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Tomahawk cruise missile being fired from USS Stethen
Not yet.
Since Monday, with the assistance of numerous Kossacks, I've been assessing the probable count of a vote in Congress for or against a resolution giving the president authority to make a military strike on Syria. I've been tracking five websites that include details about what senators and representatives have said regarding their vote or which way they are leaning.

When that vote takes place is anybody's guess. The White House believes that debate could drag on for weeks.

Each of the five websites is using somewhat different wording and different gauges in determining the stance of each member. This has produced different results. Whoever is doing the counting, however, it's clear a large number of members have not yet to make up their minds or at least have not said publicly how they will vote. Which means that activists seeking to persuade them still have a window of opportunity. But the number of undecideds is falling fast.

There is a big difference between now and 2002, when the Senate and House of Representatives passed the authorization to use military force against Iraq.

Back then, most of the opposition came from Democrats. For Syria, most opposition is coming from Republicans.

In 2002, in the House, the majority of Democrats—126 of them—voted against the resolution, with 82 in favor and one not voting. That compares with 215 Republicans who voted yes, and six who voted no, with two not voting. One independent voted no (Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont). In the Senate, 21 Democrats voted against the resolution and 29 voted for it. Among Republicans the vote was 48 for, 1 against. One independent also voted no (Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont). All told, 147 Democrats in both bodies opposed the resolution and 111 voted for it.

Below the fold, I've placed the detailed breakdowns of the Syria whip counts by political affiliation. But here is a summary tally of what the five sites say about how the total vote is likely to pan out on the resolution. Note that not all sites tallied the views of all members.

In the summary below, I have combined categories of yes/leaning yes and no/leaning no.

The Hill's whip count:

Senate
Favor: 22
Oppose: 13
Undecided: 22

House of Representatives
Favor: 28
Oppose: 89
Undecided: 52

CNN's Whip Count

Senate
Favor: 24
Oppose: 16
Undecided: 60

House of Representatives
Favor: 28
Oppose: 93
Undecided: 254
Unknown: 58

Washington Post Whip Count:

Senate
Favor: 22
Oppose: 23
Undecided: 55

House of Representatives (Tallying 300 of 435 members)
Favor: 19
Oppose: 178
Undecided: 103

ThinkProgress Whip Count:

House of Representatives only (Tallying 433 of 435 members)
Favor: 49
Oppose: 200
Undecided or Unknown: 184

FiredogLake Whip Count:

House of Representatives only (Tallying 202 of 435 members)
Favor: 54
Oppose: 135

Details and partisan breakdowns can be read below the fold.

The Hill's whip count as of late Wednesday afternoon:

Senate

• 13 Democrats are Yes or Leaning Yes.
• 9 Republicans are Yes or Leaning Yes.

• 2 Democrats are No or Leaning No.
• 11 Republicans are No or Leaning No.

• 11 Democrats are Undecided/Not Clear
• 9 Republicans are Undecided/Not Clear
• 2 Independent is Undecided/Not Clear

House of Representatives

• 18 Democrats Yes or Leaning Yes.
• 10 Republicans Yes or Leaning Yes.

• 28 Democrats No or Leaning No.
• 61 Republicans No or Leaning No.

CNN's whip count:

Senate

• 17 Democrats are Yes.
• 7 Republicans are Yes.

• 3 Democrats are No.
• 13 Republicans are No.

• 32 Democrats are Undecided.
• 26 Republicans are Undecided.
• 2 Independents are Undecided.

House of Representatives

• 18 Democrats say Yes.
• 10 Republicans say Yes.

• 24 Democrats say No.
• 69 Republicans say No.

• 137 Democrats are Undecided.
• 117 Republicans are Undecided.

• 21 Democrats' views are Unknown
• 37 Republicans' views are Unknown

Here's the Washington Post Whip Count:

Senate

• 14 Democrats are For military action.
• 8 Republicans are For military action.

• 4 Democrats are Against or Leaning Against military action.
• 18 Republicans are Against or Leaning against military action.
• 1 independent is Leaning Against military action.

• 34 Democrats are Undecided
• 20 Republican are Undecided
• 1 independent is Undecided

House of Representatives

(The Post has included information on 300 of the 435 representatives.)

• 11 Democrats are For military action.
• 8 Republicans are For military action.

• 49 Democrats are Against or Leaning Against military action.
• 125 Republicans are Against or Leaning Against military action.

ThinkProgress Whip Count:

(Think Progress has included information on 249 of the 435 representatives.)

House of Representatives only

• 36 Democrats will or are likely to vote Yes.
• 13 Republicans will or are likely to vote Yes.

• 51 Democrats will or are likely to vote No.
• 149 Republicans will or are likely to vote No.

• 113 Democrats are Undecided or their stance is Unknown
• 71 Republicans are Undecided or their stance is Unknown

Firedoglake Whip Count:

House of Representatives only

(FDL includes 189 of 435 members.)

• 41 Democrats are Firm or Leaning Yeas.
• 13 Republicans are Firm or Leaning Yeas.

• 43 Democrats are Firm or Leaning Nays.
• 92 Republicans are Firm or Leaning Nays.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 08:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let's defeat this resolution. (33+ / 0-)

    There's no need for the USA to be involved militarily in Syria.

    Humanitarian aid for the refugees makes more sense.

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

    by sunbro on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:09:09 AM PDT

    •  Amen. (7+ / 0-)

      This whole thing came about because the GOP tried to box Obama in based on his 2012 "red line" comments.  McCain jumping up and down and yelling "You promised, Mr. President! Red line! Red line!" bullied Obama into saying yes, we will attack Syria.

      But as soon as the other arm of this GOP pincer attack began to move (GOOPers in Congress shouting "We have no business in another Mideast war!  The people are against a war--how dare you launch another undeclared war?") the only way out for Obama was to stick to the plan to bomb but make it contingent on Congressional approval.

      So the GOP lions are still snarling, but they are snarling at each other now, except for John McCain, who has to finish his online poker-fest first.

      I'm not sixty-two—I'm fifty-twelve!

      by Pragmatus on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:57:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see it a little differently, as a disaster (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pragmatus

        Sure its a civil war but its also a fire fight with women and children in the middle of it. As a fire fight I observe that what we usually do to fight fires has two fronts. First we try to save as much human and even animal life as we can.

        We provide food, clothing, shelter and medical treatment for people for whom the fire fighting has made staying in their homes untenable. Once you reduce the housing and small businesses to ashes so there is no place to get what you need to live, no place to work or way to get to work its normal for people to evacuate.

        If there were an arsonist continuing to take thousands of lives in the midst of the fire most people would agree that individual needs to be stopped.

        Then we go on to try to control the fire. We make back fires and fire breaks to reduce the ability of the fire to go where it wants, to rise up and become stronger.

        I think with Obama instead of Bush in charge we are liable to see a less reckless much more systematic approach to taking the big problem we can't seem to get a grip on down into smaller problems we can handle.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:46:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Shit - give them priority visa status if (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunbro, Odysseus, PhilJD, water willow

      they want to come to the US.

      And I know how THAT suggestion will go over.

      Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

      by bobdevo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:03:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Libertarians and the Progressives (16+ / 0-)

    will save our bacon on this one.  Here's hoping they make strange bedfellows and block the vote from happening.

  •  The House GOP will not allow Obama to (9+ / 0-)

    act as C-in-C.

    No commanding while black, it appears.

    To excerpt your summaries, MB:

    • Hill: 61 Republicans No or Leaning No.
    • CNN: 69 Republicans say No.
    • WaPo: 125 Republicans are Against or Leaning Against military action.
    • TP: 149 Republicans will or are likely to vote No.
    • FDL: 92 Republicans are Firm or Leaning Nays.

    I really doubt they are opposing Syrian intervention on what you or I would consider the merits.

    As an aside, knowing you are a former editorial ink-stained wretch: are periods at the end of bulleted items required? I usually leave them off, but I see you have used them in most cases.

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

    by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:23:14 AM PDT

    •  I don't like making such assumptions (7+ / 0-)

      Maybe they oppose it because they realize that there are extremist factions in the opposition with ties to AQAP, and they don't want money going there.

      Maybe they think John Kerry is lying to them. Although the existence of the chemical attack is inarguable, Kerry has been manipulating intelligence in his arguments before Congress.

      Some of them are new to Congress, having come in during the wave in 2010. The blood of Iraq is not on their hands. Maybe they aren't hawks. Not all Republicans are. Many hate the party establishment.

      Some, like Justin Amash, are principled in opposition to military intervention. I don't agree with him on everything, but I have a lot of respect for him.

      And maybe they know how to read a poll and they know that the public, across parties, is not supportive of the president on this.

    •  If they aren't sentences, no need for period... (14+ / 0-)

      ...but these are all (I hope) sentences.

      And I totally agree with your take as far as the GOP opposition. There are some "libertarians" who are voting on principle, but mostly it's extremist Republicans, some whom, as Hunter pointed out in his Night Owls piece last night on Jim Inhofe who were drumbeating about intervention a few months ago when they thought Obama would never, ever go there, but are now opposed to intervention. Their reasoning is simple: black man illegitimately in the White House, stop him.

      I hope the non-intervention vote wins, as I have made repeatedly clear. But many of these folks give scum a bad name.

      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 09:33:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was just crossing swords with someone (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Marjmar, CwV, suzq

        in a different diary. I told him that I was opposed to intervention but comments like his made me reconsider, because they were so obviously partisan and anti-Obama as opposed to anti-war.

        Of course, I got my daily ration of "more principled than thou" in response.

        Which is to say, one of the best reasons I can think of to support intervention (other than dead civilians) is the fact that the RWNM is using Syria as a weapon against Obama. When Rush Limbaugh is talking about Syria being a false flag, as is Alex Jones, you know the GOP wants that idea out there. If Obama losing the Syrian vote helps them win in 2014 ... well, as many anti-interventionists have noted, we have problems here at home that need fixing.

        It's getting too complicated.

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

        by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:42:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't give a rat's ass about WHY (3+ / 0-)

          someone votes no. No is good.

          If Inhofe wants to be a contrarian, it nets me the same result as if he suddenly got a brain.

        •  I don't disagree with you (6+ / 0-)

          but I personally am trying very hard to keep US politics and its stupidities out of my own moral reasoning.

          The ethics of the actual situation itself are complicated enough to me, frankly, without trying to add concerns about political winners/losers in domestic politics into the mix. And I never discount the importance of that, by the way -- it does matter, in the long run, very much.

          Unfortunately, the vast, vast majority of the arguments either for or against any number of things involved, in just about all political circles, hit me as just either craven or totally ignorant. The republicans, for the most part, fit in the craven camp here. If Obama's fer it, they're agin'. And yes, I think they are playing off a desire to not see Obama gain any mantle of military authority in US politics, complete with a racist twist.

          Either way, IMO, we can't make this decision -- which will, no matter what we do, have longterm effects on geopolitics -- based on how stupid, frustrating, and ugly the arguments are from anywhere. Or at least I personally don't feel I can let that stuff guide my opinions here. My opinions, of course, will be worth nothing much in the end, but I come by them as honestly as I can.

      •  Another Reason, IMHO. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blue aardvark

        Black man might get Congress' blessing, rally the country around him as we engage in acts of war, and then f'in pull it off somehow, at least by appearance and propaganda, and even if only temporary (ala "Mission Accomplished").

        Can't have that risk the white-right politics of obstruction, or the basis for their racist belief that Blacks are incompetent inferiors.

        “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Brooklyn DREAMer.

        by chuco35 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:57:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I'm quite sure their reasons are ridiculous, (0+ / 0-)

      but I'll be happy because a no vote is a no vote.

      What I'm afraid of, is that after scoring their idiotic points about how he's helping al-Qaeda or diverting attention from the IRS, they'll turn around and vote for war anyway---reverting to neoconservative form, and sticking it to the anti-war left.

      Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

      by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:44:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, since you asked . . . I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      the appropriate punctuation for separating items on a list following a colon, as above where you write, "To excerpt your summaries, MB:" is a semicolon.  So the list would go

      Hill: 61 Republicans No or Leaning No;
      CNN: 69 Republicans say No;
      etc., etc., and so forth, typically down to the penultimate item, which, in this case, would be

      TO: 149 Republicans will or are likely to vote No; and
      FDL: 92 Republicans are Firm or Leaning Nays.

      But really, what you meant is clear, so don't lose sleep over this kind of thing, for sure.

      The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

      by Alice Olson on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:06:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dem aides believe whip count is not reliable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW
    •  It think Sargent's piece makes sense... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zmom, willyr, Eric Nelson, glitterscale

      ...but there is also some whistling in the dark going on among those unnamed aides. This is going to be a very, very close vote in the House and they know it or they wouldn't be working so hard at twisting arms.

      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 09:44:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That fourth point is particularly important (0+ / 0-)

      since what I've seen around here tells me the prevailing "anti-war" argument is only a step or two away from being pro-war.

      Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

      by Zutroy on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:48:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Called my congresswoman... (7+ / 0-)

    ...this morning. Urged her to vote no on military action and yes to humanitarian aid. (Doris Matsui CA-06) Not sure how she is leaning.

  •  thanks for starting the whip count project (7+ / 0-)

    i think you were the first on internet to do this. with the sites you list starting a day or so later.

    i read each one with interest, and look forward to the next!

  •  It's a done deal (0+ / 0-)

    When in the history of America has something like this not been done once the wheels are rolling. Whip count, House vote, Senate, it don't matter. We are bombing Syria, and every one of us is paying for it a little bit when we pay our taxes. It's the way of the world.

  •  We need to start asking positions when we make (7+ / 0-)

    calls instead of just telling the aide how we want our rep or senator to vote.

    We need to start pushing for answers on these undecideds.

    •  Absolutely. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, angelajean

      It's also helpful to say upfront that you are a constituent, (and if you voted for the member to say so----if not, don't bring it up.)

      State your own position clearly and politely, and then ask them if their boss has decided how s(he) will vote. If they say they haven't decided, urge them to decide in favor of your position and that you will be calling back again.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:52:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Called Lois Frankels office (4+ / 0-)

    They stated she has not made a decision and or will not give how she will vote until she casts her vote.

    "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."- Lao-Tzu

    by Pakalolo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:35:48 AM PDT

  •  WOW (0+ / 0-)

        Weeks
         :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
         The leprechaun in me dances.............

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:36:47 AM PDT

    •  break in the comment (0+ / 0-)

          I hope one congressperson does just one thing, for future historians, that is to read into the congressional record, individually the times there's been a bombing of civilians (usually in the tens of) since WITHDRAWAL in Iraq. Not who was, not where, just how many times and how much loss of life.
          I'm taking a break. I'm 62, semi old and need to absorb ALL that I've learned. Debating this now well entrenched war addiction in EVERYONE, all it's plays and diversions is just tooo much.
          A couple points:
          I'm for a limited bomb Assad's assets. MAINLY because of this REALITY. The HAMMER! The only reason, whoever got Saddam Hussein's very well hidden (U.N. inspectors) in the first six weeks after the successful (?) invasion of Iraq {remember the un conveniently unguarded, wide open weapons depots ? } haven't been used is FEAR of the HAMMER.
          The concession is ALL of the TROOPS home by Xmas.
                      WE ARE TIRED of WAR!
          The absurdity that WE are not focused on what could effect US and that My Dears, is Fukushima! Millions of LIVES!
                      WAKE UP!

      March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hate Putin's position on the LGBT community, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo

    but he's actually saying today that HE would back strikes against Assad if it were proven that Assad used chemical weapons.  In absence of such proof, however, Putin is prepared to offer Iran air defense systems if the USA bombs Syria.

    I don't like Putin, but his anti-bombing messages may end up having a positive effect here. Weird.

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

    by sunbro on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:38:18 AM PDT

    •  Putin's position on the LGBT community (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, nogo postal, bobdevo, WheninRome

      is horrific, but still a far cry from the positions of our "Allies" Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain.

      "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:45:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Putin's got all the proof he needs. What he is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sunbro

      concerned about--and what he called John Kerry a liar over-- is the Muslim extremists that appear to be participating in the overthrow of Assad.

      I truly don't think he has any "allies."  He has "strategic partners."  He's not buddies with Assad.  Assad is simply the only person that stands between Syria and a Muslim extremist administration.  

      Don't believe me?  Look what happened in Egypt.  Now the Muslim Brotherhood certainly doesn't equal al Qaeda, but to Putin, it's close enough to make him nervous.

      That's his rationale.  He can probably point to intellegence that connects the rebels to Chechen rebels, for all we know.  I'm not saying his right or wrong, just pointing out that he's more concerned about the Muslim extremist end of things as opposed to whether or not civilans were gassed.

  •  I recognize the opposition to this intervention (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marjmar, JackND, Chitownliberal7, 3rock

    and respect it. And I'd also urge Obama to withdraw from his intentions before it's too late.

    But at the same time: We're not even saying that we "should do something" anymore. We're saying bombing and gas attacks are the same. With the mood the U.S. and Kossacks seem to be in, if Assad spread smallpox we'd do nothing.

    If we're dead set against intervention, we're saying, with open eyes and taking responsibility for it, that gas attacks can be used now openly with absolutely nothing done about it. Nothing.

    If that's okay, sign off on it, and sign it proudly, and standing straight up about it.  

    I won't. And I'm willing to accept my part of the guilt for ignoring this and turning my back on it and remaining impotent on it.  

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

    by Wildthumb on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:41:25 AM PDT

    •  Conflating "not bombing" with "doing nothing" (7+ / 0-)

      is so transparently false that it's bizarre to me that people are still trying to do it.

      "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

      by JesseCW on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:46:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SPELL IT OUT. What do you do? Right now? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JackND

        I get your opposition. What do you do?

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

        by Wildthumb on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:49:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pressure Russia to lock down Assads (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wildthumb, Odysseus, water willow

          chemical weapon stockpiles, in return for killing the gas pipeline across Syria and for guaranteeing that we will not threaten Russian military facilities inside Syria.

          Oh, and I want to stop selling arms to the batshit crazy religious fanatics supplying the liver eaters.

          "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

          by JesseCW on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:53:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for a civil answer. (6+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spit, Marjmar, citizenx, JackND, Wee Mama, 3rock

            I've supported you all along, especially when you were a spokesperson for Occupy. I can't remember a diary that I didn't tip and recc of yours.

            I was in the army in the sixties, got out, went back to college with other Vietnam-era veterans, protested the Vietnam war with them at demonstrations, saw some of my buddies join the SDS; I opposed Grenada, the invasion of Panama, and detested the Gulf War, the entry into Afghanistan, and finally, Iraq. But on this one I thought "a red line" on chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons use was rational, after the world community signed off on it after WWI and in the early nineties.

            Almost nobody agrees with me on that here. That's fine, I accept that. But I don't want you especially, somebody I've supported, to think that I'm a knee-jerk "war monger." It's outrageous if anybody does after my personal history.

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

            by Wildthumb on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:04:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've obviously mixed you up with someone else. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW, 3rock

              Sorry. But my stand on my personal history stands, and it stands proudly.

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

              by Wildthumb on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:06:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Brother (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wildthumb

                    You brought tears to MY eyes. I'm 62. WE are all being manipulated like no time I have seen in over 40 years. The psychological absurdity that where saving lives should be focused, Fukushima is being twisted. I bow to you. I lucked into people who taught me, lucked out & dodged. I bow to you that understand MUCH more & am honored I learned with you.
                     Confusion. WE can handle it :)

                March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

                by 3rock on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 05:55:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Postscript (0+ / 0-)

                      If anyone wants to know what the definition of "Brother" back in the days was and still to this day is:
                       Older than I but the same gen. My brother, saved my younger ass. Will not be forgotten. Will always respect, love, be honored by knowing.
                       You might want to listen to him. You might learn, to learn.
                       Thank You...

                  March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

                  by 3rock on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:26:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We (0+ / 0-)

                       were and are UNITED brothers and sisters of ALL colors. Those that added amen, were manipulative co-opters and were few. We knew who they were, were to busy progressing to give a fuck. Though in hindsight it mighta been better to have decked em.

                    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

                    by 3rock on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 07:23:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  You aren't alone. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wildthumb, 3rock

              I'm not as certain as you seem to be.  But, you are not alone.

              "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

              by Marjmar on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:13:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If you really agree with Clancy's "Ryan Doctorine" (0+ / 0-)

              The assumption being CW/biological weapons = atomic weapons, then we should be dumping a nuke in Assad's backyard.

              No piddly missiles -- let's give him what he's asking for...

              Frankly, I oppose any action BUT humanitarian. Let's stop with the military interventions which do nothing for the civilian population and get our troops killed or injured, and do something constructive instead.

              If we must use our military, let it be to help those that this civil war has chased from their homes.

          •  And we're not pressuring Russia now? (0+ / 0-)

            It seems to me that we're exerting gobs of pressure on Russia.  Things aren't very good with us right now.

            •  As far as I can tell, "pressuring" Russia over (0+ / 0-)

              Snowden and trying to get Russia to support our planned war on Syria seem to be much higher priorities than pressuring Russia to prevent any further use of chemical weapons.

              "But the traitors will pretend / that it's gettin' near the end / when it's beginning" P. Ochs

              by JesseCW on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:09:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  You say that you realize France's historical ties (0+ / 0-)

          to the region and applaud them for standing up and taking action as a message to the whole world that the US is not the sole nation outraged enough to take action, then you turn around and walk away.

          Maybe later give some French folks some medals or something.  

        •  When all of your choices suck . . . . (0+ / 0-)

          do nothing.  It's cheaper.

          Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

          by bobdevo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:04:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Let me turn that around, (0+ / 0-)

          What military action would be effective in stopping Assad? And what happens next?
          I have yet to hear how any "limited strikes" on anything Syrian would work to control Assad's behavior.
          And if we do bomb them, what is our followup?
          Even if, best case scenario, they hit Assad himself, a decapitation strike, then what? Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal? Al Nusra ascends to power? Another Iraq?

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:15:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Boycott China and Russia (0+ / 0-)

          until they support a meaningful response to this outrage.  

          Who is with me?

          Oh, you mean that it might actually hurt us economically?   Easier to soothe our conscious by putting the pain on somebody else?

      •  Economic sanctions... (7+ / 0-)

        ...are one thing. Ban on Syrian official travel. Offer economic incentives to Russia to put diplomatic pressure on Syria. Etc etc.

        There is plenty that can and should be done administratively without bombings.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:50:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is a Russian delegation supposedly... (10+ / 0-)

      ...coming to urge Congress not to support intervention. If the evidence is so compelling, let them see some of that classified information and urge them to get Putin to end his support of Assad.

      After the UN inspectors finish their report on the Aug. 21 attack, go to the UN with the best evidence from everybody. (Not fake sarin in a bottle.) Build support there for a strong INTERNATIONAL reaction, which need not be military. There is, after all, the International Criminal Court.

      And, do things that don't take a congressional debate to provide better help for the millions of civilians in Syria and who have fled into exile. Allow Syrians to apply as refugees to come to the United States as they cannot now do.

      Tomahawks are not the answer. Even the administration has made it quite clear that it does not expect that the limited attack it has said it supports will be more than symbolic. (Unless there is mission creep.) But it WILL be more than symbolic if one of those missiles takes out a hospital or playground instead of an airfield.

      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 10:04:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wildthumb

        I want each and every step you've proposed to be taken.

        But...I'm unwilling to definitively rule out military action.

        "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." ~ Steven Biko

        by Marjmar on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:17:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  For the cost of one tank of bomber fuel (0+ / 0-)

        we can help all of the nations housing refugees to feed and clothe them.

        I heard an interview with a UNICEF official last night who said the refugee situation is under control for now.  Over the long term, things get dicey.

        He also pointed out that there are suburbanites who fled to Damascus.  Things will be ok for them as long as the fighting stays in the suburbs.  Should the war escalate to the capitol, all bets are off.

  •  Will they bring it to a vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Busted Flat in Baton Rouge

    if they know it will not pass?

  •  Whip counts don't do us a lot of good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Without names. Especially ones that are all over the map.  If we had likely decisions for individual members we could be a lot more effective in our calls and emails.
    In the meantime: Have YOU called your two Senators and your Representative today?  Please do. And thanks if you did!

  •  Petition against? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nogo postal

    Is there a petition going against taking action other than Rand Paul's.  I don't want to sign his, rather would like to sign a liberal's petition.

  •  It's not going to pass in the House (3+ / 0-)

    Call me cynical if you like, but here's what's going to happen:

    There are 200 Dems in the House.

    The House GOP leadership will make sure that just enough Republicans vote yes to pass the resolution if all Dems voted yes.  Boehner & Co. will have at least 25 GOP yes votes for the resolution, maybe more if they see that the Democratic opposition bloc is large.

    But, of course, not all Dems will vote yes.  About 50 (my guess) will vote no, and the GOP will provide at least 170 no votes and the resolution will fail.

    Bonehead and Can't-or will get what they want -- they'll say the president didn't make his case effectively enough, and they'll also blame House Dems by pointing out that the resolution would have passed if almost all House Dems had voted yes.

    Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

    by MJB on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 09:48:19 AM PDT

    •  this seems very possible--though if things are (0+ / 0-)

      looking that way, and it's down to 5 or 10 votes, there will then be really massive pressure on those 50 D no votes and some will probably peel off.  But yes, if the GOP only gives 25 yes votes, there's no chance of passage.

      It will be tense...

  •  Any politician stupid ennough to buy into this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, water willow

    deal will never get a $$ or a vote from this spud.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:01:56 AM PDT

  •  This whole thing sucks, but... (0+ / 0-)

    ...it is a fascinating political exercise, if nothing else.

    There's a good chance this is going to go down in flames, then the shit's really going to hit the fan.

    He's going to get hammered from both sides if he goes in after a failure to get a resolution.

    His presidency is toast if that happens.

    The one thing he needs to concentrate on is to do everything he possibly can do to firewall the ACA against the rethug onslaught. Beyond that, he's going to be a total lame duck.

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

    by jkay on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:02:19 AM PDT

    •  if it goes down, he... (5+ / 0-)

      should respond the exact same way that David Cameron did. Say the people have spoken, and obey.

      The 21st century world reaction to use of WMDs will then be, as well it should be, upon the shoulders of the people, whatever you think of that decision.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:22:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed n/t (0+ / 0-)

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

        by jkay on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:23:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but the... (0+ / 0-)

          corollary to that is, that the people who oppose action here (or do claim to want action, but only diplomatic "pressure") really don't have much standing, IMO, to gripe about how horrific war crimes are and how the people who order them or carry them out should be punished, since if using WMD on your own people isn't a war crime, I don't know what is.

          "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

          by JackND on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:27:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't totally buy that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            Matter of degree is important.

            If he were gassing village after village, you start talking about tens of thousands of people, it becomes a tougher call to make if his aim is to "exterminate" his opposition.

            With this kind of limited use, it doesn't rise to the level of a "crime against humanity" IMO.

            He could have just as easily gone in and murdered those people with conventional weapons.

            We can all agree that these weapons are horrific, but I think the distinctions we draw about them sometimes get a little absurd. Getting killed with a bullet or a bomb is just as bad for the victim.

            And the lumping in of Nuclear weapons with other forms of WMD is kind of ludicrous. Nukes are a stand alone argument. Bush lumping them all together was a transparent attempt to grease the skids for war.

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

            by jkay on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:42:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you make... (0+ / 0-)

              good points, but no consequences of modest use of WMD (if any use can be called "modest") would seem to invite an elevation in use.

              I'm also troubled by the new "fad" out there where people are saying "why is a death by WMD more worthy of being a "red line" than the deaths by conventional weapons?
              ". I think this is a rather faulty assertion, and comparing it to domestic gun control can show why. A person who dies from being shot by a simple handgun is no less dead than someone shot by a semi-automatic weapon, but very few are calling for stricter regulations or bans on all guns...rather the red line has been drawn at semi-automatic weapons because they kill more indiscriminately...just as WMD do.

              "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

              by JackND on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:51:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Didn't know this was a new "fad" (0+ / 0-)

                I came up with that idea all by myself, so I'll take the credit or criticism for it without the benefit of a support group of faddists.

                ". I think this is a rather faulty assertion, and comparing it to domestic gun control can show why. A person who dies from being shot by a simple handgun is no less dead than someone shot by a semi-automatic weapon, but very few are calling for stricter regulations or bans on all guns...rather the red line has been drawn at semi-automatic weapons because they kill more indiscriminately...just as WMD do.
                I think people are not calling for gun bans because they know it's not a realistic possibility in this country.

                If I were King, I'd ban all guns except for hunting rifles, and I'm not even sure I wouldn't ban those.

                I hate guns and the people who love them.

                Why somebody would want to go out and shoot a defenseless animal is something I will never understand.

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

                by jkay on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:03:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  perhaps, but I'm... (0+ / 0-)

                  still definitely of the belief that WMD are to conventional warfare weapons as semi-automatic weapons are to handguns. All can make you just as dead, but there are hierarchies (and therefore plenty of room for "red lines") on both.

                  "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

                  by JackND on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:11:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  oh and I'm... (0+ / 0-)

              fine with Bush lumping in chemical WMD with nuclear and biological...nuclear are only a class apart because they not only effect living things but also property...if you only consider effects on living beings, chemical rates right up there with nuclear in my book.

              You do realize exactly how sarin affects (and kills) a body, right?

              "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

              by JackND on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:56:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  This isn't the only way to punish a war crime. (0+ / 0-)

            Should Assad survive this melee...and the final chapter isn't written on that...he doesn't serve with complete impunity.  The world could ostricize Syria from commercial and diplomatic participation, impose economic sanctions and hold a trial in the Hauge--threatening immediate arrest if he should ever leave Syria.

            For more information see, Pinochet, Agosto.

            •  those measures (0+ / 0-)

              are really no better than military ones at harming Assad himself rather than Syria's general population.

              "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

              by JackND on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:58:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Toast? How is he toast if this is what the people (0+ / 0-)

      want?

      I don't understand.  

      I'm not seeing the "rethug onslaught" either.

      •  If he decides to bomb.. (0+ / 0-)

        ....after congress says no, you think the outlook for his presidency is enhanced?

        The republicans use any weapon they can to attack Obama's credibility, even if it's not related to what they are talking about at the moment.

        Their style is totally ad hominem attacks.

        So if he fucks this up, he's will no longer be competent to implement Obamacare, not that he was before, and not that Obamacare didn't totally suck before, but now it sucks even worse because he sucks worse now.

        Get it now?

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

        by jkay on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:12:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You know what? (6+ / 0-)

    I personally don't give a shit whether a person labels her or him self as a R or D, a L or C, a male or female, black or white, a religious or non, a cutey or a zombie.  All I know is that killing people to stop other people from killing people never works and I do NOT want to spend creative energy on killing others.  That's all.

  •  No bombing. D or R, I will not vote for anyone (6+ / 0-)

    who votes for this war.

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

    by Cartoon Peril on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:05:41 AM PDT

  •  Undecided, or undeclared? (0+ / 0-)

    I'd argue that the latter is more accurate. And The Hill wouldn't leave us wondering about the 42 Senators they left out of their count.

    Mark Twain: It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

    by Land of Enchantment on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:15:42 AM PDT

  •  Kerry at it again? (0+ / 0-)

    Kerry recently said CWs were used in history only by Hitler and Saddam Hussien. Right of the top of my head I can say Kerry is wrong. Chlorine gas was used by both sides in WWI. There are probably many other examples of CW use in history. Apparently Churchill wanted to gas the Kurds too, so would Kerry include him in the list with Hitler and Hussein?

    Kerry is either lying again or he knows less history than I do, and my profession does not even have anything to do with politics or history. Kerry's frequent references to Hitler are coming across as a pretty desperate attempt to drag the country into an unpopular war.

    •  Would Nuclear weaponry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suzq

      be CW? Every time they point fingers I can not help but think of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

      "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."- Lao-Tzu

      by Pakalolo on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:26:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chemical weapons are pretty much defined to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pakalolo

        exclude both nuclear weapons and napalm. I certainly think of napalm as a chemical weapon but it's technically not seen as one.  The definition seems to be that chemical weapons are those that are, absent any additional force or agency, the agent of death and those that are named generally are all gases. The definition might also include the concept that chemical weapons are designed specifically to harm people rather than property.  

        So, for example, Napalm, in and of itself, is harmless. It's a stable, usually gel-like substance. It needs fire to actually do its harm. Encountering a nuclear weapon is not the same as encountering Sarin. The sarin will kill you, right now. The nuclear weapon will just sit there and let you look at it. To hurt you the nuclear weapon has to be exploded by some outside force/agent.

        This question has been bugging me all along here, so last night I did a little reading on the subject of chemical weapons and warfare. The first paragraph above is my own (I'm certain in artful) summary of what I read, the second is my own attempt as explication.

        The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

        by Alice Olson on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:29:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Phosgene, mustard gas, adamsite all used... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, water willow

      ... in WWI and in the 1920s in Middle East and North Africa. Users included Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union. Japan used gas in China in the '30s.

      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 11:49:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ugh. (0+ / 0-)

    No doubt, if GWB had not happened to Iraq and the Middle East, Americans would (sort of) remember the Balkan mess and how President Clinton helped bring it to a relatively clean end, with few lives lost. After W and Iraq, though, few will rally to Obama's call. Americans are tired of pointless, endless, expensive, quagmire wars.

    The sarin gas is disturbing.  Where did it come from?  Who unleashed it?  We don't know that and we're foolish if we simply swallow whatever story the DoD and State Dept are pushing. I wouldn't believe it if McCain or Romney were pushing it and I don't believe it simply because Dems are the ones behind the curtain.

    Perhaps the best we can do is help Jordan with the refugee crisis.

    What can we do that will help, much less accomplish anything, in Syria? If we launch a few missiles, what does that accomplish, other than giving the Putin a chance to try out his military gadgets? Assad will not quit.

    •  In terms of where the gas came from... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Alice Olson

      ...long before the opposition rose in Syria 30 months ago, it was well known that the government had large stockpiles of chemical weapons. Some Syrian army defectors were part of CW units. According to those in the know, sarin gas requires raw materials (easy to come by), university graduate-level chemistry skills and the right (also easy to come by) industrial equipment (the same stuff as used for certain pesticide manufacture).

      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 11:34:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        I read in Scientific American that it's fairly easy to make and the ingredients are not hard to come by.  But I don't know who used the Sarin, and I'm frankly wary of the US govt's version of events.  Our war machine is too much a part of US foreign policy.  I wouldn't believe Republicans and I don't believe the Democrats when it comes to "intelligence".  Above all I do not know what the upside of intervention is.... other than making the MIC happy.  Obama talked himself up into a tree and now he's trying to save face.  Russia's war ships in the area will sadly do more to stop the US than the millions of R&D Americans who oppose intervention.

        Here's the SA link.

        Did you ever see Eugene Jarecki's documentary, Why We Fight?

        I don't frankly get why chem weapons are so much worse than the bombs and bullets and bayonets that have been slaughtering Syrians for 2 years now.  Chem weapons are horrible of course but are they necessarily worse than any other genocide?

        Peace to you. I like your diaries on DK.

  •  Ben Cardin is getting his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Eric Nelson

    ass kicked on FB and the telephone.

    NOBODY has commented in favor of intervention.

    Mikulski is on the fence, I emailed her.

  •  Can someone explaim me dummy please? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    if Reid convenes tomorrow at noon to file the joint resolution to authorize the limited and specified use of the US military against Syria, what kind of votes will happen next week?

    The full Senate can read it, will convene and then how many votes would pass it? What needs to happen to not pass it in the form it is written right now? If one Senator doesn't agree with the formulation, what kind of procedures will that Senator go through? I know there are always so many votes before the final ones and I don't understand how they make it that 60 yes votes are needed.

    Civil Men Are For Civil Rights

    by mimi on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:37:44 AM PDT

  •  Although my MO Senators both say (0+ / 0-)

    they are opposed to intervention, they are leaving themselves a whole hell of a lot of wiggle room. And the same is true for Congressman Cleaver (KCMO).

    Damn noodly dems!

    Hi NSA. I am doing constitutionally protected stuff - like free speech. Too bad you are not!

    by glitterscale on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 10:50:26 AM PDT

  •  Anti-resolution hysteria on DailyKos has, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Alice Olson, 3rock

    unfortunately, led to effective (no doubt mostly nonintended) effects of stifling those concerned with an effort 9since WWI) to discourage poison gas atrocities, which linger long after fighting ends. Arguing that other slaughter (guns, missiles, etc.) still kill and, implicitly, that ANY limits on war horrors is therefore ineffective is ,I'd say, disingenuous.

    Btw, I'm guessing the Resolution will narrowly pass the House IF only a plurality yes is needed. This would give teabaggers and reluctant Demcrats and out and at least a figleaf of an argument that they didn;t supprt it.

    I am reluctantly a supporter of the Resolution, for some of the reasons Kerry eloquently elucidated. Opponents and supporters could remember that one can disagree without being, oh, you know the rest.

  •  There's more than one way to punish a war crime. (3+ / 0-)

    Here's another way to do it.  It, of course, is dependent upon Bashir Assad surviving this civil war.  

    1. UN gathers evidence.

    2. Majority of UN Security Council passes resolution to begin a trial in the Hague.

    3. Trial finds Assad guilty of war crimes.

    4. Nations issue economic sanctions and warrants for arrest, should he ever leave Syria.  

  •  The only classified information that could make (0+ / 0-)

    a difference to me at this point would be highly confident info about possible targets, like the plant that makes Sarin (large, immobile and in a deserted place so civilians are not at risk) and highly confident info about the ability to take out the plant. Now, maybe Assad was cagey and put the Sarin plant in settled areas or on trucks.  That info, obviously, will not be available to the public until after the decision is made.

    I like and trust my representative - if he said that the classified info had persuaded him that there was something that could be done without harming others I would take him seriously.

    We still need to do more in humanitarian aid, either way.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 11:07:35 AM PDT

  •  Not exactly Peace talks, but talks nevertheless.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..that so far at least, indicate strong reluctance is the "international norm"

     Reuters | Updated: September 05, 2013 23:07 IST
    Syria crisis set to overshadow G20 talks

    The first round at the summit went to Putin, as China, the European Union, the BRICS emerging economies and Pope Francis - in a letter - warned of the dangers of military intervention without the approval of the UN Security Council.

    "Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price - it will cause a hike in the oil price," Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said.

    The BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - echoed that remark, and the Pope, who leads the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, urged the G20 leaders to "lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution".

    European Union leaders described the August 21 attack near Damascus, which killed up to 1,400 people, as "abhorrent" but said: "There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict."

    Note: the piece is not necessarily neutral towards the US president.
  •  I hope these awful whip counts are right (0+ / 0-)

    But I fear "the fix is in" and the majority of Dems and many GOP will cave to the military-industrial complex, as usual.

    Intelligence agencies keep things secret because they often violate the rule of law or of good behavior. -Julian Assange-

    by ChadmanFL on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 12:21:05 PM PDT

  •  Should the US do nothing in the face of CW attack? (0+ / 0-)

    Why would Obama lie about this? It's not a very popular
    stand to adopt.
    Why is nobody asking questions about an horrible attack that may have killed 1000 people?
    Why would Assad launch such an attack? To terrify the rebels.
    Why don't we care?
    Because some are possibly part of the 3000 man An-Nusrah/Al Qaeda group?

    What about Russia and Iran interfering in the Syrian civil war or is this just about the US?

    Too many people are making up their minds way too quickly.

  •  Mike Capuano (0+ / 0-)

    He's already counted as a "lean no," so there's no change here; however, he wrote an op-ed for WBUR, Boston's NPR station: http://cognoscenti.wbur.org/...

    Yet, I am not convinced that the response the president proposes will prevent future attacks or bring any real stability to the region.

    I have many questions the briefings simply did not answer:

        Will targeted short term strikes be enough to deter future use of chemical or biological weapons by the Assad regime? I fear that any attack a despot survives can be sold as a victory for him. We have all heard the response, “Is that the best you got?”

        Will these attacks discourage other nations, such as Iran, from seeking more powerful weapons themselves? When President Bush threatened Iran and North Korea they did not roll over in fear. Iran stepped up their pursuit of a nuclear weapon and North Korea stepped up their quest for long-range missiles to carry the nuclear weapons they already have.

        Will such a strike serve to contain the violence within Syria or make it more likely to involve other nations in the region and beyond?

        Will strikes against Assad strengthen his enemies? In this civil war, al Qaeda has aligned against Assad – would our strike help al Qaeda?

        How would it affect the long term interests of the United States in the region and elsewhere?

        How would it impact our allies in the region?

    I understand full well that these questions have no simple answers but I believe that they must be fully considered as part of this discussion.
    Votes on war and peace are the most consequential ones I take and I will not support military action except as a last resort…

    I am trying to keep an open mind and giving the Obama Administration the opportunity to make the case for military action. I consider myself a supporter of the president and agree with him on most issues. I am a longtime friend and supporter of Secretary of State John Kerry and feel that I owe it to him to listen.

    I remain wary, however, about becoming entangled in something that may make the situation worse in Syria. As this debate unfolds, I am mindful of the impact that a vote in support of military action will have. It is a vote to potentially send someone’s son or daughter into harm’s way. Votes on war and peace are the most consequential ones I take and I will not support military action except as a last resort, consistent with our principles and interests.

    Congress is expected to vote on a resolution involving Syria in the days ahead. I will carefully review the final language of that resolution as well as all available supporting documentation before making a decision. At this point, I am just not convinced military action is the answer.

  •  Rep. Betty McCollum (Dem, MN-04) seems to be a yea (0+ / 0-)

    Excerpts from statement from her website:

    Today, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN04) announced her support for draft legislation authored by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) authorizing President Obama to conduct limited military action in response to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against civilians.
    [...]
    “The legislation put forward by Reps. Van Hollen and Connolly is the right approach. It clearly defines limitations to prevent an open ended commitment. Yet, it provides President Obama the support of Congress to take military action, in coordination with international partners, to enforce the chemical weapons ban and deter their future use. U.S. national security and our vital leadership role in the Middle East are at stake. I urge my colleagues and constituents to support this responsible approach.”

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