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Question For Obama In Congress: Can He Get The Vote On Syria?


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: obama, Syria vote, congress, usa, warnews )

Cal
- 334 days ago - npr.org
Now that President Obama has turned to Congress for authorization to launch punitive military strikes against the Syrian government for using chemical weapons, can he get it?



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Comments

Gene Jacobson (247)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 9:19 am
"For those lawmakers with their doubts about Obama, the policy, or both, Obama tried to frame his case for military action as an urgent matter of national security and U.S. credibility."

Well as much as I like the idea of watching all those chicken hawks twist slowly in the wind, there is NO case for military action at this juncture. We are not in danger and our credibility is non existent. If we want credibility AND to punish those responsible, turn that magnificent intelligence apparatus loose and let them find the makers and suppliers of those chemical weapons and then we'll punish THEM. Oops. That would likely be more than a few American companies mightn't it? More than a few American allies mightn't it? More than a few donors, more than a few countries we do business with, more than a few evil doers who are not poor people caught in the middle of yet another Sunni Shia surrogate war. There is no moral high ground here, Mr. President, unless it be going after the purveyors and creators of weapons of mass destruction everywhere. Have you the nerve to ask Congress to do that? Or just play God and kill a few more Syrians? Politics and religion mix like oil and water and both stink to high heaven. So do game players for "credibility's" sake. What WE ought do is sit down and shut up. Unless it were to punish those really responsible here, those who profit from making and selling horrific weapons. If we are going to outlaw something, let it be that. We might just have to learn how to solve problems without killing each others children. And I know that is the one thing that scares politicians and religious leaders more than anything. Having to share the sand box and play nicely with others. They are no good at either.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (452)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 10:33 am
What I want is Assad taken out PHYSICALLY if at all possible and be tried for war crimes. When is it when a country has has had enough?
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 2:49 pm
Noted. Thanks, Cal.
I completely agree with Gene's brilliant assessment. Countries doing finger-pointing would do well to look in a mirror. The most powerful treat the world as a game of Risk, with no consideration for the innocents killed. Those who wish to "help the innocent" by use of more force and bigger weapons just end up killing even more innocents, while the winners are always and only the military-industrial-corporate-financial complex.
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 3:44 pm
Well put Gene.
 

Billie C. (2)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 4:55 pm
we need to stay out of it. it's not our war it's a civil war and they need to handle it. if any outsiders get involved it should be the arab league. the brits finally got smart and stepped back it's time for us to do the same thing. both sides in syria are evil.
 

Phillip Ferrell (14)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 5:16 pm
Gene J. why is it so hard to imagine Assad got his weapons from Saddam? I mean Saddam did something with his because they weren't found, and they're the same regime, same party, same bunch a hoodlums.
 

Jason R. (57)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 7:18 pm
"military action as an urgent matter of national security"

Well now, who do you think drilled that into him? The MIC intel division. The biggest load of crap since bush.

Saudi's giving the rebels wmds is far more plausible than Assad targeting women and children, rather than rebels. If the rebels wanted to create a false flag, they wouldn't target the Assad army, would they?

There is nothing the main stream, corporate media can say that is believable.
 

Kathy Chadwell (371)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 9:21 pm
Jason you are close,, you might be right but they claim it was an accident. Love how this is on the BBC and all other media but not our major media. They must support war.
http://www.examiner.com/article/breaking-news-rebels-admit-gas-attack-result-of-mishandling-chemical-weapons

Breaking news: Rebels admit gas attack result of mishandling chemical weapons


Several bodies being buried in Damascus due to the last week’s chemical attack-AP Photo/Shaam News Network-Image used in accordance with fair use copyright laws for news reporting
Joseph ParkerDothan Christianity Examiner

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August 30, 2013

In a report that is sure to be considered blockbuster news, the rebels told Dale Gavlak, a reporter who has written for the Associated Press, NPR and BBC, they are responsible for the chemical attack last week.

Gavlak is a Middle Eastern journalist who filed the report about the rebels claiming responsibility on the Mint Press News website, which is affiliated with AP.

In that report rebels allegedly told her the chemical attack was a result of mishandling chemical weapons.

This news should deflate the accusations, against the Assad regime, coming from the U.S., Britain, France and the Arab League.

Since the chemical attacks last week, the Assad government was immediately blamed. On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said: That Assad’s guilt was “a judgment already clear to the world," according to theguardian.com.

As a result of Assad's government being blamed for the chemical attacks, five U.S. warships are now stationed off Syria's coast. These destroyers are poised to deliver cruise missiles in a strike that is due to begin any time now. According to the report on Mint Press there have been several interviews conducted with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital.

The interviews conducted of residents, rebels and their families in Damascus and Ghouta are putting together a different picture of what happened. Many believe that rebels received chemical weapons provided through the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. It's being reported that these weapons are responsible for last week's gas attack.

The father of a rebel who was killed in what's now being called an accident by many in Ghouta and Damascus said: "My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim. The father said at least 12 rebels including his son were killed by the chemical weapons.

Allegedly they were killed in the tunnel that was used to store the chemicals. These were provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha. He is said to be leading a fighting battalion in the effort to unseat Assad. The weapon was described as a "tube-like structure" by Abdel-Moneim.

Gavlak reports she was told by rebels that the gas "attack" was the result of rebels mishandling the chemical weapons they acquired from the Saudis. She says in the Mint Press report the following:

"They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution."

Gavlak continues in her report: "A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material.

We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions, ‘J’ said."

The humanitarian agency, Doctors Without Borders, reported that around 355 people had died from what was believed to be a neurotoxic agent. They reportedly treated 3,600 people with symptoms of, frothing at the mouth, respiratory distress, convulsions and blurry vision.

According to the report dozens of rebels said they were receiving salaries from the Saudis.

It's said that Bandar was educated in the U.S. both military and collegiate. He is also said to have "served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves this guy."

Prince Bandar's intelligence agency is said to have been the first to bring allegations that Assad's regime used Sarin gas in Feb.

DCE commentary

What kind of person gives someone chemical weapons and doesn't tell them? As a result of the Saudis allegedly giving the rebels chemical weapons hundreds of innocent people died. Not to mention the fact that evil men here in the U.S. and elsewhere are trying to draw us into a war we have no business being involved in.

Isn't there enough heartache, strife, sickness, poverty, injustice and a host of other ills in this world? These evil men just added more heartache into the world by giving the rebels these chemical weapons. The hearts of the men responsible for this are black and they only care about one thing, destroying nations.

This kind of evil happens because of sin and mankind's rebellion to God's word. Little do these men realize is, that nothing in all of creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account, Hebrews 4:13.

Rest assured that God has seen this vile act, and every person involved will have to answer for their crimes against humanity on judgment day. Hopefully, this breaking news will be enough to keep the United States from going to war. The result of bombing Syria will be a match that will light the fuse to an all-out war in the Middle East.



 

Kathy Chadwell (371)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 9:22 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9RC1Mepk_Sw
Uploaded on Sep 11, 2011

General Wesley Clark:
Because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you've got to come in and talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you're too busy." He said, "No, no." He says, "We've made the decision we're going to war with Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, "We're going to war with Iraq? Why?" He said, "I don't know." He said, "I guess they don't know what else to do." So I said, "Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?" He said, "No, no." He says, "There's nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq." He said, "I guess it's like we don't know what to do about terrorists, but we've got a good military and we can take down governments." And he said, "I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail."

So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with Iraq?" And he said, "Oh, it's worse than that." He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, "I just got this down from upstairs" -- meaning the Secretary of Defense's office -- "today." And he said, "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don't show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!"
 

Jason R. (57)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 9:46 pm
Iraq was all mabus, then. They still need to stay in business.
 

Marianne B. (113)
Sunday September 1, 2013, 10:39 pm
eye opening comments..we'll find out 9/9
 

Alfred Donovan (44)
Monday September 2, 2013, 1:44 am
I sincerely hope that Congress vote's down the proposal for the US to go to war with Syria on unsubstantiated evidence is defeated. The UN inspectors have not even made their finding known yet. I also find it very suspicious that the French who were so outspoken in their support for action have now become very quiet since severe doubts have been expressed and the claims by the Syrian rebels that they themselves may have been responsible for the deaths If true this means that the rebels are already in possession of Mass Destruction.Does this not mean that we will not only bomb the Syrian regime but also the rebels ?This needs more careful thought before any irrevocable act committed.
 

John S. (297)
Monday September 2, 2013, 3:41 am
This isn’t a red line, it is a grey line with a lot of Hypocrisy and double standards, on the other hand, maybe it's a chance to see why Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.
 

Daniel Partlow (189)
Monday September 2, 2013, 7:22 am
Why must there be war, hate, and evil in this world? I'm sick to death of it. Make love instead!
 

Jonathan Smithsonian (4)
Monday September 2, 2013, 7:24 am
noted
 

Arielle S. (316)
Monday September 2, 2013, 8:08 am
Once again, we agree, Gene - I do think it was brilliant of Obama to throw this to Congress - if he'd done anything on his own - be it peaceful or not - they would have been ready to crucify him. This way, it's all on them....
 

Past Member (0)
Monday September 2, 2013, 4:06 pm
I HOPE NOT!
 

Past Member (0)
Monday September 2, 2013, 4:13 pm
NO MORE WARS!
 

Joanne Dixon (37)
Monday September 2, 2013, 8:25 pm
OK, here are more reasons why I love Alan Grayson (from an email):

As the debate regarding a U.S. military attack on Syria shifts to Congress, Congressman Alan Grayson was back on national TV on Sunday, forcefully arguing against war:

Fredricka Whitfield: Joining me from Orlando, [Florida Congressman Alan Grayson] opposes any intervention [in Syria] at all. So, after hearing the President yesterday, Mr. Congressman, did the President say anything to change your mind?

Congressman Alan Grayson: No. It's not our responsibility. It's not going to do any good. It's dangerous. And it's expensive.

Fredricka: And what do you mean by that, when you say it won't do any good, when you hear Secretary Kerry spell out that letting a dictator like Assad go with impunity means that it sends a message to other dictators who might have chemical weapons that they could harm their people as well?

Alan: Well, actually, there are only four countries in the world that have chemical weapons, and the largest is the United States. So are we trying to "send a message" to ourselves? That's not logical. I've heard that theory before, that somehow one country's actions will affect another country, and another country, and another country. It's just the "domino argument" [from the Vietnam War] again. We'll call it the "bomb-ino argument" here. It's just not logical. It doesn't make any sense.

Fredricka: So when the President and Secretary of State say that Syria threatens national security and that it behooves the United States to do something, you [still] say that this is not a national security issue?

Alan: Absolutely not. And there are a huge number of Americans who agree with me. We set up a website called "DontAttackSyria.com," and got over 10,000 signatures in less than 24-hours. The polls show that people understand that this literally has nothing to do with us. We are not the world's policeman. We can't afford this anymore, these military adventures that lead us into more than a decade of war. It's wrong. We need to cut it off, before it even happens.

Fredricka: Is it at least comforting then to you, that the President, though he said he thinks justifiably that the U.S. should strike, still wants to hear Congressional approval? Is that any comfort to you, that he wants Congress to be thoughtful about this, and to give the green light or not?

Alan: Yes. In fact, the British went through the same process a few days ago and they came to the right conclusion. We're not the world's policeman. We're not the world's judge, jury, and executioner. No one else in the world does things like this, and there's no reason why we should. We've got 20 million people in this country who are looking for full-time work. Let's tend our own garden, for a change.

Fredricka: Now, you mention your [website] DontAttackSyria.com and that there are a number of signatures, a number of people on board with your point of view, but what about fellow Members of Congress? Where do you believe their allegiance will fall?

Alan: Their allegiance will fall with what makes sense for them in representing their districts. In my district, if you ask people, "Where does Syria fall in your list of concerns?" it wouldn't even be in the top 100. We would have to spend the billion dollars that this attack will cost, according to British authorities. The billion dollars that this attack will cost, that money is better spent on our schools, our roads, our bridges, our health care, and so on and so forth.

Fredricka: So if you had the opportunity to make your case to the President, what would it be? We understand that Senator McCain will be spending some one-on-one time with the President tomorrow. Senator McCain has been saying for a very long time that the U.S. needs to act. If you had that kind of face-to-face time with the President, what would you say to him as to why the U.S. should not go [through with] this - whether it has allies or whether it means going in alone?

Alan: Well, in fact, all the indications are that we will be going in alone. Even French public opinion is overwhelmingly against this, and the French were the only ones entertaining this possibility. It should tell the President something that when he is trying to vindicate so-called "international norms," that there are 196 countries in the world and no one else, NO ONE, wants to do anything like this. But what I would tell the President is, first, that no Americans have been attacked. None of our allies have been attacked. It's an unfortunate circumstance, but there are lots of unfortunate circumstances in the world. In Burma, for example, [there is now] a civil war that started 10 years before I was born, and twelve Presidents have resisted the impulse to interfere in the Burmese Civil War, even though far more people have died in the Burmese Civil War than in the Syrian Civil War. And I could give you countless other examples. Sometimes the highest international norm, the one to respect the most, is to mind your own business. And in this case, [military intervention] simply won't do any good. No one thinks that we're going to determine the outcome of the Syrian Civil War by lobbing a few missiles into Damascus. No one thinks that we will degrade or even eliminate the possibility of future chemical attacks by doing so. And in doing so, we'll be wasting a lot of money, and we'll be opening ourselves up to a counterattack. People forget this, but the U.S. Embassy in Beirut is 15 miles away from the Syrian border, and just down the block from Hezbollah. So if we attack them, and then they attack us, I think people can see where this is headed.

Fredricka: Congressman Alan Grayson, thanks so much, from Orlando today. We appreciate it.

Alan: Thank you.
 

Kathy Chadwell (371)
Monday September 2, 2013, 10:24 pm
http://action.votevets.org/page/s/syria-intervention?source=em130901a

Share your thoughts on Syria
Several months ago, over 32,000 veterans, military family members, and VoteVets supporters signed a petition opposing a plan to send arms to the Syrian rebels.

Since then, the American intelligence community has determined with "high confidence" that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people in an attack on August 21st.

With this new information, we want to know if your opinion has changed at all. Should we send cruise missiles into Syria? Would it accomplish anything if we did? Should we send arms to the rebels fighting President Assad, or should we do even more?

Fill out the form and share your thoughts about Syrian intervention on this page
 

Jason R. (57)
Tuesday September 3, 2013, 9:59 am
Dear Jason:

As the debate regarding a U.S. military attack on Syria shifts to Congress, Congressman Alan Grayson was back on national TV on Sunday, forcefully arguing against war:

Fredricka Whitfield: Joining me from Orlando, [Florida Congressman Alan Grayson] opposes any intervention [in Syria] at all. So, after hearing the President yesterday, Mr. Congressman, did the President say anything to change your mind?

Congressman Alan Grayson: No. It's not our responsibility. It's not going to do any good. It's dangerous. And it's expensive.

Fredricka: And what do you mean by that, when you say it won't do any good, when you hear Secretary Kerry spell out that letting a dictator like Assad go with impunity means that it sends a message to other dictators who might have chemical weapons that they could harm their people as well?

Alan: Well, actually, there are only four countries in the world that have chemical weapons, and the largest is the United States. So are we trying to "send a message" to ourselves? That's not logical. I've heard that theory before, that somehow one country's actions will affect another country, and another country, and another country. It's just the "domino argument" [from the Vietnam War] again. We'll call it the "bomb-ino argument" here. It's just not logical. It doesn't make any sense.

Fredricka: So when the President and Secretary of State say that Syria threatens national security and that it behooves the United States to do something, you [still] say that this is not a national security issue?

Alan: Absolutely not. And there are a huge number of Americans who agree with me. We set up a website called "DontAttackSyria.com," and got over 10,000 signatures in less than 24-hours. The polls show that people understand that this literally has nothing to do with us. We are not the world's policeman. We can't afford this anymore, these military adventures that lead us into more than a decade of war. It's wrong. We need to cut it off, before it even happens.

Fredricka: Is it at least comforting then to you, that the President, though he said he thinks justifiably that the U.S. should strike, still wants to hear Congressional approval? Is that any comfort to you, that he wants Congress to be thoughtful about this, and to give the green light or not?

Alan: Yes. In fact, the British went through the same process a few days ago and they came to the right conclusion. We're not the world's policeman. We're not the world's judge, jury, and executioner. No one else in the world does things like this, and there's no reason why we should. We've got 20 million people in this country who are looking for full-time work. Let's tend our own garden, for a change.

Fredricka: Now, you mention your [website] DontAttackSyria.com and that there are a number of signatures, a number of people on board with your point of view, but what about fellow Members of Congress? Where do you believe their allegiance will fall?

Alan: Their allegiance will fall with what makes sense for them in representing their districts. In my district, if you ask people, "Where does Syria fall in your list of concerns?" it wouldn't even be in the top 100. We would have to spend the billion dollars that this attack will cost, according to British authorities. The billion dollars that this attack will cost, that money is better spent on our schools, our roads, our bridges, our health care, and so on and so forth.

Fredricka: So if you had the opportunity to make your case to the President, what would it be? We understand that Senator McCain will be spending some one-on-one time with the President tomorrow. Senator McCain has been saying for a very long time that the U.S. needs to act. If you had that kind of face-to-face time with the President, what would you say to him as to why the U.S. should not go [through with] this - whether it has allies or whether it means going in alone?

Alan: Well, in fact, all the indications are that we will be going in alone. Even French public opinion is overwhelmingly against this, and the French were the only ones entertaining this possibility. It should tell the President something that when he is trying to vindicate so-called "international norms," that there are 196 countries in the world and no one else, NO ONE, wants to do anything like this. But what I would tell the President is, first, that no Americans have been attacked. None of our allies have been attacked. It's an unfortunate circumstance, but there are lots of unfortunate circumstances in the world. In Burma, for example, [there is now] a civil war that started 10 years before I was born, and twelve Presidents have resisted the impulse to interfere in the Burmese Civil War, even though far more people have died in the Burmese Civil War than in the Syrian Civil War. And I could give you countless other examples. Sometimes the highest international norm, the one to respect the most, is to mind your own business. And in this case, [military intervention] simply won't do any good. No one thinks that we're going to determine the outcome of the Syrian Civil War by lobbing a few missiles into Damascus. No one thinks that we will degrade or even eliminate the possibility of future chemical attacks by doing so. And in doing so, we'll be wasting a lot of money, and we'll be opening ourselves up to a counterattack. People forget this, but the U.S. Embassy in Beirut is 15 miles away from the Syrian border, and just down the block from Hezbollah. So if we attack them, and then they attack us, I think people can see where this is headed.

Fredricka: Congressman Alan Grayson, thanks so much, from Orlando today. We appreciate it.

Alan: Thank you.

Congressman Alan Grayson - you know where he stands.
 

Deborah W. (6)
Wednesday September 4, 2013, 10:24 am
Big mouth, small brain ... caught in his own arrogance (doesn't need, already has, authority to go forward).

Unpopular at home among his own people, I personally hope we never back Obama's rant ... he said it, he owns it, let him go it ALONE and unprotected by Congress, his last resort for "saving face".

As his past years have showcased, give him a green light, he'll take it, twist it for all it's worth ... favors given and obtained ... screw the original intent.

Guess you know I'm not a fan....
 
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