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View Diary: Obama says he will make case for Syria attack on Tuesday from White House (229 comments)

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  •  president unwilling to reveal to press (7+ / 0-)

    whether he will abide by congressional ruling

    not that we could have expected him to

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:31:53 AM PDT

    •  That's a War Powers Act discussion. He will NEVER (9+ / 0-)

      say that he has to follow their lead, even if he decides to.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:36:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  crystal clear, (13+ / 0-)

        the president doesn't want to effect the vote by showing his really is that simple.

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:42:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, he is angling to maintain (11+ / 0-)

          Presidential prerogative to ignore Congress on this should they not approve his request.

          •  Yep (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            inclusiveheart, polecat, ssgbryan, bobdevo

            He is invoking the War Powers Act without saying so, but has basically just told Congress he would be willing to launch the strike under a 60 day limit if they do not consent.

            •  If he does that (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ssgbryan, limpidglass, bobdevo, corvo

              And launches an attack after congress says no, he should be impeached.

              "Your Actions Are So Loud, I Can't Hear a Word You're Saying"

              by toosinbeymen on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:59:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Under what grounds? (8+ / 0-)

                Congress allowed the President prerogative on this matter in 1973 but just forced consent be required for any sustained operation. Obama is legally correct that he could do this without Congressional Consent.

                •  He asked Congress for input . . . . (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  corvo, killerfurball

                  if he didn't want their oars in the water . . . he shouldn'ta opened his yap.

                  Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

                  by bobdevo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  True but he has pretty (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Much already invoked the war powers act. He has 60 days from whenever he submitted his report to strike even without Congressional approval. Calls for impeachment are without legal grounds.

                    •  Well, there is that matter of the assassination of (0+ / 0-)

                      American citizens without due process. Some people might hold that to be a high crime or misdemeanor . . . and the warrantless electronic surveillance - each surveillance a Federal felony with 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

                      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

                      by bobdevo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:57:54 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  War Powers Act vs. Constitution (0+ / 0-)

                  But the War Powers Act itself was a feeble post-Vietnam attempt to make up for the fact that presidents had taken to ignoring the Constitution, which requires a declaration of war by Congress.  Naturally, the attempt failed.  An optional (because of War Powers Act) "authorization" does not suffice to meet the constitutional requirement.

                  The president always has the right to resist an attack before he has time to ask for war declaration so that is not the issue.

                  Moreover, international law, to which we are signatories, does not allow nations to attack except in self-defense.  A declaration of war would satisfy the domestic constitutional requirement, but not international law.

                  As for chemical weapons, the legal remedy is to take Assad to the International Criminal Court of Justice, as I understand it.

                  •  They aren't in conflict exactly (0+ / 0-)

                    The wording of the bill states it is clarification and an exercise of the elastic clause. Though you are correct in the ignoring part. The main point is it isn't grounds for impeachment.

                    Syria does not recognize the ICC and thus he would have to be rounded up in a country that does.

              •  no other president has been impeached (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Satya1, killerfurball, jncca, poco

                for making an end run around congress for "military engagement", altho no doubt Limbaugh will be the first to scream for it if he does.

                The resolution isn't an official 'Declaration of War', there have only been five in US history, the last under FDR.

                "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                by Sybil Liberty on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:10:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Impeachment (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NYFM, poco

                Yes, impeach, impeach, impeach -- that will solve so much! By your standard, the last five presidents, at least, should have been impeached. How about we impeach our hypocrisy? Chemical weapons were used by Saddam with our knowledge and backing -- check the date of the photograph of Rumsfeld shaking hands with him during mission to broker pipeline deal, sent as special envoy by Reagan. Chemical weapons were used by the U.S. -- napalm. The War Powers Act, I agree, is B.S. It should be struck as unconstitutional. Presidents should not be able to make war without deliberation and approval as spelled out in the Constitution. But I am in awe at the gall some have -- those who defended Bush I and II -- to now say that Obama will be overreaching if he acts. Whether it is all political show or not, he DID send this issue to congress to get a vote. And he didn't send his Secretary of State to the U.N. with fake evidence to trump up fervor beforehand.

                •  In addition to napalm, we also used depleted (0+ / 0-)

                  nuclear materials and sulphur in ammo and we continue to support use of land mines.  
                  So, our hands are not at all clean, and until they are, we should not support military actions against those who are a bit more or less evil than we are.  Those adults and children who die slow, agonizing deaths from bullet wounds may suffer just as much as those who are gassed.
                  The people who died in the WWII fire bombings of Dresden are just as dead as those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

                  Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

                  by hawkseye on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 11:15:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I think Sybil has it right. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, Sybil Liberty, Matt Z

            I'm not sure I believe Obama would actually go through with the attacks if Congress failed to authorize it.

            He's got a hard sell, so simultaneously signifying that he'd be willing to back down undermines the substantive debate that needs to be had regarding maintenance of international norms.

            We'll all know for sure soon enough anyways...  I've got a feeling Congress won't pass it.

            Education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance. -Will Durant

            by Blue Dream on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 07:58:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Try this again... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mr MadAsHell, JVolvo

              He is maintaining his options here.  

              Which is actually a wise decision on his part.  One of the better decisions he's made since he blew it by publicly drawing that red line a year ago.

              Also, as a historical reference, Clinton got authorization for the Kosovo strikes from the Senate and immediately went in before the House voted.  

              The House will not pass Obama's authorization right now.  The Senate might.  If the Senate does, he's probably going to go forward with strikes quickly betting that it will go "as planned" and hope that the House follows later with an approval or not - that is what Clinton did.

              •  I can see this happening, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I can also seem him doing it if the Senate doesn't approve but the House has yet to. Either way, as has been pointed out the discussion happening now is a War Powers Act discussion and back and forth between him and Congress.

              •  But Clinton (0+ / 0-)

                didn't broadcast his intention to go in before the House voted.

                The media (some of them actual journalists!) want him to tell the world his plans.

                Tell Assad we're coming no matter what congress says, tell the rest of the world, then it's all a farce - I mean it's NO QUESTION a farce.

                But Obama's not going to tell us, either way.

                I think if the international community comes on board, then the story changes completely.

                •  What do you mean Clinton didn't (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  delphine, jncca

                  broadcast his intention to go in before the House vote?  He broadcast his intention to go in when he called for the votes.  He also had a very public dispute with Colin Powell in the run up to that which ultimately led to Powell's resignation.  The House Republicans were staunchly opposed to action in Kosovo.

                  •  This is different (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Clinton worked with the world community, including Russia, to try to stop Milosevic diplomatically.

                    Milosevic said no.

                    So he went to congress with this in his back pocket.  The Senate backed him.

                    Did he know the House would not?  I'm guessing yes but we don't know.

                    In fact the House voted weeks later, and refused to fund a ground war, which was not on the table, and in the end - I just looked this up - they tied on the question of authorizing force - they never authorized the operation, although they did end up funding the operations that took place.

                    If the world was watching an ongoing genocide, united and ready to react after exhausting diplomacy, and Boehner was off somewhere getting a tan for the next several weeks, and the Senate authorized force, my guess is that Obama would go in without authorization from the House.

                    He may still do that.

                    But he would more likely do that if he comes home with the world's backing and cooperation in an intervention in Syria.  

                    With Kosovo, the world was united in its condemnation of Milosevic, and it was a NATO operation.

                    You are right, Clinton was much more open about what was going on because of that backing - the world was ready to go.  Without that, Obama is in a much more precarious position if the decides to go without congressional approval.

                    I still don't back intervention.  

                    •  I am not making any attempt to back (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      intervention in this discussion.  Just saying that there is potential from the domestic side that a pro Senate vote with or without a House vote might be viewed as an open door to the Obama Administration with respect to strikes.

                      I understand that Clinton had NATO, also.  But I am not entirely certain that this White House is as sensitive to or concerned with that nuance from this historical example.

                      Anyway, we'll see what happens.  I am more and more convinced that this White House is intent on doing whatever they want regardless of public opinion.

          •  he doesn't actually have to "angle" (0+ / 0-)

            to maintain it

            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

            by Sybil Liberty on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:26:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree. The president would LOVE to affect (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          (not effect) the vote by showing his hand.  

          Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

          by bobdevo on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 08:10:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why would he play his hand? (6+ / 0-)

      Now think about this.  Until the final decision we are exerting power over Assad, keeping him awake at nights, making him make moves, forcing him into strategies and actions that would minimize the damage should we strike.  The resources to do that take away from his ability to wage war upon his own citizens.  Also, we have to be watching from above, satellites are certainly trained on suspected CW sites.  When people are scared and cornered, they make irrational moves, give away their secrets, show their hand.  

      As soon as Assad finds out the votes aren't there in Congress, if the President firmly comes out and says he'll abide by the decision, Assad is off the hook and he can once again center his resources on the civil war.  

      Meanwhile, Obama is toying with the Republicans who he knows care most about defying everything he does, possibly over their joy and elation to energizing the military industrial complex.  He doesn't want to tip his hand to them either, make them feel that there is this clear cut path to undermining him.  We're seeing this work daily.  Such dramatic reversals of position in some legislators because it's Obama's idea.  

    •  False Flag is the loophole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He will conduct false flag because in that case congress approval is not required.

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