Patterico's Pontifications

9/3/2013

The Vote: Wacko Birds vs. Moss-Covered Republicans

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am



That is how the New York Times sets it up, anyway.

The Congressional vote on whether to strike Syria will offer the best insight yet on which wing of the Republican Party — the traditional hawks, or a growing bloc of noninterventionists — has the advantage in the fierce internal debates over foreign policy that have been taking place all year.

Republican divisions on national security have flared over the use of drones, aid to Egypt and the surveillance practices of the National Security Agency, and the tensions have played out publicly in battles between Senator John McCain of Arizona, a former Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a libertarian-leaning freshman. Mr. McCain memorably called Mr. Paul and his compatriots “wacko birds,” and Mr. Paul suggested that hawks like Mr. McCain were “moss covered.”

But those intermittent spats could pale in comparison with the fight over whether to attack Syria, an issue on which Mr. McCain, a former Republican presidential candidate, and Mr. Paul, a possible contender in 2016, will almost certainly be the leading spokesmen for their party’s two wings.

I started to follow up this link with a short post about the problems facing Obama, including the nature of the power he will be granted; the nature of the action he plans to take; and the nature of the opposition to Assad in Syria. For example, the moss-covered John McCain wants to do more than lob a couple of missiles. Meanwhile, the wacko birds might be more concerned by Mr. Assad’s argument that he is really fighting Al Qaeda.

It seems that Byron York has already covered much of this territory. This point bears repeating:

Many Republicans will never be convinced the U.S. can come to the aid of good rebels in Syria without also helping bad rebels in Syria. It’s just too complicated, they believe, and there are simply too many bad guys. Why risk aiding al Qaeda or its affiliates? These Republicans remain unconvinced by arguments from fellow GOP lawmakers like John McCain, who point out that in the Libyan operation the U.S. essentially set up a safe area for good rebels in Benghazi. Given what happened later in that Libyan city, the skeptics will remain unconvinced.

I’m no professional reader of tea leaves, but when an action is this unpopular, and there are considerable arguments against intervention, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that Obama will win this vote.

119 Responses to “The Vote: Wacko Birds vs. Moss-Covered Republicans”

  1. It doesn’t help when the people arguing for this military adventure are complete idiots.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  2. America is a big sillyhead

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. Congress & the First Failure demonstrably were complete idiots when it came to health care too, but that didn’t stop them from passing Obamacare.

    never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups, especially when they are in DC.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  4. Ken Gardner ‏@kesgardner

    If a single WH pic could capture the essence of the Obama presidency, I might pick this one. —> pic.twitter.com/lxFhLRGZDb

    This.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  5. Every time John McCain makes a speech about how we can locate and make sure the US only arms the “right people” in Syria, the conservatives should just hold up this picture.

    http://tribfox40.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/mccain-syria.jpg

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  6. If I were Rand Paul I’d have that picture on the wall of my office, and I’d make sure I always sat underneath it when I give interviews.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  7. Obama knows he can’t win Congressional approval, so he’ll go back to using the CIA to secretly ship arms and recruit fighters for the Muslim Brotherhood’s insurgent al-Nusra Front just like he and Hillary did in Benghazi.

    And, as a double side benefit, first, Obama is more than willing to sit back and pretend to consult Congress as tensions along the GOP’s major fault lines build to the breaking point, and second, questions about the IRS and NSA get short shrift as visions of Syrian intervention dominate MSM political reporting.

    ropelight (9e1769)

  8. Don’t count Armageddon out:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-03/boehner-comes-out-supports-obamas-call-action

    I keep hearing this or that actor is dead if they retaliate against the world’s sole hyperpower and only sheriff.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  9. Obama is a pathological liar and simply can not be trusted. In a word: Benghazi. Obama (Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, et. al.,) lied repeatedly to the American people, the World, with the utter falsehood that the terrorist attack on the Benghazi Consulate(?) was caused by a video that no one knew about, that no one had seen. Now almost a year later and the Obama administration still will not come clean. Nobody in their right mind should even consider giving this man any more power. Obama should be impeached and thrown in prison.

    And then there are all the other scandals: Fast & Furious, IRS, NSA, AP & Fox News-James Rosen, EPA, Obama-Care, etc. Again, who in their right mind would give this man any more power? Obama should be impeached and thrown in prison.

    The federal government is too big, has too many secrets, creates too many boogeymen, engages in too much mischief, tells too many lies – and too seldom, if ever, is held accountable.

    Recall Obama was going to change the way Washington works and he stated that his administration would be the most transparent ever.
    So much for Hope & Change.

    GW Bush was not much better.

    We have to stop tolerating the lying, have to start living by the truth and the Constitution and have to take our country back. Do we have the courage to do that?

    Gary L. Zerman (98d67e)

  10. #9, clearly, Gary, our politicians don’t have the requisite courage, nor judging by the two most recent presidential elections does it seem our people demonstrate either the intelligence or the stomach for facing up to the truth or the consequences.

    ropelight (9e1769)

  11. count me among the whacko birds.

    Ghost (476943)

  12. I watched Rand Paul on one of the Sunday shows. He was parroting arguments from Kremlin apologists and genocide denialists. The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  13. From the NYT article:

    “John Kerry is, you know, he’s famous for saying, you know, how can you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?” Mr. Paul said. “I would ask John Kerry, how can you ask a man to be the first one to die for a mistake?”

    Notice how they highlight Sen. Paul’s use of “you know” as a verbal crutch? Can anyone recall when the NYT quoted Dear Leader speaking extemporaneously and included every time he used “uh” or “er” as he grasped for what to say?

    JVW (23867e)

  14. He was parroting arguments from Kremlin apologists and genocide denialists.

    Really? Basing his arguments on Democrat talking points, then?

    Rob Crawford (e6f27f)

  15. Now that’s been John Kerry sincr 1971

    narciso (3fec35)

  16. ==Obama is more than willing to sit back and pretend to consult Congress as tensions along the GOP’s major fault lines build to the breaking point.==

    Rope, I get your point but frankly I will be just as happy for Team R to continue exploring their fault lines and get it out in the open now rather than in the middle of the next election like we usually/always seem to.

    A quick tour around the internet shows that O’s opened up some pretty wide fault lines in his own party, too, that are coming to a head.

    elissa (c12d5b)

  17. Really? Basing his arguments on Democrat talking points, then?

    Comment by Rob Crawford (e6f27f) — 9/3/2013 @ 9:28 am

    Generic leftist talking points, but yes. A lot of anti-establishment leftists are apologists for the worst of these dictators. The Kremlin has bought and paid for a couple of “think tanks” that write this hooey, and the leftists eat it up.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  18. It’s BS, of course, that Rand Paul was spewing leftist talking points.

    carlitos doesn’t seem to think you can watch Rand Paul’s entire interview and see how miserably he’s misrepresenting the Senator’s remarks.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/rand-paul-how-can-kerry-ask-a-man-to-be-1st-to-die-for-a-mistake/

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  19. Rumsfield said you go to war with the army you have. I don’t want to go to war with the president we have.

    bud (b53cda)

  20. Could we get a signed affidavite from the Lefties, that if we go to aid the rebels,
    and some of them are the proverbial “bad guys”,
    that they Left will not use this aid as an attacking point in the future the way they condemn our aid to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan as “aiding AQ” – an affidavit with a penalty clause:
    Death by Hanging (which is fitting for traitors)!

    askeptic (2bb434)

  21. 19. Rumsfield said you go to war with the army you have. I don’t want to go to war with the president we have.

    Comment by bud (b53cda) — 9/3/2013 @ 9:52 am

    Neither did General Dempsey; he’s spent the last year arguing against getting involved in the Syria mess. This is what he was saying just a week before the 21 August sarin attack.

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/175729/general-dempsey-again-warns-syria-war#

    General Dempsey Again Warns on Syria War
    Bob Dreyfuss on August 13, 2013 – 11:08 AM ET

    General Martin Dempsey is at it again. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is traveling in the Middle East, seemingly making it clear that he doesn’t want any part of the war in Syria. As I reported a while back, in a letter to members of Congress Dempsey had earlier warned that all of the options open to the United States in the Syrian civil war are bad ones. At that time, Dempsey drew fire from hawks and from advocates who want more and stronger direct US involvement in the Syrian war.

    Now, it appears that both Dempsey and the Obama administration are concerned about the Syrian war spreading into Jordan. In the past, the United States has used Jordan as a launching pad for CIA-trained rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad. But the rebellion in Syria is boomeranging, or “blowing back,” as these things usually do.

    …Dempsey, whose earlier letter was released by Senator Carl Levin’s office, was outspoken during his trip to Israel and Jordan. Said Dempsey:

    “I am very concerned about the radical element of the opposition, and I am concerned about the potential that extremist ideologies will hijack what started out to be a popular movement to overthrow an oppressive regime.…

    “The issues that are fueling the conflict in Syria will not be resolved in the short term, even if the Assad regime were to fail tomorrow,” he said. “This is a regional conflict that stretches from Beirut to Damascus to Baghdad.”[…] “It is the unleashing of historic ethnic, religious and tribal animosities that will take a great deal of work and a great deal of time to resolve.”

    …Dempsey understates the problem when, according to Reuters, he says that it’s a “challenge” for the CIA to figure out which rebel is which. He said:

    “The real challenge for the intel community, frankly, is to understand when they’re collaborating just for a particular issue at a particular time and when they may actually be allied with each other,” he said. “And to this point, I think, we’re not exactly certain where that fine line of distinction might reside.”

    Dempsey is now essentially contradicting what he’s said when warning against striking Syria now that he’s trying to help sell the idea of striking Syria.

    So I wouldn’t want to go to war the the CJCS we have, either.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  22. It’s BS, of course, that Rand Paul was spewing leftist talking points….

    Comment by Steve57 (35dd46) — 9/3/2013 @ 9:52 am

    Except that he was. He also said “ma-cheezy-mo” on national TV, which is the best Sunday talk show moment since Robert Byrd dropped the N bomb.

    We haven’t engaged the Russians enough or the Chinese enough on this.

    The best outcome would be a peaceful transition in government, and I think that Russia could influence this if they told Assad ‘no more weapons.’

    This is Putin apologia. Take a look at who’s saying what.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  23. carlitos – On foreign policy, Rand Paul has cray cray Gray-vee-tass.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. The Paul family’s view of foreign policy is that there isn’t any foreign.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  25. Unfortunately, anything like reasoned argument is likely to be left out of any media coverage.

    More voices are raising the concern whether it was really Assad who used the gas or the rebels in a “false-flag” operation, and whether or not the US (er, or the Army of President Obama) is actually complicit. (Fast and Furious on a bigger scale, hard to believe, but so was the original).
    Even the one bit of evidence offered that was reported to be an Israeli intercept of Syrian communication apparently had a “What the h*** did you do!?!?” quality to it, that Assad has nothing to gain using nerve gas on the rebels.

    So, we’re not sure who used it, and even if we did, it is not clear which group of bad guys to support. (There was that little issue of Putin pointing out we were backing a group that had a cannibal as it’s leader- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22519770 )

    Choosing to intervene on the side of cannibals or those who use nerve gas- not a good choice if that is the choice.
    Of course, choosing to intervene on the behalf of cannibals who use nerve gas would be worse.

    Who knows?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  26. So, we’re not sure who used it

    Yes, we actually are sure. Paranoid conspiracy theories notwithstanding, the Syrian regime did it. To believe otherwise is crazy. The rebels chemical-weaponed themselves during a Syrian army artillery bombardment? They found a bunch of true believers to kill themselves and the believers didn’t make martyrdom videos or tell anyone? They somehow amassed enough gasses to be a deadly concentration in open air? No.

    The above has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘which group of bad guys’ to support.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  27. I thought it was largely innocents caught up in between the fighting factions, as usual.

    While we are being crazy, why does the Assad regime want to gain international opposition by using chemical weapons? To me that would seem crazy unless they are really that desperate.
    Are they?
    And if they are that desperate, do the rebels need our help?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  28. If the spineless win the Syria smackdown say good bye to the squeester.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  29. What we’re looking at with limited strikes is no real change in the balance of the fighting.

    That means whoever actually launched the attacks will do it again to get an improved response.

    Look at the markets response today now that McVain and the GOP are frothing. Risk-off.

    There is no upside to intervention. Lost in the Neo-con wailing about Isolationism is the plain fact Iran will not give up its only ally in the region, nor will Russia abandon its last real foothold.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  30. And if they are that desperate, do the rebels need our help?

    It depends on what the meaning of “is”, is.
    Just who is it that Dear Leader is trying to help (other than himself)?
    What is the ultimate goal?
    I wouldn’t put it past him that his ultimate goal is to cement the influence and leadership of Iran – he certainly hasn’t done anything in the past to hinder them – and Bashar is their guy in Damascus.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  31. What we’re looking at with limited strikes is no real change in the balance of the fighting.

    That means whoever actually launched the attacks will do it again to get an improved response.

    What? If we bomb Syrian assets in response to the gas attack, they will do it again to get an improved response? Could you please clarify this thought?

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  32. 27. I thought it was largely innocents caught up in between the fighting factions, as usual.

    While we are being crazy, why does the Assad regime want to gain international opposition by using chemical weapons? To me that would seem crazy unless they are really that desperate.
    Are they?
    And if they are that desperate, do the rebels need our help?

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 9/3/2013 @ 11:02 am

    This was reported in May:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/un-has-testimony-that-syrian-rebels-used-sarin-gas-1.519405

    United Nations human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.

    The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

    “Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

    “This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added, speaking in Italian.

    There’s been no evidence the Syrian government has ever used Sarin in the past. The evidence has always pointed to the opposition. As I predicted, this was bound to come up again.

    http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/151261/russia-asks-turkey-for-info-on-sarin-terrorists.html

    Russia asks Turkey for info on sarin terrorists

    6 June 2013

    Russia has called on Turkey to share its findings in the case of Syrian rebels who were seized on the Turkish-Syrian border with a 2kg cylinder full of nerve gas sarin.

    Russia’s top foreign official Sergei Lavrov tolday said the Kremlin wanted to get clear on the issue of chemical weapons used in Syria, since the allegation had taken on the role of a trading card in the conflict, becoming a focus of constant provocations.

    “I do not rule out that some force may want to use it [the rumour] to say that the “red line” has been crossed and a foreign intervention is needed,” the minister said.

    “We are still waiting on a comprehensive report from our Turkish colleagues,” he added, citing the incident when a gang of terrorists carrying a canister with nerve gas sarin was arrested inside the Turkish territory about two weeks ago.

    We know the rebels have sarin, and not just from this report. They appear to have used it in the past. The case the Obama administration is trying to make that the Assad regime used it this time weak. In fact it looks in many respects to be cooked up. No other government has confirmed anything close to 1429 fatalities. In fact, no one else has used such an overly precise number. The British were only able to confirm something like 350 deaths. Then there’s the contention that the US had “multiple streams of intel” in the days prior to the attack that they claim confirms the government not the rebels were preparing chemical weapons for use. The last time they had “multiple streams of intel” that even hinted the Assad regime was preparing chemical weapons for use, they went public with it.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2012/12/03/obama-assad-syria-nunn-lugar-nuclear-non-proliferation/1743859/

    The warnings come as U.S. officials report that intelligence agencies have detected a movement of chemical weapon components in Syria in recent days.

    So we’re to believe that this time they had “human, signals, and geospatial intelligence” the Syrians were conducting actual launch preparations in the days before the attack and they did nothing?

    Kerry says this is our “Munich moment.” Actually it’s his Tonkin Gulf moment.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  33. With respect, Carlitos, your posts make it sound as if there is only one unified rebel insurgency in Syria and so they wouldn’t gas themselves. Do you believe this is true? Do you think there might possibly be an insurgency within an insurgency involving conflicting goals, or that the civil war might have more than two sides depending on which outside groups or foreign countries are funding them, and helping or inciting, and depending on what their separate motives might be?

    Personally, I think enough questions and inconsistencies abound for people to at least look deeper and should be able to question the current Washington narrative without being accused of being crazee conspiracy theorists.

    elissa (c12d5b)

  34. elissa @33, considering some rebel groups have assassinated the commanders of other rebel groups, I’d say it’s a safe bet there isn’t only one unified rebel insurgency.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  35. 31. Certainly. We are proposing a limited, 2 day attack on the assets that enabled this attack.

    Ostensibly, Assad has 1000 tons of shells, bombs, missiles and other delivery articles. He’s got weeks to move them, weeks to prepare for command and control assault.

    Air assault from Cyprus, Italy, or Germany is off the table. We’re down to US, Turkey and Diego Garcia for launch, and as stealth craft will be used to minimize need for air cover the last(B-52s) and carrier groups probably won’t figure in this assault.

    Low-altitude cruise missiles are pre-programmed and will be vulnerable to automated AA in the first waves.

    Of 50 targets some won’t be hit, and most will be modified in some form so the value of the assault will be primarily as provocation.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  36. See, I worry that “planning” only a two day limited attack will end up similarly to “planning” to eat only a limited amount of ice cream. You know, when the “plan” is to eat only one of the four pints of Haagen Dazs that are in the freezer–and then, likety-split like, things get out of control….. BOOM!

    elissa (c12d5b)

  37. 36. Good point and the old saw ‘No plan survives first encounter with the enemy’.

    When was the last time we faced off against the latest Russian hardware, moved our pieces out of respect for theirs on the map?

    I’m just sayin’ stuff happens and the more actors in the game the harder it is to adapt successfully.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  38. This is insane. I think Kerry just said he couldn’t guarantee no boots on the ground. Is this supposed to help the cause with the American people? I really do think something is going on behind the scenes that we don’t know and probably can’t comprehend.

    elissa (c12d5b)

  39. This John Kerry person can’t cut the mustard.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  40. The returdlicans are so stupid. They really should be flushed.
    Bipartisanship kills.

    mg (31009b)

  41. What was stunning was the reason why Kerry didn’t want to take boots on the ground off the table. We might have to resort to inserting US ground forces just in case Syria “implodes” to prevent chemical weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

    Oh, yeah. This will be well thought out.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  42. And Kerry did use the word “implodes.”

    The Obama is trying to convince America they’re just talking about a limited, tailored, precision strike of short duration with minimal chance of collateral damage or risk of blowback.

    And, oh by the way, we may just cause the country to implode.

    But other than that there’s nothing to worry about.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  43. Well, coincidentally I just got an email from my Senator:

    In my view, the President made the right decision to seek congressional approval for any military action in Syria. While I would oppose any resolution that authorizes boots on the ground in Syria, I would support a narrow authorization of a missile strike targeting those responsible for using chemical weapons and deterring future use of such weapons. The American people do not want a wider Middle Eastern war. I will continue to monitor developments closely with your input in mind..

    So you’ll excuse me while I go give him some input and ask him how he feels about Kerry’s “implode” comment with respect to boots on the ground.

    elissa (49e99e)

  44. 40. Comment by elissa (c12d5b) — 9/3/2013 @ 6:35 pm

    This is insane. I think Kerry just said he couldn’t guarantee no boots on the ground. Is this supposed to help the cause with the American people?

    He had to tell the truth. It would greatly hurt Obama’s credibility with Congress if he did not.

    I really do think something is going on behind the scenes that we don’t know and probably can’t comprehend.

    No, it’s simple. It’s the contingency plan for when Assad is about to fall, or Syria is about to break up into a dozen pieces: at that point, but not before, grab the chemical weapons.

    U.S. policy has been: 1) Nobody will be allowd to inherit the chemical weapons, because we don’t know what will happened after that, and it could go to terrorists preparing an attack on U.S soil or against U.S. interests and personel abroad, or whatnot 2) Assad will not be allowed to give them away either while he’s still around 3) he will be allowed to keep custody of his chemical weapons, provided he doesn’t use them 4) and if he does use then, else happens..

    Point 2 is enforced by Israel attacking convoys, on the grounds they may be headed for hezbolla in Lebanon. (which I would think miht not neessarily be true. But anyway Assad can’t turn them over to other units that haven’t had custoidy of them historically)

    Point 4 is being played by ear.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  45. Sammy, its impossible for US troops to just dash into a civil war to “grab” chemical weapons.

    SPQR (768505)

  46. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 9/3/2013 @ 11:02 am

    why does the Assad regime want to gain international opposition by using chemical weapons?

    He might have been encouraged by some advisers into thinking it was safe to do so.

    To me that would seem crazy unless they are really that desperate.

    Desperate at least maybe to get a more secure situation for himself.

    And if they are that desperate, do the rebels need our help?

    they may onlky need alittle hel.

    The Administration is clearly afraid that if they did anything that mattered, they might cause the fall of the House of Assad, and then have to carry out their self-imposed task of seizing all the chemical weapons, which is not 100% worked out obviously.

    Of course if they don’t do anything that matters, Assad might feel free to continue to use them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpVbBH9Ip8I

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  47. * they may only need a little help.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  48. 47. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 9/3/2013 @ 10:26 pm

    Sammy, its impossible for US troops to just dash into a civil war to “grab” chemical weapons

    Maybe Obama thinks at that point, (when the reime Assad is imploding) they’ll be unguarded.

    I know, there’s a lot of questions about hoe exactly that’s supposed to work.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  49. Guarded (yeah right) or unguarded, its impossible. Chemical weapons are bulky and require technicians careful handling. Many convoys of trucks or trains. Nothing short of complete occupation would suffice for removing them. They won’t fit in the knapsacks of a SEAL team.

    Its a moronic idea. The kind you would only expect from amateurs reading Tom Clancy novels.

    SPQR (768505)

  50. I think the idea must be, that when the regime is imploding, there’ll be a point when the Syrian government troops guarding the chemical weapons will have abandoned their posts, but nobody else will have arrived yet to take them, and neither will anybody else in Syria know where they are so fast, and then, preferably the Jordanians, maybe the Israelis, possibly the Turks, or the French Foreign Legion, or if absolutely necessary U.S troops, any and all of them guided by CIA personnel, will swoop in to to take them away, just in the nick of time..

    One possible problem: the Syrian might not fall at the same time in all places where they have taken chemical weapons,

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  51. Nothing short of complete occupation would suffice for removing them. They won’t fit in the knapsacks of a SEAL team.

    Well, they could send a lot more people so they could do it overnight.

    Or maybe they have a plan to destroy them quickly, without contaminating the atmosphere.

    It’s a moronic idea. The kind you would only expect from amateurs reading Tom Clancy novels.

    Whatever the idea is, it seems to have the Joint Chiefs of staff et all completely behind it.

    Perhaps there’s not so much opposition because, after all, it is a contingency plan.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  52. I don’t know. Maybe somebody invented some new still secret way of rendering nerve gases harmless.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  53. “I think the idea must be, that when the regime is imploding, there’ll be a point when the Syrian government troops guarding the chemical weapons will have abandoned their posts, but nobody else will have arrived yet to take them, and neither will anybody else in Syria know where they are so fast, and then, preferably the Jordanians, maybe the Israelis, possibly the Turks, or the French Foreign Legion, or if absolutely necessary U.S troops, any and all of them guided by CIA personnel, will swoop in to to take them away, just in the nick of time.”

    Sammy, it does not work that way. Reality is not an episode of Hogan’s Heroes. You don’t swoop in a civil war with tons of cargo from scores of hidden weapons dumps. It took years to search Iraq after we occupied it.

    SPQR (768505)

  54. Probably geared to each particular chemical agent, like chloramine solutions for VX and mustard gas, and sodium hydroxide dissolved in water for sarin, soman, and tabun.

    Of course whatever the idea might be, it’s probably never been tested out in the field, undr battlefield conditions.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  55. Sammy, no one has any such method. We have years of experience with chemical weapons disposal. Its not that easy.

    You are making up stuff again.

    SPQR (768505)

  56. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 9/3/2013 @ 10:49 pm

    Reality is not an episode of Hogan’s Heroes. .

    Well, Obama, you know, likes ideas like that.

    You don’t swoop in a civil war with tons of cargo from scores of hidden weapons dumps.

    You mean swoop out. You swoop in with empty cargo lanes or helicopters, or whatever.

    It took years to search Iraq after we occupied it.

    Because there was nothing to find.

    I think here they are assuming they know where things are, because mostly the same (trustworthy) units have been guarding them and theer may be signal intelligence etc.

    This must be based on the idea that we know exactly where all the chemical weapons are at all times. Or at least the computers know, even if humans don’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  57. It took years to search Iraq after we occupied it.

    Because there was nothing to find.”

    Horse manure Sammy. Duelfer Report.
    This f**king fantasy BS of yours got old long ago.

    SPQR (768505)

  58. 57.Comment by SPQR (768505) — 9/3/2013 @ 10:57 pm

    Sammy, no one has any such method. We have years of experience with chemical weapons disposal. Its not that easy.

    We don;t know what might have been discovered recently.

    And if not that, then the idea must be, while nobody’s there (or whoever is hostile and armed there is quickly disabled) to quickly load them at each site aboard helicopters or planes and take them to U.S. naval ships, or bases in surrounding countries.

    You are making up stuff again

    They’ve definitely got some kind of idea in mind.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9889961/US-and-British-plans-to-seize-Syrias-chemical-weapons.html

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  59. From the Telegraph:

    Sources have said that the most likely option to prevent WMD falling into the hands of extremists would be to destroy stockpiles in a series of air strikes.

    Alternative options include the use of special forces and troops trained in chemical warfare to secure WMD sites in Syria if and when the government eventually collapses.

    An RAF Regiment unit called the Defence Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Wing based at Winterbourne Gunner, Wilts, has already been warned that it should be prepared to work alongside the SAS in securing WMD sites in the Syria at short notice.

    Last week a US-based body known as the Strategic Working Group began rehearsing how WMD stockpiles would be secured in both the Middle East and the Pacific in the event of an international emergency.

    The group is composed of military personnel from the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy as well as British and Australian officers and government officials.

    The senior officers tested a variety of plans at a classified war gaming session called Unified Quest 2013 at the US Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

    I don’t know, maybe they would have to stick around for a couple of days. They could keep outsiders away with air power.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  60. And they’ve got Jordanians trained, and Israelis.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  61. Sammy – Do you have a link where it says the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff are on board with the plan you just pulled out of your butt?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  62. Spammy,

    Nurse in white uniform has two gifts for you. A nice relaxing injection of Thorazine, and a special white jacket made just for you. When strap you down in rubber room, resist them you must not! For your own well being it is!

    Yoda (35b482)

  63. Even Evil Emperor not this crazy!

    Yoda (35b482)

  64. All the MFM talks about is how this could split the Republican Party, and how it might give Obomby leverage in upcoming negotiations. They never mention how the dovish Dems should have issues with this, presumably be ause they know their position will change due to the President , and their prior virulent anti-war positions were simply political posturing a d complete BS

    JD (5c1832)

  65. Sammy has been reading too many Tom Clancy novels.

    SPQR (79105b)

  66. “Sammy has been reading too many Tom Clancy novels.”

    SPQR – I want to see the plan where the Joint Chiefs believe the WMD will be magically unguarded for a period of time when we can swoop in and either grab them or destroy them undeterred by hostile rebel forces seeking to take possession of the WMD.

    Our rapid response capabilities, or at least our willingness to use them, were so ably demonstrated in Benghazi last year in reaction to the video protest I have every confidence we can perform in accordance with Sammy’s asspull plan.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  67. I think Sammy may have read this and extrapolated or fantasized embellished a bit. It sounds like less than a full throated endorsement to me.:

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president’s top military adviser, told the Senate on Tuesday that U.S. plans for attacks on Syria were made more difficult by leaks to the press and the president’s delay in ordering the strikes.

    Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman, said in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that despite those setbacks he is confident military strikes will be effective in degrading the Syrian military’s chemical warfare capabilities.

    http://freebeacon.com/misfire/

    elissa (6b3fdb)

  68. SEAL teams could carry backback nukes to the poison gas storage sites and vaporize them.

    What?! Why are you looking at me like that?

    nk (875f57)

  69. Oh … *backpack* nukes, you know about fifty lbs can be carried in a backpack.

    nk (875f57)

  70. “It sounds like less than a full throated endorsement to me.”

    elissa – Maybe Sammy thought we should drop scary sounding leaflets from Obama telling Syrians to evacuate the areas around the WMD storage areas first. Because people in the Middle East have so much respect for Obama, that way the human shields the Syrians are likely to use around the sites are likely to leave and everybody else will likely be scared away as well, just because of Obama’s complete awesomeness and willingness to have a debate as long as people agree with him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  71. This section of the Free Beacon article shocked me, and at this point I didn’t think anything Obama could do in the foreign policy area would shock me:

    Obama said Saturday that he was told by his military advisers that any attack could be delayed without undermining the mission and thus he decided to seek congressional approval before an attack.

    Later in the hearing, Dempsey said “for interest of clarity here, what I actually said to the president is the following: The military resources we have in place can remain in place, and when you ask us to strike, we will make those strikes effective.”

    “In other sessions, in the principals committee, not with the president present, we talked about some targets becoming more accessible than they were before,” he said, an apparent reference to intelligence indicating the Syrians had moved forces to locations where they can be more easily attacked.

    However, he said “there is evidence, of course, that the regime is reacting not only to the delay, but also they were reacting before that to the very unfortunate leak of military planning.”

    “So this is a very dynamic situation.”

    Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), also criticized the administration for announcing plans for attacks.

    “When you tell the enemy you’re going to attack them … they’re obviously going to disperse and try to make it harder,” McCain said, adding that Syria is hiding weapons and moving troops and may be moving forces into Syria’s Russian naval base.

    McCain said it was a mistake “to warn the enemy that you’re going to attack.”

    When even the President’s own military leader feels he has to correct Obama’s statements …

    Lies, misinformation, leaks, mistakes, misdirection, and CYA is all we get from the Obama Administration.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  72. In other words, the military did not tell Obama that time doesn’t matter. What the military told him is they would adjust if he needed more time.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  73. For proper destruction, a 15-MT ground blast should do the trick.
    Unfortunately, the fall-out will destroy all life downwind for probably no more than 100-150k. If the wind’s from the West, no problem.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  74. Is Putin attempting a modern-day Cuban missile crisis? I wouldn’t put it past him. Obama is a weak, clueless President so it might work.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  75. In other words, is Putin trying to move the Middle East into the Russian sphere of influence? Everything Obama does makes that more likely.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  76. I thought it interesting in yesterday’s Senate hearing that Kerry tried to hand the baton off to Kegel who just refused to accept it.
    And then Kerry’s caught on an open-mike remark:
    Thanks for pulling the rug out from under me!
    ….then, he shut the mike off.

    There is no joy in Muddville.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  77. Oops….Hegel, not Kegel….
    but at this point, who cares.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  78. 74. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 9/4/2013 @ 12:04 pm

    In other words, the military did not tell Obama that time doesn’t matter. What the military told him is they would adjust if he needed more time.

    I think what tghey must have basically told him is that Syria is not expected to improve its air defences in the next month – or seven, and also that they don’t seem to havbe an ability to harden targets.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  79. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/4/2013 @ 11:04 am

    SPQR – I want to see the plan where the Joint Chiefs believe the WMD will be magically unguarded for a period of time

    They don’t have to be unguarded. With the regime collapsing, it wouldn’t be too difficult to negotiate a surrender or evacuation of the guards. Their bosses would be out of contact and fleeing. Abandoning them.

    I’d like to see their plan, too.

    when we can swoop in and either grab them or destroy them undeterred by hostile rebel forces seeking to take possession of the WMD.

    Because the rebel forces wouldn’t be at the site where the WMDs are – or that was maybe the earlier thinking, because of course this was and is under the assummption thqt Syria would not use them, nor want to risk losing them, so the WMD’s would be nowhere near a battlefield.

    Our rapid response capabilities, or at least our willingness to use them, were so ably demonstrated in Benghazi last year in reaction to the video protest I have every confidence we can perform in accordance with Sammy’s asspull plan.

    They have been rehearsing all year and more. In Benghazi there was no rehearsal. A better example would be the raid on bin Laden’s home.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  80. 68. No, no. The idea there’s a plan for boots on the ground swooping in is based on other things.

    Kerry’s caveat was another proof of that. It’s a plan Obama doesn’t want to carry out. He wants he still says a peaceful negotiated solution in Syria. Absent that, he doesn’t wanta regime collapse, because then Operation Grab the WMDs goes into effect.

    I think

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  81. I think they would consider a nuclear detonation into the atmosphere worse than the release into the atmosphere of some chemical weapons.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  82. “They don’t have to be unguarded. With the regime collapsing, it wouldn’t be too difficult to negotiate a surrender or evacuation of the guards. Their bosses would be out of contact and fleeing. Abandoning them.”

    Sammy, again, this is fantasy planning. If there were unicorns, we could use the Unicorn Special Forces with Fairy Dust.

    When and if the Baathist regime collapses, all sorts of ragtag militias will pop up – most would resist any US ground forces or at least pose enough of a threat that it would require a significant ground element to secure chemical weapons, secure the ability of technicians to handle them, secure transit lines etc.

    This would not be an exercise with 12 guys and Bruce Willis with a headset.

    SPQR (cde90f)

  83. 63. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/3/2013 @ 11:22 pm

    Sammy – Do you have a link where it says the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff are on board with the plan you just pulled out of your butt?

    I had just posted it, in comment 60 and 61, ten minutes before you asked that question:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9889961/US-and-British-plans-to-seize-Syrias-chemical-weapons.html

    Last week a US-based body known as the Strategic Working Group began rehearsing how WMD stockpiles would be secured in both the Middle East and the Pacific in the event of an international emergency.

    The group is composed of military personnel from the US Army, Marine Corps, Navy as well as British and Australian officers and government officials.

    The senior officers tested a variety of plans at a classified war gaming session called Unified Quest 2013 at the US Army Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

    The scenario focused on a failed state that has lost control of its WMD stockpiles, forcing the United States and other countries to intervene.

    One caveat: They rehearsed the easier scenario of the country being North Korea.

    In North Korea there’s no civil war going on with there being prsent some unreliable forces not associated with the regime.

    Defence sources said that one of the unintended consequences of the Arab Spring was the huge volume of illicit weapons which have entered the illegal arms market, increasing concerns about what could happen if Assad lost control of his WMD.

    A source said: “After Libya collapsed thousands of man portable air defence weapons went missing and these can bring down an airliner.

    “We know Syria has a pretty extensive armoury and a lot of chemical weapons. We need to ensure these do not enter the terrorist food chain.”

    Now I asked myself why wait till a collapse? One reaosn could be because then itr would be easier to do. (anotherm, faulty one, is it wouldn’t become a problem till them)

    .

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  84. =One caveat: They rehearsed the easier scenario of the country being North Korea. In North Korea there’s no civil war going on with there being prsent some unreliable forces not associated with the regime.=

    Take me now, Lord.

    elissa (6b3fdb)

  85. “I had just posted it, in comment 60 and 61, ten minutes before you asked that question:”

    Sammy – Your link says nothing about the U.S. JCS, which is explicitly why I asked the question in reference to your statement about the JCS signing off on the WMD plan.

    If you don’t have anything, it sounds like the source was indeed your butt.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  86. I think what tghey must have basically told him is that Syria is not expected to improve its air defences in the next month – or seven, and also that they don’t seem to havbe an ability to harden targets.

    Jaysus effin krist, Sammy. The General said exactly what he told them. Why do you feel compelled to take his words a d their clear meaning and twist it into something completely different ?!

    JD (c2096b)

  87. “also that they don’t seem to havbe an ability to harden targets.”

    Sammy – They don’t need to harden targets, they can just disperse them, concentrate them in populated areas and drape them with human shields. See Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    “They don’t have to be unguarded. With the regime collapsing, it wouldn’t be too difficult to negotiate a surrender or evacuation of the guards.”

    The unguarded thing was your wackadoodle theory, Sammy. Don’t back off on it now. Who is going to be on the ground to negotiate the surrender or evacuation under Finkelman Wackadoodle II?

    “Because the rebel forces wouldn’t be at the site where the WMDs are”

    Wait, if the Syrian guards evacuate, why wouldn’t rebels rush in to fill the vacuum? This makes no logical sense.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  88. 86. =One caveat: They rehearsed the easier scenario of the country being North Korea. In North Korea there’s no civil war going on with there being prsent some unreliable forces not associated with the regime.=

    Take me now, Lord.

    Comment by elissa (6b3fdb) — 9/4/2013 @ 1:29 pm

    The mind boggles, elissa. I say that as someone who’s done a beach study of North Korea.

    But I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the USN is the coolest of the armed services.

    We’re not mud wrestlers like the Army or Marines. We don’t get sent to missile silos in Minot, North Dakota.

    No. We do beach studies.

    Unfortunately the Navy turned down my request to conduct a beach study of Cancun, Aruba, and Tahiti.

    So our SEALs and Marines still don’t know what defenses they may have to face should we ever have to invade those hot spots.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  89. “Why do you feel compelled to take his words a d their clear meaning and twist it into something completely different ?!”

    JD – Sammy has issues.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  90. She was the assistant secretary for the region, so there is some standing;

    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/09/04/molting-hawks-mccain-liz-cheney-marco-rubio-signal-opposition-to-syria-attack/

    narciso (3fec35)

  91. Well, contributed to a beach study of North Korea.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  92. So what Sammy is saying is that the Syrian rebels are upset about Assad posting a YouTube video ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  93. SF: “also that they don’t seem to havbe an ability to harden targets.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/4/2013 @ 1:48 pm

    Sammy – They don’t need to harden targets, they can just disperse them, concentrate them in populated areas and drape them with human shields. See Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    The regime wouldn’t expect to collapse so they wouldn’t scatter them around too much in advance, and the human shields would run away or be let go when the regime started to collapse.

    “They don’t have to be unguarded. With the regime collapsing, it wouldn’t be too difficult to negotiate a surrender or evacuation of the guards.”

    The unguarded thing was your wackadoodle theory, Sammy. Don’t back off on it now. Who is going to be on the ground to negotiate the surrender or evacuation under Finkelman Wackadoodle II?

    They would either be unguarded or the guards would readily surrender.

    “Because the rebel forces wouldn’t be at the site where the WMDs are”

    Wait, if the Syrian guards evacuate, why wouldn’t rebels rush in to fill the vacuum?

    It takes time, and they wouldn’t know where the WMDs are, but we would.

    They didn’t know where the WMDs were on August 21, but we did. And we didn’t tell them.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  94. Comment by JD (c2096b) — 9/4/2013 @ 1:45 pm

    The General said exactly what he told them. Why do you feel compelled to take his words a d their clear meaning and twist it into something completely different ?!

    The general said “The military resources we have in place can remain in place, and when you ask us to strike, we will make those strikes effective.”

    I guess it goes without saying that Syria’s air defenses are not going to be improved.

    I meant they would equally effective in the sense of equally technologically possible.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  95. 86.90. We’re talking about North Korean collapse

    Collapse meaning no effective opposition from the old regime.

    North Korea, unlike Syria, has no possible hostile armed groups wandering around other than those associated with the regime, so the problem associated with grabbing the WMDs before somebody else does is easier.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  96. Steve..

    “Charlie don’t surf.”
    Lt Col William Kilgore

    Angelo (a5a914)

  97. Sammy, I’ll let Steve57 speak for himself. But do you think I don’t know that? That was actually kind of the point of the whole eye-roll. Relevance!!

    elissa (6b3fdb)

  98. Comment by JD (c2096b) — 9/4/2013 @ 1:45 pm

    It’s just Sammy, being Sammy.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  99. “The regime wouldn’t expect to collapse so they wouldn’t scatter them around too much in advance, and the human shields would run away or be let go when the regime started to collapse.”

    Sammy – Remember that Obama’s goal in carry the burden of the world’s red line in not regime change or tipping the balance in the Syrian civil war so suddenly introducing this concept of a collapsing regime represents Finkelman Wackadoodle III.

    “It takes time, and they wouldn’t know where the WMDs are, but we would.”

    Yes Sammy, it takes time for both ourselves and the rebels. The idea that the rebels do not know where the WMD’s are, that they do not have spies or defectors from the regime, or understand why Assad’s forces may have been guarding certain sites more heavily than others – do you have any support for this theory or is it just another asspull?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  100. It was a close vote from the Senate panel:

    A divided U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing the use of military force in Syria by a vote of 10-7, with one senator merely voting “present.

    The vote was not along party lines. Two Democrats, Tom Udall and Chris Murphy, joined Republicans Marco Rubio, John Barrasso, James Risch, Ron Johnson and Rand Paul in voting against the measure.

    Udall said he was “horrified” by Assad’s attacks on his own people, but said he did not want the United States becoming embroiled in Syria’s war.
    “I’m voting ‘no’ because this policy moves the United States toward greater involvement in the Syria civil war,” he said after the vote.

    Three Republicans – Bob Corker, the top Republican on the panel, as well as John McCain and Jeff Flake – voted “yes” along with seven Democrats – panel chairman Robert Menendez, Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Coons, Dick Durbin and Tim Kaine.

    Senator Edward Markey, a Democrat, voted “present.”

    elissa (6b3fdb)

  101. 99. Sammy, I’ll let Steve57 speak for himself…

    Comment by elissa (6b3fdb) — 9/4/2013 @ 2:28 pm

    I will. I think the only rational response to Sammy’s analysis is another episode of Clint Eastwood meets Mr. Ed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGdxxMECZz4

    So there!

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  102. 101. “The regime wouldn’t expect to collapse so they wouldn’t scatter them around too much in advance, and the human shields would run away or be let go when the regime started to collapse.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 9/4/2013 @ 2:36 pm

    Sammy – Remember that Obama’s goal in carry the burden of the world’s red line in not regime change or tipping the balance in the Syrian civil war so suddenly introducing this concept of a collapsing regime represents Finkelman Wackadoodle III.

    Wrong, wrong wrong. This is a contingency pan that Obama does not want to carry out. His policy wass to deter the Assad regime from using chemical weapons by telling them it would change his calculus. Now it may be to punish him but not so much so that he loses. It;s not that Obama wants Assad to stay. He wants him to go. But to negotiate the transition.

    That is wackadoodle

    “It takes time, and they wouldn’t know where the WMDs are, but we would.”

    Yes Sammy, it takes time for both ourselves and the rebels. <

    They're training to be ready to take off from bases in Jordan and elsewhere at short notice.

    The idea that the rebels do not know where the WMD’s are, that they do not have spies or defectors from the regime,

    They do know something, but the attack Aug 21 took them by surprise.

    or understand why Assad’s forces may have been guarding certain sites more heavily than others – do you have any support for this theory or is it just another asspull?

    They didn’t know on August 21. But we did. The point is, they’re not fightinmg for the WMDs. They get lots of advice from the CIUA too. The CIA tells them what airfields to capture etc. Of course Obama could bomb them in one day without anybody friendly to the Unioted states getting killed.

    Sammy Finkelman (67ff63)

  103. Sammy raises excellent points. I think the only possible response is a blooper tape from Hogan’s Heroes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0WBmEgmMZY

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  104. I’ve got out-takes from Mission Impossible, Dragnet, The Rockford Files, and others to counter Sammy’s arguments.

    Don’t think I won’t use them.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  105. Sooper Sekrit intel!

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  106. another episode of Clint Eastwood meets Mr. Ed.
    Comment by Steve57 (35dd46) — 9/4/2013 @ 2:51 pm

    Nobody tells me anything…

    My daughter pointed out something about President Obama being picked as the 5th best President in history…
    then it gave the list, there were multiple ties from 1st through 4th, and President Obama was tied for 5th with the few remaining…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  107. Don’t think I won’t use them.

    Could be worse.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  108. Well Sammy has some interesting notions, but are they as off the wall as this apologia;

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114589/senate-hearing-syrian-war-hints-obamas-true-intentions

    Herbert Croly does a facepalm.

    narciso (3fec35)

  109. This just in.

    Texas has just designated “the fastest reload is a second gun” as the official state motto and Alaska has named the middle finger the official state bird.

    Stand by for further updates.

    Steve57 (35dd46)

  110. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 9/4/2013 @ 3:43 pm

    Doc, that reminds me of a car race in either Budapest, or Prague(whatever),back during the Cold War to settle who builds the superior car:

    A heads-up match around a horse-racing track between a Chevy and IIRC a Skoda – they finished in that order.
    But, Tass reported that the Champion of the Proletariat, the Skoda, finished a valiant second against overwhelming odds, while the car of the Capitalistic Running Dogs finished next-to-last.

    From the pages of Reader’s Digest.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  111. That’s an worthwhile link, narciso. What popped out to me is the author’s suggestion that Russia might be willing to help rein in Syria and that Al Qaeda doesn’t have much influence with the Syrian rebels. It makes sense as he writes it but I can’t square it with Putin’s statement today that Kerry lied when he said Al Qaeda’s influence with the rebels is on the wane. I think Putin is toying with the Obama Administration and they are woefully outclassed.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  112. Layers of fact checkers;

    Correction: An earlier version of this article said that Assad used nuclear weapons on his people. He used chemical weapons.

    narciso (3fec35)

  113. Sammy has issues.

    In one of the other threads this morning related to Syria (and, jeez, I sure wish the multitude of threads on pretty much the same topic were combined so there were fewer discussions that lead to drop-off points or dead ends), Sammy startled me because he’s apparently more apologetic towards Obama than I originally guessed was the case. Call me naive, but I even originally theorized that although he tilts left, he perhaps didn’t vote for Obama in 2012, with 2008 being a toss-up (ie, even a few Republicans or quasi-conservatives who should have known better fell for Obama’s BS 5 years ago).

    But I give Sammy credit for debating like a staunch liberal who’s more nuanced and at least does some footwork with copy-paste material that he believes is relevant to his POV. Or someone who’s different from the so-called “trolls” who drive by and shoot, with simple, plain one-liners and no effort to back up their opinion.

    Mark (58ea35)

  114. Mark, Sammy will start playing “on the other hand” until he looks like an avatar of Kali.

    SPQR (768505)

  115. Three Republicans – Bob Corker, the top Republican on the panel, as well as John McCain and Jeff Flake – voted “yes” along with seven Democrats – panel chairman Robert Menendez, Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Coons, Dick Durbin and Tim Kaine.

    I don’t know what pisses me off more: Liberals/Democrats who dogged Bush and Republicans over Iraq — for imperialism! for money-for-war greed! — and various other US military controversies and yet are so supplicant about Syria, or conservatives/Republicans who believe the US at this late date in its history (with bloated budgets, etc) should be the opposite extreme of an isolationist society.

    Mark (58ea35)

  116. Comment by Mark (58ea35) — 9/4/2013 @ 7:08 pm

    Call me naive, but I even originally theorized that although he tilts left,

    Depends what kind of left. 1964 liberal maybe. Even that has got some problems.

    I don’t respect most Republican politicians, because there’s no there, there for a lot of them and they pretend there is, but I liked Gerald Ford and Bob Dole very much.. And Reagan turned out to be pretty good, although he was not a good judge of character. By 1980 he had rethought things.

    he perhaps didn’t vote for Obama in 2012, with 2008 being a toss-up (ie, even a few Republicans or quasi-conservatives who should have known better fell for Obama’s BS 5 years ago)

    I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008. It wasn’t close. I’m not for Obama. I just don’t see him a secret socialist or whatever. I voted for Romney in 2012 and didn’t like it.

    But I give Sammy credit for debating like a staunch liberal who’s more nuanced and at least does some footwork with copy-paste material that he believes is relevant to his POV. Or someone who’s different from the so-called “trolls” who drive by and shoot, with simple, plain one-liners and no effort to back up their opinion.

    If I’m compared to them of course I’m better. But I hardly agree exactly with anything, and not very much with most of the standard liberal things. I’m not sure you’re reading what I link because I don’t know where I’m linking anything really liberal, or leftist, except sometimes to make a side point.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)

  117. If you want something interesting, there’s Paul Krugman’s column this past Friday.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/opinion/krugman-years-of-tragic-waste.html

    Paul Krugman claims (as he’s been claiming all along) that the stimulus wasn’t big enough.

    This is worth pointing out as what the pro-stimulus argument is. I don’t agree with him at all – but all those people who say World War II spending ended the Great Depression, should!!

    Personally, I think fiscal policy is irrelevant.

    Sammy Finkelman (393233)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1129 secs.