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View Diary: Did anyone else notice this? Obama just said that it may have been an unauthorized strike, here: (40 comments)

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  •  Unproven. Murky. Questionable. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Hey338Too, bobatkinson

    What isn't unproven or questionable is that about 400 children are now dead after inhaling poison gas. The only real question is whether the civilized world will take definitive steps to keep this barbaric act from happening again.

    It is astounding to hear and watch the roadblocks and smokescreens that try to obscure the necessity of taking direct, focused action. By all means take serious consideration as to a plan of action and its after effects. That doesn't mean knowing the unknowable or pondering the issue to obscurity. That is what leadership is all about: a careful consideration of steps to be taken and then taking them.

    •  Even the casualty figures aren't solidly sourced (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TJ, joe shikspack, KenBee

      The evidence given of command responsibility is even more uncertain.

      As for questions about death toll form the 8/21 attack, please see:

      http://www.thenation.com/...

      Days later and we still have no idea where Secretary of State John Kerry got that amazingly precise number of 1,429 killed in the alleged Syria chemical agent attack. He hasn’t cited full sourcing for it or taken questions on that. He merely claims he can’t say because it would “compromise” intelligence, which sounds like utter bull. President Obama also cited the death toll as fact in public statements beating the drums for war.

      And all other sources put the number a little or a lot lower. Why does this matter in the current debate? Obviously the higher number, particularly with the also unproven claim of more than 400 dead kids, is meant to sell a US military attack to the American people—and that’s why it’s a key claim. That 1,400 number makes the latest attack seem so much worse than earlier alleged Assad chem attacks, which we did not find horrible enough to claim they crossed the “red line.”

      Despite all that, most in US media for days still cited the number with little qualifying or probing. It was often said that Kerry “revealed” the number of deaths, not “claimed.”

      That’s starting to change, finally, although few in the media are charging Kerry with a deliberate lie. In the midst of a major AP story (on the US’s missing signs of the chemical attack) last night the reporter notes: “The administration says 1,429 died in the attack. Casualty estimates by other groups are far lower.” A September 3 New York Times piece referred to the “stunningly higher” US death figure.

      Mark Seibel, a top McClatchy editor, was on Democracy Now! Wednesday taking up that issue, among others, and see full transcript here. McClatchy had published a piece the day before analyzing the questions about the high figure. It quoted Anthony Cordesman, a former senior defense official who’s now with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, who criticized Kerry as being “sandbagged into using an absurdly over-precise number” of 1,429.

      A Los Angeles Times piece late yesterday took a very tough look at it, citing the lower figures from the Brits and French. And this:  . . .

      •  Oh, how you prove my point. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hey338Too, bobatkinson

        Argue about the precise number of Syrians gassed to death, but the immutable fact remains that Syrians were killed because of a poison gas attack. What is to be done about it?

        •  First you have to know who's really responsible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack

          before you do ANYTHING about it.

        •  As the number is nebulous, so is the ownership. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack

          What he's saying here is less solid than what he said a few days ago. And that's the point of this diary, that a crack has opened in the certainty that Assad is the one responsible.
          "or at least generals under his charge " includes his brother who, by all accounts, is far more vicious than Bashar is. Is it still an official Syrian policy if one of his Generals acted without authorization?

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 02:49:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  well, gosh does it matter who did it? (0+ / 0-)

          i suppose you could say that whoever did it, they're in syria now and just bomb syria randomly hoping that you've adequately punished whoever did it.

          i mean, it does follow obama's logic.  since assad is not to be targetted, we are going to make some other group of syrians the whipping boys for what obama wants us to believe is assad's action.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 04:21:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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