    narciso (3fec35)

  342. Them Democrats sure hate free speech.

    SPQR (768505)

  343. I’m not sure who the SF guy is, tifosa. Do you mean the San Diego Mayor who resigned?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  344. yes, filner?

    tifosa (9dec00)

  345. If so, do you object to Weiner and Filner because of the way they’ve treated women or is it something else?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  346. the latter

    tifosa (9dec00)

  347. no, the way the treated women, lied

    tifosa (9dec00)

  348. Then why don’t the Kennedy men make your list of bad Ds?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  349. because they had successes in politics I guess.
    Maybe the same reason R’s keep Vitter and Sanford, why I support Spitzer.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  350. Like JFK who holidayed with naked girls while Jackie was in labor. And Ted Kennedy’s infamous incident at Chappaquidick. I can go on if you want.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  351. Liberals lionize the Kennedys. Republicans don’t do that with people like Vitter and Sanford.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  352. ioiyad

    nk (875f57)

  353. 329. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 9/2/2013 @ 4:16 pm

    The only answer is full military intervention — air, sea, and boots on the ground —like in Iraq.

    No, you do it like in Libya or Kosovo, air power, aiding some group(s) on the ground. Even if they don’t win, air power is a great defensive tool, the 20th and 21st century equivalent of walled cities.

    So like Libyam, except that you recognize from the get-go that there’s going to be a second round, against al Qaeda, and maybe a third round.

    And al Qaeda can’t have any sanctuaries. They can be chased out, or chased away at least, like in Mali.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  354. They aren’t on the national stage.
    LOL- lionization of the Kennedy’s was a national pastime for years.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  355. No Sammy. Read the Nasir article. It’s boots, and all.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  356. The GOP pulled its support for Sanford. And Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declined to endorse Vitter’s re-election effort in 2010, presumably because of his sex scandal. Which Democrats have done the same with the Kennedys?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  357. When does Nase stop giving Obama the benefit of the doubt,?

    narciso (3fec35)

  358. I was talking about the voters.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  359. Which Republican woman publicly urged women to put on kneepads for a Republican president?

    nk (875f57)

  360. Comment by Mark (fd91da) — 9/2/2013 @ 3:28 pm

    stupid video posted to Youtube.com triggered the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi is why I don’t trust a thing they say or do.

    they didn’t say the video triggered the attack.

    They said the attack on the Cairo embassy triggered the attack. They imagined a demonstration in Benghazi.

    Combine that with their poor perception of allies like Israel

    There is bad judgement, which I think is pretty obvious.

    and doing sort of a George-Zimmerman-ing of foreign leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu

    He’s not doing that. Netanyahu wants Israeli diplomats to say absolutely nothing – he seems to be afraid that maybe that mighht cause assad to blame Israel – like as if an attack could be avoided if Assad thinks it is in his interest to do so.

    Quietly, Netanyahu is probably telling Obama he needs to regain his credibility, if he wants to scare Iran.

    sadly and oddly enough (as thought we’re living in a parallel universe) — I don’t sense that Vladimir Putin is much less trustworthy than Barack “Goddamn America” Obama

    There’s something wrong going on here if you think Vladimir Putin is more trustworthy than Barack Obama.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  361. Then why don’t the Kennedy men make your list of bad Ds?

    because they had successes in politics I guess.

    This is leftism in a nutshell.

    Tiffy – you were not honest because your first “criticism” was continued Bush NSA programs, but an honest criticism would have been that your Savior dramatically expanded said programs.

    JD (5c1832)

  362. I think it’s true that, if voters keep electing someone, it’s pointless to keep objecting. That applies to people like the Kennedys, Vitter, Sanford, and Spitzer … but it also applies to people like Filner and Weiner. In essence, your position is that winning trumps behavior and that’s true in politics. But don’t act like the Kennedys are some special breed of people whose good deeds have overshadowed their bad behavior, because they aren’t and they haven’t.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  363. 357. Liberals lionize the Kennedys. Republicans don’t do that with people like Vitter and Sanford.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 9/2/2013 @ 5:41 pm

    Oh, but we do! I distinctly recall referring to the Vitter political dynasty as “Camelot.”

    And wasn’t the South Carolina House seat Mark Sanford won widely referred to as the “Sanford Seat?”

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  364. 67. Comment by Comanche Voter (f4c7d5) — 9/1/2013 @

    Of course the ideal “leadership school” way to get support from a legislative body is to first announce that you’re going to do it anyway whether they approve or not.

    I know you meant this as sarcasm, but…

    That’s what Bush II did in 2002 with regard to Iraq. Sometimes, to maintain their veto power for other cases, they go along.

    It works even better in the United Nations Security Council.

    That’s the best way to avoid a Russian and Chinese veto (tell them you’ll go ahead anyway)

    Its pretty simple though. If Congress turns this down, Basir Assad will soon enough give him another reason to ask a second time.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  365. Dynasties!

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  366. In essence, your position is that winning trumps behavior and that’s true in politics.

    …or that the ends justifies the means. Integrity and character – novelty items.

    Dana (6178d5)

  367. Oh please, JD, think back to the Fall of 2008. NSA was caught reading military emails.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  368. Sammy:

    There’s something wrong going on here if you think Vladimir Putin is more trustworthy than Barack Obama.

    That’s absurd, Sammy. Putin isn’t more trustworthy, he’s simply acting more logically and in his country’s interests so that makes him more predictable. The problem with Obama is he’s so unpredictable because he doesn’t have any guiding principles.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  369. 347.Whos’s left from that era, Pouernelle, anybody else,
    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 9/2/2013 @ 5:27 pm

    — Larry Niven, James Gunn, Brian Aldiss

    Icy (216b6b)

  370. Well, to be fair, Steve57, we do have the McCain dynasty if you include Meggie. *ducks*

    elissa (a7644f)

  371. And Harlan Ellison

    Icy (216b6b)

  372. tifosa,

    Hating Republicans is not a guiding principle.
    Well, at least, not a mature guiding principle.

    Elephant Stone (284a27)

  373. God forgive me, I detest Obama so much I want Putin to call the Kremlin into session, for a resolution authorizing him to go to the defense of Syria in the event of a foreign invasion, while our Congress is debating Obama’s resolution. God forgive me, because this miserable SCOAMF might not back down even then.

    nk (875f57)

  374. Oh please, JD, think back to the Fall of 2008. NSA was caught reading military emails.

    Have you been in a freakin coma?!

    JD (5c1832)

  375. #378. Hating dhimmis Democrats is?

    tifosa (9dec00)

  376. Tifitita Show
    it is just like teh Ed Show
    maybe less fat tho

    Colonel Haiku (4f28c7)

  377. Putin isn’t more trustworthy, he’s simply acting more logically and in his country’s interests so that makes him more predictable. The problem with Obama is he’s so unpredictable because he doesn’t have any guiding principles.

    Putin is a snake certainly, but I think he is smarter and craftier than Obama. He sees the bigger picture and wants to hold power. Obama sees himself and his image possibly taking a big hit if this bid goes south. So, yes, Putin is acting in his country’s best interest, while Obama is acting in his own best interest. And he is so spectacularly self-consumed that he is willing to go through all the machinations and histrionics to make sure he himself and his legacy remain *unscathed.

    *unscathed can clearly be disproved, but really, what difference does that make?

    Dana (6178d5)

  378. JD, note that was a negative vs Obama, right?

    tifosa (9dec00)

  379. We don’t hate you, tiffy. I kind of pity you. I disagree with you. I would trust you to manage a piggy bank. But I don’t hate you.

    JD (5c1832)

  380. 310. Comment by Steve57 (35dd46) — 9/2/2013 @ 2:07 pm

    The point is that chemical weapons are easily desseminated. They can be lethal without anything remotely resembling a sophisticated delivery system.

    And yes, people such as terrorists or insurgents would still do it that way if that’s the only means available. The Aum Shinrikyo killed 13 people

    Which I think kind of proves that that’s not a very lethal way of doing things.

    and sent 5,000 more to Tokyo hospitals

    I wonder if they all needed to go. But even the slightest exposure should get an antidote. how many people affected here?

    “And pictures of such people would not be selected for widespread distribution…”

    Precisely why those photos aren’t evidence. Neither are the YouTube videos the Obama administration is pointing to.

    Of course they are evidence, if they are not planned in advance.

    They were selected by the rebels.

    It may need a little bit of crossd examination, but they can be true.

    The Syrian rebels are also displaying parts of rockets they say were used in the attack, but they don’t appear large enough to me to cause those kinds of casualties.

    They could be wrong on that. They were wrong in Laos about the “yellow rain” – it did not congeal on trees, but I think most definitely posion gas was dropped (and some of the samoples tested positive. The yellow stuff itself was bee pollen, buut that didn’t mean planes did not drop poison gas on people.

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

    You know peole seem to be pretty stupid. tehy’re confusing the faulty samples – some of wehich did test positive for chemical weapons – with the toitality of the evidence.

    I believe the advice came from the Soviet Union and I think it was later used in Afghanistan too.

    The Soviet Union may also have advised Saddam Hussein, and perhaps without that encouragement, he stopped, and old KGB hand Vladimir Putin is probably at it again. Because I think this is an idea for a dictatorship retaining control that originated in the soviet Union circa 1975.

    1,429 fatalities so far and 3,600 patients sent to the hospital. Some, but clearly not all, of the fatalities are from those 3,600 who made it to the hospital before they died.

    There’s a shortage of hospital facilities, so many people mildly affected got nop treatment at all – there is not enough atropine, but there’s probably a pretty accurate death toll.

    SO MANY

    The Hussein regime used sarin (but not only sarin) at Halabja and 5,000 were killed, 60,000 injured. The Iraqis didn’t use sarin during the Iraq war, but they did use another nerve agent in the G series, tabun. Which also wounded many more times than it killed.

    I’m not saying it’s impossible to launch a chemical weapons attack that kills almost 1,500 people but only manages to wound at most 3,600. It doesn’t seem likely because even if you’re just peripherally exposed to Sarin you’ll need to go to the hospital.

    I would definitely get an independent opinion from someone trained in chemical warfare before taking this administration’s story at face value, if I were a Congresscritter

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  381. LOL JD! I wasn’t referring to ‘me.’

    tifosa (9dec00)

  382. You could not even accurately represent your alleged criticism, and invoked Bush within 3 words while trying.

    JD (5c1832)

  383. Hi, Dana. That’s it, exactly. Putin’s Russia can hold its head up after Gorbachev and Yeltsin allowed it to be ground into the dirt. China can hold its head up for the first time in hundreds of years. And WTF are we doing?

    nk (875f57)

  384. You may hate the signature Kennedy programs, but it seems disingenuous to claim they did nothing.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  385. The Hussein regime used sarin (but not only sarin) at Halabja and 5,000 were killed, 60,000 injured. The Iraqis didn’t use sarin during the Iraq war, but they did use another nerve agent in the G series, tabun. Which also wounded many more times than it killed.

    There’s no reason to believe that didn’t happen here, so you should wait to see if there are people who need medical attention that they are asking for.

    Although it’s also explained that many people went into basements for shelter from the bombardment which was exactly the wrong thing to do in the case of poison gas.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  386. 390. You may hate the signature Kennedy programs, but it seems disingenuous to claim they did nothing.

    Comment by tifosa (9dec00) — 9/2/2013 @ 6:15 pm

    I concede the Kennedy programs didn’t actually drown girls as opposed to the unofficial Kennedy activities.

    So in that sense the official Kennedy programs accomplished a great deal.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  387. I don’t hate a Democrat I know, which tends to be everyone I know.

    They do have some weird proclivities, though:

    They really, really hate Israel.

    They really, really love Obama.

    They treat me as a peculiar oddity that they like, but can’t understand.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  388. Perhaps if we could have diverted the Kennedy clan’s attention away from drunken parties and toward their “signature programs” we could have cured cancer.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  389. Tifosa,

    Why are you so obsessed with the Kennedys ?
    Do they represent some sort of white elitist privilige that you secretly aspire to ? Are you drawn to the family because Joe Sr was a Nazi supporter, prior to our entry into WW2 ?
    Or is Teddy Boy’s history of boozing, womanizing, getting kicked out of Harvard for cheating, and leaving a young single woman to drown following a car “accident,” simply the type of celebrated biography that makes you want to forget about the George Washingtons of our nation’s history ?

    And when will you lefties finally admit that JFK was murdered by a Commie ?
    Last week, Hugh Hewitt had one of MSNBC’s finest intellectuals on his radio show, and the woman refused to admit that Alger Hiss was a Commie.

    Tifosa, you’ll at least admit that JFK was murdered by a Commie, right ?

    Elephant Stone (284a27)

  390. Tifitita, let’s look at who 0bama supports… the Muslim Brotherhood… the Muslim Brotherhood and 0bama are against the Egyptian military and General al-Sisi

    Assad is anti-Muslim Brotherhood… Iran supports Assad and Hamas and Hamas is pro-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-U.S.

    The Gulf states are pro-U.S., pro-Egyptian military and General al-Sisi.

    What is wrong with this picture?

    Colonel Haiku (4f28c7)

  391. ES, you may want to read back. I didn’t bring up the topic, have never commented on it before, and am hardly “obsessed.”
    In fact, if there’s an obsession, it appears on your side.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  392. Well there is a degree of situational ethics, Kennedy, Douglas, Vanden Heuvel sr, were sponsors of Diem, then he became expendable, because these young officers like Ky and Thieu were the future, how well did that turn out?

    narciso (3fec35)

  393. Steve57: I’m not saying it’s impossible to launch a chemical weapons attack that kills almost 1,500 people but only manages to wound at most 3,600.

    I agree that the 3.600 figure probasbly does not jibe with the 1,429 figure, but 3,600 is only the number of people treated, possibly by a subgroup of doctors and medics, not the number of people exposed.

    In the case of Iraq the 60,000 figure is probably a statistical projection based on a small sample, or a wild eyed guess, based on what someone felt it should be.

    There’s no reason to think that 3,600 figure is anywhere near as accurate as the 1,429 figure, and it doesn’t even pretend to be the number of people wounded. (it’s also possible, of course, the 1,429 includes some deaths from other causes)

    It doesn’t seem likely because even if you’re just peripherally exposed to Sarin you’ll need to go to the hospital.

    Bulletin: Bashir Assad attacks hospitals and punishes doctors who treat rebels. The hospital facilities in the rebel held areas are very much makeshift.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/06/world/middleeast/in-besieged-sunni-town-of-qusayr-sunnis-are-bitter.html?pagewanted=all

    Inside Qusayr, the situation grew more desperate as the government refused to admit Red Crescent workers until military operations ended.

    When his makeshift hospital was bombed, Dr. Qassem al-Zein said, he moved his patients to houses and basements, without anesthetics, antibiotics or oxygen. There was little to offer more than 1,300 wounded people but the blood that others donated as often as possible, said an activist, Ammar.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/22/world/middleeast/syrian-troops-move-on-rebel-held-town-near-damascus.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Residents in the town, Jdaidet al-Fadl, and activists described a three-day campaign in which soldiers from the army and loyalist militias systematically burned houses, arrested men, took over field hospitals and killed the wounded….On Saturday night, he said, the army captured the hospitals; doctors fled, and “the army then burned all the wounded people there.”

    How come I know and you don’t that the hospitals in the rebel held areas aren’t exactly first rate?

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  394. #396. What is wrong with this picture?

    The entire premise of your comment Col.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  395. 0bama, his supporters and advisers want Americans to think that he is all Freddie Blassie at this moment in time, wrestling with his decision to bomb or not to bomb Syria.

    But Americans have seen this guy in action for well over 4 years now and know all-too-well that he is nothin’ but a pencil-neck geek.

    Colonel Haiku (4f28c7)

  396. I would definitely get an independent opinion from someone trained in chemical warfare before taking this administration’s story at face value, if I were a Congresscritter

    Nothing wrong with that, and they should try to clarify the situation as much as possible.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  397. Speaking of obsession, anybody want to guess who has posted more than 45 comments on this discussion?

    Of course Sammy wins the word count.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  398. tifitita… that you don’t understand the current situation and all that’s in-play goes to the heart of this matter.

    Colonel Haiku (4f28c7)

  399. Tifosa,

    If you’re obsessed with defending the Kennedys, just ome out and own it. Lots of Americans are smitten with them.

    I see you refuse to admit that Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed a Commie. How can we engage you in an adult conversation if you refuse to admit certain historical facts ?

    Elephant Stone (284a27)

  400. Comment by Dana (6178d5) — 9/2/2013 @ 6:09 pm

    So, yes, Putin is acting in his country’s best interest, while Obama is acting in his own best interest.

    Putin is probably actging in his own personal best interest, not so much as Russia, because how is Russia better off with there being more terrible foreign dictatorships.

    He doesn’t appear to have aseparate interest from his country, but that’s because it’s with him a little like it was with Louis XIV as Louis XIV who said “Le etat, c’est moi”

    He’s pretty secure in power. Although it’s been speculated he arranged for a couple of terrorist attacks in Moscow to benefit himself.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  401. Assad is probably wondering what happened to all teh Love that Obama, Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nanski Pelosi and the rest of the usual suspects had for him just a few years ago when they were touting him as a “Reformer”…

    Colonel Haiku (4f28c7)

  402. hahahaha! ES, goin’ and provin’ my point. :)

    tifosa (9dec00)

  403. tifitita’s work here am dun…

    Colonel Haiku (4f28c7)

  404. 296. Comment by Steve57 (35dd46) — 9/2/2013 @ 12:15 pm

    I can’t see how the Assad regime could deliver enough Sarin to kill 1400 people without doing quite a bit of damage. Not as much as the Iraqis did at Halabja,

    This is an urbanized area.

    But we’ll see if that 1,429 figure holds up.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  405. The ten-percenter wins the obsessed thread.

    Congratulations all around.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  406. “hahahaha! ES, goin’ and provin’ my point

    I think its been pretty conclusively established, tifosa, that you really don’t have a point.

    SPQR (768505)

  407. tifosa,

    Ted Kennedy is the only Kennedy whose programs have endured, and that’s because he was a legislator for 47 years. The other Kennedy brothers were famous but IMO their legacies are their personalities rather than their politics.

    In your opinion, which of Ted Kennedy’s programs made him so valuable to the Democratic Party? He offered legislation on the minimum wage, health insurance, abortion rights, immigration, No Child Left Behind, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and he worked to block GOP judicial nominees. Which program that Ted Kennedy stood for made it worth overlooking Chappaquiddick?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  408. You would think there would be some questions;

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/02/Hillary-Nyad-sharks

    narciso (3fec35)

  409. Sammy #406:

    Putin is probably actging in his own personal best interest, not so much as Russia, because how is Russia better off with there being more terrible foreign dictatorships.

    The three reasons Russia backs Assad but the first 2 are the only ones that matter:

    1) Strategic: Syria’s port of Tartus hosts the only remaining international military base outside of the former Soviet Union.

    2) Financial: As of June 2012, Russia’s economic interests in Syria total approximately $20 billion, about $5 billion of which are weapons sales.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  410. Syria’s port of Tartus hosts the only remaining international military base outside of the former Soviet Union.

    Important maybe to Putin the ruler, but to Russia?

    2) Financial: As of June 2012, Russia’s economic interests in Syria total approximately $20 billion, about $5 billion of which are weapons sales.

    Putin controls who has money in Russia.

    This kind of stuff is not of interest to France.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 9/2/2013 @ 6:53 pm

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  411. You think Putin cares about the military bases and money but Russia doesn’t? Really?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  412. 407. Comment by Colonel Haiku (4f28c7) — 9/2/2013 @ 6:43 pm

    407.Assad is probably wondering what happened to all teh Love that Obama, Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Nanski Pelosi and the rest of the usual suspects had for him just a few years ago when they were touting him as a “Reformer”…

    Maybe he wondered a year ago or more, but I don’t think he has since the Vanity Fair profile. He probably instinctivelyy understands you can’t fool people all of the people all of the time, and there number you can fool, drops the worst things get.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  413. Ahhh, Sammy. Yes, you’re absolutely right. Putin just wants to make a quick ruble and retire on the French Riviera.

    nk (875f57)

  414. Sammy… they call it “sarcasm”, its a wonderful tool and it can be your friend.

    Colonel Haiku (7865e7)

  415. I think Putin’s KGB background and skilz have been very useful to him in his present career.

    elissa (a7644f)

  416. #413. PeaceCorps continues, ADA legislation (anything else I’d have to look up like you did.)

    Maybe it’s the same thing that makes Chappaquiddick, and the whole Kennedy topic, such an obsession for R’s: He was a senior Senator for what, 3or4decades, dependable D vote, creating/supporting legislation for the rights of the disadvantaged.

    tifosa (9dec00)

  417. I hate it when my idols kill people.

    JD (5c1832)

  418. Hilarious that tifosa can’t list any Kennedy legislation not already pointed out by others.

    SPQR (768505)

  419. Syria was a vurtual Russian satrap, although more of GRU concern, in some ways not unlike the Stans or the Caucasus republics like Chechya and Dagestan,

    narciso (3fec35)

  420. hahahaha JD! oh the irony…

    tifosa (9dec00)

  421. No disrespect, tif, but I think Teddy was more interested in filling the family coffers and finding tasty sandwiches with buddies on the backs of the poor and disenfranchised.

    Just saying. Regardless, my kids wouldn’t know a Kennedy from a Chappaquiddick.

    Despite the family’s storied history, the Kennedy’s time is long past. Kind of like the Van Burens.

    Do proceed, though.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  422. It is shocking that Mary Jo’s death causes you to LOL tiffy.

    JD (5c1832)

  423. ==Maybe it’s the same thing that makes Chappaquiddick, and the whole Kennedy topic, such an obsession for R’s: ==

    Wow. For me, the question has always been why isn’t Chappaquiddick an obsession for every decent person in Massachusetts and America, especially Dems who hold the Kennedys dear. I mean a young woman, a Democratic campaign worker was left to die alone in dark water. It started simply as an accident with a drunken driver who missed a curve. But many experts do not believe it had to end the way it did. All those 4 decades he was famous and lionized in Washington, Mary Jo has been quietly lying in her grave mostly forgotten.

    But hey, how many times has tifosa obsessed over Senator Vitter who was unfaithful to his wife but she is still alive and well. Go figure.

    elissa (a7644f)

  424. His being a ‘useful idiot’ for Andropov and Chernenko to be charitable, are more significant,

    narciso (3fec35)

  425. @354 DRJ — Then why don’t the Kennedy men make your list of bad Ds?
    @355 tifosa — because they had successes in politics I guess.

    “…I guess”

    @413 DRJ — Which program that Ted Kennedy stood for made it worth overlooking Chappaquiddick?
    @422 tifosa — Maybe it’s the same thing that makes Chappaquiddick, and the whole Kennedy topic, such an obsession for R’s…

    “Maybe…”

    Keeping in mind that the Chappaquiddick incident took an innocent human life, the reason you are having difficulty answering these questions is because to maintain your support means:
    * there are no rational answers to these questions that would be moral at the same time.
    * there are no moral answers to these questions that would be rational at the same time.

    You tried and to your credit knew that something was not correct (hence your qualifiers).

    Tifosa, perhaps you might entertain the possibility that bad men are not worthy of your support, regardless of party membership; and maybe a party that tolerates such men, even celebrates them — is not worthy to govern a free People.

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  426. Comment by Pons Asinorum (8ce71a) — 9/2/2013 @ 8:14 pm

    There you go again, making things clear, logical, and pointed…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  427. He’s not doing that. Netanyahu wants Israeli diplomats to say absolutely nothing – he seems to be afraid that maybe that mighht cause assad to blame Israel – like as if an attack could be avoided if Assad thinks it is in his interest to do so.

    Sammy, I’m not sure if you understood what I meant by Obama doing a George-Zimmerman-ization of Netanyahu/Israel. That’s where far too many liberals — who have a knack for being ass backwards about good and bad people, good and bad situations, time and time again — are more cynical and skeptical about generally the only decent, reliable society in the Middle East than they are about, say, the Al-Queda-supported rebels in Syria.

    Keep in mind that the gut reaction behind such a POV is evident far beyond the realm of international affairs. For example, the response of much of the left when it comes to controversies of law and order (eg, Zimmerman and Martin). Or where so many liberals love to make two-bit criminals somehow the sad, dejected, pitiful souls in a two-way confrontation, while their victims are but easily forgettable bit players in the bigger picture (“It’s your own damn fault that you were driving through a dangerous part of town in the first place!!!”).

    There’s something wrong going on here if you think Vladimir Putin is more trustworthy than Barack Obama.

    I wouldn’t say more trustworthy as much I’ll say that Obama is competing with Putin for the politician who’s scraping deepest at the bottom of the barrel. Again, this White House, when explaining the origins of the debacle of Benghazi, had the temerity to blatantly lie to the American public about a silly video on Youtube, which is the kind of BS that I originally would have associated with a country like a KGB-ized Russia. (I won’t say anything about the trappings of the IRS and NSA in Obama’s America.)

    Sammy, I know that you, as a resident of blue-berserk New York City (and also the likely one-sided tilt of your family/relatives), are surrounded by loony liberals and loony liberalism. In such a swamp, you do deserve a bit of patience in your ongoing struggle to maintain a bit of common sense.

    Mark (fd91da)

  428. It is shocking that Mary Jo’s death causes you to LOL tiffy.

    At least his brother was a bit less of a naughty little scamp.

    rockcenter.nbcnews.com, February 2012: Mimi Alford says her 18 month affair with President John F. Kennedy was glamorous and fun, but also says the experience revealed a darker side of the king of Camelot.

    Alford says that her sexual relationship with the 45-year-old Kennedy began in the summer of 1962, four days into her internship at the White House….Alford says that a few hours after her first swim with the president, she received another call from JFK aide Powers. This time he invited her upstairs to the White House residence for a welcoming of the new staff.

    Alford says Kennedy singled her out and asked if she wanted to take a private tour of the rooms his wife had recently redecorated. “There was nothing in my mind that thought anything other than what I was being offered which was a tour of what the White House looked like,” Alford said.

    Kennedy led Alford on the tour, which she says ended in Jackie Kennedy’s bedroom. “I felt the president getting closer and closer to me,” Alford said. “His way didn’t make me nervous and he came close, very close, and looked me right in the eyes and I actually, he then put his hands on my shoulder and sort of guiding me down to the edge of the bed, sort of the corner of the bed and I think he may have even said to me, ‘Is this all right’…I don’t really think I knew what he was talking about.”

    In her memoir, Alford writes that Kennedy “maneuvered me swiftly and unexpectedly and with such authority and strength that short of screaming, I doubt if I could have done anything to thwart his intentions.”

    While Alford says the president made her feel special, she also says that he had a “dark side.” The most disturbing incident occurred at the White House pool, Alford says. JFK aide Powers was sitting poolside while Alford and Kennedy swam. Alford claims Kennedy whispered in her ear that Powers looked tense and asked her, ‘Would you take care of it.’

    Alford writes in her book, ‘I knew exactly what he meant. Take care of it. That was a challenge to give Dave Powers oral sex. I don’t think the president thought I’d do it, but I’m ashamed to say that I did.”

    Alford claims the president asked her to “take care” of his brother, freshman Senator Ted Kennedy, in the fall of 1963 towards the end of their affair, but she refused.

    Mark (fd91da)

  429. @432 — Thank you MD, but between the doctors, lawyers, triathlon athletes, and more than a couple dozen of the brightest and funniest commenters in the blogosphere — I’m just glad to be here.

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  430. Comment by Mark (fd91da) — 9/2/2013 @ 9:20 pm

    So JFK could spot a roundheels. Good talent to have. There’s some they do and some they don’t and some you just can’t tell, And some may will and some may won’t ….

    Alford likely was cameoed in Ellroy’s “American Tabloid”. (He’s not a guy I read closely). According to the Alford-like book character, JFK was a kind of rapist like Alford says here. According to the book JFK-character, the Alford-like character was always good for a quickie, even after a break up.

    nk (875f57)

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  432. Such crude spam really. No artistry.

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