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About an hour after the vote which defeats the proposed Authorisation for Use of Military Force in response to the chemical weapons attack in Syria we will probably begin to realise that the world as we know it has been irrevocably changed; and probably not for the better.

The inevitable decline of American power precipitated by the disastrous Bush administration will enter its terminal phase as the American public withdraws into an insular shell of isolationism and denial of collective responsibility in spite of having enjoyed for decades the relative security and prosperity that engaged American power has provided.

The performance of the American Left since 21 August has been an utter embarrassment; exposing the vaunted activist Internet as little more than a breeding place for fatuous conspiracy theories, misdirection, unreasonable and stubborn scepticism, selfishness, wilful ignorance and misplaced moral outrage. A complete and utter shambles. Shameful.

Courageous activists and diplomats campaigned for decades to implement the hard-won provisions of an almost unanimous prohibition of chemical weapons only to have it thoughtlessly repudiated with the ridiculous argument that 'people are just as dead' by other means. Or compared incessantly, in ignorance of what nerve agents are capable of or intended to do, to the use of white phosphorous at Fallujah. All in support of a knee-jerk response to a proposed military action in the face of a truly inhumane war crime.

Nowhere has anyone written an expose of Russian complicity in the regime's chemical weapons program nor provision of their strategic delivery system. Nobody has pointed out that European corporations supplied essential technology directly to Syria's nerve agent program or that their leadership is diplomatically neutered by dependence on Russian natural gas. No campaign has begun to expose Putin's Russia and China as enablers of this crime or question their motives; no boycotts declared or protests at the Russian embassy announced. There have been no declarations of support for a determined effort to track the perpetrators down to the ends of the Earth like Nazi war criminals.

No, nothing but criticism for a Democratic president and administration trying to thread the needle of the nation's interests and long-term security within the realm of what is politically achievable domestically and internationally; a headwind of open antagonism, churlish dishonesty and outright deceit which the Left cheer-leads incessantly.

Opposition to military force is not unreasonable but there are few with the courage to look at the scores of horrible videos of dead and dying civilians and admit they simply choose to do nothing. No, it was faked or a 'false flag;' a hundred prevaricating arguments arise in the face of common sense and significant evidence because of the moral cowardice not to simply say, "It's none of our business and we don't care." But apparently we don't. So be it; but let there be no dissembling after the fact on the inevitable consequences.

Cross posted at The Motley Moose

Originally posted to Shaun Appleby on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 09:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Moose On The Loose.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I like the part (11+ / 0-)

    about how the internet has been exposed as little more than a breeding place for fatuous conspiracy theories, misdirection, unreasonable and stubborn scepticism, selfishness, wilful ignorance and misplaced moral outrage.

    As of August 21, 2013.

    •  these diaries (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, YucatanMan, CenPhx, newpioneer

      are coming fast and furious.

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

      by Laurence Lewis on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:19:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I found this on the Internet (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, PhilK, annecros, nancyjones, Cofcos

      http://consortiumnews.com/...

      "Despite the Obama administration’s supposedly 'high confidence' regarding Syrian government guilt over the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus, a dozen former U.S. military and intelligence officials are telling President Obama that they are picking up information that undercuts the Official Story."

      I guess the diarist thinks this should be ignored as conspiracy theory."  I can't do that.

      •  Thanks for that link. We'll have to see whether (0+ / 0-)

        the claims or counter-claims hold up.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 06:18:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem for me is that it is (0+ / 0-)

          so hard to know the truth, and especially after the war starts.  I have to go with my common sense.  Assad regime carrying out these attacks for some strategic goal, just as UN inspectors were getting started on their investigation, seems unlikely.  

          The gas attacks were a terrorist act with a political goal.  That goal was likely to cause US intervention in this war, and the attacks were likely invited by the "red line."  (This is not to suggest US involvement in the attacks - just after the fact misuse of the terrorist act without seeking proper attribution to the true actors)

          By accepting US government claims without question, we could become complicit in this terrorist act, and invite future falsely attributed terrorism used as pretext for war.  

  •  actually (14+ / 0-)

    there have been plenty of people pointing to england and russia and china. but don't let facts interfere with your moral outrage. also don't bother explaining how exactly bombing syria solves anything.

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

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:22:10 PM PDT

  •  I do hope they wait for the UN inspecton results (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mets102, DavidW, Wordsinthewind, Yasuragi

    before making a decision and acting.
    If not, I think POTUS making the decision will set the stage for an impeachment attempt. From both sides of the aisle I don't think this is all anti-war, some of it's the same ole, same ole--anti-Obama.

    "No matter where you are now, now is the time to build coalitions" Rev. William Barber

    by Oke on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:22:14 PM PDT

  •  With a pie-baiting paragraph like this... (12+ / 0-)
    ...The performance of the American Left since 21 August has been an utter embarrassment; exposing the vaunted activist Internet as little more than a breeding place for fatuous conspiracy theories, misdirection, unreasonable and stubborn scepticism, selfishness, wilful ignorance and misplaced moral outrage. A complete and utter shambles. Shameful...
    ..and considering where you're now posting it, there will be "No soup for you!"

    If it was your intent to incite animus in this community, I believe a paragraph like the one, above, is just the ticket!

    Reiterating: "PIE-BAIT."

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:24:44 PM PDT

  •  Wow, you've missed reading a lot of (11+ / 0-)

    information found here.

    For all the "no's" and "none of's" you mention, there have been multiple mentions and discussions per day, in the hundreds, even thousands, of comments.

    This diary is pretty much a listing of false assertion after false assertion, topped off with a moral cowardice cheery.

    a hundred prevaricating arguments arise in the face of common sense and significant evidence because of the moral cowardice not to simply say, "It's none of our business and we don't care." But apparently we don't. So be it; but let there be no dissembling after the fact on the inevitable consequences.
    Nobody is saying they don't care about the Syrian dead.  Many are saying bombing won't solve anything and may very likely make things worse.

    But just continue on with your scary warnings and false assertions. It's good for a laugh or two.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:32:10 PM PDT

  •  Feh! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:39:23 PM PDT

  •  It's hard to take an admonishment seriously (10+ / 0-)

    when it contains something such as this.

    The inevitable decline of American power precipitated by the disastrous Bush administration will enter its terminal phase as the American public withdraws into an insular shell of isolationism and denial of collective responsibility in spite of having enjoyed for decades the relative security and prosperity that engaged American power has provided.
    I'm sorry, but there is only one response to this:

    Nonsense.

    Utterly fatuous nonsense.

    It's the sort of rank sophist bumblefuckery that only stiffens the spines of people who will not be concern trolled into signing off on cruise missile theater because the Very Serious People are fine with it, so, so should you.

    No more serious than the notion pushed inside the beltway that if the President of the United States loses a vote, his administration is utterly broken and shall do no more but wait out the last three years of its run shaking in cruel little spasmic burts like a crushed bug's hind legs.

    It's nonsense.

    Your worst liberal frenemies online disagreeing with you and saying things that enraged you did not stop widespread support of bombing Syria, let alone just launch America into some kind of permanent deathspiral of zero-sum international relations and geopolitical decline.

    Nor did they drive the debate, for that matter.

    The vast majority of the American people opposing the idea did.

    And America is not out of options to punish the regime because we avoid bombing Syria. That is a false choice. That is a pernicious poisonous lie. A lie of perpetually pernicious poisonous beltway players.

    The American people are driving the outcome of the bombing Syria debate. They are strongly opposed. They have heard the President, and John Kerry, and remain resolutely opposed.  

    The Left. Oh, God. Spare me the loathesome preening about the serial steeled arms of Great and Powerful American Left being responsible for all the bad outcomes of our Very Serious Political Establishment in DC.

    The American People. Conservative. Liberal. Moderate. Politically agnostic.

    They all oppose bombing Syria.

    No, nothing but criticism for a Democratic president and administration trying to thread the needle of the nation's interests and long-term security within the realm of what is politically achievable domestically and internationally; a headwind of open antagonism, churlish dishonesty and outright deceit which the Left cheer-leads incessantly.
    "Nothing?"

    You see what you want to see.

    You, with great premeditation and forethought that makes you just as bad if not worse as the most of those you disagree with, shoehorn all those who disagree with you, across a variety of positions and beliefs, under the banner of the most unserious comment you can find to try and smear and diminish their voices collectively.

    The truth is somewhere more complicated and nuanced.

    There have been plenty of voices at this site who both hold the Assad regime in contempt, and who believe they have used and are horrified by their use of chemical weapons, but do not find the intellectually lazy binary black-and-white "you either get on board with the US bombing or you don't care about human suffering or war crimes".

    In short?

    You just shit all over yourself, and you are pointing at others and screaming about the noxious contributions of others? What a joke.

    The fact of the matter is, you can punish the regime without limiting your thinking of what is possible in the world to the spectrum of what Bill Kristol to Fareed Zakaria thinks is possible.

    You lost an argument.

    And at the exact moment you realized it, you shit all over yourself to fling pooh.

    That's fucking brilliant. Bravo.

    And screeching like a four year old denied a piece of cake by his mother in response to a political reality that is far bigger and more complicated than you imagine, and placing the onus on the least powerful people in American public life, the voters who dare to go online who dissent from the beltway consensus because of their experience with national security trust falls in the past, is probably why you had very poor luck convincing a war-weary non-Conservative to buy in.

    The burden was on you, not on those who were skeptical.

    Sickly and perversely looking forward to bad outcomes so you can gleefully come back and dance around saying I told you so and laying blame is more worthy of Doug Feith and Liz Cheney than anything else.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:39:39 PM PDT

    •  You know (8+ / 0-)

      I remember every single moment over the last three decades when liberals and moderates shut the fuck up on command, on cue, and got in line because they were told it was in their best interests.

      It did not serve the American middle class, or the Democratic Party for that matter, very well. It's how we got DOMA. DADT. Nafta. Iraq. Austerity. Deficit Fetishism. The Sequester.

      It is kind of hard to posit we are doomed if we dare to say "No", not when you look at what has come as the price of saying "Yes" so many times when our instincts and our consciences told us to say "No".

      In fact, the Movement Conservative Right is gleeful at the outcome of non-Conservatives defaulting and deferring to the Very Serious People.

      What has changed is that you cannot bully Democrats, moderates and liberals, who profoundly disagree with you on policy or politics anymore.

      That is what has changed.

      After Iraq. The Bush years. The 90's.

      We hit the point where our pain threshold with the bad outcomes was greater than or worries and our fears, stoked by those who find what the voters want to be annoying and inconvenient and a bother because having people afraid to say "NO!" is a problem.

      That is what really pisses you off.

      You can be told "No." Resolutely and firmly.

      And no amount of scaremongering, threatening, smearing, jeering, or grand and theatrical gestures of certain doom for daring to say "No" to you is changing that dynamic.

      Deal with it.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, this I can rec. I would have rec'd your (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Floja Roja, anotherdemocrat

        first comment (although I rec'd and tipped the diary, too) were it not full of personal invective.

        The diarist's attitude is one of many I seem to share in my increasingly multiple-personality responses to Syria.  As I do yours.  I've rec'd anyone rational on both sides of the issue.  And I got the frustration the diarist felt.  I also get your anger with it.

        As for my own position... for the first time in my life I am totally flummoxed.  I despise the idea of the US diving in with violence to an already unspeakably violent crisis.

        And I despise the idea of us doing nothing.

        I'm waiting for some clear, rational, better alternatives.  Like taking all that money for munitions and helping the refugees.

        Isn't it time for the US Govt to give Leonard Peltier back his freedom? ** "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

        by Yasuragi on Sat Sep 07, 2013 at 06:33:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read these talking points earlier in the day (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer, Sandino

    Which is like 10,000 years in internet time.

    Please get new material!

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 10:48:28 PM PDT

  •  ns (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gary Norton, BlackClouds

    What saddens me most about the Syria debate is that it does expose some flaws in leftist ideology.

    One reason we promote the idea of an activist governmental intervention in economics is that we feel a responsibility for the wellbeing of other human beings in this country.

    But why doesn't this extend to humans in other countries? Right now, there's a popular uprising against a pretty brutal, oppressive dude. He almost certainly used chemical weapons on his own citizenry. He and his entire government deserve death.

    It is the responsibility of the powerful to protect the weak. We are powerful. They are weak. And dammit, if we're going to pay $600B every year for an enormous number of death machines, then we have a responsibility to use it to save lives like we did in Libya. Tens of thousands of people are alive right now - because we bombed Qaddafi. Millions have a hope of starting a new democracy - because we bombed Qaddafi. We showed the world that you can't slaughter your own citizens just because they're unhappy with your government - because we bombed Qaddafi.

    It's time to erase the Bush doctrine and replace it with an Obama doctrine: Use of American power to support the civil rights of other human beings, if support exists within that country to fight for their own civil rights. This doesn't mean invading other countries or occupying them or setting up a new government of our own choosing. Rather, we let a population decide that it wants a populist change from dictatorship, and then we provide them an air force. Simple as that.

    •  We waited some 40 years to get Qaddafi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      You didn't mention that for obvious reasons.

      Perhaps the U.S. should attack Syria in 2053 to improve our chances of success?

    •  Are you ready and able to apply that universally? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deward Hastings, Sandino

      Or do only certain people in certain cases that certain people decide get these rights and treatment?

      Serious question.

      •  ns (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, I would apply it universally, but obviously deciding when it applies is up to "certain people" - as in all decisions. I mean, what constitutes a "dictator"? What constitutes a "popular uprising"? You couldn't apply any foreign policy if you didn't have these somewhat wishy-washy terms.

        But I would have applied it to Mali, as the French did. I would apply it to the fighting in central Africa. I would apply it to Somalia. I would have applied it to most of the Arab Spring countries, i.e. Bahrain. Iran ... maybe not. That's where it gets a little gray, because Iran does have a popularly elected government, even though it is "approved" by the Ayatollah.

        shrug We can do more with our foreign policy than just leave people alone and let them kill each other. People mock the idea of America as the "world police", but I don't think it's intrinsically a bad idea. Someone's gotta clean up this damn world, and it ain't gonna be the UN.

        •  When is the US going to go back and clean up the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, PhilK

          tragic messes it has made in the world?

          People mock the idea of America as the "world police", but I don't think it's intrinsically a bad idea. Someone's gotta clean up this damn world, and it ain't gonna be the UN.
          Do you wonder why the world mocks the US as the "world police"? Yes,  someone's got to clean up the shit that the US made and walked away from.

          Do the world a favor. Stay home.



           

    •  How many million tons of munitions has the US (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino, freerad

      dropped all around the world since WWII? How many million gallons of chemicals have been sprayed onto the heads of millions of people that still continue to deform and kill? How many hundreds of millions of cluster bomblets have been dispersed that continue to kill and maim innocent children? How many tons of depleted uranium have been dumped into other peoples back yards?

      How many millions have been killed and maimed by American "humanitarian" interventions to support "civil rights" and "democracy"?

      The United States of America has become a Weapon of Mass Destruction to the world.

      This doesn't mean invading other countries or occupying them or setting up a new government of our own choosing. Rather, we let a population decide that it wants a populist change from dictatorship, and then we provide them an air force. Simple as that.
      America doesn't need to invade or occupy. It can rain death and destruction down on their heads from 4,000 miles away and be home for dinner with the wife and kiddies at the end of the shift.

      How many countries have had a populist change only to have it destroyed by the US and replaced with one of our choosing? 20? 30?

      Provide what air force? The constant buzzing of Obama Peace Drones carrying Hellfire missiles continually circling overhead 24/7?

  •  If that is the case (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deward Hastings, Sandino, PhilK

    Where have Obama and the USA been for the last couple of years while a far greater number of humans were killed and displaced with more conventional weapons that inflict just as much pain, anguish and death if not more?

    And how will what Obama is proposing solve the problem?

    Seems you have more faith and investment in symbolism than real concern for the people involved.

    Nowhere has anyone written an expose of Russian complicity in the regime's chemical weapons program nor provision of their strategic delivery system. Nobody has pointed out that European corporations supplied essential technology directly to Syria's nerve agent program or that their leadership is diplomatically neutered by dependence on Russian natural gas. No campaign has begun to expose Putin's Russia and China as enablers of this crime or question their motives; no boycotts declared or protests at the Russian embassy announced. There have been no declarations of support for a determined effort to track the perpetrators down to the ends of the Earth like Nazi war criminals.
    Please do it. I'm particularly interested in the facts you have to present on China as an enabler of this crime given the Chinese position is consistently for peace and against violence, internal or external.
  •  Thanks for your concern (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac, PhilK, aseth

    perhaps an end to dreams of empire and bloody conquests is just what we all need.  I don't think neocons will have much success shaming anyone with a brain into supporting another war based on lies.

  •  Evidence for Russian complicity please? (0+ / 0-)

    It's not that difficult to scrape together the basics for production of something like Sarin. I mean, Saddam Hussein had no trouble accomplishing it, with a little help from his Western friends.

    I would strongly suspect that the Russians are aghast at the use of poison gas by the Syrians, and very much doubt that they would ever help the Syrians acquire it. I mean, think about it. What possible gain would there be for the Russians for Syria to possess or use such a weapon? It discredits everyone involved.

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