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Critics of Obama’s narrow action cite Martin Dempsey’s caution — ‘act of war’

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As we await Obama’s speech today re Syria, I’m seeking to serve as a node for opposition to the “limited, narrow act” against Damascus that Obama is now whiteboarding in the White House situation room.

First, Ambassador Samantha Power has posted a couple of tweets defending US action.

1. Not a scratch, shrapnel wound, cut, nor gunshot wound, yet at least 1,429 Syrians dead, including 426 children.

2. Findings of our assessment on #Syria are clear, and there’s a reason after WWI the civilized world agreed CWs should never again be used.

But Power is getting a lot of pushback to these assertions. Among them:

Betty Aberlin ‏@bettyaberlin 15h

@AmbassadorPower how should the civilized world feel about drones? about targeted assassinations? about indefinite military detention, etc.?

Vandy ‏@Vandaliser 15h

@AmbassadorPower so death by conventional weapons is okay but CW is a bad! please save us the crocodile tears for the syrian people

David Pleasant ‏@dpleasant 15h

@AmbassadorPower The admin has given a reasonably good description of events. Now explain how proposed military response will fix it.

Massari Group ‏@MassariGroup 15h

@AmbassadorPower did the “civilize world” agree that killing 100k+ people is justifiable…just not using CWs? lol #Syria #Assad

@AmbassadorPower And explain how “limited” and “not open-ended” is assured.

A friend, reading the US government assessment of Syria’s use of chemical weapons, responds to their argument:

1. Where are all those arguments used against Hamas, you know combatants hiding within an urban civilian population, using civilians as shields? Completely missing of course [wrt to Syrian insurgents]. What collateral damage was acceptable in attacking Gaza? White phosphorous, depleted uranium shells, dum-dum bullets, anti-personnel cluster bombs with delayed triggers, all of these are okay against embedded Hamas forces. What were the collateral damage figures in Gaza? No moral outrage from the US then. Didn’t the Syrian regime have the right to clean out these civilian infested areas just as the Israelis did? Or closer to home, what about what we did in Fallujah, for example.

2. Regime has used chemical weapons 13 times without a US outcry. What kind of moral urgency is this?

3. “Assess the opposition has not used chemical weapons.” How convenient. And have they disproven those reports which have surfaced that say the opposite? No mention of these.

4. “Three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack.” Yet, no warning, no effort to stop this attack before it happened.

5. I’d like to see full satellite detection proof. What else did the satellite detection show that night?

6. 90 minutes between strike and social media response is a bit strange.

This is less sourced and in less detail that Powell’s presentation to the UN. Could it be accurate? Yes. Could it be a fix around the policy? Yes.

The Syrian army might very well have done it. I just don’t trust anything that comes out of the mouths of this administration or of any of the intelligence services of the world. The latter are paid to lie, and the former does it on principle.

Even if the attack occurred, the morality arguments are pathetic and a lie. With the US and this administration being the last people to have the right to utter such hypocrisy.

Since this attack will make no difference one way or the other – except more dead civilians – I’d like to see proof and analysis from something like a truly neutral UN inspection team (and not one loaded with western spies).

Ilene Cohen had this response:

I just listened to John Kerry’s statement and came away as opposed as ever to Obama’s plan for a “limited, tailored” attack on Syria. Kerry spent a lot of time on describing the horrors of the chemical attack. That is not in question. Indeed, the hundred thousand previous victims of the civil war (killed by both sides) also died horrible deaths.

Much more important, whether Assad is the perpetrator or not (Kerry insisted that he is and left it at that), Kerry failed to explain what the “limited” plan is and how this latter day intervention in the Syrian civil war will achieve its aim of teaching Assad a lesson and preventing a repeat of such attacks. He failed to offer any reason to believe that Obama’s “limited and tailored” attacks on Syria will not potentially harm the very people we claim to care about or that they will not lead to other unintended consequences. That is the memory conjured up by the nightmare of Iraq: the lie of “simple and quick”—on top of the other lies, of course.

And using the scare tactics about the Iranian nuclear weapons (a little gesture to Israel, perhaps?) that Iran does not have and has not threatened to use was very annoying because it was irrelevant to the case at hand. It was at that moment that I wanted to shut him off, but I did not. As a conscientious citizen, I listened to the end.

Last, Kerry emphasized that most of all we believe in diplomacy, but he failed to offer any ideas on that front.

Barack Obama made a threat about a red line a year ago that has dogged him ever since.  That is really his embarrassing problem to work out, but not by shooting missiles into Syria so that he can save face by “doing something” that really accomplishes nothing constructive and likely will do a lot worse. Ask General Dempsey what he thinks. All of these acts of war have a way of leading to dark places—”collateral damage” (dead and otherwise harmed civilians), unintended consequences, and blowback.

Instead, let Obama stand before the American people and find a way to explain why he has decided not to go the route of the missile. Yes, the neocons will call him all the names that are in their arsenal, but I think that the majority of us will be relieved. Just because Obama uttered the words “red line” a year ago does not mean that we must of necessity drop bombs today.

Another anonymous friend also cites Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and Greek tragedy too.

As General Martin Dempsey said in his July letter to Sen. Carl Levin, attacking Syria would be no less than an “act of war.”
This attack will nullify the US classification of guerillas and combatants as terrorists.  They will all, including al quaeda fighters, become, under international law, legitimate combatants, with the right to make defensive war on the United States.
With this US attack, there are no more terrorists.
And also, Americans: Really really read some Greek tragedies…as Nina Simone said of revivals, you in one now.

 

 

 

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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59 Responses

  1. just
    just
    August 31, 2013, 1:33 pm

    Whatever happened to “listening to the generals” (commanders on the ground)?

    I just heard McCaffery talking about the imminent “strike”– he suggests that ‘we’ will use Tomahawks. From the wiki, the cost of the missile:

    US$569,000 (1999)[1] AGM-109H/L version to $1.45 million Tactical version (2011)[2]

    Good article in the Nation:
    “Camouflaged Debate: How our Democracy Ignores the Military Case Against Syria Intervention
    by Reed Richardson”

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/175979/how-our-democracy-ignores-military-case-against-syria-intervention#axzz2dYx4b4Lw

  2. seafoid
    seafoid
    August 31, 2013, 1:51 pm

    “there’s a reason after WWI the civilized world agreed CWs should never again be used”

    There’s also a very good reason the soi disant civilized word never updated CW legal documentation to cover weapons such as white phosphorous, cluster bombs and nukes.

    Ms. Power is a joke. Perhaps Cass Sunstein has some ideas on how to nudge the region forward LOL.

    • just
      just
      August 31, 2013, 6:10 pm

      I call her Ms. Prawer.

      It fits, don’t you think?

  3. just
    just
    August 31, 2013, 1:56 pm

    ha. Mr. Obama will wait for the vacationing and $$$ gathering Congresscritters to come home to hold a debate and a vote to “strike” Syria.

    (time to hit the phones……again)

    Now he’s talking about the governments who decide to build nukes and the governments who commit genocide… funny, he doesn’t mention Israel…

    • Erasmus
      Erasmus
      September 1, 2013, 6:28 am

      Time to hit the phones –
      And let him, the Senators+Congressmen know

      what you want them to do / not to do

      Did Obama recently not call upon the American public and asked them:

      “Make me do it!” respectively “Make me don’t do it!”

  4. Ira Glunts
    Ira Glunts
    August 31, 2013, 2:29 pm

    Obama backed down!!

    Hopefully, there will be enough Congressional and public opposition to stop this attack on Syria which seems to me to be total madness. Is this thought an example of the audacity of hope?

    I am in shock. Who would have thought this would happen?

    • just
      just
      August 31, 2013, 2:32 pm

      I, too, am glad. I don’t trust Congress, though.

      Prepare to hear that he backed down because he did not have a grand coalition and ….fill in the blank…… (any negative that we’ve heard throughout his Presidency).

    • MRW
      MRW
      August 31, 2013, 2:54 pm

      Is this the precedent for Iran? Is Israel going to need a national US debate and a congressional vote before it can convince the President to bomb Iran? Did Obama just fix Netanyahu’s clock?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        August 31, 2013, 6:23 pm

        @ MRW
        That’s exactly what the Israelis are worried about. They are putting pressure on US government to get OK to attack Iran when Congress OK’s acting Syria.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      August 31, 2013, 3:02 pm

      “Obama backed down!!”

      It wouldn’t be the first time.

      Maybe someone told him Obamacare would be finished if he went ahead.

      • kalithea
        kalithea
        August 31, 2013, 3:44 pm

        He hasn’t backed down. He’s taken a decision to use force and covering his ass at the same time.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      August 31, 2013, 3:43 pm

      So, he is throwing the ball into the Congressional court?

      Are AIPAC and JINSA working in overdrive hitting Congressional offices now? Making threats to members of Congress?

      • kalithea
        kalithea
        August 31, 2013, 3:46 pm

        You said it! The Aipac threats will fly like bats out of hell.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        August 31, 2013, 5:50 pm

        oops Ellen just read your take…..we certainly are on the same page. Headed on over to Aipac and Jinsa, Weekly Standard, National Review.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      August 31, 2013, 5:47 pm

      Obama hit the ball back in our court(bet he feels relief in many ways) Now we all need to politely hammer our Reps over and over again and vote no on any pre-emptive strike on Syria. Not that our Reps will listen to the 91% of Americans opposed to an attack. They did not listen to the 90% of Americans who supported deeper gun background checks. The NRA won out on that one…so far. Special interest in support of attacking Syria are a much smaller percentage of the population but we know they will be lobbying hard and carrying a big stick with dollar signs all over it. Contact your Reps….it’s all we have at this point

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        August 31, 2013, 6:07 pm

        Kathleen, the only thing Representatives of the citizens care about is their re-election. It takes money to get re-elected, or even elected in the USA. That is the nature of our corruption.

        Then again, money on the wrong horse will not will the election. (Remember the money thrown at Romney.) If contacting a Representatives, remember to tell them that not only you will not vote for them ever again if they support war in the ME, but that you and all your neighbors, etc. will also not support USreal conflict adventures. And that you are not willing to send one of your children into these conflicts. (I have already lost a nephew in these adventures.) And while you are at it, ask your representative their position on the Israeli use of phosphorus on civilians?

      • just
        just
        August 31, 2013, 6:24 pm

        Most excellent advice.

        Thanks Ellen.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        September 1, 2013, 9:15 am

        Good advice Ellen about Israel’s use of chemical weapons and also our support of Saddam when he was using chemical weapons against the Iranians. And as so many have pointed out here at Mondoweiss, Huff Po, Politico, Informed Comment, Going to Tehran, Foreign Policyetc etc. Ask our Reps is there any difference between protesters being gunned down by an Egyptian military who took down democratically elected Morsi and the use of CW’s by we don’t really know who.

        Dead is dead. Kerry and Biden are very much part of the reason so many are dead in Iraq.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        September 1, 2013, 1:42 pm

        Do we credit Israel lobby for Kerry’s and Biden’s failure to try to block idiotic US invasion of Iraq?

  5. MRW
    MRW
    August 31, 2013, 2:56 pm

    Where was Ambassador Power when Israel used white phosphorous and barbecued babies?

    Anyone know?

    Some one tweet the question for me because I won’t go back on Twitter for another few months because I am addicted. Family pissed.

    This isn’t a kid, but shows the effect:
    http://redicecreations.com/ul_img/24947burning.jpg
    from
    http://redicecreations.com/article.php?id=24948

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      August 31, 2013, 6:55 pm

      “[Samantha] Power said that the US should send in a massive military force to protect the Palestinians from Israel.” – – Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, April 4, 2011 (Huffington Post)

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      September 1, 2013, 9:16 am

      Power’s speaks with forked tongue.

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        September 1, 2013, 1:40 pm

        @Kathleen – – I think she was sincere, though a bit emotional. (About preventing Israeli chemical weapons attacks on Palestinians)

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        September 3, 2013, 1:17 pm

        Link?

  6. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    August 31, 2013, 3:18 pm

    “2. Findings of our assessment on #Syria are clear, and there’s a reason after WWI the civilized world agreed CWs should never again be used.”

    Oh, this is rich. I wonder whether our esteemed Ms. Powers is also aware that after WWI, the civilized world also agreed, in the Kellogg–Briand Pact, not to use acts of war to resolve their conflicts. A treaty that the US signed and is still in force today.

  7. kalithea
    kalithea
    August 31, 2013, 3:29 pm

    I’m going to scream if anyone gives Obama any credit here. Obama is merely securing his ass, because there are just too many countries and people opposed to this folly. This was too great a risk to his legacy and because a top Republican called for Congress to take a vote on this, Obama JUMPED at the chance to save his ass. So now this hot potato is in the hands of Congress. Who knows, he may even be paranoid that some members are hiding the impeachment card and waiting to pounce if all goes awry after the military attack. Now, the blame can be shared if that should be the case.

    The best outcome: Obama deserves to become a lame duck nowwwwwwww! He should pay for trying to undermine International Law and dismiss the U.N. charter and even the Constitution.

    However, I’m counting on the following:

    1. Every Congressperson who’s been waiting to take Obama down – IT’S NOW OR NEVER!
    2. Every Congressperson with backbone who respects International Law regarding attacking sovereign nations, equal justice and/or the Constitution including: no intervention without imminent threat to the U.S.

    I would prefer the vote be motivated by the latter as opposed to the former, BUT, I’LL TAKE ANY OF THE TWO as long as Obama is stopped in his tracks!

    Obama looked the other way when over 400 of Gaza’s children were being slaughtered and over a thousand maimed and burned with U.S. weapons used illegally. He should pay the highest political price for all his duplicity and selling out to Zionists.

  8. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    August 31, 2013, 3:44 pm

    BBC correspondent Katty Kay is speaking from Washington on television at this moment. She says Obama is counting on pro-Israel sentiment to get his Yes vote in Congress. Kerry, she adds, is assuring Syrian opposition figures that things will go as they wish.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      August 31, 2013, 6:57 pm

      Israel lobby will give the American people another war? How kind.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 1, 2013, 4:03 am

      “Obama is counting on pro-Israel sentiment to get his Yes vote in Congress.”

      You can bet your life on it.

  9. kalithea
    kalithea
    August 31, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Aaaaaaaaaaah shut up! Christiane Amanpour!

  10. bilal a
    bilal a
    August 31, 2013, 4:13 pm

    Brezinski analyzes the Neocon Strategy in Egypt , Syria ; implies a foreign allegienace, echoes WM/MJ Rosenberg:


    Heilbrunn: Are we, in fact, witnessing a delayed chain reaction? The dream of the neoconservatives , when they entered Iraq, was to create a domino effect in the Middle East, in which we would topple one regime after the other. Is this, in fact, a macabre realization of that aspiration?

    Brzezinski: True, that might be the case. They hope that in a sense Syria would redeem what happened originally in Iraq. But I think what we have to bear in mind is that in this particular case the regional situation as a whole is more volatile than it was when they invaded Iraq, and perhaps their views are also infected by the notion, shared by some Israeli right-wingers, that Israel’s strategic prospects are best served if all of its adjoining neighbors are destabilized. I happen to think that is a long-term formula for disaster for Israel, because its byproduct, if it happens, is the elimination of American influence in the region, with Israel left ultimately on its own. I don’t think that’s good for Israel, and, to me, more importantly, because I look at the problems from the vantage point of American national interest , it’s not very good for us.


    Heilbrunn: I guess my final question, if you think you can get into this subject, is . . . you’re sort of on the opposition bank right now. The dominant voice among intellectuals and in the media seems to be a liberal hawk/neoconservative groundswell, a moralistic call for action in Syria based on emotion. Why do you think, even after the debacle of the Iraq War, that the foreign-policy debate remains quite skewed in America?

    Brzezinski: (laughs) I think you know the answer to that better than I

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/brzezinski-the-syria-crisis-8636

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      September 1, 2013, 2:27 am

      That is a super analysis, Bilal

      “But in the long run, a hostile region like that cannot be policed, even by a nuclear-armed Israel. It will simply do to Israel what some of the wars have done to us on a smaller scale. Attrite it, tire it, fatigue it, demoralize it, cause emigration of the best and the first, and then some sort of cataclysm at the end which cannot be predicted at this stage because we don’t know who will have what by when. And after all, Iran is next door. It might have some nuclear capability. Suppose the Israelis knock it off. What about Pakistan and others? The notion that one can control a region from a very strong and motivated country, but of only six million people, is simply a wild dream.”

  11. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    August 31, 2013, 4:49 pm

    All of the impetus for the US to take military action against Syria stems from a sense of global empire, in which we are uniquely responsible to act in the face of uncivilized aggression, wherever we find it. Well, we are not. Re-read the constitution. Now trace back to their roots all the voices calling for action, and you will find special interests vested monetarily or ideologically or both in having the US so involved everywhere, or wherever those special interests want. Those interests have been very effective in grooming politicians to jump when prompted, but their power has largely rested on the rest of the country neither caring nor paying close attention to what the government does. Now that the people no longer trust the government – the inevitable result of decades of escalating control over it by Imperial Elites who care only for their own power and to avoid accountability for its abuse – efforts to manipulate the country into another big mistake, another pointless war, are bring opposition out into the open. Politicians are starting to fear the public, at last, and this is good thing.

  12. kalithea
    kalithea
    August 31, 2013, 4:57 pm

    Christiane Amanpour spouts more Ziocon drivel!

    What about Israel and its hundreds of ILLEGAL NUCLEAR WARHEADS, huh???

  13. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870
    August 31, 2013, 5:10 pm

    RE: “Instead, let Obama stand before the American people and find a way to explain why he has decided not to go the route of the missile.” ~ Ilene Cohen

    WHY DOESN’T THE U.S. JUST BLOCKADE SYRIA (À LA CUBA, CIRCA 1963) UNTIL ASSAD TURNS OVER THE INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CW ATTACK (WHETHER IT’S HIS BROTHER, COUSIN OR WHATEVER) TO BE TRIED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT?

  14. Justpassingby
    Justpassingby
    August 31, 2013, 5:43 pm

    As we thought Obama will start a new war the winner is Israel.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 1, 2013, 3:38 am

      Yes, Congress will authorize Obama to throw some tomahawks at empty buildings in Syria for a couple of days, Syria and/or Hezbollah will retaliate feebly against Israel as counter gesture–the US x-band radar station in Israel’s desert will pick up every missile Syria launches nearly instantly, and Israel will then launch its latest stack of Iron Dome & other US missile defense systems, and strike with its speciality, maximum disproportionate power with the latest cutting edge weapons, courtesy of USA; it will be a great opportunity for Israel to take advantage of. If by some dumb luck a Syria or Hezbollah strike does some real damage, the US Congress will resolve ASAP & Obama will sign on to full, expansive US military strike to save our bestest ally in the whole wide world. After that full press on Syria, a neighborhood war might erupt; if that’s not enough chaos and mayhem, we could be looking at WW3.

      A myriad of alliances can kick in over petty incidents; like in 1914 Europe.

  15. James Canning
    James Canning
    August 31, 2013, 6:06 pm

    Martin Dempsey’s warnings should be heeded by Obama.

  16. James Canning
    James Canning
    August 31, 2013, 6:07 pm

    Surely Samantha Power is aware the US tacitly encouraged Iraq to use chemical weapons against Iran in the 1980s.

  17. Hostage
    Hostage
    August 31, 2013, 9:20 pm

    “there’s a reason after WWI the civilized world agreed CWs should never again be used”

    If there had been general agreement on a customary prohibition, there would have been no need for a Convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction, Paris 13 January 1993

    In any event, it’s irrelevant to discuss “the civilized world”. Syria is not a signatory of the 1993 convention and Israel has never ratified it either. Neither have signed nor ratified the Rome Statute and can count on one or more of the Security Council P5 to veto any UN action.

  18. anthonybellchambers
    anthonybellchambers
    August 31, 2013, 11:03 pm

    Obama’s speech on chemical weapons, deconstructed.

    1. There is a ‘global prohibition on the use of chemicals weapons’.
    ’98-99% of humanity says that chemical weapons should not be used
    even in war.
    FACT: Israel is one of just a handful of states in the world that have
    refused to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

    2. ‘We cannot allow any state to build nuclear weapons’
    FACT: The US under successive administrations has colluded with Israel
    in a complex trick known as ‘nuclear ambiguity’ that has allowed Israel to
    become the only secret nuclear weapons state in the world with an
    arsenal estimated to hold over 300 nuclear warheads, all of which are
    undeclared and outside the inspection of the IAEA.

    3. ‘America is the world’s oldest constitutional democracy’
    FACT: A true democracy is ‘government by the people, of the people and
    for the people’. However, in the US the elected congress controls a
    a government by the people, of the people but for an unelected lobby that
    exists solely to support the state of Israel and is able to manipulate US
    foreign policy accordingly. Unfortunately, such US style democracy is
    not democracy as understood elsewhere in the world.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      September 1, 2013, 6:18 pm

      Suggestions that the Israel lobby is subverting the American democracy have a ring of truth to them.

  19. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    September 1, 2013, 5:02 am

    I could divide the chemical weapons incident in two parts: who did it and how to react.

    Who did it:
    The argument for the rebels could be that after Assad got the upper hand in the conflict it became much more attractive to try and pull the US into the conflict. The US has put itself into a weak position by drawing red lines. Which leads to the obvious ‘Al Nusra got their chemical weapons from Libya and/or from Saudi backers’.
    The point of view of Assad would then be that he’s got the advantage anyway and doesn’t want to upset outside players, neither the US nor Russia. He needs Russia.

    The case for Assad could be that while he has the advantage it’s not as if he’s going to win any time soon. Now if he can use chemical weapons and get away with it it would assert his dominance in the conflict, making clear to the rebels that they can’t count on outside help so they’d better give up. The actual military advantage is doubtful, but there’s the terror effect on the population. The next ultimatum on a city under rebel control would start sounding a lot more convincing.

    What to do about it. Is the aim to stop Assad from winning, is it to make him lose, or is it to stop him from using chemical weapons? It’s been proven that Assad’s side used chemical weapons , can you live with the idea that he’ll be using them to conquer Aleppo ? I don’t mean to convince people about intervening, just trying to avoid embellishing things.

  20. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW
    September 1, 2013, 5:54 am

    Obama directly referred to the vote in Britain, saying that some advisers had advised against a congressional vote after “what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week, when the parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even as the prime minister supported taking action”. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/31/syrian-air-strikes-obama-congress

    Curious. I thought Israel was the closest ally. Or was that yesterday.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 1, 2013, 10:00 pm

      @ NickJOCW
      Yeah, I caught that too. Britain is, by all classical POVs, our closest ally. Israel is actually, not even in that picture at all, but for AIPAC power. It’s actually a charity burden by way of bribery.

  21. just
    just
    September 1, 2013, 8:53 am

    Interesting commentary by Glenn Greenwald:

    “It’s certainly preferable to have the president seek Congressional approval than not seek it before involving the US in yet another Middle East war of choice, but that’s only true if the vote is deemed to be something more than an empty, symbolic ritual. To declare ahead of time that the debate the President has invited and the Congressional vote he sought are nothing more than non-binding gestures – they will matter only if the outcome is what the President wants it to be – is to display a fairly strong contempt for both democracy and the Constitution.

    Bombing

    There are few things more bizarre than watching people advocate that another country be bombed even while acknowledging that it will achieve no good outcomes other than safeguarding the “credibility” of those doing the bombing. Relatedly, it’s hard to imagine a more potent sign of a weak, declining empire than having one’s national “credibility” depend upon periodically bombing other countries.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/01/obama-congress-syria-authorization

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      September 1, 2013, 1:45 pm

      I admired David Cameron for pledging not to have Britain supply arms to the insurgents in Syria without prior approval from Parliament.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        September 3, 2013, 1:16 pm

        yep

  22. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    September 1, 2013, 9:28 am

    Last night over at Huff Po there were close to 30,ooo comments under the thread about Obama seeking congressional approval. Most of the comments I read were against a strike. If only 9% of Americans support a strike lots of folks to get motivated to follow through and contact their Reps. Hope folks will use their fb pages, group emails, etc etc to motivate people. As so many people have pointed out our Reps are more than likely not to represent us…but what the hell else do we have?

    Folks also need to report back here, Huff Po, Going to Tehran where ever you spend your time on the web and let others know what your Reps or their people on the phone have to say. Not that the Mondoweiss key players do not have enough to do but the website that provides a formal place to report what Reps are saying in response is going to get a lot of traffic.

    • just
      just
      September 1, 2013, 9:35 am

      Most of the comments @ Wapo are bashing Mr. Obama and Muslims– most of the posters aren’t even discussing the potential strike and (sadly) are clueless about the region…and our lousy interventions/hypocrisy/agenda.

  23. gingershot
    gingershot
    September 1, 2013, 9:45 am

    Obama was MANEUVERED into setting up the ‘redline’ by Israel and the Neocons in order to staave off an Israeli attack on Iran and further Israeli attacks on Syria – and now the Israelis her Israeli Lobby are USING their prior set-up in order to further MANIPULATE the US into an attack on Syria

    This is ALL an Israeli/Neocon game in order to hoax/manipulate the US into a war with Syria (and via this backdoor, into Iran) just like Israel and her Neocons manipulated and lied the US into the war with Iraq based on the Niger Yellowcake Forgeries, which the Neocons (Michael Ledeen) and Israel fabricated in the first place

    Israel is desperate to save Apartheid Israel from having Apartheid dismantled out from underneath her at the ICC and by worldwide boycotts of Apartheid – they will do ANYTHING including trying to hoax the US into wars in Iraq (check), Iran (not yet by a hair’s breadth) and now Syria

    Obama was as FOOL to allow Netanyahu and the Neocons to force him into a corner OF THEIR MAKING and then be forced to try to resist their further demands once he had allowed himself to be bullied into such an indefensible position.

    The Neocons and Netanyahu set up Obama like a bowling pin and now the bowling pin is trying to jump out of the way of the ball

    SNAP out of it Obama – quit being the Israeli/Neocon bowling pin and start being the BALL.

    Israel and her Israeli Lobby need to be dragged out into the sunlight on this – the Neocons and Israelis are howling for war now (see yesterday’s Haaretz on call for full court press from the Israeli Lobbyfor Syrian attacks), having had defeat snatched from the jaws of victory

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 1, 2013, 10:08 pm

      @ gingershot
      Yep, that’s how I read it too. But our mainstream press will not drag this AIPAC manipulation out into the sun. Neither will Congress, or Obama himself. We are looking at a done deal; the US will strike Syria, and Obama’s draft proposal to Congress gives him a blank check to escalate his initial strike as he wishes. It’s absolutely loaded with lawyerly weasel words. Look at the small incident that shook up the myriad of European alliances and brought us WW1 (which directly led to WW2 in Europe).

  24. dbroncos
    dbroncos
    September 2, 2013, 6:08 pm

    Perhaps Obama is hoping congress will say “no” so that he has a reason to tell AIPAC, neocons, Netanyahu to f–k off. He certainly can’t point to his own courage or principles as a reason for saying “no” to war on Syria.

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