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As the news reports ramp up the rhetoric, and all outlets appear to be girding their loins for "war-reporting", it would be a good time to pause.

We have been here before. We have been here in every conflict since the end of the Second World War, and every time it has proven problematic.

Most recently we have to learn the lessons from the War in Iraq, even if the country doesn't have the appetite for any procedures that might make criminals pay for their crimes.

Even if we accept that the President had an arguable case for that decision, and many don't accept any such thing, it cannot be said that the United States of America is currently under a significant or imminent threat of attack by Syria.

Our borders, and our people are secure. What the President is, rightly concerned about is the security of the people of Syria. That is a noble cause, and he should be able to argue the case and be assured of a fair hearing.

However, the Constitution does not appear to give him the authority to take preemptive action, even if the Administration did just that in Libya. An act of war, conducted preemptively when we are not under attack, is a critical decision, and Congress is charged with authorising such an act.

When all you appear to have is a hammer, and we do have a very big hammer indeed, it is tempting to view every problem as a nail.

Diplomacy and International Relations should not simply be conducted by Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. The citizens deserve to learn why their children will be committed to war, before they go, wherever possible. It is not credible to attack another country from outwith its borders, and just hope that you can retain full control of the outcome. No country can do that.

If we launch missiles and air strikes at Syria, we have no idea what will be the outcome, either long or short term. It will not be simple and it will not be painless ... nor will it be cheap.

Mr President. If you are seriously considering a military attack on Syria, then you simply must recall Congress before such an attack. Go to Congress and make the case. On this occasion I can assure you that the Networks WILL carry it!

Make your case, have the debate and if you get the go ahead ... take command of the military and give it our best shot.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sadly, I don't think the President (7+ / 0-)

    can dissolve Congress. In some ways, I think that was a bad idea when we formed Congress in our spite.

    In our hate for Monarchs, we created a system with unintended consequences. We still pay for it.

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 06:57:55 PM PDT

  •  Well said. I second this. (6+ / 0-)

    At first I thought you meant to recall as in remove Congress.  I think you mean to recall them to Washington for a debate and vote to authorize use of force.  I hope he does just that.

    "Racism doesn't have a geography, it only lives in the human heart." anotherdemocrat 7/15/13

    by politik on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:01:26 PM PDT

  •  Misread. Sorry. n/t (4+ / 0-)

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:02:47 PM PDT

  •  Use this as your leverage for raising the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    debt limit.  You can't do anything if you can't pay for the ordnance.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:11:50 PM PDT

    •  Heh ... There is no leverage for that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, onionjim

      America is a nation that pays its bills ... End of discussion.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:14:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Boehner wants to make the debt limit a fight, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, GAS

        all the President has to say is "We can't strike Syria because we can't afford it. The debt limit must be raised so we can afford to pay for this military action against this brutal dictator who is using these weapons of mass destruction against his people and threatening to use them against our ally Israel. How would it look if we couldn't meet our obligations to our allies around the world?".

        Gotta throw Israel into the mix too--play dirty with the guilt.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:56:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I got the point. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, GAS

          I don't think Barack Obama will do this.

          He won the last fight and is pretty determined not to have another one.

          He will refuse to negotiate, have Democrats introduce the required Bills, and dare the Republicans to vote them down.

          They will not, because enough of them know they would get all of the blame.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:11:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, yeah, except (9+ / 0-)

    Congress would approve military action, probably without debate.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:33:02 PM PDT

    •  I agree, they will approve it. (8+ / 0-)

      But not without debate and I think the debate is important.

      For all of us.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:13:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly my reaction (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sydserious, twigg, GAS, OooSillyMe

      It would be a nice gesture to call them back (you know, to superficially comply with the now meaningless Constitution) but is there any doubt that congress would approve?

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:29:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the President has even (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS

        the slightest doubt that Congress would support him, then he simply MUST call them to session and ask.

        The only excuse for not asking, is that he genuinely believes he would have overwhelming support.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:03:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, that would not be an excuse (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg, sacrelicious

          One cannot assume that those who are supposed to be the representatives of the people would give overwhelming support.

          Once is not allowed to assume. There is no such excuse. My god... Twigg. Think of what you just stated, and what that says about your understanding.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:20:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not suggesting that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GAS

            a President should necessarily act on an assumption, and remember I wrote the Diary :) I think he should convene Congress.

            What I think is that if he believes the War Powers Act is sufficient, then so be it .... but if he believes that Congress would refuse authority, then he must not simply act on the War Powers.

            If that's not clearer, let me know.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 10:30:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The War Powers Act (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              flitedocnm, twigg

              was created to deal with WWII conditions. Did you mean the War Powers Resolution?

              This is a situation in which chemicals have been used between opposing forces in a civil war, and there is even dispute as to who is responsible (reminds me of Iraq -- show me the evidence, and no, I don't trust the President any more than I trusted Bush). What is the justification for going around congress?

              This wasn't an attack on the United States, and thus there is no national emergency allowed by the War Powers Resolution to justify ignoring the requirement to get the approval of congress. And the Constitution limits the President to repelling attacks against the US, a criteria which the conflict hardly meets.

              That modern Presidents ignore the Constitution and tend to go to war with impunity demonstrates how much the Constitution has been eroded.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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

              [ Parent ]

    •  Then let them take the heat for it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, snoopydawg, PrahaPartizan, Sparhawk

      à la John Kerry in 2004. Perhaps they will have learned something from that circumstance.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:53:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They learned that they can get away with it n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:24:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know that. I think the House hates the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DerAmi

      President so they'll vote the opposite of whatever he requests.  If he requests authorization to intervene in Syria, they'd love to vote NO just to embarrass him on the world stage.  Which means their ultimate decision would be what I currently would like, but their reasoning would not have been in good faith, like I alluded to in my comment downthread.

      •  Well, if that is what it takes... (0+ / 0-)

        I think we'd all be better off, despite the possibility of making Obama look bad on the world stage. I am just not concerned with that.

        And as far as potential embarrassment, the GOP does not want that vote on their record.

        This better be good. Because it is not going away.

        by DerAmi on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:48:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama is already extremely compromised... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GAS, flitedocnm

          ...by this spying thing. He already blew his own credibility, no Republican support necessary.

          (-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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:52:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is that after embarrassing the Pres (0+ / 0-)

          on the world stage, the wingnuts would feel emboldened on other matters, like on the debt ceiling.  They might be so "high" on embarrassing the Pres that they'd blissfully make the US default.

          •  Tell us you're not suggesting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flitedocnm

            the President should blow off the Constitution and go to war without the approval of Congress, just so the Congress won't have an opportunity to embarrass him? Did you really mean to imply that?

            This site's stated mission is absurdly contradictory. You don't get better Democrats by electing more Democrats. The latter is achieved by lowering the bar, not by raising it.

            by WisePiper on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:29:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  They hate the President, but they love (0+ / 0-)

        the lobbyists representing the corps that will make a killing from any military action.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:24:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  their reason for going to war (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rachael7, ukit, GAS, flitedocnm, corvo, HCKAD

      Or intervention is because of the chemical weapons, correct?  
      That should make the US the laughing stock of the world.
      And they are laughing according to an srticle on Common Dreams.
      We have used agent orange, wiley pete, DU and napalm in many invasions.
      WP was used in Iraq.
      DU was used their too
      The birth defects are horrendous.
      In the article, their is a picture of a baby with another head growing out of its neck n
      Go to the site.
      The article  would not be hard to find.
      Some suggest the reason is to protect another pipeline.
      Cutting Russia and China out.
      The corporations should fund all military interventions that protect them.
      And not use our soilders who get hurt then screwed when they come home.

      Passing a law that the Constitution doesn't allow does not negate the Constitution, it negates the law that was passed. Secret courts can't make up secret laws. SORRY FOR THE TYPOS :)

      by snoopydawg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:15:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What about depleted Uranium? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, GAS, flitedocnm, corvo

        You know, this talk of crossing a line and use of chemical weapons, ridiculous. Phosphor bombs? Come on, we can't pretend to take the high moral ground.

        A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

        by onionjim on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:46:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  let's see (0+ / 0-)

        those are bad, so the idea is to ignore all the other bad things too to be consistent?

      •  Actually, none of those are CW (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tony Situ

        According to the OPCW, a chemical weapon is:

        The general and traditional definition of a chemical weapon is a toxic chemical contained in a delivery system, such as a bomb or shell.

        The Convention defines chemical weapons much more generally. The term chemical weapon is applied to any toxic chemical or its precursor that can cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation through its chemical action. Munitions or other delivery devices designed to deliver chemical weapons, whether filled or unfilled, are also considered weapons themselves.

        None of agent orange (defoliant), napalm (incendiary), white phosphrous (incendiary), nor DU (munition) are used as toxic chemicals to cause death through its chemical action.
        •  Actually, they all sure are. (0+ / 0-)

          Just because we say they aren't ("We use Willie Pete only as placers!") doesn't make it true, especially when fired directly on civilian populations.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:26:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  See, this is the problem (0+ / 0-)

            there are technical, legal definitions of what is and is not a "chemical weapon" under international law, and just cause kossacks blithely make up stuff to suit their narrative doesn't make it so, and only serves to undermine your credibility as someone who doesn't really understand which way is up.  

            •  which is precisely how something like WP (0+ / 0-)

              becomes a chemical weapon: if it is a "toxic chemical contained in a delivery system, such as a bomb or shell" and "can cause death, injury, temporary incapacitation or sensory irritation through its chemical action," then it sure as hell is a chemical weapon.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:04:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ayayayai (0+ / 0-)

                What part of "toxic" do you not understand?  Go read the full page, because it makes it very very clear that the issue is that chemical weapons poison people, not burn them, etc.  Otherwise, every single armament is a chemical weapon if they use a chemical explosive, such as gunpowder.

                Clearly that's wrong

                •  Kinda hard to use gunpowder (0+ / 0-)

                  as a weapon against populations.  

                  So what I guess you're saying is that according to international law, forcing people to breathe chlorine bleach fumes as a result of its weaponized delivery is wrong, but soaking them in it is okay.  Well, if that's how you want to justify the next round of war criminality, I guess I can't stop you.

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:21:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Crickey (0+ / 0-)

                    So now the global legal regime is the world according Corvo. I guess we don't need the UN or the international criminal court anymore.   Meanwhile back in the real world, incendiary devices aren't chemical weapons unless they poison people.  Yes, delivering chlorine has by weaponized delivery system is illegal, but soaking people in bleach(?) would not be a chemical weapon.

                •  couple of other questions: (0+ / 0-)

                  What international agreement gives the United States the authority to punish a second state that employed a chemical weapon against a third state?

                  What international agreement holds non-state actors -- say, Syrian rebels -- harmless from prosecution or reprisal when they employ chemical weapons? nerve gas in particular?

                  Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                  by corvo on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:31:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Now these (0+ / 0-)

                    Are important questions, not all of which have been resolved.  For the first, unilateral action is probably illegal, but may be grounded in the Geneva conventions and various UN conventions

                    As to non-state actors, this is the thicket that Bush made such a mess of.  Normally, it would actually be a criminal matter although an insurgent military force can also be subject to international norms, such as the Geneva conventions.   Of course, that's pretty hypothetical here, since it has pretty much been proved that the Assad regime was behind it.  

  •  Yes it should happen this way (6+ / 0-)

    But it won't...and it won't because both modern presidents, and the congress, have abdicated responsibility on this.  The presidents want free reign on foreign policy, and the congress wants its hands clean if the shit goes bad.

    So they have all agreed to stop with whole declaration of war nonsense.  It's truly pathetic, but it ain't gonna change now, or likely anytime in the near future.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:34:40 PM PDT

  •  I disagree. I think the use of chemical weapons (6+ / 0-)

    on any serious scale should be countered with great vehemence.

    It's too bad the international community didn't have its shit together to place sanctions on the US in Iraq.

    But that doesn't mean we should never intervene to prevent grave abuses of basic norms. And the red line of chemical weapons is grave. It's like incestuous rape; if you see it happening you have no ethical option other than to intervene.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UID: 8519

    by Bob Love on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 07:43:50 PM PDT

  •  I have to disagree with your assessment. Congress (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Vetwife, Adam AZ

    Gave the Pesident exactly this power when they passed the "Authorization for Use of Military Force" in 2001.

    That power along with the power given to every UN country to fight chemical weapons use, gives the President not only the right to intervene militarily but it pretty much demands that he intervene.  

    Republicans have been basically demanding US involvement every time they claimed that Al Quaeda was active in Syria.

    This law has been around since 2001 just like The Patriot Act has been.  All of these powers given to the President and the Government under a Republican President are now being used by a Democratic President.

    I fought against these laws, against the Iraq war, against the Afghan war and against government surveillance for years and I still am, but it is pretty ironic to see both political parties do a complete 180 on everything.  Democrats are about to use the power behind the Authorization for Use of Military Force on Syria and Republicans are opposing the power of The Patriot Act.

    The irony is stunning in its breadth.

    •  The point is (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Indiana Bob, snoopydawg, Rachael7, GAS, Pi Li

      that Congress passed the AUMF 2001.

      They may do the same again, but the debate does actually matter.

      Actually we are "picky" about chemical weapons use. We don't always rush to military action, and there is no need to rush now.

      Doing so will further antagonize Russia, China and Iran. Having the debate might not persuade them, but it will mean that at least we had the debate and give a little time for everyone to reflect.

      We have a President, with enumerated powers. No President should get away with simply ignoring that. Not even one we like.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:01:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you that we shouldn't proceed. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, GAS

        I think we absolutely shouldn't attack Syria.  Your major premise that Congress needs to be recalled into session to authorize the President to attack Syria is what I'm disagreeing with.  Congress has already given the President that power.

        Congress should be recalled back into session to repeal the nearly unlimited powere of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

        Repeal that and then if Syria requires further action, proceed with caution.

    •  Twigg...don't you know? The war has already (7+ / 0-)

      begun.   It is covertly being done right as we speak and just because we have not heard about it yet doesn't mean it isn't happening.  We had boots on the ground covertly in every single war before the first strike....and guess what...we weren't told till after the war had already begun.
      Why do you think this is still negotiable.. The news we are getting says the frist strike could come as early as Thursday per msnbc...nah.. it's already happening and no I cannot bring a link up but it is something already in motion.  He won't call congress.

      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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:14:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the kind of action (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, Vetwife, GAS

        you describe is the limit of what the Constitution covers without the prior authorisation from Congress.

        Advance parties, recon, limited arming of rebels, etc.

        My fear is that if we launch a three day assault with missiles and air strikes, there will be a great many Republicans in the House screaming about going around Congress. They are mad enough to try impeachment over it.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:21:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would like to pull the timeline ..do you know (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg

          wasn't it about 11 AM EST we hit with shock and awe or it was so reported.. Wanna bet we hear about this in the AM tomorrow and not Thursday.....

          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 Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:32:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly, the Constitution is just a piece of paper (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, ZhenRen, Neuroptimalian, skod, Johnny Q

    now.  I wonder why we save the original document with such reverence.

  •  Aside from anything else (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS

    I don't think the President has the power to call congress into session.  Congress does that themselves.  He can ask them to convene, but has no power to force them to do it.  And given the contrary nature of the current House, they would probably decide not to convene again till 2014.

    Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Gabby Giffords.

    by Leftleaner on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:02:11 PM PDT

  •  In a very real sense, we no longer have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS

    mechanisms for dealing with this sort of siuation. Really not since the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution".  There are no firm rules, there are no brightlines. We have only, now, nuance upon nuance upon nuance.

    And will continue to do so unless and until we do something differently through the mechanism of "THE SECOND AMERICAN CONSTIUTIONAL CONVENTION."

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:08:29 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for commenting, OPS (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GAS

      but I am not going to tip a comment that calls for a Constitutional Convention.

      It's a completely crazy idea that would leave us with a Constitution that would require another Civil Rights movement to defeat.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:23:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay. Here's this. Let's co-ordinate our positions (0+ / 0-)

        In conjunction, you'll put up your thoughts, and I mine.

        Send me a message so that we can get this thing going, please.

        Keep an eye on the ball. Namely, exactly which needed changes will the SCOTUS permit.

        And please don't hide behind that tired old line of "things could end up worse than this". Be prepared to itemize, because I certainly will.

        Thank you.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:50:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree - at a minimum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    we need to get our congress critters on record - support or not.

    Watch them squirm .... far easier to be a monday morning quarterback than on the field.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:19:27 PM PDT

  •  not sure (9+ / 0-)

    why we are involved at all.  If Israel wants, it can bomb them.  So can the Saudis.  Don't they want to get their planes dirty?  Why'd they buy them, anyway?  

    I have relatives there.  Will Obama's missiles kill them, or just the gas?  Isn't blowing up nerve agent a bad idea?  

    Also, is this a military dictatorship and I missed?  There are those that would love to see Obama in epilets and a peaked cap smoking a cigar I'm sure.  But the constitution says Congress must approve.  International law says attacking a country unprovoked is a war crime.  

    Why are we doing this?

    Questions.  

    Corporations - don't miss the opportunity to rent this space! Only $100 per word!

    by Nada Lemming on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:23:11 PM PDT

    •  There are more questions than answers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arlandbaee, Nada Lemming, Pi Li

      The appetite for war is very low among the public.

      At least a debate, and a vote in both Houses becomes a bi-partisan decision ... Politically neutral.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:30:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now that should be our motto! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, marsanges

        "There are more questions than Answers"

      •  Isn't that.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        required?

        Corporations - don't miss the opportunity to rent this space! Only $100 per word!

        by Nada Lemming on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:01:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think so (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nada Lemming

          but I am not the President :)

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:08:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You think so? Did you mean to say I think it (0+ / 0-)

            Should be?  Because I know you know it's not a requirement.  What are you playing at?

            •  When have you ever known me to (0+ / 0-)

              "play" at anything?

              I was agreeing with you.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              Who is twigg?

              by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:25:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly, I haven't experienced you ever (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                twigg

                Prevaricate before.

                •  Heh .. I'm not now. (0+ / 0-)

                  If my replies are unclear, then I apologise.

                  Just tell me and I'll fix them.

                  I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                  but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                  Who is twigg?

                  by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:35:28 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Correct my if I'm mistaken, but I thought you (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    twigg

                    Agreed with Nada Lemming's supposition that a debate and vote is a requirement.  She replied to you.  This discussion does make me fret, so perhaps I'm jumpy.

                    •  Here is what I think (0+ / 0-)

                      and it might clarify my view on "impeachment" too.

                      I think that the Constitution demands a vote from Congress for what appears to be the suggestion of a sustained (days) attack on Syria. This is well beyond the limited involvement to date .... Recon, spying, arming rebels. That is a limited intervention which I think is covered by the reserved powers.

                      There is little doubt that if Congress is asked to consent, they will do so, and every Congressman will be on record with their vote. There is no weaseling out of that. If it goes well they can share the credit, if not, they don't get to point a finger.

                      The real trouble starts if things don't go so well. If the Syrian Air Force sinks an aircraft carrier, or somehow does real damage to the US military ... or if they ramp up the attacks on their own people, forcing the US into greater involvement while China and Russia are sending arms to the Syrian government, and rattling their own sabres ... or if Iran gets involved ... These are not good outcomes.

                      In that situation, I think the Republicans in the House would revisit the authorisation matter, and they would try to declare the President's actions a "High Crime and/or Misdemeanor" ... If I we them, that is what I would do.

                      Doing that would tie up the White House for maybe 18 months, and stop any legislative agenda the President might have. It would not do much for the Democrat who hopes to succeed him either.

                      The simply way to prevent this, is to get Congress to vote.

                      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                      Who is twigg?

                      by twigg on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 09:53:19 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I would normally agree with you but having (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        twigg

                        Witnessed The Republican's track record for obstructing anything Obama, the President would be a fool to believe he would get Republican approval even for this.

                        Not to mention the fact that if chemical weapons were used the President would be setting a problematic precedence waiting for a congressional debate and vote.  That alone would severely undermine executive power in the future, not to mention America's stance on the use of chemical weapon use.

                        I can't imagine anything worse than war based on false information about WMDs, except perhaps a lack of response to real WMDs.  Perhaps that's what this is all about?

                        A very difficult decision.

        •  Unfortunately, it's not required under these (0+ / 0-)

          Circumstances.

          •  Under what (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, twigg

            circumstances?  Congress has the only enumerated power to declare war.

            I haven't seen any evidence whatsoever that Assad's forces and not defected generals launched chemical attacks.  Matter of fact, the best evidence suggests. if there was a chemical attack, it was the rebels.  But we don't even know that. And again, for some reason the UN is being ignored.

            This feels like Iraq and it's not a good feeling.  

            Corporations - don't miss the opportunity to rent this space! Only $100 per word!

            by Nada Lemming on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 11:19:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Not to mention... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Johnny Q, HCKAD

    ...when it goes south, which any military action we take in the ME always does, we can blame the Republican house and not the Democratic POTUS.

    Seriously, I'm not a Libertarian, and I think Ron and Rand both suck the big one on every issue but this, but WTF are we (once again) wasting (lives? and) treasure to intervene between two sides in a war that BOTH hate us?

    Using chemical weapons on your own citizens? Clearly bad.

    Daring a nation to use chemical weapons on their own citizens? As in "don't cross that 'red line'!" Clearly stupid.

    I don't have the answer, but I just can't see a civil war halfway around the world as the "threat to our national security" that it's being portrayed as being.

    Yeah, I don't want Assad gassing his own people.

    But in the end, constitutionally, it's none of our fucking business without a UN resolution, which China and Russia WILL veto.

    Shouldn'ta said that "red line" shit, Obama. You done fucked up, there.

    Just get us off oil, so we only have one reason (I won't say it) to worry about the middle east, and let those people settle their own differences.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:29:14 PM PDT

  •  I don't think a single president has made a case (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, tardis10, marsanges

    for going to war since the VietNam War.  They just do what their advisors recommend, and their donors nod their heads to.

    Really...Congress could have done something about this decades ago, but they prefer to be out of the loop.  Congress doesn't want to grapple with decisions of war and peace...it wants to be in the catbird's seat and be able to either complain, criticize or cheerlead.  But let the Executive take the ultimate heat.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 08:39:05 PM PDT

  •  I agree. The only thing is that W did bring (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg

    Congress in on Iraq, they voted for it, and it was a disaster.  That's just to say that getting Congress to go along doesn't mean anything as to the actual merits of the enterprise.  And that was a real Congress, whereas Congress as currently constituted is a joke; a farce.

    I don't currently support getting involved in Syria.  But I have to say that even for issues on which I disagree with the President, I trust the President's judgment and deliberative process more than I do the joke that is Congress.  I have less than zero faith in Congress to make good faith judgments on anything.  Even when they just happen to come down on the same side as I on a given issue, I'd bet that the thought process they used to arrive at that position was bullshit.

    Nevertheless I agree to bring in that joke of a Congress on this issue.  If nothing else, it at least spreads the responsibility around.

  •  The press is in this country are a total disgrace. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, tardis10, marsanges, Johnny Q

    These same idiots that were up in arms over the government supposedly overreaching are now lying down like puppies and ready to drum up another war with dire consequences for the country.

    Yes, the president needs to call congress back.

  •  Never Again becomes Again and Again (0+ / 0-)

    I certainly can understand the wariness of American citizenry to slip into yet another conflict in the ME.

    But then, there is the specter of allowing atrocities and crimes against humanity.

    My sad conclusion is that much is poised towards making mass killings of defenseless persons routine.

    Burned by the Vietnam War, no one could lift a finger against the Pol Pot regime

    The Yugoslav Wars became shocking when we saw emaciated prisoners echoing the Holocaust.

    And then Rwanda followed.

    I mean, fuck, this is a country that can't acknowledge genocide against Armenians because it disturbs our "ally",  Turkey.

    Aquote form a 1994 nytimes article:

    "A BODY COUNT may not be the best way to measure a man's evil, but it is a useful place to start. And among the century's architects of mass murder, few apart from Hitler and Stalin could claim more victims than a pudgy, ever-smiling Cambodian who came to be known by his followers as "Brother No. 1." He was better known to the outside world by his nom de guerre, Pol Pot, the leader of the Maoist-inspired Khmer Rouge rebels of Cambodia.

    In his crazed, four-year revolution in the 1970's to convert Cambodia into a Communist state purer than any other, Pol Pot mercilessly dispatched at least one million Cambodians -- and some experts say many more -- through starvation, execution and torture."Pol Pot 1994

    A body count is a useful place to start?

    So apparently we have come to a place where you have to out-Hitler or out-Stalin.

    And of course the terrible irony of this, is John Kerry talking about moral obscenities, when Netanyahu is giving him the finger on the Israeli/Palestine peace talks, by allowing more settlements in the West Bank.

    At any rate, this is WWIII fecund. Putin is an authoritarian pig, and Syria's ally. And China could give a shit about mass murder if only it creates more markets for them.

    America's role as world policeman has ended up making us the world's bitch.

  •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, WisePiper

    Congress must be consulted.  Even if they are dysfunctional idiots.

  •  I'm confused with all the Iraq comparisons (0+ / 0-)

    this is a lot more like Libya than Iraq...yet I didn't see any of the same talk during that confrontation than this one, and that one was/is likely to be more extensive than this one.

  •  Does anyone really think that Congress will come (0+ / 0-)

    back?  They are on vacation for Christ's sake!  And the House is only working 9 days in September and need to work on repealing Obamacare again....Syria will just have to wait their turn...../snark

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