On Syria, Words Have Consequences

Striking at Assad won’t end the conflict. But it may drag the U.S. into a complex civil war.

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Hamid Khatib / Reuters

A Free Syrian Army fighter walks on the rubble of damaged buildings near Nairab military airport, which is controlled by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo, September 4, 2013.

From the start of the Syrian ­conflict, President Obama has wanted to take two very different approaches to it. On the one hand, he has been disciplined about the definition of American interests and the use of force. On the other hand, he has sought a way to respond to Bashar Assad’s ­human-­rights atrocities. But sometimes you cannot split the difference. The tension between the two paths continues to beset American policy as the Administration prepares the ground for a military strike. Selling the U.S. and the world on the need for action while at the same time keeping its mission limited will prove difficult.

Two years ago, Obama declared loftily that Assad had to go. A year ago, he announced that the use of chemical weapons was a red line. For a while it was possible to keep the juggling act going, talking tough while doing little. But presidential rhetoric creates expectations, and, as I wrote in June, “eventually, the contradictions in U.S. policy will emerge and the Obama Administration will face calls for further escalation.” The recent, horrific chemical-­weapons attack has been the proximate cause, but there would have been others. As a result, we might be inching into a complex civil war, all the while denying that we are doing so.

Just as Obama’s past rhetoric has pushed America more deeply into this struggle, the current efforts to win congressional support are already producing mission creep. At a meeting with House leaders, the President spoke explicitly about a “limited” strike that would “send a clear message.” The same day, his Secretary of State had to assure hawkish members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “this is not sending a message per se,” implying that the strikes would be more substantial. Republicans like John McCain have indicated that they have also been given more detailed assurances of a more intense intervention.

The Administration might want to keep the mission “limited” and “proportional,” as Obama initially promised, but it will be a challenge. In making the case to Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry and his colleagues have described what is at stake in monumental terms—­vital national security, 100 years of international law, core credibility. It is a “Munich moment,” says Kerry. In that case, how could American policy be merely a stiff warning, “a shot across the bow,” in the President’s words? If it doesn’t work, if there is another atrocity—­chemical or otherwise—can the Administration sit back and not do more? After all, the Secretary of State has compared the situation to the road to World War II. (A note on the analogy: it is worth remembering that Adolf Hitler was in charge of the world’s largest army and one of its richest countries and was seeking conquest of Europe and perhaps the world. Assad, by contrast, runs one of the world’s poorest countries and is struggling desperately to remain in control of it.)

What remains unclear in all of this is, What exactly is the goal of this military action? The Administration says it is simply to reinforce a global norm against the use of chemical weapons. But is it really just that? Were the Syrian civil war to continue, Assad to gain the upper hand and tens of thousands more to die—but without the further use of chemical weapons—would the Administration really say, “Mission accomplished”?

The reality is, the U.S. has now put its credibility on the line. It will find it extremely difficult to keep its actions limited in a volatile situation. And were it to succeed in ousting Assad, it would be implicated in the next phase of this war, which would almost certainly lead to chaos and the slaughter or ethnic cleansing of the Alawite sect (to which Assad belongs) and perhaps of other minorities, as happened in Iraq.

Obama has said repeatedly that the President he most admires for his foreign policy is the elder George Bush. Bush’s signature achievement was to manage the end of the Cold War peacefully and without major incident. But he was sharply criticized at the time for refusing to speak out in support of the ongoing liberation of Eastern Europe as the Iron Curtain cracked and crumbled. He later explained that he was always conscious that with hundreds of thousands of Soviet troops still in Eastern Europe, there could have been reversals, crackdowns, even full-scale conflict. He didn’t want to signal American commitments that he couldn’t fulfill. Better, he thought, to have people think he was dispassionate or even cold-blooded. The first President Bush had his flaws, but he did understand that in foreign policy, words have ­consequences.

PHOTOS: Syria’s Bloody, Slow-Motion Civil War

44 comments
slawea
slawea

One thing: Isaiah 17, "The burden of Damascus" only written 2600 years ago. Everyday headlines now.

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

9-10-2013 Apparently words do have consequences as Assad and Putin are planning to make a credible verifiable sequestration of Assads gas WMDs.   However,  the U.S. ought not holster their guns just yet.  This could be taken as a sign of weakness and a Tsun Tsu opportunity to capitalize on Snowjob's display of American disloyalty of its soldiers in uniform.

proyekcc.1
proyekcc.1

"The reality is, the U.S. has now put its credibility on the line."

united_we_stand
united_we_stand

Words have consequences. If the president declares a red line for US military action the rebels will work hard to see the red line is crossed, this now being their best shot at success. Once it happens the sec of defense will say words must have consequences, indicating we should engage militarily because the word of the US must mean something. 

mlharvilleusa
mlharvilleusa

Any U.S. action against Syria should be decided by the U. S. CONGRESS. It's been on O'bama's mind for years now.

DavidBell
DavidBell

If he can't keep his big mouth shut, let him go over there by himself and fix it.   Dragging the US into a civil war because our President can't control himself is unconscionable.  

last
last

Now, it is time for US to attack Syria with concern pretext of used  Chemical weapon and two and  half  years supporting insurgents, 

goals would be pursued:

1) destroying Air force and Missile system of Syria to protect Israel for later Israel aggression to Hezbollah.  

2) Cut Iran strong arms in Middle East for upper hand  capability  for later negotiation for nuclear issue and  possible  relation negotiation.

3) Regime change or balance of power in Syria . Us actually doesn't like to finish Syria problem  with victory of Bashar Al-Asad. continue of war is interest of  white house and Israel . But not with victory of Bashar Al-Asad. 

4)US doesn't want Partner in Middle East they want slave ,look like Saudi  and Turkey and..



Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

A group of 12 former members of the CIA, state Department and Pentagon - has sent a collective letter to the President of the USA, which warns him from the possibility of a historical mistake. The text of the message leads portal Global Research.
Veterans of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan explain Obama that the data on the chemical attack, near Damascus, where a war may start can be fabricated.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/high-level-u-s-intelligence-officers-syrian-government-didnt-launch-chemical-weapons/5348643
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/12-u-s-intelligence-officials-tell-obama-it-wasnt-assad.html

False_Believer
False_Believer

>What exactly is the goal of this military action?

To deny Iran the ability to sell natural gas to Europe. In 2012, Assad was planning to run a gas pipeline from Iran's South Pars field (shared with Qatar) and thence to the European market. We can be sure the goal has nothing to do with preventing chemical attacks, otherwise we would have supplied protective gear to the rebels a long time ago, and it is extremely likely that if we attack Assad, he will use chemical weapons just to make us look like morons. Unfortunately in this brave new world, outrage is for little people.

Point.Made
Point.Made

Maybe, just maybe the aggressive ambitions of our President towards the Syrian governmement is a reflection of a bigger picture. Maybe, just maybe it's more about the upcoming attack by Israel on Iran this spring. If so degrading the Syrian military ability to retaliate on behalf of it's ally would be strategic. The chemical weapons issue is a timely pretext for doing just that. As in chess it is the opening towards a greater conflict in the planning..... maybe, just maybe.

JohnDahodi
JohnDahodi

No sir, it does not make any case for military action but smell dirty that the Obama team is desperate to start fire works, like Bush-Cheney were and we have seen the end results, the ruin of the ancient civilization, failed states in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan and bumper crops of Jihadis, Terrorists and militants around the globe and bankrupted America and more and more insecure America and Americans. Please stop this madness and work with Russia-China to pass a U N vote to remove all WMD's from the middle east nations; once for all and establish genuine peace in that part of the world, rather taking sides of Oil Kings and dishonest nations; not using our gun diplomacy but   power of humanity and compassion. If Obama will not back down now, he is going more and more closer to Impeachment and will buried his image, reputation and legacy forever. Republicans are taking to this end day by day. Hope, he will understand the heinous game of the revengeful enemies.

j45ashton
j45ashton

In 1938 the world dithered when Hitler invaded the Sudeten.  The world knew it was wrong, then looked at all the complications of standing up to Hitler and concluded...let's appease him...which only kicked the can down the road.  Going back to Hafez al-Assad, the regime in Syria has been one of the most oppressive and brutal.  The use of chemical weapons pushes things over an international red line.  It calls for hard punishment.   The UK has stained its honor in my view and has pulled another Neville Chamberlain.  I support a strike.  Destroy 2 or 3 airfields.  Time to act is now.  Obama should be acting as a commander in chief, not community organizer in chief  He's already said...if our involvement threatens to get deeper, he will go to Congress for a declaration of war.  Then let Congress give a thumbs up or down.  But not now when our strike is no more than the kind of police action that Reagan & Clinton did without going to Congress.

GeorgeSarant
GeorgeSarant

There might be a case for international interference in Syria on the basis of the use of chemical weapons. But the US acting alone under a singularly inept administration would be disastrous, as I've detailed here. This is a case of the people having more wisdom than some of their leaders, and those sentiments should be adhered to.

alpha444
alpha444

I hate to agree with the Grand Liar, Hillary Clinton, but she pegged Obama correctly in 2008..."words, just words". That is all this president is about...words, tough talk with no plans,redlines that he clearly drew on his on and is now lying about the fact that he, and he alone, drew the red line.

Why would anyone believe anything he says about "limited strikes", no boots on the ground". He lies about everything, healthcare, Benghazi, the IRS, NSA,....whatever suits his purpose. He got himself into this mess with his big mouth, and his inexperience in global affairs, and now he wants to sacrifice US resources, and risk a large scale conflict in an attempt to save his own credibility. He has no credibility either inside, or outside the US.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

UK delivered Syria chemicals needed for sarin production ‘for 6 years’

"We are looking at late 2010 for the British supplies of sodium fluoride reaching Syria,” Docherty said.

 This comes on top of another sarin-related scandal as earlier British officials were found  to have granted export licenses for sodium fluoride and potassium fluoride exports to Syria on the eve of the Syrian civil conflict breakout. The January 2012 licenses were given in the knowledge that both substances “could also be used as precursor chemicals in the manufacture of chemical weapons,” according to a report published by the House of Commons Committee on Arms Export Controls.

http://rt.com/news/uk-sarin-syria-weapons-chemical-573/

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Germany calls for awaiting the report of UN experts on chemical weapons

German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, expressed rejection of the stances of the countries which call for a military intervention in Syria, calling for waiting for the outcome of the UN experts on chemical weapons

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Syria Chemical Weapons Attack ‘Not Ordered’ by Assad – Report

 News | 08.09.2013 | 19:42  

German intelligence sources suggest that last month's alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus was not ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Bild am Sonntag has reported.

Forces loyal to President Assad had been asking him for four months to use chemical weapons against the rebels, but they still received no approval from the Syrian leader. Therefore, the August 21 attack “might not have been sanctioned by Assad,” the report said.

The newspaper also said citing German intelligence that President Assad is likely to remain in power for a long time, even if the United States conducts military strikes on Syria.

US President Barack Obama recently asked the US Congress to support a limited military intervention in Syria because of the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, which the US claims killed over a thousand civilians in one attack on August 21.

The unrest in Syria began in March 2011 and later escalated into a civil war. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, according to UN estimates.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/09/08/syria-chemical-weapons-attack-not-ordered-by-assad-report.html

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the investigations into the use of chemical weapons in Syria

We draw attention to the mass filling of information space with different materials, the purpose of which is to impose responsibility for the alleged use of chemical weapons in Damascus on the Syrian officials, before the results of the UN investigation are presented. Thus, “the ground is prepared” for forceful action against Syria. In view of this, we deem it possible to share the main conclusions of the Russian analysis of the samples taken in the place of the incident using military poisonous substances in the Aleppo suburb – Khan al-Asal.

We remind the reader of the tragedy of the 19 March, which resulted in the death of 26 civil persons and military persons of the Syrian army, whilst another 86 persons received injuries of different severity. The results of the analysis of the samples, conducted at the request of the Syrian authorities by the Russian laboratory, certified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, were transferred to the UN Secretary-General on the 9 July in connection with the call by the Syrian authorities to the latter to conduct an independent investigation of this episode. The main conclusions of the Russian professionals consist in:

- the warfare used was not regular Syrian army ammunition but was an artisan-type similar (in type and parameters) to the unguided rocket projectiles produced in the north of Syria by the so-called “Bashair An-Nasr” gang;

- hexogen was used as an explosive, which is not part of the regular Syrian army ammunition;

- shell and soil samples contained nerve agents – sarin gas and diisopropylfluorophosphate – not synthesized in an industrial environment, which was used by Western states for producing chemical weapons during World War II.

We highlight that the Russian report is extremely specific. It is a scientific and technical document containing about 100 pages with many tables and diagrams of spectral analysis of the samples. We expect that it will significantly assist in the investigation into this incident by the UN. Unfortunately, it has in fact not started yet.

The attention of those, who always consciously intend to impose all the responsibility for events on the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic, is now fully switched to the events in Eastern Ghouta. However, here we have “flawed selectivity” again. These are evident attempts, in particular, to forget the data about cases (which were presented to the UN by officials from Damascus), when Syrian army personnel was affected by poisonous weapons on the 22, 24 and 25 August, when they found materials, equipment and containers with traces of sarin gas in the suburbs of the Syrian capital city. As is known, the affected military persons were examined by members of the UN fact-finding mission headed by Ake Sellstrom. It is evident that any objective investigation into the incident of the 21 August in Eastern Ghouta cannot be carried out without taking into account these circumstances.

In light of the foregoing, we welcome the statement of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Ake Sellstrom’s group intends to return to Syria at the earliest to continue their work, including in the Khan al-Asal region.

http://mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/98A09DD1AF7A054444257BDE0053D66C
4 September 2013

Sarah1973
Sarah1973

No doubt about it folks. Change is in the air. And all credit for this change goes to Edward J. Snowden. He is truly a great American hero and it looks like now he may even save the lives of literally thousands of innocent men, women and children in Syria and other ME nations.
 
Thanks be to the peacemaker Edward J. Snowden. 

 Be sure to vote "No" to more brown skin for the Military Industrial Complex (bio)fuel program.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

It's the politicians who want to start the war because they are sitting in their offices way out of the combat zone . ( Send in the Poor Bloody Infantry ) .

JohnDavidDeatherage
JohnDavidDeatherage

Syria is not an American ally. The Syrian people don't like America. We are not the world's policeman. This is not our fight. We should stay clear of the Syrian civil war.

goodgenie4u
goodgenie4u

American and the west continue to assume that these tribal sectarian societies can press a button and start thinking, feeling and living like we do or we can  bomb them into it. It is possible that the fear of extinction might numb people into taking responsibility for their own development in order to some day live in inclusive civil societies. So far this approach has failed to produce instant results.  But we keep trying to bomb sense into people. Why? Because our national interests of freedom and prosperity are threatened.  That is the natural order of things. The "backward" want what we have and they see our "national interests" working against them.

TedLeavensworth
TedLeavensworth

When the shells are falling somewher else , it is but too wise to speak of Jews ,  Not Our War , interests and alike.

Next thing you know the chemical warfare will come to New York and London. When  NYC and London were hit with   conventional explosives no one had belived it could of happened . 

What will you bark then ?  Who had failed to recognize the symptoms ?   

smehgol
smehgol

Of today's Americans, 2% are Jews. Of today's American millionaires, 50% are Jews. As in Weimar Germany, they are organized and extract enormous amounts of money from our economy without contributing value. Wall Street has become a Jewish run casino serving itself and Jewish objectives. Our news media is mostly Jewish owned and Israel/Jew biased. Our electoral process has been corrupted by AIPAC, the Jewish Conference of Presidents and more enormous amounts of Jewish money. Israel has occupied not just Palestine, but America too. The Wall Street felons remaining unpunished, AIPAC actually writing congressional legislation, and lack of treason indictments attest to the depth of the occupation. The Jewish state instigated all our Mideast wars and benefited from all. None were in American interests, yet we did the dying and suffered the Great Recession. Having failed to put us to war with Iran, Syria has become the focus. Syria and Iran are distant and no threat whatsoever to United States. NO MORE WARS!

johnjamesroberts1961
johnjamesroberts1961

Here we go American Warhawks. Al Nusra and another Al-Qaida linked group just took over Maaloula - A Christian town. Let's help get the Sunni fanatics emboldened: Don't worry; they won't begin the Christian executions just yet; instead they'll wait until Assad is toppled and start burning churches and trapping them inside like the Muslim Brotherhood was doing in Egypt before the latest military takeover. Assad/Alawite/Shiite is bad, but the absence of a strongman and Iranian-backed moderation is worse. I recommend we send McCain and Kerry in with M-4s and scopes. President Obama can observe from the Golan heights with press coverage and blame whoever's losing or posture his prepared statements to assuage whichever poll numbers appease a majority position at home. Folks, right now, this isn't about Syria; it's about Iran's freedom to meddle across the region because we removed the Sunni strongman from Iraq/Saddam; their arch-enemy and western limit; it limited Iran's freedom of movement and ability to influence the Assad's more. Then, it was us that also removed Iran's natural enemy, the wahabiist Taliban from Afghanistan, a natural enemy on their eastern border. In fact, we have significantly armed and favored the Dari speakers in Afghanistan's north and nw, which "Dari" a derivative of Farsi/Persian, allowed Iranian influence in and meddling in the banking system in Afghanistan. We, the U.S.A. have created the new Iranian superstate and want to put the cork back on the bottle. Iran now has extensive abilities from the Pakistan border through Iraq, Syria (Assad/Alawite/Shiite), and into Lebanon with Hezbollah/Kuds force backed, trained and armed; essentially Iranian surrogate fighters. When are we going to learn? Overthrowing Assad for an even more radical, Wahabist-styled Sunni radical fundamentalists only returns Al-Qaida to grace, puts them with access to the mediteranean sea, on Israel's border (Golan Heights) and is JUST NOT WHAT THE HECK WE SHOULD BE DOING! ! ! I'm NOT a peacenick - Although a good play right now. But, this rush to intervene?!? In what? For what end. National/International Geopolitical strategy; FIRST. A well articulated policy. Then, achievable by politically brokered maneuvers to LIMIT their expansion and effectiveness. NOT, ripped a nation's structure apart and leave it unpredictable and unable to control its own population. Right now the killing in Iraq continues. Iran will only become more effective there over time. We'll leave Afghanistan in the capable hands of Taliban appeasing, drug income dependent and Iranian banking and telecom system dominated elements; expanding Iranian capabilities throughout the region. We "accomplished" this feat to the tune of a $1Trillion+ U.S. hard-earned tax dollars and young lives. Assad has no ability to assault a U.S. shore, stop U.S. shipping or trade, affect U.S. trading partners... This is a Sunni - Shiite bloodletting and posturing between Iran and Iranian influenced Shiites and Sunni backed elements receiving $money, weapons and other aide from NATO backed Turkey, and non-NATO Sunni partners like Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and others. And so, what are we to do? Take a side? To what, for what American interest? Again, what is the strategy? What if, we had not intervened in Afghanistan during its Soviet occupation? Never removed Saddam? Saddam would have been the bad Sunni minority leader blocking and frustrating Iranian influence in the region. Assad using chems? What about the chems falling into the hands of Sunni radicals who are willing to do anything, including launching a few across the Golan Heights - Are we going to create the conditions to install Al Nusra or other elements acceptable to Al Qaida in power? What is the Geo-political U.S. national and international interest here? Stop lying warhawks! ! While 90-200+ missiles being expended at $1.5MM each will enrichen the coffers of the defense industry execs and their political surrogates and financial benefactors (Sen McCain), or, save President Obama's party from his "red-line" terets, there is no good outcome, no acceptable outcome and NO AMERICAN GEO-POLITICAL INTEREST served in bombing Assad forces and bringing this to a disorderly end. Validate your previous outcomes - (e.g., Iraq and Afghanistan) for the $$Money, American and many, many, many, many, innocent civilians massacred and then come back with A) A coherent, well-articulated and objective strategy and then B) the tactical interventions, or strategic assistance that might influence an outcome which accomplishes "A". Absent that, shut up your mouth. Stop beating some defense industry coalition's war drum for them (e.g., another financial distribution windfall). and let the Sunni's and Shiite's re-balance the instabilities set in play, in part, by our previous poorly envisioned blunderings throughout the region.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Russia: We are deeply concerned over terrorists' attacks on Maaloula in Syria

 The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed deep concern over the attacks of the armed terrorist groups on the city of Maaloula in Damascus Countryside.

"Moscow feels concern after the terrorists' attacks in Syria reached Maaloula town, the symbol of the Christian presence in this country," the Ministry said in a comment quoted by Russia Today website on Friday.

"We remind that the inhabitants of this town speak the Aramaic language which is the language of Jesus Christ and its churches are regarded the oldest in the world," it added.

The Russian Ministry stressed the need to immediately put an end to the terrorists' attacks, blaming their responsibility on the forces inside and outside the region which are encouraging the terrorists. 

 http://syriaonline.sy/?f=Details&pageid=7131&catid=27

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Activist Post. USA
435 Tweets to Congress: Impeach Obama for Aiding al Qaeda in Syria
Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton
Although some have presented 100 potential reasons that Barack Obama could be impeached right now under the Constitution of the United States of America, most recently he has violated Article III, Section 3, Clause 1:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
While the clause requires two witnesses, the entire nation and the world has witnessed Obama aiding and giving comfort to al Qaeda terrorists in Syria. As reported by Reuters in August, “Obama’s order…broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C6ZxMEZG7I
Video shows the Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions officially unifying with the al Qaeda Al Nusra Front group earlier this year. Multiple mainstream media articles have declared the Syrian rebels and Al Nusra Front are working together, including joint attacks on an ancient Christian village just days ago. These groups are working together to overthrow the Syrian government and the Obama Administration has issued support to them through seemingly every means possible.
Reed more: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/09/435-tweets-to-congress-impeach-obama.html

Koiquoe
Koiquoe

If Assad were to launch a chemical weapons attack against Israel, would the critics of Obama be saying the same things - that he should bury his head in the sand and pretend it did not happen? You can bet Mr. Fareed Zakaria would be writing articles about how Obama is responsible for allowing such attack to happen. If there is one thing you can say for Obama, he is governed by principles and he is not duplicitous like his critics.

Koiquoe
Koiquoe

What would these critics of Obama have him do? Pretend that chemical weapons are not being used contrary to the Chemical Weapons Conventions? Pretend that all those women and children are not seen on television suffocating on Sarin gas? Send the message to the world that America is impotent against perpetrators of such crimes?

America is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions and the Chemical Weapons Conventions. By signing on to these conventions, America told the world, long before Obama even dreamed of becoming president, that the use of chemical weapons was inviolable. That such rogue actors would suffer the consequences. America set the red line and it is the responsibility of the president of the United States to enforce that red line. Obama's critic will have him play politics about such serious issue, but he is simply doing his job.

StephenReal
StephenReal

Another excellent piece Fareed.

Iran, Syria and Russia who are now using Senator Rand Paul and friends in video clips in their gloating propaganda pieces on how they beat the USA. That was very clever of him. not. Green lighting American weakness is showing up in adversary propaganda.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

"The reality is, the U.S. has now put its credibility on the line."

That is some fine Beltway nonsense. Credibilty with whom? The author, who was so wrong for so long about Iraq, and the rest of the war desiring media?  I think the U.S. can survive that.  

AndreaInNY
AndreaInNY

Apparently President Obama has been under some duress of late. According to a report this afternoon, Obama became furious after discovering Vladimir Putin had unfriended him on Facebook yesterday. http://goo.gl/oBU6zX

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

" There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters. The aim is reported to have been to create the kind of incident that would bring the United States into the war."

j.villain1
j.villain1

@Sarah1973  

Maybe. But with this attack that no one other than the administration wants. they have managed to change the channel. Wag the Dog?

Sarah1973
Sarah1973

@johnjamesroberts1961A rant like no other.  Hard to separate the sarcasm from the serious part.


Change is in the air. And all credit for this change goes to Edward J. Snowden. He is truly a great American hero and it looks like now he may even save the lives of literally thousands of innocent men, women and children in Syria and other ME nations.  Thanks be to the peacemaker Edward J. Snowden. 

Vote "No" to more brown skin for the Military Industrial Complex (bio)fuel program.

j.villain1
j.villain1

@Koiquoe  

Of course Syria hasn't attacked Israel in decades unlike Israel that attacks Syria near weekly in violation of international law. Your argument is like saying you need to attack Zimbabwe in case they might attack Britain.

falcon269
falcon269

@Koiquoe Well, yes. Israel can protect itself, and it would be unwise for the U.S. to respond militarily if Israel is attacked.

falcon269
falcon269

@Koiquoe Nonsense. Nothing in the Geneva Conventions requires an attack. Abu Graib violated the Geneva Conventions. Should Russia have attacked the U.S.?

falcon269
falcon269

@StephenReal Rand Paul has not global vision or leadership qualities. It is not surprising that he subverts the U.S. government.

jmac
jmac

@Paul,nnto    What is it with these guys who supported that invasion and are now  turning tail?   Andrew Sullivan is doing the same.  The editors of my paper - the same.  The Labour Party in Britain that was so eager to follow Blair in his support of Bush (with their own false information) - the same with their 224 no votes on Syria.     Mea Culpas not enough these days?   It so warped their minds that they fell for that war that they've had to swing to the other end of the spectrum?

Obama is not George W. Bush.  Really.  

johnjamesroberts1961
johnjamesroberts1961

Well Sarah, in 1978 I sat in the infantry while Carter struggled with how to minimize and defund the military while struggling with how to free the hostages. I served through the Reagan years, including three years in Central America on then as a Cryptologist/Spanish LInguist and then later, after going to flight school served as a helicopter pilot. I had a break in service during the mide 90's but returned, this time through the guard, after 9/11 and served three more deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq - My last at 50 years of age. I'm saying that to build up myself, but to say that if you stick around long enough you'll live through and witness every lie in the book, and then some. I'm not a Republican and I'm not a Democrat and I'm sick of both parties and their true contituency, which are those who fund their multi-million dollar campaigns and have their corporate legal staff write the bills that hold us hostage to their self-serving whim and fancy. The Democrats coffers are lined by insurance companies who benefit from both over-regulation and limits to what they pay hospitals. We pay for insurance which is allowed to delay or deny payments to hospitals which are at the service end of taking care of the patient and citizen. The defense industry and oil industry lines the coffers of the Republicans and of course, there's just about every permutation in between. The American people are against war in Syria, but political cover and constituents will get what they demand; irrespective the party in "power." It is time to hold them accountable. I'm sick of us exporting arms everywhere. Irrespective the "sides" and reasons in this one. That entire region, and the world needs to stop sending more arms to the fire. The majority demographic killed is always the woman or child attempting to sneak from street to street to buy bread and being sniped by someone with a Chinese copy Barret .50 calibre that we developed, gifted to the Afghan commandos, who sold it to other elements who then smuggle it to Chinese manufacturers. When the defense industry then claims that "the world has caught up." They'll insist we gift more tax dollars for development and then the process starts all over again. It's time to stop this insanity. No more wars. No more "aid" in the form of weapons, no more weapons sales. What really pisses me off is that the "liberal news media" will pump up the war effort to appease their political friends. The Republican propoganda machine 'Fox" will trumpet for the defense industry and their patrons. (Minus where they can strategically bash President Obama). It's despicable. And yes, I'm ranting. But there has to be some antidote to the Krazy Glue these idiots are sniffing.

johnjamesroberts1961
johnjamesroberts1961

I intended to write, and think i did write "I'm NOT saying that to build myself up, but to say that if you stick around..."