obama_1318962c

There are many complications and worries of unknown blowback connected to the threat of the U.S. attacking Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons. In this post-Iraq War era, there is very justified suspicion in the U.S. about a rush to military action against a Middle East nation. President Obama has shown that he wants to take action swiftly and along with Secretary of State John Kerry, has been making the case as to why it should happen.

Pres. Obama’s arguments have seemed sensible, that the use of chemical weapons can’t be condoned by inaction or their usage will no longer be taboo and will spread around the world. However, after going through the Bush stampede to go to war with Iraq without the case being made honestly to the public, with lies and deceptions and no documented facts from third party sources, many seem to have learned from their mistakes and are now saying, “Show us the facts and convince us.” Even so, media has been repeating the Obama Administration meme that they are ready to attack as of today.

Apparently, the Obama Admin is preparing materials to release to the public to help make their case. Still, since there is a U.N. inspection underway in Syria that can at least shed some more light on what happened, it would seem most sensible that this third party’s evidence be known first by the public before any action is taken.

Pres. Obama may have top secret information that proves to any reasonable person that Syria launched a chemical attack. From a preponderance of all we’ve seen that is public knowledge, it sure seems probable that it is exactly what happened. The issue here though is just as much about exorcising the Bush-lying-us-into-war concern as it is about punishing regimes that use chemical weapons to kill their own men, women and children. Due to that, it would seem best for the nation and the world that Pres. Obama go through the steps Bush refused to go through so that the public can have confidence in their government if action is to be taken. Even though Pres. Obama may know Syria did this, that’s not enough at this point in time and he needs to recognize that.

This is why I cringed yesterday and today after hearing Pres. Obama say in an interview that one reason for taking military action against Syria is because these chemical weapons could be used against us. I am a big supporter of Pres. Obama but this is Bush fear mongering talk and should be jettisoned immediately.

We were played by the “smoking gun could be a mushroom cloud”, Colin Powell holding up a faux vial of anthrax at the U.N., yellow cake uranium lies, instilling fear in the American public of an imminent threat is what war mongering Republicans do, that should not be a path Democrats take.

The truth is, the American people would be no more at risk of being attacked by Syria or others with chemical weapons then they are now. Nor would it make it more likely that anyone who wouldn’t have used chemical weapons on U.S. troops, will be more likely to use them. I mean, if our troops were attacked with chemical weapons, would the perpetrators expect our wrath against them would be less than it would have been?

So though I think the case can be made for other reasons, Pres. Obama is making a huge mistake if he follows through at all on instilling fear in Americans to get their support on attacking Syria. If inaction brought about greater proliferation in the Middle East of chemical weapons, then that would pose a greater threat to many more people but not primarily Americans. As we’re seeing in Syria, it is the innocent people in a tyrannical nation that would probably have the most to fear.

Just the threat of U.S. retaliation is making Assad pay a price for likely using chemical weapons. He’s had to clear out his military installations and command centers, move materials and weapons, scatter troops, this is not exactly making him think that using chemical weapons is something that doesn’t have a big cost. So if this stressful uncertainty and fear is extended for Assad to have to go through while more evidence is gathered, is that unacceptable?

We don’t need to stampede towards an attack because if an attack came in a few weeks, wouldn’t it deliver just as powerful a statement? We certainly don’t expect in the midst of all of this that Assad will launch another chemical attack so taking the time to have all the available facts out in the open doesn’t appear to undermine anything.

And keeping an eye towards the next Republican President sometime in the future, it would be a good precedent to re-establish for Pres. Obama to meet with Congress to consult them and have a debate on launching an attack. Republicans need to be on the record on this, we know that no matter what happens, if they don’t have their thumbprints on military action as well, they will use any negatives that come from it as a cause for attacking and even rallying for the impeachment of Obama.

The Bush Doctrine of tossing aside the Constitution and whipping up fear to support Presidential power to launch military attacks must be flushed down the toilet for good and all. As terrible as the Repubs in The House are, we either have a system of government dictated by the Constitution or we don’t. If the evidence proves Syria used chemical weapons and the Repubs stonewall any military response, then they will be held responsible for what follows.

Bush’s legacy is on full display right now. The improper overgrowth of power of the Presidency, the distrust of the Presidency on unilaterally launching military action, sensitivity to being rushed and manipulated into supporting military action and concern over unexpected and severe blowback from taking military action.

This may be the most difficult time for Pres. Obama in his entire Presidency. A war weary public initially elected him especially because of his opposition to the Iraq War. Meanwhile, a tyrant in the Middle East appears to be murdering his own people with chemical weapons, seemingly unconcerned about the U.S. or any other nation stepping in to stop his crimes against humanity. And add to this the complications of Iran, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Russia and China all being intertwined in Syria.

As he moves forward, Pres. Obama has difficult conflicts and very weighty decisions ahead but he will need other nations and the American public behind him so that come what may, he has a base of support to fall back on. This can only be earned by honest discussion of the facts and legitimate arguments as to why action should be taken.

In this post-Bush era, we have to reject the unjustified use of fear and imaginary threats to the American public as acceptable reasons to take such a serious action as bombing other nations. We should insist solely on facts, reason and principle as the tools to win an argument for war and never again allow ourselves to be victimized by the cynical strategy of playing on our worst fears.

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goleafsgo
Member
goleafsgo

Hi Adlib,
I haven’t posted here for some time, but felt I would like to comment on your article since I tend to disagree with your assessment of the President’s tactic of the “unjustified use of fear and threats to the American people.” And that he is “tossing aside the Constitution.”

In going over his speech given yesterday from the Rose Garden, I did not get the feeling that he was hoping people would be frightened and therefore fall in line to his way of thinking…going to war again.
I think he was very forthright in stating “Make no mistake–this has implications beyond chemical warfare.” Noting also a “serious danger to our national security.” I think this dispels the false assumption, that we held during WW11, and today, that the war was far away across the pond and we are safe on this continent. Because, we are no longer isolated from the rest of the world and safe from the bad guys who are murdering in a horrendous manner, their very own people.

I really do not think that “instilling fear to get support” is being practiced here by the President. Anyone with a limited knowledge of world affairs recognizes there is much to fear out there. The media shows us daily vivid images of children lying dead in a row, of crying babies, burned by bombs dropped on their school. It is hard to escape reality. If they do not instill fear….if one is not fearful of this continuing, of spreading, as it provides more control for Assad and thus, embolden him and his allies, Russia, Iran, North Korea…
then…as the President said: “..then we must acknowledge the costs of doing nothing.” Is that fear-mongering? Or is that stating the facts.

Chemical warfare, nuclear warfare, terrorists with biological warfare advantages because they can. Is that fear-mongering? Or is that stating the facts?

President Obama has always looked at the bigger picture. I think he sees clearly, more than any of us can, what the world will look like if America, the only nation capable to lead on this, does nothing. He said “I will deliver a message to the world.” The G 20 summit in Russia will give us a better idea of where the rest of the leading countries stand after meeting with President Obama…will they be fearful of the Big Bullies who say: Mind your own business? Or will they provide support to do something to stop this kind of monster and any future atrocities?

AdLib, I do not compare President Obama’s warning with the Bush fear-mongering. I believe he is extremely cognizant of how Americans feel about war, and how his actions could be politically disastrous for him. But he is putting his case forward, and now the Congress will finally have to do some work. Now that is something to be afraid of.

Hope I didn’t ramble on too much. ; )

Nirek
Member

Ad, “w” said he would back the President if he took action.

That , to me is all the reason I need to not do it.

Syria is in a civil war within their borders. We need to stay out of it!

Kalima
Admin
SallyT
Member

I have to say that Secretary Kerry made a very complaining argument for our involvement. But, I still agree with AdLib, you, and others that we need to continue approaching this in the correct way. President Bush and the Iraq War has made everyone suspicious of our intelligence. I hope and remain pretty sure that President Obama will handle it correctly and restore faith in US again. He ain’t no rodeo clown. That was the guy before in the cowboy boots.

Kalima
Admin

I didn’t catch Kerry’s speech Sally, but I’m really glad we could compare it to the Bysh years and feel more confident that the information stated is not a bunch of lies. We know that the President is nothing like Bush, so I believe there will be more discussion and he will not rush into it. I trust him to make the right decision, he hasn’t lied yet, so why would he do so now.

Nirek
Member

Ad, I understand why we as a nation feel we should do something about the use of chemical weapons.
I wonder why killing with guns, bombs, or any other weapon is okay ?

It is a civil war and we need to stay out of it. That is my opinion.

Kalima
Admin
agrippa
Member
agrippa

What is to be done?
I think that is the issue.
There is little that the USA can do.

jjgravitas
Member
jjgravitas

Adlib, a perfect argument. I don’t want us involved in Syria’s civil war. If Obama wants to get involved, he should make his case to the United Nations. It’s time we stopped fighting other people’s wars for them. Are we really such a useless society that the only way we can help the world is to blow it up? Or is it really the rest of the world that is so stupid and useless that the only way we can get our point across is if we bash them over the head with it? It’s really disappointing — it’s why people become isolationists. I consider my self an Obama supporter but I don’t support him in this. Are we really coming to the end of our second war by getting involved in a third one?

kesmarn
Admin

And then — sadly — there’s the dark side. The little group that is totally okay with almost any war anywhere. Here’s a look at Raytheon’s stock price over the last few weeks:

[img]http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1325336/thumbs/o-ALAN-GRAYSON-570.jpg?6[/img]

KillgoreTrout
Member

I don’t like Russia’s involvement in this whole mess. The cold war may be long over, but with Putin in office, hostile emotions remain. This whole situation reminds me of the Cuban Missile Crisis, without the missiles. (maybe not without the missiles)

I have to ask, how many more innocents would be slaughtered if we do carry out strikes against Syria? How many more, if we don’t?

Would the War Powers Act apply here and if so, would it be constitutional? The constitutionality of the WPA is still being debated, since enacted in 1973.

While I do have great sympathy for the victims of this (alleged) attack, I have serious concerns as to how our actions would be perceived on the world stage.

Another concern I have is just who are the Syrian rebels? What types of individuals make up this rebel army? Surely there are Islamic extremists among their ranks.

I sure don’t envy Obama’s job in this matter. Not in the least. I do believe that war should always be a last resort.

kesmarn
Admin

KT, in today’s local paper there was an article on Syria. They interviewed a local Muslim leader and asked him what his thoughts were on the situation. (He’s from Lebanon.) He’s really a sweet guy. I know him personally. But what he said was: “The President should go to Russia and ask the Russians to apply pressure on Assad to stop these atrocities.” I thought — dear God, does this good man have any idea what the current state of relations between the President and Putin actually is? Especially after the Snowden affair?

It just struck me as almost pathetically naive, although coming from a guy who is very smart and decent. So sad.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Thanks kes for your thoughtful reply. Putin doesn’t strike me as a guy who is really open to negotiations or requests from foreign governments. I would love to be wrong about this.

kesmarn
Admin

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure you’re right, KT.

SallyT
Member

On AJA they just had a former UN Weapon Inspector and he said that those in Syria are scheduled to leave on Saturday. It will take 4 to 5 days to test, study and report on their findings. But, they are only checking to see if Chemical Weapons have been used, not who used them. According to him and those he is in contact with, the UN’s inspections have been very limited in Syria by both sides.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Hey Sally! I wonder if the rebels actually had chemical weapons. They may have been able to get their hands on some, but would they use them against civilians? So many questions here without real answers.

SallyT
Member

Hello KT! I don’t know if the rebel have access to Chemical Weapons but I don’t know for sure who the rebels are. I don’t know who all they have working with them and the access to anything they have.

I hope our involvement can be avoided. War is never good no matter which side you are on. But, if nothing is done does that lead to other countries doing something similar because they have nothing to fear in repercussions? It isn’t like there isn’t a lot going on all over the place in the Mideast. Who are the good guys? And, those good guys turn bad later sometimes.

kesmarn
Admin

AdLib, it’s hard to recall another president who’s had as much to deal with on so many fronts simultaneously as President Obama — Lincoln and FDR come to mind. And this Syria issue is one of the worst situations yet.

Your point about Dubya’s horrible legacy is well taken. His path of total F-5 destruction during his administration was bad enough, but I think that virtually every thinking person could see that it would take years — decades even — after he was gone to restore anything like normality to American life. In so many areas.

Trust in government itself — in its ability to regulate private entities honestly and work on behalf of the average citizen rather than the wealthy — was demolished. Trust in the financial system — shot. Trust in the nation’s intelligence gathering departments — in their ability to supply accurate, unbiased info, and to respect citizen’s privacy — annihilated. Across the board there was cynicism and weariness.

So now — as you so eloquently say — the President has had to work within a framework of restoring the rule of law, and restoring trust as well as getting any given task done. This involves resisting the temptation to use executive orders, signing statements and the like to force his will on the country. He and the Dems have to some extent tolerated the misuse of the filibuster because dismantling or radically altering the filibuster process itself affects the way Congress works in the future too. Everything has to be done with an eye to the long game.

This is something Dubya never did — obviously. For him and his cronies it was slash, burn and pillage. And leave the clean up to the next guy. Both at home and abroad. He sowed the wind and we get to reap the whirlwind. Lucky us.

To me the President’s Syria dilemma looks a lot like the situation Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced when there was an opportunity to attempt an assassination attempt on Hitler. Anyone could understand why that would be a very tempting option. But Hitler survived. And it didn’t end well for Bonhoeffer.

If the President moves forward, as you say, it really needs to be after extensive consultation with Congress and with a very broad and genuinely committed international coalition.

SueInCa
Member

I would agree with you on most points but I still say what makes a Syrian life worth more than a Sudanese life, a Kosovo life? I just cannot seem to get past that thought. It may make me seem one sided but like you say I am tired of war and there are no guarantees that this would be a two day war. Iraq was supposed to be 6 months….we all know how that went. No one knows what could spark a third world war either. The Chinese do not seem to be afraid of us and Russia is flexing their muscle as well, North Korea could be thrown into the mix. As we learned from WWII war makes for strange bedfellows.

I am hoping with world support dwindling, this will not go forth, no matter what the warmongers want to happen. I say hand them a gun, god knows McCain knows how to wreck a 50 million dollar plane. Let him crash into Assad’s compound.

KillgoreTrout
Member

Hey Sue, I share those same concerns. I do not believe we should act alone, without UN approval. That’s what Bush did and it really damaged our standing in the world.

I also have to wonder, about the difference between killing people with bombs and bullets, or killing them with chemical weapons. Death is the result in either case. I know the individual suffering with chemical weapons is supposed to be worse, but when the end is death, how much does that matter? I surely don’t have the answer to that horrible question.

SueInCa
Member

Nor do I KT and it makes me so very sad. There is just no explaining the evil humans can do to each other, none. I am surprised the Republicans do not get it, being all pro lifey like they are…..not.

KillgoreTrout
Member

I know that gramps McCain is in favor of arming the rebels, and I just can’t fathom such a war monger who is willing to supply our enemies with weapons. I don’t believe the Syrian rebels are big supporters of America and our foreign policy. Supposedly there are elements of al Qaida among the ranks of the rebels.

Nirek
Member

KT, do you think Gramps McCain has ties to the industry that benefits most from WAR?
I do.

SallyT
Member

And Grandpa McCain has to take sister Palin with him up in the wide blue yonder!

SueInCa
Member

Grandpa McCain, hanging out with terrorists. He has never shown good judgment. I say send the ones who cry war the loudest. Just stop and ask, are you signing up to go? It would put a stop to war really fast.

Kalima
Admin

Just in:

Cameron loses vote on Syria

British MPs vote against possible military action against Syria to deter the use of chemical weapons.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23892783

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

World Net Daily was the first to say it….so it’s trash right?

Well then Info Wars said it…..even more trash.

But then NPR suggested the possibility, and so did Reuters…today there were conversations on Al Jazeera and on MSNBC….

Is it possible that the gas attack was a false flag situation – gas taken by rebels and used to emulate an Assad government attack in order to trigger just the kind of response that Obama and our allies are considering?

SueInCa
Member

I don’t think anyone really knows what the whole truth is here but the rebels with gas I think is highly unlikely. It does not surprise me that news networks started parroting each other as well, they are mostly good for nothing anyway. For me, the jury is still out on AJA but of them all,. I would trust them the most. The rest are just parrots. CNN lead in story the other day was Miley Cyrus, hardly what I want from a credible news network. E! fills that bill. I also find it rather incredible that anyone would put their trust in World Net Daily. Michelle Bachman gets all her “credible info” from that site.

Kalima
Admin

That the bad rebels have access to sarin gas is just pure speculation and something the Assad and Russian propaganda machine put out there to stop this kind of attack from the West in the first place. Russia needs a place to park their ships and that is all they care about apart from the profit of supplying arms to Assad. Are we going to take the word of a lying madman who is responsible for the deaths of over 100,000 citizens, more than 7,000 being innocent children?

MurphTheSurf3
Editor

OBAMA ON MILITARY ACTION…

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” candidate Obama told The Boston Globe in late 2007. He added that the president can only act unilaterally in “instances of self-defense.”

“It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action,” Obama continued.

President Obama did not seek congressional approval for his military strikes against Libya in 2011. That bombing campaign led to longtime dictator Muammar Gadhafi’s ouster.

Vice President Joe Biden, who voted for the Iraq War, agreed with Obama.

“The president has no constitutional authority to take this country to war… unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked,” Biden said in 2007.

SueInCa
Member

Wow, very straighforward article Adlib. I will admit, up front, I am against war in all forms. With that said, I think we as inhabitants of this earth and all of mankind, need to find other methods of resolving these issues. This earth has been in a perpetual state of war for a long time and it is time to put a stop to it.

How does a chemical attack differ from plain old bombing of a country’s people? I am not saying it is not horrendous, I am saying dead is dead. No matter which way a government has the ability to kill it’s own citizens, they will still have the ability to hit us with chemical warfare as well, so what is the urgency with this as opposed to other methods despots around the globe have used? I find it ironic that International law considers chemical gas a human rights violation but not guns and bombs.

The human toll should be upper most in everyone’s mind, not the type of weaponry used. Then I think about the people who have died, and still ask myself, “what about Darfur, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kosovo, Germany, Iraq, Greece, Turkey, Columbia, South Carolina and their homeless resolution? It seems to me we are only concerned when someone gets the itch to play with weapons. This perpetual state of war is getting very old and I am not one to say let them settle it themselves, there have been too many holocausts in this world to take that stance but there has to be another way to solve the world’s problems.