Stop the Knee Jerking Already

Obama Administration

Whenever there is talk of war in the air, public opinion responds to the previous war, whatever it was.

So, until the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans opposed getting involved in what became World War II because they saw it as a replay of World War I. Which it really wasn’t, if you look at the details. Much of my parents’ generation, who fought World War II, supported military action in Vietnam because they saw a parallel between the Tonkin Gulf and Pearl Harbor. Seriously. And, anyway, Communists.

In the buildup to the Gulf War of 1990-91, plenty of us Boomers warned of another Vietnam. I don’t remember that I did, but I remember a few people tried to organize 1968-style street protests (not many showed up), and I remember listening to some self-styled military expert on NPR warn that Saddam’s elite troops would keep us bogged down for years, like the Vietcong. Well, whether you supported it or not, the Gulf War was possibly the least Vietnam-like foreign war the U.S. ever fought.

Before the invasion of Iraq, some of us did see something like another Vietnam, an un-winnable war that would sap us for years until we got smart enough to walk away from it. And in that case, we were right. But I think most of the public imagined the earlier Gulf War over again, and assumed it would be a relatively painless (for us) operation. The Bush Administration seems to have assumed the same thing.

Now the White House and some allies are considering some kind of limited strike on Syria because of chemical weapons use. “Regime change” has been ruled out, much to Grandpa John’s dismay. No one is talking about invasion or ground troops. Like many of us, I seriously doubt bombing Syria would accomplish anything, but my sense of things is that what’s being discussed doesn’t even rise to the level of what was done in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999. And it may be all the talk is just saber rattling. Sometimes saber rattling does the job, in fact, but it only works if everyone thinks you mean it.

But, predictably, already people are seeing a replay of the Bushies’ yellowcake scary cylinders mushroom cloud talk used to rush us into Iraq. They are certain the information about chemical attacks is just being made up to justify President Obama’s alleged commitment to “a state of ongoing war,” and we know Obama is lying because we remember Tonkin and babies pulled out of incubators and weapons of mass destruction.

But, y’know, governments don’t always lie. There really were atrocities in Kosovo. Hitler really was a nasty piece of work who would have attacked the U.S. eventually. Khrushchev really was sending nuclear missiles to Cuba. Sometimes awful stuff does happen that requires a response, even if it’s just threats.

Whether something has happened in Syria that requires a response I do not know. I think for President Obama, doing something is politically riskier than doing nothing, which is why I don’t think the chemical weapons stories can be dismissed out of hand. Getting our military bogged down in another prolonged action would get in the way of the President’s domestic policy goals, I would think. But I assume nothing. I just wish everyone else would assume nothing, too.

BTW, of all people, George Will is outraged that the President is “talking the nation into war.”

Barack Obama’s foreign policy dream — cordial relations with a Middle East tranquilized by “smart diplomacy” — is in a death grapple with reality. His rhetorical writhings illustrate the perils of loquacity. He has a glutton’s, rather than a gourmet’s, appetite for his own rhetorical cuisine, and he has talked America to the precipice of a fourth military intervention in the crescent that extends from Libya to Afghanistan.

I’d say Will’s rhetorical writhings are in a death grapple with a thesaurus. And the thesaurus is winning.

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46 Comments

44 Comments

  1. Lynne  •  Aug 29, 2013 @11:54 am

    Hmmm. Rhetorically writhing cuisine. So much fun to make it all up.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 29, 2013 @12:14 pm

    I don’t see this as something the US needs to act on – I see it as something that the UN needs to take care of.

    Of course, the problem is that Syria is Russia’s ally, and so, Russia will try to make sure that nothing happens to Putin’s pal, Assad.

    And if we do take action, I hope that people who know far more about most things than I do, factor in Russia’s reaction if we react to the supposed WMD atrocities unilaterally – or, with England, bilaterally.
    I don’t think anything good will come of it.

    Little old mental pipsqueak me, thinks that if the UN isn’t going to get involved, then neither should we.
    No matter what we do, all sides in Syria will eventually hate us.
    And even a mental pipsqueak like me, can see that that’s kind of been a pattern throughout the Middle East, where our involvement since WWII is often perceived (correctly, I think) to be more in our own interest(s), than in the Middle East’s.

    Leave the hornets next be, say I.
    But, then, wtf do I know?
    All I know is that I’m tired of us being the world’s police force – something that, if my childhood visits to the UN Headquarters in NYC weren’t in vain, I thought I learned was the UN’s job.

    Am I missing something here?

  3. uncledad  •  Aug 29, 2013 @1:27 pm

    Am I missing something here?

    How the hell are the war profiteers gonna make any money on a measly little UN declaration? How the hell are the corporate media moguls gonna sell soap on a measly little UN declaration?

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 29, 2013 @2:07 pm

    Russia sends two warships to the Mediterranean:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/29/us-syria-crisis-russia-navy-idUSBRE97S0AK20130829

    Pure koinky-dink!

    ‘Nuff said.

  5. James F. Epperson  •  Aug 29, 2013 @2:38 pm

    The UN can’t do anything w/o Russian approval, so that level of authorization is out.

  6. biggerbox  •  Aug 29, 2013 @2:39 pm

    Meanwhile, Obama is imagining that he sees unicorns and sparkle ponies. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/28/us-syria-crisis-usa-obama-idUSBRE97R1A920130828

    “tailored, limited” strikes. Like that has ever worked before.

    And then, “we send a shot across the bow saying, ‘Stop doing this,’ this can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term,’ as if cruel tyrants who’d gas their own people typically respond and stop when told to. (Especially when the ‘shot across the bow’ is carefully labelled ‘tailored and limited’. The whole point of a ‘shot across the bow’ is that the next one is at the waterline. But Assad wouldn’t have to worry about an escalation.)

    Sadly, the Onion seems to understand the situation better than the President.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/so-whats-it-going-to-be,33662/

  7. Swami  •  Aug 29, 2013 @2:47 pm

    I seriously doubt bombing Syria would accomplish anything

    Well, it would rotate our stock of cruise missiles. They tend to get stale sitting in their magazines for extended periods of time. And it’s also a good morale booster for our troops. Other than that there’s not much to be accomplished.. But if you look real hard there are other possible benefits.. you know like maybe reduce the unemployment rolls for Syrian construction workers and Russian weapons manufacturers.

  8. Barry  •  Aug 29, 2013 @3:36 pm

    “Whether something has happened in Syria that requires a response I do not know. I think for President Obama, doing something is politically riskier than doing nothing, which is why I don’t think the chemical weapons stories can be dismissed out of hand. Getting our military bogged down in another prolonged action would get in the way of the President’s domestic policy goals, I would think. But I assume nothing. I just wish everyone else would assume nothing, too. ”

    No, doing nothing would be less risky, unless you think that Syria will be a big domestic political issue in 2014. You are actually making an assumption here.

    “Getting our military bogged down in another prolonged action would get in the way of the President’s domestic policy goals, I would think. ”

    In 2003, Kevin Drum said later that he was persuaded that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea by somebody who said that Bush *couldn’t* f*ck it up, because it’d be too bad for him politically.

  9. maha  •  Aug 29, 2013 @3:54 pm

    No, doing nothing would be less risky,

    That’s what I said. Doing something is riskier than doing nothing.

    In 2003, Kevin Drum said later that he was persuaded that the invasion of Iraq was a good idea by somebody who said that Bush *couldn’t* f*ck it up, because it’d be too bad for him politically.

    I certainly wasn’t persuaded of that in 2003, but the simple truth is that Bush did f*ck it up, but was shielded from political fallout by the Right’s mighty propaganda/influence machine that kept national media in line, so nobody came out and said he f*cked it up until much later. Obama doesn’t have that advantage, and I’m sure he knows it.

  10. joanr16  •  Aug 29, 2013 @3:44 pm

    What was it Lewis Carroll said about excelling at “Reeling and Writhing”? On the one side, David Cameron; on the other, George Will. The Walrus and the Bow-tied Dorkwad. My head hurts from the stereophonic hysteria.

  11. moonbat  •  Aug 29, 2013 @3:57 pm

    How the hell are the war profiteers gonna make any money on a measly little UN declaration?

    Alan Grayson on Syria Strike: “Nobody Wants this Except the Military-Industrial Complex”:

    …That doesn’t mean that opposition is universal, Grayson allowed. “I did notice, for what it’s worth, that the manufacturer of the missiles that would be used has had an incredible run in their stock value in the last 60 days. Raytheon stock is up 20 percent in the past 60 days as the likelihood of the use of their missiles against Syria becomes more likely. So I understand that there is a certain element of our society that does benefit from this, but they’re not the people who vote for me, or by the way the people who contribute to my campaign,”

  12. Bonnie  •  Aug 29, 2013 @4:55 pm

    You forgot the Korean War. While it was listed as a military action, our soldiers went to Korea, fought, and died.

  13. Doug  •  Aug 29, 2013 @8:39 pm

    I’m not sure what action is being considered. There’s a huge difference between giving Assad a bloody nose and leaving the field of action – and a full-scale invasion and nation-building. Bush used intimidation by Saddam over the no-fly zone qs a pretense to justify what become the biggest blunder since Viet Nam.

    A measured strike may not be effective. It depends a lot on the target and intel. If we know where Assad has moved his assets (entirety possible) a strike might do real harm. If it’s a strike at symbolic targets of no value, then it’s a dog-and-pony show for the peasants.

    My hope is that immediate action serves as a deterrent – civilian slaughter should not be debated endlessly at the UN, while atrocities continue. IF .. (a slippery word that is) if we can dissuade Assad for the price of a few missiles, it’s money well spent.

  14. Paraquat  •  Aug 29, 2013 @8:45 pm

    Actually, the USA’s late military action was in Libya. Yes, I know it was under the guise of NATO, the UN, and so on, as a “humanitarian action.” But the reality was the USA was bombing the Libyan air force to help the rebels unseat Khaddafi. And Russia does not want to see a repeat performance of this in Syria.

    And much as I hated Khaddafi, I can’t say that I’m pleased to see Libya turning Islamic fundamentalist. Don’t worry, I’m not about to start screaming “Benghazi, Benghazi!” The righties have a real fantasy about that. But I don’t think that the USA’s operation in Libya turned out all that well for America’s interests, let alone for the hapless Libyan civilians. I can’t imagine that helping the Islamic wackos take over Syria will turn out well either.

    To tell the truth, I don’t know what Obama is planning to do in Syria. All this war talk coming from the Democrats has me scratching my head. And to see the Republicans trying to position themselves as peaceniks – that is surreal. I’m just waiting for John “Torture-Memo” Yoo come out and accuse Obama of human rights violations.

    Sometimes truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

  15. maha  •  Aug 29, 2013 @9:55 pm

    Actually, the USA’s late military action was in Libya.

    Yes, but that doesn’t seem to have made much of a dent in the American collective mind. The last war people got emotional about was Iraq, so that’s become the most recent data point, so to speak.

  16. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Aug 29, 2013 @10:16 pm

    I did see one scathing criticism, basically saying that, wow, *chemical weapons*. Now, if it had been hellfire missiles from a jet, firebombing, cluster bombs, that’d be okay, but not *chemical weapons*, the *wrong kind* of people use *chemical weapons*.

    (Interestingly, white phosphorus is okay, but not gas. But we didn’t really use WP, because some veteran said it was probably smoke, that’s what a “shake and bake” mission means, HE and smoke! And besides, we didn’t say we wouldn’t, and anyway, Fallujah… remember those murdered (military) contractors?)

    I get the point of that critique. He’s like, it’s okay if you do it in a jet, because that means you have to be one of the big boys, and have lots of money, and if you don’t, we know we can ace your jets, because you’ll be using MiGs from the 50s and 60s.

    But anyone can use poison gas, and it’s hard as hell to defend against. So that’s unacceptable behavior.

    Just like a suicide bomber is a “coward” for willingly giving up his life to make a strike against an enemy, but we’re not “cowards” for firing a cruise missile from many miles away without any risk to our own lives. How’s that work?

    I don’t condone use of chemical weapons, but I do find the additional outrage a bit hypocritical. Why wasn’t the 100,000 dead travesty enough to demand action?

    And while I can’t deny there might be some utility in punishing their use, will the plan actually make their later use less likely? Or more likely to be hidden?

  17. Oldguy  •  Aug 30, 2013 @12:10 am

    At this point we don’t know anything but what “official sources” are telling us. Even though I’m a Democrat that voted for Obama twice, I don’t ever trust anything that comes out of the government. I’ve been lied to by my government for my entire sixty plus years, and I’m afraid Obama has lied, too.

    Why George Will has ever been taken seriously about anything, has always been beyond me. The guy has always been wrong about everything.

  18. maha  •  Aug 30, 2013 @6:36 am

    At this point we don’t know anything but what “official sources” are telling us. Even though I’m a Democrat that voted for Obama twice, I don’t ever trust anything that comes out of the government. I’ve been lied to by my government for my entire sixty plus years, and I’m afraid Obama has lied, too.

    As I said, I assume nothing. But I can fathom no motive the President would have for drumming up a war that could be avoided. I don’t see where that helps him in any way, and it’s more likely to hurt him.

  19. erinyes  •  Aug 30, 2013 @8:24 am

    Syria is in a civil war.bad things happen when governments feel threatened. Not so long ago, two brothers of Chechen extraction set off a bomb, and the response from law enforcement was huge. I am not an anti government person,but I realize that if you do certain things, the long arm of the law will smite you with no mercy. S.w.a.t. operations are common. The raid on the branch Dravidian compound back in ’95 illustrated that bad things, like burning children and women alive, may very well happen if you oppose power with malice.the bottom line is, if a group decides to overthrow a government via violence, that group will be met with overwhelming force. That has always been the rule.

  20. Pat  •  Aug 30, 2013 @8:52 am

    I’ve not been following the unfolding Syria justification closely but there was a great interview with Grayson in which he said that Obama backed himself into a corner by declaring that we might have to act if “lots of chemical weapons were used”. He quoted White House as saying the use of chemical weapons was “undeniable”yet Assad denied it saying none will be found. He added that experts in the UK are now saying it’s not certain and suggested that Obama might have to act absolutely certain to “prove his manhood.”

    There’s a point in time with every next war during which some must bellow on like old mooses with no proof. If we haven’t learned not to believe the saber rattling without question we never will. Does one really believed Bush hatched the Iraq thing all by himself. Bush might have been as easily led around by the nose as Reagan at his most senile point. Don’t you just know that Obama’s listening to non-stop reasons why the world will end if he doesn’t act now?

    Grayson said that chemical weapon residue is abundant once it’s been used and they aren’t seeing that…

    They might trot out Walrus Man if the UN finds nothing.

  21. Bill Bush  •  Aug 30, 2013 @9:59 am

    This one is getting some of the investigation and debate that should have happened before Iraq, at least on the lefty sites I read. I have not watched much “news” on this, so don’t know whether the MSM is asking questions or cheerleading. I’d rather see nothing happen than just impreiously dropping bombs and walking off. It is sorta like the military version of “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” We can all predict the results of a “targeted strike” can’t we?

  22. uncledad  •  Aug 30, 2013 @10:09 am

    Interestingly, white phosphorus is okay, but not gas.

    It depends in what context it is used. We use to train with WP shells when I was in the Army, it is used primarily as a smoke screen, though it is a toxic chemical and if directed at humans can be quite unpleasant. Israel used it in Gaza, but hey those are just Palestinians!

  23. paradoctor  •  Aug 30, 2013 @10:20 am

    For me, the optimal outcome is if Obama puts the question up to Congress, and they say no. This would keep us out of the hornet’s nest, release Obama from his rookie red-line quote, and re-establish Congressional war powers. Pity about the Syrians, but our drones would do them no good.

  24. uncledad  •  Aug 30, 2013 @10:26 am

    I’m with the Peanut Farmer:

    A punitive military response without a U.N. Security Council mandate or broad support from NATO and the Arab League would be illegal under international law and unlikely to alter the course of the war.

    It will only harden existing positions and postpone a sorely needed political process to put an end to the catastrophic violence. Instead, all should seek to leverage the consensus among the entire international community, including Russia and Iran, condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and bringing under U.N. oversight the country’s stockpile of such weapons.

    “It is imperative to determine the facts of the attack and present them to the public. Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must bear personal responsibility,” said President Carter. “The chemical attack should be a catalyst for redoubling efforts to convene a peace conference, to end hostilities, and urgently to find a political solution.”

    The Carter Center

  25. joanr16  •  Aug 30, 2013 @10:43 am

    the optimal outcome is if Obama puts the question up to Congress, and they say no. This would keep us out of the hornet’s nest, release Obama from his rookie red-line quote, and re-establish Congressional war powers.

    Hey, it worked in the U.K. Cameron didn’t even whine about it, which surprised me.

    Are there any still-untried ways to isolate Assad’s regime? Trade sanctions, aid sanctions, (very carefully targeted) aid to the opposition, international criminal charges? Surely the civilized world hasn’t exhausted all options already?

  26. paradoctor  •  Aug 30, 2013 @5:11 pm

    joanr16: Trade sanctions would hurt the Syrian people but not Assad; note the case of Hussein and Iraq. Targeted aid? To which of the quarreling factions? International criminal charges? Arrest Cheney, then we’ll talk. It’s a civil war, not much can be done internationally, that’s how the nation-state system works.

    I dream of a ‘no’ from Congress, but don’t expect it. I expect a splendid little drone-storm; and even that’s optimism.

    What we’re witnessing isn’t policy, or even politics; it’s more like ritual human sacrifice. Operation Restore Credibility. And need I point out that ‘credibility’ is self-discrediting?

  27. Bill Bush  •  Aug 30, 2013 @5:18 pm

    An observation: remember the tearful young lady who had news of Kuwaiti babies thrown out of incubators in hospitals by Iraqui looters? And today, Kerry is bemoaning the gassed dead children in Syria. The more things change, the more they stay the same. And today we are getting very definite information about the gassing preparations by Assad’s people. The drumbeat is loud and clear.

    I really do not see what we would accomplish with any action in Syria. And I mean any in the sense of “whatever is done will be criticized at home and abroad, and will be too limited for the kind of absolute solution that would settle things, which would still be the object of scorn both at home and abroad.

    Why is gassing some people so unacceptable, when we allow the daily poisoning of third world people by industries like petroleum? This “punitive shot” as NPR just now called it will not punish the right people, you can bet. If things are so bad, let their neighbors solve it for them. The squabbling afterward will be their business. Our intervention not an ultimate answer. And yes, I am looking at recent examples, because they are consistently showing that top-down change is ineffective.

    The defense industry is a defense industry only at home. Everywhere else it is a war industry, in recent decades. Our dependency on oil drags us inexorably into a region of conflicts that have no solutions. Who makes it inexorable? Let’s all look in our garages and driveways.

  28. justme277  •  Aug 30, 2013 @6:34 pm

    Just a question to ponder: If this happened in America would we need someone from outside our country to rise up for us and say it’s not ok to use chemical weapons? Can you even imagine a situation where we would sit by and say nothing, let alone need outside help ? Why do some people assume all these people are helpless? What, because they don’t speak English they are helpless and not bright enough to handle their own affairs?

    Governments do things to people every day that I don’t approve of, but I don’t think we should invade texas because they have crappy regulations that endanger the lives and causes death of it’s citizens. We don’t even mind our own damn business so I don’t see where we would find a need(or a right) to keep sticking our noses into others.

    I am really sorry for the lives that have been and will be lost, but getting involved is just a bad plan for too many reasons.

  29. Swami  •  Aug 30, 2013 @7:20 pm

    An Iraqi Shiite militia group has vowed to attack American interests in the Middle East should the US launch a military strike in neighboring Syria.

    Ah, the plot thickens!

  30. erinyes  •  Aug 30, 2013 @7:48 pm

    Eric Margolis has a great commentary on Syria.I’m using this mini tablet due to my lap top crash, don’t know how to link with it. My spelling may be worse than usual for awhile due to this tiny keyboard. I have a computer virus and a stink in head cold !

  31. Swami  •  Aug 30, 2013 @8:29 pm

    erinyes… Is this the link? http://ericmargolis.com/2012/06/dangerous-games-in-syria/

    It’s a great commentary, but it adds more confusion to the situation.

  32. Bill Bush  •  Aug 30, 2013 @11:09 pm

    Margolis’ analysis of the entire area’s interactions adds to my thinking we have no need to bomb anything. The notion that we would hit anyone specifically responsible is silly, and the bombing of the military is probably satifsying to some of the war proponents, but what will it all ultimately accomplish? Their neighbors won’t do anything for fear of regional war. We are conveniently far from the neighborhood, but we don’t need to bomb just because we can. And that is ultimately the reason we’d be doing it, I think.

  33. erinyes  •  Aug 31, 2013 @5:27 am

    Swami, the one I wrote about I “the dangerous mess in Syria grows murkier”.

  34. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 31, 2013 @7:28 am

    ” Can you even imagine a situation where we would sit by and say nothing, let alone need outside help?”

    justme,
    Yeah – if the final of “American Idol” is on.

    Or, the Super Bowl.
    If I was going to attack America, it would be on Super Bowl Sunday. If people aren’t hopelessly drunk, then they’re full of rich, fatty foods and sugary soda’s

    And Swami,
    I believe you meant, ‘And the plot SICKens!’

  35. c u n d gulag  •  Aug 31, 2013 @10:14 am

    WAAAAAAAY OT – but uplifting!
    The creator of “Calvin and Hobbes” has cartoon advice for college grads:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/29/bill-watterson-advice-to-college-grads-illustrated-like-calvin-and-hobbes_n_3837271.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

  36. moonbat  •  Aug 31, 2013 @11:38 am
  37. Swami  •  Aug 31, 2013 @1:05 pm

    OT also… But an enjoyable trip down memory lane. Those were the days when men were men and weren’t afraid to mix it up. If Obama really wants to secure a page in history he need to take a lesson from Tricky Dicky with his Christmas bombing, or from the illustrious W with his totally awesome shock and awe®.
    I know it might seem senseless in some respects, but when you’re brokering in power you need to show your cards.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20719382

  38. LongHairedWeirdo  •  Aug 31, 2013 @7:31 pm

    Uncledad:

    It depends in what context it is used. We use to train with WP shells when I was in the Army, it is used primarily as a smoke screen, though it is a toxic chemical and if directed at humans can be quite unpleasant. Israel used it in Gaza, but hey those are just Palestinians!

    It was used in Fallujah, and the artillery teams referred to it as “shake and bake” missions. I assume it was used as an incendiary, though it’s possible (especially with the Bush administration) there was some kind of loincloth cover to make it seem as if it could be innocent under the right circumstances.

    It’s true: we did not ever state that we would not use it in any treaty, and it is *mildly* different from chemical weapons in one way: hard cover (with sufficient heat resistance) will protect you; you don’t need airtight protection. But if there was any intent to burn any human being with it, I feel we’ve lost the moral authority to condemn other nasty ways of killing people.

    And, as I mentioned, I do find it interesting that one can view the horror of chemical weapons as being something that a relatively *poor* nation could use, and it, well, “works” – that really could be the problem people end up having with it. No one will admit that’s the real horror, but it’s okay to fire a cruise missile from a hundred miles away – shit, just Wikipediaed, the Tomahawk has a 2500 km range! – at a shack, and horrible, horrible, horrible to use nerve gas.

    Nerve gas is shitty, make no mistake, but dead *is* dead.

    Which is not to say that I wouldn’t be okay with every person who was involved in the use of chemical weapons facing war crimes trials, let’s be clear on that. But the big moralistic horror that a few hundred people were killed should have kicked in some time before 100,000 people were killed via conventional means.

  39. j_777  •  Sep 2, 2013 @2:02 am

    The Syrians may be right when they speak of the U.S. in “historic retreat.” Bombing Syria is a very bad idea and will trigger unforeseen consequences. Just 9% of Americans support intervention according to a recent Reuters poll – Obama should listen to the people.

  40. maha  •  Sep 2, 2013 @8:14 am

    The Syrians may be right when they speak of the U.S. in “historic retreat.”

    Syrians should shut up. Talk like that might change peoples’ minds about not intervening.

  41. Swami  •  Sep 2, 2013 @11:03 am

    Bring back George Bush.. We need somebody who is experienced in handling evildoers.

  42. Thank You!  •  Sep 5, 2013 @9:19 am

    Oh well, late to the party again.. Regrettably, the President got baited by the GOP noise machine into some immature bravado, and now we are reaping the consequences.

    While I am relieved that some things have slowed down for a day or two, the White House still appears ill informed and is engaging in a massive fraud regarding illegal weapons precursors. So far those dangerous chemicals named by the Administration as proof (through foreign press outlets) are potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride, likely smuggled in tooth paste tubes and insecticides. Hey! – our government is giving us chemical weapons precursors in many municipal water systems. Arm the troops and bomb the citizens!

    The Administration’s analysis – http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/government-assessment-syrian-government-s-use-chemical-weapons-august-21 – promulgated to convince one and all of the need for air strikes on Syria is full of logical holes and speculative conclusions, reminding me of the tripe both Bush administrations and their public relations allies served up, warmed over.

    This Administration’s argument that the civilians’ deaths were inconsistent with small arms or blistering agent wounds leaves a plethora of possible causes of death. Massive artillery and rocket barrages also are inconsistent with chemical weapons usage, and should have no bearing on the analysis. Unfortunately the President decided to go it alone, and now Russia is calling BS on the US’s offers of proof, preventing UN Security Council operations, any of which would be far preferable to our current ‘plan’.

    Hope some Democrats are honest and brave enough to stick their necks out in the path of this machine. There are many viable options available, many of which would raise the status of our nation in the Middle East and around the world.

  43. maha  •  Sep 5, 2013 @9:59 am

    the White House still appears ill informed and is engaging in a massive fraud regarding illegal weapons precursors.

    Read the title of the post again. Thanks much.

  44. uncledad  •  Sep 5, 2013 @10:36 am

    “There are many viable options available, many of which would raise the status of our nation in the Middle East and around the world”

    The majority of your post is classic Glenn BecKKK teabagger FEMA camp stuff, your last sentance however is right on the money! What do they say about a broken clock?

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