Morning Must Reads: September 9

In the news: Syria, Egypt, the lessons from the financial crisis, ObamaCare, and sexual assault in the military

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • 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. [CBS]
    • Obama launches final push to win congressional support for a strike on Syria. [WashPost]
    • Hillary Clinton will make her first public remarks about Syria on Monday. [Politico]
    • Where Congress stands on Syria [WashPost]
      • House: 228 against/leaning no, 25 for military action
      • Senate: 27 against/leaning no, 23 for military action
  • “Two months after the military ousted Egypt’s first elected president and began a bloody crackdown on his supporters, a delegation of House Republicans visited Cairo over the weekend to tell the new government to keep up the good work.” [NYT]
  • Financial Crisis: Lessons of the Rescue, a Drama in Five Acts [WSJ]
    • Inside the End of the U.S. Bid to Punish Lehman Executives [NYT]
  • Left Behind: Stories from ObamaCare’s 31 million uninsured [WashPost]
    • “Union officials are pushing to raise the volume of their ObamaCare angst at the AFL-CIO convention.” [Hill]
  • “The sexual-assault epidemic plaguing the Armed Forces is rooted in a hypermasculine ethos that fosters predation.” [National Journal]
462 comments
ahandout
ahandout

You talk about a FUBAR ed policy!  Whose idea was it to do this? 

The US-funded training supposedly aimed at teaching rebels to secure chemical weapons stockpiles by John Glaser, December 10, 2012

The US and some of its European allies “are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria,” according to “a senior US official and several senior diplomats,” CNN reports.

Holy tangled mess...

The US decision to hire unaccountable defense contractors to train Syrian rebels to handle stockpiles of chemical weapons seems dangerously irresponsible in the extreme, especially considering how inept Washington has so far been at making sure only trustworthy, secular rebels – to the extent they exist – receive their aid and the weapons that allies in the Gulf Arab states have been providing.

It also feeds accusations that the Syrian Foreign Ministry recently made that the US is working to frame the Syrian regime as having used or prepared for chemical warfare.

“The U.S. administration has consistently worked over the past year to launch a campaign of allegations on the possibility that Syria could use chemical weapons during the current crisis,” the Syrian Foreign Ministry wrote in letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“What raises concerns about this news circulated by the media is our serious fear that some of the countries backing terrorism and terrorists might provide the armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons and claim that it was the Syrian government that used the weapons,” the letters said.

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/12/10/us-defense-contractors-training-syrian-rebels-to-handle-chemical-weapons/

Does this explain the sudden war hawks:  John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi?  Is the administration trying to do a BIG CYA?  Are chemical weapons in the hands of Al Nusra?  

ahandout
ahandout

These are the people that Obama and Kerry tell us are moderates. 

One resident said the rebels — many of them wearing beards and shouting, "God is great!" — attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after seizing the village.

"They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village," the resident said by telephone. "So many people fled the village for safety."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/09/08/syrian-rebels-take-christian-village/2781763/

Sue_N
Sue_N

Trying again …

The WaPo is reporting that Obama has called the Russian proposal a potential "breakthrough":

President Obama on Monday called a Russian proposal for Syria to turn over control of its chemical weapons to international monitors in order to avoid a military strike a “potentially positive development,” that could represent a “significant breakthrough,” but he said he remains skeptical the Syrian government would follow through on its obligations based on its recent track record.

“Between the statements that we saw from the Russians — the statement today from the Syrians — this represents a potentially positive development,” Obama said in an interview with NBC News, according to a transcript provided by the network. “We are going to run this to ground.  [Secretary of State] John Kerry will be talking to his Russian counterpart. We’re going to make sure that we see how serious these proposals are.”

Looks like everything hinges on just how crazy/desperate Assad really is.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/john-kerry-in-london-campaigns-for-world-to-support-military-strike-against-syria/2013/09/09/e8ad7a72-193d-11e3-80ac-96205cacb45a_story.html?hpid=z1?wpisrc=al_comboPN_p

sacredh
sacredh

Fitty Shades of Gray!!!!

Welcome back fitty. I'm glad you reconsidered. The swamp wouldn't be the same without you. My wife just kicked me out of the kitchen and told me to go back to bed. I'm working midinghts and helping her with the canning when I get up. I'm not getting enough sleep and cut my hand (minor) because I'm too tired. I had a short shift thrown in for good measure. We'll be finished up either Friday or Saturday.

curt3rd
curt3rd

“Syria welcomes the Russian proposal out of concern for the lives of the Syrian people, the security of our country and because it believes in the wisdom of the Russian leadership that seeks to avert American aggression against our people,” Moallem said

Maybe Obama should give his bogus peace prize to Putin.

ahandout
ahandout

@fitty_three You might find this enlightening 53.

By Richard Spencer, Middle East Correspondent

6:51PM GMT 08 Mar 2013

The Americans are also believed to be providing training on securing chemical weapons sites inside Syria.

And, we already armed Al Nusra.

Nevertheless, Mr Higgins has recently posted videos showing some of the Croat weapons in the hands of the jihadist group Ahrar al-Sham.

Although regarded as hostile to the West, it fights closely with other Free Syrian Army units regarded as acceptable recipients of weapons. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9918785/US-and-Europe-in-major-airlift-of-arms-to-Syrian-rebels-through-Zagreb.html

So, did American trained rebels learn how to secure chemical weapons sites?  We'll never know.

 

ahandout
ahandout

@Sue_N   Putin gets the Peace Prize and we get the community organizer.

La_Randy
La_Randy

@Sue_N The link at the bottom worked. Livefrye is a mess, almost unusable.

Time was better with Disqus.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Sue_N 

Wouldn't be the first Middle East country/group that promises the heavens but deliver nothing. But at least we're willing to step back to run the course.

hivemaster
hivemaster

@sacredh We got the BAND back together!  Take care of that hand, sacred.  Looking forward to seeing you back here full time.

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh SACRED!!!

Aw, look, we're gettin' the band back together!

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

They were worried about you not coming back.  All is well in the Swamp now.

ahandout
ahandout

@curt3rd  Barry should load the Nobel Prize onto a drone and drop it on Putin.  Putin could then add it to his collection of American memorabilia along side the "Reset Button" and Super Bowl ring.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd You do realize his peace prize was nothing but a collective FU from the world to Bush and his band of war criminals.

La_Randy
La_Randy

@ahandout @Sue_N Say what you will, but he sure took the warmonger out of the republican party unless of course time started in 2009.

sacredh
sacredh

@hivemaster, it's not much more than a glorified scratch. I didn't even need to superglue it.

sacredh
sacredh

@Sue_N, there's nothing like a cup of hot chocolate to make the eyes gradually close..

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I had no intention of staying away. Cannng time is always hectic and with my wife's back as bad as it is, I try to help as much as possible. She made me a cup of hot chocolate and I'm going to go back to bed as soon as I finish it. We have a big inspection coming up tomorrow at work and we're busting our butts to make sure verything looks good so I'm not getting any kind of a break at work rither.

ahandout
ahandout

@La_Randy @ahandout @Sue_N  Sure.  Afghanistan, drones, Libya, arming al Qaeda rebels in Syria, the NSA, using the IRS to punish his enemies, calling Putin a kid and the joke of the "reset" button, failed policies in Egypt: backing terrorists, failing to back rebels in Iran, force feeding prisoners in Gitmo (didn't he close that?)  Obama makes Bush look like a peacenik.

At least he saved civilization from that youtube video guy. 

Sue_N
Sue_N

@sacredh @Sue_N Chocolate is definitely my thing. When I've had a hard day, hubby brings me a chocolate bar. It's nature's perfect food, lol.

sacredh
sacredh

@Sue_N, chocolate is one of my many weaknesses. That and cheesecake.

sacredh
sacredh

@fitty_three, I like to keep busy at work because it makes the day go so much faster, but it's been literally non-stop for the past few days. I had to eat my lunch while I was working yesterday. Chocolates done. Time for a nap. See you folks again in a few days.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

I seem to have been in a similar situation before my vacation.  My thoughts are with you.

But, remember, if you have any itches, just don't scratch 'em!

MrObvious
MrObvious

@collioure @mantisdragon91

Yes, I think Romney would have been a lot better

For one thing he's not an ideologue.

And he works with people on both sides of the aisle which is two more sides than Obama works with.

Speaking of dreamy for Mitt. You don't know Mitt if that's what you believe. Look at his legislative record; other then Romneycare which he later tried to neuter, he doesn't play well outside what he wants.

collioure
collioure

@mantisdragon91 @collioure  

Yes, I think Romney would have been a lot better

For one thing he's not an ideologue.

And he works with people on both sides of the aisle which is two more sides than Obama works with.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@collioure So then STFU. Last time I checked you had two choices in 2008. And if you think Romney would have been any better Google Dan senor who was Romney's chief foreign adviser and among the most hawkish of the neo cons.

collioure
collioure

FYI I'm not a McCain fan.  I think he's bonkers;

MrObvious
MrObvious

@collioure @mantisdragon91 @curt3rd 

Nah, not really - the piece price was 'not like Bush'. There's not one person more reviled in the modern democratic countries around the world then Bush. That's not me saying that - that's pretty much the world attitude if you look at most polls done at the time.

There's a reason why people as a whole is against what Obama want to do. Personally I think he's wasting all his global political capital on a gambit without a clear aim. The chance that it'll do more harm then good is slim.

I think the best he and we should do is to build on disarmament, regardless how gleeful some are over it (don't know why since I've heard nothing by wailing about the possibility of another war) and call victory.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@collioure @mantisdragon91 @curt3rd 

The piece price was pretty much a snub to the Bush doctrine, but it seems like it got stuck in the collective throat since Obama haven't really changed much of his policies compared to Bush. Not at least on the unilateral front. We'll see.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@collioure @mantisdragon91 @curt3rd You really are a cartoon aren't you. The world was so happy to be rid of Bush, that they gave Obama a peace prize.  Not sure what is so complex about that, that it would elude a self proclaimed super genius like you.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@mantisdragon91  

Interesting take on it. Never thought of it that way, but yeah, I think that you're right plus they voted it to him based on his "potential".

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@curt3rd @mantisdragon91 Of course it was. He had just got into office and had done nothing to deserve it. It did speak volumes to the distaste and alienation the world felt for his predecessor.

collioure
collioure

@fitty_three @collioure  

Another empty argument, 53.

I see Powers often.  She is very well connected, always knows what's happening and offers excellent judgment and opinons.

Wisdom - something you lack bigtime.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@collioure 

"Last week Kirsten Powers, the sharpie from the Daily Beast and FNC..."

Says you?  Oops!

Hell, you don't even live here anyway.

collioure
collioure

@curt3rd @fitty_three  

Doncha jus' love it ?

"Cable and Rush do our thinking for us.  They tell us to hate."

I don't know about you but I don't need anyone to do my thinking for me, I couldn't listen to Limbaugh if I wanted to (I don't), and I am perfectly capable on my own of recognizing what a complete failure this President is.


curt3rd
curt3rd

@fitty_three @curt3rd Yeah, the great and powerful Rush has spoken. Just put me in the crazy Rush listener group.  Why are all you libs so scared of a radio personality of which I dont listen to but maybe I should start?  I rest my case.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd 

"I know it makes it easier for you libs to see the world like that."

There ya go.  Lack of critical thinking.  Did you note where I actually stand on things? Lazy, cable-fed thinking.  Cable & Rush told ya to hate, so you hate.

I. Rest. My. Case.

curt3rd
curt3rd

@fitty_three @curt3rd You can put me in any class you like. I know it makes it easier for you libs to see the world like that.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd 

One way I'm differently raised is that I apply critical thinking.  I don't substitute cable.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

You'll have more credibility when you say something that's not consistently negative or, even, lies. 

Until then, you're in the same class as the other Obama haters. 

curt3rd
curt3rd

@fitty_three @curt3rd Thats not true.  Once again,  I dont  hate him.  I dont know him.  I disagree with his policies but you can call it anything you want.  I was raised differently then you I guess.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd 

You can repackage it any way you want but it's not that you don't like him, you hate him.

It's that you simply cannot see or state anything about him that's positive.  


fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd  

Because that's all it was.  Another way for you to bloviate about how much you hate Obama.

curt3rd
curt3rd

@fitty_three @curt3rd Because if you believe I dont hate the guy then you would actually have to have something of substance to say instead of making comments like

"I hate Obama".

So what else is new?


fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd 

Easy, you'll find posts about my dissatisfaction over what Obama has done.

You?

You never, ever, ever have anything to say about him that's positive.

curt3rd
curt3rd

@fitty_three @curt3rd Unbiased, thats funny.   Everyone is biase to some extent on every issue. I never claimed to be unbiased,  I just said I dont hate the guy but like I said before you wouldnt believe me anyways

collioure
collioure

@curt3rd @fitty_three  

The peace comment was better than pretty good.

Last week Kirsten Powers, the sharpie from the Daily Beast and FNC, said Barry should give it back.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd  

No, it's because you never have anything positive (not left handed, either) to say about him. He has done many good things, and he's made mistakes, like all of us, but you?

I've posted many disagreements with him here, and others in the swamp have too, but you pretend it's you who is "unbiased".

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd  

Because you've gone way beyond "fifty shades of I hate Obama".

You would be far more credible if you were to point out some of the good things he's done.

curt3rd
curt3rd

@fitty_three @curt3rd I dont hate the guy. I dont even know him.  I hate his politics and his policies.  Why is that so hard for you to believe?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@curt3rd

I'm sure you'll figure out other ways to say that you hate Obama.

Try to be inventive...