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U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) gestures to U.S. Rep. Peter King before the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 21, 2013.   REUTERS/Win McNamee/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
“I’m worried that the president and the administration will use the caveats as an excuse to not act right away or to not act at all,” he told Fox News. “The president clearly stated that it was a red line and that it couldn’t be crossed without the United States taking vigorous action.”

John McCain has never met a Middle Eastern country he wasn't eager to invade. Old men and their wars that young men, and now women, have to fight.

Look, what is happening in Syria is awful. War is always awful, especially those of the civil sort. But the civil war in Syria has nothing to do with the United States. We are not involved. It is none of our business. Other nations, like Turkey and Iran or the other nations surrounding Syria, may have their own reasons to get involved in resolving Syria's civil war. That is for those nations to figure out. If the UN decides to get involved in the conflict, then they can very well send in their own peacekeepers if they want. That is for them to figure out. This is NOT a global conflict. WW2 was a global conflict. This is a internal, and perhaps regional conflict. We have no borders or treaty allies at risk in that region.

I'm sick and tired of the United States using military force to try and resolve political and armed conflicts in the Middle East. I don't care if we have 100% rock solid, video taped evidence of the Syrian regime using chemical weapons. Chemical weapons suck, but that is not our problem. Our national security is not at risk in Syria. There is no reason for us to get involved because none of what is happening there is any of our business.

Again, I'm quite sure the American people have nothing but the purest empathy for the plight of innocent civilians in Syria. Nobody wants to see people killed, forced from their homes, or their lives destroyed by war. War of any kind is always bad. But the American people are also plenty sick and tired of getting involved in costly foreign entanglements. As much as the neoconservatives and military "humanitarians" feel like the purpose of the U.S. military is to go around the world resolving other people's problems, this is wrong. Or spreading freedom at the point of a gun. No, that's wrong too. The purpose of America's military is defend America, its TREATY allies, and its interests from direct attack. (Here's the list of nations we're obligated to defend.) We've seen the mistake of stretching the idea of "defense" and "interests" to include resolving internal conflicts in nations with which we have little to no historical, cultural or economic ties. Or more importantly, a ratified collective defense treaty.

No matter how nasty it gets, tell the Washington establishment that the American people will not tolerate an American war in Syria.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The president can not win. If he "acts" he'll he (15+ / 0-)

    called a war criminal by some. If he doesn't send a million troops to Syria, then "he is letting Syrian women and children die". It's a tough call but I say no more sending troops to every country in conflict. McCain should just go away already.

    •  He's got an out, if he wants it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, MKinTN, hester

      The most effective opposition in Syria is affiliated with Al Qaeda.

    •  Seeing What Is Happening In Syria (7+ / 0-)

      is horrifying. But generally speaking my family are the folks that go fight our wars. I have not served myself, but many family members did. We're are kind of "tired."

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:12:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  locally the military is the option for those (7+ / 0-)

        not attending college or needing funds to attend college or needing a weekend job.  It has been traditional for locals to either farm or go into retail or the trades or the military or a mixture of the choices.  Therefore we are impacted more than ordinary communities when there is a deployment with its concomitant MIAs, KIAs and WIAs.  There is no local desire to intervene in Syria as most of these guys have seen ten tours or more in our 21st Century wars

        •  My Family Members Are College Educated (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh, joanneleon

          and with some financial means. We tend to differ to "service." Something I don't totally understand, cause I have not served myself, but I kind of understand as a military brat.

          Why I have zero respect for chickenhawks. You want to promote war then you better pick up a gun and go fight!

          Heck I got an email from my Uncle the other day. He is in Qatar. Flies F-16s. Fourth deployment, National Guard. These deployments destroyed his married. But as he jokes a deployment to Qatar isn't bad :).

          It is very hard for me to even type the above. Painful.  

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:44:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry for your pain but marriages are usually (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            webranding, nchristine

            the first casualty of any unit deployment for multiple reasons.  You have to remember the chasm between enlisted men and officers (though there is OCS); at least in the past, there was a gap between the Academy grads and the ROTC folks.  Then there were the enlisted men.  Around here Sgt is usually as high as things go, as many people also follow a trajectory where they may enter active service for four years and then opt out for the Reserves or NG.  

            My uncle enlisted AAF at 16 and worked his way through the ranks to SGt, pulled his 20 and retired.  He then went into Reserves and also used his service to get preference for a fed job.  He worked that for 10 years and retired and used his preference to snag a state job he worked for 10 years and retired.  Since he was in military intelligence, he then hooked up with local banks as their security consultant for the rest of his years.

            I remember visiting and seeing all the pension envelopes on his coffee table.  Ironically, he never saw combat in all those years in the Reserves and active duty.

            (then 2 other uncles went into the Navy and had several ships shot out from under them in the Pacific and Atlantic)  

      •  Did you lose any family members? (0+ / 0-)

        In Libya?

        Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:52:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Horrifying what BOTH sides are doing. nt (0+ / 0-)

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:58:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fuck the neocons. I know he will 'not win' (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catilinus, fou, Smoh, artmartin, JohnnySacks, AoT

      with some, but I'm struggling to find any of that 'some' that I give a shit about. NO WAR IN SYRIA. NO MILITARY AID. NO AIR STRIKES.

      And this is coming from someone who generally supports the use of drones in western Pakistan and Yemen.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:58:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not about him "winning" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artmartin, joanneleon, SuWho, protectspice

      in the public opinion arena. It's about the interests of the U.S. Any war we're involved with in the ME will quickly spread. It would be a disaster with unimaginably dreadful consequences for folks there and here .

      Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

      by chuckvw on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:27:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've even seen some people (0+ / 0-)

      who say that Obama has to get into this to show that he's a Manly Man who says what he means and means what he says.  Much the same reason that LBJ gave for escalating in Vietnam.

      How did that work out again?

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:10:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Often Joke (It Isn't Funny) My Father (6+ / 0-)

    worked at high levels within the DoD. A Republican. You might think he'd be "pro war." Nope the exact opposite. He fucking hates the concept of war.

    One of the thing I enjoy the most is when he is at my house. I force him to watch MSNBC (he is a CNN guy -- couldn't pay him to watch Fox Noise). There will be some military "expert" on and my dad will note that he had him in his class at the Army War College and he is an idiot.

    He doesn't have any clue what he is talking about.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:04:41 AM PDT

  •  I always believed that Syria was next on the (15+ / 0-)

    PNAC list in the movement toward empire.  The attacks were relentless starting with all of Iraq's WMD being secretly transferred and hidden there.

    I haven't been too concerned about an imminent attack on Iran, but Syria concerns me greatly.

    “April is the cruellest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain." T.S. Eliot

    by blueoasis on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:04:52 AM PDT

  •  Not even video evidence should be enough. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, joanneleon

    Chemical testing for sarin would be my bar.  After that we'll talk.

  •  McCain could give a damn about the Syrian people.. (15+ / 0-)

    he's lobbying against defense cuts....He always lobbies against defense cuts.

  •  How is this any different than Bosnia? (7+ / 0-)

    I just wanted to put this out there for discussion. I don't have a strong opinion either way on Syria, but how is this any different from Bosnia in 1995 when Clinton was President?

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

    by Texas Lefty on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:25:03 AM PDT

  •  Once upon a time, the US used the British model (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, J M F, claude, mookins, joanneleon, InAntalya

    of mostly using proxy troops to fight their foreign wars (even in WWI, there was a significant number of African troops that fought for King and Country in France).  Now it seems we have started fighting proxy wars for others.

    Iran and Saudi Arabia are conducting proxy wars for control of the area.  The Saudi fear a "Shia' crescent", whereby our miscalculation in Iraq and will do anything to prevent it.  Problem is the Saudis, as a society, are not any more lovable than the Iranians and the possibility of future radicalization is large for the Saudis.

    Iran is backing Assad while the Saudis are backing at least some elements of the rebels and evidently not the other, which means even if Assad is ousted, the immediate outcome could be another civil war between the rebel components and maybe even an Israeli incursion.  Iran is backing Assad because Syria is the linchpin to their influence in Lebanon and OTs.

    Bottom line is this could take decades to play out and, at this point, why put more American troops up as clay pigeons for Wahhabists and  other extremists?      

    •  That's exactly what's going on. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, J M F, joanneleon, happymisanthropy

      Regional power players, sectarian interests, and the "great game."

      No reason for us to get involved in any of that mess. We are too involved as it is.

      •  yep, this mess dates from the breakup (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, J M F, happymisanthropy

        of the Ottoman Empire and GB and France claiming the spoils from that break up.  It may take 200 years to sort out the mess Western interests created in the wake of the Armistice.  

        •  Except (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to pretend that we are not one of the power players in that power play is not an honest assessment.

          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:35:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I left out the US because we came late to the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            game.  For example, we entered Iranian politics when our CIA overthrew the elected leader because BP was afraid he was nationalizing the Iranian oil industry and assumed that Iran owned its own natural resources.  Another region but ditto for VN after the French got booted out.

            GB and France set the table and we were late to the feast but did partake, to be fair

            •  Before the US did its damage in Iran we practiced (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              entlord, protectspice, joanneleon

              on Syria.

              It was the US who destabilized the newly independent (in 1946 after the 26 year long French mandate) Syria by organizing the 1948-9 coups. And the tree of instability the US planted in those years continues to bear bitter fruit.

              Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

              by InAntalya on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:15:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  granted again but the seeds were sown by (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                France who created Lebanon in order to create a Christian enclave and would therefore have a colonial foothold in the region even should Arab nationalism take hold.  Don't forget the exploits of "Lawrence of Arabia" had awakened them to both the advantages of Arab nationalism (i.e. kicking out the Ottomans) vs the disadvantages (i.e. Western interests getting kicked out)

                After WWII, GB and France attempted to continue to assert the prerogatives of empire though they were militarily and economically unable to maintain such a stance against a growing worldwide nationalism.  Therefore, the US adopted them sort of as client states and assumed their responsibilities in various arenas.

                When the pie was carved up in 1918, the European Allies never foresaw the day when they would have to rely on the US to maintain the empires they had amassed over the past couple of centuries

    •  He's not waffling (0+ / 0-)

      He's keeping the best interests of this country in mind and he is not sitting there doing nothing.  He's trying to bring about an outcome without a full scale invasion or large deployment of troops.  

      I don't agree with him on much, but I praise him for his handling of the situation in Syria. He seems to be the only rational player in this on our side of the fence.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:37:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't worry. We'll never - never - go to war in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, J M F, joanneleon, Nespolo

    Syria. Until we do.

    The purpose of America's military is defend America, its TREATY allies, and its interests from direct attack.
    I'd like to think "The purpose of America's military is defend America." Period. Honoring Treaties are obligations, & not the purpose of the military least I hope that's still the case. Then again, not all treaties are honored. Fort (cough) Laramie.

    America's greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

    by catilinus on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:34:47 AM PDT

  •  We've been at covert war against Syria (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for months now.  Covert is, of course, insufficiently profitable.

    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 Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:34:49 AM PDT

  •  Agree. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Be really difficult to get out if they do intervene. Russia, Israel and Iran would only serve to complicate the already difficult task of setting up a stable government in the midst of ongoing violence. Bordering Iraq, my guess is that it would be a long drawn-out affair.  

    We're also supposed to be deeply in debt and the right opposes any tax increases.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:37:50 AM PDT

  •  He and Chuck Hagel are not going to commit (10+ / 0-)

    ground troops in Syria. (and Joe Biden.)
    They may push harder on Turkey and S. A. etc. to support a no-fly zone and they may offer more covert assistance to the resistance, but I don't think they'll commit ground troops to anything more than protecting refugees.

    I think if they were going to do that, they would have already.

    Our troops are still stretched too thin as it is, and suffering from over-deployment.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:39:21 AM PDT

    •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J M F, artmartin, sturunner

      At this point, I really can't see us directly engaged in Syria. Obama is calling for UN inspectors to investigate Sarin use. The administration is more likely to support UN intervention I think.

    •  Already did announce troop deployment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      last week, overt, boots on the ground in Jordan.

      Washington (CNN) -- In a critical indication of growing U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the deployment of more American troops to Jordan.

      Hagel announced the deployment, which was first reported on CNN, in a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

      And the troops deployed are a headquarters unit. They head up a much larger division who have not been deployed and hopefully won't.

      Jordanians are protesting the troop presence as we speak.

      Jordanians protest proposed US troop deployment

      At the Friday rally in Amman, leftists and independents chanted, "No to U.S. troops in Jordan. This is not in our national interest." They said they do not want to see a U.S.-led invasion of Syria like the 2003 war in neighboring Iraq, based on faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction there.

      Read more here:

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:46:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does the name Kitty Genovese ring a bell? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostboyjim, petulans, sturunner

    It should.

    "None of our business" is never a good excuse when you have the ability to stop harm.  We have a lot of options to help end this we are not pursuing

    Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

    by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:47:57 AM PDT

    •  Like what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Give at least a little detail.

      •  She was murdered in view of 38 neighbors (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        petulans, sturunner

        Who thought it was "none of their business" and not one of her neighbors bothered to call the police. This notion of ignoring harm you can act to prevent because there is nothing in it for you is a lousy moral principle  

        Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:41:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yo, MN, we know who KG was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          back when it happened, even.  Some of us,  anyway.

          The question was what are your options for dealing with Syria,  not who KG was.

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:57:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was asked who she was (0+ / 0-)

            So I provided more detail

            But providing better arms, logistical and intelligence support, civilian administration support, and enforcing a no fly zone and possibly air strikes are a set of options to pursue that do not involve invading

            Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:49:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Arms to who? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Support what civilians? Air strikes on what?

              Who are we to decide that? It's not our country, it's THEIRS. It's their fight.

              Sanctions and a no fly zone, fine. Anything else, no.

              It's like getting involved in a family fight. No matter what side the outsider picks, they're screwed.

              •  Here is the issue (0+ / 0-)

                A couple of simplified breakdowns. The FSA and allies are in opposition to a dictator who has used chemical weapons and other nasties on the people of Syria.  The family fight analogy only works if your cant clearly find a position. This is more like a family with an abusive husband who beats the crap out of the wife and kids.  I don't think "it's a family matter" is the appropriate response.   We can judge by actions, and the fact that it is on the other side of some arbitrary line makes no difference.  We are all humans after all

                Now, the FSA and allies control some territory but are having difficulty administering it, while Islanists are better set up and organized to do it.  In those areas free of Assad's control we can and should help restore basic services.  

                Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

                by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:47:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The ultimate irony in all this... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mindful Nature

         that Assad is the last bastion of the Baathist movement, whose original goals,  if not the means to achieve them, don't sound at all half bad from a progressive standpoint.

                  "Democracy" can be a two-edged sword, if the popular will is to, for instance, embrace theocracy and live under Sharia Law.

                  I, old commie that I am, have come to cast a jaundiced eye over my own knee-jerk reaction that "popular uprising" has to automatically be a noble cause and be supported on general principle.  

                  I happen to think that a "modern" secular state with development that benefits a lot of its citizens and keeps its oligarchs somewhat under control is actually preferable, even if it takes some stick (h/t Francis Urquhart)  to keep the reactionaries from disrupting things with their anti-modernist fanaticism.

                  Baathism is old enough now to have thoroughly matured and become corrupted by the usual culprits of greed and tribe and excess.  It gets so bad that Sharia looks good.  But once upon a time the existing order got so bad that Baathism looked good.

                  don't always believe what you think

                  by claude on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:28:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Except (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, protectspice

      in Genovese's case those were her neighbors or the people who lived right there where it occurred.

      Syria is not our neighbor. This is not happening in our backyard. We are already deployed, overtly or covertly, in MANY other countries.

      There are other very wealthy countries right in that neighborhood who have military (mostly bought from us) and have an interest and are already involved but using proxies.

      Knock it off with the guilt trips.  Our supposed humanitarian interventions are hardly ever really for humanitarian reasons and the people who are intervened upon rarely end up in a better situation.

      And if you feel so strongly about intervening, go sign up with the Free Syrian Army and go fight it yourself, and risk your own blood and treasure, not the blood of young Americans who signed up to protect this country (or to get health coverage or college tuition or a job which they had no other way of getting) and the treasure that, as more of it is spent on wars, more is taken away from people in poverty and suffering here.

      Go for it!  I'm sure they are taking recruits.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:55:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Only in this case (0+ / 0-)

      there is no innocent victim.   It's gang war.  Bloods vs Crips.  Best case scenario both sides lose, and they can both go fuck themselves.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:28:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Between a rock and a hard place (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fou, lostboyjim, sturunner, erush1345

    Intervention would be hugely unpopular and makes little sense on any front - no easy military targets, no alliance to fight with, and a geopolitical situation that presents every opportunity for escalating entanglement.

    But stand by and watch as Assad gasses his people and the blame for the genocide will be laid right at your feet.

    Sometimes it sucks to be the dominant global superpower.  

    •  No It Isn't (4+ / 0-)

      Russia. Germany. France. England. All closer than we are. All with a military. Why is it our job to "police" the world?

      Now this is why I would never get elected, but if I was running things I'd call out those nations in public. Tell them to do something. Act.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:07:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    Recommended by:

    Look at if you want to see what's going on over there. It's a SHITSHOW. The FSA are not innocents either and are polluted by foreign agents and proxies as well. I would personally favor a reduction in any aid to EITHER side down to mere foodstuffs and medical supplies, and only because I care about those who are truly innocent.

    Though, I maintain that even if you are 'innocent', if a dictator or rebel faction are killing your land and your people, either directly or collaterally, why is it so outlandish to risk your own life to stop them?

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:02:27 AM PDT

  •  Absolutely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why would we want to stop a dictator from using poison gas on his countrymen.  It's FOLLY!!

    President Clinton gave us a pretty sound blueprint for how to wage war from the air.  We don't need boots on the ground, we need to stop their tanks and planes.   Let the rebels go from there.  But this 100% hands-off approach is allowing casual murder of innocents to occur.  We have 50% of the entire fucking world's military.  This is a place to use it.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:44:35 AM PDT

  •  Will we be conned into another war? (0+ / 0-)
  •  I'd like to see some proof the opposition are good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, joanneleon
    •  They are allied with Al Qaeda (0+ / 0-)

      Last I checked that made them Also Bad Guys.  There are no Good Guys in the fight, just the folks caught between two brutal gangs.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:33:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "We are not involved." (5+ / 0-)

    We are involved and we have been involved for a long time.  We have troops there and we've been providing support and we are in a proxy war with Russia, Iran and China.

    We have also had a goal of overthrowing the Syrian government since at least 9/11.  It has been a goal for the neoconservatives for longer than that.

    I also am strongly against intervention there, including a no-fly zone. There are plenty of other well armed, very wealthy countries in that region if intervention is needed.

    But to say that we are not involved is not accurate.

    Wes Clark in 2007, describing conversations he had at the Pentagon right after 9/11.

    General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven Countries In Five Years

    1:20 minute mark:
    Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:49:51 AM PDT

  •  Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)

    The Assad regime are, unequivocally, not our friends.  The rebels are, assuredly, our enemies. For those reasons alone, I'm happy to see us sit on our hands while they sort this out amongst themselves.  I don't feel it's worth risking one American life there, not to mention the enormous costs.  Syria is not Libya.

  •  We should do nothing unless Russia, the Arab (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    League and Turkey agree to any intervention.  Hell, the Israelis should probably agree as well.  If we did do anything, it should only be no fly zones.  No troops on the ground.

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:54:47 AM PDT

  •  Thank god... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Don't let all the pressure be from the right b/c it'll be unrelenting. With sketchy intelligence "experts," shady scholars and compromised military leadership.

    Obama sounded shaky at his Press Conference.
    I actually think Obama and Hagel want to do the right thing here, but you can tell they are swimming amongst sharks in this debate.

    And blood-thirsty ghoul-McCain can't wait to start beating the drums of war.

    Relatedly, I think Rachel was absolutely pitch-perfect in covering this last night. I appreciate both she and Steve Clemons for throwing out their the distinct possibility that this sample is fake or has been tampered.

  •  Young American men and women (0+ / 0-)

    will never again be in harm's way as soldiers in our wars, barring tipping over hot cups of cappucino into their laps in the operations room 150 feet below the Nevada desert.  The fact that there will never again be American war casualties also means there will never again be an American peace movement as our nation officially embarks on permanent wartime status.

    The reality is that the only way for the designated "enemy" to retaliate will be to strike at our society and infrastructure:  terrorism.  This in turn will only serve to redouble war fever among the American populace.  As long as we as citizen-taxpayers are willing to pay for the drones, the Drone War will continue.  It's more than established that the only civilian deaths that bother us are our own.  When we conduct slaughter elsewhere, it's just more good ol' collateral damage.

    Permanent war, no American casualties, never again a peace movement.  Both pparties understand, agree and accept that this is the era we are now in.  There is no end to it.  The Drone War IS The Forever War.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:10:30 AM PDT

  •  How credible are the reports about Sarin gas use? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    White House letter to Sen. Carl Levin on allegations of Syria's use of chemical weapons

    Letter from Miguel Rodriguez, White House director for legislative affairs, to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) on the allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria.

    •  Sadly (0+ / 0-)

      Very.  And not an isolated incident.  But, that's not an excuse to be foolish, and risk life, limb and loot.  

      •  Can you show me what proof you have? (0+ / 0-)

        Most of the reports are based on the Israeli report which is flimsy at best.  Remember "Cui bono"....

        The Israeli military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Israel based its analysis mainly on publicly available photographs of victims, but said there was also corroborating “direct evidence” that he would not detail.

        The U.S. has also made efforts to gather evidence from the field, although no outside authority has direct access to the sites of suspected use. Majid, a rebel commander from the eastern suburbs of Damascus, said his battalion had been contacted, through intermediaries, by the CIA, requesting samples to be tested for the presence of chemicals.

        Speaking via Skype from Jordan, and on the condition he be identified only by first name for his safety, Majid said the U.S. intelligence agency had requested soil, urine and hair samples from several areas around Damascus: Jobar, a northeastern neighborhood of the city that has been fiercely contested in recent months; Adra, an industrial area north of the city; and Ataibeh, northeast of the capital.

  •  ever since Rwanda, (0+ / 0-)

    progressives have been split on whether/when the US should ever intervene in these sorts of matters.  I'm not one who always opposes intervention as a general principle, but am war weary.  Let Russia, Syria's ally, deal with this.

  •  It depends entirely on the UN Security Council (0+ / 0-)

    I think most Americans wildly over estimate the role the US has played in, eg, Libya and Somalia. Those two interventions were both unanimously sanctioned by the UN Security Council, and as a member of the UN and Security Council, the US was called on to play a role -- albeit very minor. In Libya France and the UK played the major role. In Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the African Union, France, Russia, the UK and Denmark played major roles, with the US primarily sending drones.

    If you read the Obama administration's foreign policy documents, they clearly spell out the administration's policy -- namely, the US will no longer be the world's policeman, and will rely on regional powers and regional organizations and the UN for international order.

    But they also spell out, as they should, that when the international community is unanimous, pursuant to UN Security Council resolutions, and the UN asks for contributions, it is the international legal obligation of the US to participate.

    If the UN intervenes in Syria it will do so by Security Council Resolution calling on member states to participate. The US can't say no.

    You can't have a system of collective security in which major member states simply say they won't participate.

    I'm very pleased with the administration's adherence to international law, ending the Bush era unilateral, go it alone policy, and am a strong supporter in the system of collective security, which is the only system in world history that has reduced the incidence of aggressive state sponsored war.

  •  Absolutely not. No U.S. war in Syria... (0+ / 0-)

    ...we've learned our lesson and that means not doing this again. We should perhaps encourage Europe or the Arab League to get involved (and if they do provide them with a modicum of logistical support), but this is NOT our issue in terms of military action. No boots on the ground and no American combat forces in the air.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:22:23 AM PDT

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