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One day before American President Barack Obama is set to make the case for attacking Syria on six television networks, Syrian President Bashar Assad goes on PBS to warn against making such an attack:
President Bashar Assad warned Sunday that if President Obama decides to launch military strikes on Syria, the U.S. and its allies should "expect every action" in retaliation.
Of course, Assad argued that the retaliation wouldn't necessarily come from his government, but could instead come from his political opponents or other regional actors, including Iran, and that it might include chemical weapons ... but only if the "rebels and terrorists" have them, because of course he's never contemplated having such things. Assad also said the U.S. shouldn't strike Syria because:
This is the war that is going to support Al Qaeda and the same people that kill Americans in the 11 of September.
Personally, I find Assad's scaremongering against attacking about as convincing as I find the scaremongering in favor of attacking, but I guess at least there's one thing that that the scaremongers can all agree on: That if you're not with them, then you're with Al Qaeda.

Email your member of the House of Representatives, letting him or her know your opinion about a military strike on Syria—whatever your opinion may be.

7:44 AM PT: The initial post left out "or other regional actors" in the first sentence of the second paragraph, which I've added in.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Assad has been listening to Fox News (11+ / 0-)

    that is their latest talking point.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:33:32 AM PDT

  •  We've Always Been Strong Supporters (10+ / 0-)

    Of al-Qaeda. First in Afghanistan and now in Syria. What doesn't the diarist understand?

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:37:12 AM PDT

  •  A couple of editorial items (6+ / 0-)

    Iran is not among Assad's "political opponents," you seem to have made a typo there.

    This may be a Fox News talking point but it is not actually ridiculous. It is a fact that groups using the al Qaeda brand name, and others in similar ideological territory, are the most effective elements of the Syrian insurgency, control territory, and would greatly gain from the collapse of the Assad regime. The U.S. is playing a very dangerous game here, and frankly, it is not at all clear to me what Obama's objective is, let alone why he is making this so important. I don't really care what Assad says but one can arrive at this opinion independently.

    •  William Polk has a good rundown at the Atlantic (4+ / 0-)
      In competition with the Free Syrian Army is an Islamicist group known as Jabhat an-Nusra (roughly “sources of aid”) which is considered to be a terrorist organization by the United States.  It is much more active and violent than groups associated with the Free Syrian Army.  It is determined to convert Syria totally into an Islamic state under Sharia law. Public statements attributed to some of its leaders threaten a blood bath of Alawis and Christians after it achieves the fall of the Assad regime.   Unlike the Free Syrian Army it is a highly centralized force and its 5-10 thousand guerrillas have been able to  engage in large-scale and coordinated operations.

      Of uncertain and apparently shifting relations with Jabhat an-Nusra, are groups that seem to be increasing in size who think of themselves as members of al-Qaida.  They seem to be playing an increasing role in the underground and vie for influence and power with the Muslim Brotherhood and the dozens of other opposition groups.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/...

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

      by greenbastard on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:40:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's out of date. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NedSparks, Tony Situ, cdreid

      A year ago, the al Qaeda affiliated were the most effective elements.

      Now, they've been driven out of Homs and can't get near Damascus, while the western-backed FSA was putting so much pressure on the regime that they responded with chemical weapons.

      Sidelining the al Qaeda affiliated and promoting the Arab Spring faction within the rebellion has been the administration's policy for the past two years, and it's working.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:43:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  an interesting report to read (4+ / 0-)

        http://www.reuters.com/...

        One of the most effective Syrian rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad is the Nusra Front, effectively a branch of al Qaeda. Opponents of President Barack Obama's plan to attack Syria point out that hitting Syrian government forces in response to a chemical weapons attack last month might end up helping Nusra.

        "Al Qaeda's future rises and falls in Syria to some extent," said Peter Bergen, an al Qaeda expert and one of the co-authors of the threat assessment. "We can look around the world - there are actually a lot of places they're not doing well. But clearly they're doing very well in Syria."

        The policy center's project is headed by former New Jersey Republican Gov. Thomas Kean and former Indiana Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton - the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission Report that analyzed the American preparedness for, and reaction to, the September 11 attacks.

        Their report, released ahead of the 12th anniversary of September 11 attacks, said the United States faces a more amorphous terrorist threat, including possible attacks by radicalized individuals.

        In Syria, Nusra has begun to operate as a large-scale provider of social services, to garner more support among the people in areas it controls.

        "This is something of a first for an al-Qaeda affiliate; developing a Mao-like 'population centric' approach to implementing a successful insurgency," the report said.

        Arming Syrian rebel groups could allow heavy weapons to fall into the hands of jihadist groups, the report said.

        Assad's stockpile of chemical weapons also presents a possible problem if they are accessed by groups like Nusra, the report said. It said the weapons could be used in Syria and also be smuggled out of the country and used in future attacks.

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

        by greenbastard on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:53:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is interesting. AQAP opened up... (0+ / 0-)

          social services in the provinces of Yemen that it briefly took over, before being driven out by the Yemeni army. This seems to be a larger trend for al Qaeda affiliates.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 05:27:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A week ago, the Asaad regime was jubilant when the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lying eyes, joe from Lowell

        president decided to wait until receiving input from Congress; they were celebrating that they of the Asaad regime intimidated the US to backing down.

        Well, then, if they are so intimidating to the US, they wouldn't have to go on television screaming that if we attack them we are helping al-Qaeda. It is desperation.

        Jeb is one of my favorite posters, so I'm a little surprised he ran with this headline. Unless of course it is meant as snark, and my snark detector is malfunctioning....

        •  That was rhetoric (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Euroliberal, CIndyCasella

          Whether Assad claims that the U.S. "backed down" or otherwise hurts your feelings is a pretty poor rationale for making war.

          •  My point was that it is indeed rhetoric. I do not (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tony Situ, joe from Lowell

            need to use Asaad as argument for war, there are many sources I could use. For example, here is a report by the publication Der Spiegel, the publication that many an Obama critic just loves, due to its report on the NSA!

            Evidence clearly suggests that Syria's president has deployed chemical weapons. The latest poison gas attack should set aside once and for all any reservations about military intervention. The credibility of Western countries is on the line.
            http://www.spiegel.de/...

            Of course, now, Der Spiegel is not as respected perhaps....

            •  A snippet of snooped conversation between a (0+ / 0-)

              Lebanese guy and an Iranian guy by the German spooks is not proof of anything.  

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 10:19:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is a rumor around that the earth is round. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tony Situ, joe from Lowell
                •  Here is a piece from that der Spiegel article that (0+ / 0-)

                  shows how biased it is:

                  Sana, the official Syrian news agency, promptly denied the attacks, saying that all reports on the use of chemical weapons were "fabricated." But the large number of videos from the hospitals, of which 130 were posted on YouTube within a day, make it difficult for experts to conclude that poison wasn't used. Various experts, including Belgian chemical weapons expert Jean Pascal Zanders, Stefan Mogl of the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection and Alistair Hay of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, agreed that the combination of the symptoms of many patients was unmistakable and could not be simulated.

                  Experts say it's still unclear exactly which chemical agent was used, but the symptoms resembled those from earlier attacks. After those attacks, soil and body samples tested in French and British laboratories came out positive for sarin.

                  The article stated SANA, the Syrian news articles denied the attacks, saying all reports on the use of chemical weapons were "fabricated."

                  In reality, SANA said that US evidence against Syria was fabricated.

                  .

                  AFP - Damascus said Friday that a US intelligence report concluding that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in an onslaught that killed close to 1,500 people was "entirely fabricated".
                  Then the article tears down the straw man they built.  Yawn.  Where have we seen articles like this before, which were based on sketchy intel?

                  Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by CIndyCasella on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 10:48:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  There is a rumor that Iraq did not have WMDs, too. (0+ / 0-)

                  Last May, UN Investigator Carla Del Ponte stated that she received evidence that implicated the "rebels" in a prior chemical attack which the MSM also blamed and framed on Assad without evidence.  She stands by her statements, just like Hans Blix stands by his assertion that Iraq didn't have WMDs.

                  Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by CIndyCasella on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 10:53:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You do understand that you are using a Syrian news (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joe from Lowell

                    agency to knock down a story on whether or not Syria used chemical weapons, right?

                    •  I'm quoting Del Ponte directly from her interview. (0+ / 0-)

                      Here, listen and learn.  The interview was on a Swiss Italian TV program, not Syrian news.  You really should get your facts straight before attacking people's credibility like this.

                      Carla Del Ponte, Member of Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic:

                      During our investigation for crimes against humanity and war crimes, we collect some witness testimony that made to appear that some chemical weapons were used, in particular, nerve gas, and what appears to our investigation, that was used by the opponents, by the rebels, and we have no indication at all that the government, that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.... I was a little bit stupefied that the first indication we got... they were about the use of nerve gas by the opponents.

                      If Syrian News covered this, it doesn't make it untrue, like you seem to be implying for whatever reason of your own.

                      Our country and our allies don't exactly have a reputation for telling the truth, you know.  People in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones.

                      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                      by CIndyCasella on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 01:24:25 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There are photos of dead children who were (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe from Lowell

                        attacked with chemical weapons, not even Syria is claiming they didn't attack their people anymore.

                        •  Sources? I just listened to a Charlie Rose (0+ / 0-)

                          interview with Assad.  Assad did not take responsibility for the chemical attacks, and Rose kept cutting him off when Assad tried to say that there was no credible evidence implicating Syria.

                          I just proved to you that I did not use SANA as the source as you alleged by embedding an actual interview video of Del Pon teon Italian Swiss TV.  I won't hold my breath for you apologize or even acknowledge you were incorrect.

                          Now you toss out another unsubstantiated disinformation/misinformation nugget that Assad has stopped denying responsibility for the chem attacks, which would have made front page news had it been true.

                          It's a disingenuous double negative fallacy.  No one is buying these tricks anymore after the Iraq Office of Special Plans dishonored themselves.  The jig is up.

                          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                          by CIndyCasella on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 03:51:44 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I hope that people who get this question wrong... (0+ / 0-)

                            end up being every bit as discredited as the Iraq War Pundits who got the question of Saddam's WMDs deserved to be.

                            How about you, Cindy? Is that what you hope, too?

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 05:31:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I wrote a diary about an article written by a (0+ / 0-)

                            specialist in the field of chemical and bio weapons.  It's very difficult to prove who did these terrible things, and history is full of culprits falsely implicating the other side.

                            Assad was winning against the "rebels," and had nothing to gain and everything to lose to do August 21.  Qui bono?  Not Assad.

                            We may never know who really was behind this heinous crime against humanity, but a diary today was advocating throwing money around, which we know happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, to make things happen.  

                            This is how everything gets messy and cloudy.  People get paid off to be dishonest and lie and cover up the truth, but the truth has a way of eking out as time passes.  Senator Joe McCarthy found that out the hard way when finally someone stood up to his bullying and dishonesty.

                            I personally cannot get discredited, because I have not been so bold as to state who I believe is culpable, because obviously, I cannot know for sure.

                            The only thing I have been doing is setting the record straight when people make statements for which they have no proof, advocating that we wait for the UN to conduct a thorough investigation, and not bomb Syria.

                            I am under no illusion that some people are so desperate to have their way, they are capable of doing just about anything to get it.  That discredits them, not me.

                            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                            by CIndyCasella on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 06:56:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, Assad was not winning. That's outdated info. (0+ / 0-)

                            A week before the gas attack, American-trained forces began infiltrating from Jordan, and were leading an attack near Damascus that was driving back the Syrian 4th Armored Division.

                            Here, read this. The original was reported in a French newspaper, Le Figaro.

                            That was the area where the gas attack took place.

                            You probably think it's very crafty, like a Birther, to say "Golly, I don't know," but it's no more honest than just lying outright.

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:03:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I will not apologize, there are video images of (0+ / 0-)

                            people within the opposition sectors in Syria attacked by chemical weapons. Who do I believe? An interview presented on Syrian TV or my own eyes?

                            Syria is wagering giving up its chemical weapons through the Russians, this is acknowledgement that it has chemical weapons.

                            Der Spiegel reported on videos also shown by people of chemical weapons being fired into their communities. I at least have video evidence and independent news paper reports not affiliated with Syria television than chemical weapons have been used.... You have failed to show otherwise.

                            No apology.

                          •  I never said that the attack didn't occur. You (0+ / 0-)

                            are incorrectly framing that straw man.  

                            I am saying we do not know who did this.  We may never really know who is behind it.

                            Syria has chemical weapons, but that does not prove they used them.

                            The apology should be made for falsely accusing me of using a Syrian source about Carla Del Ponte's statements that she received data implicating the "rebels" for a past chemical weapon attack, which I proved to you she said on a Swiss Italian TV show.

                            Carla Del Ponte's testimony has knocked the wind out of the sails of the Bomb, Bomb Syria propaganda, and I am glad of it after what happened in Iraq.  These propagandists are despicable, and in time they should also face justice for all the blood they have spilled based on their evil lies and subterfuge.

                            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                            by CIndyCasella on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:06:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Then it's a poor rationale for you position, too. (0+ / 0-)

            I agree, we shouldn't let Assad's threats play a role in our decision.

            One way or the other.

            But, then, I can't help but notice that they weren't presented as a pro-strike argument, here in this diary, but as an argument against them.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 05:29:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah -- Fixed the first thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      Just a typo of omission, now fixed

    •  Objective? We need more terror to justify a whole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      host of inequalities an suspension of rights.

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:48:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about a valid military objective (0+ / 0-)

        that would justify us going into Syria.

        So far, I've only seen one, and it's weak tea.

        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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:07:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's the anti-warriors who invoke al Qaeda. (5+ / 0-)

    We can't take action because the rebels are all al Qaeda.

    That's the argument made on this side every single day for the past two years.

    You're right: the scaremongers certainly do love to threaten us with al Qaeda.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:41:02 AM PDT

  •  Is there any question that an attack would (3+ / 0-)

    benefit at least some of the rebel groups that are associated with Al-Qaeda?

    It is something that needs to be considered.   Nature abhors a vacuum.   What will fill the vacuum left by the departure or vaporization of Assad?   I think we know, at least in part, that it will be Islamists who are unfriendly to the US and Israel, don't we?    

    I'm not a misanthrope, I'm just very selective about who I'm willing to waste my time on.

    by SpamNunn on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:42:27 AM PDT

    •  How about we drop FERTILIZER on Syria and call (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      it a day?

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:21:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe dropping gas masks, as suggested by (0+ / 0-)

      some at this site, would also benefit "at least some of the rebel groups that are associated with Al-Queda".  Maybe dropping humanitarian packages would also "benefit at least some of the rebel groups associated with Al Queda".

      So are you guys now backing away from the "we should drop gas masks and shelter boxes" thing?

  •  As I always like to say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steve Magruder, TomP, Tony Situ

    You're either with Al Qaeda or you're with me.

    Prefer Macs over PCs? You're with Al Qaeda.

    Don't care for cyclists on roads? You're with Al Qaeda.

    Voted for Ralph Nader? You're with Al Qaeda.

    Have too many cats? You're with Al Qaeda.

    Watch "reality TV" shows? You're with Al Qaeda.

    Let's face it, you're all a bunch of phonies and you're all with Al Qaeda.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:43:42 AM PDT

    •  kovie, I'd urge you not to buy into this frame. (0+ / 0-)

      it's not based on fact--or, rather, like a lot of very nasty messaging I've seen over the years, it's designed to make the facts of the case irrelevant through ad hominem attacks and factually unsupported mockery.

      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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:59:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm actually mocking the entire neocon frame (0+ / 0-)

        I.e. you're either with us or you're with the terrorists. It's also been used to justify not going after banksters, being tougher with Repubs, and being critical of Obama & Dems. It's horseshit no matter the context and I'm calling it out. You're either practicing democracy or you're with the terrorists not.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:13:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, but how do you deal with the *fact* (0+ / 0-)

          that a lot of these rebels, especially in the east, are linked to al-Quaeda?

          With us or against us sucks, but the most important thing is to keep to the facts.

          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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:25:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We live in a world of imperfect choices (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tony Situ

            Including those who've recently left or been forced out, Syria is a very diverse country, ethnically, religiously, economically and politically. I just don't see AQ dominating its politics in the long run. There are valid reasons for not getting involved and supporting the rebels, of which there are many groups, but this is not one of them IMO. One is NOT either for Assad or AQ. That's just silly.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 09:14:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But I hope you could concede that (0+ / 0-)

              a thinking (non-silly) person could note that AQ is quite involved with one of the more powerful rebel groups (which is making trouble for some of the other rebel groups, btw) and that therefore it would be of paramount importance, when supporting "the rebels" (a term which is intensely misleading, since there's dozens of rebel groups) to be as close to absolutely sure as possible that we're not supporting al-Quaeda?

              While I would not go so far as to agree with the title of this guy's article, the fact that McCain actually appeared in a photo-op with a couple of terrorist kidnappers who kidnapped unarmed Lebanese pilgrims is evidence that we are not being nearly careful enough about who our allies are in that region.

              Useful but imperfect article in HuffPo

              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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 10:35:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There are various groups (0+ / 0-)

                We can support the "good" ones and not the "bad" ones--Assad's being one of the latter, btw.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 11:18:35 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think pretty much all of them are "bad ones" (0+ / 0-)

                  with the possible exception of a couple of the Kurdish groups.

                  They're mostly "bad ones" and "worse ones."

                  I'm guessing most of the good people are hiding in their root cellars as much as possible.

                  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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 12:19:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, our "rebels" (0+ / 0-)

                    included racist slaveowners, men who didn't think women were fit to vote, and wealthy landowners made much richer by the revolution. So there.

                    There are no perfect options in politics, local or global.

                    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                    by kovie on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 01:13:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Nah. But there's sometimes better options (0+ / 0-)

                      than there are in this benighted situation.

                      I'm kind of with Lenny Flank on this one.

                      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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 01:59:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Or fleeing to Turkey. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 12:19:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  In other words, you can't just write this off (0+ / 0-)

              because the rhetoric resembles the rhetoric of Bush.

              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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 10:35:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  How do you deal with the *fact* that Assad is (0+ / 0-)

            gassing people, not necessarily affiliated with Al Queda.  How many of the 1400+ killed in just the most recent gas attack, 400 of which were children, were "Al Queda"?

        •  Except this time it's progressives and Rand Paul (0+ / 0-)

          isolationists that are pushing the "you're with al queda" line rather than neocons.  The idea being that intervening to stop Assad's CW use helps Al Queda, and that's why intervention should not be done.

          •  Defeating Hitler helped Stalin (0+ / 0-)

            So I guess we shouldn't have intervened there either. I tend to discount any either/or binary choices presented by people with agendas to push.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 11:41:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wasn't this the same "counter" in Libya? (0+ / 0-)

    That a faction/portion of Gaddhafi rebels were AQ?  Wasn't this this charge in Egypt that the MB were AQ sympathizers?  

    When ever the left has a march/rally/protest in America the Black Block always shows up - If I march in that rally does that mean I am part of the Black Block or sympathizers of them?

     

    “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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:43:57 AM PDT

  •  Assad reminds me of Scott Walker... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    McWaffle

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:44:21 AM PDT

    •  I had the same thought! Just his looks, obviously (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Statusquomustgo

      I'm not bombastic enough to compare the two's actions. Just kind of a weasley looking guy. Makes you go, "Him?" a la Arrested Development.

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

      by McWaffle on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 09:14:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  lol... should have been more clear, but they (0+ / 0-)

        look like brothers...it's kinda creepy...

        "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

        by Statusquomustgo on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 09:18:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bashar al-Assad, (6+ / 0-)

    world's greatest concern troll.

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:44:54 AM PDT

    •  Unbelievable. Large numbers of Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calvino Partigiani

      making a wholehearted effort to discredit facts that several people on all sides of the issue have acknowledged to be true, all to make the case for war look better in contrast. Mostly because there is no case for war with Syria that will stand on its own merits--at least not one that will also stand the daylight.

      If there were, we would have seen it from Kerry or Obama by now.

      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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:02:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we could just ban certain names... (0+ / 0-)

    from positions of power, we'd never have to deal with the likes of Bush, Dick, Clapper, and Asshat.

    Before we point fingers at President Obama, we ought to point them at ourselves.

    by Sucker Politics on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:45:33 AM PDT

  •  I've been watching Syria for almost two years (4+ / 0-)

    It is in all senses of the word a clusterfuck. Anything we do will just make it worse.

  •  Yo! President Obama ... (5+ / 0-)

    Now that's using the bully pulpit! - wow, six networks. But why is this the only time you've really used it? Seems to me it would have been god to push this hard for the ACA so people might understand it.  Or how about coming out like this for jobs?   And, as Kerry says, it's going to be an amazingly small response so what's the big deal?

    Oh, wait!  I get it.  You put yourself in a box by finally drawing a red line on something and now it's your ass on the line not, say, the 99%.  That's why you're pushing so hard and pulling that bully pulpit out at last.  Somehow, I keep forgetting you're just a politician in the end.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:51:37 AM PDT

    •  finally, the President finds the bully pulpit (6+ / 0-)

      and uses it for war.

      it's disappointing.

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

      by greenbastard on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:54:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also, he's got Israel on his ass. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmay

      He doesn't want Bibi coming over here and making another nasty speech to Congress. Or lobbing missiles at Assad--or Tehran--himself.

      It's probably the existence of a moderate government in Tehran that has sent the Israelis into a panic (or PNAC) overdrive and has them all up in Washington's grill.
      Not that the Saudis and some factions in our own government aren't into this military funfest too.

      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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:06:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well the Prez has used the State of the Union (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tony Situ

      Address to discuss jobs on several occasions. In his last State of the Union Address he used the opportunity to discuss raising the minimum wage.

      I seem to remember the President with the famous cry: "Pass this jobs bill" you seem to have forgotten it. Yes, he not only said that in front of a prime time teevee audience but he then went all around the nation campaigning on this jobs bill... He kept yelling. "Pass this jobs bill", "Pass this jobs bill!" crowds who were gathered behind him were so familiar with the refrain that some of them would chime in with him, "Pass this jobs bill!"

      I'm sorry but I think you were complaining that the President doesn't use the bully pulpit to discuss jobs.

      Who deserved the blame for not passing the jobs bill again? Nope, it wasn't the President, but the Republican Congress. I don't hear many of the Obama critics criticizing the obstructionist Republican Congress...I think it would get in the way of criticizing Obama.

  •  He's right, more or less, but it's too bad he said (7+ / 0-)

    so, since it gives people like the diarist an easy way to shoot down that inconvenient truth. Obviously, if Assad says it, it must be a lie. Because bad men only tell lies. Just like good men, like Kerry and Obama, only ever tell the truth.

    Kerry's statement that al-Quaeda hasn't been increasing its power and involvement amongst the rebel factions must be true because Kerry said it. The idea that an attack on Assad would help al-Quaeda must be false, because Assad said it.

    That's where our political discourse has gotten to. The lowest of team sports.  

    As for me, I'm with InAntalya. She presents facts. And she doesn't call them "scaremongering" when the facts are inconvenient.

    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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:52:16 AM PDT

    •  You are correct. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      As the former secular Arab states and Baathist countries destabilize, it appears that the Middle Eastern scholars on Kos ignore history and don't take into account that the instead of the liberal democracies they expect to step into the vacuum, that these authoritarian governments will in all probability be replaced either fundamentalist Muslim states....or you will have continued fights between various ethnic and religious factions.

      Of course, this all can be traced back to colonialism which created artificial countries.  

      No good can come from more Western interference....but I guess what it all comes down to is...if Obama or Clinton does it, its okay.   If Bush does it: bad.   In any case, this is just another situation where the theory of US meddling results in another domino falls.   In any case, the people suffer, and our actions improve life for nobody.  

      To say otherwise, is to ignore the outcomes of 20 years for meddling and fumbling, while showing absolutely no understanding of the realities of Middle Eastern geopolitics.  

      Instead of being chipper apologists for a failed neoliberal foreign policy, maybe our site's Middle East experts might read more Juan Cole.  

      •  Agreed on all points. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nanorich

        Adding just one note:  apparently some people think it's a good idea to have a series of Middle Eastern regimes turn into failed states. That incredibly creepy position explains some of the downright boneheaded stupid foreign policy moves of the last decade or so.

        I'm referring here to Washington movers and shakers, big-time players, not Kossacks.

        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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 10:38:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Stopping my gassing of people helps Al Queda!" (0+ / 0-)

      Yah, you think maybe Assad has a self interest in pushing that line?

  •  Yes, we must leave the dictators alone because (4+ / 0-)

    Al-Qaida!!!?1!

    Congress's biggest idiots are in Egypt supporting General Sisi as the new George Washington because, apparently the Muslim Brotherhood did 9-11 now, because, uh, Mooslin = terrrist!    Head Assad-apologist Rand Paul is cool with dictators if they "protect Christians" If dictators need to gas a few thousand now and again, who are we to care??

     

  •  I've not heard any supporter of intervention claim (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, sweatyb

    those against intervention are "with Al Queda".
    But I have heard some against intervention say those supporting it were with Al Quaeda, mainly from Muslim hating teabaggers.
    Even John McCain slapped down one of them on Fox News.

  •  Nice try chump (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry there Assad, this country already greatly helped 'those who blew up the trade center buildings' long ago, by so quickly abandoning the main missions for why we sent our military into that region of the planet and with flag waving cheers and more in invading and destroying your neighbor!!

    Then the country in masse ran from any and all accountability, not allowing rovian revisionist history to be parroted,  not only throughout but as those who ordered were only packing to leave!

    Reason you have al Qaeda type international terrorist in your country fighting to take you down. Their ideology was spread far, globally, by most of the same screaming now not to do targeted attacks against you, they still go by the labels of republican and conservative but those have no meaning and haven't for a couple of decades now, you know and supposedly understand that conservatism label, it's your ideology as well, what those here want as they drink their tea!!

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 07:59:19 AM PDT

  •  So now Assad believes in Al Qaeda? (0+ / 0-)

    Because before he suggested it was an inside job and al Qaeda didn't exist.

  •  Assad must be surprised at US ingratitude (4+ / 0-)

    After all, he helped the tortured suspected Al Queda people for the CIA and provided intelligence when the US regarded Al Queda as the enemy. Syria was a favorite destination for CIA rendition, the best known case being Canadian citizen Maher Arar who was seized in NY and sent to Syria for torture. He was innocent, as were most such victims, but his case was one of the few which gained global attention.

    Assad shouldn't be surprised at the treachery by the CIA, since Libya and Iran also helped out with torture and intel a few years ago.

    This story has appeared everywhere and is beyond dispute. Obama must think we are all idiots to try to sell us on the idea that Assad is now somehow our worst enemy just because he tortures and kills people - That's why he used to be our friend.

    Here's the Huffington Post version from only four months ago.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:06:06 AM PDT

    •  Why would any Middle Eastern leader (0+ / 0-)

      (other than an Israeli) make a deal with us at this point?

      Yes, they're bastards and usually tyrants. Sometimes out-and-out monsters. But that doesn't change the fact that we are now legendary in our foreign policy backstabbing.

      The message is:  "Be our thug, until we decide to throw you away and destroy your power for being a thug. That way we get to keep clean hands. See how that works?"

      Hell, bin Laden was once our ally too.

      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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:12:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't consider that backstabbing at all (0+ / 0-)

        It's basically, "sure we will cut deals with you even though your a dictator but if your people rise against you don't expect our help".

         As far as I'm concerned thats a much better policy than we had during the Cold War when we were helping right-wing dictators stamp out left-wing popular movements  because the rebels were much worse, or aligned with our supposed enemies.

         That's why I'm not buying Assad's propaganda, he isn't saying anything fundamentally different then every dictator the past 100 years has said, it's basically "I'm not your real enemy America, those radicals rising against me are".

        •  ? I'd say the Iraq War (the second one) (0+ / 0-)

          is far, far more hostile, and, well, more involved than "if your people rise against you don't expect our help."

          I also have some serious doubts about that being an accurate description of our policies in Libya, too.

          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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:28:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  How about the uprising in Bahrain? (0+ / 0-)

          100,000 people demonstrated for freedom in Bahrain and then our friends in Saudi Arabia moved in to crush their hopes:

          While Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was being toppled in February 2011, the Arab Spring struck in Bahrain as 100,000 protesters filed into Manama's Pearl Roundabout for three days of protests calling for democracy reforms to the longstanding rule of the Al Khalifa monarchy. The government responded with crushing force, backed by Saudi tanks that rolled across a land bridge connecting the peninsula to the island nation. The crackdown was especially notorious for the international condemnation raised when security forces raided hospitals to arrest the doctors and medical staff who treated injured protesters.
          The fact that the Saudis and their fellow Gulf dictators are the chief supporters of the Assad opposition is the strongest argument against US military action. Prior to the civil war, life in Syria under Assad was better than life in Saudi Arabia today.

          If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

          by Valatius on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:45:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  So, intervening with Assad's gassing people is (0+ / 0-)

        "backstabbing" him?  Are you for real?
        So if we make a deal with any leader, then no matter what that leader does in the future, gas hundreds of thousands, engage in genocide, begin a program of any number of atrocities and crimes against humanity, we should have his back?  Really?

        I notice that your comment got zero recs.  Not even the most progressive of progressive is rec'ing your lame comment.

        And yeah, bin laden was our ally (made our ally by progressive hero Carter).  Then he decided to declare jihad on us, and follow through by blowing up two embassies, attacking the WTC (twice), attacking the Pentagon and tried to attack the Capitol building, and attacking a navy ship.  But you think we shouldn't have fought back because that would be "backstabbing" him?  OMG, you take the cake.

    •  the US does indeed have a habit of turning on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Euroliberal, SouthernLiberalinMD

      its BFFs.

      Just ask Saddam.  Or Gaddafi. Or Noriega.  Or Mubarak. Or Bin Laden.

      •  But not the Shah or Somoza. Maybe this is (0+ / 0-)

        a more recent kind of toxic foreign policy.

        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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:29:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bin Laden turned on us before we turned on him. (0+ / 0-)

        Unless you call blowing up two embassies and attacking WTC in the 90's, attacking the USS Cole, and 9/11 were just friendly gestures between allies.

        And Noriega turned on us before we turned on him too.  Not that I supported the Panama invasion.

        Gaddafi was sponsoring terrorism all along, but to be honest, I don't remember our being an ally of his (unless you refer to the détente that W forged with him).

        And Saddam, yes he was an ally.  But then he invaded Kuwait to get their oil, then threatened the same for Saudi Arabia.  He's the one that soiled the alliance, not us.   (Not that I supported the Gulf War.  I did support "Desert Shield", but not "Desert Storm".)

    •  Pretty weak reason to oppose intervening with (0+ / 0-)

      Assad's gassing of people.  There are legit pragmatic reasons to avoid intervening, but your reasons pretty much suck.

  •  Russia warn Syria to give up Chemical weapons (0+ / 0-)

    And put them under international control , Russia know that Obama will not  only weaking Assad ,but will cause Russia to abandon their naval bases in Syria

  •  Missing poll option: (•) PIE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tony Situ

    (much nicer way of saying F- You to GWB for his "With Us or With The Terroists" crap.)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:20:26 AM PDT

  •  It is really distressing to say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SouthernLiberalinMD, wigwam

    but in the clip above, Assad sounds more rational than Kerry. Calmer even. It pains me to say this.

    I'm just Double Tapped the hell out.

    by pajoly on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:21:08 AM PDT

    •  Nope, now, you can't say that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pajoly

      or you're Swiftboating him.

      You're probably also a Paulite mole. Or an ideological purist who isn't really loyal to the Democratic Party. Or an Obama-hater. Or someone who likes dictators and hates America. Or someone who believes in "you're either with us or you're against us" because obviously you wouldn't acknowledge the fact that al-Quaeda is involved in Syria if you weren't George W. Bush.

      Which I guess, analogically, makes Obama (who is calling for war) into the anti-war movement, circa 2002.

      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 Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 08:32:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  THe only thing close to "swiftboating" I saw from (0+ / 0-)

        your side was a few comments trashing Kerry for throwing his medals away, saying he did it just for show and suggesting that he earned them for carrying out war crimes anyway.  Thankfully, I didn't see such comments get many recs, not even from the most virulent Kerry haters.

    •  Assad is slicker than Kerry (0+ / 0-)

      but I wouldn't buy anything Assad is selling.

    •  So what? Assad has had years of experience as (0+ / 0-)

      an autocratic dictator, so maybe he's more practiced salesmanship.  What of it?

      Obama always sounds rational and calm, yet is loathed by many here and is considered by many here to be a liar.  So why would Assad's calm manner mean anything?  Putin's a liar too, yet calm.

  •  Those implying theres any equivalence between (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb, PsychoSavannah

    Assad and Kerry in terms of believability or moral standing or trustworthiness or, well, anything, should consider booking the next flight to Bizarro World. You'll fit right in and no longer embarrass the rest of us.

  •  Guess its lucky Stalin couldnt go on GMA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heftysmurf, PsychoSavannah

    or Anderson Cooper or they'd have won the cold war a half century ago. I hear he could be a real charmer, esp on the party circuit.

  •  What would happen if ... (0+ / 0-)
    What would happen if this "unbelievably small, limited kind of effort" failed to achieve its stated goal of stopping Assad from using chemical weapons again?
    Assad says to "expect everything."  What would happen if instead of deterring him, an attack provoked him to use those weapons, e.g., a U.S. city?  What exactly would we do about it?  Nuke Damascus, killing all of those people that Assad oppresses?  Send in the Marines?  What would we do?
  •  Assad Is Willing To Use Chemcial Weapons That (0+ / 0-)

    he doesn't have on US troops.  He has used banned chemical weapons on his own people why wouldn't he use them on any other country or anyone who stands in his way.  This man is a monster and if the US does nothing than we are saying that any country has a green light to go to it.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 09:06:35 AM PDT

  •  I'm going out on a limb here (0+ / 0-)

    and say flat out, unequivocally that I don't care to see Assad's "opinions" as a Front Page article on DailyKos. Just as I wouldn't want to see the Grandmaster of the Klan, Pat Robertson, Uganda's Kill the Gays proponents, etc. ad nauseum. Full stop.

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