There’s already been plenty of discussion of yesterday’s decision by President Obama to take Syrian intervention to Congress, but I just wanted to add that it’s both clever politics and good policy. I agree with Juan Cole on the politics:
Obama made a clever political calculation. The Tea Party and the GOP in general had been demanding that he submit the Syria file to them. So he obliged them. If they say ‘no,’ as the British parliament did, then Obama is off the hook. If they say ‘yes,’ then they are full partners in any failures that result. Either way, the issue is taken off the agenda of the 2016 election and Democrats are held harmless.
Those who think a ‘no’ vote will make Obama an early lame duck do not reckon with how all the votes have been ‘no’ for some years now. Nothing will change in that regard.
The last thing that weak old John Boehner wanted was another caucus-splitting vote that makes him violate the Hastert suggestion, and he tried to avert it by refusing to bring the House back into session early, but now he’s got one, and we may be treated to some airing of Republican dirty laundry.
As for the policy, Obama is right: there is no rush for the kind of intervention he laid out in his speech. If we’re going to destroy some pieces of Syrian military infrastructure in a way that’s unlikely to cause civilian casualties, those airfields or remote bases will still be around in a couple of weeks. And after Obama is gone, when we’re contemplating war, even the simplest simpletons in the press will ask the new President why he or she isn’t taking it to Congress.
But but but John Bolton disagrees according to the Newsmax links on the right of the screen…
c u n d gulag
If this is another example of 11th Dimensional Chess – ME LIKEY!!!
The Republicans look like a party of Elmer Fudd’s, twying to kiww dat wascally Pwesident, Bawack Hussein Obama.
c u n d gulag
Bolton’s, is the mustache Friedman yearns to have, when he finally grows up!
He’d love to exchange his “Mustache of TEH STOOOOOOOP!”, for Bolton’s, “Great Mustache of Death!!!”
Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant)
He did what he’s supposed to do. Only the NeoConfederates and the ODS crowd will whine about this. The end.
And if Congress votes “yes,” it will occur to even a few of Our Highly-Paid Media Stars to ask, “If you trust the president to go to war, why is it the end of the republic to let him appoint a head of the ATF?”
In the meantime, it’s fun watching the GOP twist themselves into knots knowing that they can’t actually complain that they’ve been given the chance to vote on something, but still trying to complain about it.
@c u n d gulag: Of course Bolton is against intervention because he favors a larger intervention.
no, they won’t be. because Obama will have done some part of the operation slightly differently than Commander McCain would have, and in wingnut hindsight, that part will become the key to everything.
I’ve watched me some John Bolton recently commenting on the Syrian situation. His response amounts to acknowledging there are no good choices available to the President, just Assad vs the likelihood of hard-line Islamic elements with Al Quaeda influences dominating if the rebels depose him…BUT BUT if only someone like John Wayne or John Bolton were President, we’d show those Ruskis, um Arabs not to mess with the U.S. of A.. Somehow, we would show the necessary grit and muscle (lots of other people’s children’s muscle put at-risk, to show how bad-ass John Bolton is).
In Texas, they call this an all hat and no cattle approach to ranching. Having this clever saying doesn’t of course mean they’re smart enough to recognize it when they see it…
Wonder if Bolton’s signature was on that letter sent to B. Barry Bamz the other day – you know, the one signed by Bill Kristol, Elliot Abrams, et al. If it wasn’t it should have been, preferably signed in blood, since that is clearly Bolton’s favorite liquid substance. Besides, endorsing one more epic demand for suck and fail seems right up ol
@cleek: The question is whether that is a gentle bedtime fable they tell themselves to help keep the monsters away, or if it becomes conventional wisdom.
The best part of this Syria noise is we aren’t hearing about how Amerikans are being spied on and no it didn’t just stop.
Howard Beale IV
Sirr David Frost, RIP.
@AnderJ beat me to the “But but but” formulation I had been going to use, so I will just observe that Mara Liasson on NPR this morning was all about how “risky” this is for the President, and whatever the Congress decides it is a terrible “risk” for the President.
You really are an optimist, mistermix. A precedent like this clearly doesn’t apply if the president is a manly man of the Republican persuasion.
big ole hound
We should care less who wins or dies in this 1000 year old tribal warfare. Stay away, very far away and let them fight like it is a cage match.
Just One More Canuck
@Howard Beale IV: I was surprised that he was only 74
The world’s greatest deliberative body gets to do the heavy lifting – what a delightfully normal sounding proposition. Mann and Ornstein have another piece in the WaPo dreaming about that very idea (not about Syria, just every other thing they need to get done).
@Howard Beale IV:
Most of the obits are leading with the Nixon interviews, and rightly so, but I remember him best from “That Was The Week That Was” (or TW3, as we called it). Brilliant, early news satire program (it preceded SNL by more than a decade) imported from the UK, with a very young David Frost as host.
Interestingly, the conversation in an earlier thread that mentioned Diahann Carroll in several comments reminded me that she and Frost were engaged for a while. Interracial relationships were legal by then, but still most unusual, and there was a lot of publicity about their engagement. So he was kind of on the fringes of my mind today before I heard that he had died.
As for Syria’s international benefactor…
This is the kind of thing that makes people seek asylum from Russia these days:
… and if Obama sends out cruise missiles to blow up a whole bunch of Russian supply depots– I could see supporting that. The Ruskies have been completely shameless in this business, I would not be unhappy to see them pay a price for it.
I agree. The idea that we have to bomb NOW NOW NOW is so ridiculous. This civil war has been going on for years and it’s a stalemate. What planet were these guys on when we rushed into the last war?
One of the other interesting things is how Assad’s forces dispersed in preparation of strikes. Soldiers left their weapons and went home, etc. The FSA may be saying they wanted strikes but quietly they will make some big advances now.
@cleek: Agreed. This analysis is sound in a sane world, but we don’t live in a sane world. The wingnuts are held to no standards and can say and do anything they want. They’ll blame Obama regardless of their actions. Just like when they shut down the Government, that too will be Obama’s fault.
Their constituents will believe it, even if you don’t.
funny how the Constitution had it right and the power mad POTUS’ that all think they can blow stuff up whenever they want have it wrong.
This is no genius move on obama’s part. Its common sense, its within the law, and its what should have been obvious from the outset instead of his bloviating. Now the only problem is democrats voting for attacking, not because it is in the interest of the US or will achieve any useful objective (which it won’t), but so obama doesn’t look bad.
@cleek: Obama just isn’t doing it right, whatever “it” is or some molecular part of “it” that only the cons can see.
Media Industrial Complex Has Meltdown Over Constitutional Government (Andrea Mitchell Haz a Sad)
Saturday, August 31, 2013 | Posted by Spandan C at 6:12 PM
Did you watch Andrea Mitchell today? Oh, boy. Did she ever get a case of teh sad after President Obama’s address in the Rose Garden. She – and notably, this Ret. Col. Jack Jacobs, commentator on MSNBC – had a total meltdown. Together, Mrs. Greenspan and Mr. Jacobs cooked up theories ranging from an Obama-Kerry discord to a “reversal” that Mitchell kept referring to on the part of the president, to executive weakness to stabbing the Syrian rebels in the back.
Jacobs was beside himself that for some bizarre reason, John Kerry could no longer be trusted by world leaders as speaking for the president (because somehow, some way, Jacobs imagined a part of Kerry’s speech yesterday where he said that the president had made up his mind to order a strike without Congress’ buy-in, though Kerry actually said just the opposite) Mitchell a potshot at the president for going golfing after making the speech. Yeah, how dare that mulatto go golfing after messing up all my war reporting plans?
They – and media hanchos everywhere – cooked up every theory they could think of, except one: that when the president, and Sec. Kerry, and everyone else in the administration were telling you bumbling fools in the media that the president hadn’t yet made a decision, they were telling the truth (I know, I know, gasp!). It never even seems to register with the talking heads. No, even when they are being told clear as day that the president hasn’t made a decision, they know that the president really has, and it’s the decision they think he’s made, and if that doesn’t pan out, OMG, reversal!!!!!!
I mean, God forbid you actually believed the president when he told you he hadn’t made a decision and he was really looking at all options on the table. God forbid you actually believe the President of the United States when he told you that this response is meant to be a response to the use of chemical weapons, not a helping hand to one side of the Syrian civil war. God forbid you actually believe the president when he says that as a Constitutional scholar, he wants the Congress to have buy-in. God forbid you actually are forced report the real news rather than figments of your imagination. God forbid. Right?
Look, I get it. After all, President Obama just screwed up Mitchell’s own R&R plans. She and her studio was all ready to report war theater for the next week – with much of the graphics and rhetoric already written and the guests already booked – and now they have to change that. They have to cover – horror of all horrors – a national and Congressional debate about military action and the grotesque conduct that Syria engaged in. Heck, she probably even had to rework her script today. Why does the president insist on making pillars of our media do actual work to earn their millions in salaries while they pretend like they are just like the rest of us? How very annoying of this president.
A New Low: How the Tea Party Trolled Tim Scott Into Selling Himself Out
By: Trevor LaFauci
Aug. 31st, 2013
Senator Tim Scott, are you listening?
Way Back When the thought of having an African American man elected as a representative of your state would get as many hearty laughs as an episode of the Andy Griffith Show. Way Back When you would have to eat your lunch at separate lunch counters. Way Back When you would have to drink out of a separate water fountain. Way Back When you would attend inferior schools with outdated textbooks and materials. Way Back When people were actively trying to put systems in place to prevent you from participating in a representative democracy.
Well, I guess that last one doesn’t seem too far fetched, actually.
This past week, Senator Tim Scott failed miserably at the Way Back When game. As the first African-American senator from the south since 1881 and the first African-American representative from South Carolina since 1897, he, along with other prominent members of the Republican Party, received an invitation to attend the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. As someone who grew up in poverty, but was able to make something of himself via his hard work and a dedicated mother working 16-hour days, it seemed only natural that Scott would be in attendance for the historical event.
Unfortunately, Tim Scott was nowhere to be found.
As news media began to comment on the clear lack of Conservative presence at the event, the right wing spin machine quickly went to work claiming that the event was some liberal invite only and that no Conservatives were invited. Scott, entering the public eye for his conspicuous absence, also claimed that he too didn’t receive an invite. However, news media quickly confirmed that Scott, along with the entire Republican Congressional caucus, did, in fact, receive invites to the event but declined. Some, like Eric Cantor, were too busy dealing with oil lobbyists. Others, like Tim Scott ran into the problem of having to make a decision fearing the wrath of his constituency: The Tea Party.
And we all know how the Tea Party feels about Black folk.
Yes, herein lies the problem for Scott, the interim senator from the Palmetto State. As someone who was appointed by Tea Party darling Nikki Haley, Scott knows that it was Tea Party support that helped him become the replacement for departing senator Jim DeMint in 2011. He owes his allegiance to a group of people who see him as a second class citizen, a feel-good story that his constituents use to convince themselves they aren’t inherently racist. However, for most of them, people with the complexion of Scott are not only scary, but also inferior. The majority of them openly wish that Way Back When had never ended.
This is the deal with the devil that Scott has made. Rather than pay tribute to the man who enabled him to become a representative and then a senator, Scott has to bow to the Tea Party powers that be or else face the threat of being primaried, most likely by someone who needs a little more suntan lotion. Scott, like every single member of his party, chose not to attend the event for fear of alienating his base of Tea Party voters. This left an entire political party absent from a moving tribute to one of the most influential figures of the last century.
@pluege: Ah, so if he does something right, he really didn’t. Gotcha.
Artist who painted Putin in lingerie seeking asylum in France
Konstantin Altunin fled to Paris after police seized his racy painting of the Russian president and prime minister
By Allison Jackson
Russian artist Konstantin Altunin, who made international headlines this week after police seized his painting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women’s underwear, is seeking asylum in France.
The 45-year-old fled Russia on Tuesday night after police raided an art gallery in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg and confiscated various works, including Altunin’s painting depicting Putin in a pink nightie and Medvedev in a bra and knickers.
Altunin fears he would be arrested if he returned to Russia.
I was watching CNN earlier (at an airport) and some dimwit was interviewing Rep Mike Rogers and she asked him about if he thought Obama was trying to make congress share responsibility (she actually asked that), and I must say he sounded very reasonable. I could be wrong but strikes me as war crazy, so maybe that led to this moment of reasonableness.
The Thin Black Duke
@pluege: Unfortunately, in the current political landscape, “common sense” is an act of genius.
@rikyrah: I mean, God forbid you actually believed the president when he told you he hadn’t made a decision and he was really looking at all options on the table.
I can’t remember the specifics, but I remember at least one occasion in Obama’s first term where he clearly stated one position, and Jabba the Rush decided to bloviate about what Obama was “really thinking” instead of what he said.
You would think in a rational world that that incident alone would be enough to turn people off of Rush as an idiot if not actually insane. But right wing radio doesn’t exist in a rational world of course.
And I guess the talking heads you’re talking about live in the same world, where “what he’s thinking, not what he’s saying” is a legitimate topic for conversation, and we can all nod sagely as we discuss it.
Don’t you have a giant puppet to assemble and a drum to beat?
It’s people like you that make me enjoy police violence at Occupy breakup parties.
And in PBO’s remarks immediately following Kerry’s statement, the president again said that he hadn’t made up his mind, was still considering all options and was consulting with Congress and our international partners.
But now the media are desperate to save face so they again have to mischaracterize what happened to cover up their bad reporting.
Remember how terrible they were during the Boston Marathon bombings? That was not unusual. They are always that terrible and it is a mistake to assume competence.
Treating Congress as a co-equal branch of government is an impeachable offense.
@rikyrah: I certainly hope all of this is remembered when a Dem runs against Scott in the next election. Seems like good campaign material.
@Randy P: One time? I wish. Everyone, from Rush to the author of this post, has been telling us “what Obama is really thinking” for years!
@pluege: I don’t think Democrats will support it so Obama doesn’t look bad. Many are really troubled by the use of chemical weapons and support a limited strike. Excluding the anti any war wing of the party, Democrats have always been pragmatic when it comes to the use of force.
Asking them to make a decision is tyrannical.
Congress, be careful what you wish for
By Steve Benen
Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:27 PM EDT
The funny thing about a dog that chases a car? Sometimes it catches the car and has no idea what to do next.
Over the last several days, members of Congress have spoken out with a variety of opinions about U.S. policy towards Syria, but lawmakers were in broad agreement about one thing: they wanted President Obama to engage Congress on the use of military force. Few expected the White House to take the requests too seriously.
Why not? Because over the last several decades, presidents in both parties have increasingly consolidated authority over national security matters, tilting practically all power over the use of force towards the Oval Office and away from the legislative branch. Whereas the Constitution and the War Powers Act intended to serve as checks on presidential authority on military intervention abroad, there’s been a gradual (ahem) drift away from these institutional norms.
That is, until this afternoon, when President Obama stunned everyone, announcing his decision to seek “authorization” from a co-equal branch of government.
It’s one of those terrific examples of good politics and good policy. On the former, the American public clearly endorses the idea of Congress giving its approval before military strikes begin. On the latter, at the risk of putting too fine a point on this, Obama’s move away from unilateralism reflects how our constitutional, democratic system of government is supposed to work.
For your amusement: Right wingers are sending around a link to an article on EU Times (them of the “Obama Death Squads Roaming America”) purporting Putin has threatened to nuke Saudi Arabia if the US tomahawks Syria. I learned about it from a friend who used be sane but now needs professional intervention and some psycho-pharmaceuticals for his paranoia.
Person of Choler
@c u n d gulag: As twittered by David Burge, “Obama is playing chess. Assad is playing laugh at the guy playing chess.”
That doesn’t sound right. James Clyburn has been in office since 1993.
Scott is the first black Republican representative from South Carolina (or maybe the entire South?) since 1897, though.
@rikyrah: Tim Scott is a self hating weakling, in more ways than one.
The Pale Scot
Do tell. All ears.
I’m not sure I can agree with Juan Cole about the possible outcomes. In a sane and moral system, yes, if the Republicans give their approval, that would mean they’d share in responsibility and/or credit. But our system right now is neither. We live in an America where Republicans filibuster their own legislation and aren’t treated as pariahs by people with influence, where they pivot on a dime to attack ideas they introduced and praise actions they were condemning literally the day before. I’m not sure what the American people at large would think, but in the halls of power, Republicans will claim credit for all good things, dump all blame on Obama, and continue to get away with it.
If Congressional Republicans really want to throw a curve ball at President Obama they should declare war against Syria, like Congress did with Japan and Germany, in early December 1941.
Congress passes laws and the President has to execute them.
So what could Obama do, if war is declared? Not send in the troops?
Maybe not sending in troops would be an impeachable offense?
I don’t know, but I honestly feel like no matter what happens this will not end well.
The Pale Scot
I think I messed up posting this, apologies if it’s duplicate.
Interesting read over at Naked Capitalism, Refers to Rumsfeld’s plan to invade seven ME countries in five years, notices that 2 are gonna already, (Afghan was a freebie). Links to Emptywheel’s piece arguing that the USG’s major evidence for the nerve gas is ALL the videos on Utube, more than the rebels could have fabricated by god! Then excerpts from Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s article in the London Review of Books about how Saudi/Wahabi fanatics are paying to create units of rebels that dedicate themselves to generating video.
In my mind, this hangs together to well to ignore after considering Curve Ball and the episodes of Afghani warlords manipulating theUS military into hitting their personal enemies with air strikes.
@Botsplainer: Well now yourenthusiasm for pointless strikes maes sense. It hadn’t occured to me that you might just like violence for its own sake.
At least you are consistant.
It’s even worse than that. The Boner is not about to call his buddies back early, so then next session doesn’t start until Monday, Sept. 9. Which means Andrea and all the other medial slackers have absolutely nothing to do for a week. Oh sure, Labor Day is Monday, and there will be a jobs report on Friday, but that’s boring stuff compared to bombs and blood.
They are really good at the revisionist narrative, that’s for sure.
I’m still getting over the fact that “The SURGE!” is still promoted as a sign of Supreme Allied Commander Bush’s military genius when 1) it didn’t happen until he fired Rumsfeld and that entire clique of people who had been chosen for their ideology and political loyalties rather than their competence and replaced them with actually competent people, which in turn didn’t happen until the 2006 elections gave his party the biggest kick in the ass in fifteen years, and 2) even assuming that “the SURGE!” was the only element that helped things go better (it wasn’t; wasn’t even the biggest one), all it was was Bush finally applying the strategy that his critics had been telling him since before the invasion (“we don’t have enough troops, numb-nuts!”)
Good. France can trade him for that prick Depardieu who was granted Russian citizenship at the beginning of last year.
@Person of Choler:
As I’ve mentioned before… it constantly amazes me how much the ultimate supreme fear of so many Republicans is that someone’s laughing at them.
So the ruler of one half of a third rate country crumbling out from underneath him is finding some humor in the situation (according to Burge). Okay. And we care, because… ?
@pluege: If Congress votes no and Obama does nothing, how will he look bad versus following the will of the people as expressed through their elected reps? I see more downside to a yes vote from Congress since I don’t understand what will be gained by a few military strikes in Syria.
I love the way everyone can read exactly what Obama’s secret conspiratorial intentions really are.
@rikyrah: Great article, although I didn’t miss the lack of GOP representatives at the 50th Anniversary for the March on Washington. It was hilarious that O’Reilly had to apologize for claiming that no Republicans were invited.
@cleek: Exactly right. President McCain, will vote yes to authorize but he is making sure he won’t be responsible for the inevitable clusterfuck. His lose-lose statement, co-authored with Lindsey “Uncle Arthur” Graham, makes that clear: “However, we cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President’s stated goal of Assad’s removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests. Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing.
Reposted from below:
There’s no morning open thread, but I have to put this somewhere or I’ll explode. Day after day I’ve read editorials in the NYTimes about how something needs to be done in Syria, but Obama is ignoring the will of Congress. Obama must consult with Congress about what to do about the outrages in Syria. Something must be done in Syria, but Obama can’t go it alone. Congress must be consulted. So what is the headline on this morning’s Times? “Obama Pulls Lawmakers into Box He Made.”
According to the people on the listserv I read, he faces 5 years in prison for his art. The “organs” have already been to his apartment.
Your liberal media.
@gogol’s wife: I’m a long-term, every-day NYT reader, and I can’t recall the last time I read through a whole editorial. Ignore it.
This headline was on the front page.
@gogol’s wife: I saw the front-page article, and thought it was pretty good– if you go for that sort of ‘who shot John?’ insider stuff. But the editorial is ignorable.
I absolutely love how vague McCain’s statement is. So what do you want? Hey, you’re the military mastermind (did you guys know John McCain was a POW? In Vietnam? Where he fought? And was a POW?) What do you want? An Iraq style invasion? Long, sustained Kosovo style bombings? A coordinated campaign between us and the rebellion, Libya or Afghanistan style? What?
(Of course the vagueness of the statement is intentional, so he won’t have to get behind any particular option).
Altunin’s paintings targeted the Duma representative who authored the gay-propaganda law (he’s depicted against the background of a rainbow flag; he’s the one who called the police), Putin and Medvedev (depicted in women’s lingerie), and the Patriarch. So if you add up the possible sentences, it’s about five years. Freedom!
Heh, we should give him asylum here to see Putin’s reaction.
I’m glad Obama is going to Congress because it represents a delay in the bombing, which I think was being rushed into. As I understand the Chemical Weapons convention, there is no required military response within a specified timeframe. Even the threat of bombing caused Syria’s military to duck and cover and there have been fewer attacks locally in Syria of any kind since the alleged chemical attack. So, this is both good politics and good policy. Right now, I’d be a “no” vote, and I don’t expect that to change, but I’ll be watching the UN report and events closely and I suppose it’s possible that I could change my mind after hearing some of the debate. I’m just not sure what a few bombs will actually accomplish and Obama is in a box constantly claiming a “limited” strike – if it’s limited, why do it? I want to see the UN report; I want more diplomacy. I want the consideration of sanctions.
That’s been my Facebook. (See, you don’t need to read the New York Times. Pig-ignorant blowhards can be found anywhere). And I, too, am still fairly pissed, if not surprised, that none of the douchebags clamoring about Obama’s tyranny and how he needs to go to Congress are even so much as acknowledging that he’s done that.
I wonder how much Snowden-acquired intel Putin has been sharing with Assad.
Really? I make an exception for Krugman.
Keep moving those goalposts.
@Chris: Krugman is a columnist, op-ed page. Different category altogether from the stuff on the editorial page. I can see that someone who doesn’t read the dead tree version could miss the difference– all the ‘opinion’ is on one web page, which mushes up an important distinction.
Those goalposts are in Siberia now, they’ve been moved so much.
We now call them Freedom!posts.
I’m guessing that at least some of the blustering by the US and UK was meant to put Assad on notice that we all saw what he did this time (reports of earlier attacks had been less clear-cut) and he’d better not do it again anytime soon.
IMO, one of the better interim solutions would be for Assad to agree to turn his stocks over to the UN, but I don’t know if anyone’s even discussing that. It would be to his benefit, because then any future chemical attacks could be attributed to the rebels since he wouldn’t have access to those weapons. The actual punishment could wait until his trial at the Hague.
@Person of Choler:
At this point in history, folks should know better than to make fun of the Chess Club guys. They’ll end up owning the company you work for while you try and figure out how they did it.
BTW, for people who are upset by the suffering of the people of Syria, Doctors Without Borders is there and can always use some extra cash:
To my everlasting shame, I turned on CNN for a few minutes just now, and Gloria Borger was literally screaming at John Kerry about the President’s decision to consult Congress. She was simply furious, her face all contorted. And yes, she actually did say that, well, if he was going to consult Congress, he should have done it sooner, what took him so long?
Many years ago, when she was a regular panelist on the PBS show “Washington Week in Review,” I used to like Borger (is that show even still on the air? I haven’t seen it in years) but she has turned into a parody of all that’s wrong with CNN. It was like she was auditioning for an SNL skit, only overacting.
CNN bought a lot of nonrefundable tickets to the Middle East to cover the bombing, so now they’re pissed.
You can definitely see why Edward Snowden would want to go to such a bastion of individual liberty rather than a pit of oppression like the USA.
@Chris: I agree with you about Krugman, but on the Opinion page I make a further distinction between (1) editorials (by the NYT editorial board), (2) one-off or very occasional op-eds on specific topics by outside commenters, and (3) regular opinion columns by columnists such as Krugman, Brooks, Collins, and the rest of the gang. It’s possible I’m getting too granular.
It’s a neat idea but I don’t think it would work in practice. It’s really hard to believe that he’d turn them all over, even assuming that he still has control over all his initial stock. I would assume that he’s going to try to cheat and hold some back, either for last-ditch use or to fake a chemical attack by insurgents. Because of that inevitable suspicion, he has very little incentive to hand any of them in.
BENGAZI BENGAZI BENGAZI GOLF BENGAZI BENGAZI BENGAZI GOLF BENGAZI BENGAZI
The fact that the “liberal media” meme still has any traction whatsoever is fucking ridiculous. CNN and the New York Times aren’t even pretending to be doing anything other than furiously flip-flopping through every possible position that’ll allow them to say somehow, somehow, everything in Syria is Obama’s fault. T&H could do with taking a leaf out of their book.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Also, if the House goes and vote for intervention it makes it harder to argue for the Sequestor and shut downs.
@SiubhanDuinne: Wasn’t it only a few days ago that the UN, verified the use of Sarin Gas? Is Borger disappointed that Obama didn’t preemptively invade? Some folks really must miss the Bush years.
MSNBC is quoting SecState Kerry as saying, “1,429 people dead by chemical attacks”
That’s a pretty damn specific number for some place we have no HUMINT and the UN report is not even finished yet.
MSNBC is also reporting Syrian rebel “leaders” as saying, “We can’t oust Assad without the US”
I think the distinction of Snowden seeking asylum in “freedom loving” Russia is what it is. The guy may not have thought things through.
What irks me are the left-leaning folks in this country, who now think the U.S.A. is a police state and our individual liberties are lost for ever and/or were lost the instant the USA PATRIOT Acts were passed and we now need to live in fear of government packing us off to the re-education camps.
Bush, Jr. had better cocktail parties for the media, so obviously he’ll be missed.
I’m pretty sure you just simply enjoy the thought of police violence. And violence in general, as is readily apparent.
Quite secure in the comforting belief that it will never happen to you.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
This is Washington were talking about; being able to use common sense there is an act of genius.
Holy shit! Assad really is The New Hitler! ™
I’ll bet Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-un are hella pissed right now!
For once, I am hoping that the Republicans hate Obama enough to “just say no”. The president has to know that his endorsement of anything is a red flag to the opposition, as is his request for action on a specific issue. I wish I knew how he really wants them to vote. In any case, they can’t blame him for Syria, however it turns out, unless he ignores how they vote entirely. Then again, they are experts at weasel-wording resolutions that can mean anything to anyone.
Hopeful it works out okay. Just remember, Obama was rushing to act until Parliament handed defeat to David Cameron.
On the flip side, I read that there are some in the military unhappy with the delay as it renders any action less effective since greater time permits more counter measures.
@Corner Stone: He forgot Churchill.
Gassing Kurds before it was fashionable.
@pluege: I’m pretty damn sure that Pelosi and Reid have refused to whip votes, and will tell their caucuses that this isn’t about party politics and to simply vote their conscience and the way their constituents want. Dems will probably be 60% against, maybe 40% for in the House, probably the reverse in the Senate. Boner has a much bigger problem because everything in his caucus is about party politics and voting as a bloc: and in this case he’s going to have a civil war between the teabaggers and neocons. I’ve got lots of popcorn just waiting.
I’m glad that the losers in this are the fucking military-industrial entertainment whore media. Yeah, they’re upset that there’s no war to hump. I hate those fuckers. Fuck them.
Also, since the neocons are all about more war, I’m guessing that means that AIPAC is all for it too, and if so I’m damn glad Obama has finally found a way to cockblock them too. About damn time.
I do feel bad for all the neighbors in the region though, including Israel. They get to live next door to either a murderous dictator or Al Queda. There is, as Charlie Pierce said, no good that can come of this.
And pretty much all the major powers in WWI.
This is some kind of subtle parody, right?
@Keith G: I thought Obama was going too slow. Keep up! You have a narrative to flog
well played President Obama, well played
Admitting ignorance here, but I assume we already have sanctions in place against Syria? If there are by chance additional sanctions to place against the regime, I’m not sure how effective they would be since Russia will simply give Syria economic aid to offset any additional sanctions on the government.
@Loviatar: Who are you and what have you done with my beloved Loviator?!
@LAC: Are you even capable of simple reading comprehension? It certainly doesn’t appear so.
How bout you dial the love-o-meter back a notch or two?
Not that it will effect, or should necessarily effect on her members vote, but Pelosi is on record according to various articles I read as wanting the administration to respond against Syria.
Anyways it’s a complex issue, and doesn’t fit into a neat “left/right” binary that the media often pushes. I suppose there would probably be some members of congress who would support action against a regime that used chemical weapons, but are hesitant/reluctant to do so in this particular case because they’re afraid the U.S. could be drawn into another military conflict in the middle east. Which of course, is not an impossible scenario, although my understanding of any potential military strikes is that they are more among the line of Clinton’s missile strike against Sudan in 1998 to punish OBL for the embassy bombings than like Iraq, Afghanistan or even Libya. On the other hand, I can see members who are usually reluctant to use military force, even in a limited capability, to consider action in this particular case, because of the fact that chemical weapons were used.
@Lady Bug: It’s a solid question but you’re asking the wrong person as patroclus isn’t very bright.
Assad could not care less about sanctions, they are useless except as fig leaves for the Western powers.
He either kills or is killed. Assad has nothing to lose at this point but his life. Sanction Syria and you simply deny goods, services and medical aid to people he’s already determined to kill.
Is it completely wrong that in cases like this, I’d rather have the congress critters vote for what the evidence and their conscious shows is in the best interest of the country (whatever that means supporting or not supporting limited strikes) than what their constituents, most who can’t even find Syria on map think? Especially when understandably, most people have not followed the day to day updates of what is happening in Syria, and probably are not familiar with the Geneva Convention, international law or the potential pitfalls in terms of both limited strikes AND the potential pitfalls in terms of not intervening?
I was really hoping for Ted & Helen and SoCoolSoFresh to consplain how the president is WEAAAAAK.
Person of Cholor and CornerStone are pretty weak tea here.
@Botsplainer: Well, at least you’re up-front about being a fascist.
@Corner Stone: Also, the other Obots refusal to condemn this guy is pretty telling. I guess they feel the same way he does, they just don’t have the guts to say it out loud.
Yep, as of right now, in Minnesota Betty McCullum (Liberal Democrat) and Michelle Bachmann (Batshit Conservative Republican) are voting no. Al Franken (Moderate Democrat) and Ellison (Super Liberal Democrat) are voting yes. This vote is going to break weird in the House. I don’t think there will be any major surprises on the Senate end though.
Thanks for the info. :) I studied the U.S. response to Bosnia and that was another case where the case for intervening / not intervening also didn’t fit into a straight line conservative/liberal divide.
I’m conflicted on this issue myself. I was in elementary school during Bosnia & Rwanda, but in retrospect after studying the genocides, the arguments for and against intervention in both of those cases, and political/policy arguments that were taking place at the time, I do think we should have intervened in Rwanda, and intervened in Bosnia earlier than when we did. Granted, it’s pretty easy for me to monday morning quarterback and say “yes, we should have intervened in Rwanda” looking at the scale of genocide committed against the Tutsi population and to evidence that even a small force could have probably have stopped at least some of the massacres from occurring More difficult to actually make the decision at the time, when the country’s most recent and visceral association with Africa was the Black Hawk down incident just a year before the Rwandan genocide.
I supported Kosovo, didn’t support Iraq, but I did wish once Saddam Hussein was captured we could have shipped him off to the Hague and have an international court try and sentence him for the genocide against the Kurds in 1988, and against the Marsh Arabs in 1993. Even though I didn’t support the Iraq invasion in 2003, IF there was a way to punish Saddam, including military strikes against Iraqi military targets in 1988 in response to his gassing of the Kurds, I would have supported that at the time.
I’m conflicted about Syria and as trite as it sounds it truly is a tragic situation. I absolutely hate what Assad is doing, he’s a war criminal and at this point, I support very limited strikes against Syrian military assets as a response to the use of chemical weapons, and I think that there needs to be consequences for using chemical weapons. But, I do understand that arguments for not having strikes against Syria. On the other hand as much as I view Assad more responsible for the horror than the rebels as w hole, I’m also terrified of what a rebel victory might lead to, especially in terms of the Christian, Kurdish and Alawite population, whom I fear could very well become victims of a Sunni led extermination campaign. Especially when rebel groups have also committed war crimes.
As complex as Bosnia seemed at the time, Syria makes Bosnia look like freakin Christmas in July in comparison.
@lojasmo: You’re going to be searching long and hard where I have ever described the president as weak. Either explicitly or implicitly.
But I don’t expect that to slow you down, shooter.
and boy blunder, darth cheney and wolfowizz are war criminals as well.
so what is the plan?
Thats the problem with Obots, they think any opposition to Obama’s policies are a personal attack upon him. I think its a defensive mechanism thats been built up from years of dealing with Republicans. My problem with President Obama has always been that his policies are those of a moderate Republican president. When he does right by the American people I have no problem acknowledging it, however when he has done wrong I have no problem pointing it out and calling him to task on it. This is something Obots refuse to do.
Look for me to return to form when he nominates Larry Summers to head up Treasury.
@gogol’s wife: What about the New York post? “The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here, Obama Punts on Syria.”
Enhanced Voting Techniques
They thought they had enough troops because they could use the Iraqi army once Iraq was decapitated. Their problem was they believed their own hype that the Ba’ath party was the new Nazi’s so the Iraqi army was the SS.