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How can this be?

After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorization before taking military action in Syria....

Aides said the decision was made by Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama alone. It shows the primacy the president places on protecting his hoped-for legacy as a commander in chief who did everything in his power to disentangle the U.S. from overseas wars. Until Friday night, Mr. Obama's national-security team didn't even have an option on the table to seek a congressional authorization.

The only real discussion was a plan to punish Mr. Assad for what the U.S. and others have called a chemical-weapons attack amid Syria's grinding civil war. The final question, policy makers thought, was how many targets to hit and when to tell the Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean to open fire.

Obama's been consulting military, intelligence, diplomatic, political and legal advisers. He asked for a detailed review of his options should Assad use chemical weapons on his own people.

His advisors have included VP Joe Biden, SoS John Kerry, Sec of Defense Chuck Hagel, WH chief of staff Denis McDonough, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, WH Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, Deputy AG James Cole, Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism advisor Lisa Monaco, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes, and Biden National Security Advisor Jacob Sullivan.

And NOBODY thought to bring up consulting Congress?

Good thing President Obama had one other advisor available to call on: Barack Obama circa 2007:

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action."

Sounds like someone needs to upgrade the quality of advice he's getting around that national security table.

And the "humanitarian interventionists" that have gotten Obama backed into this particular corner (cough Samantha Power cough) should be the very first to go.

May the teabag Republicans in Congress finally do something good for the first time in their worthless lives and pull his ass out of the fire by voting this sucker down.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not only the advice (15+ / 0-)

    The communications operation for the past three months has been terrible.  He needs to clean house of that whole bunch in the White House and the bunch over at the State Department.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 04:42:19 PM PDT

  •  I wonder who advised the President (8+ / 0-)

    to come out with that talk of "red lines"?

    whoever it was, should be sacked immediately

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 04:45:06 PM PDT

    •  Whether or not (9+ / 0-)

      the actual words are from her, the impetus is certainly coming from Samantha Power in a big way. Obama must agree with her to some extent since he appointed her, but he can't be appreciating how those particular words have tied his hands on this now.

    •  That was a year ago so not Power (0+ / 0-)
      •  Samantha Power was part of Obama's inner circle (7+ / 0-)

        since his election as an adviser on his National Security Council. She was there until Obama made her UN Ambassador. She would have been part of the decision to make that warning. I think she figured it would never have to come to actually having to act on it. She intimated in her comments at the nomination hearing that Assad would be tossed by his own people. We have also heard the same from Hillary in the past.

        No one expected Assad to hang in this long.

        Samantha Power is hot to trot when it comes to Syria.

        Power: Syria ‘a Disgrace History Will Judge Harshly’
        Power called the ongoing conflict, which the U.N. estimates has killed more than 90,000 people and produced 1.8 million refugees, “one of the most devastating cases of mass atrocity” she has ever seen.

        “I don’t know that I can recall a leader who has, in a way, written a new playbook for brutality in terms of the range of grotesque tactics that the Assad regime has employed in response to a democratic uprising,” she told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
        “We see the failure of the U.N. Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria – a disgrace that history will judge harshly,” she said.
        “History shows that regimes that brutalize their own people in that manner, that totally force it, their legitimacy, that do not abide by even basic norms of human decency, they just do not have the support to sustain themselves,” she told the committee. “So the day of reckoning will come.”

        •  they "thought" (5+ / 0-)

          that overthrowing Assad would be easy.  After all, they were going to provide the "rebels" with whatever assistance they might need.  Well, maybe that's what they thought.

          but maybe what they thought was "see how removing Saddam blew up Iraq?  we can do that in Syria too, with just a minor twist . . . we don't even need to actually remove Assad"

          If the US govt (Power, Hillary, any of the rest of them) thinks that the way to preserve minority rights in the Middle East is by overthrowing the very governments that protect them . . . all in the name of some faux "democracy" . . . well . . . 'scuse my language, but . . . fucking idiots . . .

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:55:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  their early successes made them overconfident (12+ / 0-)

          Obama told Mubarak it was time to step down; lo and behold, he did. Because the Egyptian people threw him out.

          Obama got NATO to attack Libya; fortunately for him, that was enough to force Gaddafi out of power, because his grip was already slipping. Then the rebels massacred him.

          Now the administration thinks that it will be just as easy to topple Assad. Why not? It's been a cakewalk for them so far, and they've suffered no adverse consequences for any of their previous policy decisions.

          Samantha Power is seduced by the idea that American military power can be wielded to make the world a better place; and that she is one of the righteous elect who can judge who is good and who evil, whom the US should smite into oblivion.

          Obama's foreign policy people all suffer from the same syndrome. Obama himself is addicted to playing the shining hero, the righteous warrior (who, unlike Bush) will use American military might in the proper way; he believes in all that just war business he spouted in his Nobel speech.

          They're drunk on these ideas. It really is a form of intoxication. I'm reminded of that famous passage from Heart of Darkness:

          it was a beautiful piece of writing. The opening paragraph, however, in the light of later information, strikes me now as ominous. He began with the argument that we whites, from the point of development we had arrived at, ‘must necessarily appear to them [savages] in the nature of supernatural beings—we approach them with the might as of a deity,’ and so on, and so on. ‘By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded,’ etc., etc. From that point he soared and took me with him. The peroration was magnificent, though difficult to remember, you know. It gave me the notion of an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence. It made me tingle with enthusiasm. This was the unbounded power of eloquence—of words—of burning noble words. There were no practical hints to interrupt the magic current of phrases, unless a kind of note at the foot of the last page, scrawled evidently much later, in an unsteady hand, may be regarded as the exposition of a method. It was very simple, and at the end of that moving appeal to every altruistic sentiment it blazed at you, luminous and terrifying, like a flash of lightning in a serene sky: ‘Exterminate all the brutes!’
          In the same way, hidden behind all that high-minded, noble-sounding rhetoric that Obama's foreign policy people spout is naked bloodlust, pure and simple.

          That's why they think they can pull this off, and that's why they're determined to pull this off.

          And now they're about to overreach and punch their fist right into the hornet's nest. And they have no clue what's awaiting them.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:13:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I think they do have a clue (4+ / 0-)

            Hence asking the most notoriously do-nothing congress evah for authorization...

            •  This. (0+ / 0-)

              And I don't understand all this talk of "judging who's good and who's evil."  Assad's regime has an abysmal human rights record.  No one who knows anything about his government would seriously argue that he's anything but a horrible dictator.

              People are acting like this is a case of America telling another country what kind of government they're allowed to have.  But the Syrian people themselves didn't even pick their government.

              •  You are right. The Syrian people did not pick (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                radarlady, unfangus

                their government. They had "help" from America.

                People are acting like this is a case of America telling another country what kind of government they're allowed to have.
                America has been involved, overtly and covertly, in selecting governments for Middle Eastern countries since the end of WWI. Maybe now, with it's domestic fracking soon to supply all it's energy needs, it can get the hell out of the area once and for all.

                What is happening in Syria feels like one of the last gasps of the age of the military dictators. An old way of running the world is still desperately trying to cling to power, but the underlying feeling in the west is that somehow Assad's archaic and cruel military rule will inevitably collapse and Syrians will move forward into a democratic age.

                That may, or may not, happen, but what is extraordinary is that we have been here before. Between 1947 and 1949 an odd group of idealists and hard realists in the American government set out to intervene in Syria. Their aim was to liberate the Syrian people from a corrupt autocratic elite - and allow true democracy to flourish. They did this because they were convinced that "the Syrian people are naturally democratic" and that all that was neccessary was to get rid of the elites - and a new world of "peace and progress" would inevitably emerge.

                What resulted was a disaster, and the consequences of that disaster then led, through a weird series of bloody twists and turns, to the rise to power of the Assad family and the widescale repression in Syria today.

                I thought I would tell that story.

                In 1968 a CIA agent called Miles Copeland wrote a book called 'The Game of Nations' that revealed what went on in 1947. Back then Copeland was part of a mangement consulting team in Washington who were working out how America should contain the threat of communism in the Middle East, now the old European Empires had gone. This was before the CIA existed, and Copeland describes how they got together an odd group of diplomats, secret agents left over from the war, advertising men from Madison Avenue, and "pipe-smoking owls" (which is what intellectuals were called in those days).

                Miles Copeland, Jr. responds to BBC's suggestion that the CIA/OSS was plotting to overthrow the Syrian government without the State Department knowing or approving.

                "The State Department didn't want to know," Copeland continues, " was handed to us that we best shut up about what was happening in [Syria]." Furthermore, Miles confirms that he coordinated the coup in Syria.

                •  So your answer is to just (0+ / 0-)

                  let thousands of innocent people die, instead of trying to fix a problem we helped cause decades ago?

                  •  Do you think bombing is the fix to the problem? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    How many innocent people have died because of US interventions, invariably using American firepower, since WWII?

                    Killing by CW is no worse than killing with bombs or missiles or mortars or bullets. Death in all cases may come quick or be agonizingly painful for extended periods of time from burns, asphyxiation, crushing, broken and shattered limbs or bleeding. Four US states still have not discarded their gas chambers - that's obscene.

                    A civil war is raging in Syria. Carnage and atrocities are occurring on both sides of the conflict. The following is a report from the very pro-rebel SOHR. Notice the deaths on both sides. Innocent civilians are caught between the two.

                    Syrian Observatory for Human Rights · 6,029 like this
                    Yesterday at 6:24am ·

                        The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented 110,371 casualties since the beginning of the uprisings in 18/3/2011, from the first casualty in Dera'a, up till 31/08/2013.

                        Civilians: 40,146. Including 5,833 children and 3,905 women.
                        Rebel fighters: 15,992.
                        Defected soldiers and officers: 2,128.
                        Regular soldiers and officers: 27,654.
                        Unidentified casualties (documented by pictures and footages): 2,726.
                       Rebel fighters (most of which are non-Syrian and others are unidentified): 3,730.
                        Popular defence committees, National defence forces, Shabiha and pro-regime informers: 17,824.
                        Fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah: 171.

                    The only solution is a political solution. Unfortunately the US is incapable of negotiating in good faith. They always want preconditions that make a complete mockery of the process.
                    a problem we helped cause decades ago
                    Not just decades ago but right now.

                    There is considerable evidence that the sectarian civil war raging in Syria was initiated and exacerbated by outside forces who took advantage of the protests by instigating violence against the regime to cause a severe backlash. It worked. The instigators were mainly Saudi Arabia and Qatar with the implicit support of FUKUS (France, UK, US).

                    •  I think we should exhaust (0+ / 0-)

                      all peaceful options first.

                      But I don't see how doing nothing is considered an acceptable option.

                      •  Stop weapons going in to all parties (0+ / 0-)

                        Unfortunately, the US only calls for stopping munitions to the regime. In their next sentence they call for increasing arms to the rebels.

                        The US is not the solution. The US is the problem.

                        Frankly, I don't think the US really wants a solution. Assad or the rebels - neither is a good choice for them. Better to even the playing field and let them destroy each other - win-win. Not a new concept in the ME. It was the game plan for the Iran-Iraq War the Israelis, US and Saudis employed. A million and a half people died in that conflict.

                        Assad has killed more jihadis in the last year than the US has in the last five. Syria has now become a honeypot for jihadis from all over the world. They flock there and are killed. What better situation for America's war on terror? Unfortunately this could open the gates of hell in the region. World wars have been ignited from small tinder boxes catching on fire.

      •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Claudius Bombarnac, YucatanMan

        National Security Advisor before UN representative.

        And Obama's comments about the UN in his speech Friday also parrot Power's rhetoric.

        I'm pretty sure she exerts a fair amount of influence on his decision making, she is kind of the best friend of his bad twin, the one who sends cruise missiles into Pakistan for the cause of human dignity and justice.

  •  unfortunately, I don't think he's looking for a (8+ / 0-)

    way out at all. He's determined to have his war; he just wants some political cover after the British Parliament nearly threw David Cameron out of office over going to war with Syria. He looked around and saw once-reliable allies deserting him, and decided he needed more of a veneer of legitimacy.

    Obama probably thinks he can wheedle Congress into signing off on a blank check resolution and thus pass the responsibility for the war off on them. As if that worked for Bush!

    I'm not sure if he's even considered the possibility that Congress might reject authorizing him to take military action against Syria.

    He's pointedly avoided answering the question of whether he will proceed with an attack if Congress votes no. In fact, he has asserted that he has the authority to order an attack without Congress!

    If they do--and it's possible that the House might narrowly defeat an AUMF--I think he will damn the torpedoes and go full speed ahead, even though it would be incredibly autocratic and unilateral and unconstitutional, and might well lead to his impeachment.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 04:51:01 PM PDT

  •  as for the President's advisors on this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac, koNko, YucatanMan

    this seems quite clear

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:14:19 PM PDT

    •  It's no surprise (8+ / 0-)

      She's built her whole career on the idea of using military power to intervene in cases of genocide or mass violence. She's just never been in a position before where her voice can have such far-reaching effects.

      People have gotten wise to the right-wing rationales for war. It's a dangerous new development for a whole new set of rationales to be trotted out that people haven't developed much immunity to yet.

      I believe in the kind of humanitarian intervention that involves UN peacekeepers getting between the warring parties while the diplomats work things out. That kind that involves cruise missiles? Not so much.

      •  she was certainly one of the prime movers in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, unfangus

        getting us to intervene in Libya, probably thought it would be a roughly similar scenario in Syria

        quite forgetting that Russia and China don't welcome being played again with the talk of "no regime-change intended"..

        We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

        by Lepanto on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:29:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we're not seeing (5+ / 0-)

          a whole lot of reports of how well things are going in Libya, are we . . .

          Not a stable and blooming "democracy", is it . . .

          Probably a lot of Libyans now thinking (as a lot of Iraqis do about Saddam) that whatever Gaddafi's flaws (and there were many) the place was still better off with him than it is now without him.

          Chaos in Iraq.  Chaos in Libya.  Chaos in Syria. Almost chaos in Egypt.  See a pattern?  See a plan ? ? ?

          Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

          by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:01:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yea, and Hitler made the trains run on time (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:


            You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

            by tomjones on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:10:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You do know that Libya's oil output is now down (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              to 150,000 bpd compared to last years 1,600,000 bpd? Unless this increases very soon, the Libyan government will not be able to pay for its massive public sector. Nothing gets people riled up as much as when they don't receive their entitlements. Qaddafi had doubled them before he was buggered. The new government dare not reduce them.

              The pot is starting to boil again in Libya. There is a low level civil war going on right now.

              How militias took control of post-Gaddafi Libya
              August 24, 2013

              Toppling Muammar Gaddafi created a security vacuum that the new government filled with former freedom fighters. Now the trick is convincing them to put down their weapons.
              “In Kremia, the [militia] people said to us, ‘either you endorse the Isolation Law or we slaughter you,’” Congressman Abdurrahman Shater told me later. “Not kill you — slaughter you. You know the difference? Killing is by shooting. Slaughter is…” He trailed off, dragging his finger across his throat. “This is terrible.”

              Congress refused to vote under threat of force and after 12 hours the siege was lifted. As the president of Congress, Mohammed al-Megarif, drove off, militias opened fire on his convoy. A few weeks later, militias turned out in force, surrounding government ministries and threatening to storm parliament, pressuring the Isolation Law’s passage.

              Rather than a more moderate law that would apply based on an individual’s conduct under the regime, the version that passed cuts wide and deep across Libyan society, and makes no exception for those who played a significant role in the revolution. It has drawn widespread international criticism. According to a recent op-ed by William Lawrence, a former US State Department official in Libya, “the law not only further weakens already weak institutions, it could cripple them.”

            •  actually, that's supposed to have been (0+ / 0-)

              Mussolini, not Hitler (German trains always ran on time), and it's not true anyway.

              And Jesus didn't do trains at all.

              You need to do a bit of work on that ignorance thing of yours . . .

              Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

              by Deward Hastings on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 08:28:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Her views were formed by the Rwanda atrocity (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AgavePup, cotterperson, Wee Mama

        Looking back, would anyone here really say that non-intervention there was the right move?

        You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

        by tomjones on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:08:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So she can't distinguish (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, Claudius Bombarnac

          one crisis from another?  Is her only strategy hammer meet nail?  That's a fairly limited repertoire.  Sounds like she's pretty inexperienced.

          "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

          by Betty Pinson on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:42:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please answer the question (0+ / 0-)

            Should we have intervened in Rwanda?

            You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

            by tomjones on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:52:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There was a real genocide going on in Rwanda (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              YucatanMan, unfangus

              so yes, the west should have intervened.

              The French did with 3,000 troops but let their old friends, the Hutus, keep their weapons and did not stop the broadcasts. They had even continued to supply arms after the slaughter had started. Francois Mitterrand rationalized "in such countries, genocide is not too important". They even allowed the armed Hutus to run the refugee camps.

              The intervention that should have been stopped is the Belgian and French ones. It was their fucking policies and meddling that created the conditions for this to happen in the first place.

            •  And don't forget The Congo - millions. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Th0rn, unfangus

              And The Sudan - millions again.

              In fact, there are so many genocides going on all the time, how are we ever going to pay for the armed forces to stop them all?  Year after year, somewhere, people are killing each other.

              What about what China is doing in Tibet?  What about a lot of places?  

              It's really easy to say, "Oh yeah, we should have intervened."

              But stop and look at all the places where that rule would have applied, and try to manage it without a massive draft and huge military budget increases.  Hell, Iraq and Afghanistan are going to end up costing us a Trillion dollars.  Sooner or later, it adds up to real money. ;-)

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:53:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I know this wasn't directed at me, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              but I would go so far as to argue that our military resources should've been used in Sudan instead of Iraq.

      •  Except that tossing a few hundred cruise missiles (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Th0rn, unfangus

        into populated areas really isn't "intervention."

         Intervention to secure chemical weapons in a country of 22 million people would need several hundred thousand troops at least.  Troop numbers we simply don't have.  And the equipment we have had has been abandoned in Iraq, is still occupied in Afghanistan, and is being repaired in the USA.

        There's no way we do a significant intervention other than just bombing the crap out of the place.  And for that reason, precisely, we should not get involved. We're not going to do anything worthwhile and we would end up blowing up a lot of buildings and people.  Yay us. Death from the skies in yet one more nation.

        Ten, twenty, thirty years from now, the death we've been raining from the skies may haunt us severely.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:49:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why don't we ask (0+ / 0-)

        Romeo Daillaire how well UN peacekeepers getting involved in genocide works?

        Or how about the peacekeepers at Srebrenica?

        The fact is, while it sounds nice, the UN peacekeepers often don't have the authority to take all the necessary steps to stop some of the violence they see.

        I don't see why we SHOULDN'T use some kind of military intervention in cases of genocide or mass violence, frankly.  I would actually argue that's the only time it's justified without us being attacked first.

        Are you arguing, for example, that if Pearl Harbor hadn't happened, we shouldn't have gotten involved in WWII?  It'd be using military power to intervene in a genocide, after all, which you say you're against.

  •  When UK voted down involvement... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kerflooey, FG, BentLiberal

    And other NATO countries skittish themselves about being involved, Pres Obama didn't have the cover from the international community to not go through Congress.  If this is going to be a largely unilateral action, than Congress needs to be involved.  

    I think Congress will okay the strike though, but it buys nine days at least.  

    “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I have many more documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.” -G.Greenwald

    by Jacoby Jonze on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:28:57 PM PDT

    •  Nine days for what? nt (0+ / 0-)

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:11:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think they'll OK it as well. (0+ / 0-)

      Not what I want really, but I think Congress will.

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:44:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

        David Axelrod seems a bit gleeful about it, whichever way it goes.

        I won't be surprised if they don't go around twisting arms very hard to get support.

  •  That's quite a list (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Th0rn, koNko, Richard Cranium, theKgirls

    Now I respect him even more. To stand up to that kind of firepower is tough. Takes a lot of resolve.
    I'm more convinced than ever that he's thrown it to Congress as an exit ramp.
    Along with Powers, isn't Rice also a Humanitarian Hawk, retread from the Clinton Admin? They got burned by Rwanda and don't want to stand by again when they have available military machinery.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:30:35 PM PDT

  •  Bomb Assad, weaken Hezbollah, weaken... (0+ / 0-)

    Hezbollah, weaken Iran, weaken Iran, strengthen ?

    Plato's " The Cave" taught me to question reality.

    by CTDemoFarmer on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:49:03 PM PDT

    •  Well, more like this: Bomb Assad, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      strengthen Al Qaeda / Al Nusra and Muslim Brotherhood.  

      Perfect!  We'll have war forever!

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 09:55:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A problem is that Congress, as currently (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kerflooey, cotterperson

    constituted, is a farce, a joke, and an embarrassment.
    I support seeking their approval, but it's hard to swallow having to do that knowing that the majority of them are nuts, racists, homophobes, misogynists, CT'ers, and/or just plain stupid.

    They are clowns.  Look at Issa.  Having to get HIS approval for something?  Look at either of the Kings.  Look at Bachman.  Look at Gohmert, who's so irresponsible he allowed his CT to become fodder for anti-US propaganda in Egypt.

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

    Imagine having to ask this clown for approval to do anyting.  lol

    And the Senate has people just as kookie, Exhibit A being Ted Cruz.

    I know, I know, we have to use the Congress we have.  But that doesn't mean they aren't a bunch of clowns; even the American people that support the need to get their approval only have single digit approval rating of Congress.  Were I president, I'd be annoyed at having to ask a bunch of Know-Nothings for approval, but sometimes you have to do things that make sense on paper, even though in reality it's absurd in many ways. :)

  •  And yet, he continues to assert the opposite (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, tardis10, YucatanMan

    In both Mr. Kerry's words and his own, which I detail in this comment in another diary.

    The real test, of course, would be deciding what to do if Congress votes down a resolution.

  •  This is a very positive precedent and it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrfrog, Betty Pinson, YucatanMan

    may have the bonus effect of making a few more Congresspersons or Senators grow up a bit -- that might make a couple dozen in total who are capable of behaving like responsible adults.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 06:33:21 PM PDT

  •  Maybe its time to look for an alternate solution (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Betty Pinson

    Perhaps some very smart people could try to find a way to stop the hostilities. To make peace within Syria.

    After all, none of the players are worth a shit over there, so just getting them to stop killing each other would be a major improvement.

    Honestly, does anyone on this site have any sort of non-violent suggestion to solve this problem?

    Lots of smart people read this blog.

  •  I think Obama wants congress to say no. (4+ / 0-)

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:13:32 PM PDT

    •  It's his only out to save face (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  If Congress says no, those voting no on the (0+ / 0-)

      Republican side show weakness, as defined by their base.

      I think the outweighs the prospects of voting in an anti-Obama fashion for enough Republicans (to pass it).

      Il est dangereux d’avoir raison dans des choses où des hommes accrédités ont tort. - Voltaire
      Don't trust anyone over 84414 - BentLiberal

      by BentLiberal on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:41:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

      since it is entirely his province to simply categorically state "no." Just as if Congress took it upon themselves now to demand the Executive act, he'd be under no compunction to do so.

      •  Not alot has made sense here.... however if (0+ / 0-)

        Congress says no he can save some face. I'd be more impressed if he said.... "I thought about it again and it isn't a good idea to throw missles over without any plan for what happens afterwards. However the international community (yeah that means you Russia)  needs to be engaged to prevent further use of chemical weapons."

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

        by CTMET on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 02:09:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just because (0+ / 0-)

    the decision was made by Obama alone, doesn't mean NOBODY advised him of the comparative value of going to Congress. Nor does it mean that a "no" from Congress will mean action won't be taken, as he has plenty of means at his disposal to act.

    Personally I think there's very little chance of Congresspeople voting "no" on taking action against gassing children with nerve agents. But maybe that's just me.

    •  The British said no. The Germans said no. (0+ / 0-)

      All the other NATO countries except France said "Good luck". The BRICS said no. The Arab League said "Go for it but not on our dime."

      France said yes most likely due to US assistance in Mali. But you know how flaky the French can be. The French people said no but Hollande doesn't give a damn. Like the US republic he can go it alone. He's already tanked in the poles. Maybe he thinks being a war president will boost them?

      Do you believe all these people hate children? Or are there other considerations that need to be examined?

      Obama seems to be holding a minority position. What happens if things go sour on him and the gates of hell open in the region?

  •  Reading some of the comments on this thread, one (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kerflooey, Sky Net, elmo

    would think Barack Obama was Mussolini or someone of that ilk, not a man concerned about another dose of chemical warfare on innocent people.

    I haven't read anything concerning how the international community might help these people, it is all about how Obama is plotting to do bad things with the military and how his advisers are all ignoramuses....

    I realize, though, that this kind of rhetoric is no difference than the rhetoric one could have heard about the President concerning the NSA scream fest or even way back concerning the Affordable care Act. Basically the same individuals saying the same things about the same President for 5 years.

    There was a time, when Progressives would spend at least 30 seconds discussing the cruelty of innocent men, women and children being attacked by chemical weapons.... But now, who cares about that?

    But let there be some report of a member of Al-Qaeda reportedly being held in solitary confinement and the entire village would scream with bloody outrage of "How Could This Happen?!"

    Very strange indeed.

    •  This is how I feel about it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't know that military action is the solution to this problem, and I definitely think we should at least attempt nonviolent solutions before we do anything militarily.

      But as I said above, the attitude of many, not only here, but in general, seems to be "Dreadfully sorry about all that unpleasantness over there with the innocent people being killed by those chemical weapons, but you see, we simply can't afford to get involved in any way in problems that don't directly involve us.  It really is quite sad though."

  •  Well, I advised him to consult Congress (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and I have a feeling there were a few more of us who contacted him on the matter.

    •  My Congresswoman signed Barbara Lee's (0+ / 0-)

      letter saying this needs to be a decision by Congress as well.

      Maybe he started paying attention to letters he gets from Congress?

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 10:04:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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