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MurphTheSurf3 On September - 6 - 2013

George-Washington-1

In his Farewell Address George Washington urged the American people to take advantage of their isolated position in the world, and avoid attachments and entanglements in foreign affairs which he argued have little or nothing to do with the interests of America.

By and large Americans followed the advice of the Father of Our Country into the 20th Century. There were forays into international warfare involving U.S. efforts to create an American Empire as the borders of the nation expanded Westward eventually taking in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Philippines along with a smattering of scattered islands in the Atlantic and Pacific.

World War I was our first gigantic foreign adventure and from the American point of view it ended with a broken Europe, a great loss of life and spent resources, a short lived economic boom followed by the Great Depression, and the rise of Communism. A return to the concept of Fortress America resulted.

In the 1940’s, it took an attack on Pearl Harbor to force us into another foreign war despite the demonstrated danger that Hitler represented to the entire Atlantic Community.

After WWII, the glow of victory, the threat of the USSR and careful management of the post war transition by U.S. leaders kept the nation engaged. Since that time the history of U.S. military engagement has been a checkered affair. Vietnam represents the worst of them and the Gulf War the best.

In the last 12 years the experience has been almost entirely negative.

Had there been a long, public debate about Libya, the public reaction would have been the same as it is with Syria now.

Of course, the war that Americans are really angry about is a GOP creation made possible with Democratic and Public support. Afghanistan was justifiable at its start but was then turned into a neo-con effort to nation build and create an Arabian Israel. Iraq was never justifiable and another neo-con dream turned nightmare.

This is not about Obama per se. Nor is it really about Syria and poison gas. It is about the legacy of two misbegotten wars. It is about the American public questioning what good will ANY ACTION by the U.S. do in situations like this? It is about what other nations are NOT doing? It is about why our resources are so easily offered and spent by those unwilling to offer theirs. That debate is a good one to have.

And it is about the lies that governments have told in the past and the fear of lies they may be telling now. It is also about the lies being told by those who oppose the action being sought because their only real concern is in making political points attack the President.

For them, their opposition comes down to…a sinister dis-ease:

_______________________________________________________________

Obama Derangement Syndrome
1) The acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the statements — nay — the very existence of Barack Obama. Those with Obama Derangement Syndrome would rather stick with failure than even consider supporting any policy of program of his.2) The state of paranoia in which people fear President Obama so much, they stop thinking logically and stop using common sense. Usually a direct result of watching too much Fox News and/or listening to Rush Limbaugh and/or reading World Net Daily. 3) When a person believes every single policy decision that Obama makes is apart sinister conspiracy to weaken or destroy America and possibly the world. For example: “Obama will confiscate guns, bring the Muslim brotherhood to power in America, Take all his orders from Putin, declare war on Israel, become a permanent dictator, maybe even become the anti Christ and set up a one world government…”

 

Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

38 Responses so far.

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  1. agrippa says:

    Some people like to believe that this is some sort of “moral issue”.
    It is not.
    It is a practical issue. “what is to be done?” is the question. That question means that you employ the principle of calculated risk.

    Every crime stands on its’ own. What was done -- or not done -- in the past means very little. What we have is the here and the now. What we are faced with is a civil war in which chemical weapons have used used on civilians.
    What is the US going to do about it?

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Gen. Petraeus released a statement today in which he said that the failure to act in Syria will send the wrong message to Iran and N. Korea to name two potential users of prohibited weapons.

      Do you think this argument has any merit?

      • AdLib says:

        Murph, I disagree with that as a justification. Is it possible that if the US fails to strike Sria militarily now that Iran and North Korea will be emboldened? Yes. It is also possible that both nations would take the same steps they otherwise would have.

        When it comes to justice, if the US doesn’t abide by principles in the short term to address a hypothetical problem in the long term, they would still be unprincipled.

        Do we believe in the justification of blowing up the house next door to a criminal’s house because it sends the desired message to the criminal? Do we remain in possession of morality when we can justify a deadly action against one party because of how it will scare another party?

        When it comes to Syria, we’re not dealing with an innocent party but I find it problematic if we make decisions on attacking other countries not based solely on the issues about that country and what the blowback from an attack would be but in order to instill fear in other countries, “See how bad we can be? And if you get out of line, this is what we’ll do to you.”

        I’m not saying that it isn’t a factor that has to be kept in mind but the moral dilemma for me is possibly committing an injustice (killing innocent Syrians as “collateral damage” in a US attack presented as defending innocent Syrians) in order to “send the right message” to other bad countries.

      • agrippa says:

        Yes.
        It is an argument that must be taken seriously.

  2. SueInCa says:

    Good write up here, Murph. The only thing I would disagree on is that the Gulf War was justified. With all we know about the Military Industrial Complex and the Bush’s favoritism toward awarding them contracts, over paying our soldiers better wages for the same work is reason enough to suspect the motives of either Bush administration. The fact they used a Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter to further their cause is despicable.

    Her story was initially corroborated by Amnesty International[1] and testimony from evacuees. Following the liberation of Kuwait, reporters were given access to the country and found the story of stolen incubators unsubstantiated. However, they did find that a number of people, including babies, died when nurses and doctors fled the country.

    In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah’s last name was al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎) and that she was the daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government. Following this, al-Sabah’s testimony has largely come to be regarded as wartime propaganda.


    http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/unbound/flashbks/saudiara/layne.htm

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I recall this vaguely but really appreciate the detail you provide. Oh, I don’t regard the Bush 1 effort as unsullied. All motivation is mixed and this is especially so in this case. However, I believe that Hussein, being the megalomaniac he was, intended to treat Kuwait as many would be empire builders treat their first conquests…as a test case.

      SO….all in all I regard the effort as necessary and the withdrawal in the aftermath as praise worthy. That withdrawal, along with the “failure” to push through to Baghdad, and a war tax cost him the support of key GOP…and many believe, the election. Jury is out on that but I remember the scorn heaped on Daddy Bush who really had the right to claim “Mission Accomplished.”

      • SueInCa says:

        The Kuwaiti Government made a deal with the Bush Administration. If we went in to help, once Sadam was contained, they would form a Democratic, they failed in that respect. I guess what I am getting at is that if you have to resort to propaganda, the particular action you are taking is neither heroic or justified.

  3. kimbanyc says:

    hey murph…great post….To refresh your memory….I was suspended from HPSupport…you know where you go when you go to ” contact me …..not the boards…I can no longer contact them regarding abusive posters…or anything else…when I log in I’m told my account is suspended…..Tried emailing Eric at hpsupport but can’t tell if they are even getting my emails…..of course no explanation…….

    http://help.huffingtonpost.com

    thanks

  4. jjgravitas says:

    American Isolationism Now! AI used to sound like a slur, but lets not confuse it with xenophobia. I support the president but not in this new march to war. Remember when they claimed Iraq would be a six month exercise? I want our military to defend our country. Let the rest of the world take care of itself.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I agree. It is possible to stay engaged with the world and not take the path of military adventurism, nation building, and client acquiring (i.e neo colonialism). In the first six months of Afghanistan that is the route the Bush II admin chose coached by the Bush I Gulf War team and then the neocons got control and Hamid Karzai and a “western democracy” became the tools for long term advantage for U.S. interests. Only it did not work out that way. The Northern Alliance, backed away, having wanted a traditional monarchy with a jirga goya (king’s council) and an emphasis on local control in a very conservative but not Taliban Islamic society. Our decision to steer the Bonn Conference in our direction spelled long term disaster.

    • AdLib says:

      jj, I do oppose a military attack on Syria but I am not for isolationism. There are a lot of powerful forces out there constantly trying to exploit other nations and populations that would eventually bring disaster to our doorstep.

      Afghanistan was the perfect example. We stayed unengaged as the Taliban took over and sheltered and supported the growth of Al Qaeda. Doing nothing ended up allowing a global terrorist network to be built and cause mass deaths of Americans and economic and social upheaval.

      We need to stay involved throughout the world IMO though we need a 21st Century approach to our involvement that changes from military force being the primary tool to political, economic and global approaches.

    • choicelady says:

      I don’t judge PBO’s actions by Bush’s. I judge by his own. Libya was precisely what he said. The issue for me is whether it would engender more harm than good, but it is not about judging the present from another perspective under a different administration.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        True….Libya of course is in melt down but nothing more was promised there. I am also aware of the argument that the action is not just a message to Assad but to the governments of N. Korea and Iran. What do you think?

        • choicelady says:

          Unless a sheik, a king, or a tyrant with oil money is in control, ALL of the Middle East is in meltdown and has been for centuries. We pretend this is new. It’s not. With few exceptions, Obama has kept us OUT of it as he should. Nothing worse than our pomposity demanding that people settle things our way. Libya was about uprooting Qaddafi, and that got done. They asked for help and got it. But Syria is asking, too -- the people of Syria are begging especially since the chemical weapons.

          Now the issue is -- how will it get done since the UN will be blocked and the path therefore is less clear. I do think this president will abide by the NO vote that will almost inevitably come from Congress and that he WANTS it so he CAN pursue non militarized means without the monkey on his back from the GOP that he is ‘weak on defense’.

          I don’t know if anyone can do anything at all, but I do know I will judge PBO by only his own actions, not by the past. I hope his actions work out as well on Syria as they have done in other circumstances. He knows the USA no longer can be the Grand Imperial Presence with a big stick on ALL issues all of the time.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            The Sunni-Shiite struggle for mastery of the Muslim world is at the heart of most of these struggles (with small sects like Assad Alewites and Christian sects vying for what little it can get and hold onto). The Ottoman Turks managed to cobble together a sort of unity using commercial interests as the glue. In the 20th century European neo-colonialism replaced the Turks with nationalism eventually emerging to counter that control. Secularism seemed to be winning the day in company with nationalistic goals….but then came the fundamentalist resurgence epitomized by the Iranian Revolution. Since then the U.S. and its NATO allies have cobbled together a series of temporary holds on the chaos but they unravel at regular intervals now.

          • AlphaBitch says:

            Well put, CL. Kudos.

  5. AdLib says:

    Murph, well written and right on target!

    It is very much about the distrust Americans now have post-Iraq towards their government when it wants to march them to war. It’s also about the need for evolution.

    In the past, when we were upset at another country’s military actions, we attacked them. That’s the old, primitive way of thinking that was over-exploited and destroyed by Bush so in this era, a more evolved approach is required to be credible and acceptable to Americans.

    Sometimes violence is the only answer but too often it is the first choice resorted to. And just because retaliation isn’t military, it doesn’t mean it can’t be effective…even more effective.

    So eschewing the knee-jerk response of military action doesn’t mean America needs to retreat into an isolationist mentality. We don’t have to be violent to be effective in dealing with terrible people and their acts around the world. It’s not a Zero Sum game, moral involvement in what happens in our world doesn’t require that we use our military to act against others.

    I think it’s probable that there is going to be more horror wreaked upon innocent Syrians by Assad as he does whatever it takes to hold onto power. We do have a responsibility to lead the world to do what it can to stop Assad and we shouldn’t bail on that because we can’t use our military (or again have a mistaken idea that a conflict can be instantly solved by bombing the shit out of a country).

    We need to stay engaged in the world and do what’s right…including not joining the bad guys in killing innocent people.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Your thinking is in line with my own.

      As the days go by and I read more and more about the ramifications of inaction (especially as it relates to how it will be read in Iran and North Korea), I think that we need to do something.

      Here are some possibilities:
      a) Strikes against the infrastructure of the military. Take out all of the electrical lines and transformers in every army and air force base not in a civilian setting. Hit command and control centers in similar settings. Strike fuel depots. Destroy missile launchers and runways.
      b) Provide expanded resources to the refugee camps.
      c) Create rapid response overflight systems to protect the refugee camps and areas held by the resistance aligned with those we deem “safe” (knowing that is a very difficult call).
      d) Dig deeper into the off shore assets of the Syrian Government and the regime leadership.

      Have you other ideas?

      • Kalima says:

        Hi Murph. I’ve covered the fighting in Syria since it started two years ago on MB almost daily, so will tell you that most of Assad’s foreign held assets were frozen as early as last year, plus a travel ban on the whole family, his wife is British born, and some very strict sanctions, yet this monster prevails.

        As for any strikes they would of course be directed only at military and air power bases and possible missile launching sites.

        A few days ago I read that a defiant and desperate Putin swears to continue to supply arms to Syria and when you have a dictator like Putin, which he is because the elections were fixed, with a place on the UNSC encouraging a mass murderer like Assad to continue what he is doing, I think it’s shameful that the SC was ever set up in this way. Since joining, China and Russia have vetoed almost all of the urgent decisions and not because of any sense of right or wrong or moral obligation, but because they profit from selling arms to places like Syria and Iran. Knowing this, and I’m sure they do, the UN should have given themselves the power to override the constant vetoing by both countries, but as it stands they can’t which I believe leaves them useless in a situation like this.

        What I find hard to understand is that being responsible for the deaths of over 100,000, more than 1000 of them through use of worldwide banned chemical weapons in last month’s attack is on a back burner with hands flapping, and a strike to disable the possibility of doing it again, is met with their strict opposition because two profiteering, Assad enabling countries are afraid they will lose their golden goose.

        The only other option is the ICC who are not influenced by Russia’s veto but unfortunately take years to get criminals to face trial in their court, and can’t just send someone over there to arrest this monster.

        My problem is not so much about should there be strikes, it’s not my place to say as I’m not an Anerican, but rather a deep disappointment with the international community which leads me to fear that in the future there might be no one willing to right the world’s wrongs, and that’s what scares me the most.

        This should be a huge part of the legacy of George Bush and the Republican party, they should have it engraved on their foreheads.

        —-

        U.S.: At least 13 Syrian gas attack videos authenticated
        Senators were shown the images Thursday during a classified briefing on plans for a military response..

        http://wapo.st/17NRQgm

        • AdLib says:

          Kalima, may I first say thanks for providing such steady coverage on Syria as well as the rest of the ME over all this time on Morning Blog!

          The UN is a victim of its own elitist system. Why should a global organization be dominated by the five most powerful countries? How is that democratic and not an acquiescence to whatever corruption any of those countries may have become BECAUSE of how powerful they are?

          I know it was part of a compromise needed to found the UN in the first place and get the major nations on board but it created a necessarily corrupt structure.

          So we can’t count on the UN to exercise the will and conscience of the majority of the world in this and many cases. What then? Do we attack on our own and incur whatever that might yield?

          I don’t think so. If we can’t use the mechanism of the UN to rally much of the world together, we should do so outside of the UN. I do think though that the opposition to military action by most of the rest of the world has to be respected and considered seriously. As right as military action may feel to some in this situation, if the perception of the world is that the US would be seen as unjustified, how would that impact what happens after an attack?

          Al Qaeda was created out of the blowback from what we did in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the ME. Blowback is what affects things long term and is most neglected when military action is the focus.

          We do need to think about the big picture and not just when it comes to sending a message to Iran and North Korea. If the US loses global respect and support due to attacking Syria, how might that boomerang back at the US if it wants to later take military action again in the region or gets into a serious conflict with Iran? Might not Iran be able to use a US attack on Syria as propaganda to justify a conflict wi the US, to protect the region from unjustified US aggression?

          That would be BS of course but just trying to express that there are many more treacherous things that could result as blowback from the US acting by itself in attacking Iran, beyond what we can imagine rit now, so if we are to take action, I think it is absolutely necessary that global and public support is built up first.

          • Kalima says:

            Hi AdLib and thank you.

            I was just saying that I knew that Assad and his family had had their assets frozen quite some time ago and that countries were also checking the assets of the government.

            I also read that a small port in the Ukraine is where all the arms to Syria are being shipped from, I’ll see if I can find the link. Just goes to show how despicable Putin is.

            Found it!

            —-

            As civil war rages, traffic picks up between Syria and a little-known Ukrainian port linked to arms trade..

            http://wapo.st/17h38ed

            —-

            “The UN is a victim of its own elitist system” is exactly what they are, and because of it too often find that they’ve painted themselves into a corner. I agree 100% that no country should wield that much power in an organisation that calls itself the “United Nations”.

            My beef with the international community is that they failed to give reasons why they would not join the U.S. and France in military strikes on Syria after the President laid out all of his reasons for wanting to punish Assad. I find that cowardly and disrespectful especially when they mumble their outrage as if that were enough.

            This pure nonsense from Putin calling Kerry a liar about al-Qaida presence in Syria is bs. Assad himself has been howling that bomb blasts in Damascus last year were the work of al-Qaida, and a prominent Syrian extremist group, joined with al-Qaida groups based in Syria not so long ago, it was front page news. Does everyone suffer from ADD?

            I trust your President and know that he will do the right thing, but still have lost respect for the countries hiding behind their mother’s apron while trying to push America into military strikes.

    • Sabreen60 says:

      AdLib,

      I have yet to hear anyone offer an alternative to military action. Do we turn a blind eye on gassing people? What good was signing the Geneva Protocol if we and other countries are not going to stand by our word? I doubt that Congress will approve military action. We have progressives agreeing Putin that it wasn’t Assad but rebels. We have Congresspersons like Grayson thinking the whole affair is funny and fundraising off it. You have Rangel pretty much saying WTF it’s Muslims killing Muslims.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        All good points. I left Ad Lib some ideas further up the stream

        Here are some possibilities:
        a) Strikes against the infrastructure of the military. Take out all of the electrical lines and transformers in every army and air force base not in a civilian setting. Hit command and control centers in similar settings. Strike fuel depots. Destroy missile launchers and runways.
        b) Provide expanded resources to the refugee camps.
        c) Create rapid response overflight systems to protect the refugee camps and areas held by the resistance aligned with those we deem “safe” (knowing that is a very difficult call).
        d) Dig deeper into the off shore assets of the Syrian Government and the regime leadership.

        Have you other ideas?

        I actually like Grayson but his current attitude disappoints me. I happen to know him personally and I have relayed my sentiments. He could object on precisely the grounds he is using without the attitude…and fundraising on this….dishonorable.

      • AdLib says:

        Sabreen, I have heard of other efforts being recommended so I don’t agree that it’s either military action or doing nothing.

        We’ve been very successful in hammering Iran through diplomatic and economic sanctions, we haven’t had to bomb them to hurt and punish them for their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

        We can do the same with Syria. Two other approaches I’ve heard proposed are pursuing a war crimes trial with the ICJ/World Court and having the UN and/or other nations present Syria with a choice of signing onto the chemical weapons ban or face severe economic and political consequences.

        Can anyone guarantee that after the US would launch a missile attack on Syria, that Assad wouldn’t use chemical weapons again? And if we need to stand up to Syria this time, how much bigger of a military campaign would we have to launch then? And if it continues, where does it end? And if Assad is defeated, Al Qaeda may take over the leadership and control of the nation, what then?

        It’s so complicated to me, Sabreen. I am outraged by the mass murders Assad has committed but I wonder if the answer is for the US to also kill innocent Syrians in a bombing campaign. Sometimes violence is the only sensible response to violence, especially in cases of self-defense, sometimes an eye for an eye can leave the whole world blind.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          You make the case for being wary of the stated likely effectiveness of the strikes very well AND point to both collateral damage (such a neutral word for what it really means) and regime response that is even more violent. Assad is capable of holding huge segments of his population hostage just as Qaddafi did.

          I also like your list of alternatives. I will add them to my list.

          I wonder- do ou think it would be a good idea to create an ALL CALL to members of our community asking for ideas re. effective responses: military, economic, diplomatic, humanitarian, judicial?

          We might come up with quite a list that could be shared by members with our contacts beyond the Planet.

        • Sabreen60 says:

          Putin will veto any resolution from the UN. As the President said today, the UN is paralyzed. Haven’t we tried diplomacy? Sanctions hurt innocent people. They are the ones who suffer most. I don’t know what sanctions have been enacted to date. I’ll have to research. Innocent are being hurt right now. Are you sure that innocents will be hurt in a surgical strike?

          BTW, if President Obama had gone to Congress re Libya nothing would have been done.

          Here’s a link about sanctions against Syria: http://damascus.usembassy.gov/sanctions-syr.html

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            Good question.

          • AdLib says:

            Sabreen, Russia will veto any proposal for a UN military attack against Syria for its use of chemical weapons but the proposition I was describing was one that demands Syria become a signatory to a chemical weapons ban. Russia is a signatory on that and if they want to stand up to insist that Syria should have the right to use chemical weapons, they should be forced to do so publicly and that could lead to the world, outside of the UN structure, coming together to stop Assad.

            Even Pres. Obama and John Kerry have said that they won’t be striking the chemical weapons storage and manufacturing sites due to the danger to Syrians that would pose so though they may destroy some missiles that could deliver them, Assad will still have all of his chemical weapons after any US attack. So if a US attack doesn’t actually stop the use of chemical weapons, at best, delaying it and if Assad is hell bent on using them, will it be worth it if any Syrians killed by the US as collateral damage?

            Here’s a quote I found from the Senate hearing on Syria and projected collateral damage:

            But Dempsey was clearly there to answer relatively technical questions. He answered a question about the risks of collateral damage — he told the committee he had been charged to choose weapons and targets in such combinations that the risk of collateral damage was “low”.

            http://breakingdefense.com/2013/09/03/kerry-hagel-press-senate-to-approve-syrian-strikes/

            As for what “low” means, your guess is as good as mine but being that Syria announced it would be copying Saddam in using human shields, freeing political prisoners from jails and placing them at military sites the US is targeting, I think it’s unavoidable that there will be innocent Syrians killed.

            And if one missile or more in a massive campaign goes off target, it could be really bad.

            I am angry at what is happening in Syria too, I wish that the US could use its power to end it right now but such a limited military strike admittedly won’t rid Syria of chemical weapons and could just pour more gasoline on the fire.

            If we do go in, I think we need to do so along with the rest of the world or what results could be greater mass murders. If the rest of the world won’t act unless Assad commits greater atrocities, I don’t see how we can act without any support of legal sanction.

          • Nirek says:

            Sabreen and Ad, why, if Assad is the guilty guy can’t the CIA get him and save thousands of lives? Why do so many people have to die because he is a despot?
            A missal or 200 will have collateral damage. that damage will be in the form of lives.

            If Assad is indeed so bad kill him. Why wait?

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              Nirek….you ask the million dollar question.

              There was a time when assassination was part of the package of tactics used by the world’s nations.

              It was condemned as outside of the norms of “civilized” warfare and in agreements and practice abandoned.

              But our drone strikes against AQ and other leaders of terrorist cells are assassination by another name.

              Still, hitting the head of state of another nation…even a so called rogue leader….is that ok? What precedent does it set?

              The Israelis have made it clear that assassination is definitely in their arsenal.

  6. Greta42 says:

    Well done, Murph. For all those reasons, the American public is strongly opposed to any American military action in Syria -- a very expected response to the past disastrous middle east actions you described. The British Parliament debate and decision not to join with the US in any action also reinforced the opposition here in the US.

    I too wonder what a military strike would accomplish other than taking out some of the weaponry that delivered the serin gas -- but then what? As we know, the Syrian opposition consists of many groups, all with their own brand of religion and grievances to say the least. Ideally, punishment should arise from the UN -- and that is the travesty -- that the Security Council has been neutralized by the unanimous vote requirement. To condemn use of chemical weapons is good but a dictator who violated international norms does not pay attention to shaming. Quite the conundrum…

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Greta- all very valid points.

      I have engaged others in this thread on the topic of effective responses that do more good than harm. May I invite you to read over them and see what you think?

      Your thoughts about the Security Council are important. BTW -- it’s not that a unanimous decision is required bur rather that any decision can be vetoed by any of the permanent members of the bod and that includes the Russians who have blocked the introduction of Syrian as an agenda item for months now.

      The structure works against majority rule (as the filibuster busts the Senate).

      But, there are other international bodies- the EU and the International Tribunal. NATO. And even the Arab League which has endorsed action is unwilling to act on its own in a way that really demonstrate support and places them at risk.

      I listened to the entire debate in the British Parliament- boy do I wish we had that system- Having the executive in the legislature keeps both honest….and the rules of the chamber require a quorum whenever a quorum call is made. The Brits pay attention to these debates. I think that the debate closely mirrored the debate here and that Obama was turned back from the path he was on because of it.

      Sometimes the best thing an ally can do for us is to say “No”.

    • Sabreen60 says:

      I don’t know if the “American public” is against military action. I have seen polls that indicate a majority are opposed to it, but also almost as many are unsure. Republicans are against this action, because President Obama is for it. The very elected Republicans that denigrated President Obama for not doing enough about Syria are now opposed to doing anything. They are merely playing politics. As far as the media is concerned, damn near every elected person they put in front of the camera is opposed. This is happening especially on MSNBC, where you have Rachel Maddow agreeing with Putin; Ed Schultz, Chris Hayes and Chris Matthews calling it a “war” every other second. Too many people don’t pay attention. So they hear “war” and they may think “boots on the ground”. The media is not offering any balance. These pundits are also making the false equivalency between this action and Iraq. This does not help people make a sound judgment. I don’t have a problem with people being of the opinion that military action should not be taken. But at least give the people the truth and I’m not hearing that from the media.


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