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Former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be Defense Secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 31, 2013. Hagel, 66, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and a former two-te
Getting closer to military action?
U.S. forces are now ready to act on any order by President Barack Obama to strike Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday.

The U.S. Navy has four destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea positioned within range of targets inside Syria, as well as U.S. warplanes in the region, Hagel said in an interview with BBC television during his visit to the southeast Asian nation of Brunei. [...]

Obama asked the Pentagon to give him "all options for all contingencies," Hagel said, and "we have done that."

"We are prepared. We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take," Hagel said.

Hagel also said he expects intelligence services will soon conclude that the Syrian government was responsible, an assessment that Secretary of State John Kerry all but made yesterday.

6:44 AM PT: And NBC says strikes could come as early as two days from now.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Timing (38+ / 0-)

    Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, an event led by one of our nation's most famous pacifists and a Nobel Peace Prize winner himself, by bombing another country. Let that dissonance sink in for a moment.

    •  no win (7+ / 0-)

      What would be needed to get you to agree to military action?  Use of chemical weapons?  Nukes?  Genocide?  Obama has shown remarkable restraint--out of necessity--but, at some time, you have to bite the bullet.  Drones would be perfect for this--except, eventually, they'll be used by everybody--and need to be outlawed internationally.  There is no good solution--but, the least bad response is better done quickly to stop a repeat performance by Assad.

      Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

      by melvynny on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:40:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Um... (6+ / 0-)

          ...if they were used on Americans?

          The purpose of the American military is to defend
          America, not be the world's police force. I guess we must be running out of places to stockpile bombs again.

          Totally agree with Unlabled.

          I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

          by itsjim on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:52:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  by all means (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rabel, Old Sailor

          go through the usual channels, issue a strongly worded statement condemning the use of chemical weapons against children, and call it a day.  
          Maybe call up Harry Reid to help you with the wording.

        •  Nope - UN Will Want Russian + Iranian Cooperation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell, Subterranean

          I can't help but think there is reprisal here toward the Russians who have a significant port there and Iran which has huge investments in Syria to prop up Assad's regime, and both of whom depend on a favorable government staying in place, and will support an appealing Hezballah-oriented leader that we won't like in lieu of Assad in an attempt to disarm the opposition (which of course consists of a number of Al Quaeda like factions).  

          It's really none of our goddamn business.

        •  trump card (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Old Sailor

          Hate to use this, but how many ovens did Hitler need to build before you'd go in?  There is a point that gets reached that this behavior has to be stopped--I guess staying out of Rwanda was a good thing to some here, not to me.  This is apples/oranges--and yes both are fruits.  Some things need to be stopped asap--not allowed to fester.  If we do nothing--the rest of the dictators of the world will take notice--as has Assad.  Isolation by the world's only top tier military is not a smart move.  Depending on the UN means handing over the responsibility--and the decision making--to some thing you don't control--again, not a smart thing to do.
          BTW--we do nothing and Chechnians are endangered--as are Hindus in Kashmir.  We can't be the weak teacher in a class of emotionally disturbed pupils.

          Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

          by melvynny on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:24:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Getting involved in another mideast conflict (6+ / 0-)

            Not a smart thing to do. And we insist on proving it isn't a smart thing to do over and over and over and over.

          •  Hmm. Invoking the Humanitarian Godwin Law. (5+ / 0-)

            Joke.

            "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

            by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:40:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  half (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tari

              Hitler killed half my ancestry -- I take this seriously, maybe too seriously.  We are a product of our history--I guess I'm too much of a humanitarian for some--although not as much as I should be.  BTW--was Hemingway wrong to fight in the Spanish Civil War?

              Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

              by melvynny on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:46:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Problem is (1) the Iron Law of Unintended (5+ / 0-)

                Consequences, and (2) the fact that there is no reasonable alternative to the Assad regime if he leaves and the only actual alternative is an Islamic fundamentalist regime. We would only encourage in Syria what has already happened in Iraq. As Juan Cole has stated:

                Unlike in Bosnia, this is not a war by an outside force like the Serbs of ethnic cleansing against a neighbor, but rather it is a civil war. The Alawis, Christians and secular-minded Sunnis in Syria are afraid of the rebel forces and either support or are neutral toward the Syrian government; together they may well come to half the country. That isn’t exactly a mandate for outside intervention.
                I swear, the U.S. government has a Meth-esque addiction to violence. What a Joke.

                "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

                by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:55:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

                  But--I still can't see not reacting--make the best of all the bad possibilities.  Use of chemical weapons will spread worldwide--and that's the worst result.  Stop the world, I want to get off.

                  Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

                  by melvynny on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:01:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Use of chemical weapons has NOT spread world- (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Subterranean, aufklaerer, Johnny Q

                    wide. You can't get that from not invading Syria.

                    The irony is that, if one wants any sort of a Western, non-theocratic state to continue in Syria, one has to back the Assad regime as the lesser of the two considerable evils.

                    "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

                    by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:04:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  if we don't react, (0+ / 0-)

                      chemical weapons will spread--they're effective--cheap--easy to use.

                      Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

                      by melvynny on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:10:58 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No proof, just an article of unsubstantiated faith (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Johnny Q

                        in the inherent goodliness of American military overreach.

                        "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

                        by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:12:22 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  sadly (0+ / 0-)

                          I think we agree on just about everything--shitty conditions lead to shitty conclusions--lead to shitty reactions.  An awful lot of people in this world are shitty--and not all of them are in the Tea Party.  Theoretically, our country believes in rehabilitation of criminals--but really it believes in punishment--in vengeance--in smug superiority of the writers of law.  Why do I now think of Clarence Thomas? Of Dick Cheney?

                          Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

                          by melvynny on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:41:55 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We, as a nation, have a perverse preference (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            melvynny, aufklaerer, Johnny Q

                            for mercy for the powerful and reprisal for the weak.

                            History and fate will judge us with the mercy we show, not the power we wield.

                            "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

                            by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:17:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  chem weapons actually not effective (0+ / 0-)

                        The main reason that countries abstain from using chemical weapons is not because of humanitarian moral objections but the fact that they are not effective as a military weapon. They are difficult to deploy. They have a high rate of friendly fire casualties because you are as likely to make your own troops sick as the enemy troops.  Enemy soldiers can still fight if they have protective equiptment even if chemicals have been deployed.

                        In World War II chemical weapons were not used in combat by either the axis or the allies even though they were available and Winston Churchill was not opposed to their use.

              •  How did that Iraq War go? Was that a good idea? (5+ / 0-)

                Was that based on facts?  No, it was based on propaganda.  Lies.

                If you want to bring up history, let's start with the Iraq War.  All those civilians, babies, too, whose skin was burned to the bone by white phosphorous...was that okay with you?  All of those children born with horrific birth defects due to depleted uranium bombs... was that okay with you?  

                Is Iraq a democracy?  

                Aren't the Iraqi people worth our concern?  

                Do you want to do that to the Syrians now?  Based on an event that is sketchy and unsolved?

                Look at all the hoaxes about Iran and Syria these past several years that were debunked.

                Cooler heads need to prevail.  

                Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by CIndyCasella on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:24:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  There was nothing humanitarian (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Superskepticalman, Johnny Q

                about Dresden or Hiroshima.  War is not humanitarian.  

                •  If (0+ / 0-)

                  If the victor can't get spoils, it settles for vengeance.  Standing by in this case is worse than doing something--but, something isn't necessarily good.

                  Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

                  by melvynny on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:07:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  personal arms (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q

                you are welcome to do as Hemingway did - take up personal arms and go shoot at bad guys yourself.

                The NRA is a terrorist organization.

                by one you can live with on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:18:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry I was snarky with you here; would you (0+ / 0-)

                accept my apologies?

                "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

                by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:21:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  This is a civil war (5+ / 0-)

            People die in wars.  It's the nature of the beast.  

            By comparing the Assad regime to Hitler you are advocating boots on the ground to end a potential genocide (which is not a certain conclusion to this war).  That is the only way to  dismantle the regime.  Air strikes and a no-fly zone will not end this war.  

            And then what?  Who comes into power?  Do we let Syria devolve in a Somalia like rogue state?  

            It's a tragedy that people are dying but it doesn't mean it's America's responsibility to end it.  

          •  That trump card is in extremely poor taste and not (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice, aufklaerer, Johnny Q

            at all applicable here.  

            There have been too many hoaxes already debunked to jump in now before there has been a thorough investigation.

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:16:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hitler is the reason I speak out against killing. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aufklaerer, Johnny Q

              Our country has killed and maimed a lot of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and our country has backed Al Qaeda one too many times.  The "rebels" our country is arming in Syria are affiliated with Al Qaeda and are not even Syrian.  

              There is more here than the PTB want us to know.  The neocon hit list includes Syria and Iran.  Iraq, Lebanon, Libya have been dealth with.

              They lied to us to get us into Iraq.  Their credibility is gone.   We've seen this movie before.

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:36:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  So what do you suggest? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell

            A full on ground war in Syria?  Because as long as we're using Hitler analogies, that's what it took to bring down Hitler.  Lobbing cruise missles isn't going to do it.

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:12:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Since you apparently believe that this is so (0+ / 0-)

            important are you willing to do whatever it takes to stop him?  Even if that includes eliminating Medicare (which would kill thousands or even millions of seniors) to pay for a costly ground war and reinstating the draft?  Bringing back the Sedition Act and domestic indefinite detention just like we had during WWII?

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 01:44:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Russia and China make this difficult (0+ / 0-)

          but ideally an UN consensus like with Libya could be reached where Russia, China abstain, but don't veto. Although at the moment this appears impossible. Russia is dug in Syria. Heated discussion are also ongoing in Germany. Germany abstained together with Russia, China, Brazil last time with Libya. This time, many are hoping Germany would be part of West

      •  So why wasn't that a sufficient reason to strike (10+ / 0-)

        Iraq?

        It wasn't.  We didn't, even after "Chemical Ali" had gassed thousands of Kurds at Halabja, part of a campaign that butchered nearly 200,000 Kurds.

        If we could tolerate Hussein, we can tolerate Assad.
        Did we learn nothing in Iraq?

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:47:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "We" didn't tolerate shit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Old Sailor

          That was members of the Reagan/Bush administrations, who were giving Saddam a pass.  I'm not aware of any ties between Obama and Assad that would cause him to give Syria "a pass" on poisoning children this time around.  Although it appears that Obama already gave Assad one or two "passes" already.  Enough.  

          •  It was also Congress and it was also (0+ / 0-)

            Bill Clinton and, to a much lesser extent, Jimmy Carter.

            Bush 41 did push back on Hussein, forming an international coalition to drive him out of Kuwait, only to stop without taking Hussein out.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:16:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hussein didn't gas the Kurds at Halabja. (0+ / 0-)

          That is just another Bush/Cheney lie. The Iranians did it.

          The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

          by shoeless on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:41:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  First I've ever heard of this (0+ / 0-)

            do you have any links?

            First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

            by Cream Puff on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:07:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Halabja links (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cream Puff

              The type of gas was that used by Iran. Iraq did not possess that type of gas.

              “The great majority of the victims seen by reporters and other observers who attended the scene were blue in their extremities. That means that they were killed by a blood agent, probably either cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide. Iraq never used and lacked any capacity to produce these chemicals. But the Iranians did deploy them. Therefore the Iranians killed the Kurds.”
              http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/...

              http://www.globalresearch.ca/...

              The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

              by shoeless on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:17:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know how much I should believe from the globalresearch article; they use a lot of prejudicial adjectives like "Zionist".   There's also the loose end about the nerve gas that Iraq supposedly used.

                Of course if the alternative is believing the Bush Administration... I don't think they can both be completely wrong.

                First they came for the slippery-slope fallacists, and I said nothing. The End.

                by Cream Puff on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:47:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  That came well before Bush/Cheney. Before (0+ / 0-)

            Bill Clinton.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:18:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, but Bush and Cheney are the ones (0+ / 0-)

              who blamed it on Saddam in order to justify their invasion well after the CIA discovered that the Iranian army gassed the Kurds. They were attempting to gas Iraqi soldiers and the Kurds were just collateral damage.

              http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/...

              http://www.globalresearch.ca/...

              The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

              by shoeless on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:12:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Umm "Blamed it on Saddam" - No. (0+ / 0-)

                They certainly used it, but that's hardly the same as placing blame.  

                The initial US response,btw, was to blame the attack on Iran. Shortly thereafter, it becamse clear that Hussein's men were the culprits.

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:22:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That is not true. (0+ / 0-)

                  The War College report said that the Iraqis could not have gassed the Kurds.  They did not possess the type of gas used.  The Iranians had used this type of gas previously during the war. Bush and Cheney undoubtedly knew this, but of course they lied.

                  The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

                  by shoeless on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:37:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That was not the in initial response, which (0+ / 0-)

                    came out in the immediate aftermath of the attacks .

                    http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:40:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The initial response was wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                      The Iranians blamed it on the Iraqis. Intelligence agencies later learned that it was the Iranians who gassed the Kurds. Since this correction was not widely reported, Bush used the original story to justify the invasion. The mainstream news media, which was cheerleading for the war, was not interested in exposing Bush's lies.

                      The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

                      by shoeless on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:16:09 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have little choice but to put more trust (0+ / 0-)

                        in the BBC, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and just about everybody else over an anonymous poster going by "shoeless".

                        No offense intended, but this is the internet.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 12:11:40 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I supplied you with the links. (0+ / 0-)

                          The reports you have read were the erroneous inital reports from information supplied by the Iranians. The War College report explained that it was impossible for the Iraqis to have done it because They did not have the type of gas used in the attack. The Iranians had already been using this type of gas in the war.

                          The problem with political jokes is they get elected.

                          by shoeless on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 12:21:11 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

      •  first ... (10+ / 0-)

        Lets get some proof that Assad was responsible. The bombs  will keep for a few weeks.

      •  No you don't (12+ / 0-)

        Where in the US Constitution does it say the United States is responsible for the defense or welfare of Syria?  

        No where.  

        This is not our fight.  We have problems here at home that are not being addressed.

      •  A few points (6+ / 0-)

        First of all, I think that the US--and Britain and France and all of the other affluent countries--should be doing a lot more in terms of humanitarian assistance and in terms of helping address the ongoing refugee crisis.

        From the BBC:

        The UN says children now make up half of all refugees fleeing Syria. About three-quarters of those children are under 11.

        "The youth of Syria are losing their homes, their family members and their futures," said UN high commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres.

        "Even after they have crossed a border to safety, they are traumatised, depressed and in need of a reason for hope," he said.

        Most of the children have arrived in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, the UN says, and increasingly Syrians are fleeing to North Africa and Europe.

        But with its appeal for Syria less than 40% funded, the two UN agencies say they are struggling to meet the needs of the refugees.

        Just 118,000 of the refugee children have been able to continue in some sort of education, and a fifth have received psychosocial counselling.

        The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the agencies are now warning of a lost generation that are ill-equipped to bring peace and stability to their country in the future.

        Second, now correct me if I'm wrong, but the US remains the only country to have ever used nukes against another country.

        Third, I don't see how "just taking out Assad," as it seems that the administration wants to do, will really improve matters in Syria. It is likely to cause the death of innocent civilians as "collateral damage," to use that rather callous term, and will not change the trajectory of the war. A larger-scale intervention, in my opinion, would likely make matters worse in terms of lost lives in Syria and costs here.

        Next, it is not the role of the US to be "world policeperson." There is a certain degree of gall--and a lot of hubris--in that belief. Much of the rhetoric I've seen so far amounts to "Assad has been naughty, and the US, France, and Britain must punish him." Such a belief is spilling over with neo-imperialism and demonstrates the double standard of international relations in which the US, France, and Britain can attack other countries and kill their civilians with impunity.

        In what cases would I support war? Well, first of all, I think it is difficult to oppose war in the case of a military invasion of the U.S. homeland. That last happened really in 1812. (The attack on Pearl Harbor doesn't count as an "invasion," per se, but a response to a direct attack on the U.S. homeland by another country's military, does merit a response. Germany also declared war on the U.S. before the U.S. did on Germany--I believe because of their pact with Japan.) I would have supported lend-lease and might have even supported an earlier intervention in World War II, namely because Hitler's bloodlust crossed national borders, aggressively defied the sovereignty of other nations, and entailed genocide of numerous populations. Outside of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and World War II, I'm not sure if I would have supported any of the US's wars. (Support, of course, does not equal support for all things done during the war, we must be clear.)

        Here's a good read on Syria, just as a related aside: http://billmoyers.com/...

      •  And one more point (7+ / 0-)

        And one more thing to add to my last post:  Congress should have to approve of any intervention. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I'd like to think that we still live in a democracy.

      •  It's not our war, never will be (5+ / 0-)

        Remember, there was war in Afghanistan in the 80's, with the Soviets playing the Assad role.  So we armed the Afghans and in turn gave Al Queda the arms and power they needed to take over.

        And then Osama bin Laden repaid us for our troubles.

        So the question I have for you is this:  Is a "humanitarian" military strike, that will not stop this civil war, worth creating the next Osama bin Laden who will come back to kill thousands of Americans?  

      •  Obama did indeed show remarkable restraint-- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Dream

        which makes it all the more tragic that he is forced to attack Syria as an empty and self-defeating gesture in defiance of his own better judgment.

        •  Remarkable restraint in forcing to hold back (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q

          his inner international aggressor.

          "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

          by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:41:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Democrats are on TV saying that the (5+ / 0-)

          President has been "forced" into this situation.  

          Not good.

          BAD media strategy.

          BAD policy.

          Makes him and the US look weak.

          Means that every time someone wants to draw the United States into their own homegrown conflict all they have to do is use chemical weapons.

          Shaking head.

        •  He's not "forced" to do anything (0+ / 0-)

          If he attacks it's because he wants to.

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

          by Johnny Q on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:36:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To most of us it looks like he doesn't want to. (0+ / 0-)

            So you can imagine how the Republicans and pundits are going to crow about "Obama's weakness." And in a sense they'll be right.

            Obama is smart enough to know attacking Syria accomplishes nothing and may be dangerously counter-productive. Only 9% of Americans support it; there are no clear good guys and bad guys as there were in Kossovo or even Libya; this war is likely to escalate and spread, perhaps embroiling us in a shooting war with Iran. I cannot believe he wants to take this action.  Unfortunately his past "red line" and "game-changer" remarks boxed him into it.

            We should never join in a war under these kind or circumstances.

      •  Not if we go it alone (5+ / 0-)

        We're not in a position to play World Police anymore, not that we ever were. Unilateral bombing by the US is always a bad idea and the Syrians are prepared to defend themselves.

        Obama hasn't just shown restraint, he's tried to stay neutral. If the inevitable conclusion of all this was action, we should have had the foresight to spend these past two years doing the hard diplomatic work of building a coalition and applying diplomatic pressure, like we've done in Iran. This is a situation that validates all of Obama's critics. It's a bad idea.

      •  So you actually believe (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice, Johnny Q

        that al Assad, knowing that the one thing that might help his enemies justify an attack on his country is the use of wmd, went ahead and did it anyway, even though there was no tactical reason for doing so?

        If so, I've got a bridge in Alaska to sell you.

      •  They lied and way too many people died. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal, protectspice, Johnny Q

        The fact that an Obama official said the UN investigation was too late to be credible says it all.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:11:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No More of This Unilateral Action Shite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, Johnny Q

        Any action in the UN Security Council will be blocked by Russia and China, but there are 193 members of the General Assembly. There are many who will, as in the past, stand by and watch the US boldly stride forth and waste its treasure.

        But in this case, the US should not act without real support from the Europeans and its Middle East "allies." The overriding maxim, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, is "You broke it, you bought it." This possible two-day run up to another AUMF action is GWB-style bullshit.

        "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

        by midnight lurker on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No dissonance. The Nobel prize was a joke. (4+ / 0-)

      Obama got the prize for not being Bush, not for actually doing anything worthy of the prize. It was a political statement from Europe.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:11:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The timing is to break through the NSA scandal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      420 forever, hmi, Johnny Q

      and President Wall Street's crashing poll numbers.

    •  "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      strength."

      It's only dissonance if you can't accept that 2+2=5. Look at all the Villagers who have; it's easy!

      "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

      by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chemical weapons are extremely dangerous (5+ / 0-)

    because they kill things less discriminately than bombs, missiles and machine guns.

    Or so we're told.

  •  Earning that Peace Prize, I see... (17+ / 0-)

    Has anyone in the Administration seriously considered the possibility the attack was a false flag operation conducted by the al Qaeda terrorists who control the territory where it occurred?

    The efforts to repeal Obamacare are the GOP Abort Obamacare Act. lynneinfla

    by litho on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:38:08 AM PDT

  •  Really, really bad idea. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unlabled, Hillbilly Dem

    I hope Israel bails us out by requesting that we "slow our roll."

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:38:21 AM PDT

  •  Raytheon will stand to make some money out of it (10+ / 0-)

    since they manufacture the Tomahawk missile.

  •  Bush and Rummy must be so proud (5+ / 0-)

    Way to go Obama....your actions continue to prove how much of an ass I was to vote for you.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:40:28 AM PDT

    •  Romney was far worse, but still.... (5+ / 0-)

      I agree, it is a damn shame Obama is considering getting us involved in another war in the Mid East.  Nothing good will come of this, and he must know that, so I don't know what he's playing at.

      We have no duty to go along with this just because Obama is a Democrat.  He doesn't get a pass.  And we need to stop this now before another Trillion dollars is pissed into the sands of never-ending Mid East conflict.

      To quote War Games, "the only winning move is not to play"

      •  This feels like the Milgram Experiment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago, CenPhx, Johnny Q

        all over again.

        How obedient are we going to be this time knowing what the results will be before these elected zealots lead us into another never ending nation building experiment?

        The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

        by ctexrep on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:06:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hardly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheLizardKing

        Some targeted strikes against Assad's forces as a response to gassing children is hardly the same as the Iraq invasion and occupation.
        More like the targeted strikes during the Clinton administration, when there was at least as much evidence that he was wagging the dog as Obama.  Was Clinton marching us off to war like Bush did?  

        •  Or helping the Taliban against the Soviets? (8+ / 0-)

          How well did that work out for us?  We would be many times better off today if we'd just let the whole situation alone.

          But no, we had to get involved and pick sides and arm the rebels.  And then those same people turned around and killed 3000 Americans.

          Can you promise there won't be blow back from this?  No, of course you can't.  But you're ready to go start the "targeted strikes" anyway.

          Reckless.  It's not our war!

        •  And what if those targeted strikes are not (0+ / 0-)

          enough or Assad retaliates by going after Saudi oil refineries?  We may end up with the choice of either withdrawing or a full scale invasion which could very well mean reinstating the draft.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 01:47:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  sympathetic (0+ / 0-)

      You and I voted for supreme court, nlrb, csfb, and epa nominees, which we got. The rest belongs to the lobbies.

  •  I sure would like someone to explain to me (23+ / 0-)

    How this works.  Someone gasses a bunch of people in the middle of a civil war, and so we bomb someone?  How is this helpful?  How does this benefit anyone, let alone the United States?

  •  "Strike" is such a nice way to say killing rampage (13+ / 0-)

    Makes it sound like such a mundane thing.

    You can even forget that some of those people being killed are children, that some of them are young Americans of such character and commitment that they would put their lives at risk to protect our freedoms.

    I sure hope that somebody has done the math and is real damned sure that's worth the price, because I don't see any good guys in this mess.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:41:01 AM PDT

  •  Isn't this backwards? (30+ / 0-)
    Hagel also said he expects intelligence services will soon conclude that the Syrian government was responsible
    Doesn't scientific method dictate that you don't make the evidence fit the theory, you build the theory from the evidence?

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:41:27 AM PDT

  •  That's our unicorn! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cartoon Peril
  •  Boy! It sure is great not having those war (12+ / 0-)

    mongers Bush & Cheney around, isn't it?

    Syria is merely the road to Iran.

    Read the strategies authored by the Project For A New American Century, pay attention to what they call for in the Middle East.

    It should be obvious that Obama & the Corporate Democrats, far from delivering Change You Can Believe In, are instead continuing the 1%'s policies.

    Syria is the road to Iran.

    Are You Waking Up?  

    Go Team Blue!

    The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:42:08 AM PDT

  •  'Cuz we wouldn't want to do something dumb... (10+ / 0-)

    ...without being ready.

    Meanwhile, yesterday Kerry was certain Assad did this, he had evidence, tho' it would be some days before he could prepare that for us.  Now Hagel

    expects intelligence services will soon conclude that the Syrian government was responsible
    ...which tells me that Kerry needs to show Hagel and the intelligence services the evidence he has.
  •  It will look like Belgrade 1999 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo Flinnwood, gzodik, johnthorpe

    The use of chemical weapons is a war crime.  No less a war crime than what the Serbian government did in Bosina, and then in Kosovo.

    I really hope that people do not draw a false equivalency between what will be a very limited air and missile campaign against Syria and the absolute debacle that was Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Iraq war was uncalled for, based on false and made up "intelligence," and pathetically planned.  There is ample evidence that many US officials should have been prosecuted for their actions that led up to and during that war.

    Action in Afghanistan became a quagmire because of poor planning, and the war in Iraq.

    The actions against Syria- being planned in concert with our allies, and the United Nations- is very, very different than either Iraq or Afghanistan.  I believe it last just a few days.  Cruise missiles and air sorties will take out Syrian air base runways, various command and control centers, and factories that are producing weapons.  

    In addition to military action, it should be made clear that Bashir Assad and other members of his government will face trial in International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity for the use of chemical weapons.

  •  Please no. (8+ / 0-)

    There are no good guys there. Just stay out of it.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:43:19 AM PDT

  •  Nothing good will come of this. (n/t) (7+ / 0-)

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:44:22 AM PDT

  •  Oh please. No more of this shit. (14+ / 0-)

    Just can't take anymore war. WTF, haven't had a moment of peace my whole fricking life. That's just messed up.

    Yes, he’s smarter, richer, luckier and better looking than you, and he’s your president. Yours, mine and ours. And he’s black. Get over it. --Eugene Robinson

    by Jennifer Clare on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:45:28 AM PDT

  •  Congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tweedledee5, Johnny Q

    They better be getting a Declaration of War from Congress before they do any striking.

    •  Why would they need that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Tweedledee5, Johnny Q

      When did that stop us before? They're claiming they don't even need a mandate from the UN either. If both Russia and China veto this we'll go to war anyway. Law be damned, and that from a man who only a few weeks ago was calling America a country of laws.

    •  Did you demand the same of Clinton? (0+ / 0-)

      Maybe you weren't old enough, but he was engaging in similar targeted strikes against Iraq, multiple times in fact.  I still don't think there's ever been an actual declaration of war by congress against Iraq.  

  •  Would those be some of same intelligence (22+ / 0-)

    People that lied us into Iraq fiasco? Same ones who Lied to Congress and the Amercian people about spying?

    Um yeah, save your "proof" as you can only imagine my skepticynicism.

    But as Digby reminds us

    Syria is a human tragedy of epic proportions, there is no doubt about that. It's very possible that the Assad government has become so unhinged that it is using chemical weapons on the streets of its own cities. It's also possible that the rebels have done this.  Nobody really knows.  It's horrifying on every level. But it is unclear to me how US intervention will makes things better and it's highly likely that it could make things worse. Nobody's made a persuasive argument beyond "we have to do something!" That's not good enough.

    And at the very least, considering our documented manipulative and dishonest behavior in the past, trying to usurp the inspection process seems to me to be a very, very bad decision. The nation is not  in favor of another military intervention at the moment. If they are determined to do this thing with any democratic authority it behooves them to at least prove that Assad is behind this and make a decent case to the American people as to how our intervention will help the situation. Bellicose speeches about a middle east tyrant "gassing his own people" isn't going to cut it. We've seen that movie one too many times and the ending is all too predictable.

    Status quo neoliberalism sounds awful similar to some other neo brand.

    Less worse ....keep focusing on less worse. Could have been Rmoney. The more things change the more things seem the same.

    Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

    by emal on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:46:31 AM PDT

    •  Don't believe your lying eyes (0+ / 0-)

      those Syrian children are good actors.  Just the same as Powell and his vials, and the secret weapons stashes in Iraq that were never found, or the mobile chemical weapons labs, or the mushroom cloud talk.  Other than all that, and a whole lot more, it's exactly the same!
      We're not talking about something that happened years ago to justify some neocon wet dream, we're talking days and weeks.  Another oh so subtle difference.  

      •  And you know for an undisputed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tweedledee5, protectspice, Johnny Q

        Fact that it was the regime responsible? Because just who is telling us this.  Um ok.

        And you know for a fact just a few weeks..umm ok.

        We've seen this similar script a few too many times to just trust them.

        And you know even if it was the idiot regime doing this, it still doesn't answer the rest of what Digby mentions. What exactly and how exactly will this improve the situation. You know the goal and plan to actually reach the goal.

        It obviously doesn't really matter what I have to say in this country anyway, the PTB and MIC MOTU pretty much  just have been telling us what they are planning on doing anyway. They aren't even trying to include us mere lesser mortals and riff raff in the discussion and don't feel the need to try and convince me of the necessity.

        And that is just how bad this sham of a democracy in this country is. They aren't even pretending anymore to respect us.

        And  For future reference, you may actually want to read the link I provided.

        So Go fluff up your USA pom poms and pull out your old shock n awe Tv watching Gear as apparently as i have been told from the us media, Thursday is the tentative day for this show.

        Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

        by emal on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:07:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh boy. War #75, unpaid for, and no end plan (12+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:46:46 AM PDT

  •  We were away for a good part (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Norm in Chicago

    of yesterday, at least the first parts of the day, and only much later than others here came to the story in The Guardian of Western war planes landing in Cyprus, a likely hub for any attack on Syria.

    Assad's denial raises a question about why he has not been more vigorous in denouncing U.S. claims about use of chemical weapons.  I'd have to believe he is at least as media savvy as other nations.  Is he advised by strategic allies -- Russia?  China? Iran? -- to play this one low-key to confound the U.S. public? 'Was unable to locate any statement of his about the sniper fire which reportedly stalled the U.N. inspection team.  So far as I know, there's nobody who knows who fired those shots.  His silence creates a kind of vacuum in which a strike by Western nations has a stronger rationale.

    It appears that Assad is not making even a superficial effort to dissuade world opinion, although he is an intelligent soul and presumably advised by savvy others.  As a great band once put it, it's Puzzlin' Evidence.

    •  With all the satelites we have (4+ / 0-)

      I can't understand why we can't roll the photos back and see who did the gas attacks.  I'm not up on this militaty stuff. W have eyes everywhere.  Why can't they see these things?

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:58:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know. Absent access (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo

        to meetings in Washington and the calls placed between our allies, I'm left to wonder why Assad has been so -- I want to say lazy -- about his position.  

        He must surely realize that the U.N. inspection team is a prelude to possible confirmation that chemical weapons were used, that it's only a matter of time before a field hospital's clinicians are interviewed about whom they've treated for what, and that the West appears likely to mount limited strikes on his national defense grid.  

        If Assad lacks the technical gizmatology in his personal arsenal, there must surely be Russian and Chinese allies of his who would readily supply him or feed him strategic info.  I'm just wondering who exactly is at the poker table in Syria right now.

        •  who exactly is at the poker table in Syria ? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remediator, Tweedledee5

          sounds like the answer.

          But to my confusion about the photography...If google can zero in on my house enough to read the house number and identigy the plants in my yard, I can't understand why there is not suffient photography being used to identify the source location of bombs sent and delivered.  What am I lacking?

          Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

          by DRo on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:14:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you raise a key question, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DRo

            I'm just surprised Assad has not made the effort to posture on the information.  

            Someone knows who fired those shots to disable the U.N. vehicle.  I don't know, but someone knows.

            I can't think it is in Assad's interest to sustain even a "limited' air strike by Western forces.  So his reluctance to vehemently deny use of chemicals is puzzling to me.  

            China and Russia have issued (relatively) meek public warnings about the Western strike, but even they don't seem terribly invested in the outcome.  

            •  No reluctance (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DRo

              Only reluctance on Western media to report his position. Just as it has done for two years. And usually what little is reported is taken out of context to make him seem out of touch. Two years ago, just about every Western journalist mocked him for thinking he would still be in office for years. They all laughed amongst their idiotic selves. But this is the billionaire club. They can afford to be wrong.

              You have to be a billionaire to get access to the Western Media.

              Do you see the poor and homeless mentioned much?

              Who do you see mentioned in policy discussions about education? Teachers or rich Congressmen who back rich people that don't want to pay taxes.

              I could list for days the numerous instances our media only gives one side of a story. The wrong idiotic greed is good side.

              And that side usually is the one that has lots of money. The one that Thomas Friedman so loves in his flat earth theory where the rich can freely move their billions around while not mentioning the sweat shops.

              Bashar and his government can talk until they are blue in the face. He will have as much luck as when Saddam sent 20,000 pages to the U.N. documenting his removal of all WMD. And it will be as effective as the Lakota Indians making a treaty to keep the Black Hills.

      •  Yes, we do have eyes, but.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo

        they are not always where you want them when you need them. There isn't a photo reconnaissance satellite that's over Syria on a continuous basis. Once every two hours or so one makes a pass. Given that depending on the method of delivery, you might not see the actual attack. What you would be looking for is any evidence of preparation for the attack, such as loading munitions on trucks at sites where you suspect chemical weapons are stored and them being moved to the positions of the delivery systems that were used, and the special preparations to handle hazardous chemicals being made.

        Also, photo interpretation can be a bit dodgy and subjective. You remember that bullshit that Colin Powell presented at the UN about the Iraqi's having mobile weapons labs and having sat photos of them. Turned out that they were nothing of the sort. They were hydrogen generators for the filling of weather balloons. They reached their conclusions based a faulty human intelligence. To a satellite, a trailer is a trailer, human intelligence has to fill in the gaps as to what's in the trailer.

        The point is that satellite coverage is not perfect, and somebody has interpret the photos. That can be subject to confirmation bias. Without out corroborating reports from other sources, such as signals or spies, you may find something in satellite photographs that fits the pattern of your narrative and be 100% wrong.

    •  No Silence (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator, DRo, Tweedledee5, Johnny Q

      The Foreign Minister just held a very long press conference. link

      He has denied it from the very beginning.

      It is just our pick and choose media that makes it seem like he has been quiet.

  •  Hagel's ready to go?? (5+ / 0-)

    Good. He can get decked out in camos, grab a gun and a parachute and just F**Kin' go for it. Hell I'll pay for HIS ticket to get dropped off in Syria. Oh, Chuck take that old timer McCain with YOU!!!

    FN

    "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

    by FakeNews on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:50:16 AM PDT

    •  You might have a point (0+ / 0-)

      if anyone in the administration was talking about a ground invasion.  As I've noted multiple times now, this is more like one of Clinton's many missile strikes in Iraq and elsewhere.  
      But then there are many people here who probably consider Clinton as much of a warmonger as Bush, along with any other president who ever authorized military action, which would be most of them, if not all.  

      •  This is a *stupid war*. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FakeNews, Johnny Q, schnecke21

        At a profoundly stupid time for us, given the state of our economy and the myriad wars we're already fighting.  and the morale of our people and troops.

        All for what, because there's a bad guy doing horrible things in the world? There are lots of bad guys doing horrible things in the world. Are we going to take out all of them with our military? How far is this from Bush's "Axis of Evil?"

        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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:13:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Always a little confused how nations that harbor (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SouthernLiberalinMD, Johnny Q

          oil, gas and valuable pipeline routes always seem to have a "democracy deficit" and always seem to get killed by "bad guys" in quantities big enough to cause them to get killed in even larger quantities by the "good guys".

          FN

          "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

          by FakeNews on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:43:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Don't let it hit ya where the good Lord split ya. (0+ / 0-)

      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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:11:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When you're dead, you're dead (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jennifer Clare, fran1, Tweedledee5

    I don't see how chemical weapons are all that terrible in the scope of things, except they're stealthy?

    Didn't we engineer nukes to take out less buildings and just make the fallout spread more?

    Maybe we need chemical weapons that put people in extended sleeps and then we can go in and round em up and then sequester them.

    This is allegedly a punitive action for using chemical weapons, not war, not declaring sides. In and out and done and stasis as far as the civil war because both sides suck and maybe Assad sucks a little less because he isn't al queda. Seems really stupid to me.

  •  NATO, the EU and a bunch of other "outraged" (8+ / 0-)

    countries are in Syria's backyard, and yet the US is once again the only country willing to take action. To do this without a coalition is crazy and will backfire, and a testament to the moral hypocrisy of the countries that condemn this but refuse to do anything about it. Darfur and the Balkans redux.

    Say what you will about Dubya's dad and the Gulf War, but he did it right.

  •  The choice: (0+ / 0-)

    A) A military strike against the Assad regime.

    B) Setting the precedent that use of nerve gas against civilians is acceptable.

    Is the consensus here really in favor of "B"?

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:50:34 AM PDT

  •  and if syria (4+ / 0-)

    retaliates .. against say israel, then what?

    This is such a bad idea on so many levels.  Either the rebels did this, and therefore we are idiots once gain to bomb the wrong people, or syria govt did this, but they would have to know this would be our response, so then we would be playing right into their hands because they obviously want this response.

    For someone who was suppose to be able to play 11 dim chess, I dont think he can play 3d checkers.

    Either way this chemical stuff happened, We are being duped into acting.

    When is this madness going to end?
    what possible good can come from any of this?

    Obama is never running for office again, just say enough already with the war.

    •  If anyone here thinks that Assad would be that (6+ / 0-)

      stupid to use chemical weapons on the very day that the UN inspectors were arriving. And to use those weapons just 5 blocks down from where the UN personnel where staying. And to use those weapons - not on the rebels (who are the opposition) but to use the chemical weapons on Assad's own army and citizens?? Where is the logic in that? There is no logic there. It's absurd on its face.

      If you believe that - then I have some WMD's from Saddam Hussein to sell you!

      FN

      John Kerry speech yesterday - "Anyone who can claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass."

      Oh, so he's aware of MOST Americans thoughts about Syria?

      "WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY FOX NEWS IS JOURNALISM"

      by FakeNews on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:55:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What worries me most about Kerry's comment (7+ / 0-)
        "Anyone who can claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass."
        is that he is appealing to our emotions instead of our logic. That has me worried.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:19:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He seems genuinely upset. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q

          This seems to be pushing buttons for him.

          But yeah, Kerry hasn't been acting like the Kerry of old, for a while.

          But it's hard to rely on reason, logic, evidence and truth when your job makes you justify rotten policies on a fairly regular basis.

          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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:03:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As I understand it (0+ / 0-)

          Nobody is seriously claiming that it didn't happen.  The confusion seems to be over who actually perpetrated it.  Kerry's going off on the wrong target.

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

          by Johnny Q on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 12:09:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Liveblog (6+ / 0-)

    The UN inspectors in Damascus have postponed their next site visit for 24 hours, until tomorrow.

    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:53:59 AM PDT

  •  As if this is needed, but here it is: (10+ / 0-)

    Welcome to the Kabuki Theater of the Absurd.  Below is an excellent example of "bipartisanship".

    Can you imagine the blowback from the prince’s current efforts to get the United States to once again meddle madly in a region that we don’t care to comprehend? Why not ask Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham who, according to the Journal, met with Bandar in September to urge the Saudis to provide the Syrian rebels with more potent weapons.

    Or ask Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who was among those courted by Bandar. As the Journal described the Saudi junket by members of the congressional intelligence committees, “They [the Saudis] arranged a trip for committee leaders to Riyadh, where Prince Bandar laid out the Saudi strategy. It was a reunion of sorts, officials said, with Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) warmly scolding Prince Bandar about his smoking.”

    D vs. R, right?  How odd that the same policies keep getting advanced.  Actually, if one looks at the policies and the reality based results - as well as follow the likes of Noam Chomsky - it's not odd at all.

    Waking Up Yet?

    The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:54:59 AM PDT

    •  Oops.. forgot to attribute the quote: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Johnny Q

      Courtesy of Robert Scheer.

      The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

      by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:55:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not the same policies. (0+ / 0-)

      A campaign of strikes against the Syrian government to punish and deter chemical weapons usage is not the same policy as going all in to assist the rebels.

      I've seen nothing to suggest that the administration is going to do the latter - certainly nothing in Kerry's speech, or Hagel's statement.

      If I've misread you, and you are only lumping together "military action" of any sort for any purpose as "the same policy," my bad.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:19:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah.. (4+ / 0-)

        And our pre-deployed troops in Jordan have NOTHING to do with an ulterior motive and long range goal.

        What was the reason again?

        Oh yeah. Chemical Weapons.

        Abdullah Ensour told reporters Saturday that 200 of the personnel were experts training Jordanians to handle a chemical attack. The remaining 700 are manning a Patriot missile defense system and F-16 fighter jets which Washington deployed this month in case the Syrian war worsens.
        link
        •  Obama has spent the last 2-1/2 years... (0+ / 0-)

          pushing back against calls to intervene. He even knocked down two chemical weapons stories, in June 2012 and December 2012, because the charges were insufficiently credible. He could have built a case for war - indeed, other people were building it for him - and he didn't. Instead, he knocked down their case for war.

          This is not the behavior of someone waiting for his chance to side with the rebels. This is the behavior of someone scared shitless of the return of chemical warfare.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:52:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Scared shitless of chemical warfare? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell, Johnny Q

            So Obama has banned the U.S. from using Depleted Uranium munitions, has he?

            And recall.. Shrub didn't rush into war with Iraq.  He tried peace and really exerted himself, but in the end, he just had to because of WMD.

            Or at least that's how the story was told.

            In the end, there was war.

            And isn't it odd that we're suddenly concerned about Chemical Weapons?  From the same country which supported / defended Saddam's use of them on a MASSIVE scale?

            And Obama is "scared" of Chemical Weapons while the U.S. fully engages in the use of DU weapons?

            Obama's isn't scared.  It's all part of the marketing game.  It would be unseemly if he rushed to war.. at least look a little less eager than Bush/Cheney did with Iraq.

            The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

            by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:57:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Dude, you're living in a bubble (4+ / 0-)

        wherein the Syrian government will not interpret being bombed as an act of war by the US and respond accordingly. Actions have consequences.

        •  Oh, I fully expect them to consider it war. (0+ / 0-)

          I've never suggested otherwise.

          Inaction can have consequences, too. We're talking about chemical warfare returning as a feature of  modern war, or not.

          It stops here, or everyone in the world sees that Assad got away with it, and acts accordingly.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:53:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And if Assad sees it as war (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            schnecke21

            then we are in on the side of the rebels whether we like it or not. For the long haul.

          •  please (0+ / 0-)

            chemical weapons have been used through out the 80s.

            Plus the fact doesnt bother you that we dont even know who used them?  You trust Alqueda rebels to be good guys here?

            •  Reagan did shitty things, so we should follow him? (0+ / 0-)

              That is the worst argument I've ever seen.

              The Obama administration has earned my trust on this matter by knocking down the previous two charges of chemical weapons usage by the Assad regime, in June and December 2012. They have every opportunity over the past two years to build a case for war. They even had the opportunity to do so based on charges of chemical weapons attacks.

              They didn't; they did exactly the opposite. That is why, when they come out now and make the charge that the regime did this, I give them the benefit of the doubt.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:05:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So Obama earned your trust because.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q

                while the outcome is the same as any Neocon could hope for, Obama displayed "deliberation" and moved a little less speedily than a Dick Cheney would have.

                Wow.. no wonder policies don't change.

                Now.. about those Depleted Uranium "problems" in Iraq & Libya.. who was it again that did that?

                Oh yeah: Bush / Cheney, followed by Obama in Libya.

                Same results.  Different marketing.

                The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

                by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:06:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Amazing what you can do when.... (0+ / 0-)

                  you make shit up.

                  Yes, actively pushing back against an effort is the same thing as doing it deliberations.

                  And a campaign of punitive air strikes is exactly the same as a policy of supporting the rebels.

                  Your inability - no, I'm going say "determination" - not to understand not-particularly-fine distinctions is not my problem, and doesn't rebut my argument.

                  Oh, and there was no depleted uranium used in Libya. You are making shit up.

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:18:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No DU in Libya? Here, have a dose (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnny Q

                    of reality:

                    http://www.opednews.com/...

                    http://original.antiwar.com/...

                    http://www.heraldscotland.com/...

                    The US has refused to rule out the use of DU shells in Libya, though it claims not to have fired any so far.
                    Hilarious, what a riot our military is!

                    https://www.commondreams.org/...

                    Although Western officials routinely deny that they have used depleted uranium in the war on Libya, they have not excluded its possibility either. There are ample reasons to suspect that the denials are a war tactic, as was the initial denial stating that Western powers do not target bringing down Gaddafi's government.
                    Neither confirm nor deny, eh?  Well sure, let's just be optimistic - despite a historical record to the contrary, shall we?

                    A little more background on just how reliable the U.S. and U.K governments are - and their attitude about DU:

                    https://www.commondreams.org/...

                    http://www.globalresearch.ca/...

                    But keep the faith.  I'm certain that our government's refusal to flat out say DU wasn't used.. should in no way be taken as a sign that it was used.  

                    Besides, if our military used DU in Libya, our embedded corporate spokespersons would definitely tell us, right?

                    Who knows?  Maybe we'll get lucky and Snowden can release something concrete so Obama can have the conversation I'm sure he's just waiting for the chance to have.

                    The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

                    by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:10:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Chemical Warfare never left.. or are you not (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q

            familiar with the death, destruction, and horrid birth defects / health impacts caused by the U.S.'s generous use of Depleted Uranium?

            Let me know when Obama orders our DU stocks to be destroyed and puts them off limit for use by the military.

            Obama certainly had no problem using DU in Libya, did he?

            Mounting alarm over US use of depleted uranium arms in Libya, Rob Edwards
            http://www.heraldscotland.com/...

            US Suspected of Using Depleted Uranium on Libya
            http://www.newser.com/...

            NATO uses depleted uranium bombs against Libya
            http://english.ruvr.ru/...

            Toxic Avengers: Is NATO Dumping DU on Libya?
            http://www.pacificfreepress.com/...

            What A Strange Way To Protect Civilians, Depleted Uranium And Libya
            http://original.antiwar.com/...

            NATO Irradiates Libya
            http://www.counterpunch.org/...

            Seems Obama is just fine with Chemical Weapons.  Or at least ones that have even longer-lasting devastating impacts.  Impacts that go on, and on, and on...

            Waking Up Yet?

            The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

            by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:04:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  DU is not a chemical weapon, not used in Libya. (0+ / 0-)

              You are a very gullible person.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:20:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was waiting for that... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q

                and you're right.  It's not a "Chemical Weapon" per se.

                It's fucking radioactive, it doesn't "disperse", it just keeps on giving.

                Viewed from that perspective (thank you for the correction) it's much fucking worse.

                The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

                by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:12:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not a single legitimate media source. (0+ / 0-)

              Oh, I know, I know: Teh corporate media is covering it up, man!

              Despite having no problem reporting on DU every other time it's been used, they decided to break from form and cover it up this one time.

              There are meaningful arguments against an air attack in Syria, and then there is the stuff you write.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:26:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Meaningful sources? (0+ / 0-)

                CounterPunch?

                FYI - I would never dare question the veracity of our Corporate Media.  Were it not for their stellar investigative reporting, how would we have found out about Iraq's WMD?

                Don't you find it odd that - under Obama - you now have such faith in our corporate media?  Now that's what I call Change You Can Believe In!

                Not like those nasty evil Bush/Cheney years when the Corporate Media lied to is.  Nope, not like that at all.

                Feel free to sit back and lap up Obama's wonderful pro-war rhetoric all you want.  

                As for me?  I see it for what it is:  A simple continuation of business as usual with no change in Empire or the pursuit of 1% aligned policies.

                To me, it doesn't matter if it's a (D) or (R) advancing policies that benefit the 1% - I look at the policy and the actions being advanced and then draw a conclusion.

                Warmongering is warmongering.  PNAC called for regime changes in the ME.  Cheney / Bush got things rolling.  Obama continues the same policies.  The lies aren't even that different: Bad man with WMD.  Bad man with chemical weapons.  Help the oppressed peoples.  Yada yada yada.

                It's the same results.

                And yet a good number of folks happily defend / support it because it's "their guy" pushing the same fucking agenda.  

                No wonder there hasn't been any change.  Why would there be?

                The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

                by Johnathan Ivan on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:45:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  One more thing.. here's a real simple test: (0+ / 0-)

                1 - Has Obama / DoD publicly stated that no DU munitions were used in Libya?

                2 - Has Obama / DoD publicly stated that the military will destroy its DU munitions and cease using them because of the irreparable harm they cause?

                Fact:  The U.S. has, time and again, been caught using this horrific munitions.  In addition, the U.S. - which initially denied it - was caught using white phosphorous in Iraq (remember that?)

                Now, based on the history of the U.S. Empire & the Corporate Media's performance to date, I'd say there's more than ample reason to assume - based on historical facts - what happened in Libya probably involved the use of DU - just like prior engagements involving the U.S.

                And if Obama is so concerned about the horror of chemical weapons (and let's face it, if you're worried about the horrors of chemical weapons.. surely you would worry about DU).. why not just ban our military from using it?  Isn't Obama Commander-In-Chief?

                Simple questions.  Simple historical facts.  

                And they don't support any rationale person giving any credence to assuming good behavior of either our Empire or our embedded Corporate Media.  Quite the opposite.

                The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

                by Johnathan Ivan on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 09:59:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Military action.. doesn't have to involve (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        guys wearing official U.S. military uniforms.  

        Supplying weapons, intelligence, support, and now air strikes - that's enough to easily qualify military action.

        If another country supplied armed rebels to fight inside the U.S., I doubt the U.S. would not consider it to be "war" just because there were no official uniform wearing soldiers involved.

        The policy of dominance by Empire is the same.

        Only the implementation details and the marketing differ.

        This Is Not Change.

        In the end, it's still war.

        The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

        by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:54:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The U.S. stance on Depleted Uranium (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      munitions (not to be confused with those less harmful Chemical Weapons):

      In 2010....

      In December 2010 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling on users of depleted uranium to hand over quantitative and geographical data on their use, to the relevant authorities of affected states when requested to do so. The resolution passed by 148 votes to four, with 30 abstentions. Five states that abstained on previous resolutions in 2007 and 2008 voted in favour – Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Luxembourg and Slovenia, and no former supporters changed position. The UK, US, Israel and France voted against
      And in 2012...
      In December 2012 the UN General Assembly passed a fourth resolution on depleted uranium. The text of 67/36 built on previous texts and recalled the position of the UN Environment Programme, which had called for a precautionary approach to the use of DU due to ongoing uncertainties over its long-term environmental behaviour. The resolution was supported by 155 states, with 27 abstentions and, as with previous texts, the US, UK, France and Israel opposed.
      And there you have it.  The U.S. stance on Depleted Uranium seems pretty crystal clear.

      But of course I'm sure it's just bureaucratic confusion.. I mean, surely we wouldn't be using DU now that Obama is in office, right?

      The excuses for Obama's behavior have long since passed the point of predictability neccessary to qualify as an absurd production of Kabuki Theater.

      by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:36:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sort It Out (10+ / 0-)

    Okay, let's see.

    Killing people with drones, guns and bombs isn't a problem.  Torturing people in contravention of international law isn't a problem.

    Killing people with chemical weapons is a rationale for more killing with conventional weapons.

    Alright.  Got it.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:55:26 AM PDT

  •  So no debate for war? (7+ / 0-)

    Is that where we are now?  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:58:49 AM PDT

  •  "I am not opposed to all wars, I'm opposed to dumb (13+ / 0-)

    wars"

    --Barack Obama

    Mr. President, this is a dumb war.

    Libertarianism is just Fascism with a facelift. Scratch the surface of Libertarianism and you will find the notion that corporations should rule supreme, just as it was with Fascism..

    by Walt starr on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:59:27 AM PDT

    •  Deterring the returns of chemical warfare... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnthorpe

      as an instrument of modern war would be the smartest war we've fought for a long, long time.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:16:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Joe, I feel like we're swimming upstream today (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell

        Apparently it's now "liberal" to let people gas women and children.

        •  This is exactly what people said to critics (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emal, protectspice, Johnny Q, schnecke21

          of the Iraq War and we know how wrong those critics were... oh wait.

          •  Truth and lies often sound the same. (0+ / 0-)

            That's why it's important to actually understand things, and not just make judgments based on superficial similarities.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:47:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think that's what I'm doing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emal

              the similarity is that people who caution that the action is unrealistic and will set off a string of consequences that are not in our best interest are being chastised for their lack of moral fibre. I would strongly advice anyone to stop and thing long and hard about the big picture here.

              •  The big picture is the return of chemical warfare. (0+ / 0-)

                This is bigger than Syria. It's bigger than the Middle East.

                This is a the pivot point on a global-scale problem.

                Either chemical warfare's return is stopped in Syria, or it isn't stopped.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:55:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  how about we stop warfare (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stewarjt, emal

                  oh thats right, we are the biggest arms dealer by far in the world.  Save you outrage. You really think the US doesnt have chems/bio along with nukes.  Why would we have them?

                  •  How about free rainbow puppies, too? (0+ / 0-)

                    And cavities. If Obama can't stop cavities, then we should shrug out shoulders when chemical warfare returns.

                    Having chemicals weapons isn't against international law. It isn't a war crime. Launching them and massacring men, women, and children is.

                    "Random bad shit bout America" doesn't work as an argument for why chemical warfare is no big deal.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:02:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Egypt,Israel, and chemical weapons convention (0+ / 0-)

                      189 countries have signed the CWC. Two countries, one of which is Israel, have signed but not ratified. Five countries including Egypt and Syria have not signed.

                      If we are going to condemn the Syrian government for chemical weapons use, then shouldn't we demand that all recipients of U.S. aid sign, ratify, and fully comply with this treaty?  

                      This would seem like an additional reason for cutting off aid to Egypt. The coup alone should be reason enough if U.S. law were complied with.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                •  So if it turns out that the missiles and air power (0+ / 0-)

                  is not enough I trust that your boots will be on the ground as well because you will enlist as soon as ground troops are being sent in?

                  You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                  by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 02:02:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  no (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stewarjt

          no one is saying gassing anyone is OK, it just as bad as killing them other ways.   How is bombing someone going to fix this?

          There is no civilized war. Its all madness.  Stop acting as if there are civilized ways to being butchered.

          •  No, it is not "just as bad." (0+ / 0-)

            Chemical and biological warfare are singled out for special condemnation under international law for very good reasons.

            And strikes against the Assad regime will "fix this" by deterring future use by Assad, as well as by any other country that might think of returning the horror of chemical warfare to the world scene.

            The next monster who thinks about launching gas bombs needs to look at how it worked out for Assad and think twice.

            As an aside, it's pretty revolting to watch people suddenly decide that chemical warfare is just no big deal.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:11:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Deterring the returns of chemical warfare (0+ / 0-)

        would be smart. I do not see how unilaterally bombing a country after years of sitting on the sidelines is going to do that. THAT is the issue.

        •  Years? They've been using chem bombs for years? (0+ / 0-)

          That we stayed on the sidelines for 2-1/2 years of the civil war, and took action only in response to a chemical war massacre, makes the message that this is about chemical war, not the civil war, even clearer.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:48:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The justification for war tends to get lost in the (5+ / 0-)

            shuffle once the tit for tat begins and the bodies start falling. Acting alone, now, is only going to embroil us in the conflict and then we will own the results, regardless of how it started.

            1. We are overstretched and cannot afford, in manpower or financial, to be involved in another long term conflict.

            2. By acting alone, we further reinforce the negative image of the US and increase resentment against us, leading to further terrorism which will prevent us from ever getting unentangled.

            3. We've been very smart about avoiding action on Iran, working over time to get the Chinese and Russians on our side and put pressure on them, and counteract critics by saying a strike would be unrealistic. This undone us all of that.

            Bottom line: We are not in a position to act, regardless of whether it is the moral thing to do or not.

            •  Your assuming that a campaign of punitive strikes (0+ / 0-)

              commits us to a rebel victory, including a long-term military commitment. I don't see why it would.

              I've also seen no evidence that the administration intends to act alone. Indeed, the French, British, and Turks have been trying to get us in deeper for years. We'd be far from alone.

              This is actual chemical warfare we're talking about, not maybe kinda sorta pursuing the ability to build a nuke at some future point but not use it. This is a much bigger deal than Iran.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:00:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  If he was starting a war.. (0+ / 0-)

      you might have a point.  He's not, unless you believe that Clinton was starting wars with his various missile strikes.  I guess you could say he was.  
      And we don't even know if anything is going to be done yet.  I'm still not ready to compare Obama and Kerry to the Bush administration, but a lot of people here already have, some did a long time ago.  I don't think it's apt, but one thing I've learned here is that there's no issue that won't cause some folks to immediately begin comparing Obama to Bush, Cheney, Nixon, the Soviets, or any other unfavorable historical figure.

    •  Dear god, Walt Starr and I are in agreement. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      midnight lurker

      Mr. President, you really need not to do this.
      If Walt and I agree on something, it must be so bleeding obvious that practically anyone could see it.

      9%. For once, listen to your people. Just as a lark.  Try representative government for once, you might like 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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:05:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how many Americans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superskepticalman, Johnny Q

    are killed every year by exposure to chemicals in the workplace. Should we bomb ourselves?

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

    by itsjim on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:02:00 AM PDT

  •  If we're so "bankrupt" we have to debate (5+ / 0-)

    weather or not we're going to feed hungry people, and weather or not to give them healthcare, while we watch our infrastructure crumble, but yet the well never runs dry for more militaristic adventures.  

    If Obama signs off on this, I'll be completely done with the Democratic party.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:02:09 AM PDT

    •  Why the rush to war? (5+ / 0-)

      We must have a serious discussion on the merits and unintended consequences of our actions here.  Where are we to find the manpower to fight this war if it becomes protracted?  How will this inflame the Russians and any chance at an accord with them.  Will Iran get involved?  Will this be an enlistment tool for Al Qaeda.  And foremost, how is this OUR mess to begin with?

      We must ask all of those questions and be quite suspicious of all the drumbeating by Fox Noise.  John Bolton is deriding Obama at every turn, trying to goad him into another war.  We saw how effective and accurate this asshat was in Iraq!  McCain wants something spectacular to reclaim his bona fides as a strong military man.  But where are the generals and veterans who have seen the effects and the costs of war, the legacy of disabled veterans returning home crippled and maimed and expecting the rest if us to take care of them?  And how is it that we have all this money for wars, but nothing for education and relief and infrastructure here at home.

      If we have no money to send our children to good schools, to rebuild our crumbling roads, to repair our falling bridges and water delivery systems, to mend our levees or protect our environment, then what on Earth is our military fighting FOR?  

      Ike was right, we SHOULD be fearful of the military-industrial-political complex!

      "War is peace"-George Orwell

    •  I would be done with this Village wing of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      Democratic Party. Plenty of Democrats not eaten up with a dumb-ass.

      "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

      by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:58:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Won't be until Thursday at earliest... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    Because Pres Obama speaking at MLK anniversary on Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial.  

    “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I have many more documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.” -G.Greenwald

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:02:54 AM PDT

  •  Am I missing something? Shouldn't the findings (9+ / 0-)

    from military intelligence precede the conclusions?

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:10:24 AM PDT

  •  I really can't believe this is happening (0+ / 0-)

    and my only hope is that they're bluffing.

  •  And this happens the same week we find out (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, DRo, emal, Johnny Q

    that we tacitly approved of the Iraqis using chemical weapons on Iran in the 80's. God really does have a sense of humor.

  •  Not even proved what was used (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt, protectspice, Johnny Q

    There is plenty of doubt about this being military grade weapons - there were no injuries to first responders and there is a lack of protection used by those trying to help.  

    There are plenty of readily available "legal" dual use agents which could be weaponized by anyone with an interest to stir the pot.  

    It is disheartening that the public is being led down that primrose path of "undeniable evidence" and even if it were true, that it is our responsibility to respond.   It is a civil war and not our fight.  And none of thse alleged cbw attacks have killed more than die in an average day from bullets, bombs and ieds.

  •  This is just flat out disgusting (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt, smiley7, emal, protectspice, Johnny Q
  •  What the fuck? (0+ / 0-)

    A petty tyrant and his army used chemical weapons to kill women and children.

    In a perfect world, the UN would step in and handle this. We don't live in such a world.

    In the real world, the UN can't do anything on Syria because Russia -- a country with a permanent veto power -- refuses to take any action against their ally. The UN card can't be played.

    You could use the NATO card, but to do so requires opening up the entire West to Russia's ire. Going it alone puts a spotlight on us and leaves Europe to mediate the US/Ruso differences behind the scenes.

    I don't know if the lot of you are taking crazy pills or if I stumbled onto the Ron Paul version of DKos, but there is nothing "liberal" or "progressive" about standing by with your thumb up your ass while women and children get slaughtered.

    Grow up.

    •  Oh yes, yes yes. We can only Pray that this turns (4+ / 0-)

      out as well as Iraq did after a decade of dead US soliders, 100,000s of dead civilians and bankrupting of the US taxpayers.

      Yes, we will stamp out evil This Time -- I'm sure of it.


      No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle. 🍞 & 🎪

      by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:34:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No there's nothing progressive about it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smiley7, emal, Johnny Q, schnecke21

      but neither is there anything realistic about a country still in the midst of economic depression, with troops scattered all over the world and already engaged in massive military action that has required overworked soldiers to go on multiple tours of duty in order to cover for the shortage in numbers, TAKING THE LEAD ON ANOTHER MILITARY ACTION IN WHICH OUR OWN TROOPS OR PEOPLE ARE NOT UNDER THREAT.

      The Assad regime is morally reprehensible. The rebels are also morally reprehensible. The situation sucks and I thought that was the reason we were staying out. if we had plans to support one side or the other, we should have been building diplomatic pressure rather than letting it escalate to what it is now.

      If you attack in Syria, the justification for not attacking Iran and all the hard work that has been done to quiet the drums on that front is for nought.

      Where does it end?

    •  Yes, if we don't support another senseless war, (0+ / 0-)

      we're just Ron Paul fans!  

      This is going to be a long 2nd term...

      The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

      by Beelzebud on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:02:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No it's not standing by (0+ / 0-)

      It's trying to learn from past mistakes and not endorsing a half baked idiotic plan to prevent or/ or to minimize the debacles that we have already experienced not all that long ago.

      It's called learning our lessons from previous mistakes and actions, otherwise we are doomed to repeat them.

      This is a cop out to have it be your either or mentality.

      What part of we have heard your excuses and reasons and promises before and they ring a bit hollow.

      These things often lead to unpredictable madness.

       What is insane Is not to have learned our lesson from previous experiences.

      What is crazy, is not to be skeptical when our govt leaders speak in similar ways, use similar arguments and rationales that they have used before and it's been shown to be a sham.

      It's called crying wolf and you are experiencing the results of what thinking educated people do after hearing this all these types of arguments many times before and being burned by it.

      Government of, for, and by the wealthy corporate political ruling class elites. We are the 99%-OWS.

      by emal on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:45:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  U.S. Military Involvement will solve everything! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      Don't worry, a heaping helping of our military involvement will cure the causes of any atrocity.

      Recommended by countries in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East for over 50 years!

      And for extra freshness, try new lemon-scented U.S. Military Involvement!

      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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:08:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sure, why not. Any old excuse will do. (5+ / 0-)

    Bombs away you Big Swingin' Dicks. The MIC thanks you for playing.

    SyriaWarJustification


    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle. 🍞 & 🎪

    by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:30:42 AM PDT

  •  Chemicals ARE different (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheLizardKing, Subterranean

    Here is the thing - Chemical weapons are largely ineffective against trained military personnel.  So much time and effort goes into chemical warfare training that they serve primarily as a combat multiplier - they slow you down, burden you and otherwise make you easier to kill but dont actually do much else.

    On the other hand, against untrained, unequipped civilians they are not only effective killers but they are most lethal to the young and old.  

    An additional factor when giving special consideration to chemicals as weapons in a civil war - Yes bombs, bullets and chemicals make you just as dead.  But when you bomb your own towns and your own population your aggression is naked and unmistakable.  You hate people so much you are willing to destroy your own land, your own infrastructure.  You would rather burn the village than find some other way.  And it is a lasting scar that generations can witness - See Gettysburg.  But Chemicals allow you to kill without destruction.  Done right, you can kill and clean and claim nothing happened.  Where are all the people?  I dont know.  Heck you can move new people in and say "what people?"  This is why Saddam used chemicals.  Once the people he didnt like were gone he moved new ones in.  And there is no trace of the evil visited.  No bombed out buildings, no destroyed bridges.  You can rewire history and claim nothing happened.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:31:56 AM PDT

    •  you imply (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      that it is certain that Assad did this.   Being expert in CBW that you are, you also realize that there are many dual use chemicals which can be easily weaponized to achieve the results shown to the media.  What better way if you are one of the "rebels" to get the US to help take down your enemy?

      •  not 100% (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheLizardKing, Subterranean

        but lets say 99.99%.  There is a tiny chance this was done without his knowledge but he has had opportunity to let us know that.  

        The chemical used was not dual use and the delivery method is not currently available to the opposition.  

        Believe me, I wish there were a way to shade this like the three previous chemical attacks.  Yes, this is the 4th time chemicals have been used but in each of the previous it was hard to tell who did it or the type of chemical used.  And none had the death toll this one did.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:00:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What I don't understand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal, Johnny Q

    Is why are we doing this?

    The President nor any other State official to my knowledge has mentioned regime change. We aren't looking to take out the Chemical Weapons, then what are we doing this for.

    My big fear is that the Hezbollah, are going to rocket attack northern Israel from southern Lebanon.

  •  Red Line (0+ / 0-)

    Once President Obama issued his Red Line speech it was a done deal..and they knew it then...but what do we do with the stockpiles?

    We can't bomb'em...We cannot "secure them" without a land force..We cannot allow some factions of the "opposition" to secure them.  To me it is up to Russia..but because we got all pissy about Snowden...We will be seeing in these days..what kind of president Kerry would have been

    last night's TRMS
    http://www.nbcnews.com/...

    "You can't close the door when the wall's caved in."

  •  What Military is going to do this? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrBigDaddy, emal, Johnny Q
    The United States is set to run out of borrowing authority in mid-October, leaving the government at a high risk of not being able to pay for Social Security checks, military salaries and other operations, the Obama administration said Monday.

    Though I'm sure the war-mongering whores in Congress can see fit to buy bombs.

    This is Washington's current policy: "Feed the needy? Fuck 'em. They can die like all the dark skinned foreigners we are going to bomb. As least we don't have to spend money for our own needy to die."

  •  Who the hell are all of these so-called Dems and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD, Johnny Q

    progressives advocating starting the Next Middle Eastern War?

    "A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both." - James Madison, 1822

    by Superskepticalman on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:57:15 AM PDT

    •  Well, we've seen Dems advocating for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      cutting Social Security, which is a much less traditionally Democratic position than starting wars, so nothing really surprises me anymore.

      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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:14:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another obvious false flag (0+ / 0-)

    Since Assad has no motivation AT ALL to order the gassing, but the United States of Israel certainly has.  The bankster cabal's last gasp to start WW3 and remain in power, since neither Iraq nor Iran worked to serve that purpose.

    Warmongering is the ONLY way the banks can survive the financial disaster they have created through their constant, ongoing fraud.  Their ability to print fiat currency, although unlimited, has become USELESS in the 185 countries that are comprising the BRIC alliance, which in turn, is gearing up to unleash a new financial system in the world, one that is backed by value and NOT debt-based.

    Only a handful of countries remain under the control of the banksters, sadly the USA is one of them.

    I think efforts to start this war will ultimately FAIL as I remain optimistic that factions in the Pentagon will find this a pointless use of military force or object on other grounds...  

    I continue to visualize a world without war.  Please join me.

    •  I've read _Web of Debt_, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      please explain:

      Their ability to print fiat currency, although unlimited, has become USELESS in the 185 countries that are comprising the BRIC alliance, which in turn, is gearing up to unleash a new financial system in the world, one that is backed by value and NOT debt-based.

      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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:15:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD

        currency printed in the USA after the 2008 crash by the banksters as a medium of exchange (not the cash you and I carry around, but the "financial transactions" by the banking cabal with BRIC nations) is not being accepted by these 185 (or so) nations.  The unleashing of the printing presses has created a pseudo-solvency for the still-struggling banks which have returned to their old fraudulent ways in order to generate enough debt in the world to keep themselves afloat.

          These "BRIC" nations which include China and much of Asia, Russia and many others, are determined to establish a new financial system backed by something (not necessarily gold).  These efforts have been ongoing for several years but really stepped up since 2008.  Toward this end, they are not accepting piles of dollars from the banks and are engaged in efforts to go off the dollar as the ranking U-currency.

        These efforts have not been widely reported in the US media, though it is fairly well known in the participating nations.  It is rumored (some say promised) that one of the objectives of this alliance is to eradicate global poverty and clean up the environment, both of which can be accomplished with just a fraction of the wealth that has been sucked out of the world by the banks.

        I have no first-hand knowledge of this, but it is very easy to see that every time there is talk of going off the dollar as oil currency (Lybia, Iraq) the US starts a war.  Syria is part of the BRIC alliance as well and efforts are ongoing to establish the Iraqi dinar as the medium of exchange for oil.  

        It remains to be seen whether these efforts succeed (I for one, hope so because this debt-based economy cannot continue, it's too destructive to most of humanity) but this is what is going on elsewhere in the world.

        A successful effort to begin WW3 would solve the bank's problems, because wars generate all sources of revenue that would keep the present system intact.  I think the most analogous way to express it is that the BRIC alliance is trying to starve the beast.

  •  Foreign Policy Song: "Bomb Bomb Bomb (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Johnny Q

    bomb bomb bomb every land."

  •  I hesitate to mention this but I didn't see it (0+ / 0-)

    This is a link that has the Arab League blaming the chemical attack on the Syrian government. Does having Arab support for action make any difference in this debate? I personally think it does but I'm interested in what other people think.

  •  Ah, shit. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    midnight lurker, Johnny Q

    For fuck's sake. Do we have to do this? Is there not enough wrong already?

    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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:55:13 AM PDT

  •  Ready! Fire! Aim! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, Johnny Q

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:09:41 AM PDT

  •  Jesus, where's the pushback from the generals? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    midnight lurker, Johnny Q

    there was some a month or so ago--apparently a serious argument btw Kerry, who weirdly wanted to go in guns blazing, and a general at a meeting.

    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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:10:11 AM PDT

  •  Let's not hide the consequences: (0+ / 0-)

    initiate a surtax to cover the immediate and long-term costs of this new war.

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Chess.com. Join the site, then the group at http://www.chess.com/groups/view/kossacks.

    by rhutcheson on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:10:26 AM PDT

  •  The U.S. military-industrial-congressional complex (0+ / 0-)

    requires constant feeding.  A continual state of war is necessary to sustain ever higher levels of funding for the military, the defense contractors and their lobbyists who run Washington.

    Although the U.S. was aware that Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons, including nerve agents, against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. said and did nothing because the U.S. sided with Iraq.

    Now the U.S. feigns outrage when Syria is allegedly using chemical weapons. The U.S. will now attack Syrian forces, even if it means helping Al-Qaeda. The Law of Unintended Consequences will determine what follows as happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.  You see, it's all about the money.

    Mark Leibovich's new book, This Town, tells you all you need to know about how Washington works (for the wealthy) and how the rest of the country is a mere afterthought for the Washington elite including politicians, their staff, the lobbyists and the "journalists" who cover them.

    So don't be surprised when Obama appoints Larry Summers to the Fed or when he approves the Keystone XL pipeline. Just remember it's all about the bucks.

    The richest one percent of this country owns half our country's wealth, five trillion dollars. One third of that comes from hard work, two thirds comes from inheritance, interest on interest accumulating to widows and idiot sons and what I do, stock and real estate speculation. It's bullshit. You got ninety percent of the American public out there with little or no net worth. I create nothing. I own. We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price per paper clip. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everybody sits out there wondering how the hell we did it. Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you buddy? - Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987)

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