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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin E. Dempsey (L), John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State (C), and Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, present the administration's case for U.S. military action against Syria to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Just pounding on the table.
Secretary of State John Kerry:
"This is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter," Kerry said.
The U.S. has been happy to be spectators to conflicts in Darfur, Congo, Burma, Sudan, Kashmir, Somalia and dozens of other places around the globe. Unfortunately, there's no shortage of war, religious strife, ethnic cleansing, separatist insurgencies, foreign adventurism, or nationalistic fights in our planet. And yes, we're stuck being spectators to most of those situations because the alternative is unpalatable.

Doing the smart thing isn't "isolationism". If Kerry wants to lead a new glory era of U.S. engagement in international affairs, he can lobby Congress for more developmental aid—the kind of billions that can prevent new wars, rather than exacerbate existing ones by dropping bombs.

The "isolationists" Kerry speaks of would be happy to lend a hand, if only the interventionists had a working theory of why bombing Syria would improve matters. But no, they talk about "sending a message", as if killing a few people and knocking down a few buildings is akin to a sternly worded letter. You know, extra stern.

Give us a plausible scenario of how a "limited military action" would save lives and hasten the end of the conflict, and you might have additional support. Instead, we get lots of pounding on the table and screaming about "HITLER!", as if our foreign policy is now run by wingnut neocon bloggers.

More Kerry:

“The president is not asking you to go to war,” Secretary of State John Kerry told Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and a skeptic of a Syria strike, during a hearing of the Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
Remember when Al Qaeda launched a "limited strike" against the World Trade Center and Pentagon and it wasn't a declaration of war? Me neither. You bomb someone, it's war, no matter how you might want to pretend otherwise.

Can someone please tell Kerry that he's the secretary of State, and not Defense?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:20 AM PDT.

Also republished by Group W: Resisting War.

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Comment Preferences

  •  so never again... (20+ / 0-)

    Just take out the never part.

    "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

    by Christin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:26:49 AM PDT

    •  Please explain (23+ / 0-)

      What the specific goal is in bombing Syria?

      How will air strikes cripple the regime's ability to use chemical weapons against civilians, when the production facilities are in urban areas, and the CW can be launched through the air and on the group, such that crippling Assad’s air force will not stop the CW?

      If General Dempsey said that establishing a no fly zone would require a long term action and most likely troops on the ground in Syria, how would anything less than long term action and US troops in Syria do anything at all to affect the ability to use chemical weapons?

      What happens if, after we bomb Assad to deter his using CW, Assad then uses chemical weapons again? More air strikes?

      If Assad was willing to use chemical weapons to win the civil war, how would our bombing, which would increase the likelihood of his losing and make him more desperate, decrease the chances he would commit some other horrific act of war to win this conflict?

      How many additional civilian causalities caused by our bombs are acceptable to you?

      How would our air strikes/military intervention affect the already desparate situation for the Syrian refugees? How would it affect the ability of aid groups like Doctors Without Borders and the UN Refugee groups to continue their missions to help the Syrian people?

      Until you can answer or at least show you have thought about some of these questions, get off your moral high horse. You don’t belong up there.

      The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

      by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:38:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  your orders (1+ / 0-)

        On what I am allowed to believe and feel and post, along with yet another insult, and your false statement that I have not given this any thought, will be given the time, consideration and respect it deserves.

        Congratulations on finding the first comment in a diary to attach to.

        Until you can answer or at least show you have thought about some of these questions, get off your moral high horse. You don’t belong up there.

        "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

        by Christin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:59:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Only 9% of Americans back this invasion based on (1+ / 3-)
          Recommended by:
          kharma
          Hidden by:
          kefauver, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, sviscusi

          a gas attack the warmonger PR machine is desperately trying to pin on Assad, but has no hard evidence he did it.

          In fact, the UN collected evidence that implicated the "rebels" and no evidence at all that implicated Assad for past nerve weapon attacks.

          Congress should listen to us, not the twisted PR of the war  machine.

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:10:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  your repeated claim (4+ / 0-)

            In multiple diaries over the past week that Assad is innocent of using satin has nothing at all to with my comment, period.

            so never again... (13+ / 0-)

            Just take out the never part.

            "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

            "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

            by Christin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:22:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a fact that UN had evidence implicating rebel (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Orla, annecros, gooderservice, aliasalias

              forces in past gas attacks, and no evidence at all implicating the Syrian Army.

              It's a fact that the warmongers are trying to suppress, which is why I repeat it as much as I can.

              This fact is damaging to their war propaganda casus belli claiming that Assad is behind this latest gas attack, without any evidence either.

              These warmongers have been planning this Syrian invasion way before the gas attack.

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:38:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I never said he was innocent, but that there (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Orla, gooderservice

              was no evidence.  

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:30:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Conspiracy theories doesn't help your cause (5+ / 0-)

            stick with Markos' argument above.

            •  she won't (4+ / 0-)

              She just attaches to any  comment made high up in any diary and repeats the same claims again and again. Her claims have absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote. Oh well.

              "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

              by Christin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:41:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  What conspiracy theory? Yoshimi, spell out what (7+ / 0-)

              you are alleging is a "conspiracy theory," which is a pretty serious attack to make without any proof.

              It  must be pretty frustrating for the warmongers these days to start wars without any concrete evidence now that more and more people realize the Iraq War was started on conspiracy theories based on a forged yellow cake document with an outdated Niger Embassy letterhead and WMDs that didn't exist.

              CT tin foil hattery at its very best, that Iraq war propaganda was.

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:56:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Christin and Dr Swig Mcjigger uprating your (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Orla, aliasalias

              unsubstantiated CT assault against me was interesting, considering they seem not to agree with kos or me about not bombing Syria.

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:25:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They might agree with me that your (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TomP, aitchdee

                THEORY that the US is tyring to pin the gas attack on Assad so that we have an excuse to attack in CONSPIRACY THEORY.

                I call it like I see it.

                •  well (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CIndyCasella

                  Conspiracies are sometimes real, which isn't to say that this is one of those, there are suspicious patterns however considering prior statements about when we would attack Iran, the events in Egypt, the incoherent use of chemical weapons in Syria, etc.

                  Iraq for instance was a real conspiracy that nearly everyone slept on.

                  free the information

                  by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:58:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A clear message is the best way to appeal to the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CenPhx

                    American public. Crazy conspiracies will turn them off to your appeal right from the start. Better to go with an argument on how effective/ineffective an attack will be.

                    •  yea (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm not really considering this forum to be the "American public" so to speak, but sure, if I were to take an argument on national television for instance, I would use some nuance though would still point out that conspiracy is often the rule, not the exception (Iraq, Gulf of Tonkin, even Pearl Harbor if you're brave enough to look at it).

                      More so, I would point out that secrecy and military priorities are the fundamental rot of our nation and soul, and that what we need our transparency, accountability, and the freedom of information (and the constitutional right to privacy).

                      free the information

                      by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:13:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  invasion? (2+ / 0-)

            Who is proposing an invasion?

          •  I don't beleive that the UN (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annecros, aliasalias

            has released any information about the evidence that was collected. At this time, there is no evidence that it was Assad or that the gas used was Sarin. Although the US has made the claims, they have, so far, refused to show where the evidence came from, who gave it to them.

            So far the best reporting and assessment has come from The Guardian

            But again, it all assumption, no evidence that would hold up in a court or that would justify attacking Syrai.


            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

            by TheMomCat on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:23:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem with the comment that... (2+ / 0-)

              ...you're addressing is that del Ponte's remarks and the commission investigating poison gas allegations both have nothing to do with the Aug. 21 attack.

              del Ponte's first statement on the subject was in an interview in May. The commission's report was issued in June. And it did NOT conclude what the commenter you're addressing says.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:38:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I just finished reading the June 3 report (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                which came to the conclusion that there was, at that time, not enough evidence to say who used the CW. I strongly suspect they will come to the same conclusion re:the Aug 21 attacck.

                The Guardian article doses mention those previous attacks, however, which was why I mentioned it

                It has previously been reported that members of the al-Nusra front were caught with sarin nerve gas in Turkey – and this has been echoed by Syrian state media. Dale Gavlak, an independent journalist, has reported a belief that nerve agents used in Ghouta were supplied by Saudi Arabia.

                So far, however, neither the Syrian government nor Russia have publicly provided any evidence that the rebels were responsible for the incident. Delay in allowing the UN inspectors access to the scene of the attacks, and heavy shelling before they were able to get there, appeared designed to destroy evidence.


                "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                by TheMomCat on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:44:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  You have repeated this claim several times... (7+ / 0-)

            ...It's one thing to say that the UN has collected evidence showing rebels may have been involved in using poison gas and quite another to claim that it has none showing the Assad regime may have done so.

            That directly contradicts what the June report by the U.N. International Commission of Inquiry on Syria shows. Depending, as you do, solely on the statements of Carla del Ponte to the exclusion of the June report of the body of which she is a single member creates a falsehood:

            136. As the conflict escalates, the potential for use of chemical weapons is of deepening concern. Chemical weapons include toxic chemicals, munitions, devices and related equipment as defined in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction. Also applicable is the 1925 Geneva Protocol which Syria has ratified. The use of chemical weapons is prohibited in all circumstances under customary international humanitarian law and is a war crime under the Rome Statute.

            137. The Government has in its possession a number of chemical weapons. The dangers extend beyond the use of the weapons by the Government itself to the control of such weapons in the event of either fractured command or of any of the affiliated forces gaining access.

            138. It is possible that anti-Government armed groups may access and use chemical weapons. This includes nerve agents, though there is no compelling evidence that these groups possess such weapons or their requisite delivery systems.

            139. Allegations have been received concerning the use of chemical weapons by both parties. The majority concern their use by Government forces. In four attacks – on Khan Al-Asal, Aleppo, 19 March; Uteibah, Damascus, 19 March; Sheikh Maqsood neighbourhood, Aleppo, 13 April; and Saraqib, Idlib, 29 April – there are reasonable grounds to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals were used. It has not been possible, on the evidence available, to determine the precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems or the perpetrator. Other incidents also remain under investigation.

            140. Conclusive findings – particularly in the absence of a large-scale attack – may be reached only after testing samples taken directly from victims or the site of the alleged attack. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that the Panel of Experts, led by Professor Sellström and assembled under the Secretary General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons, is granted full access to Syria.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:26:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excellent and informative comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP

              Thanks.

              "Microscopes are prudent in an emergency." -- Emily Dickinson

              by godotnut on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:28:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I was quoting Del Ponte. She said that. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm doing the best I can, but I must say that I have seen people make repeated claims that Assad did this latest attack before the UN has investigated it based on sketchy convertations that were garnered by snoops who are not exactly sterling examples of honesty...nothing else...if I am wrong, prove me wrong, but I should not be HRed even if I did miss something and am wrong, when others make wrong statements without being HRed.

              Carla Del Ponte, Member of Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic:

              During our investigation for crimes against humanity and war crimes, we collect some witness testimony that made to appear that some chemical weapons were used, in particular, nerve gas, and what appears to our investigation, that was used by the opponents, by the rebels, and we have no indication at all that the government, that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.... I was a little bit stupefied that the first indication we got... they were about the use of nerve gas by the opponents.

              Del Ponte sticks by that statement.

              I believe her when she says she sticks by that statement.

              I believed Hans Blix, too, when people were saying he was not telling the truth that there were no WMDs in Iraq and Colin Powell was telling the truth at the UN.

              A war hangs in the balance here.

              You and I disagree on this based on semantics.  Semantics that may suck us into yet another war and kill a lot of people, including people here in the USA, who will die because they will not get the healthcare they could get if we were not spending billions on these wars, most of which have been proven to have been waged on lies.

              HR me and not others who may be wrong about this Syrian call for war?  

              Why?

              This issue is so new and such a moving target, it's not fair to not allow me to put forth this evidence provided to the UN as opposed to the counter evidence, which is just snippets of snooped conversations gathered by foreign spies.  

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:59:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I HRed you because you continue to present... (4+ / 0-)

                ...this as the UN based on del Ponte's statement. There's nothing wrong with presenting her statement but it, like all the stuff we're hearing and seeing and reading about Syria should be done in context. Those of us who oppose this intervention should hold those who present evidence or make statements that assist in making the case against intervention to the same standards as we hold those who make the case for intervention.

                Del Ponte is one member of the commission. The commission leadership made a point of pushing back on her comment. It issued a report that does not support the claim you made not for del Ponte, but for the UN.

                I am going to remove my HR. But I hope you will in the future provide Del Ponte's statement in the context of the UN report on the matter.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:29:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I said the UN collected evidence. Nothing about (0+ / 0-)

                  the conclusions.  I was careful about this.  I was stating what Del Ponte said, which she stands by in the video you posted and I posted.

                  In fact, the UN collected evidence that implicated the "rebels" and no evidence at all that implicated Assad for past nerve weapon attacks.
                  The MSM is stating that Syria was responsible for the latest gas attack as though it is fact, which it is not proven fact, and so are a lot of the diarists and commenters here, without any HRs.

                  That UN report to which you and the others refer, I think, was not the final report on the earlier gas attacks.  My understanding is that the UN was in Syria near the cite of the recent bombing gathering evidence for those prior attacks.  

                  Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:09:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is the problem: (0+ / 0-)

                    "...and no evidence at all that implicated Assad for past nerve weapon attacks."

                    This is NOT true. Read the report.

                    The U.N. inspectors who recently were in Syria—and whose report could take weeks to be completed—came from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, not the  ICI.

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:27:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The blockquotes you posted did not say there (0+ / 0-)

                      was evidence in the report, but that it was inconclusive.

                      Where is the report?  I'll read it.

                      I am now writing a diary based on articles I've read in the Guardian and Independent and I plan to only post their quotes on what Del Ponte said, not paraphrase.  

                      Indeed, a chemical weapons expert cited Del Ponte, as did I, to  make the point that it's difficult to assess blame without careful investigation and that false claims have been made historically in this realm.

                      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                      by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:56:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  In which # did this report finger Assad? (0+ / 0-)
                        136. As the conflict escalates, the potential for use of chemical weapons is of deepening concern. Chemical weapons include toxic chemicals, munitions, devices and related equipment as defined in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and Their Destruction. Also applicable is the 1925 Geneva Protocol which Syria has ratified. The use of chemical weapons is prohibited in all circumstances under customary international humanitarian law and is a war crime under the Rome Statute.
                        137. The Government has in its possession a number of chemical weapons. The dangers extend beyond the use of the weapons by the Government itself to the control of such weapons in the event of either fractured command or of any of the affiliated forces gaining access.

                        138. It is possible that anti-Government armed groups may access and use chemical weapons. This includes nerve agents, though there is no compelling evidence that these groups possess such weapons or their requisite delivery systems.

                        139. Allegations have been received concerning the use of chemical weapons by both parties. The majority concern their use by Government forces. In four attacks – on Khan Al-Asal, Aleppo, 19 March; Uteibah, Damascus, 19 March; Sheikh Maqsood neighbourhood, Aleppo, 13 April; and Saraqib, Idlib, 29 April – there are reasonable grounds to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals were used. It has not been possible, on the evidence available, to determine the precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems or the perpetrator. Other incidents also remain under investigation.

                        140. Conclusive findings – particularly in the absence of a large-scale attack – may be reached only after testing samples taken directly from victims or the site of the alleged attack. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that the Panel of Experts, led by Professor Sellström and assembled under the Secretary General’s Mechanism for Investigation of Alleged Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons, is granted full access to Syria.

                        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                        by CIndyCasella on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:03:45 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  The report is linked in my comment... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...What is the evidence referred by del Ponte? Since it wasn't on the ground testing of samples or any such, because the ICI did not conduct such tests, it comes from the 430 interviews it conducted.

                        139. Allegations have been received concerning the use of chemical weapons by both parties. The majority concern their use by Government forces. In four attacks – on Khan Al-Asal, Aleppo, 19 March; Uteibah, Damascus, 19 March; Sheikh Maqsood neighbourhood, Aleppo, 13 April; and Saraqib, Idlib, 29 April – there are reasonable grounds to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals were used. It has not been possible, on the evidence available, to determine the precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems or the perpetrator. Other incidents also remain under investigation. [My emphasis.]

                        That's the OFFICIAL conclusion of the commission. Most of the allegations, it says, concerns the use of chemical arms by the government. The report does not conclude that the government did or did not use chemical weapons. Likewise the opposition.

                        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                        by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:56:51 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Carla del Ponte made that statement about the (0+ / 0-)

                      evidence from her investigation, and I quoted her by listening to her video directly as best I could.

                      She is sticking by what she said.

                      I did say past nerve weapon attacks, meaning the weapon attacks she investigated back in May, not to confuse them with the August 21 chem weapon attack.

                      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                      by CIndyCasella on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:11:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Please read this article: (0+ / 0-)

                      UN's Carla Del Ponte says there is evidence rebels 'may have used sarin' in Syria, The Independent UK, May 6, 2013.

                      Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said that testimony gathered from casualties and medical staff indicated that the nerve agent sarin was used by rebel fighters.

                      “Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Ms Del Ponte said in an interview broadcast on Swiss-Italian television on Sunday.

                      “This was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added.

                      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                      by CIndyCasella on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:14:32 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Why did you HR me? n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Orla

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:30:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why am I HRed? n/t (0+ / 0-)

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:41:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm recc'ing this comment because... (0+ / 0-)

            it was hidden as blatant HR abuse.  They might not like your opinions, but that doesn't make it HR'able.

            "There never was a good war or a bad peace." ~Benjamin Franklin

            by kharma on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 04:51:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  If you've given it some thought, please share (0+ / 0-)

          I welcome conversation about the substantive concerns I raised.  

          The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

          by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:18:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  give some thought to your trolling first (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Christin

            You want someone to respond to your oh so very substantive and thoughtful concerns then start by posting them in your own comment rather than trolling someone else's.
            We get it, you don't believe that military action will solve anything, and the rebels did it first, supposedly, oh and the U.S. did nothing in response the CW attacks in Iraq many years ago right?, so let's not do anything now.  Another sternly worded letter, that's an oh so much more moral and superior high horse you got there.  
            Besides, whether kids are getting gassed or whether they're getting bombed doesn't make any difference, so just sit it out up there on your own moral high horse way up above Cristin.  

            •  Trolling? (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              T100R, greenbell, VTCC73, TheMomCat, 4kedtongue

              Hm. Christin lobs a two line Godwin filled comment that if we fail to intervene we are failing to stop a holocaust. Full of substance and well thought out, that was.

              I respond, politely, I might add, requesting whether she has thought throw the possible reasons for intervention and the implications from the actions, but I am trolling? That is about the most disconnected from reality conclusion I have seen yet on DK and I have seen some really asinine ones.

              Finally, you might want to actually read my comment. No where did I say anything about "the rebels did it first". No where did I mention Iraq. No where did I say it does not matter if kids are getting gassed. I addressed the actual merits of whether our proposed intervention will have the consequences we intend. Whether our intervention will save kids from dying.

              Rather than engaging in an emotional, fact free outburst, as you did here, try to engage on the facts of what is being discussed. Or continue with another such screed. I suppose it's up to you.

              The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

              by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:13:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  cenphx.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              freelixir, Tempus Figits

              Knows what my thoughts are. He was in a diary where i had quite a few long comments making it very clear what i believed in. He reccd some of the ones either stating i was a war monger or said I had no idea what I was talking about. I wrote that I had posted enough due my personal feelings on death camps, genocide and slaughter. I was too emotional and it cut too close to home as my mom and her whole extended family were sent to three death camps, two in Yugoslavia, one in Russia. That is what my never again comment refers too.  My comment referred to ALL The people and ethnic groups kos listed.  He knows that as he read the comment about what my mom went through but only recced the response to it. That's fine but i wish he would respect that.

              That is why he now says I am a moral high horse that i have no right to be on. He won't accept my reasons insists i answer all his questions, and thinks  i am not allowed to post a one line comment that expresses exactly what I personally feel without the grilling and insults.  And that, is all I will ever write again about Cenphx.

              "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

              by Christin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:31:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Meta meta meta. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                freelixir

                Are you seriously objecting to my comment to you here, your two line comment, because I rec'd a response to some comment you made somewhere and not your comment? For real?

                Ok, for the record, I often do not rec your comments because I frequently find them to be devoid of any substance, to be poo-flinging and pie filled.

                When I made my comment to your comment here, I did not even think about your previous comments about your mother. I don't keep a running list in my head of the things Christin has said. I did not rec those comments because I believed you were using that experience as a way to elevate your own position on the issue of intervention above that of everyone else, based solely on emotion. Like you did with your offhand holocaust reference here. I find that distasteful. YMMV, but I am entitled to rec what I chose.

                People of good conscious exist on both sides of the issue. If your comments respected that, I would rec them.

                Now that you have successfully derailed yet another diary thread into meta, are you ever going to actually address any of the facts about whether our intervention would stop civilians from being killed? Since you presented, with your first comment, to be concerned about civilian deaths? Can we talk about that? Or do we need to keep talking about meta bullshit?

                The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

                by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:51:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Also, I'm a she. (0+ / 0-)

                  Not that that matters in the context of the current conversation.

                  The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

                  by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:55:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  On one of your questions ... (9+ / 0-)

        ... how will it cripple the enemy's ability to use chemical weapons ...

        ... it won't.

        Without even knowing anything about the military systems, knowing political-speak we know it won't, because if it could, then they would say "cripple" instead of "degrade".

        Now, chemical weapons can be delivered by a wide range of military weapons systems. So what it can do is narrow down the range of chemical weapons delivery systems, possibly down to just mobile artillery, mortars and self-proppelled light missiles ...

        ... but of course, those alone would be quite enough to retain the capability to engage in chemical weapons attacks on the same scale as the one they are claimed to have engaged in.

        If some air power and heavy artillery delivery systems are off the table, it wouldn't be precisely the same capability as the Syrian government has now.

        Hence "degraded".

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:33:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for addressing the substance! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          poligirl, erichiro, schnecke21

          I agree with everything you said. I asked the question because I think people believe that our intervention can stop the use of chemical weapons. It can't and it won't.
          And I am concerned that making Assad more desperate will only increase the likelihood that he does something even more horrible, and he will still have the CW with which to do it, let alone his standard weapons.

          So the point of intervention cannot be to stop the use of CW. We can't accomplish that goal.

          So what is the goal?

          The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

          by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:42:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, what is the goal? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CenPhx

            I dunno. Maybe the attacks would also hurt the ability of the Assad government forces to hurt those elements among the rebels that our government favors the most. We've had this policy of helping the rebels we support in dribs and drabs to avoid a quick collapse of the Assad government, but a side-effect of that is that the elements supported by outside radical Islamic groups who have been less stingy with their support have gained the upper hand in some parts of the country.

            It depends in part on which foreign governments are pushing for this and which are pushing against ... if the Saudis are strongly in favor, that would lead off in one direction, if they are on the fence or opposed, that would lead off in the other direction.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:23:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure of the goal either. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BruceMcF, schnecke21

              More frightening, I'm not convinced our government is sure. It seems like we should be clear on what we want to achieve before we intervene.

              And anytime I consider any of the possible goals (stop Assad from using CW in the future; help the rebels; save civilians from being killed) put forward, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that our actions will not achieve the goal in question and sometimes may even be counterproductive.

              The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

              by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:34:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Is The (Ostensible, Stated) Goal Not Deterrence? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CenPhx

              . . . through strategic air strikes; although the notion of  “strategic” punitive strikes to deter any further use of clandestine chemical weapons does not seem to fit

              •  The ostensible action is to degrade the ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CenPhx, aliasalias

                ... ability to deliver chemical weapons.

                How that ostensible action functions as deterrence when the action is prima facie incapable of actually eliminating or crippling Syria's ability to deploy chemical weapons, even if more strikes of the same kind follow up successive deployments of chemical weapons ...

                ... I dunno. It looks rather like encouragement to use chemical weapons down the track, in order to compensate for the hampering of conventional weapons capabilities resulting from the strike.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:44:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  This has been answered dozens of times (0+ / 0-)

        Why bother repeating since the plain answer just gets ignored by the pro-Assad crowd

    •  Going Godwin in the first comment, nice (6+ / 0-)

      This is not World War II with Assad as Hitler. It's a civil war between two sides. Not just the Assad government but the Shiite minority, Christians and even many Sunnis oppose the rebels. These groups are terrified of what might happen if a Muslim Brotherhood type regime gets into power.

      The U.S. interests are not humanitarian but geopolitical. We see it as a way to isolate Iran, and our ally Saudi Arabia, possibly the most despotic government in the region, would love to install a friendly regime that will help further their economic and strategic interests.

      Meanwhile, many Syrians, while they may oppose Assad, are furious at the idea of the U.S. bombing them and violating their sovereignty.

      •  you all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        Need to stop overusing the word Godwin. Never again applies to all people.   And it means people thinking we will be better then previous generations and do something about mass slaughter, and genocide if that is also happening.

        We don't do anything. So never again  is meaningless when even liberals and progressives admit they will only shrug their shoulders and walk away, while using the justification "hey...we didn't help anyone else either!"

        Hence, from the diary:

        The U.S. has been happy to be spectators to conflicts in Darfur, Congo, Burma, Sudan, Kashmir, Somalia and dozens of other places around the globe.

        We can't be spectators to slaughter, except for all those other slaughters

        "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

        by Christin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:53:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never again refers to genocide (6+ / 0-)

          A civil war between two sides, both of which have committed horrific acts, is not the same thing, so I find the comparison unhelpful. Especially since it stirs such strong emotions from people.

          Every time there is a rush to go to war, people evoke Hitler. It happened before Iraq, and yet as it turned out, we were the perpetrators of more death in that conflict than Saddam.

        •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Christin

          "Never again" was meaningless when it was first pronounced. It was a slogan designed to make people feel better about the horrors of the Holocaust. That's all. Proof? We and the Russians planned and were prepared to kill everyone on earth at 15 minutes notice for forty years. How is that for planned genocide? Everyone. Everywhere. We were simply lucky, that's all. Not morally good or superior, just lucky. And even today, if the Russians or the Chinese started gassing millions of their own people, we would let them do it. Why? Because they could fight back. With nukes. Aimed at us. So all "Never Again"means in reality is: "Never Again if you happen to be a dinky state and if we happen to be paying attention."

          "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

          by Reston history guy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:08:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Kerry (27+ / 0-)

    Kerry kinda lost me at comparing Assad to Hitler, as far as using poison gas, conveniently forgetting we nuked two Japanese cities, which was far worse by every measure, and the administration lost me when they decided to pretend there was no military coup in Egypt, just because they think they can and everyone is too stupid or corrupted to care.

    free the information

    by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:26:52 AM PDT

  •  Just sayin'.... (9+ / 0-)
    Bin Laden's 1996 fatwā is entitled "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places".
    •  yeah (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin

      pesky little details like that.

    •  The point is not the name on the damn thing (5+ / 0-)

      The friggin point is that the PEOPLE BEING BOMBED do not give a damn what you call it. To the people being bombed, it is an act of war. Get it?

      The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

      by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:42:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  just sayin..this might tell us a lot (0+ / 0-)
      ) - President Bashar al-Assad's former defense minister has fled Syria, opposition figures said on Wednesday, noting that General Ali Habib was the most senior of Assad's Alawite sect to defect.

      Habib had been under house arrest since resigning in protest at Assad's crackdown on demonstrators in 2011 but had managed to reach the Turkish border late on Tuesday with Western help, Kamal al-Labwani of the Syrian National Coalition told Reuters.

      Other sources also said Habib had fled but Syrian state television denied he had left his home and Turkey's foreign minister said he could not confirm the general had defected.

      "My Mom is my hero, my angel and I revere her to no end.." Christin, July 6, 2013

      by Christin on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:20:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Super (20+ / 0-)
    Remember when Al Qaeda launched a "limited strike" against the World Trade Center and Pentagon and it wasn't a declaration of war? Me neither. You bomb someone, it's war, no matter how you might want to pretend otherwise.
    Super. One of the finest quotes I have read in a long time.

    I wish you spend more time writing advocating progressive values rather than just 'more democrats'.

    •  Charlie Pierce, as well... (18+ / 0-)

      The Times declines to tell us how many Syrians have to die to enhance the president's credibility with the Iranians. Because when you make war in a place, actual people die actual deaths. Fathers get killed. Children get killed. School buildings and hospitals fall down all around the people inside them. The message you are sending with your missiles gets just a trifle muddled. Make no mistake. If we strike, we will be making actual war in Syria. Ordinary Syrians will not see our missiles as "bomb-o-grams," telling them with every deadly explosion that we're really on their side. We will be another belligerent making their daily lives brutal and deadly, and there will be enough of them to hate us for that to guarantee that we will have to make more war in that place, or in some other place, very soon. That is what we do now. We make war in a place without going to war in a place, and nobody is fooled except ourselves.

      The meme is simple enough: "Regarding Syria, If you support the President, you end up supporting al-Qaeda." No politician, of any party, persuasion, or clique, wants an opponent who will be able to say this in an advertisement.

      by Superskepticalman on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:35:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Brilliant. Now please get our Congress people (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, CenPhx, Boris49

        to read that before the vote.

      •  Charlie Pierce is right (0+ / 0-)

        But unfortunately, we have not as of yet developed the magic wand that makes civil wars and humanitarian disasters disappear in a complex situation such as this.

        And make no mistake, it does not get more complicated than this.

        We didn't start this war, we didn't kill 200,000 Syrian civilians and displace another 2 million.

        War is hideous and messy and a lot of people die horrible deaths.

        It's not only our toolbox that sucks for situations like this, the rest of the world hasn't demonstrated all that much skill, either.

        We just love to bomb shit, it's what we do best.

        And in the end, after all the harumphing on the right about how Obama isn't a leader, and how bad he sucks as commander in chief, most of the righties are going to go along with this for a simple reason.

        Money.

        See, a lot of these senators and congresspeople are in districts that make these bombs.

        Obama knows that in the end, they just won't be able to help themselves.

        As much as they all hate him and want him to fail, their instinct to beat the war drums and the money that goes with it trumps all of that.

        McCain, Lindsey Graham and the rest of the chickenhawk caucus just can't wait to start that next war, they live for it.

        Politically, Obama has really done a brilliant thing here.

        If this gambit fails, Obama gets what I think he really wants, which is not to get involved.

        If it passes, hey, the Congress did it, with a majority of republicans jumping on the bandwagon.

        In the end, only the loony, isolationist wing of the tea party will be against it, along with the democratic doves and some others who may think this vote could hurt them in a future election.

        "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

        by jkay on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:08:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think this is "eleventh-dimensional chess" (0+ / 0-)

          anymore. I really think he wants to bomb something.

          The meme is simple enough: "Regarding Syria, If you support the President, you end up supporting al-Qaeda." No politician, of any party, persuasion, or clique, wants an opponent who will be able to say this in an advertisement.

          by Superskepticalman on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:26:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No way (0+ / 0-)

            He's delayed this as long as he possibly could.

            His hand was forced by events, so he created a "jump ball" scenario, threw it into congress' lap.

            I think if you gave him truth serum, he would say he hopes congress would vote it down.

            He doesn't care about getting reelected, he cares about doing the right thing, and the right thing is not getting involved here.

            "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

            by jkay on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:52:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nah; he's already said he doesn't need Congress' (0+ / 0-)

              approval. He just wants someone to blame if he can't get his way.

              All he cares about is not looking weak.

              The meme is simple enough: "Regarding Syria, If you support the President, you end up supporting al-Qaeda." No politician, of any party, persuasion, or clique, wants an opponent who will be able to say this in an advertisement.

              by Superskepticalman on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:31:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  We're seeing this unbelievable point of view a lot (6+ / 0-)

      I guess it's dissonance reduction: supporting war doesn't fit the self image of some liberal folks, so they simply redefine a few inconvenient words and voila! peace of mind is maintained.

      I'm confident the family and friends of anyone who gets in the way of our Peace Bombs will be comforted.

      By definition, there are no dead kids as a result of our bombs; just some fortunate Freedom Angels.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:06:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I also read about a limited strike on Pearl Harbor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allenjo

      Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

      by olo on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:49:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree. It is almost perfect in its simplicity. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, greenbell, allenjo

      If you bomb a sovereign state, it is a declaration of war.

  •  Oh KOS, you left wing wingnut you ;-) NT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:28:26 AM PDT

  •  Kerry is stuck in his mental "Swift-Boat Prison" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. Voltaire

    by Suvro on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:29:01 AM PDT

  •  so no televising our humanitarian bombing (0+ / 0-)

    I doubt that.

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

    by greenbastard on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:29:35 AM PDT

  •  it just goes on and on (9+ / 0-)

    I remember the hope I had in 2008.  What a fool I am!

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:30:20 AM PDT

  •  Can someone please explain to me how this: (22+ / 0-)
    The president is not asking you to go to war...
    makes any fucking sense, when that is exactly what is about to happen??

    When you shoot at another country, lob munitions at them...it pretty much constitutes an act of war.

    damn.

    We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

    by The Marti on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:30:54 AM PDT

  •  Really friggin' expensive "sternly worded letter." (6+ / 0-)

    F-ing bullsh*t, Mr. Secretary.

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

    by polecat on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:31:12 AM PDT

  •  John Kerry is really working on my last nerve. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freelixir, Yoshimi

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:31:15 AM PDT

  •  I'm wearing my "I'm already against the next war" (7+ / 0-)

    T shirt already, didnt think I would have to so soon after Iraq

    "You can't think and surf at the same time" Yogi Surfdog

    by surfdog on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:31:32 AM PDT

  •  There is so such thing as a little (21+ / 0-)

    pregnant or little involvement in war.   When you open that bottle..the genie is out and there is no putting it back in.  I am so war weary I  could scream.  I stand with Alan Grayson..Every single word.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:31:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm probably naive (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, greenbell, freelixir, PhilJD, DRo, HCKAD

    but I thought Twitter was invented for sending messages. Even cheaper than bombs.

    Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

    by side pocket on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:31:49 AM PDT

  •  Nicely played. (15+ / 0-)
    Remember when Al Qaeda launched a "limited strike" against the World Trade Center and Pentagon and it wasn't a declaration of war? Me neither. You bomb someone, it's war, no matter how you might want to pretend otherwise.
  •  Kerry is completely unsuited (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, tb mare, MrBigDaddy, Boris49, native

    To be SOS--our diplomat-in-chief.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:32:02 AM PDT

  •  Going to go full McNamara, next? /nt (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    redstella, The Marti, tb mare, PhilJD, Boris49

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

    by polecat on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:32:17 AM PDT

  •  This. Nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, HCKAD

    Keep constant watch on your mind. - Dalai Lama

    by redstella on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:32:22 AM PDT

  •  Great observation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, HCKAD, native

    Kerry as SoS is carrying the water for the solution with almost no diplomacy, no UN, no Geneva, just strikes, while Dempsey looks on uncomfortably .

  •  on the merits (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, CenPhx

    Poison gas aka chemical weapons are a horrible thing, and honestly we should do everything in our power to prevent their usage, but our primary problem is that we don't always use our power transparently, and we've lost trust with actual people in that exercise, which is our biggest problem of all.

    Heal that, and also reflect on the terror of a populace who must always wonder if their wedding party or whatever will be blown up by a hidden drone.  Human beings have evolved with great hypocrisy detectors, power seems to want to ignore that.

    Also, it's clear that chemical weapons are not a pivotal military asset, so in the larger scheme of things, nothing was gained by their usage in Syria, which should be the main consideration.  Unless we want to posit that Syria's government is a terrorist operation, I don't see the urgent need to bomb them and kill more civilians.

    free the information

    by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:32:57 AM PDT

  •  Excellent (7+ / 0-)

    Glad to see this here.

    More please

  •  is this about helping the syrian civilians (19+ / 0-)

    or about feeling good about ourselves? because no one has explained what, exactly, bombing will do to protect syria's civilians.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:33:22 AM PDT

    •  I fail to see how using military anything against (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurence Lewis, CenPhx, allenjo, HCKAD, native

      Syria is supposed to make us feel better.  I just don't.  And I don't see how it would help Syria, either.

      We have just got to start finding better ways to do things.

      If not now, when?

      We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

      by The Marti on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:38:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  in the face of such horrors (7+ / 0-)

        it's natural to want to Do Something. but Doing Something doesn't necessarily mean making anything better. and in this case, it has a very good chance of making many things worse.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:40:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hate to imagine this, but it truly seems (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti

          that for some of the most ardent interventionists, the unspoken desire isn't helping actual Syrians so much as reenforcing their own liberal self-image.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:21:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is what I've been struggling with....on the (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD, HCKAD, native

          one hand is my desire to DO something.  On the other, is the knowledge that we have such a lousy track record of doing things.

          I've said for years that our last sensible foreign policy was the Marshall Plan.  And there are days when I'm not so sure about that!

          We have no money for schools or roads or bridges or health care in our own country, but we can afford to go abroad, destroy a country and then rebuild it??  That is just insanity.

          Frankly, if I want to hang out with crazy people...there are a few who are a whole lot more fun, a whole lot more creative, and a whole lot more decent than any of the bunch who think we need to circle the globe ''destroying for peace.''

          Perhaps we need to step back and pay heed to the very sensible:
          When in doubt.......don't.

          We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we refuse to protect the weakest among us.

          by The Marti on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:12:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  LL, this is simple. Just as Saddam was too (5+ / 0-)

      inefficient in murdering his own people (a mere 100,000 or 2 over, what?, 20 years), and we had to show him how it's done...

      If we just show Assad the proper, and humane, way to kill people, such as blowing them to bits, then he'll pick up that he doesn't need chemical weapons to decimate his nation.

      After we've sent that message, if he sends us a message by retaliating in any way, then we can take over his mission -- killing Syrians -- on a much bigger scale.

      It's all about the messaging. And who is the bigger dick.


      Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

      by Jim P on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:54:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  IFTFY (0+ / 0-)
    Can someone please tell Kerry that he's the EX-secretary of State

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:34:32 AM PDT

  •  There is a point in Kerry's remarks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx

    somewhere, but don't expect John "Reporting for Duty" Kerry to know what it is or how to say it.  I think Kerry should put up or shut up.

    But we shouldn't let Kerry's clownishness make our visceral reaction so overwhelming that we don't look at all arguments, pro and con.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:34:51 AM PDT

  •  I never understood this argument. (9+ / 0-)

    Let's assume for a moment that all of the cases Markos cites were equally susceptible to US military intervention--in other words, that they're all in places where we can project military power without a huge mobilization, and they're all situations where the would-be enemy is relatively vulnerable and impervious to other appeals.  In other words, let's assume they're all Syria!  That's a huge assumption, of course, but I'm sure Markos would do the same for me if the tables were turned.

    OK then: what's the logic or morality in saying that because we didn't do right in those situations, we don't have a claim on doing right this time?  This diary is an argument against ever changing your ways, because it would make you a hypocrite.

    I'm not sure what this diary really accomplishes, though, because the super-obvious difference between Syria and those other situations is precisely what Kerry says it is: Assad is alleged to have used chemical weapons, and the others didn't.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:35:44 AM PDT

    •  Reason (8+ / 0-)
      OK then: what's the logic or morality in saying that because we didn't do right in those situations, we don't have a claim on doing right this. time?
      The point is that if someone is giving X as a reason for doing something and X happened so many times before without the person reacting, then that means that X is not the real reason. It means there are other reasons and other interests.
      •  Yes, that's one possibility. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, Jon Says

        The other possibilities include (a) we were wrong in those cases and we don't want to keep being wrong, (b) we didn't have the capabilities in those situations we have in this one, and (c) this one is different in, you know, precisely the way we're saying it's different.

        Yours should be on the table with those others, but the idea that it's the only possibility is tendentious to the max.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:43:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  rich (0+ / 0-)

          you're clearly in favor of bombing Syria, why not just state your reasons and stop counter-arguing?

          free the information

          by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:35:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No problem! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freelixir, Reston history guy

            1) Frankly punitive.  If you're really awful, bad things will happen to you!

            2) Impact the military balance.  Assad isn't winning because he has more support, he's winning because he has better stuff.  One benefit of bombing vs. giving rebels better stuff is that we don't have to worry about exploded bombs falling into the wrong hands.

            3) I weigh the consequences of inaction as part of the overall assessment, eliminating what I see as a structural bias where action has to prove its worth and inaction doesn't.

            You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

            by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:14:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  we disagree (0+ / 0-)

              Most of all that we actually want Assad to lose and the "rebels" to win.

              free the information

              by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:48:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              T100R

              OK, three clear arguments that can be engaged. I am on the other side, but I appreciate that you laid out your position with rationality and clarity.
                  "bad things will happen to you." Well, bad things will happen to somebody. Ironically, it is illegal under U.S. law to deliberately target Assad for assassination. (thanks to the CIA and Castro). We might, of course, just happen to kill him, yes. But given our inability to kill Osama Bin for a decade until a guy with a rifle did the job, I doubt this. We will blow up some runways, airplanes, hangars, and the like. Will Assad feel punished? Maybe. Or maybe he will feel desperate since his conventional assets have been degraded and will use more chemical weapons before it is too late.
                  Shifting the military balance might indeed happen. Given what I know about the rebel forces, that doesn't make me feel better. And John Kerry doesn't feel too good about that either. His "slip" the other day in which he admitted we might send U.S. soldiers in on the ground? He is just as afraid that the rebels will seize the chemical weapons as I am and you should be.
                  The third point is not a reason for action, only a reminder--a valid one--that inaction has a price as well. But it will be the people of Syria who pay any price from action or inaction, not us.  That should lead us to consider seriously the prospect of another war before starting one.

              "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

              by Reston history guy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:26:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Or that this situation is different for one of (0+ / 0-)

        a number of reasons (e.g the use of chemical weapons); or that we think we were wrong previously (e.g our failure to intervene in Rwanda) or we are freer to act either because of the situation or our commitments, or others are acting (such as the African Union in some of the African conflicts cited).

    •  the calculus (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, priceman

      The calculus is not chemicals, it's human lives.  Civilian, most especially.  Do the math, before and after intervention and bombing.

      free the information

      by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:41:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what I've done. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lying eyes, 6412093

        I believe I know with some degree of confidence that if we don't intervene, the war will continue indefinitely and Assad will stop at nothing in terms of civilian deaths, because he's demonstrated that....before all this chemical outrage.  The chance of a peaceful settlement is zero, followed in ascending order of likelihood by a military victory by one side or the other following exponentially more killing and destruction.  

        What I think will happen with a US intervention is the weakening of the Assad regime to the point where the other side can win without that kind of prolonged war.  If I'm right, then I'm vindicated in the belief that US intervention saves lives.  If I'm wrong, it's not clear how things would be worse than what's certain to happen without intervention.  After all, there's no scenario in which US bombing would kill tens of thousands of civilians: it didn't in Belgrade and it didn't in Baghdad.  

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:47:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Does the phrase (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MrBigDaddy, greenbell, DRo, priceman

          "light the fuse"  ring any bells?

          "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

          by EdMass on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:00:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  its not what you've done (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          freelixir, Nada Lemming, CenPhx, priceman

          If you have done. You are basically incorrect in every assumption you make.

          First off Assad is winning the war, and the rebels are in trouble. That is facts from the ground. So this war is not likely to go on indefinitely.

          Second, if assad regimes does fall, noone "wins". The rebel fanatics and terrorist are just as bad.  The war between those groups will just exploded into civil war 2 there. There is already fighting among the rebel groups.

          Third, you say , well bombing cant make things worse...  are you kidding me?  are you paying attention?  What is assad hits back.  What if Israel is shelled?, what is the Saudi oil fields are shelled?  what if one or more of our ships are sunk?  Russia has supplied assad with cutting edge ship missiles you know.  What if Russia gets involved, as we speak they have just sent two more amphib ships down there with hundreds of Russian marines, they aint going on a site seeing tour.  Just today, one of their main cruiser, one deemed an aircraft killer, has just sey sail for the Med.
          How about Hezbollah, what if they attack Israel and Lebanon now becomes a war zone, what if Iran blocks oil shipments?
           You don't think things cant get worse?  and you said you thought this through?  I dont see it in any of your comments.

        •  we're not stopping the war (6+ / 0-)

          and we don't want the rebels to win, don't you get that by now?

          we're just playing this ish out for some reason no one can really pin down

          free the information

          by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:03:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Governments are not formed to "do right" (5+ / 0-)

      You've got them confused with religions (whoa, and oh how well is that working out in the middle east).

      Governments are formed to defend their own people and promote their welfare.

    •  I don't believe there's universal agreement with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell

      your opinion of what is "right".  

      And please note, even you are continuing to use the word "alleged".  Even you have to acknowledge that the evidence is missing.

      •  No, I'm avoiding picking a fight on that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lying eyes

        The antiwar side is divided between people who say there's not enough proof, and those who don't think war is justified even with certainty about Assad using chemical weapons.  I find the evidence convincing, but I'm one of those people who favored intervention before this so I'm not as interested in levels of proof.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:10:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've noticed the same (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, 6412093, red rabbit

      Our "failure" to have responded in each of the earlier unique situations does not mean we should deliberately avoid the unique Syrian situation.  

      The frequently offered argument about the "gross hypocrisy" of the historical behavior of the US doesn't make the case for avoiding this action with Syria.  I think the anti-strike camp should stick to the better arguments they have.

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:02:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is exasperating when I see... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, Satya1

        ...bad advocacy from the other side...but it's way worse when I see it from my side, starting with Kerry and his hyperventilations.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:11:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the correct term is proffered (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boris49

        ...and I will easily and any time make the argument our gross hypocrisy makes the case for avoiding this, name the time and place.

        free the information

        by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:12:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  C'mon (0+ / 0-)

          if you can make it in a concise paragraph, now and here would suit.  If you've got more than that, write a diary.  There are obviously several people that question the helpfulness of that argument - it's not just me.  

          But don't pull that macho "name the time and place" bullshit.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:21:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ok (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Boris49

            I was merely suggesting that I could do it in real-time verbally, but sure I'll lay it down for you in a paragraph.

            People rely on trust.  If you can't trust a person, whatever they say is meaningless.  They say this, you're wondering if they mean that.  They've said this, and you know they meant that.  History confirms it.  Now, we've slaughtered more civilians in the last 20 years than many sociopaths would dream, but we're offended by the thought of civilian deaths?  How many have we killed?  Just in the last 10 years?  There's a military coup in Egypt, and we refuse to call it that, like an 8-year old, because we have to keep that money-weapons-killling machine driving.  We spy on our citizens, and those employees have complete access to anyone they want (before the audit), and we deny that.  We're liars.  Everyone knows it, and no one trust us, and we are not the city on a hill, we're the gated community people could care less about.  It doesn't have to be that way, we can change, we're better than that, we actually have values people can rally behind, if we ever rallied behind them.

            free the information

            by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:44:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm... (0+ / 0-)
              I could do it in real-time verbally
              So rather than write a quick paragraph your suggestion was to find a way to gain closer contact with me so that we would have a verbal conversation in person?

              "name the time and place."

              So a guy with an anonymous ID, who I don't know from Adam, wants to do a face to face with me to say stuff starting with:

              People rely on trust.    If you can't trust a person, whatever they say is meaningless.
              Think about all the above for a moment.  Ask yourself if I have reason to trust your judgment.

              On to your paragraph:

              It is overly simplistic.  People of the world understand the US with more nuance than you give them credit for.  I say this with some knowledge in that I have worked abroad for more than a year in my life at a number of locations and have relatives permanently residing in at least  4 countries.

              Don't ever respond to any of my comments again, please.

              I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

              by Satya1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:00:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. And all this (0+ / 0-)

      really accomplishes is Markos getting in front of the already decided position of the DK community.  (not necessarily a position I favor).

      "Anyone who thinks Obama is like Nixon is a moron. More than that, a F###ING moron". Kos, 5-24-13

      by Lying eyes on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:10:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But isn't that okay? His coming out w/a position? (0+ / 0-)

        I mean, there have been A LOT of diaries from kossacks as to their position. People feel incredibly strongly about this from both sides. Isn't it okay for the FPers to want to take their position and make their case as well?

        I supppose you could say he has more power, more ability to persuade because of who he is, but from everything I have seen lately on DK, kossacks would be more likely to be hostile to a position that Kos takes, rather than join it just because it was his.

        Though I did hate it quite a lot when I read his statements on the NSA which I felt were in opposition to mine, so I see where you are coming from. It is hard to believe in something so much and than have someone with a big voice take the opposite position.

        The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

        by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:32:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am fascinated by the utter lack of imagination (6+ / 0-)

    or inability to see a choice outside of conventional wisdom.  Why reach for the bombers first?  Why is that the instinct that we default to?  This does not apply necessarily just to this arena but to others (like the economy).

    I remember the President's main differentiator from Hillary Clinton was that he represented change - or a rejection of a slavish rehashing of the Clinton years.  Looking at the advisors and the advise - the general constipation in the thinking here is really sad.

  •  Inaction for some means inaction for all? (9+ / 0-)

    Your reason for not intervening in slaughter of innocent civilians is that we don't always intervene?

    Just saying, that is a terrible reason.  Just like saying we let Saddam do it without hitting him, so we should let everyone else do it... conveniently ignoring that administrations have changed like 4 times since then and nearly 30 years have passed and a completely new and different generation is apparently stuck with the sins of our fathers... (What are we, Klingons?)

    I'm fine with someone providing justification for not entering a conflict - but this is not justification.

    You are saying a police officer would be OK in not shooting a guy who's murdering someone right in front of him, because the last time he saw that he didn't shoot that murderer as well.  Regardless of the law saying that the act of murder is illegal.  Regardless of the fact another human being is being killed right in front of you and you have the ability to at-least try to stop it.

    I know some people here are off the reservation and will refuse to ever justify any sorts of military action... there needs to be a meaningful conversation about it, not some knee jerk "Oh, we didn't do it last time" excuse for letting others die.

    A valid argument: We could make it worse... or.... We can't expected to be the world police.... or This plan accomplishes nothing.

    Kos, you are adding nothing to the conversation.

    •  i'll add this (0+ / 0-)

      More civilians will die in the initial bombing and aftermath, how many?  Do you care?

      free the information

      by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:43:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bingo (3+ / 0-)

      As someone trying to listen to all perspectives, I agree.  It doesn't help when Kos tries to set the tone but uses some of the most ineffectual arguments.  

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:12:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Since when did we become the police officer to the (0+ / 0-)

      world....and isn't only the part of the world we select?  

      I think we lack the moral authority and apparent authority.

    •  not quite (0+ / 0-)

          A guy walking down the street hears shots being fired. He walks around the corner and sees bodies lying dead, and a couple of mobs bashing each other. Now he decides that the law must be upheld at all costs, so he shoots a couple of little guys in one of the mobs rather than, say, waiting for someone to find out exactly who fired the gun. That is what we are about to do. The United States is not the policeman of the world simply because we have the most weapons. Might does not make right.

      "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

      by Reston history guy on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:35:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Former President Carter on Syrian Crisis (14+ / 0-)

    Hey Friends,
    Statement From The Carter Center on the Syria Crisis

    ATLANTA....The use of chemical weapons on August 21 near Damascus is a grave breach of international law that has rightfully outraged the world community. The United States and some of its European allies are calling for military strikes on Syria, but apparently without support from NATO or the Arab League.  Predictably, Russia, Iran, and Syria are predicting dire consequences. At Syria's invitation, a U.N. investigation is already underway and will soon make its report. A punitive military response without a U.N. Security Council mandate or broad support from NATO and the Arab League would be illegal under international law and unlikely to alter the course of the war. It will only harden existing positions and postpone a sorely needed political process to put an end to the catastrophic violence. Instead, all should seek to leverage the consensus among the entire international community, including Russia and Iran, condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and bringing under U.N. oversight the country's stockpile of such weapons.

    "It is imperative to determine the facts of the attack and present them to the public. Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must bear personal responsibility," said President Carter. "The chemical attack should be a catalyst for redoubling efforts to convene a peace conference, to end hostilities, and urgently to find a political solution."

    "AMERICA DID NOT INVENT HUMAN RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS INVENTED AMERICA"

    by michealallison on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:36:16 AM PDT

    •  notice the "or" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, red rabbit, HCKAD

      that is the key word in this statement by a man who has deserved to be listened to.

      the whole world recognizes that the UNSC is stuck. That is a reality. The whole world recognizes that "the international community" cannot be the prisoner of this stuck-ness of the UNSC. Yet if anything is going to be done "around" this block, it is only a good thing if it actually has what the UNSC without veto would deliver, namely majority support of the international community.

      if any nation takes things in their own hand just so, that would be like not having a UN at all, not having any international responsibility and accountability - just vigilantism.

      and thats illegal as Carter says, must be in any civilized state of politics.

      If the US actually committed itself to the hard work of gathering the real majority support of worlds relevant states then t retty sure that most liberals would support a humanitarian intervention based on that. Carter himself says with this that he would.

      By using the "or".

    •  Thank you President Carter (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, Boris49, HCKAD, zapus

      for not confusing "response" with "military response." I'm weary of the false dichotomy being put forth:  either we respond with bombs or we do nothing.  So far the argument seems to be either we intervene using bombs, or we sit idly by while Assad uses chemical weapons. Pres. Carter's statement rightfully points out that responding does not have to be with missiles, while at the same time does not have to appear weak and has the bonus of following international law. There are other choices and The Carter Center has outlined several that should be explored.

      “No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people.” ~ my Senator Elizabeth Warren

      by Domestic Elf on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:05:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Using chemical weapons was Assad's way (0+ / 0-)

      of telling the world there is not going to be a "peace process", or "political solution" that doesn't involve him still in charge.

  •  It's time this nation joined the world - (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx

    Make the United Nations a strong governing entity, and then we can solve these problems as a world, rather than as one nation playing nanny on other 'less enlightened' nations.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:36:29 AM PDT

  •  Somalia (5+ / 0-)

    I think we did a little more than being specators there.

    •  And it worked out so well. Just as good as (0+ / 0-)

      it will here.

      In fact, can anyone come up with an example of when our intervention has worked out well?  Since WW II?

      •  Bosnia and Kosovo (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093, Christin

        Worked out pretty well. Both much better than the critics and doomsayers predicted. (quagmire!). Panama has also worked out pretty well additionally.

        •  Kosovo went pretty terribly if you happened (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gustynpip, greenbell, Boris49, priceman

          to be an ethnic Serb.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:59:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Syria is not the Balkans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gustynpip

          I know its heralded as the reference to interventionists to hope for.

          I cannot find any part of Syria that is going to declare independence, we don't have many friends in the area either, bring in Israel and all bets are off.

          "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

          by LaFeminista on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:04:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Even if I grant that those were successes, which (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not sold about even though it could have been even worse, that's still pretty damn low odds.  

          •  What not to find successful about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikidee

            Bosnia? We helped end a years long civil war. There are no more rape camps. The peace via the Dayton Accords has held for almost 18 years now. No US combat casualties. No WWIII. No quagmire.  War criminals have been successfully prosecuted. Croatia has a successful economy now, is a top tourist destination and an EU member. Serbia is  a democracy now, Milosevic was sent to the Hague for trial and unfortunately or not died prior to verdict. Serbia is on the verge of EU membership as well.  What is the failure there? I think it worked out about as well as anyone could have planned.

        •  The facts are not on your side on that one. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Boris49

          Per Noam Chomsky on Serbia:

          the facts, which happen to be richly documented from impeccable Western sources. What they reveal is unequivocal. The NATO bombing did not end the atrocities but rather precipitated by far the worst of them, as had been anticipated by the NATO command and the White House. The conclusions that are so richly documented by the Western records are reinforced by the indictment of Milošević, issued by the International Tribunal at the height of the bombing. With a single exception, the crimes charged follow the bombing.
          Here is the whole article, though he wrote several others which also disproved your point: LINK

          The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

          by CenPhx on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:13:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I remember one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer
    Remember when Al Qaeda launched a "limited strike" against the World Trade Center and Pentagon and it wasn't a declaration of war? Me neither. You bomb someone, it's war, no matter how you might want to pretend otherwise.
    I remember the 1993 bombing, which wasn't considered a war.   even the WTC bombing in 2001 wasn't goint to be a war.  It took hitting the pentagon to do it.

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:38:35 AM PDT

    •  I doubt this very much (0+ / 0-)
      even the WTC bombing in 2001 wasn't goint to be a war.  It took hitting the pentagon to do it.
      The scenes we all remember are the WTC buildings crumbling, people trying to outrun the debris cloud, the firemen raising the flag on the rubble, etc. I've never seen a T shirt or bumper sticker with the Pentago and "Never Forget" on it. The deaths of thousands people people would certainly have been sufficient for war.
      •  But there are such stickers (0+ / 0-)

        and also a Virginia license plate with the image of the Pentagon and 9-11-01... which you see often if you live in the DC area. The fact that you didn't see them, doesn't mean they don't exist :-)

        •  I didn't say they didn't exist (0+ / 0-)

          But they are not  popular items the way 9/11 is. The Pentagon, if it is mentioned at all, is done as an afterthought. It just didn't bring up the emotions that the WTC did. The point being that the WTC without a hit on the Pentago or the crashing of the other jet would have been enough for military action.

    •  that shouldn't have done it either (0+ / 0-)

      we lost our cool there, the best approach to terrorism was always dismissing it publicly and pursuing it privately, war is a much bigger thing people have forgotten about because now we're in a permanent state of kinda-war

      free the information

      by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:57:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So I guess Kerry was opposed to war before he (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, Mother Shipper, Yoshimi

    supported it.  How almost oxymoronic to have a SOS beat the drums of war as quickly and as loudly as he.

  •  Kerry wanted to be SoS in the worst possible way. (10+ / 0-)

    And now he is being the SoS in the worst possible way. Talk about fulfillment of a wish.

    "For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." - President Barack Obama, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013.

    by surfermom on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:39:17 AM PDT

  •  I'm so glad we stayed out of Kosovo. (5+ / 0-)

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:39:21 AM PDT

    •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Coss

      because military action never solved anythi......oooop.

    •  Kosovo has significant coal deposits (0+ / 0-)

      of course we intervened.

      •  This kind of shit should be mocked. (0+ / 0-)

        You're stating that Clinton got us involved in Kosovo so we could profit from their coal deposits?

        That should be easily provable by now.

        Money doesn't talk it swears.

        by Coss on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:02:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mock if that's your thing. (0+ / 0-)

          There are a host of humanitarian war opportunities Clinton passed over after Rwanda... most of them right next door to Rwanda.

          He waved off on every one of them.

          So, no. I'm particularly unimpressed with Clinton's chops as a humanitarian warrior.

          He 'regretted' Rwanda...had a sad... then ignored a genocide in central Africa that was between 10 and 20 times more deadly.

          •  Yes, he acknowledges as such (0+ / 0-)

            And now this entire community is demanding a Democratic president also not intervene in war crimes. And I predict if Obama listened you'd later criticize him.

            Still doesn't support your coal deposits claim.

            Money doesn't talk it swears.

            by Coss on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:54:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The coal is there and our interventions (0+ / 0-)

              are highly concentrated

              1. in places that have valuable location or goodies or both and
              2. against regimes that have offended us one time too many,
              3. prior behavior, good or bad, of said target regime is not a consideration and
              4. neither is prior body count

              I think Syria's covered by all four factors we use to decide which wars to have and which to not have.

              I think Rwanda failed on all four.

              I think Kosovo passed too.

              Why get your hackles up about a heuristic that works for your cause du jour?

    •  Another inapt historical analogy (0+ / 0-)

      In Kosovo we were trying to get the Serbs to withdraw.  Here, there's nothing to withdraw to.  It's a civil war.  So Vietnam is a far better historical analogy.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:05:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is only one step in a larger process (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Shipper, HCKAD

    everyone should calm down

    "This is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators speculators to slaughter," Kerry said.
    There, fixed.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:40:38 AM PDT

  •  The alternative to spectating genocide... (2+ / 0-)

    is unpalatable? I find obliterated bodies of children on the cover of Time similarly unpalatable, but that's just me. I consider the use of chemical weapons as the "new normal" to be unpalatable, but again, I call the cops when someone is getting raped and screaming for help rather than walking by like nothing is happening.

    And what is "the smart thing" of which you speak?

    So far I've seen hundreds of arguments as to why degrading Assad's ability to deliver bombs on a civilian population is a bad idea, yet not one alternative other than throwing up our hands and chalking it all up to the inherent awfulness of humanity or getting in a time machine and revisiting every dumbass foreign policy decision we've made in the ME since the Six Day War.

    We've got nothing but awful and worse choices to choose from here. Let's not pretend that there is a palatable resolution to this.

    •  You have a weird idea of what genocide is. n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Oh sorry, 100,000 civilians isn't enough?.... (0+ / 0-)

        Please let us know when they hit the magic number.

        I know, I know....Putin tells us to just relax, everything is cool.

        •  100,000 killed by Assad? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CenPhx

          So he killed everyone in the entire civil war, and the rebels are completely blameless?

          There is killing and horrific behavior on both sides. The rebels were recently video taped by the New York Times forcing prisoners to act as suicide bombers.

          But you'd have us swoop in and bomb the government side, because it serves America's strategic interests. Disregarding the fact that a radical Sunni bloc might then take power and slaughter the Shiites. Human rights indeed.

          •  he started the war (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jon Says

            If we are going to blame the US for all the civilian casaulties in Iraq since the invasion on the theory that "We started It" than the to be consistent, all of these deaths are Assad's fault as well.

            •  Of course the U.S. deserves blame (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CenPhx, freelixir, Reston history guy

              There would have been no civilian casualties absent a U.S. invasion. You make it sound as if you doubt the fact that Bush is responsible for those deaths.

              With Syria, it's much more difficult to assign blame. What we have is a civil war, with the government, the Shiite minority and the other groups aligned with Assad on one side and the Sunnis on the other. What Assad did initially is no different from what our ally Bahrain did when the Arab Spring hit their country, and they brutally suppressed the protests with the tacit approval of the U.S. What about the role of foreign powers such as the U.S., Qatar and Saudi Arabia of pouring weapons and foreign fighters into the conflict - surely that has contributed to the killing as well.

        •  Two points. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CenPhx, freelixir

          1.  Look up genocide.  No, 100,000 killed in a war with about 25,000 civilian casualties isn't enough.

          2. By your definition, the U.S. committed genocide in Iraq.  We killed well over 100,000 there in our fun illegal war, a lot of them civilians.

        •  Well you see it's like Cambodia (0+ / 0-)

          The US goes to war like a blundering giant in the neighbor next door and pretty soon the whole mad carnage spills over to the neighboring country.

          This is actually the neocon plan and they don't care how many people have to die for it.

  •  Getting all righteous (0+ / 0-)

    About all this is not going to help anything , present your case team obama , then stfu , or you end up sounding like dick cheney is on your team

    This is where the obama team meet failure once again , they think negotiating with the TEA GOP will give them some kind of legitimacy , when in fact it just makes them look weak and as dysfunctional as they are  

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:43:15 AM PDT

  •  Don't forget that we are also spectators to... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Shipper

    our own slaughters.

    And Kerry's real position is Secretary to Sen McCain.

    The modern Democrat is one who promotes old GOP ideas and calls them progressive in comparison to new GOP ideas.

    by masswaster on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:45:32 AM PDT

  •  LOL. "Armchair Isolationism." (6+ / 0-)

    I understand the intended irony of terms such as "Armchair General" or "Keyboard Warrior", which are intended to paint an incongruous picture.  But "Armchair Isolationism" actually makes sense. I mean, what better and easier kind of isolationism is there? Maybe  "Hammock Isolationism"?

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

    by bigtimecynic on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:45:34 AM PDT

  •  Military policy follows foreign & domestic policy (0+ / 0-)

    whether prudently or not. Always has, always will, like it or not. Which is why Kerry & Obama are leading on this (if "lead" is the right word), not Dempsey, who will do as he is told (or resign in protest), whatever reservations he might express to them in private. That's the way it's supposed to work.

    The constitutional chain of command goes directly to the president, but the policy chain of command on military action goes through State.

    As for the other stuff (i.e. whether to do it or not, and if so how and to what end), I haven't made up my mind yet, except that if it ends up that us going it alone without UN approval or international support with very limited strikes not involving boots or alliances with the rebels, what's the point?

  •  So when Syria sinks one of our cruise missile (6+ / 0-)

    destroyers, we will forgive that as a limited military action merely intended to degrade our ability to launch an illegal attack... right? I mean, as long as no civilians die and the scope of the attack is limited to degrading our abilities, it's all cool.

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

    by bigtimecynic on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:47:55 AM PDT

    •  Or when the Russians (0+ / 0-)

      shoot down a few cruise missiles?  

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:08:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oddly, they're supporting the US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freelixir

        The Russian foreign minister has indicated that, if the UN indicates that Assad's government was responsible for the chemical weapon attacks, they might support the U.S. intervention.

        Everyone's innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:35:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and that's good (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Geogre

          go through the process, don't jump it, no responsible party in the world wants chemical weapons to be used, and all will prosecute a leader who uses them against his own people, if that's indeed the case, let it play out

          free the information

          by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:01:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah: My own point of view (0+ / 0-)

            I don't want the president to strike at Syria or not, but if I had a perfect world, I'd have us be internationally obligated and involved as an equal.

            I think international treaties are great, but we'd need to really undo Bush:
            1. No more War Powers Act, much less its AUMF's
            2. Put our people under the UNHCR
            3. Make our people subject to war crimes charges
            4. Use sanctions on whole and well countries, with force basically never, and use force only when there is a broken state.

            When it comes to Russia, I think there's probably a quid pro quo.

            Everyone's innocent of some crime.

            by The Geogre on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:32:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  We are putting ourselves in danger (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antirove, allenjo

    Every time we carelessly and arrogantly decide to bomb a Middle Eastern country.

    Anwar Al-Awlaki: A moderate radicalized by the War in Iraq

    Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: "motivated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a desire to defend Islam."

    Already, there is angry and fury by many in the Middle East at this proposed action by Obama. What happens when if we get drawn into a prolonged, bloody conflict like Iraq? How many new terrorists will the bombing of Syria that so many here are urging create?

    •  Our real national security interest should be (0+ / 0-)

      avoiding creating more terrorists.

      To stop the wars, the drones, the interfering in foreign countries.

      How many new terrorists will the bombing of Syria that so many here are urging create?
      Continuing to enrage those in the Middle East, by the actions of the US, is doing nothing to make the US safer, quite the contrary.

      The US just keeps creating more terrorists.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:29:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I seem to remember writing a diary on this (3+ / 0-)

    ;-)

    Gosh he so wanted Hagel's job.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 10:49:35 AM PDT

  •  the curious choice to sit back or take action (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, dinazina, freelixir, HCKAD
    "This is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter," Kerry said.
    It is curious that many of our leaders are perfectly content to be "spectators" when Americans are slaughtering other Americans -- whether through fracking, allowing our aging infrastructure to rot in disrepair, passively accepting a "new normal" instead of creating jobs, grabbing or threatening to grab the earned payments Social Security recipients or wounded veterans have every right to expect, making questionable foreclosures on mortgages, paying inadequate wages, providing no benefits (in part by allowing no one to work 30 hours a week), raiding pension plans of acquired companies and shipping the jobs from those companies overseas, denying health care coverage or needed treatment on the flimsiest of excuses, refusing to enact reasonable gun control measures, stealing small investors' funds by allowing Wall Street to get away with all sorts of thievery, etc.  

    It is curious that many of our leaders feel morally superior, despite America's use of chemical weapons in VietNam, for instance, or despite the fact that under Mr. Bush, the country violated many international laws.

    It is curious that many of our leaders are fine with letting starving children and starving adults in various parts of the world fend for themselves.

    Yet when an overseas head of state does something that threatens the oil supply available to America -- and when there is a chance for the military-industrial complex and related corporations to make a few hundred billion -- everyone is immediately up in arms, anxious to use arms to quash those evil forces overseas and "send messages" to whomever.  

    They just don't seem to realize (or care about) the message this ever-so-smug country has been sending, via its policy of "exceptionalism," for the last number of decades.  

  •  You Bomb Someone, That's War (0+ / 0-)

    "You bomb someone, that's war."  No, it's not.  A bombing is not a war.  It may be an act of war, but an act of war is not a war, and need not lead to a war.  We bombed targets in Serbia under Clinton, but how often, in lists of American wars, do you see "the Serbian War?"  A bombing may produce tens or hundreds of casualties; wars produce tens of thousands of casualties.  Invading Panama in 1989 to capture Noriega was certainly an act of war, but it was in fact not a war and did not lead to a war.

  •  Who will be the first person to die (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrBigDaddy, greenbell, CenPhx

    for John Kerry's erroneous historical analogies.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:01:10 AM PDT

  •  Really audacious to claim the moral (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx

    high ground, when "we" been pissing on it for the last 60-70 years.

    "Drudge: soundslike sludge, islike sewage."
    (-7.25, -6.72)

    by gougef on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:01:22 AM PDT

  •  Might be to put pressure on (0+ / 0-)

    sequester, debt ceiling and continuing resolution....

  •  Few of the supporters of intervention in Syria (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx

    seem to consider what happens next.

    Whether we intend to prolong the war, that's a very likely outcome. Who benefits from that? Are we fighting on behalf of al-Quaeda? ...or is our desired conclusion a Syria fatally and permanently splintered into warring mini-states, locked in mutual hatred and spiraling into an endless abyss of ethnic cleansing and escalating violence?

    There are few possible near-term futures for tormented Syria that aren't even worse than the awful present. If we add to the carnage, we hasten the realization of one of those futures.

    The ardent advocates of Peace Bombs might stop to consider that.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:02:11 AM PDT

    •  Are we fighting for Assad? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil

      Look, an argument by consequence is not going to get us anywhere.
      1. It will "likely" lead to more war?
      How likely? How do we know this?
      2. It will likely strengthen the insurgents?
      How would it do that? If "it" is eliminating chemical stockpiles and air capabilities, is that going to tip the balance?
      3. It will "give the country to al Qaeda?"
      al Qaeda does not care about the "near target" of regional leaders, but rather the "far target" of the U.S. Salafist groups, though, ally with al Qaeda from time to time, and these are quite dangerous, as they ignore the Koran's prohibitions on killing muslims by saying that "bad" muslims are worse than infidels.

      The status quo would not be strengthened by any strike (couldn't be), but which way the change would occur and the degree of it is impossible to predict. After all, one of the arguments against the strikes is that they won't do anything militarily but hit 100% civilians. That would tip things for Assad. He's no hero, either.

      Everyone's innocent of some crime.

      by The Geogre on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:34:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The neo-cons have it all planned out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD

      Just because they aren't announcing it to the folks doesn't mean there is no plan.

    •  Nobody is "ardent" that bombs be dropped (0+ / 0-)

      It's a horrible situation. I understand objections to use of force and commitment to non-violence. But mischaracterizing people's motives cannot possibly help you along the path of righteousness.

  •  Logic for giving up on stopping any slaughter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093

    By this logic, we should never attempt to stop any slaughter. If genocide was taking place, would you argue that we should do nothing because we have been inconsistent and have failed in the past? Or, do you favor letting anyone who has control of a regime slaughter with impunity?  If we are going to give up on stopping the use of chemical weapons, what next? Should we eliminate the genocide convention? Or should we say that these are simply goals and that anyone who wants to break these international laws can do so with impunity because we will come up with reasons to support inaction?

  •  Despite my respect for you, KOS, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Geogre, 6412093, mrblifil, zapus

    I don't find your argument persuasive.

    It seems clear to me that the administration has not been itching to join the fight in Syria--either to stop the slaughter or for any other reason.  The President has consistently made clear that while he is appalled at Assad's thuggery and favors deposing him, he does not want to involve the U.S. militarily in the Syrian struggle.

    But, he has also made clear something that makes sense to me: Defying the (almost) century-old international prohibition against using chemical weapons on civilians marks an unacceptable escalation of inhumane thuggery.  President Obama's position seems to me roughly analogous to that of a harried principal of a rough high school who has given up on preventing all bullying in his high school because he simply hasn't the resources to do so.  But, when the day comes that some kid brings a gun to school and starts shooting people, the principal knows that he must act.  I personally think that any country that uses chemical or biological weapons must be punished.  Else, those non-conventional weapons will come to be accepted as conventional.

    I am not unaware of instances when chemical weapons (and even nuclear weapons, as a commenter above pointed out) were used and were not punished.  I don't think, however, that the failure to be consistent should be used as a rationale for accepting the use of chemical weapons as the new normal.

    As for your statement,

    If Kerry wants to lead a new glory era of U.S. engagement in international affairs, he can lobby Congress for more developmental aid—the kind of billions that can prevent new wars, rather than exacerbate existing ones by dropping bombs.
     

    I agree that that is the sort of foreign policy I would like to see more of.  At this particular point, however, I don't think any such policy (even if it were politically feasible) would accomplish much in Syria.  (I think we're already sending considerable humanitarian support, but the chaos appears to have gone far beyond the capacity of that support to accomplish much.)

    I am something awfully close to a pacifist.  I absolutely hate violence of all sorts.  I hate it when I am driven to the conclusion in civil affairs that the police sometimes need to draw weapons and use them.  I hate it even more when in international affairs I am driven to the conclusion that nations must do so.  I am fully aware of my rank hypocrisy in that I have counseled my children, and I will counsel my grandchildren never to enter the military, where they can be compelled to kill and be killed for reasons good or bad.

    All that said, I cannot imagine that we want to allow the use of chemical weaponry against civilians to become the new normal.

    •  except (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrBigDaddy, freelixir

      the US has been involved in this civil war almost from the beginning. We have been funneling arms (in increasing amounts and capacity) and money to the insurgents.

      we are hardly a neutral party to this picnic

    •  so instead (0+ / 0-)

      we want nations to just start bombing other sovereign nations anytime they think , well you crossed this or that norm?

      Are you willing to risk your life, or your kids life on this?  if not, dont ask others to.

      As for the use of chemical weapons, bombing isnt the only option, never was.

    •  not a new normal (0+ / 0-)

      we have one incident, it's not a new normal - we could just as easily paint the picture to Assad that a second incident results in his death, that would actually be more effective than a bombing run

      free the information

      by freelixir on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:06:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An Act of Two Wars (0+ / 0-)
    Remember when Al Qaeda launched a "limited strike" against the World Trade Center and Pentagon and it wasn't a declaration of war? Me neither. You bomb someone, it's war, no matter how you might want to pretend otherwise.
     
    An act that called for a total Middle Eastern makeover run by the neocons.
  •  If Assad would let the UN, ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrBigDaddy

    or some other qualified organization come in to Syria and remove all of their chemical weapons, and dismantle their CW manufacturing facilities, I would forgo a military strike. Then they can get back to killing each other.


    Someone has to be held responsible for the chain of custody in determining the authenticity of my life. I’m getting a lot of false positives.

    by glb3 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:14:43 AM PDT

  •  Really? (7+ / 0-)
    The U.S. has been happy to be spectators to conflicts in Darfur, Congo, Burma, Sudan, Kashmir, Somalia and dozens of other places around the globe.
    I seem to remember the U.S. sanctioning the heck out of Sudan and supporting an indictment to the world court. But we were "happy spectators?"

    We were "happy spectators" in Congo, too? The sanctions don't count again, right?

    Kashmir is an interesting case we should come back to, because I assume you have a clear indication of an aggressor there. Someone in Kashmir was using chemical weapons or biological weapons? Someone was using aircraft to deliver banned weapons against people with small arms?

    As for Somalia, I must have hallucinated Bill Clinton's aid and interdiction.

    In fact, Marcos, intervening is not always one thing. The U.S. does not automatically go to war, go to Iraq, go to Vietnam, or go to Hell because a president wants to act punitively against a nation that uses internationally indicted weapons.

    I'm not in favor of Obama's actions, but the level of histrionics and hyperbole involved in this hyperventilation leave reason far, far behind. The facts should be enough. It's enough to oppose the action because you don't believe the president, but then we have to explore why.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:26:28 AM PDT

    •  Good point. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      Let's drop the hyperbole and the conspiracy theories that some are proposing and lets argue whether an attack is productive or not. Done.

    •  Good luck with that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Swig Mcjigger

      The purveyors of noise have found the magic elixir: just equate the existence of military capability with "waging war" and all conversation is ended.

      •  Oh, let's respect each other (0+ / 0-)

        I think most of the people who are arguing variations on the "Cruise missiles mean Iraq" and "Anything we do will be wrong" are not selling anything. The problem as I see it is that they're emotional, and they believe that something is happening that is not provable at this time.

        Believing that there is a secret agenda to striking at the chemical weapons in Syria is something everyone is free to do. A huge number of people were burned by 2003.

        My question is how quickly and overwhelmingly this site assumed an "everybody knows the stated reasons are a lie" tone. We could be yelling about the drone program, because right now that is a war-making power that does not fall under the purview of the military, and therefore not Congress. It's this and the next president's sole discretion.

        The Syria stuff is being done all legally. The drone stuff is being done in the dark, and our reporters miss the boat (and the ocean), but count the diaries here on "OMG! Syria must not be touched."

        Everyone's innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:12:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Slight tangent (0+ / 0-)

    So, is it just me, or does it look like John Kerry has had some pretty awful plastic surgery?

    Here's John in 2004: http://www.google.com/...

    His chin looks very different, and his cheeks have puffed up a lot.

    This isn't a matter of substance; I was just kind of jarred to see a photo of him because I barely recognized him.

  •  Good question from The Nation (5+ / 0-)

    The Nation has an excellent editorial, "The Case Against Military Intervention," outlining both pragmatic and humanitarian reasons to oppose the AUMF.

    In light of this summer's affairs, I thought that this question was particularly important and very telling.

    And Washington’s recent assent to the bloody coup in Egypt raises serious questions. Why does the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Cairo, and the killing of some 1,000 unarmed protesters, elicit little US response, while an attack killing perhaps the same number of civilians outside Damascus brings missile strikes?
    All General Sisi got was a sternly worded letter---and then more weapons.

    http://www.thenation.com/...

  •  War = Diplomacy by other means (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, mikidee, godotnut

    I hate to be the guy who picks apart what someone says by focusing on the sentences rather than making an alternative argument on the subject. However, this piece is so laden with one-liners -- trying to make the argument by scoring with one-liners -- that it calls out for this treatment.

    SecDef runs the Pentagon, not US policy in dealing with other nations. It is far more appropriate for Kerry to make this argument than it would be for Hagel. We want State to running our diplomacy, rather than the Pentagon. If it were the other way around -- if it seemed the military were leading a drumbeat to war --  you'd be apoplectic.

    Moving on...

    If only the pure can make a stand on principle, then we might as well all just give the fuck up. We're doomed to incinerate each other, and we have no hope of addressing climate change before we do incinerate. Moreover, we had elections to replace the amoral fucks who ran the gov't before. Let's applaud having leaders who think international law and the laws of war mean something.

    Sure, they pick and chose their battles and elevate some proscriptions over others. So what? Some proscriptions are more serious. That's why there is a separate convention on chemical weapons to begin with. It assumes that wars will continue to be fought notwithstanding other rules.

    To compare it to other slaughters we've ignored really misses the point. Why not compare it to the Syrian slaughter we've largely ignored? We're not responding to the war, but to the use of proscribed weaponry.

    As for whether it will help -- be careful what you wish for. In essence, you're carrying the water for McCain's argument to make a more vigorous assault to depose Assad. That level of response  -- to intervene on one side in a civil war -- is not so well-founded in international law.

    It's also not smart diplomatically or politically, which is something McCain doesn't get. Sure, we can decide to to do better in arming the resistance, but that should be a separate issue based on national interests -- totally apart from a direct strike to punish the use of chemical weapons.

    Also, as the Administration argues -- this isn't just about making things better in Syria. It's about stopping the use of chemical weapons there AND deterring other despots and rogues from using WMD.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 11:38:00 AM PDT

  •  Kerry is an embarrassment. Secy of Aggression. (0+ / 0-)

    What is the doublethink that allows Kerry and Obama to think that dropping a bomb is not a declaration of war?

    Stop the insanity!

  •  ??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Swig Mcjigger
    Remember when Al Qaeda launched a "limited strike" against the World Trade Center and Pentagon and it wasn't a declaration of war?
    Is the US at war with Libya? With Bosnia? Even the so-called "war" against Afghanistan was in coordination with Afghanis in opposition to the Taliban. Are we at war with Pakistan?

    Military action does not always equate to "war." If you need to object to military action by proclaiming any and all activity amounts to "war" you need to go back and find more solid underpinnings for your arguments not to intervene.

  •  Deja vu (0+ / 0-)

    Who else remembers the endless litany about how, if we didn't continue thrashing around in southeast Asia, our allies couldn't trust us anymore.  This was at a time when most of them were wondering why we didn't just get out.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:36:56 PM PDT

  •  Regional Importance (0+ / 0-)

    Markos' comment overlooks the regional significance of Assad relative both more dangerous neighbors (Iran) and our allies (Israel). This is one of the reasons I do not feel Syria is akin to "Darfur, Congo, Burma, Sudan," etc.

    "Microscopes are prudent in an emergency." -- Emily Dickinson

    by godotnut on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:27:35 PM PDT

  •  That's Right (0+ / 0-)

    Pearl Harbor wasn't war, it was just a limited strike to degrade the U.S.'s capabilities.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:28:47 PM PDT

  •  Good Ideas (0+ / 0-)

    "spectators to conflicts in Darfur, Congo, Burma, Sudan, Kashmir, Somalia and dozens of other places around the globe."

    Sounded like the way to go, right?

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