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Good morning/afternoon, all.

I've spent the last week or so getting madder and madder at a whole lotta folks on the left.  I agree with a lot of these people on a lot of issues and I've voted for and donated to a lot of the same politicians.  All that said, the majority of Kossacks are wrong right now, and a decent slice are arguing in bad faith, out of ignorance, wishful thinking, or outright stupidity!

President Obama is not George W. Bush.  He didn't come into office with an axe to grind regarding invading a Middle Eastern country to avenge his father and secure a large supply of oil.  President Obama is spending massive political capital in a probably fruitless endeavor that benefits him politically (and policy-wise) in NO WAY.  The only reason I can see him doing this is because he believes that the use of chemical weapons against civilians is a moral obscenity.

You guys are acting like kids in a whole lotta threads.

**As there appears to be some confusion, allow me to clarify.  I'm in no way stating or suggesting that it is evil, childish, or wrongheaded to oppose a military operation in Syria.  I'm excoriating those who are applying the most childish and facile comparison to Bush and Iraq in 2002.  DailyKos has been lousy with such comments**

There are reports from a variety of sources that state that Assad and his cronies were behind the attacks.

Whatever your complaints regarding the NSA, it isn't that they're bad at signals intercepts (perhaps that they're too good, yeah).  The Israeli and German intelligence communities have had similar luck.  I've seen no credible reports, let alone evidence, from any credible source that the rebels had the capability or intent to commit a false flag operation on their own people.  It also makes very little sense.  I'll even ad hom a little bit.  I'd rather listen to US, German, and Israeli intelligence regarding a mass murder after the fact than I would Ron Paul, Glenn Beck, and Vladimir Putin.

A lot of you guys are acting as though President Obama is either a warmonger for wanting to launch cruise missiles at Syrian military targets, or he's being played by a team of warmongers (like noted warmonger John Kerry).  It's not like he wants to invade, conquer, and administer the place.  He's been about as clear on this point as he can be.  He wants to deter the use of WMD.  That was his signature issue in the Senate (focusing on nukes, not sarin, but same category) working with Dick Lugar.  

Obama is not Bush.  He is reacting in real-time to the use of sarin gas.  Bush used chemical attacks that had occurred over a decade earlier as a justification for a war he wanted.  Obama does not want another war.  He wants deterrence.  He's been very consistent on this issue.

The attack happened.  A whole lotta people died, and they didn't die well.  The attack served an obvious military purpose from Assad's perspective.  We have signals intercepts that back up the idea that his command and control system was involved.  We have a president that would almost certainly rather not be working on this issue right now this way.  We've had a diplomatic effort that runs back well more than a year during which Assad has slaughtered more of his people and now escalated to using WMD to do it.

All that being said, there are strong arguments against a military strike.  I'm not blind to the complexities of the composition of the Syrian rebels, nor the question of what happens after Assad.  This diary is not meant to ignore these concerns, nor to change minds on those terms.  What I am trying to do is establish the fact that there is a hell of a lot of daylight between this president and his predecessor when it comes to WMD and war in the Middle East.

I get that we've all been lied to before.  I truly do.  I had my patriotism questioned more than a few times in 2002 and 2003 living in South Carolina, as I was openly opposed to the war.  I get that nobody wants to get fooled and nobody wants another war.  That's understandable.  What I find abhorrent, however, is the mental gymnastics a lot of you are doing to win the wrong fight.

Maybe a lot of you have no more faith in President Obama following revelations regarding the NSA and some other matters.  You're entitled to your own conclusions.  However, there is nothing in this man's life or record that suggests to me that he is anything but sincere in why he wants to slap Assad down hard for violating a nearly universally held abhorrence for these weapons.

Please engage this issue while tethered to reality and the actual records of the players involved.  Leave the truthiness to the wingnuts.  They're better at it.

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