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View Diary: Here's how the rebels could have launched the August 21st Attacks (118 comments)

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  •  Now that Assad has caved, it's not a good idea. (5+ / 0-)

    Now that they've been coerced into an agreement that will put their chemical weapons beyond use, and eventually destroy them, bombing won't improve the situation.

    Obviously, this wasn't just about blowing stuff up. It was about dealing with the chemical weapons threat.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:41:06 PM PDT

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    •  The rewrite on how that agreement came to be is (2+ / 0-)

      fascinating. Kerry makes a snide comment, the State Department explicitly walks it back, the Russians push Syria into accepting the walked back snide offer while reminding us that going to war without Security Council approval is a blatant violation of international law, and suddenly Kerry was serious and Obama is an 11th dimensional chess master again.  

      But I prefer the non-violent method so I'll take a win however it came to be.  

      "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

      by The Rational Hatter on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:51:24 PM PDT

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      •  Sorry, nope. The deal was already in the works... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mokurai, SoCalSal, zizi, Lawrence, sewaneepat

        when Kerry made his "snide comment."

        I can't believe you don't know this already. Putin and Obama discussed this deal at the G20, days before Kerry's statement at the presser.

        There's really no point in fighting this rear-guard action at this point. You just look silly.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:55:22 PM PDT

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        •  I've read the report on the G-20 conversation. (0+ / 0-)

          If you want to say that Obama is some sort of mastermind I'm cool with it.  The report was poorly sourced and stinks of PR damage control after getting smoked on the international stage.  As for looking "silly" well I guess I sure picked the wrong day to base my self image on the opinion of a random stranger. Oh well.

          "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

          by The Rational Hatter on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:02:30 PM PDT

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          •  Yes, so "cool with it" that you felt the need to.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zizi

            threadjack and unrelated discussion just to insist that it wasn't true.

            You're the only one talking about masterminds, btw. The reality-based community is talking about competent diplomacy working the problem.

            Why, it almost seems like you have to make up a silly straw man in order to have something appear even less likely that your cover story.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:10:23 PM PDT

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            •  My original comment was on topic. (0+ / 0-)

              You're the one who has been driving this thread. If you think it's threadjacking of me to comment about military strikes in a diary where the diarist was laying the blame for chemical weapons use at the feet of Assad... well that's on you.  

              Sorry you don't like it but that's the breaks. /shrug

              "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

              by The Rational Hatter on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 05:21:32 PM PDT

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          •  Both Obama and Putin said they talked (0+ / 0-)

            about this at the G20. Why would you think Putin would say that if it were not true?

            You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

            by sewaneepat on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 05:41:06 AM PDT

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            •  Why would the State Department disavow the (0+ / 0-)

              comment if Kerry were serious?

              "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

              by The Rational Hatter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:31:08 AM PDT

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              •  Perhaps because Putin had not gotten any (0+ / 0-)

                Cooperation from Syria at that point or that Putin had not even agreed to anything at that point. Nonetheless Putin said he and Obama had talked about it so why do you think he said that if it were not true?

                You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                by sewaneepat on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:06:57 PM PDT

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                •  Because Putin secured the continued existance of (0+ / 0-)

                  his allies in Syria and if it means that he has to issue some bullshit statement that helps the people he just out maneuvered save face it is worth it?  

                  Besides, it would have been better diplomacy (assuming that a peaceful resolution was their goal) to say "Yes.  If you hand over your weapons we won't bomb you."  Instead the State Department explicitly said "That is not an actual offer from the United States Government".  Believe what you like.  Assuming that Obama plays 11th dimensional chess at all, he sucks at it.

                  "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

                  by The Rational Hatter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:22:51 PM PDT

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                  •  You are entitled to your opinion. (0+ / 0-)

                    But if you think Obama is some mad war crazy President, you are not  rational. His goal was to stop further chemical weapons attacks and I hope this does it - though I doubt Syria is really going to comply, but we will see. But if a President meets his goal without any strikes or loss of life, I think that is doing a damned fine job.

                    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                    by sewaneepat on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 12:52:10 PM PDT

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                    •  If you think that Syria is about chemical weapons (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sewaneepat

                      I think you are missing the part where Assad is a key part of the pipeline that provides weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Russia only cares about Syria because they like their ports and Iran is a key strategic supplier of oil to them. This has very little to with a commitment to humanitarian ideals and everything to do with a much larger geopolitical struggle which - currently - has Syria as a focal point.  

                      We didn't care when Iraq gassed the Kurds until we needed a pretext to invade.  We didn't care about The Sudan because it had not strategic importance to us.  We don't care about Chinese human rights violations because we have no need to at the moment.  There are any number of atrocities going on in the world at any given moment and to think that Syria is important when the other aren't is just naïve.  

                      I'll stipulate that Obama the man doesn't like chemical weapons use.  But Obama the President is tasked with forwarding the geopolitical goals of the United States of America and he doesn't really get a lot of say in what those goals are considering the distribution of resources across the globe and the United State's requirements for said resources.  We like to pretend that we are the shining city on the hill.  In reality we are another nation who is lucky enough to have enjoyed a place of prominence and power throughout our short history who is using that to our own benefit.  We always have.  It's what made us powerful. But this latest incident with Syria was a diplomatic loss in terms of real politics.  We were denied an opportunity to deprive a hostile regime a key ally in the middle east.  

                      You can call me irrational. But at least I'm not looking at events with blue tinted glasses.  

                      "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

                      by The Rational Hatter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 01:24:52 PM PDT

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                      •  Of course, there are geopolitical issues. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        The Rational Hatter

                        But Obama is not Reagan and he is not Bush I, both of whom blamed Iran for gassing the Kurds until Bush II wanted it as part of a pretext for invading Iraq (in fact IIRC Cheney as Sec of Defense blamed Iran for it).

                        If Obama was determined to go to war over the geopolitical issues, he would have. But he has not and certainly does not seem as if he really wants a war, but he does seem to think that under his watch the use of chemical weapons cannot be ignored.

                        Yes, there are horrible human rights violations all over the world, but most are not of the horrid magnitude of the horrors of death by chemical weapons. Sudan is one place in which things are perhaps as bad as chemical weapons and of course, if it were of  more strategic importance, we might be more willing to do something about it. I have no idea whether we should have or not. Part of me thinks that the world shouldn't stand by and let such atrocities occur without intervening and part of me thinks that we can't get involved in every instance of atrocities. I guess it depends on whether we can do anything about it and what the cost in lives would be (both American and Sudanese or whomever). And yes, I trust Obama on these issues much more than I trust Reagan, either of the Bushes, or any other Republican I can think of.

                        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                        by sewaneepat on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:13:50 PM PDT

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                        •  Well of course Obama is the prefered leader here. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          sewaneepat

                          But what kills me about the establishment left (which I feel DKos is at this point) is how we bend over backwards to justify what happens both in terms of support for US foreign policy as a whole and in our willingness to uncritically swallow the narrative.  

                          In terms of US foreign policy these engagements are about securing resources via force if necessary and almost universally to the detriment of the local populations.  The fact is that no military deployment in ages has benefitted you, me, or anyone we know. I don't support US foreign policy because it is primarily about benefitting the same economic elites that have systematically screwed over the American public.  

                          In terms of the PR narrative I would suggest going back and watching the Kerry press conference again.  There is a split second between him finishing the part where he said (and I'm paraphrasing because I don't remember verbatim) "He can surrender his chemical stockpiles immediately" and "But that's not going to happen" where you can see that he knows he stepped in it.  And the State Department would not have retracted - IMO - had it been a legit offer.  The part where I think Obama and Putin are agreeing to lie in public is me being cynical.  But I don't feel it's unwarranted cynicism.  

                          Going forward this is what's going to happen:

                          Russia is going to draw out the negotiations on securing the chemical stockpiles as long as they can.  While they are doing that they will step up arms deliveries to Syria and Assad is going to do his level best to break the opposition once and for all.  And we are going to be powerless to stop that because taking military action against Syria while diplomatic negotiations are on the table without a Security Council resolution (which Russia will veto only every time) would put us in the position of being an open aggressor State.  And that is untenable for the US unless we are willing to be the country that undoes the UN... which would be too ironic even for America... at least under a Democratic administration.

                          The Obama administration was forced into this situation because Kerry was a jackass when he shouldn't have been.  It's not a knock on him or his Presidency.  But it is the simple facts as I see them.  

                          Although I should point out that the idea that the rebels were responsible for the attacks is fairly well debunked at this point.  It is just supremely irrelevant at this point.

                          "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

                          by The Rational Hatter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 02:52:44 PM PDT

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        •  Actually, the topic came up years ago (0+ / 0-)

          between the US and Russia, at the start of hostilities inside Syria. It was in international question at the time of the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 (after negotiations going back to 1968), which Syria refused to sign until this week.

          Richard Nixon started the program to dispose of US stocks in 1969. We still are not finished. A surprising amount remains to be destroyed in other countries, as well, most notably Iraq.

          Chemical Weapons Convention: Timeline of destruction

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 06:19:33 PM PDT

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      •  But I'm glad you're glad that Assad caved... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Explorer8939

        "however it came about."

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 04:59:38 PM PDT

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      •  Except we know Obama and Putin discussed (0+ / 0-)

        the idea at G-20, prior to Kerry's snide comment.

        Obama isn't always brilliant, but sometimes he's pretty damn smart.

        I'm on a mission! http://www.dailykos.com/comments/1233352/51142428#c520 Testing the new site rules.

        by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 06:31:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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