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View Diary: Oh, yeah. I'm going there. An Open Letter to President Obama (70 comments)

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  •  Tip Jar. (13+ / 0-)

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:05:29 AM PDT

    •  It's not hubris to hold feet to fire. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady, CIndyCasella, PhilJD

      He asked us to do that, demanded it of us. It's the only other part we can play beside campaigning and voting.

      "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

      Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

      by OleHippieChick on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:22:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is not hubris to want to stop people from using (7+ / 0-)

      chemical weapons on other people. There are rules of warfare which are in place because of the unspeakable cruelty that some methods of engaging in war have upon humans in general.

      The President is of the mindset that attacking innocent men women and children with chemical weapons that will inflict the most suffering and torture upon individuals before they are released through death is wrong.

      These chemicals will also play a role in the deforming of generations yet to be born. You and the President disagree. Because he disagrees with you, it does not mean he is exhibiting hubris.  He was elected to make decisions on grave matters such as before us, he was not elected with the proviso of  making decisions only when you agree with them.

      •  The problem with this is the assumption (4+ / 0-)

        that lobbing in a few cruise missiles or anything else will make Assad LESS likely to use chemical weapons. I don't buy that. Assad has already shown that when his back is to the wall there is nothing he won't do. I fully expect that he'll let hell rain down upon his own people and Israel as a last and final act if he sees his end is imminent.

        No, I suspect bombing him will make him MORE likely to break out the bad stuff...and if that DOES happen, what then? Ground troops?

        I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

        by pajoly on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:50:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many people should he (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lordcopper

          be allowed to kill before justice comes in to play?

          I'm not saying that you think his actions are okay but everyone is rationalizing what would happen if we do something..."If we do this, then this will happen."

          If there is a line in which we are to get involved, what is it?

          Lots of bad stuff will happen either way.  How much bad stuff has to happen before we do something about it?

          Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

          by mim5677 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:56:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think Assad is so defiant, so narcissistic, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            costello7, NWTerriD

            that he will let it all rip if he thinks he's making his last stand. That includes sending chemical warheads into Israel.

            Our playing Lone Ranger in the pursuit of justice sounds great, but in practice does not work out so well. Without global support, or at least allied support, risks an outcome worse than the cure. This is not like the Balkans, where we had NATO support and a reasonable calculated chance of success.

            I want to see debate on the floor of the House. I don't want this left up to a single person whose first rationale (a point that can be argued) here is to save face.

            We can and should try to stop atrocities when we can reasonably calculate success. I don't see that calculation here yet; all I see are people making an idealist argument about needing to do something because what's happening is terrible (which it most horrifyingly is).

            My personal preference it to provide refugee protection and aid, with any offensive military action withheld unless the Gulf states take a primary role AND the President has Congressional authorization (I want Congress FORCED to do its Constitutionally-chartered job with each member going on the record and vote yay or nay to be accountable to constituents).

            ..Hell, I'd be supportive of seeking primary challenges for any Democrats who cede his/her responsibility to vote up or down. It's complete political cowardice and an abdication of their responsibilities.

            I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

            by pajoly on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:35:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think (0+ / 0-)

              demanding a vote on action is any less idealistic than what anyone else is suggesting.

              So if we have a vote in congress that somehow it makes it okay, doesn't really make sense.

              Even if congress votes yes we are still going in alone.

              I guess I have to go back to my question.

              How many people should Assad be allowed to kill before we get involved (by ourselves)?

              Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

              by mim5677 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:44:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, it does (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pajoly, NWTerriD
                So if we have a vote in congress that somehow it makes it okay,
                That is absolutely how it is supposed to be done.

                If this makes no sense to you, you may want to break out a copy of the War Powers Act or the Constitution.

                And before any of you responds with the notion of the "authority" granted the Presidency via Mr. Obama's predecessor (so they could all lie their asses off and go on to commit war crimes), the President of the United States is NOT supposed to be able to kick off a War without presenting it to Congress and seeking approval.

                It's bullshit--blatant, government-usurping bullshit--if a POTUS fails to do this.

                 

                This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                by lunachickie on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am SO with you on this. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lunachickie, Lily O Lady

                  I sent an email to the White House to this effect a few minutes ago, and then came here to see whether anyone else was advocating for that approach.

                  For Constitutional reasons, for legacy reasons, for policy reasons, and for political reasons, giving the decision to Congress is absolutely the best move the president could make here. It is the only way he doesn't come out of this badly damaged, and it has the benefit of putting us back on the constitutional path for how decisions are made about war in this country.

                  "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

                  by NWTerriD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:01:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Again, (0+ / 0-)

                  you can't complain about idealism and make that argument.  

                  Consent from congress is boilerplate stuff in most cases and in no way makes it okay.  Just makes it legal.

                  I guess, we can keep telling ourselves that it should be done the way it is supposed to be done even though the practice has been in place for 60 years.  Like I said yours is an equally idealistic position.  

                  Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

                  by mim5677 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:22:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Saddam Hussein did all this and worse... (0+ / 0-)

            ...to his own people and others, yet most everyone here despised the war effort...even as 58% of Democratic senators voted for the Iraq War resolution.

            You know the saying...fool me once...

            Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

            by Love Me Slender on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:53:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's the difference between (0+ / 0-)

              doing what you want and doing what is right I guess.  

              I don't really think we should go either but I'm not going to pretend that the people that die will be better off because it wasn't our bombs that did it.  

              Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

              by mim5677 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:05:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It depends on the targets (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too

          If it severely limits his air force or makes it harder for him to wage war against the rebels, it might be sufficient enough to deter him from future use of chemical weapons.  

          "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

          by Texas Lefty on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:02:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I doubt it will be just a few ground missiles. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          costello7

          They said they were going to Afghanistan for just a short time, but...

          They don't do body counts.

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:04:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You don't believe attacking his chemical weapons (0+ / 0-)

          site will do anything to stop him and or have the effect of having individuals think twice before attempting to douse their own people with chemical weapons in the future, in fact you think it will make Assad and other leaders like Assad use more chemical weapons. This goes against the concept of punishment as  deterrence, but ok....

          It may not stop him, may not...... But doing nothing won't stop him at all...no "mays" in the equation....

          •  Bombing his chemical weapons caches (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PhilJD, costello7, Lily O Lady

            will set off the chemical weapons themselves, according to our own intelligence. And we can't be sure we're not going to hit them, because we don't know where they are or who has control over them. Again, according to our own intelligence.

            I don't even think there's solid evidence that Assad ordered this--not yet. And even if there were, it wouldn't justify this action, which is going to do no good that anyone can quantify or justify to me rationally, at least not so far. And which could do harm.

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:33:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  then the intelligence is telling us one thing (0+ / 0-)

              and telling the President something else. Unless you're suggesting the President is doing this without consulting his own intelligence.

              In terms of whether Asaad has attacked his own people with chemical weapons, what you think is one thing. But, John Kerry seem to think Assad is behind this, unless Kerry is really making things up. I have never known Kerry to be the kind of individual to make stuff up, just for the thrill of commencing a military exercise.

              •  John Kerry--the new Colin Powell. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SouthernLiberalinMD, PhilJD

                "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

                by costello7 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:51:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I guess it's OK to accuse Kerry of now not being (0+ / 0-)

                  a true Democrat or Progressive, or whatever you might not deem him to be.

                  I'm sure Kerry is used to this...having been "swiftboated".

                  •  As one of Kerry's longest-lasting, most loyal (0+ / 0-)

                    supporters:

                    How dare you.

                    For your information, I am capable of disagreeing with my leader, and making serious objections to what he's doing, and even questioning whether he has gone down the wrong road morally, without ever Swift-boating him.

                    How dare you.

                    The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 11:57:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you want to speak for costello7 who described (0+ / 0-)

                      Kerry as the new Colin Powell, but more than that, to suggest that Kerry is manufacturing evidence, how dare you even attempt to "how dare me?" In light of this suggestion. You should apologize to John Kerry. I mean, really.

                      •  No. Kerry needs to explain his change of views (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        costello7

                        on the Presidential use of military power and the rule of law, as well as his change of views on the relationship of morality to dissent and especially to questioning the official narrative of an upcoming war. Some additional explanations on his change of views re: barreling into complex and volatile situations with undefined goals but with faith that our planes dropping bombs will solve everything might also be warranted.

                        He has lived by one set of values on those points (well, for the most part) all his life since he was in the Navy. And now he's taking a very different line. His loyal supporters--and everybody else, actually--have every right to question why he's giving a speech that could easily have been lifted from the 2003 run-up to the war with Iraq, as well as why he made an ad hominem attack on critics of the war--in particular an attack on those who question the official version given out by the Administration.

                        His supporters have every right to question this uncharacteristic behavior. In fact, it's more loyal to question it than to accept it.

                        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 01:37:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  The implication was made (0+ / 0-)

                    that we can believe the evidence exists--even though they can't show it to us, because its classified--and that it is overwhelming BECAUSE John Kerry said so and John Kerry wouldn't make something like that up.  The exact same thing was said when Colin Powell did his little off-Broadway show at the UN.  How many people bought into that pack of lies BECAUSE of who was put forward to sell them?  Lots and lots and lots and lots.

                    No, sir, I will never accept personality over proof.  I don't care who it is.  And those who would are the sheep the right wing always accuses us of being.

                    Like Colin Powell before him, John Kerry works at the pleasure of the President.  So he can either follow the orders of his boss and tell the American people what his boss orders him to tell them or he can resign.  That's the way it works.  Doesn't matter who you are or what party you belong to.  So either anti-war activist John Kerry honestly believes this is a war worth getting into, sacrificing American blood and treasure when no American interests are at stake and, in all likelihood, our intervention will make things worse--in which case I have a lot less respect for him, or he believes that it is possible to lob a few missles in and not become entangled further--in which case he's a fool and I have a lot less respect for him, or he's just following the orders of his boss and spreading it thick precisely because he has the kind of credibility to sell it to some who would otherwise not buy in--in which case I have a lot less respect for him.

                    Do yourself a favor, for consistency's sake.  Look at any policy initiative and listen to any speech--especially one advocating war--imagining someone you don't trust in the least were making it.  If I wouldn't trust a Bush who was saying he was going to cut Social Security to "protect and stregthen it", then why would I trust those words or ideas coming from Obama or anyone?  That's not comparing Obama to Bush; its focusing on the substance of what's being proposed without being blinded by the little "R"s and "D"s after the names.  Did I trust Colin Powell--a well-respected general who, at the time, had lots of cross-over appeal and credibility--when he said we had overwhelming evidence that Sadaam had WMD?  No.  Do I trust John Kerry when he essentially says the same thing?  No.  Any argument that ends with "you can trust us"--spoken or implied--is a bad argument that is not trustworthy...regardless of who is making it.  That's not swiftboating; that's reality.

                    It seems pretty clear to me that this is all about Obama saving political face after making his "red line" remarks.  And that is a horrible reason to go to war.  Presidents are always so obsessed with looking strong.  I thought we'd elected someone who was more concerned with being smart.

                    "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

                    by costello7 on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:10:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I can't help it that the IC has decided that (0+ / 0-)

                this time they want to cover their ass by leaking information to the press about how little they know while the White House and State insist in angry speeches that it's certain that Assad did it and therefore we must start attacking Syria right away.

                AP Intelligence Sources Say "No Slam Dunk."

                Intelligence officials say they could not pinpoint the exact locations of Assad's supplies of chemical weapons, and Assad could have moved them in recent days as the U.S. rhetoric increased. But that lack of certainty means a possible series of U.S. cruise missile strikes aimed at crippling Assad's military infrastructure could hit newly hidden supplies of chemical weapons, accidentally triggering a deadly chemical attack.
                Over the past six months, with shifting front lines in the 2½-year-old civil war and sketchy satellite and human intelligence coming out of Syria, U.S. and allied spies have lost track of who controls some of the country's chemical weapons supplies, according to the two intelligence officials and two other U.S. officials.
                U.S. satellites have captured images of Syrian troops moving trucks into weapons storage areas and removing materials, but U.S. analysts have not been able to track what was moved or, in some cases, where it was relocated. They are also not certain that when they saw what looked like Assad's forces moving chemical supplies, those forces were able to remove everything before rebels took over an area where weapons had been stored.
                In addition, an intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander, the officials said.

                The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:05:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The American intelligence community is in fact (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SouthernLiberalinMD

                telling us that it has no clear idea of where the Syrian chemical caches are, nor of who controls them.

                When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                by PhilJD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:10:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  *May* set off the weapons, anyway. I suppose (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              a direct hit could incinerate them "safely." It's absolutely correct though that we have no clear idea where the damn things are.

              I think the earnest DKos supporters of intervention are going to be very surprised and disappointed when our "surgical" strikes target airfields and other "conventional" military assets and stay far away from anywhere chemical weapons might be hidden.

              All the "humanitarian" double-speak notwithstanding, our assault on Syria will be designed to "punish" Assad for past transgressions. It will do little or nothing to deter his use of chemical weapons in the future.

              When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

              by PhilJD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:49:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Correct. I don't believe it. (0+ / 0-)

            That's one of the problems with chemical weapons. They have to be dismantled and properly disposed, they cannot be rendered inert by blowing them up.

            Also, if Assad, in his last ditch FUCK YOU WORLD! fires chemical warheads towards Israel, Iron Dome won't help. If you blow up a chemical warhead overhead, all you do is create an airburst that sends the toxins further than if they were to dispersed at the ground on impact.

            When you speak of deterrence, you necessarily assume your adversary is rational. Assad is NOT rational and he's already said if he's backed into a corner, he'll let loose with his worst.

            I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

            by pajoly on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:41:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What you suggest is impossible. I would have to (0+ / 0-)

              defer to the experts.

              WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has spent more than a decade trying to develop weapons to neutralize chemical weapons, the threat that has the United States poised to launch a missile strike on Syria, according to military planning documents and officials.

              The weapons, which would be attached to a bomb dropped from an aircraft, are supposed to neutralize chemical weapons where they are produced or stored. U.S. and western officials accuse Syrian President Bashar Assad and his government of unleashing chemical weapons on civilians. Hundreds of Syrians died Aug. 21 in a suspected chemical attack, and the Obama administration has said Assad's government is responsible for it.

              http://www.usatoday.com/...

              Many of the discussions that are held here are held with such absolute certainty that few are prepared to admit they just don't know. What is militarily possible, I leave up to the military experts.

              My belief in all of this is that it is wrong to let those who are so deposed feel it is permissible by the world for them to be able to attack innocent men, women, and children with chemical weapons. It is sad that more nations, and people throughout the world, do not hold this sentiment.

              •  I hope you are right. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NedSparks

                Though I'm a veteran who served within a missile battery, that was long ago and I claim no expertise on current capabilities. I would also love to be wrong and will join in an I-was-wrong group hug if we've developed a capability that can neutralize them via missile strike. That's be welcome news. I'm just not as optimistic, though I'd sure like to be.

                I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

                by pajoly on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:57:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  But when our bombs fall on equally innocent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD, Kimbeaux

        men, women and children they will not be appreciated by those who survive. These people may very well rail against the US and vow to attack and kill Americans. We can only add to the misery.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 08:53:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  and (0+ / 0-)

        there are rules that govern the rules of warfare

        somehow those rules seem OK to break

        this has absolutely ZERO to do with human life and everything to do with politics

        they Egyptian military continues to receive US dollars and weapons.
        Saudi Arabia received cluster bombs (called WMDs by most other nations)

        the US govt does not give one rats ass about a human life in syria.

      •  Perhaps you can familiarize yourself with white (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        costello7

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:34:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I wish there was a team of sock puppets for peace (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady

      who could mojo your diary onto the recommended list immediately.  

      There are no sock puppets for peace, since there aren't any corporations or special interests who stand to benefit by peace who could finance peace trolls, who would be, BTW, very cute and cuddly, not ugly and cutting.

      Peace activists do not control the MSM, either.

      Sadly, we are outflanked and cannot get your message out there.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:02:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depending on whether you believe Reuters or NBC (0+ / 0-)

        the message may not need to get out there, as the American people agree with us already.

        60% opposed, 9% in favor, according to Reuters as of Aug 25.

        And in any case, for some reason not all the MSM is on the same side of this one:

        CBS' take on the matter. Surprisingly close to real journalism.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:39:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Remember the huge percentage of (0+ / 0-)

          American people who were for stronger gun control laws? We don't count for much in Congress.

          As for the media being on both sides, it just makes it easier for somebody to say, "I told you so," to Obama. They're setting it up so he's screwed either way, I'm afraid.

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:22:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "sock puppets for peace"! I love it! Wish I (0+ / 0-)

        had me some.

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:23:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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