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View Diary: President Obama: Don't Strike Syria Without Congressional Approval (53 comments)

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  •  My problem with this diary (0+ / 0-)

    is that Congressional approval would be the least of the President's worries.  I can't imagine why he wouldn't ask for it; he would probably receive overwhelming majorities approving military action if he asked today.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 10:40:04 AM PDT

    •  re: My problem with this diary (3+ / 0-)

      I don't agree. I don't think it's a foregone conclusion. Because before the vote, there would have to be a debate. And in the debate, skeptics would get to raise concerns. Right now skeptics have trouble getting a word in edgewise, because we're in the middle of the initial media storm. That's how a rush to war works. That's why it's crucial to slow down a rush to war with democratic procedure and the rule of law.

    •  well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robert Naiman, davidincleveland

      Polling says most people are opposed to intervention of any kind, so if congresspeople approved, they'd also be on the hook for the inevitable fallout, which some of them may not be up for.

      •  re: well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davidincleveland

        That's exactly right.

        Here's a proposition that I would bet most of us could agree on: we'll be disgusted with Members of Congress who dodge the ball and then say, wah wah, the President didn't consult us. Congress is on recess, but somehow Corker and Engel managed to have a say. Members of Congress who care about Congressional war powers could also speak up.

         

      •  most Congresscritters (0+ / 0-)

        are in districts safely gerrymandered for their survival, and only 1/3 of the Senate has even remotely anything to worry about.

        I don't think fallout from Operation Iraqi Freedom dislodged a single Senator.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:05:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It dislodged Joe Lieberman (0+ / 0-)

          admittedly, with a six year delay, as it unfortunately turned out. But it did dislodge him.

          Also, it kept Hillary Clinton from winning the Democratic Presidential nomination, and helped Barack Obama win it. That is not a trivial impact.

          •  Oh, I don't think that's the only thing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            davidincleveland

            that dislodged Holy Joe.  And I'm not sure it made a lot of difference in the Hillary Clinton case either . . . and if it did, the joke's on us!  Those of us who voted for Obama figuring his foreign policy could be no worse than hers were, well, quickly and rudely disabused of that notion.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:45:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately, (3+ / 0-)

      as in Iraq, far too many hawkish Democrats (who aspire to higher office or need to raise big money from hawkish donors) would be with Engel on this, if it were to come to a vote.  The PNAC agenda for reshaping the Middle East (with big targets on Syria and Iran) had more than a few Democratic signatories.  We need not only to remind Obama that Congress should vote on this.  We need to let Congresscritters know that 60% of the American public oppose this -- and that includes voters in their district, who will be paying attention.

      It isn't nice to go to jail ... but if that's freedom's price

      by Rusty Pipes on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:51:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  re: Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davidincleveland, Rusty Pipes

        I agree with you that some Dems would be with Engel. But let's not let them get away with being with Engel for free. Let them cast a vote.

        •  Few congresscritters are as extreme as Engel, (0+ / 0-)

          who introduced the AIPAC-sponsored Syria Accountability Act in the Spring of 2002, reintroduced it in the Spring of 2003.  According to Mearsheimer and Walt:

          ... In mid-August, Engel and a group of politicians and Jewish leaders from New York traveled to Israel and met for ninety minutes with Ariel Sharon in his Jerusalem office.  The Israeli leader complained to his visitors that the United States was not putting enough pressure on Syria, although he specifically thanked Engel for sponsoring the Syria accountability Act and made it clear that he strongly favored continued efforts to push the legislation on Capitol Hill.  The following month, Engel, who announced he was "fed up with the ... administration's maneuvering on Syria," began pushing the bill again.  With AIPAC's full support, Engel began rounding up votes on Capitol Hill.  Bush could no longer hold Congress back in the face of this full-court press from the lobby, and the anti-Syrian act passed by overwhelming margins (398-4 in the House; 89-4 in the Senate).  Bush signed it into law on December 12, 2003.(pp275-6).
          {Bush was} slow to implement the Syria Accountability Act, as he promised when he signed it, much to the irritation of pro-Israel hard-liners in the United States.  By the spring of 2004, Congressman Engel and some of his colleagues were so frustrated with Bush over his foot dragging that they threatened to introduce a new and tougher version of the legislation. (p.277)
          The ever tightening American sanctions on Syria over the past decade have contributed significantly to the current crisis in its economy, and related effects on Syrian civilians, thanks to Elliot Engel.  But the hawks want to portray their eagerness to intervene in Syria as concern for the suffering of the Syrian People, and America's Responsibility to Protect.

          It isn't nice to go to jail ... but if that's freedom's price

          by Rusty Pipes on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 03:55:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Um, hello? (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans in Congress wouldn't vote this president the authority to do diddly squat if the attack on Pearl Harbor happened today. Let's get real, ok?

      If President Obama is for something, Congressional Republicans are reflexively against it.

      •  re: Um, hello? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rusty Pipes

        Your assertion is provably not true. It's not how the vote on the Amash-Conyers amendment to limit NSA blanket surveillance of Americans went down: the majority of House Republicans voted with the Administration and the majority of House Democrats voted against the Administration. It's not the way the key vote on the Jim McGovern amendment to limit the Afghanistan war went down, again, the majority of House Republicans voted with the Administration and the majority of House Democrats voted against the Administration.

        In short: on issues of war and peace, and on civil liberties issues, it's not like that at all.

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