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View Diary: Senators Heitkamp and Manchin float diplomatic alternative to military strikes on Syria (219 comments)

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  •  If you're going to lead an international effort (39+ / 0-)

    You have to lead where the international community is willing to go.  Kerry and Obama announced their policy and began marching, only to belatedly find almost nobody was behind them.  The parade was milling around and drifting in a different direction.

    What a competent administration would have done was line up its traditional allies behind a mutually-agreed program, including Arab countries as well as NATO and other allies.  They would have engaged the Russians and Chinese in discussions to find out what the most meaningful measures that could get through the Security Council would be, and General Assembly leaders to see if a backup resolution could get through there to do an end-run around Russian obstructionism.  They would have gotten the Gulf states to line up the Arab League behind this solution.  Then they would have come out with it publicly, having already built a coalition.  

    This administration has shown rank incompetence in dealing with the Syrian chemical weapons dilemma.  Kerry may be new at his job, but in the fifth year of the president's administration such incompetence is disheartening, to say the least.

    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 05:55:11 AM PDT

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    •  I have to agree. (10+ / 0-)

      I think we are beginning to see how much of a powerhouse Hillary Clinton really was as Secretary of State. She wouldn't have allowed this to degrade to where it is today.

      •  Clinton was a fine SoS. (7+ / 0-)

        But she does have a bit of a hawkish nature and some leftover angst on the macho posturing deal (where she sometimes comes across as 'meaner than thee').

        Now that we see it's really not the "limited, non-destabilizing, no boots-on-ground" deal it was when the drumbeats started, but a long-range regime change troops on the border ready to march regional face-off, the issue of this being the next step in neocon plans for the entire region I don't expect that Snow White as Secretary of State would be any less of a blustery line in the sand drawer than Kerry or Clinton or anybody else. The job description is to effectuate the defined (by the executive) 'national interest'. If the interest is war, it's war we'll get.

        It's just another bill of goods in this new Century Of Perpetual War. They were never really going to bring the troops home and invest the treasure into this country and its people. That would only exacerbate the economic turmoil and demand large increases in the veteran's end of DoD's budgeting. It's a regular pain in the political ass that soldiers no longer die of horrific wounds, but come home merely damaged. It's not like the war-mongers actually ever cared about the survival of individuals in the cannon fodder corps, their only pressing concern is how many individuals they can field in the cannon fodder corps.

        There will be no peace in our lifetimes.

      •  Are you sure of that? Why do you believe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        she could have avoided it? It has little to do with the personalities of the SoS Kerry or Clinton, I think. This is on Obama's shoulders alone, imo. He went out into the Rosegarden saying he is willing to engage in a military intervention. He didn't have to do it this way.

        So he should face the music now.

        Civil Men Are For Civil Rights

        by mimi on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:24:05 AM PDT

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        •  I don't think she would have avoided the air (0+ / 0-)

          strikes... I think she would have made sure to build her international coalition in private before taking the plans public. In some respects, it might have made it worse for those of us that don't want the strikes but it would have made the Obama administration look more on top of things.

      •  She was in charge (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        schumann, Heart of the Rockies

        During most of this. Frankly it was her job to line up allies ere beforehand

    •  what you're saying, I think, (10+ / 0-)

      is that the US makes a major false move when it takes it upon itself to speak and, worse, act on behalf of the international community when it hasn't even consulted it

      as for Secretary Kerry, I'm afraid his drowning in the quicksands of his undisciplined rhetoric

      We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

      by Lepanto on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:00:38 AM PDT

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    •  I agree. (7+ / 0-)

      This has been the most disappointing, heartbreaking, sickening thing to watch Obama and Kerry beating the war drums, in an almost robotic fashion. I don't get it. The most dreadful deja vu.

    •  This really is a spectacular failure .... (7+ / 0-)

      of the USA to exercise diplomacy, period.

      They failed to take a true temperature of the rest of the world's sentiments and just charged ahead, expecting everyone to fall in behind them.  

      It has never worked that way.  Most of the public may not have seen it, but any cases where the USA appeared to be leading involved extensive consultations and negotiations behind the scenes.

      This administration - and the blame lies both with Obama and Kerry - simply failed to do their homework.  That led to this spectacular failure of the USA to be united with the rest of the world on what to do about Syria.

      One more note:  Thank god for the British Parliament. Some elected representatives are actually listening to their constituents.  

      If our Congress voted the way Americans feel, these strikes would be defeated in an instant. Many military families are adamantly opposed, some in mine included.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:25:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Would you like to change professions? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean, Dallasdoc

      And become a diplomat?  Your post makes more sense than anything I've read on this subject so far.

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