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Originally posted to Comics on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 06:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Absolutely PERFECT!!! (24+ / 0-)

    One of my senators is quoted as saying "we need to send a message."  I only flippantly said that 'sending a message means writing a letter, an email, or sending a post card, or sending a letter by diplomatic courier.'

    I'm not on the Book of Face and I don't tweet like a bluebird, so I didn't think of those, but your punch line is better than anything I could come up with.

    Thank you!!!

    BTW, have you seen this other tried and true modern method of "sending a message?"

    Some US Troops Appear To Be Posting Photos In Protest Of Syrian Intervention
    There are several different pix of people holding signs from different branches of the military.

    I can only hope they also imitate Lt. Ehren Watada and refuse to carry out an illegal (unconstitutional) or immoral order (which soldiers are allowed to do since it was determined during the Nuremberg trials that "I was only following orders" is not a just defense for committing war crimes).  Ehren Watada simply refused to commit war crimes.  Bravery at its finest.  He's not averse to all wars, would serve in defensive wars, said he'd serve anywhere else, just that he knew/believed the invasion of Iraq was a war crime (it was) and he refused to participate in committing war crimes.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:07:30 AM PDT

  •  Happy Labor Day, Tom / Dan! (6+ / 0-)

    ♡ 💙 ✊ Solidarity Forever ✊ 💙 ♡

    Those Sensible (Liberal) Woodchuck strips of yours nail it every time.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ☮ ♥ ☺

    by lotlizard on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:08:28 AM PDT

  •  A bomb won't make the world respect us. (7+ / 0-)

    Only respect for our bombs.

    This won't change the gun "enthusiasts" opinions anytime soon.

  •  The Mafia Boss (the U.S.) (14+ / 0-)

    must reassert his power and regain his credibility, lest he appear weak and effeminate.

    Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

    by cruz on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:13:41 AM PDT

  •  We have to do something, stupid! (12+ / 0-)

    Or is it, "We have to do something stupid"? Commas, how do they work? Nobody knows!

    I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised that the President announced that he's putting Congress on the hot seat with him. That should be good for a few "Norman, coordinate"* moments in the House among the Republican Nitwit Brigade.

    If a crime has been committed, why don't we really, truly play world cop and bring the malefactors to justice? I know how much in love America is with violence and war-making, but maybe this is one of those fabled times when blowing everything to Kingdom Come isn't the best option?

    *Big points if you got the Star Trek reference without reading down here.

    •  How Is the Situation in Syria Any More Demanding (6+ / 0-)

      of swift US intervention, even to the point of it being unilateral, than have been Cambodia, Sudan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Somalia, and on and on, even Pakistan? Gross crimes against humanity have been committed in all those places, and the US response has been tepid or none. Some have included gas or other indiscriminate attacks on civilians. What is it about Syria?

      "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 Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:03:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Syria is not different - but we are. (0+ / 0-)

        We remember those previous tragedies, we regret our inaction, and we want to do better this time.

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
        he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

        by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:41:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps ... (0+ / 0-)

          but I don't think the Administration has said this. Somehow, as hopeful as one might be for some sort of a moral renaissance, I'm not sure that's the reason.

          "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 Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:35:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They haven't even said "send a message", unless (0+ / 0-)

            I've missed it.  Though that would seem reasonable to me.

            We're on the wrong side of this one, I think.  As progressives, cartoonists, etc.  

            Yes, imo we do have to send a message.  And cruise missiles will send it a whole lot better than FB.  

            Poison gas is not ok.  That's the message.  

            Or should we send the opposite one, cause if we don't respond in "terms he'll understand", that's what we'll be doing.

        •  jj, you don't get off that easy. You toss that lit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          atana, shaharazade

          tle line out there, that HopenChangy "to do better this time." You don't have a clue what that might mean, what "we" either "want" or "could" do "better." What "we" are doing is just building a clumsy, enormously bureaucratic, corruption-riddled "Grand Global Interoperable Network-Centric Battlespace Monstrosity" that eats not only our but our neighbors' resources, our "policy options" are largely based on bribing others to go along with "us," sending in the paramilitaries and jackals and sneaky petes to do Cowboy Bill Donovan "destabilization' and 'regime change," and stuff like hypersonic autonomous airframes that we are all breathlessly excited will be able to "deliver a warhead" on a target half-way around the world within an hour of lighting the fuse. What target, what will blowing it up accomplish? Who cares? "WE" can "DO IT!"

          Neither "we" nor you (and if you were just pumping snark at 9:41, I'll take my lumps) have a clue about how to "do better" this or any other time. Or, really, the desire. That phrase is just a cover for the intention to BomBomoBomb, BombBombAnArab and other doofus plays. The Great Game model was stupid but survivable when the world was a bigger and smaller place and we humans had not pushed our planet and our unfortunately tribal stupidities to the limits that technology has already allowed. That's no longer the case, and "we" appear to be too idiotic to do anything other than more of the same.

          The time to stop events like the Rwanda genocide or the Cambodian killing fields (stopped eventually by the Hated North Vietnamese Communists who now make the shirt and shorts I just bought at Target) is long before the Limbaugh and Rove equivalents of one tribe calls the other "cockroaches" and starts distributing cheap Chinese-made machetes.

          One hopes the crapulous hangover from colonial GreatGameism will dissipate and "we" start seeing a little more clearly how "we" keep from having only pivots to slaughter as our policy options and behavioral imperatives.

          "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

          by jm214 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:39:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I fully agree that the West must work proactively (0+ / 0-)

            for justice - not advantage - in the post-colonial world, The former empires still need to make amends to the former colonies.

            It is precisely that sensitivity to history that compels many of us to support intervention in Syria, not to choose a winner, but to induce the combatants into a cease-fire and a negotiated peace.

            Go ahead and call that misguided if you want, but please recognize that there is a broad spectrum of opinion about intervention in Syria, governed by an array of motives. Not everyone who favors judicious use of military force to stop an on-going military conflict is the spawn of Henry Kissinger.

            I, for one, am not paralyzed by the belief that because the U.S. has done wrong, it can never do right.

            And please don't demand guarantees. Every action, or inaction, will entail risk to somebody. Prior to the Normandy invasion, Eisenhower believed that the odds of success or failure were only slightly better than even. Considering all that was at stake, that was good enough for him.

            “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
            he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

            by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 03:13:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Which of the Wide Array of Options Do You Favor? (0+ / 0-)

              Because I can't see any good ones. Seriously.

              "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 Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:09:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't that nice of you to be so generous and wise (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BigAlinWashSt, TheMomCat

              with the lives and fortunes of others, speaking so sonorously on behalf of the "US." "America," that other place that never existed except in the aspirations and myths that a lot of us, myself included back in 1966 when I was STUPID enough to believe in all that stuff, had in mind when we enlisted in that Evil Empire thing ourselves. What skin have you got in the Game, JJ? And putting on some cloak of high purpose and fancy language and being reasonable and going forward and all that, does not change what the Machiavellian Machinery is up to.

              I got to say you got a lot of nerve invoking Eisenhower rolling the dice for the Western World in June 1944. The Great Gamers and the shit-sandwich corner they have painted "us" into, well, I didn't know Eisenhower except by reading about him, but the Joint Chiefs and the guys who run the MIIC and peddle these idiot themes and plans to us are no Eisenhower. And flinging a bunch of GPS-steered or linked-to-The Great-Global-Network-centric-Interoperable-Battlespace idiot-smartweapon Tomahawks into Anomie-land, because "we will not be disobeyed?" Because "red line?" Not everyone is the spawn of Henry Kissinger or Dickless Cheney or Karl Rove, but the ones urging "action" sure seem to be...

              Again, what skin do you personally have in this Game? What cost are you going to bear for having The Troops We Support go kick the hornet's nest?

              "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

              by jm214 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:12:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Zimbabwe (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        midnight lurker

        Don't forget Zimbabwe.

  •  Thank you so much, Tom! I say we send (19+ / 0-)

    a Facebook post, declare victory, and stay out of Syria period.

    And while we're at it, we can beat our "Freedom Bombz" into plowshares, or wind turbines, or something useful.

    Time to dismantle the toxic US MIC, President Obama. Do you care?

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:35:54 AM PDT

  •  So, "Suck it, Syrian people" is the real message? (7+ / 0-)

    Or is it "bow down to your oppressor, 'cuz the US ain't gonna do shit"?

    Personally, I think destroying Bashar's air capabilities WOULD help the rebels.

    •  Al Qaeda? The ones we are trying to drone (4+ / 0-)
      help the rebels.
      out of existence?
      •  No, the FSA - the vast majority of the rebels. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When did it become OK at Daily Kos to describe a large body of Muslims as "al Qaeda" just to scare people into a policy decision?

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:52:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can since there are affiliations (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          An al Qaeda-affiliated rebel commander in Syria has pledged to target communities of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite minority with rockets in revenge for an alleged chemical attack near Damascus, according to an audio recording seen on Sunday.

          "For every chemical rocket that has fallen on our people in Damascus, one of their villages will, by the will of God, pay for it," Abu Mohammad al-Golani of the al-Nusra Front said in the recording posted on YouTube. "On top of that we will prepare a thousand rockets that will be fired on their towns in revenge for the Damascus Ghouta massacre."

          Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

          by greenbastard on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:00:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, there are al Qaeda in Syria. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eglantine, hooper

            That does not make it legitimate to label the Syrian opposition "Al Qaeda," any more than any other population of Muslims.

            This is not a point that anyone needed to have explained two years ago. How low you've fallen.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:04:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But it's something the admin has been avoiding for (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              some time


              Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda

              Al Nusra and groups like it have seen some of the most significant victories against Syrian government forces in the course of the 2-year-old uprising in which Assad's forces have killed about 80,000 people. Rebels not affiliated with al-Qaeda have pressed Washington for months to send weaponry that will allow them to match the heavy weapons of the Syrian army. They've urged the West to mount an air campaign against Assad's mechanized forces.
              says al-Qaeda has assisted al Nusra for some time.

              "They provided them early on with technical, military and financial support , especially when it came to setting up networks of foreign jihadis who were brought into Syria," Bakri says. "There will certainly be greater coordination between the two groups."

              Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

              by greenbastard on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:08:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Avoiding? They've been dealing w/ it all along. (0+ / 0-)

                Don't you remember This NYT article about the arms missions from Turkey?

                The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.
                Backing the FSA and working to minimize third-country support for the Nusra Front has been the foremost policy goal of the administration throughout the Syrian Civil War.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 01:12:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  more on the rebels (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy, JVolvo


              Syria and al-Qaeda: the enemy of our enemy could turn out to be our most dangerous enemy of all

              These are the kind of people we'd be allying ourselves with in any conflict. The Islamist rebels hate Christians and have given them the option of "flee or die". In June, the Catholic priest Francois Murad was murdered by a Syrian opposition group; according to the Vatican, he was beheaded in public while boys and men cheered. This week, video leaked out of the country purporting to show a roadside execution of three men accused of being insufficiently Muslim. Their truck was flagged down and they were interrogated to find out if they were Sunnis or members of the Alawite minority according to their prayer habits. When they gave the "wrong" responses, they were taken to the side of the road and shot in the back to shouts of "Allahu Akbar". The presence of such savages within the rebel ranks threatens to open up a second civil war within the rebellion itself: according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Kurds and Islamists are shooting at each other right now in the northeast of the country.

              Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

              by greenbastard on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:17:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No silly. The enemy of our enemy ALWAYS remains (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nota bene

                our friend.  There are no such things as unintended consequences or blowback.  Now go suck on your hippie-dippie peace pipe and let the Very Serious People finish this discussion.

                As of 9pm 8/30/13: RETIRED Pie Warrior. Substance over Sh*t Flinging (as best as I am able) ~ JV

                by JVolvo on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:25:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Who you gonna pick for your ally in a War of All (0+ / 0-)

                Against All? Among people whose loyalties last periods measured in hours? Where you have no idea how the tribes shake out or the people think and feel and believe? you got our analytical tools, great, keep reading. But please, spend a little of your time at Syria Comment, where there really is some reportorial and analytical expertise in play.

                Too bad there's not a snowball's chance that all the expertise in the world in "foreign policy" is going to find a set of behaviors for "our side" that leads anywhere but downhill. What is the vision of the endgame you got? What's the world SUPPOSED to look like, except as a place where the Imperial Executive has the maximum "freedom of action" though with not a clue how to act (except in little clumps, where bits of power and wealth transfers and weapon sales take place)? Is that where you want your kids to live? Seeing how supporting that set of motions and notions is socially, politically and financially bankrupting OUR country, let alone all those Furrin Lands...

                "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                by jm214 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:48:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  yep (0+ / 0-)

      "No one will protect you" is the message a lot of people want to send here.

      •  no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo, jm214

        there have been thwarted attempts to talk here about alternatives, mostly international in scope, but also US specific, relating to US aid*, the treaty, using our aid to influence the treaty (which it seems hasn't been an issue until now), humanitarian and refugee aid; there've been some suggestions too about maybe using the saudis and our incestuous relationship with them...

        sure it seems like spitting in the wind, but every discussion of alternatives is shut down by either the folks champing at the bit to be boy heroes, or some contingency that seems to have a better understanding of Iranian politics (as broadcast in the US press) than I ever thought I had

        *which is huge and perhaps could be used more effectively

  •  there is always the "strongly worded letter" (6+ / 0-)

    worked well for Chamberlain

  •  ROFLMAO! (10+ / 0-)
    Nothing Says "We Care" Like a Tomahawk Missile Strike
    Damn! I wish I coulda come up with that one!

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:48:58 AM PDT

  •  "A sternly worded letter". nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net, joe from Lowell

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:49:35 AM PDT

  •  Brilliant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine, hooper

    So for the future, whenever a country uses chemical weapons we should put up a strongly worded Facebook post. That should take care of it.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:49:49 AM PDT

    •  Or let the United Nations take care of it (0+ / 0-)

      like we suggested in 1945.

      Or we could let a bunch of our young men and women take bullets to the head in the name of gasoline.

      -9.50/-7.59 - "Why are the missiles called peace-keepers when they're aimed to kill?" -Tracy Chapman

      by Situational Lefty on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:37:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

    So would a Facebook post....

    Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you-Satchel Paige

    by wagster1969 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:53:26 AM PDT

  •  The best action is likely impossible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine, Mindful Nature, hooper

    and risks American lives, has a high risk of failure and could just tip Syria into the hands of someone worse. That best option would be to capture (or kill) Assad. A trial before the International Criminal Court would be a message, for sure, but there are all those other problems. I just do not see anything else that makes adds something positive to an awful situation.

    There alas is another problem: doing nothing will likely mean more chemical attacks, next time with a smug sneer from Assad. I think the Syrian officials remark that we heard all this WMD stuff from America before the invasion of Iraq was particularly telling. Bush/Cheney in effect gave lunatics a free pass to murder civilians any way they want to.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 07:54:49 AM PDT

    •  It would be nice (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      global citizen, hooper, Maverick80229

      if those drones could put out a Spiderman dragnet and swoop up Assad and take him off to The Hague without any collateral damage.

      The 4 biggest problems I see here are...

      1. The Iraq WMD debacle, orchestrated by The Bush/Cheney Administration, has left us - and any potential coalition with most of the world - weary of 'government intelligence'.

      2. Over 10 years of war in Iraq and Afganistan - the longest sustained wars in US history - has left Americans fatigued, skeptical, and weary of war.

      3. The youth of today, who make up most of the blogs and sentiment in today's 'new media', is limited in their views and scope of history in regard to mass use of chemical weapons - to the post 9/11 era.

      4. The best 'argument' for inaction is that we did nothing in response to Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against his own Kurdish people (twice). At the time, our 'intelligence' insisted Iran was 'at least partially to blame' for the attack.

      So what are we supposed to make of any of this? Should we do the right thing this time - even though we have been guilty of ignoring it in the past?

      In my 60+ years I have never been more torn regarding our responsibility as one of the few nations on earth even capable of policing such atrocities.

      Despite having always opposed war and any unprovoked US military actions, I think inaction would only set a precedence and invite further  widespread use of chemical weapons, which has far worse long-term consequences than taking a stand as a nation and acting as the 'moral leaders' of the world that we claim to be.

      As hard as it might be to view with your own eyes - I encourage everyone to Google for images of WWI and the atrocities and horrors caused by these types of weapons - as well as review the images and videos available online from the latest attack - then ask yourself if this is the type of thing we should just turn a blind eye to. There is a reason 97% of the nations of the world agreed, almost a century ago, that these types of weapons should never be used again in war.

      •  97% of the world (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        global citizen, wonmug, Maverick80229

        may have agreed, but the weapons continue to exist and continue to be used.

        What sort of stand can we take, a the "moral leaders" that will eliminate their existence so that they cannot be used?

        I just cannot see that any type of military response is going to have the effect of discouraging further widespread use of chemical weapons. We bomb, more Syrians die. Chemical weapons do not disappear. Leaders and rebels will not stop using them.

        I don't know what, if any action, can prevent inhumanity. I wish I did.

        I do not disagree that a response is called for. But I do disagree that a military response will be effective, even if 97% of the world still agrees on chemical weapons.

        If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.-Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s

        by left rev on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:49:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What sort of stand can we take, as the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          left rev, nota bene, schumann

          "moral leaders" that will eliminate their existence so that they cannot be used?

          We could get rid of our own.

          "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." --Townes Van Zandt

          by Bisbonian on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:15:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  However, 97% of the countries (3+ / 0-)

          are not aligning themselves with us to do anything.

          Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

          by Da Rock on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:18:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Chemical weapons do not dissapear (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jjohnjj, hooper

          ...but most do lose their effectiveness, dissipate quickly, and have a relatively short 'shelf life'.

          I just left an argument with some wingnut posting a few links (to their favorite 'world news' websites like WND) claiming that these are actually the same "WMD"s that GW and Co. were talking about - and that they were just 'moved to Syria'.

          The fact is sarin degrades after a period of several weeks to several months. The shelf life can be shortened by impurities in precursor materials. According to the CIA, some Iraqi sarin had a shelf life of only a few weeks, owing mostly to impure precursors.

          That in no way is meant to downplay the seriousness and lethality of such agents. This is something that need to be "nipped in the bud".

          I don't doubt that this would lead to an escalation of the war in Syria - but I'd like to think it would also act as a catalyst for creating a coalition of nations willing to participate in ousting the regime responsible - and that U.S. involvement, much like in Libya, would be limited.

          Last night on C-Span I watched a rebroadcast of the entire British Parliament debate last Wednesday over the issue - and anyone who just read the headlines about the resolution being voted down should do the same. The biggest hesitation among the British Parliament comes from the 'lesson' learned from the GW WMD claims debacle. That vote was taken even before the UN inspectors had finished and issued their report - and the other independent analysis that US intelligence is using was made known.

          Support will grow and we should move forward - but even I would be hesitant to suggest we do so unilaterally.

          Just to be clear. I too used to think it was not 'our job' to act as 'the world police'. It's a rough job - but someone has to do it. The fact is, few nations have the capabilities.

          •  Which police force do you want us to emulate? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nota bene, schumann

            New York? Chicago? LA? Sanford? Newark? We can't come close to Aspen or Vail level, all polite and obsequious and dressed in blazers, saying nice things to the rich folks and ignoring their peccadilloes and driving them home and all that?

            We are not anything close to a "police force." We, and now speaking as a Vietnam vet and observer of what's gone on since then, are at best Playground Bullies. That "it's a rogh job, but somebody has to do it" notion is bankrupt, morally and every other way. And "We" do not even try: "Our"policy is simply all about preserving as much hegemony and "freedom of action" and economic domination as possible. Any tiny little bit of "good" that happens to get done is about at the level of GIs handing out Hershey's Tropical Chocolate bars from C-ration boxes to "gook" kids.

            "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

            by jm214 on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:57:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  McCain and Graham (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon, annieli, eglantine, schumann

    As the debate seems to be shaping up as doing something limited or doing nothing, McCain and Graham seem to be standing alone hoping for something more extensive. Even if people have a problem with Obama, we have to acknowledge that we dodged a bullet by not electing McCain in 2008. For many around the world that can be taken literally.

    •  I see what's coming, though (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

        McCain and Graham agree to "support" Obama's need to thump his chest on Syria, in exchange for Obama "compromising" with the Republicans on future cuts to Social Security and Medicare, for starters.  Lose-lose for the American people.

        I know a couple of people who have been hard-core Obama supporters since 2004. The Syria posturing has ended that for them.

      "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

      by Buzzer on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:21:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Message sent! (3+ / 0-)

    And message tweeted.

    Thanks for this.

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

    by emal on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:32:47 AM PDT

  •  Message it sends to me (11+ / 0-)

    The military industrial complex runs our foreign policy.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:34:02 AM PDT

  •  And somebody's reading the New York Times! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You'd think someone would remember how the New York Times lied us into another war!

  •  As usual, trenchant and absolutely true. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    If only someone with the initials BHO would see this...

  •  It's the NRA argument applied to chemical warfare! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, eglantine, Mark Mywurtz

    How very clever.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 08:50:43 AM PDT

  •  meanwhile in Fukushima (6+ / 0-)

    crickets rather *irradiated crickets"

  •  Realistically, (0+ / 0-)

    the only message we can send that would have any meaningful effect would be to flatten Assad's Presidential Palace, destroy his private planes and their hangers, sink his yachts and destroy their docks. I'm sure we know where his family estates and vacation homes are located. If we don't, the Israelis can tell us. Target the estates, target his townhouses. Burn his orchards, kill his cattle and goats, blow up his wells. The do the same thing to the estates and homes of his major supporters in Syria, including his generals and security chiefs. That's the only message that will make an impression. Destroy his ability to shelter himself in anything other than a concrete bunker. Then he might get the message.

    It worked for George Washington. It should work for Obama as well.

    •  George Washington attacked King George III? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nota bene

      I posit that some Americans are deficient in American history, let alone Middle Eastern history.    If you are talking about the retribution of the revolutionaries upon the loyalists after the war was over, well yeah --- that is one of the things we are trying to avoid.     We aren't just trying to choose who wins a genocide.

      You do realize that you are now talking about making a deliberate attack on civilians?   Blowing things up sounds much more manly than "confiscate his bank accounts" but I suppose we are in the same general direction on this one.

      •  PBO not proposing a deliberate attack on civilians (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...and even if canoebum overestimates the accuracy of our weapons, I doubt that he is either.

        In fact, a "decaptiation" strike is the last thing we want. We want the Syrian army stay in firm control of the CW. We want the Alawite communities and their allies to be able to defend themselves against "ethnic cleansing" in the wake of a rebel victory.

        That said, I believe that air strikes against government fuel dumps and a lot of back-channel diplomacy might be just enough to convince the generals to jettison Assad and agree to a cease-fire with the rebels.

        Then we get U.N. peacekeeping troops in there to separate the combatants, and start working on a  negotiated settlement. That's our best chance to prevent massacres, marginalize the extremists and move the country toward reconciliation.

        “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
        he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

        by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:03:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not King George... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Six Nations of the Iroquois Federation. Sure it was a horrific crime, but Washington did it, and he's still revered as the Father of the Nation.  

  •  How 'bout an actual trial before killing people? (0+ / 0-)

    Or do we just 'know' because we trust whatever US and Israeli intelligence tell us?   Sure, let's agree that somebody needs to be killed for this atrocity -- but whom?  This would be a pretty ugly country if we ran the justice system the same way that we run our foreign policy.

    Anybody here want to volunteer to be collateral damage?

  •  I'm trying to decide (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are you being disingenuous here or are you just that stupid:

    a) the attacks are aimed to dissuade Assad from using chemical weapons again (facebook wouldn't do that)

    b) attacks on the military resources he needs to win the war and not end up at the end of a rope should get his attention (and attacks might cripple production facilities which may well eliminate his weapons over time)

    c) a degraded Assad military would have the consequence of making Assad far far more likely to negotiate than one who feels that he can simply slaughter his opponents instead.

    HOwever, that strawman you created, it's pretty dead now!  Nice work

    •  do you actually think these actions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Situational Lefty

      would have the intended consequences? I don't, not for a second.

      The use of rhetoric absorbed from Very Serious People like "get his attention" suggests that you overestimate the real-world capabilities of American hard power to effect political solutions in foreign countries, where we have no mandate.

      I don't know, but I'm willing to bet you were one of those liberals that was suddenly real concerned about Saddam Hussein in 2002.

      Why do you hate America?

      by nota bene on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:41:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

        But I expect the slur of course.   When you don't have arguments.

        I was opposed to that war, but certainly not sad to se hussein go ( people here seem to have a rosy nostaligia for Hussien) but in favor of taking some action in Darfur and Rwanda. The isolationists won both of those debates

        Yes, I think that Assad needs to be deterred from using these weapons again.  If that makes me a neocon to be opposed to human rights violations, ill wear it proudly.

        •  speaking of which.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Situational Lefty
          But I expect the slur of course.   When you don't have arguments.
          ( people here seem to have a rosy nostaligia for Hussien)
          Remember that opposing Assad means you're supporting....somebody. Got anybody in mind yet?

          Say, how's Iraq going these days?

          Oh. Maybe the USA should one day learn that it needs to stay the fuck out of the business of picking leaders in other countries.

          Nothing says "we care" like a Tomahawk missile strike.

          by nota bene on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 09:10:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The U.S. Congress shall be Assad's "jury". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I haven't seen any references to Israeli intelligence, but yes... does come down to "trust". I never trusted Colin Powell's assertions that Iraq had "mobile bioweapon labs".

    But I do trust John Kerry when he says that U.S. satellites detected rocket firings from government held positions into the target of the chemical weapons attack.

    No one will volunteer to be "collateral damage"... except the thousands of Syrians who chose to take up arms against a tyrant.

    People will die if the U.S. intervenes, and people will continue to die if we do not. The question is "how many and for what purpose"?

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 10:15:22 AM PDT

  •  Tom, is that "The Family" Building on C Street (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Some interviews and analysis on "The Real News" (0+ / 0-)

    Any Attack on Syria Would Be Illegal, Increase Sectarianism in Middle East

    Chris Hedges on Obama Decision to Attack Syria and "Give Congress a Voice"

    Fool Me Twice, Shame on US

  •  this is one of your best cartoons, Tom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    I'm stealing a line for a new sig....

    Nothing says "we care" like a Tomahawk missile strike.

    by nota bene on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:45:09 PM PDT

  •  Those who advocate watching gas attacks and (0+ / 0-)

    merely saying we "condemn" the practice is worse than nothing. Assad will do more of this, as well as other tinhorn tyrants, because the U.S. is "war weary." Obama is inheriting the legacy of the Rumsfeldian cabal, and that's not his goddamned fault.

    I'm glad at least Obama is taking the same sort of stand on gassing children in Syria as he took on shooting children at Sandy Hook. He"lost" on that one, too, as many here and elsewhere are counting on him losing on Syria and even being humiliated. This is no fucking "war of empire."

    Condemning it on Facebook? Eat it.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 12:46:13 PM PDT

  •  as Lawrence explained (0+ / 0-)

    I'm taken by surprise that anybody able to profit $8573 in a few weeks on the internet. best site...

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