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There has been a storm of news, talk, claims, accusations, opinions, positions, discussions, and pronouncements about the chemical weapons attack in Syria last week and the responses of various governments to it.

These are four of the most striking things I have observed in all of this.

- The putting forward that the US has to break international law in order to dissuade those who might be inclined to break international law from doing so. (Adding the role of 'self-appointed world vigilante in advance' to the role of 'self-appointed world policeman')  

- The use of rebel videos of Syrian government forces munitions which the rebels have captured to prove that Syrian government forces were the ones who carried out the chemical weapons attack because these videos are irrefutable proof that Syrian government forces have the necessary munitions to carry out such an attack.

- People's allowing the deserved animosity they feel towards President al-Assad and Syrian government forces to influence them, generally unknowingly, into making statements which gloss over the brutal nature and horrific actions of rebel groups such as al-Nusrah.

- The lack of perception of the essentially complete absence of the dysfunctional Western-recognized Syrian opposition in recent developments and decision making (as they sit forlornly, but comfortably, in a hotel in Istanbul pining for the interest and attention they so richly don't deserve), and of the significance of this - especially when combined with the White House's statements that the actions being considered are not about regime change.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Except that in 2013, only 9% of the public (7+ / 0-)

      wants to go to war.

      9% is abysmally low. Even if propaganda and the effect of bombs dropping triples support for the war, it'll only be just above a quarter of the population supporting it.

      The propaganda's coming hot and heavy, but I'll be very surprised if the American people are buying.

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:36:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also got to remember (5+ / 0-)

        Bush spent close to a year on propaganda selling his war.  

      •  too many buying it here (5+ / 0-)

        i thought that most folks would be more measured in their support, especially considering the make up of the rebel forces and their alignment with terrorist organizations.  but apparently proxy wars with Russia have some steadfast supporters.

        •  But you have just bolstered the administration (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya

          by calling out Syria as a surrogate for Russian military power in the region. If Syria uses sarin gas against civilians than that means Russia is doing it, and that means Russia is capable of doing it wherever they care to, and that means the situation represents a direct threat to US security.

          You can't have it both ways. Either this is something Syria needs to handle internally, or it's the work of interlopers and therefore outside influence needs to be brought to bear as a corrective.

          •  no it doesn't (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            InAntalya, SouthernLiberalinMD

            its a tremendous leap from syria's using chemical weapons to russia using chemical weapons against syria.  being a client state means the weaker state is dependent on the stronger state, not that the weaker state is controlled like a puppet by the stronger state.

            additionally, you conveniently skirt the issue of rebel forces, notably al-nusra, being openly aligned with al-qaeda.  

            ... or it's the work of interlopers and therefore outside influence needs to be brought to bear as a corrective.
            which maybe the proper course, but there is a disagreement as to what that outside action is.  i do not believe military action on our part supports our interests.  right now the rebels and the syrian government are essentially stalemated which puts us in a better position to find better options.
        •  Cold War nostalgia. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya, nathanfl

          For some Kossacks, it's forever 1958.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:12:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's because Obama. And blue jerseys. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat

          Everything else is secondary.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:39:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not buying it? Most of them don't know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya, StrayCat

        or care about it! That, along with President Obama's blatant disregard for the Constitution and Congress continuing its recess, is what has my blood boiling. Americans are so desensitized to war and so dumbed down by our media that most people are more concerned with Miley Cyrus than an imminent, illegal, act of war. Obama could care less about public support anyway, he already got reelected. Why he wants to do this is unclear, I am guessing some people in his administration really want the NSA story to go backburner while others may see this as a way to get movement from Congress on the defense portions of the sequester. Those are my best guesses. And while this would give Republicans a legitimate reason for impeachment, Obama I'm sure has full assurance from Boehner and Reid that it will never happen. Neither party wants to go back to the days when a President had to get Congressional approval before bombing whatever Middle Eastern country they want to.

        Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

        by Tim D M on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:44:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  9%. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya, Tim D M

          Not that I don't agree with most of your points.

          And anyway, I've got to say:  up until this week, I didn't think they were actually going to go through with it. I thought it was all sabre-rattling and that that's what it would continue to be, along with a heaping helping of guns and ammo and money funneled to whichever rebel group we decided we liked. I didn't think we were actually going to go in there shooting (or bombing).

          It's possible a lot of my fellow citizens felt the same.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:42:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very good point. It really cought me off (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            InAntalya, SouthernLiberalinMD

            guard when I heard we were ready to go at the President's word. Great timing if you don't want people to notice, August is when most people go on vacation or at least are busy with summer activities. Not that I think Obama is thinking like this, I do think the apparent chemical attack set this all in motion. It seems our elected leaders in general don't care about public opinion the way they used to. They know that 75-80% of those up for reelection will win regardless of how they vote so they usually vote the way their sponsors ask.

            Let's not let 2014 be anything like 2010. Republicans only win when we stay home!

            by Tim D M on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:18:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Listened to TN Senator Corker.... (7+ / 0-)

      the other day insisting that we had to launch drone strikes into Syria and if he used the word "surgical" once he used it at least a half dozen times.

      These folks NEVER learn.  Iraq was going to be surgical...over in a few weeks, subdue the rascals, teach them a lesson, the superiority of air power and all that.

      And we absolutely know for a certainty that this was all the work of Assad (who is no doubt a war criminal in many other ways) because of "evidence" we will soon receive from our intelligence service.

      Of course this stuff is always highly classified until it is not and we need to haul it out to justify keeping the military industrial complex hale and hearty.

      At every turn with the latest round of events keep remembering the following:

      - Yellow cake from Niger
      - Evidence from agent "Curveball"
      - The Downing Street Memos that the intelligence was being shaped to justify the war.
      - Cheney et al jamming bogus intelligence evidence into the Powell speech to the UN (which Powell later admitted was the saddest moment of his career.)
      - WMDs
      - The clearly orchestrated "smoking gun that is a mushroom cloud" fearmongering.
      But of course this will be surgical, so it will all be different.  No worry that it will further undermine our standing in the entire Middle East, threaten Iranian blowback, promote further Islamic radicalization (see Egypt) and cost us billions more in money which should be going to restoring our economy.

      Surgical.....?  Sorry Senator Corker, but this is complete and utter bulls...t!!!!!

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:51:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are we at "war" with Libya? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      Isn't that the parallel? Did we go to "war" in Bosnia? The international community will determine if US forces will take action, and use of force does not inherently signify "war," which I take to mean an open-ended conflict between defined parties. Whatever use of force is being considered, I think we can all be certain it will be drone strikes.

  •  This march toward war is insane (18+ / 0-)

    Your points underscore who absurd this week has been in the march toward war.  The U.S. rejects UN inspectors investigating the chemical attack...I had to double check whether that was something from the Onion.  There has been no articulation of why we must strike, why it falls on this country to do it, or what the goal of such an attack is.

    Thank you for your diary.  It is ironic that a site which got off the ground motivated by animosity toward a GOP president's war folly is a field of crickets when it comes to a Dem president's war folly.

  •  And if I could add a fifth: (16+ / 0-)

    Supposedly socially liberal Democrats screaming for military action without offering a clue as to how we're supposed to pay for it.

    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 06:44:47 AM PDT

    •  Or what the outcome will look like (13+ / 0-)

      We have to make a point, that point being that we can bomb them.

      I am pretty sure everyone already knows this.

      I have yet to see anything about what happens afterwards.

      "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

      by just another vet on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:10:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Given the admin is already pushing proxies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Enzo Valenzetti, InAntalya

      out to bash on emoprogs (sic) for being AGAINST said military action, I am not sure how this claim has much currency.

      •  Fine. So you tell me (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya

        what those proxies are saying in terms of how we're supposed to pay for it.

        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 07:28:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm speaking to the claim. It's not personal. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya

          As for payment, really? You don't see the value of this as leverage in upcoming budget and debt ceiling negotiations?

        •  I think that this would be like Libya (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG, InAntalya, cotterperson

          where the funds would come out of existing DoD pots o' gold.  Also, if we get involved, it won't be by ourselves--France and the UK both have been wanting to do something for some time.  Also, the Arab League yesterday said they wanted action, so you'd probably see cash from the Saudis and whomever else has wanted this.

          I'm undecided right now--this is a real powder keg, but I don't think the money part is going to be an issue, as long as there are no boots put on the ground.

          To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

          by dizzydean on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:00:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Arab League said "No" to military strike yesterday (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dizzydean, InAntalya, erichiro

            Not that the collective wisdom of a bunch of despotic authoritarian dictators matters any.

            Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

            by PatriciaVa on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:21:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, though see what admin officials said (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              InAntalya, cotterperson

              From the Boston Globe:

              Obama administration officials, who asked not to be identified, asserted that they were satisfied with the Arab League statement since it assigned responsibility to Assad’s government for the chemical attack, was issued quickly, and called on Security Council members to overcome their differences.

              “This was a big diplomatic step forward in laying the groundwork for actions the president might choose, and required days of aggressive diplomacy to avoid delay,” a senior administration official said Tuesday night.

              So, the AL says Assad is to blame and that they want the perps to face international justice.  Seems to be some wiggle room there, as well as some members wanting to move the ball forward.

              To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

              by dizzydean on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:29:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Same Liberal Dems would be talking about.. (3+ / 0-)

      ...going to Syria to act as human shields if a GOPer were at 1600.  

      And where are the anti-war marches?  Can any Dem honestly stay that, were Romney in power, Dem strategists would not be organizing massive anti-war demonstrations?

      So much hypocrisy among certain Dems.

      Oppose military action, unless it's spearheaded by a Dem.

      And in the Middle East, again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:18:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In all fairness, most of us know (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PatriciaVa, TJ, InAntalya, katiec

        that antiwar marches would do no good -- except to get the marchers clubbed, pepper-sprayed, etc.   If the elites want their war, they shall have it.

        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 08:20:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The marches will happen anyway (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya

          If more domestic spending cuts, esp. to Social Security, are paired with a war 81% of America opposes.  We might as well make them well-organized marches.

          And I question your assertion that most liberal organizers know that marches do no good. There's a hell of a lot of marches and traditional protests being organized, just like there's a hell of a lot of online petitions being circulated. "the left," such as it is, does a whole lot of things that are mostly useless, or, at least, do not work to attain the goals that everybody says they do.

          there's a value to marches and rallies, but it's not to influence the pols.

          Liberals spend far too little time actually discussing, in practical terms, what tactics are likely to achieve, and which ones we should use for which situation. That's why I like having anarchists around--their presence makes it inevitable that a tactical discussion of some sort will at least happen.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:49:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right; sooner or later (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            InAntalya, SouthernLiberalinMD

            the marches will happen.  However, it's basic human nature to be more likely to risk injury and death when one's own neck is on the line than when some Syrian's neck is on the line.

            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 08:58:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In this case, it's the money choices (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              InAntalya

              that put our necks on the line.

              Poverty is putting our necks on the line.

              Like I said, it's going to be the guns vs butter aspect of this that is going to seriously discommode those who try to gin up support for this war--as well as the fatigue America feels from being at war for over 10 years.

              Mr. Obama can have either his Social Security cuts or this war that 81% oppose and maybe get away without a bunch of social unrest; but he shouldn't count on being able to have both. Things like food stamp cuts at this time are also ill-advised.

              The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:35:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Can't have both" -- silliness. Of course we can. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                InAntalya, SouthernLiberalinMD

                But....   we won't.

                The political agenda is to do away with public spending.

                But it's not about affordability issues.

                The US can afford a war with Syria and public spending.  The US is not monetarily constrained in it's spending -- it creates money out of thin air.

                But public spending is for you, and you're the wrong kind of person.

                Wars make the right kind of person rich.

                •  No, I mean, politically he can't have both (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  InAntalya

                  vastly unpopular Social Security cuts and a vastly unpopular war. Not without social unrest.

                  The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:10:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I would hope you're right, but doubt it. People (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SouthernLiberalinMD, InAntalya

                    will just vote out Dems in hope of something better.

                    I just don't see Americans facing down OWS type crackdowns in vast numbers.

                    Life's both too difficult now -- and not difficult enough.

                    But hope you're right and I'm wrong.

                    But -- Americans are pretty sure that the US is going broke so don't know how they can demand more for themselves.

                    I don't think there's anything more valuable for progressives to do than educate as many people as possible that the New Deal was possible because people demanded, and got, a fiat currency for national settlement.

                    And Nixon changed the world's economy by taking us off gold for national settlement.

                    But no one ever talks about this as both one of FDR's and Nixon's legacies.

      •  Hah - The anti-war marches during the Vietnam War (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TJ, nathanfl, InAntalya

        did no good whatsoever. The massive demonstrations against the Iraq War were blacked out by the media.
           But watch the Democratic Party hemorrhage support if Obama gets us into the Syrian war.

        •  The Vietnam War marches (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya, cotterperson, StrayCat

          did some good precisely because they weren't blacked out.

          We now face blackouts and restrictions ("free speech zones" and the like) unknown then, plus the same degree of official infiltration and violent suppression characteristic of that time -- and with more effective weaponry besides.  All that's missing are four latter-day dead Kent Staters.

          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 09:01:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The anti war marches and demonstrations (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya

          were a significant cause of the ultimate end of that disaster.  Nixon and company, we found out later, was truly afraid of the impact we had.  But back then, all of the news was not corporately owned.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:39:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If Romney were Prez (0+ / 0-)

        we would be protesting against total war, regime change, and nation building against Iran, with the Armageddonists trying to enlarge the war to all Muslim countries and Israel, so that the Jews can kill all of the Muslims, and the Muslims can kill almost all of the Jews, and the remnant of the Jews can all convert to Christianity just in time for Mormon Jesus to appear in the New Jerusalem beyond the Rocky Mountains to make the Americas the new Zion of God and begin his thousand-year reign.

        Wait, Mormon Jesus?! Who ordered that? Ha-ha, read the White Horse Prophecy, guys. This is not your Pat Robertson or John Hagee Fundamentalist Protestant Kingdom of God on Earth, oh no.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 01:05:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or what the goal is. Or what our exit strategy is. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nathanfl, InAntalya

      Talking about shades of 2003. For god's sake, could this look (or sound) anymore like Bush?

      I kept expecting Kerry to talk about an Axis of Evil, because based on the justification for war he's offering, we need to attack every time there's a bastard who's brutalizing helpless, innocent people. And there's at least 1,000 of them in the world today (possibly a lot more) even if we just count the bigger fish and also exclude all the people who do such things through the private sector rather than relying on the power of the State (you'll notice nobody ever wants to start a war over Chiquita Banana allegedly killing over 3,000 people in South America, or Shell's adventures with mercenary troops in Africa.)

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:40:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  exactly (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya, SouthernLiberalinMD

        why arent we at war with china then, they have plenty of documented human rights abuses.  should we get all pissed if russia takes action against us because of something we might do in the future.

        the bs carny was pushing about how syrian chemical weapons might threaten us down the line, thus requiring military action was outrageous.  lets just nuke the whole planet, sooner or later some country is going to attack us anyways.

      •  or for that matter (3+ / 0-)

        the use of chemical weapons by Syrian rebels.

        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 09:01:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How to pay for it: Fiat currency - money created (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      out of thin air, since 1932ish, when the US went off the gold standard for national settlement.

      So, paying for war is easy.

      Just as paying for reducing poverty is easy.

      The sticky part is politics.

  •  If any evidence comes from the DNI or NSA (11+ / 0-)

    as evidence of who was behind the gas attack--

    --I can't see it as credible, given the recent history of the DNI, and the incompetence and roguish/outsourced nature of the NSA.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 06:51:02 AM PDT

    •  I dont know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, InAntalya

      if its safe territory to go into here on DKOS so I am hesitant to write about it but in January a hacker got broke into the files of private war contractor Britam and made off with documents detailing possible false flag chemical attacks in Syria:

      Phil

      We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.
      We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.
      They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.
      Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

      Britam admits it was hacked but claims the documents where faked and added into the files.

      Id be interested in opinions if this would fall under 'CT' if I diaried it.

      "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

      by LieparDestin on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:43:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That doesn't seem legit at all. (4+ / 0-)

        It doesn't read like somebody who's actually dealing with that kind of stuff.

        This is the first I've heard of it, so I can't speak definitively, but it just seems invented.

        "I wish you luck on not hating your parents for mixing up such an unthinkable person." --The frickin´ HP--

        by McWaffle on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:59:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that interesting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LieparDestin, InAntalya

        as far as CT, it comes down to your sources. If they are not well know, you're going to have to help sell the sources for the story as well.

        Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

        by greenbastard on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:01:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well a number of major sources (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          InAntalya

          picked up the story originally and then either laid off or backtracked on the claims that the emails were edited. Others call for the original emails to be released before claiming they were edited can be verified, which Britam wont do. Did not mean to distract from this diarists point but your comment about not trusting the intelligence agencies and its contractors jogged my memory of the story.

          The whole 'Intelligence will soon show that Assad is responsible' remark pretty much shows the books are cooked. Apparently intercepted phone calls are now what is being cited as proof the Syria gov is responsible. Go figure eh?

          "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

          by LieparDestin on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:20:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd just like to think that they'd at least (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LieparDestin, InAntalya

            use some sweet codewords or something. Not just state things outright.

            Reminds me of the Futurama bit: "You can't just have the characters say how they're feeling! That makes me angry!"

            "I wish you luck on not hating your parents for mixing up such an unthinkable person." --The frickin´ HP--

            by McWaffle on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:56:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  A couple points (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya, LieparDestin, McWaffle

        First, that doesn't read as legitimate.  It looks like something out of a satire.  As in the greed and cynicism is way to overt.  

        Second, that sort of black op isn't likely the sort of thing a military contractor would be directly involved in.  It reads as if the contractor were going to perform the operation themselves and that doesn't seem realistic.  This is the sort of thing the CIA or some other state's intelligence agency would do and not contract out.

        "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

        by Quanta on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:06:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "greed and cynicism way to overt" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cotterperson, InAntalya

          dont forget that Duke Cunningham and his group of war contractors went around bragging they were part of the 'Poway mafia" and Ted Stevens and his son had a group called the 'corrupt bastards club' so sometimes they shun overt, and are just too comfortable in their misdeeds to give a damn. but nontheless your points are valid :)

          "These are established professionals that have a liberal bent, but ultimately most of them if pushed will choose professional preservation over cause, such is the mentality of most business professionals" -BoA/HBGary/CoC

          by LieparDestin on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:15:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Israelis have offered the intelligence. (7+ / 0-)

      It is worth checking in with the BBC for news on this issue - our news outlets are really failing to report much of anything.  Mostly punditry devoid of actual facts on this side of the pond.

      •  Watched a bit of MSM this morning and you right (5+ / 0-)

        most of it was surface sloganeering, not much reporting, and zero skepticism

        Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

        by greenbastard on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:58:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (5+ / 0-)

        Guardian

        The bulk of evidence proving the Assad regime's deployment of chemical weapons – which would provide legal grounds essential to justify any western military action – has been provided by Israeli military intelligence, the German magazine Focus has reported.
        Cool. So we're going to war based on unverified Israeli intelligence about Syria.  This should work out well.
      •  Trusting Israeli intelligence sources (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya, cotterperson

        when discussing a potential war in the Middle East is a bridge too far for me.

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:51:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They seem a bit overly biased as well (3+ / 0-)

          http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/...

          here's a whole different take from Foreign Policy:

          Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services,
          and then goes on to say:
          But the intercept raises questions about culpability for the chemical massacre, even as it answers others: Was the attack on Aug. 21 the work of a Syrian officer overstepping his bounds? Or was the strike explicitly directed by senior members of the Assad regime? "It's unclear where control lies," one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable. "Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?"

          Nor are U.S. analysts sure of the Syrian military's rationale for launching the strike -- if it had a rationale at all. Perhaps it was a lone general putting a long-standing battle plan in motion; perhaps it was a miscalculation by the Assad government. Whatever the reason, the attack has triggered worldwide outrage, and put the Obama administration on the brink of launching a strike of its own in Syria. "We don't know exactly why it happened," the intelligence official added. "We just know it was pretty fucking stupid."

          Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

          by greenbastard on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:54:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  God, that sounds like even the intelligence (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            InAntalya

            folks are admitting that they don't know enough.

            The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:32:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Me? I don't trust anybody who is talking (3+ / 0-)

          publicly about this conflict - lol

          I was just saying that the Israelis are getting "credit" in the media for the intelligence report that they say "proves" that the attack was mounted by the Assad regime.

          And also noting that little was said in the US media about proof that it was Assad's regime or much of anything else in the small amounts of time that the networks dedicated to it.  Mostly, the US media quoted Kerry's speech and Hagel's interview with the BBC - which was pretty ironic that our networks had to go across the pond for quotes from the US Secretary of Defense.

          Anyway, since I have no other sources that might be private and perhaps even remotely reliable, I like all the rest of us around here am following the bits and pieces of data and taking them all with a huge grain of salt.

      •  foreign Policy says it was US intel (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya, cotterperson

        http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/...

        and then disputes what the calls prove:

        But the intercept raises questions about culpability for the chemical massacre, even as it answers others: Was the attack on Aug. 21 the work of a Syrian officer overstepping his bounds? Or was the strike explicitly directed by senior members of the Assad regime? "It's unclear where control lies," one U.S. intelligence official told The Cable. "Is there just some sort of general blessing to use these things? Or are there explicit orders for each attack?"

        Nor are U.S. analysts sure of the Syrian military's rationale for launching the strike -- if it had a rationale at all. Perhaps it was a lone general putting a long-standing battle plan in motion; perhaps it was a miscalculation by the Assad government. Whatever the reason, the attack has triggered worldwide outrage, and put the Obama administration on the brink of launching a strike of its own in Syria. "We don't know exactly why it happened," the intelligence official added. "We just know it was pretty fucking stupid."

        Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

        by greenbastard on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:00:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Stand Your Ground" goes global... (7+ / 0-)

    ...as Syria gets sized up for a country sized hoodie...

    Dudehisattva...

    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:10:51 AM PDT

  •  I feel like Tom Hagen in the Godfather 2 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, mkor7

    Why do you hurt me, President? I've always been loyal to you. What is this...?

  •  i agree it insanity (6+ / 0-)

    It's logical and humane to be outraged over chemical attacks, but it not logical to think the answer to stopping the slaughter is bombs.  I mean who thinks this way?

    How far down the rabbit hole have we come.

    If Obama and DC were actually humane and for peace, they would proclaim outrage at the use of chemical weapons, they would also say , enough! with the conventional war as well.  What we should be doing?  Gathering all the players in this civil war, and getting them to sit down and end this thing.

    That is where are energies need to go. Stopping wars, instead of escalating and starting wars, why dont we give that a shot?

  •  It is completely (5+ / 0-)

    unsupportable, the idea that we can again start a war based on no debate, and no tax to pay for it.

    Congress must be convened, and no military activities allowed to increase the deficit.

    I want to hear the arguments and see the evidence, then I want to know how it is to be paid for.

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

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:18:21 AM PDT

  •  Check out this terrible article on abc.com (4+ / 0-)

    http://abcnews.go.com/...

    Shorter: How does a modern president find time to bomb another country when his calendar's so full...?

  •  I question if the ginning up of an attack on Syria (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, cotterperson

    has anything whatsoever to do with Syria and more to do with another country.

    For a few days I've thought it as some sort of proxy signal to the military in Egypt - or a replacement venue as no one in the West has any interest whatsoever in intervening there.

    More and more I'm wondering if this is some sort of test of the incoming administration in Iran, either (a) let's see if these so-called moderates are all that or (b) to provoke Iran to doing something that justifies much more precipitate and widespread action.

    But that's just woolgathering. I suppose I'm casting about for a reason, albeit a hidden one, that suggests the leaders of at least three Western powers (USA, UK and now France) actually have some strategic goal in mind with all this saber rattling.

    Because from where I am sitting, going in now serves no purpose that hanging back or, if some sort of message to Syria need be served, that wouldn't be served better by, oh, heavy investment of development aid to Lebanon to further shut out Syrian influence there.

    •  Syria's close ties to Russia are probably (5+ / 0-)

      a factor.  There are a lot of actors in this particular play.

      •  Which raises scenario of Snowden (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, InAntalya

        having an effect on the timing. Maybe something he shared is rushing the schedule?

        •  I doubt it partly because if the US could (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cskendrick, InAntalya

          blame Snowden for this dust up, I think they would totally go for it.

          I think that this Syria as one of the centers of our Russian proxy wars has a life of its own and long history that isn't related to the Snowden stuff in any significant way.  Snowden may be a pawn in the game now just because Russia gave the Administration the finger by giving him refuge, but probably not more than that.  

          I think that if the US was really worried about Snowden being in Russia, they would have allowed him to get to another country before they revoked his passport.  At least, that's what someone who was thinking strategically would have done.  The US is not going to send special forces into Russia for Snowden, but if he'd made it to someplace like Bolivia, it would have been a whole different ballgame, I think.

          Anyway, I think that Syria is its own special ecosystem of mystery and hell.

          The most likely scenario here is that the US, UK and France agreed not to intervene in a deal that made Russia the overseers of the conflict.  They provide the Syrians with the armaments, etc. so the country is de facto one of their outpost military bases.  Now that chemical weapons have been used, the US, UK and France are basically telling both the Syrians and the Russians to clean up their act.

    •  Israeli intelligence- neocon propaganda - This is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya, cotterperson

      the same old same old.

    •  Ginning up? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      InAntalya

      That presupposes attacks on civilian population with WMD is a fabrication. There are many examples of US intercession into attacks on civilians that fall short of "war" being declared. And there are famous examples of military action not applied (Rwanda) for which the advanced military nations should feel shame.

      •  We are ginning up. This is a fact of the case. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya

        So is that we are doing so right now.

        We were coy the other 100,000+ times that Syrians died.

        Suddenly we are very interested in magnifying that number of dead Syrians.

        Fear not; I think the decision's already made and war is already locked in. The only question is why - really why.

  •  All secondary- (0+ / 0-)

    Chem breaks int'l law and civilized norm- action by UN is blocked because who did it is a client of one of the big boys.

    You think the rebels captured all of the regime chem? That's pretty funny.

    The Syrian uprising wasn't an Al Qaeda/ Al Nusrah/ Muslim Brotherhood thing, just as those in Libya and Egypt were not. They'll be gone just like in Egypt, the people are against them.

    We made our own play with our own carpetbaggers, they were rejected too. They don't matter.

    And many here can't see a difference between invading a country for its oil and stopping a tyrant who's waging war on his whole country.

    "The war on drugs followed by the war on terror has eliminated protections we have had since the Magna Carta." -Horace Boothroyd III

    by mookins on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:37:51 AM PDT

    •  egypt ousting MB was different (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbastard, ferg, InAntalya, mookins

      Their military has received significant aid from us, $billions and training.  they have a competent and supposedly corruption-free military.  Syria does not posses the same thing.  Not only that, but FSA is not the sole rebel group, and it barely has the power to prevent other rebel groups from enacting their own agenda.  Many rebel groups are seeking revenge and sectarian violence.  Other rebel groups are openly aligned with terrorist organizations.  In al-Nusra's case, they are labeled as a terrorist organization by our own State Department.  Cruise missile strikes will definitely help al-Nusra's position.

      Syria is a client state of Russia, who opposes us on the Security Council.  Are we really trying to get involved in more proxy wars with Russia?

      The Syrian uprising wasn't an Al Qaeda/ Al Nusrah/ Muslim Brotherhood thing, just as those in Libya and Egypt were not. They'll be gone just like in Egypt, the people are against them.
      MB took over in Egypt because they had a plan, just like in the shock doctrine playbook.  They still have massive allegiance in Egypt and it is not at all clear what will happen there.  They are not the same countries, they do not have the same causes for their revolutions, and they do not have the same resources.  Syria has been at civil war for nearly three years - rebel groups are not going to put down their arms just because "the people" are against them.
  •  I think this article in Barron's is pretty good. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, ferg, InAntalya

    http://online.barrons.com/...

    A war on chemical weapons has a built-in insanity to it. The problem is not chemical weapons, which probably can't be eradicated from the air. The problem under the definition of this war would be the existence of a regime that uses chemical weapons. It is hard to imagine how an attack on chemical weapons can avoid an attack on the regime -- and regimes are not destroyed from the air. Doing so requires troops. Moreover, regimes that are destroyed must be replaced, and one cannot assume that the regime that succeeds al Assad will be grateful to those who deposed him. One must only recall the Shia in Iraq who celebrated Saddam's fall and then armed to fight the Americans.

    Arming the insurgents would keep an air campaign off the table, and so appears to be lower risk. The problem is that Obama has already said he would arm the rebels, so announcing this as his response would still allow al Assad to avoid the consequences of crossing the red line. Arming the rebels also increases the chances of empowering the jihadists in Syria.

    When Obama proclaimed his red line on Syria and chemical weapons, he assumed the issue would not come up. He made a gesture to those in his administration who believe that the United States has a moral obligation to put an end to brutality. He also made a gesture to those who don't want to go to war again. It was one of those smart moves that can blow up in a president's face when it turns out his assumption was wrong.

  •  You thought the "media" couldn't get worse.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx

    ... than in the lead up to the Iraq war.

    WRONG!

    Instead of calling out the administration for dropping this ball 3 years ago, when they could have given Assad an ultimatum that meant something, and worked out a deal to preemptively get the Chem/Bio weapons turned over to the Russians. They were silent.

    The POINT as the rebellion began was to make sure not just that Assad wouldn't be able to use the stuff, but that it wouldn't fall into the hands.... potentially... of actual terrorists. Given the jyhadi make up of much of the rebel fighters this is still a serious concern.

    Acting then, for that reason made sense, and could have been done (unless Assad was a total idiot) without firing a shot, just being ready too.

    Now, with the very real fact that Russian soldiers are potentially present in Syrian facilities, we are left with really only ONE viable action, an action that does not prevent the weapons from falling into rebel hands, but avoids most of the dangers as regards the Russians....

    Find Assad and blow HIM the fuck up. And hope his replacement is more amenable to negotiation.

    Since you now cannot assure the security of the chem/bio weapons stockpiles, there is NO RUSH to act at all. You're already fucked, the administration blew it big time, and has handed the idiot republicans something legitimate to bitch about now, so this is all lose lose lose and there is little left to "win" whether you take out Assad or do nothing.

    The media doesn't discuss ANY of the reality of the situation.

  •  The whole mess worries me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya

    --will the conflict spill over into fighting in Lebanon along sectarian lines?  Or Iraq?

    --will the Kurds of Syria seek to tie themselves to Kurdish Iraq?  Is this another opportunity for the Kurds to shoot for independence?  What does Turkey do then?

    --What happens if there is an even more massive refugee movement into Jordan and Turkey?

    --What if Assad decides to lob a few missiles into Israel as a response to our strikes?

    There are so many things that could go bad here, that should make any leader think a few times before procedng....

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:08:07 AM PDT

    •  It is full of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil, InAntalya

      bear traps, no doubt about it.

      So we should do nothing....what if Assad then feels confident enough to kill hundreds of thousands with his chemical weapons next?

      The great shining beacon of freedom and justice just sits on its hands if he continues to push the envelope?

      Chemical weapons usage becomes the new norm?
      On this President's watch?

      And progressives of America will cheer?

      •  I don't know if there is a best solution (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        InAntalya

        maybe somebody other than us putting boots on the ground to restore order and set up  a government.  The UN used to do that sort of thing, but not anymore.  Turkey?  Maybe, but then they have a history there and do we trust Erdogan's government?  An Arab League force?  Ummm....no.  France or the UK?  NATO?  

        I dunno. Doesn't look like a whole lot of good options.

        And what about air strikes?  What do they accomplish?  Can you take down all the chem weapons sites all at once?  Or do you just try to decapitate the government by trying to take down Assad?  Or do you set up no-fly zones, meaning you take down Syria's very extensive anti-aircraft network, regardless of civilian casualties?

        And what do the Russians do?

        This seems to be another mess that everyone looks to us to fix, yet there should be other regional powers to take care of business, but here we are, being looked at as the world's policeman again.  Seems like Bosnia all over again...

        To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

        by dizzydean on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:40:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dizzydean, InAntalya

          it sucks to be the sole world's superpower and always expected to make the tough calls and lead the way(except for Libya)...

          I think we will limit this to some tomahawk missiles aimed at the chemical weapons production facilities....and make sure that Assad knows that this was just a taste of what could come if he chooses to use these weapons again on women, children and elderly.

          And pray he does not do it again.

      •  Great shining beacon of freedom and justice (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dizzydean, InAntalya

        needs to clean its own fucking house if it intends to take that title up again.  

        The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:55:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And Iran. Don't forget Iran. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dizzydean, InAntalya

      I'm counting on Putin et al to be smart enough not to get involved in any kind of direct shooting war with the U.S. (and I also hope I can continue to count on my own government for ABC stuff like that--don't get in a shooting war with Russia should be a limit even they respect. I hope.)

      The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:54:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  don't forget the gas pipeline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/...

    There is every reason to think that by helping destroy its own cultural and historical roots in Syria, Europe is first and foremost fighting for energy resources. And a special role is played by natural gas, which is emerging as the main fuel of the 21st century

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