published Friday, September 6th, 2013

Syrian crisis and possible U.S. strike deserve debate

We should thank President Barack Obama, the guy who gets criticized if he does and criticized if he doesn't.

Why? For saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war crosses his red line and the world's red line.

More importantly, we should thank him for outlining a plan of action, especially given the vacuum of world reaction. Most of all, we should thank him for asking Congress to debate his plan.

Our president knows we're war weary. He's war weary -- probably much more so than the rest of the nation.

Asking Congress to talk it through with him -- and us -- and to share and shape the massive responsibility that goes with giving an order to make missile strikes is both wise and just.

So far, a Senate panel is backing a proposed strike. The House is being the House -- read here, partisan, divided, delaying, dismissive. Pick your adjective.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, bolstered by our own Sen. Bob Corker, backed legislation for a use of force against Assad's government on a 10-7 vote. The legislation, which would rule out U.S. combat operations on the ground, was toughened at the last minute Wednesday to include a pledge of support for "decisive changes to the present military balance of power" in Syria's civil war.

"Whether you like the president or not, others are watching and he is the commander-in-chief of our country," said Corker, a Republican. The measure is expected to reach the Senate floor next week. Sen Rand Paul, a Kentucky conservative with tea party ties, is threatening a filibuster.

The House has no timetable for consideration of the plan. Generally the House, controlled by Republicans, is against anything the president is for. House speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he supports the president's plan but he won't whip votes for it.

Whatever the eventual outcome, the president did the right thing by investigating the allegations of chemical weapons use. When he became convinced the claims were real and were ordered and orchestrated by the Assad regime, he again did the right thing by forming and stating a plan -- a narrowly tailored military response to enforce the moral prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.

War is never pretty. We hope this Syrian civil war ends soon -- preferably without more death, and with or without any U.S. action beyond the rhetoric already expounded.

Obama has offered both a condemnation of chemical warfare, and a plan to punish it. May our Congress be so brave as to at least debate the matter, politics aside, and help Americans better understand what's going on and what's at stake.

What would be more just would be a similar step forward within the leadership of the United Nations.

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nucanuck said...

If we take a step back and consider that Assad had absolutely no motive to use chemical weapons, then we need to ask, who did? Who benefits from a mass murder of hundreds of non-combatants?

Only a few weeks ago the rebel forces were defeated and demoralized. Their only real hope of toppling Assad would be through outside intervention. The nations wanting Assad ousted needed an excuse to justify attacking Assad's forces. Assad knew that and would have been a fool to do something that alarms the world. Assad is no fool.

We are watching a power play attempting to re-align the players in the world's energy center for a world that is facing increasing energy supply challenges.

We the people are being lied to, again!

September 6, 2013 at 9:10 a.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck, when you say "We the people are being lied to, again!" I assume you are speaking of George W. Bush. If so you are the one who is either uninformed or are being dishonest as it was proven Bush did not lie.

From the LA Times article title" The White House didn't lie about Iraq. No matter what the Dems say, the evidence against Bush simply isn't there.

In 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved a report acknowledging that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments." The following year, the bipartisan Robb-Silberman report similarly found "no indication that the intelligence community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

September 6, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.
rick1 said...

Pam wrote We should thank President Barack Obama, the guy who gets criticized if he does and criticized if he doesn't.

Why? For saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria's civil war crosses his red line and the world's red line.

More importantly, we should thank him for outlining a plan of action, especially given the vacuum of world reaction. Most of all, we should thank him for asking Congress to debate his plan.

Did you have the same feelings when Bush went to Congress to get permission to invade Iraq?

We know Obama was against Bush invading Iraq and has stated so many times so.

Hussen killed 5,000 civilians with poison gas in a single day and thousands with chemical weapons. We have been told by the Whitehouse that Assad has attack his people with WMD's but we have not been provided any evidence to support this.

Hussen was known to torture his own people, conduct executions, rapes, burnings and electric shocks, and a lot of this occurred in front of the victim's wife or children. No evidence of Assad doing this.

Hussen paid bounties to the families of suicide bombers in other countries. No evidence of Assad doing this.

Hussen gave shelter to Abdul Rahman Yasin, a conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Hussen attempted to assassinate former president George H.W. Bush. All Assad did was have dinner with Kerry and his wife in 2009. Assad probably wanted to commit suicide after that social event.

So, Pam please tell me why Obama is right for wanting to strike Syria, after he said Bush was wrong to go into Iraq?

September 6, 2013 at 10:21 a.m.
fairmon said...

If only it were as simple as two factions fighting. The Assad regime, the FSA, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim BH are attacking each other in addition to Assad and his supporters.

Like him or not Putin probably has better connections and intel than the U.S.. He says, and it is very possible, that Assad and his people are not the source of the chemical weapons attack. It may have been by another group trying to pull the U.S. into the fray to weaken Assad.

Obama insist he didn't draw a red line although "to me that would be a red line" did sound as if he did. He is in a quandary and is experiencing the lonely feeling of the man at the top where the buck stops and there is no one else to pass it to, no one else to blame but he is like trying to corner butter in a hot skillet.

Healthy debate, you have got to be kidding. He can blame congress for an attack or for not attacking.

September 7, 2013 at 12:50 a.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1, my reference about government lying was about pervasive misinformation about economic statistics as well as foreign's endemic.

September 7, 2013 at 6:28 a.m.
librul said...

The most disturbing aspect of the Syrian situation is flying beneath everyone's radar - the corruption of our country's military by the zionist devils rising in the ranks. Fortunately we have Mikey Weinstein to shine a light on these religionist roaches who are the source of the infection - and who threaten to lead us to national ruin with their eschatological fantasies. He points out that they are no less crazy and dangerous than the murderous al Qaida-aligned jihadists that people like McCain and our Israeli/AIPAC shadow government clamor for us to support. I mean, does ANYONE not believe that they would be capable of a false flag attack on their own for the greater cause of drawing America into yet another quagmire? Does ANYONE not understand that it is Israel whose interests this would serve?

Like Michael says - read and weep ...

If the American people do not yank the leash of their "representatives" and bring some sanity to the congressional asylum, it will be lights out. Remember, it was Putin who brought up nukes, not anyone on this side of the pond.

September 7, 2013 at 1:40 p.m.
librul said...
September 7, 2013 at 2:02 p.m.
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