September 10, 2013

"The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Syria at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday...."

Fast moving events in the Syrian crisis. Fast moving advancement of... delay?

Is Obama allowing Putin to feel a sense of control over this? Are we observing "leading from behind"?

72 comments:

Mark O said...

We are observing what happens when someone calls Obama's bluff.

Scott M said...

"Leading from behind?"

Maybe. Or, just as plausibly, you're looking at a president that changed all his daughters' diapers, fed them every meal, and gave them every bath.

Beorn said...

This is more like walking backward while grabbing your ankles with your pants are pulled down.

Birkel said...

The irony meter is broken on this blog.

Original Mike said...

"Fast moving advancement of... delay?"

They'll be falling all over themselves to delay. The smaller countries are at risk of being trampled.

n.n said...

Obama is following because a preponderance of lies have diminished his credibility. Americans know this firsthand in domestic and foreign affairs. Russians, Chinese, and others are all too familiar with Obama's character.

Cedarford said...

According to two polls reported this weekend by the Jerusalem Post, Israelis by 7-1 do not want Israel to go to war with Syria. But two-thirds of Israelis favor the United States going to war with Syria.

So instructions went from Israel to AIPAC to go to Congress and push hard for a war....with the usual "Munich!" etc. talking points..

Early last week there was a controversy about the NYTimes reporting AIPAC was arm-twisting hesitant Senators and Representatives hard to back Obama And The Future Of Humanity Itself! for war.
Then the Times deleted all paragraphs about "AIPAC as the 800-lb gorilla in the room" screamig for war...then spent the rest of the week explaining the deletion. "It was just normal editing process as the original piece was republished and revised with new information." The Times was asked if it stood by or rejected its AIPAC reporting...

Silence..

Carol said...

It's really kind of funny, no matter how hysterical the pols and talking heads are about Syria, nobody, I mean nobody seems to support intervention.

I guess the war party is not good enough at ginning up crises. JFK - now he had a crisis brewing every month, seemed like.

james conrad said...

We are observing a man that is totally clueless

Strelnikov said...

Obama is not a position to "allow" anyone anything on this issue. This has been a clown show all the way down.

PH said...

My theory: Obama realizes that a military strike in Syria, especially if Congress disapproves, does not bode well politically. Therefore, he lets Putin take control and takes the easy out that comes with international supervision. Obama then gets some credit for doing everything within his means to avoid war and thus finally living up to the potential of that Nobel Peace Prize.

Drago said...

AA: "Is Obama allowing Putin to feel a sense of control over this? Are we observing "leading from behind"."

Seriously?

I mean, seriously?

Yes Ann, of course. The master tactician Obama has cleverly maneuvered all the key players into their current policy configuration without those players even realizing it!!

He's a like a diplomatic MAGICIAN!11eleventy!

Reality: The Russian/Syrian ploy has already taken US airstrikes off the table, completely.

Obama's efforts to gin up support even amongst his own party failed miserably...even after it was argued that not to vote for obama's initiative could effectively "end obama's Presidency".

Further, the Russians are already hemming and hawing about not really wanting to take the lead (on behalf of the UN) to secure the chemical weapons that Syria possesses.

And, oh yeah, the Syrian government, just today, has resumed it's air campaign against rebel enclaves.

But hey, "Obama is super smart"tm for "allowing" the Russians to outmaneuver him and make his administration look so hapless.

Everyone in the world see's this.

It's patently obvious.

But for obama's dead-enders, hope springs eternal.

Seeing Red said...

Commenter from The Belmont Club:

Wretchard, You see the matryoshka doll within the matryoshka doll within the matryoshka doll ... And of course you are right. Obama has cut a deal with Vladimir. We have been sold down the river.....

Wally Ballou said...

"leading from behind" - no, it's too easy, I won't say it.

Except to suggest the word "Pygocracy".

John Lynch said...

Maybe this was all planned. Maybe the threat of force was a ploy to get the Syrians to agree to give up the gas all along. Maybe the Kerry "gaffe" was a plant.

If that's the case, this is all brilliant diplomacy. I've never seen any evidence that the President could do this before.

Matthew Sablan said...

Geesh. They may not get done in time to hear the speech about why we're doing all of this from the president!

Christy said...

Oops! UN Security Council meeting canceled. Putin seriously played Obama.

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty:

Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday.



Ads by Solid Savings

“As I understood, the Russians at this stage were not necessarily enthusiastic, and I’m using euphemism, to put all that into the framework of a U.N. binding resolution,” Laurent Fabius told French lawmakers after a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.



I'm bored with this, what's Miley done today?

Marshal said...

Syria turning over their chemical weapons to avoid an attack is the best possible outcome for those who prefer not to go to war.

It gives us an accomplishment we can use to claim success. No matter how big or little you deem that accomplishment it's better than nothing, which is what we'll have if we simply walk away after all that bluster.

elkh1 said...

Funny the Impotent One allows the Evil One to checkmate him.

jr565 said...

So if the UN plan is off the table does that mean that the strikes are back on the table?

jr565 said...

Marshal wrote:
Syria turning over their chemical weapons to avoid an attack is the best possible outcome for those who prefer not to go to war.

But it's not really a very good solution at all since it plays right into Russia's (and Syria and Iran's) hands.
Russia doesn't want us to go to war (and not even go to war but strategic bombing strikes) with the regime it has propped up and supplied with chemical weapons all to furhter its influence in the Middle East.
An attack on the regime wouldn't be really convenient for that. It also wants to have the ability to check the US's actions with a veto anytime it tries to hold Syria (or Iran) to account.
So again, it's not convenient for Russia for us to strike Syria and Russia's whole play is to weaken us and strengthen them (and their proxies). If that means the US and the international community let Syria get away with chemical weapons usage, so be it.

It's also why the Russian plan to give the UN access to Syria's chemical weapons is such bullshit and why it will go nowhere. It is not a serious effort to actually hold Syria to account. It's an effort to give Russia yet more say over the ME.
I don't see why people are having a problem with understanding the implications of this.
It's not Russia being nice and giving Obama an out. It's giving Putin power, plain and simple.

jr565 said...

elkh1 wrote:
Funny the Impotent One allows the Evil One to checkmate him.

Only if he doesn't carry out the strike. If he does Putin checkmates nothing.

jr565 said...

Marshal wrote:
It gives us an accomplishment we can use to claim success. No matter how big or little you deem that accomplishment it's better than nothing, which is what we'll have if we simply walk away after all that bluster.
Its deluding yourself into thinking you actually got something while in fact giving away the US's power and influence. You can say it's meaningful all you want, but it's simply not true.

It would be like someone took a shit all over you, and you pretend that it doesn't stink so as to make yourself feel better. No, someone still took a shit on you. And all your friends realize that you are covered in shit.

wdnelson93 said...

That Nobel Peace Prize has got to be feeling like a millstone about now.

jr565 said...

Marshal wrote:
t gives us an accomplishment we can use to claim success. No matter how big or little you deem that accomplishment it's better than nothing, which is what we'll have if we simply walk away after all that bluster.

Is that our only option. To walk away? I can think of another option.

Drago said...

Marshall: "Syria turning over their chemical weapons to avoid an attack is the best possible outcome for those who prefer not to go to war."

LOL

Syria is not going to turn over it's chemical weapons.

They may pretend to for awhile...but they won't actually do it.

Why?

Because the Alawites are in a fight to the death.

To the death.

As Americans or westerners, it's a difficult thing to grasp.

Imagine you are Assad. You know that if you lose you are going to be killed. And so is your family. All of them. And so are all your fellow tribesmen.

There is no way that Assad will actually give up any weapons at his disposal while he faces this existential threat.

What Assad needed was space so the Americans couldn't cramp his style when it comes to taking care of those Al Qaeda dominated rebels that Obama wants to help so much.

And now Assad has that very breathing space he needs.

Game. Set. Match.

But hey, it's a big "victory" for the West or something, right Marshall?

Actually, it's the most not-so-hilarious diplomatic foul up since for-ev-uh.

If you think this is an "accomplishment", then you'll believe just about anything.

Clyde said...

No, we're witnessing Putin, the slouching kid from the back of the class, lighting a paper bag of dog poop on fire on the front porch of the USA, then hiding in the bushes, snickering, as Obama comes out the front door to stamp it out. Putin's playing chess, Obama's playing Twister. Unfortunately, he looks ridiculous in that contorted position.

Hagar said...

No; this one is gone with nothing to show for it, but humiliation.

The best the White House can do now is to "pivot" to Obamacare and the debt limit.

chrisnavin.com said...

He hands it off to Hillary, now back over to the media. Obama's got the ball now, looking Presidential.

He flicks it off to Rice, she hands it back to the media. Back over to Obama, who's looking for congressional support. He shovels it towards Power, Power takes it to the people. No dice.

Now it's over to Kerry, Kerry's got some room. No, it's back to Obama who's settling back, back and he flicks it over to Congress, now back to the media.

Wait a minute, a stunning development folks!

It's now over to the big Russian Bear, a stoked, shirtless Vladimir Putin for the win.

Clusterf**k!

JRoberts said...

Why am I suddenly reminded of the old PeeWee Herman gag where he crashes his bike (or something) and then claims "I meant to do that!"

If this prevents war, let's watch the MSM proclaim PeeWee Obama to be a genius.

Hagar said...

I wonder if they would have had the imagination to put this in a Jack Lemmon movie?

Marshal said...

jr565 said...
Is that our only option. To walk away? I can think of another option.


War? That's why I said it's the best option for those who don't want to go to war.

jr565 said...
It would be like someone took a


It'll be like someone made a threat he couldn't make good on and finding a way to weasel out of it. So what? We're supposed to go to war because he made a threat? When Obama's gone his empty threats go with him. The next President has to make his own reputation regardless.

Drago said...
Syria is not going to turn over it's chemical weapons.

They may pretend to for awhile...but they won't actually do it.


So Syria pretending to turn over their weapons will make us look weaker than Syria outright refusing and we still don't attack?

Michael The Magnificent said...

Is Obama allowing Putin to feel a sense of control over this? Are we observing "leading from behind"?

You're observing an affirmative action hire vs the former head of the FSB (one of the successor agencies to the KGB), with predictable results.

Cedarford said...

At this point, ol' Vlad is actually serving the interests of everybody except Al Qaeda, fellow Islamists, the Saudis, and the Israelis quite well.

Especially America's, with the exception of the Neocons, the Samantha Powers crowd, and of course the reputation of our "he makes our ladyparts throb" AA President.
Vlad is on the side of Syria's DRuze, Alawites, and 2 million Christians. Vlad reasserts the traditional Russian role in protecting Christian minorities from Muslim slaughter and oppression. The Al Qaeda and other extremist groups Obama, John McCain, the Israelis, and the Saudis back seek to "kill more of their Own people" than Assad dreamed of. All Assad does is back brutal army tactics to end an insurrection, much as Lincoln backed the brutality of Grant and Sherman in subduing the South.

The polls in Israel showing strong support for American entanglement in another war while Israel "sits it out" are quite in favor of war..No surprise.
But in America, which would pay the butcher's bill...every demographic group but blacks opposes Congress doing a AUMF. And blacks then turn around, once the black man in charge has the authority he deserves, bein' black and shit....to oppose striking and starting war with Syria by 51%.

mtrobertsattorney said...

chrisnavin miscalled the last play of the game.

Putin intercepted that pass intended for Obama.

Paul said...

Putin is playing Obama like a fiddle.

Just wait, Putin will make a BIGGER laughing stock out of Obama than he is now, that or take him to the cleaners as for political deals. Heavens knows what Putin will ask of Obama.. give him back Alaska?

Eric said...

Wretchard, You see the matryoshka doll within the matryoshka doll within the matryoshka doll ... And of course you are right. Obama has cut a deal with Vladimir. We have been sold down the river.....

We who? The American public is pretty solidly against getting involved in Syria. I'm guessing Obama did cut a deal with Putin, one that allows him to save face without engaging in a politically damaging attack. There's a reason the political people are thrilled and the national security people are aghast.

Matthew Sablan said...

You know what is sad? For all the left's constant concern about Bush wagging the dog and so forth... well, Syria.

CWJ said...

This is perhaps not the perfect place to post this, but I assume this is where the action is.

I get the sense that people assume that Obama is a coalition of one because of some personal failing. The truth maybe something different.

Keep in mind that the Assad's and Syria are Russia's last allies in the ME.

Libya, no problem. Iraq Afghanistan, no problem. Egypt no problem. None of them are card carrying allies of Russia.

But this crew is so geopolitically clueless that they think Syria is no different than the others.

So Bambi goes to the international community and says help me stick my thumb in Assad's eye. And they say no I don't think so thank you for asking.

Bambi says, but we're America why not, and they say because do we REALLY need to lay it out for you?

We have no desire to stick our thumb in the Bear's eye, don't you get it you American dolt.

So voila, no coalition.

Classic American, arrogance. Our moral outrage should be followed by obedience by our allies, combined with a belief that we are the only actors on the stage.

We as a country geopolitically are the global village idiots. It is not necessarily Obama's fault personally so much as everyone else can see clearly why we as Americans are geopolitically blind.

GrandpaMark said...

With all the polls showing minimal support for action, I would like to see some polls asking if Americans support Assad maintaining control of his country.

The chaos in Egypt and Libya is not going unnoticed by many typical citizens.

jr565 said...

Marshal wrote:
It'll be like someone made a threat he couldn't make good on and finding a way to weasel out of it. So what? We're supposed to go to war because he made a threat? When Obama's gone his empty threats go with him. The next President has to make his own reputation regardless.

I don't know what the consequences have to be, they don't have to necessarily be war. But if you set the red line and the line is crossed then you have to live up to your obligations or your enemy knows that you will not do so. And so your enemy will get away with what you don't want him to get away with.

Take us having Iran before the UN and the UN saying if you don't do x,y,z there will be consequences. If they know that there will be no consequences then they will do x,y and z and further that they can probably get away with a,b and c too since you didn't do anything when they did x,y and z. In this case the x,y,z is warfare that every civilized country has signed a treaty to not do. And a president, after putting down his marker, as commander in chief, and putting American prestige on the line is saying that America can't and wont do what it says when it comes to critical matters of national security, how can that country be trusted by other countries?
And you are certainly believing that Syria will honor IT'S red line. IF we attack Syria they will attack Israel. So we can't do that because THEY'RE SERIOUS!
But if we're not serious, what's the big deal?
So only the regimes that would use chemical weapons on their populations are to mean what they say? And the Superpowers are powerless before them? What kind of world are you suggesting that we should be living in?

jr565 said...

Marshal, how do you think JFK should have handled the Cuban Missile Crisis? Should he have capitulated on the Russians having missiles in Cuba so as to stop a war? Or did he at least need to at least have a credible use of force on the table and not back down from his red line and not allow them to call his bluff?
Even though Kennedy threatened force he never actually used force. But it required that he didn't let them call his bluff.

ANd what you're arguing is "What does it matter if we let them call our bluff". Well that would have meant that we had Russian missiles in Cuba pointed at us. Why should Kennnedy have acquiesced on that?

Marshal said...

jr565 said...
But if you set the red line and the line is crossed then you have to live up to your obligations or your enemy knows that you will not do so


So everyone knows Obama can't back up his talk. And?


jr565 said...
Marshal, how do you think JFK should have handled the Cuban Missile Crisis?


One was a threat to us, the other is not a threat to us. They aren't comparable. And you need to quit confusing Obama with "us". Even if we kill ten thousand Syrians to retain his credibility it walks out the door with him and the next President has to start over. It's not worth it.

jr565 said...

This is nice:
"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dubbed a U.S.-backed French initiative threatening possible military action against Syria "unacceptable." The plan to monitor Syria's chemical weapons "can work only if we hear that the American side and all those who support the United States in this sense reject the use of force," Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a television address.

The Russian stance left in disarray Western plans to establish a legally binding inspection regime, backed by the threat of force. The move also raised questions about whether a diplomatic breakthrough welcomed by President Obama is still in reach. Yet Security Council diplomats said that Russia's abrupt decision on Tuesday to drop its demand for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council suggested there was still hope of diplomatic progress."


So this lifeline offered by Russia requires that the UN take the threat of force off the table when it comes to the inspection regime. And even whether its legally binding is called into question. How is that remotely realistic? How is that smart diplomacy since we're talking about what a dumbass Obama is. How are people on this site, in particle ethe smart conservatives not embarrassed that they are defending THIS over holding Syria to account.
A week ago Syria was a rogue state that used chemical weapons and now we are suggesting that Syria shoulrd be rewarded with legitimacy. And that any inspection regime won't even have a threat of force to back it.

Drago said...

Marshall: "So Syria pretending to turn over their weapons will make us look weaker than Syria outright refusing and we still don't attack?"

Miss the strategic point much?

What does Syria want?

America out of the picture so they can continue their struggle unimpeded against the rebels.

BTW, the Russians are already significantly amping up their resupply to Syria.

What does Russia want?

America maneuvered out of any influential role in this conflict in particular and the entire ME in general.

What does Obama want?

To help the rebels in their struggle against the Assad regime.

To maintain his "credibility".

Guess who is getting what they want and guess who is.....not.

Game. Set. Match.

Sheesh. This is one of those situations where what you see happening in full view right in front of you is actually what is happening.

But by all means, keep spinning this as more "Obama genius".

The world, and I do mean the entire world, is not buying it for a second.

Even Obama's former fanboys in Europe realize what a dope he is.

Not that you'll ever read or see that story in any of our media. Mustn't upset the anointed one.

averagejoe said...

Once again, AA tosses out the troll-bait: Obama played Putin? Leading from behind? So Syria's strongman escapes punishment, Russian and Chinese warships have converged on the gulf in a show of strength and defiance to Barry's tough talk and unbelievably small stick, and just before Obama's televised press conference(remember when television was an old medium that Obama found unhelpful for making the case for war to the American people? That was right after he went on Leno to sell Obamacare again, and right before this press conference to announce to the world that Smart Power Obama had pulled off the greatest show of statesmanship since Kennedy of Camelot chased the Ruskies from Cuba), the Russian leader announces that Syria needn't disarm until Barry renounces any and all military options in Syria. But yeah, to the liberal Democrat Party members, it's obvious that the World's Greatest Orator did something awesome again, not by accident either...
Obama: I won.
Putin: You lost.

jr565 said...

Marshal wrote:
So everyone knows Obama can't back up his talk. And?

Why would that be something hard for you to understand?
I shouldn't have to explain the implictaion to you to both our friends and our enemies. Is the next president that you support that isn't Obama going to to be as nonchalant as supporting his words with actions?
Marshal wrote:
One was a threat to us, the other is not a threat to us. They aren't comparable. And you need to quit confusing Obama with "us". Even if we kill ten thousand Syrians to retain his credibility it walks out the door with him and the next President has to start over. It's not worth it.

I was talking about the principle of backing up your words with action, not that the two wer exactly the same. Principally though they are.
And your argument makes no sense whatsoever for any president to ever do anything ever. Because everthing starts over with the next president and its not worth it.

ANd that is frankly farcical on its face. Bush had to deal with the previous administration FALING to deal with the Iraq regime. And if our current president fails to reign in Syria and instead increases their influence in the region and Russia is stronger and Iran is more reluctant to stop its nuclear program the next president has to start to deal with said regimes at a distinct disadvantage.

In other words, there is no reset. The left assumed there was after Clinton left and so could argue that Iraq was a threat and then that Bush was lying about the threat. But since nothing reallly starts over you cant really make that argument about Syria.

jr565 said...

CWJ wrote:
Libya, no problem. Iraq Afghanistan, no problem. Egypt no problem. None of them are card carrying allies of Russia.

But this crew is so geopolitically clueless that they think Syria is no different than the others.

So Bambi goes to the international community and says help me stick my thumb in Assad's eye. And they say no I don't think so thank you for asking.

Bambi says, but we're America why not, and they say because do we REALLY need to lay it out for you?

We have no desire to stick our thumb in the Bear's eye, don't you get it you American dolt.

Bullshit, CWJ. Who opposed us in Iraq? Russia. Who opposed us in libya? Russia. Who opposed us in Egypt? Russia. (and in a few of those cases they were right). But the point being, Romney said that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe for a reason. Because they are directly operating against our interests on principle. It's why Obama thought we needed a reset with Russia.
So, lets recognize that Russia wants to keep Assad in power because its in their interest economically but also because it's striking against our interest in the region. It is also supporting Iran.

And actually who are the supporters of Syria? Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah. Every one of them our enemy. And you think we should be strengthening them?
Hezbollah for example helped retake the city of Qasyr for Syria. Hezbollah is the strongest military force inside of Syria actually.

As noted by Al Akbar about Syria's importance to Hezbollah:

Heizbollah’s staunch defense of the Assad regime at the most inopportune of times must be viewed against the backdrop of the regional struggle between the “nationalist and resistance project” led by Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, otherwise known as the “jabhit al mumana’a” (“resistance axis” as it is dubbed in the West) and the “US project” pursued by the US’ Arab allies who comprise the so-called “moderate axis”. Viewed within this broader regional context, Syria’s strategic value does not merely lie in its arms’ supply role, but derives from its status as the Arab linchpin of the resistance front, or to borrow Nasrallah’s words, “the only resistance regime in the region”.
On balance, “the Syrian leadership can be credited with the preservation and maintenance of the Palestinian cause,” for Hezbollah.



THE ARAB LINCHPIN OF THE RESISTANCE FRONT, THE ONLY RESISTANCE REGIME IN THE REGION. Those being killed are the so called moderate axis that are more American friendly Are they perfect no, but they aren't THE ARAB LYNCHPIN OF THE RESISTANCE FRONT!

And you're arguing we should strengthen THE ARAB LYNCH PIN OF THE RESISTANCE FRONT after it used chemical weapons! So lets empower Hezbollah, and Syria and Iran and Russia to act against the moderates and inclined to our interest and further erode American power in the region and instead give it to Russia and Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.


Why Hezbollah Supports The Assad Regime

Trashhauler said...

From the Pentagon side, the conversation went something like this:

Joint Chiefs of Staff: "You want to do what?

White House: Take out the Syrian chemical weapons.

JCS: Uh, okay. Just missiles and bombs, right? No troops on the ground.

WH: Well, yeah, no troops.

JCS: Okay, uh, what kind of outcome do you want?

WH: What do you mean?

JCS: Well, do we massively target the Syrian military? Do we attack only known sites or include suspected sites? Do you want to take out the Assad regime? What about collateral damage? Things like that.

WH: Uh, we'll get back to you.

Matthew Sablan said...

Last night was one of the most disjointed messages I've ever received from a president: "We must stop Syria immediately due to children being gassed, but, hey dudes, let's wait up a bit and see what happens. Also: Come on left, this is a Good thing. People on the right: I'm dropping bombs, what more do you want?"

I've never seen a president so patently insult and misunderstand his political opponents in what should have been a politically neutral address, all while seeming not to even remotely grok that the other side has a functional brain.

Marshal said...

Drago said...
Miss the strategic point much?

What does Syria want?

America out of the picture so they can continue their struggle unimpeded against the rebels.


What do you think the strategic picture is? You think a coalition of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Queda running Syria is a better result for us? How was that working out in Egypt? Consider that if we help the "rebel" side in the civil war we'll be installing the same sort of government which immediately began a program of repression and economic ruin. The main difference will be that Syria won't have a military to step in and prevent the disaster, so it will be permanent.

But by all means, keep spinning this as more "Obama genius".

What? Is this really what you think you're arguing against? We have no good options. The President and his foreign policy people are so focused on trying to find something to improve things they refuse to admit there's nothing we can do to positively impact the outcome. So we should admit that to ourselves and not get involved.

Marshal said...

jr565 said...
Marshal wrote:
So everyone knows Obama can't back up his talk. And?

Why would that be something hard for you to understand?
I shouldn't have to explain the implictaion to you to both our friends and our enemies


The implication to both our friends and enemies is next to nothing. Every country on the planet knows we can defeat them military should we be so inclined. The message we're sending is that as long as you keep your aggression within your own borders we're unlikely to become involved. That message seems fine to me.

You are wrapping too much into this issue. If we don't act America's credibility on a 100 point scale goes from 68 to 63. BFD. It still remains true that every geopolitical actor has to consider America's reaction, so our next President(s) will have the same leverage no matter what Obama does now.

jr565 said...

JCS wrote:
JCS: Well, do we massively target the Syrian military? Do we attack only known sites or include suspected sites? Do you want to take out the Assad regime? What about collateral damage? Things like that.
<sure, we target the Syrian military. We degrade their capacity to engage in war. We certainly attack known sites but could also include suspected sites. I personally wouldn't mind taking out the Assad regime, but if we don't we can hurt Assad enough whereby the rebels take out the Assad regime. What Bout collateral damage? There will be some.
But even if we didnt bomb anybody, it should be recognized that there is a civil war in effect in Syria now, so there is already collateral damage.

Rand Paul made the argument that if we attacked Syria's chemical capacity or Air Force that it would likely lead to an increased chance or them using chemical weapons against Israel. But if they had a degraded capacity to use those weapons wouldn't that make it harder for them to actually stage a chemical attack? if you destroyed their planes wouldn't it make it harder for them to stage air attacks? And if our attack caused them to somehow escalate their own attack, wouldn't that then, in turn lead us to attack Syria with the intent of destroying the regime? Since their attack was degraded from the first attack, there response couldn't be as strong, but if they did make that calculation it would end up being their last decision as a regime. Whereas, if they took some shelling and they didnt respond they might still be able to hold onto their regime and live to fight another day.
Look at Iraq getting bombed by Cinton in 1998. Did that cause Iraq to be all in! Or did they try to hold onto their regime? As such, a bombing would largely be a one sided affair. We might get terrorism from an org that is loyal to Iran, Hezbollah, or Syria, but we are not going to get Syria to make a direct move that destroys its regime.

Robert Cook said...

"A week ago Syria was a rogue state that used chemical weapons...."

A week ago Syria had been accused (by America) of using chemical weapons. There is still no proof or even substantive evidence to support that accusation. There are many who suggest the rebels set off the chemical weapons, possibly even accidentally.

We went to war over false pretenses a decade ago; are we so stupid that we so soon and once again accept unproven allegations by a lying government as a justification for starting another war?

(Actually, we're not: most Americans emphatically oppose our intervening in Syria)

jr565 said...

Sablan wrote:

Last night was one of the most disjointed messages I've ever received from a president: "We must stop Syria immediately due to children being gassed, but, hey dudes, let's wait up a bit and see what happens. Also: Come on left, this is a Good thing. People on the right: I'm dropping bombs, what more do you want?"

I've never seen a president so patently insult and misunderstand his political opponents in what should have been a politically neutral address, all while seeming not to even remotely grok that the other side has a functional brain.

I agree. His messaging is so schizophrenic and condescending it undermines his argument and alienates the hawks who he needs to support his action.
But that's always been his problem and why we are in the state we are in. Because he consistently apologizes for the use of American power. He undoes our gains In Iraq and Afghanistan and gets nothing in return.

And he can't even articulate why its in our interest to act as a foil to Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah whether Syria used chemical weapons or not.

I'm trying to support him but he's making it so damn hard. And I don't even know what he's asking. He's coming before the American people to tell congress to wait on their vote. We need to act, but hold on now, lets let diplomacy take its course. its gong to be a small attack miniscule attack and there will be no boots on the ground but the army doesn't do pin pricks. I get the point, that even saying the attack is small is in comparison to a full on invasion, but still. Its basically saying don't worry about the attack, its not going to be that bad.

And he's so reluctant to just deal with Syria he's now holding out hope that his Russia plan will actually prevent him from doing what he said he would. Please save me from myself Putin!
Any plan that says we have to take all potential threats of force off the table when the international community deals with Syria's chemical weapons is a complete farce as a plan. And yet, Obama is so desperate he might just take it because he thinks its better than dealing with the regime forcefully.

jr565 said...

Lets assume that Syria did miscalculate and decided to expand the war to Israel and to wage chemical attacks on them. I can't argue that its impossible for Syria to miscalculate his options. Sadaam did that and it wound up costing his regime. Assad always stuck me as a bit more cautious. But if he did, his actions would make the case for regime change in Syria easy. Iran is desperate for there not to be a war, but its even more desperate that we aren't talking about regime change. Because if there were it destroys their axis. It weakens Hezbollah, and thus destroys their wedge against Israel
As such, if we did bomb Syria but not to the point of regime change Iran itself would step up and tell Syria to keep such a low profile so as to not lose the regime. Its hands would be tied, by Iran, to not retaliate.
We actually have Syria in a very precarious position on the edge of a cliff right now, despite the,outward appearances, and it really doesn't have the options that critics of the military action say it does.

Drago said...

Marshall: "What do you think the strategic picture is?"

I've already explained what the actors want.

Marshall: "You think a coalition of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Queda running Syria is a better result for us?"

I never said, implied or intimated any such thing.

Marshall: "How was that working out in Egypt?"

Again, I never said, implied or intimated any such thing.

Marshall: "Consider that if we help the "rebel" side in the civil war we'll be installing the same sort of government which immediately began a program of repression and economic ruin."

Duh.

Is there an actual real person you are arguing with?

Marshall: "The main difference will be that Syria won't have a military to step in and prevent the disaster, so it will be permanent."

Ok.

Again, who, exactly, are you arguing with here?

The Argot said...

Why has the President called for a delay in the Congressional action on approving a strike. If he really wants to keep pressure on the Syrians (and the Russians) for a diplomatic solution, having that backing in hand would seem to be a good thing.

jr565 said...

Robert cook, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that the administration cites that suggest it was the regime that carried out the attack, including correspondence that suggested that the regime told its army to use f
Gas masks. How would it know that, if it didn't have knowledge of the attack.
And did the rebels even have the capacity to carry out an attack on that scale, even if they had the weapons.

"In the three days prior to the attack, we collected streams of human, signals and geospatial intelligence that reveal regime activities that we assess were associated with preparations for a chemical weapons attack," the U.S. report says.
"Syrian chemical weapons personnel were operating in the Damascus suburb of 'Adra... near an area that the regime uses to mix chemical weapons, including sarin. On August 21, a Syrian regime element prepared for a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus area, including through the utilization of gas masks."
"We have a body of information, including past Syrian practice, that leads us to conclude that regime officials were witting of and directed the attack," the report says. "... We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence."
Intelligence shows Syrian chemical weapons personnel were told to cease operations in the afternoon of August 21 and that the regime then "intensified the artillery barrage" in the area, the report says.

Now granted, its possible that they were lying, but if they have this information it does point to the regime using weapons. If this information is in act a lie, couldnt we debunk it simply? How would Syria know to use gas masks! On that very day for example? why did none of the chemical attacks hit any areas controlled by the Assad regime?
I think the evidence is actually pretty strong, based on what they SAY they have. (Which again could be a lie, but if so we should be able to show that it is a lie pretty easily)that it was the regime and not the rebels. My guess is, absent a video of Assad personally firing the chemical weapons, there will never be enough evidence to convince you.
Also, my guess, the alternate argument from the Assad regime, if the Obama administration even bothers to continue to make the case, will be that it wasnt Assad but one of his generals acting totally on his own that carried out the attack.my guess, that same "senior official intimately familiar with the offensive" that we have on tape will be the scapegoat.

evidence that Syria carried out attacks

Robert Cook said...

"And he's so reluctant to just deal with Syria he's now holding out hope that his Russia plan will actually prevent him from doing what he said he would. Please save me from myself Putin!"

It's not his "Russia plan," it's Russia's.

jr565 said...

In regards to the proof of whether Syria was the one that used the chemicals,lets first state, that very rarely are we going to get proof of something so incontrovertible that it has literally no doubt involved as to its veracity. Especially when it comes to intelligence.
But we can test the evidence provided by the admin and from there we can make a reasonable assumption about Syria's involvement and the veracity of the the intel.

For example here's one bit of information provided by the admin. kerry mentioned "correspondence or recordings involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence."


Right there we hVe incontrovertible truth, if Kerry is in fact telling the truth. But we cn determine that.
For example, if he says there is a tape of this conversation, can he provide e tape to listen to? If not, then rigt there he's lying. Bt if he can that goes a ways towards proving veracity.

Then, it mentions a senior official. That sounds very specific about an individual in the administration. So specific that they can actually name him.they know he's a senior official and they know he's intimately intimately familiar with the offensive. If they have that information and can provide that to say the intelligence committee behind closed doors then that's a tape of a specific person saying something specific about the chemical attack. Either they have it or they don't, but if they do and can show that they do, it goes a long way to proving the veracity of their claim.

It even mentions details of the actual conversation, meaning they can produce a tape of that conversation which mentions all these details about Syria's involvement. If Kerry can provide the tape, then he's not telling tall tales.

And if this senior official had this conversation about this event, then what other way should we read it, but that Syria was involved in the attack. He wouldn't have had that conversation if the Assad regime wasnt involved in the attack because obviously they wouldn't know the details, and certainly wouldn't incriminate themselves over things they had no involvement in.

So, that would pretty much prove that
The Assad regime was involved in the attack IF what Kerry said was true. Wouldn't you agree?
The question then would be could Kerry provide this taped conversation and present it to people behind closed doors, or was he talking out of his ass and can't.

jr565 said...

Marshal wrote:
What do you think the strategic picture is? You think a coalition of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Queda running Syria is a better result for us?

we don't know who will replace Assad after his regime crumbled. You saying it would be the Muslim brotherhood or Al Qaeda and that's it, it ignores plenty of other potential outcomes. Syria is secular. There are many moderates at play, and not everyone in Syria is even a Muslim. The only option is not Assad or Al Qaeda. Yes, we have video of one of he rebels eating someone's heart, but not every rebel is that guy.
In the case of the Muslim brotherhood versus Hezbollah, what's the difference? Is one better than the other in your mind ? because Hezbollah is in Syria NOW and is one of Syria's primary allies. And if we propped up Syria, we would strengthen Hezbollah further.
So your "we need to prop up the strongman dictator so as to prevent the Muslim extremists from getting more powerful" doesn't even make sense since by propping up Assad we are doing just that anyway.

Lets lets assume that we destabilized Assad and Al Qaeda took over. That would still be a blow to Russia and Iran and Hezbollah even because its nowhere near as advantageous for them as supporting the Assad regime.
And we are supposedly at war with Al Qaeda, correct?
so you could make a far better case for why its in our interest to destroy Al Qaeda in Syria then you even could about the Assad regime. Even some of the biggest doves say that we can attack Al Qaeda because al Qaeda attacked us.
Rand Paul couldn't get away with arguing that somehow this is not our business.
So, even assuming your worst case scenario, it wouldn't stand for very long, because if Al Qaeda were to take over, very shortly we would be involved in destroying them there.and Even Obama would have trouble making the case that it wasnt in our interest to deal with Al Qaeda in Syria decisively.

Your, lets not deal with Syria because we are trying to prevent extremist elements from getting power is false,

Rand Paul also made the point that if we attack Syria they might use chemical weapons on Israel, or their might be retaliatory strikes. Do you really think that Israel thinks we shouldn't attack Syria based on that premise?
because if we propped up Syria, we prop up Hezbollah, and Hezbollah will attack Israel as a matter of course. But will now be stronger when doing so.
So six of one half dozen the other. They are going to get attacked if we DON'T deal with the Assad regime.. Is it better for them to get attacked by a weak Hezbollah or a strong Hezbollah?

You're really big on the ramifications of us taking action, but you're completely oblivious to the ramifications of us NOT taking action and most of the objections as to what will happen of we dared to deal with Syria are going to happen anyway if we don't. So then, why not deal with the regime in a way that will,be in our self interest?

Finally. Rand Paul argues that if we remove the regime Al Qaeda might get their hands on chemical weapons! But I thought the argument from the Robert Cooke's of the world was that it was the rebels, who are AL Qaeda who were the ones that used chemical weapons and not the Assad regime! So then Al Qaeda already has chemical weapons. Why then would we be worried Iabout the possibility of something which already occured as per their own logic, and which occurred when everything was supposedly copacetic.
Wouldn't the fact that AL Qaeda has WMD,s now be an example of a war that is in our direct interest to fight?



Robert Cook said...

In regards to the proof of whether Syria was the one that used the chemicals,lets first state, that very rarely are we going to get proof of something so incontrovertible that it has literally no doubt involved as to its veracity. Especially when it comes to intelligence.
But we can test the evidence provided by the admin and from there we can make a reasonable assumption about Syria's involvement and the veracity of the the intel.

"For example here's one bit of information provided by the admin. kerry mentioned 'correspondence or recordings involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence.'"


There are reports that the full recordings do not support this interpretation but, in fact, reveal the government to have been surprised by the use of the chemical weapons. Alan Grayson questioned Chuck Hagel on this very point. Hagel pretended not to be aware at all of the recordings Grayson referred to. Hagel is a painfully bad liar, at least in this instance, nearly as bad as James Clapper in his perjury before Congress about NSA surveillance of Americans.

The government has provided NO evidence of Assad's guilt, merely an accusation amplified by their assurances that they "know" he is responsible. We know how this has worked out for us previously.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"There are reports that the full recordings do not support this interpretation but, in fact, reveal the government to have been surprised by the use of the chemical weapons. Alan Grayson questioned Chuck Hagel on this very point. Hagel pretended not to be aware at all of the recordings Grayson referred to. Hagel is a painfully bad liar, at least in this instance, nearly as bad as James Clapper in his perjury before Congress about NSA surveillance of Americans."

This then is the crux of the case. Who's lying about what the tapes are saying? You say Hagel is a known liar. Grayson thinks every war in the ME is about the oil, and natural gas pipelines.So, I would say he is a liar too.

Again though, I haven't heard the tapes. But, if Kerry made the argument that the tapes said one thing and they don't say that it would be an example of him lying that could be easily proven. Similarly, Grayson is suggesting that the tapes say something else.

Who is right?
A few other points. Why did none of the attacks target areas controlled by Assad. Or is John Kerry mistating this "Fact" as well.
Again, it is something that can be verified. If he's correct then it would suggest that the chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime. If he's incorrect then he's either arguing a point that he is wrong about or deliberately lying.
I generally don't trust John kerry so I can certainly buy that he's a liar. I just don't think he would be so brazen with telling lies and assume that people wouldn't be able check the facts. Then again, all the democrats said Iraq was a threat and that that had WMD's then also accused Bush of lying about the threat as if they never said what they said and as if we couldn't do a Google search. So this does occur a lot.

jr565 said...


Rand Paul made the point that if we attack Syria they might use chemical weapons on Israel, or their might be retaliatory strikes.

this is a curious point. Because right now we are saying we'd have targeted strikes and not engage in regime change but that we will degrade Syrias ability to wage war and use chemical weapons.
If we were successful in doing so then it would directly impact their ability to engage in further chemical strikes. (because we degraded their capacity).
But even if we were to be completely unsuccessful I still don't think Syria will use chemical weapons outside the country. Because to do so would change our focus shift from giving him a small shot across the bow to regime change. And that's what Syria is trying to avoid.

jr565 said...

Putin arms Iran
Really now. Lets stop being under the illusion that Russia just wants peace here or that Russia is acting diplomatically.

jr565 said...

RUssia is going to build a reactor for Iran. And Im' sure if this president or the next tels Iran to stop trying to develop nukes, It will veto any meaningful action. All the while selling weapons to Iran and Syria (who in turn will give those weapons to Hezbollah who will wage war against Israel. But Israel will be the warmonger.

And the US will be the warmogner for trying to stop Iran from getting nukes.

The left (and the its none of our business crowd) are so full of it it's scary.

Robert Cook said...

jr565:

Please read more carefully: I did not say Hagel was a known liar. I said his responses to Alan Grayson's questions (on the matter of the recordings and what they prove or don't prove) indicated he was a very bad liar.

Robert Cook said...

jr565:

The matter of what the tapes prove cannot be "easily proved" because the administration will not reveal what they say or allow them to be heard, "as they are classified." Grayson even asked Hagel if they could be declassified so they could be heard in full and their actual meaning better discerned. Hagel claimed to know nothing about the tapes Grayson was asking about, which would be curious, if this claim were true, given that these tapes--unheard, untranscribed--are pointed to by the administration as "proof" of Assad's guilt and justification for our bombing Syria.





Handy.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
The matter of what the tapes prove cannot be "easily proved" because the administration will not reveal what they say or allow them to be heard, "as they are classified." Grayson even asked Hagel if they could be declassified so they could be heard in full and their actual meaning better discerned. Hagel claimed to know nothing about the tapes Grayson was asking about, which would be curious, if this claim were true, given that these tapes--unheard, untranscribed--are pointed to by the administration as "proof" of Assad's guilt and justification for our bombing Syria.

Just because Grayson hasn't heard them doesn't mean that no one has heard them. For example, those sitting on the Intel committee.
And it is curious that Grayson wasn;t shown these tapes and is asking that they be declassified, but knows about the conversation on the tape. If he hadn't heard them, how does he know the conversation. It might also explain why Hagel wasn't familiar with the tapes that Grayson said are there, because he never heard those tapes, because they don't exist.

Again though, I'm not saying definitively that the admin is telling the truth on this. I'm saying that they offered proof, that if true is relatively convincing.

I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the regime used chemical weapons. I have no knowledge that the rebels would have the capability to use said weapons or ever got their hands on them.
And frankly am wondering why, if that story is true we're pushing for Russia's push to have the UN handle Syria's chemical weapons.
Because, what's the benefit? We'd have to take any threat of force off the table (as this is the only thing that would even possibly allow us to hold Syria accountable were to decide to renege)to get Syria to the table and Syria wouldn't even have the chemical weapons which would still be in the hands of the rebels.

webzin said...

Protection Concepts began in 1998 with one simple principle…To offer excellent customer service, quality equipment and monitoring all at an affordable price while conducting business with honesty and integrity.

Atlanta security contractor