It’s now clear that the Obama administration is going to strike Syria. Speaking in the White House, Obama just said that he is considering a “limited narrow act that would help make sure that not only Syria but other countries around the world” get the message they can’t use chemical weapons.
Andrea Mitchell of NBC says the decision to act is a “fait accompli.”
John Kerry indicated as much in his grandiloquent speech earlier today:
As previous storms in history have gathered, when unspeakable crimes were within our power to stop them, we have been warned against the temptations of looking the other way. History is full of leaders who have warned against inaction, indifference, and especially against silence when it mattered most. Our choices then in history had great consequences and our choice today has great consequences….
It matters because if we choose to live in a world where a thug and a murderer like Bashar al-Assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity, even after the United States and our allies said no, and then the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve and the dangers that will flow from those others who believe that they can do as they will…
Will they remember that the Assad regime was stopped from those weapons’ current or future use, or will they remember that the world stood aside and created impunity?
You can’t walk away from that language.
The media seem to be generally supportive, though the Congress is balking. The twitter crawl line on MSNBC included Rep. Raul Grijalva saying:
Attacking Syria is the wrong course of action. We need prevention right now, not punishment
And Alan Grayson, the Democratic Florida congressperson, wearing an American flag tie and looking America first, said on MSNBC, that attacking Syria is not in the American interest and the proof of the Syrian government’s hand in the chemical attacks is inconclusive:
“[This] simply has little or nothing to do with us. We are not the world’s policeman.”
A friend reports:
Christiane Amanpour, ever the liberal interventionist, is impatient, telling America to suck it up and let’s get on with it. On CNN, a few minutes ago:
“We’ve been discussing and these endless public debates about was there a chemical attack, who did it. It’s clear. It’s clear as day and it is a violation of the most serious international law and that is about weapons of mass destruction. [Note: International law does not even use the WMD term. We know for what reason the acronym WMD was invented.] This requires under law a response, and because of all the politics over Iraq and because of all sorts of other things, it is very difficult to go ahead in a unified manner. But I remember back in Kosovo, although this is a different issue, I remember back in Kosovo when Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia you know was attacking and threatening the population there, the United States had to go with its NATO allies around the United Nations and do what it had to do. You saw President Clinton went around all his allies, NATO or the UN, after Osama bin Laden blew up those East African embassies in 1998, and there has been very limited alliances hitting Saddam Hussein over various years during the late 90s. So there is precedent for this.”
My view is that US and Israel want to prolong the war, although US cannot say that. Weaken Assad and hence Iran, but not overthrow Assad for now, as they fear jihadis taking over. Israel wants more aggressive push towards Iran showdown than the US. This is typical divide-and-conquer and never let any other power in the region get too powerful Israeli strategy.
Nobody in the MSM wants to touch Saudi Arabia’s role in this. Saudi Arabia does want regime change, and it wants it now, and is quite willing to use jihadis to get what they want.
MSNBC had Andrea Mitchell, Chris Cillizza and Steve Clemons. As moderator, Mitchell did her usual pro-National Security State monologues, and the other two also expressed no doubts about evidence. The discussion was around politics and tactics.
And Mitchell just repeated now on MSNBC: “Very little disagreement over evidence.”
I am still waiting to see any MSM presentation challenging evidence today. Yesterday there was a short window after the British vote, where the challenges received some coverage. But by today, all gone.
BBC is looping repeatedly a “napalm-like” attack on a school with victims burned and screaming. Ironic, napalm is not illegal is it? Isn’t napalm on Vietnam how Kerry got his street creed originally. I remember protesting DOW chemical, as we were told napalm was a legal weapon in war. It is amazing how predictable this goes.
Obama needs to do this before he goes to G20, so that means bombs away by Tuesday.
He will be looking for a new poodle after British vote, but it looks like he will be given a French one.
France is still ready to take action in Syria alongside the US, despite UK MPs blocking British involvement, President Francois Hollande has said.
He told Le Monde newspaper a strike within days could not be ruled out
Kerry’s speech was defiant re the UN. ‘The UN can’t tell us anything that we don’t
already know,’ Kerry said, referring to the work of UN inspectors in Damascus. ‘The UN can’t galvanize the world to act as it should,’ he added. [per Huffpo] Says an anonymous friend:
This truculence and contempt toward the U.N. is very misjudged, in the person whose function is that of chief diplomatic officer of the United States. He is obliged to hold constant dealings with the United Nations. There was a comparable inappropriateness–misplaced language and idea of his role–in his use of the phrase “moral obscenity” other day. OK for a speaker on the political stump or at a protest rally, but again: not the secretary of state.”
More doubts: US military officers’ deep doubts about attacking Syria, from the Washington Post no less.
“There’s a broad naivete in the political class about America’s obligations in foreign policy issues, and scary simplicity about the effects that employing American military power can achieve,” said retired Lt. Gen. Gregory S. Newbold, who served as director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the run-up to the Iraq war, noting that many of his contemporaries are alarmed by the plan.
Marine Lt. Col. Gordon Miller, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, warned this week of “potentially devastating consequences, including a fresh round of chemical weapons attacks and a military response by Israel.”
We know that for three days before the attack the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons personnel were on the ground in the area making preparations. And we know that the Syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapons. We know that these were specific instructions. We know where the rockets were launched from and at what time. We know where they landed and when. We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods.
And we know, as does the world, that just 90 minutes later all hell broke loose in the social media. With our own eyes we have seen the thousands of reports from 11 separate sites in the Damascus suburbs. All of them show and report victims with breathing difficulties, people twitching with spasms, coughing, rapid heartbeats, foaming at the mouth, unconsciousness and death…
The United States Government now knows that at least 1,429 Syrians were killed in this attack, including at least 426 children