April 9, 2018

"The Terrible Cost of Obama's Failure in Syria/The atrocities keep coming."

By Kathy Gilsinana in The Atlantic. (Yes, The Atlantic, which recently fired its newly hired conservative, Kevin D. Williamson, is highlighting Obama's failure as Syria gas-attacks its way onto the news front-burner this week.)
“We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” declared then-Secretary of State John Kerry on Meet the Press in 2014. ... But there were two important and deadly loopholes. The first was that Assad did not declare everything—a reality that Kerry acknowledged publicly, including in a farewell memo to staff, in which he wrote that “unfortunately other undeclared chemical weapons continue to be used ruthlessly against the Syrian people.” The second was that chlorine gas, which has legitimate civilian uses, was not part of the deal....
But, despite that surprising headline, the article doesn't accept Trump's blaming of Obama:
President Trump has labeled the [recent gassing] “an atrocity,” blaming the Obama administration for declining to enforce its declared “red line” against chemical weapons use in 2013. But if anything, until this morning it looked like the Trump administration was more interested in extricating itself from Syria entirely. The attacks follow a strange few days in Washington, as the president stated his desire to get out of Syria “very soon;” his advisers insisted the U.S. was staying to finish the job of defeating the Islamic State; and the White House tried to resolve the contradiction by insisting that American troops would stay in Syria until ISIS was gone, an outcome that was rapidly coming to pass.
The article doesn't say what should be done, and of course, I don't know. I'll just say that if Assad had civilians gassed just as Trump was saying let's get out of Syria soon and his advisers were contradicting him and saying we need to finish the job, Assad seems to be weighing in on the side of the advisers and saying Bring it on. Now, why would he do that?

205 comments:

1 – 200 of 205   Newer›   Newest»
mikee said...

"Unfortunately" is the word associated with the results of most leftist plans, compared to the promised results.

Sebastian said...

"highlighting Obama's failure"

No way!

Are they're going to highlight Castro's failure, and Chavez's failure, and Stalin and Mao's failure, next?

Call it Sebastian's law: to the left, leftist leaders look worse and rightist leaders better in retrospect.

MadisonMan said...

Well, there's an important US ally right next to Syria. Perhaps Israel has some ideas on what to do. I could suggest that Syria in disarray might not be bad thing for Israel, but instability in a neighbor can suddenly snowball into something hellish.

Bob Boyd said...

"out of Syria “very soon;”"

"stay in Syria until ISIS was gone, an outcome that was rapidly coming to pass."

How is that a contradiction?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I'm reading twitter feeds where people are saying at least some of the chemical attacks in Syria are "false flag" operations by Assad's enemies, made to look like Assad is responsible. The U.S. is allied with some extremely nasty people in that country, probably at least as nasty as Assad--here we go again "finding the moderates who will someday bring democracy." Assad is getting close to regaining a lot of territory, and suddenly some of his nasty enemies are re-energized, re-armed, and moved to places where they can re-group. Could it be that the U.S. is actually allied with both al Qaeda and ISIS? Is the "main thing" to be pro-Israel, or pro-Saudi, or anti-Russia, and let the chips fall where they may as far as civilians in Syria are concerned? Russia was invited in by the more or less legitimate government. Who invited the U.S.?

rhhardin said...

Gas is an atrocity only by mutual agreement not to use it, among signatories to something or other.

The outrage for gas specifically is public relations.

Ralph L said...

Are there any "good" sides in Syria? Besides the unarmed. It's the former Yugoslavia of the 90's, turned up to 11.

Althouse, you've got a Matthew Dowd tag on the Maureen post.

Ironclad said...

We do need to get out of Syria after ISIS is laid down. It's a civil war and only one side wins those in the Middle East and we do not have the stomach for what has to be done to win.
Our chance to knock Assad out passed years ago - and the Russians are not going to leave either - they have been there for over 4 decades.

We need to be honest - do you want Sunni Muslim Brotherhood lead fanatics running the place or Assad? That's the stark choice. The only good thing we could do out of this mess is recognize the Kurds and screw Turkey and Iraq for their "help" over the years.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Assad and/or Putin are creating a red line for the U.S. and the U.N.

zipity said...

Swing and a miss Atlantic. Here's what you would have written, were you not die-hard Obama apologists/fellators.

Three Ways Obama Caused the Syrian Disaster

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/269828/three-ways-obama-caused-syrian-disaster-daniel-greenfield

Humperdink said...

Whatever happened to Obama's red line in Syria? I know the red line was spotted by our satellites several years ago. Does chlorine gas causes red lines to vaporize? Asking for a friend.

David Begley said...

To answer Althouse's question: Animal Assad thinks Russian and Iran will protect him. He will find out how wrong he is real quick now.

Trump will completely and utterly destroy not only the Syrian airforce and air bases, but also its missile defense system.

Recall from "Wining Bigly" the concept of strategic ambiguity. The Atlantic didn't read it.

And I certainly hope Susan Rice and Samantha Power have seen the most recent pictures from Syria. Heck of a job Sportin' and Sam!


Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Obama-Hillary-Kerry nexus of screw up doesn't matter. Lives lost, money pouring into Clinton coffers - death and destruction in the Seth-Syria-Lybia wake. No matter.

Universal free stuff for everyone!

EDH said...

mikee said...
"Unfortunately" is the word associated with the results of most leftist plans, compared to the promised results.

"Unexpectedly" is the word associated with the results of most leftist plans, compared to the promised result, when repeated again and again, producing the same "unfortunate" result.

Kevin said...

The point is that we had an opportunity to remove Assad with the backing of the world when he used gas the first time.

Now that he's used it over and over again, the shock and horror necessary to move the world in concert has long since disbursed.

Obama had a chance to do much more cheaply what would be extremely costly at this point. Kerry and O's falling for the old "Assad turned over all the chemical weapons" ploy, makes it much less likely Trump is going to do the same with nuclear weapons in North Korea.

In North Korea, it is Trump who has the lever to move the world.

lgv said...

People are conflating the continued regime of Assad with a failed mission. The mission as started by Obama, was not to oust Assad, it was to defeat ISIS. ISIS is pretty much defeated. The only reason to stay is if we change the mission to the downfall of Assad, something Trump isn't interested in.

Unknown said...

We, that is the United States and most nations other than Iran and Russia, decided some time ago to whine and complain about what Syria is doing while tolerating these atrocities. No one's ready to admit that yet.

-sw

Kevin said...

BTW, this is why we don't give up American power to the collective at every turn.

There are things America can do that few other countries can, and even fewer have the balls to follow through with.

Kevin said...

Trump is admitting Obama didn't owe his election to Putin and therefore had a freer hand in Syria.

You will see this any day when the Grand Jury finishes its work and Manafort rolls over to save his hide.

/Inga

Hagar said...

Syria is gone and it is shaping up to be an alliance of Egypt, Israel, Arabian Peninsula, and ? against Iran, Russia, Turkey, and ? for a much bigger deal.
The U.S. government needs to look at what is coming and get rid of impedimenta from the past.

MadisonMan said...

Three Ways Nobel Laureate Obama Caused the Syrian Disaster

FIFY.

William Chadwick said...

Obama failed? The Lightbringer never failed. We lowly mortals always failed HIM.

David Begley said...

Animal Assad is poking a stick in the eye of Trump. He has continued to use gas weapons after Trump's attack last year.

The thing I don't get is why doesn't Animal Assad use conventional weapons on the few people who still survive? Who is left to kill? Can't he just use regular bombs and bullets?

Maybe CNN or NYT or WaPo could give us a death count in Syria. Or maybe a CNN special on Syria instead of a ten part series on the Kennedys. Real news! Trusted!

Mike Sylwester said...

Lloyd W. Robinson at 7:46 AM
... the chemical attacks in Syria are "false flag" operations by Assad's enemies, made to look like Assad is responsible

That is my opinion, which I support with a Facebook album I have made.

https://www.facebook.com/mike.sylwester/media_set?set=a.10212675826761273.1073741826.1554023238&type=3

These chemical-bomb incidents have been concocted in order to provoke international opposition against the Syrian government -- and now also against the Russian government.

The CIA went along with this fakery because, under John Brennan, the CIA has been trying to provoke international opposition against the Syrian and Russian governments.

----

The website Moon of Alabmaa has done outstanding work in exposing this fakery.

Here is that website's most recent update on the fakery of the chemical bombs in Syria.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/timelines-of-gas-attacks-in-syria-follow-a-similar-scheme.html#more

-----

Here is that website's most recent update on the fakery of the "Novichok" poisoning of Russian defector Sergey Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/04/a-very-british-farce.html#more

Carol said...


Trump will completely and utterly destroy not only the Syrian airforce and air bases, but also its missile defense system.
s

Hello, Arab Spring!

traditionalguy said...

Remember the terrible Trump said Obama’s Administration founded ISIS. That was true. The Saudis bribes through Soros funded it and the CIA with McCain et al bribed Congress corruptocrats funded them and their murders.

But the Las Vegas shooting began the end of the road for that criminal gang. McCain is out and Ryan too.

Quaestor said...

Does chlorine gas cause red lines to vaporize?

Chlorine is the reactive halide in laundry bleach. It causes red lines to fade to yellow streaks.

rhhardin said...

A lethal dose is also a lifetime supply.

- Armstrong and Getty

William said...

Post facto, you can point to the mistakes of Bush, Rumsfeld, Obama and Hillary. They all made mistakes, but the people of the Middle East seem to have an uncommon capacity for killing each other and for choosing madmen as their leaders. I place primary blame for the use of poison gas on the people who use poison gas......I'd just as soon we get out of there. As Ralph L. said, there are no good sides. Also, any side we take will be made to appear to be the bad side.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gordon Scott said...

I don't spent a lot of worry on conspiracies, but Middle Eastern propaganda is just that. The video of the kids being washed off and mouths rinsed after the attack, looks fakey as hell. And we know from numerous past episodes that "rebel" groups will fake all kinds of video.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Now, why would he do that?"

-- Might just be gambling that he can cross some more red lines. This is assuming he's not just evil and crazy.

Michael K said...


I'm reading twitter feeds where people are saying at least some of the chemical attacks in Syria are "false flag" operations by Assad's enemies, made to look like Assad is responsible.


I don't use Twitter but I have heard the same thing.

The Israelis are the most reliable source in the Middle East and they aren't talking.

Trump needs to take out Assad's residence and major installations. Then say goodbye.

mccullough said...

Obama was feckless as usual in his stupid red line comments. But Assad and the others in Syria are to blame. The US has no interest in Syria other than killing ISIS. If we slap around Assad a bit by bombing out his chemical weapons it’s only to show Putin and the Mullahs that Obama was weak but not the US. They understand that message.

Let’s keep fracking and drilling. They understand that message as welll. That will put Iran and Russia out of business. But we shouldn’t get bogged down in Syria nor should we take their refugees. We aren’t the world’s police or the world’s social workers.



Hagar said...

I repeat from the previous thread; when Putin, Rouhani, and Erdogan met last week to discuss matters of mutual interest (such as what to do about Kurds, Kurdistan, and Syria?), Assad was not invited.

And this situation is indeed a result of Obama reversing George W.'s policy of containing Iran and maintaining Iraq as an independent state.

Mike said...

It seems the gas attack might be created by someone who does want the US presence in Syria to continue. Strange. But as Trump tweeted, using "Russia as the guarantor of removal of chemical weapons" was a very bad idea. Why did Obama rely on Putin to do this?

Answering those questions honestly leads you to the headline again, no matter how much the hard copy tries to contradict it.

mockturtle said...

The only reason to stay is if we change the mission to the downfall of Assad, something Trump isn't interested in.

And let us hope he remains uninterested. Assad, with all his flaws, is the only thing standing in the way of ISIS and other jihadi groups from taking over Syria. When you look at our ME conflicts over the past few decades, a definite pattern emerges, does it not? Can we--will we--learn from our mistakes of the past?

Mike said...

If you've never listened to the Dark Secret Place podcast (from Bryan Suits' radio show) you might not have heard the delicious "Assad Must Go" mash-up of all the Obama officials singing the same tune in 2012 set to a KC and the Sunshine Band back beat.

It's funny but in a sad kind of way. All the people who hated Sinclair for their syncopation last week have forgotten all about this golden oldie.

"Assad must go!" indeed.

Mike said...

Chlorine is the reactive halide in laundry bleach. It causes red lines to fade to yellow streaks.

I really like Q's way with words here. Subtle and chuckle-worthy on several levels.

Koot Katmandu said...

"I'll just say that if Assad had civilians gassed just as Trump was saying let's get out of Syria soon and his advisers were contradicting him and saying we need to finish the job, Assad seems to be weighing in on the side of the advisers and saying Bring it on. Now, why would he do that?"

It does not make sense at all - we are missing a lot of information. We may never find out.

Ralph L said...

Assad was not invited.
He probably can't safely leave town.

Tom said...

Somebody who wants the US in a war in Syria is gassing people. Strategically, that makes zero sense for Assad when Trump's saying he wants to get out.

Robert Cook said...

"Are they're going to highlight Castro's failure, and Chavez's failure, and Stalin and Mao's failure, next?"


Why should they? Those were all leaders of other countries. Our only pressing concern should be the success or failure of our own government in serving us.

Robert Cook said...

"The Israelis are the most reliable source in the Middle East...."

How so?

Big Mike said...

Now, why would he do that?

A very good question, Professor.

tim in vermont said...

Our only pressing concern should be the success or failure of our own government in serving us.

Yes, we need to experiment with a new form of government that will bring us a utopia on Earth and there is no need to examine the failures of those same ideas elsewhere because reasons.

Richard Dolan said...

Now, why would he do that?

For the usual reason: he believes the benefit outweighs the cost.

Big Mike said...

Cookie at 9:21 proves that he believes in American exceptionalism after all, at least in the sense that the failures of governments outside this country have no lessons Americans can learn from.

Five minutes later he demonstrates that left-wing anti-Semitism grows bolder daily.

tim in vermont said...

Here we are in a dangerous situation created by decades of decisions by the leaders our country, in large part, and all the Democrats care about is continuing their jihad to remove Trump from power and fix the place in Hillary that hurts so bad her tears are making her gin salty.

Chris N said...

Robert Cook will be your minister of information, peace and aesthetics once the revolution happens, and the government FINALLY serves The People.

rhhardin said...

It's almost certainly false flag. Once gas outrage is a thing, it pays to use gas in hopes the US retaliates against your enemy.

Nothing else makes sense.

FIDO said...

I don't fully follow Syria, but instead look at this as a failed attempt at The Atlantic to SEEM unbiased after their blatantly biased action.

Tickle their fan base by hiring and firing a Conservative, fucking him over, BUUUUUT also putting the lightest of Obama slams to try to make them not look like fully in the tank Liberal Douchebags.

So this isn't directed at any Conservatives. It is aimed at the moderate Democrats who are increasingly alarmed at the direction the media is clearly taking. You know, the ones that the Democratic Party is bleeding in large numbers as they increasingly lurch to the insane Left.

Michael K said...

From Ace:

To quote Daniel Greenfield:

Obama empowered ISIS and Iran next door to Syria. Then he empowered Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda militias in Syria. And then he finally empowered Iran, Assad and Russia in Syria.
If he had set out to cause as much death and devastation as possible in Syria, he couldn't have done any more damage without dropping nuclear bombs or his campaign propaganda on its major cities.

Every major terror player in Syria was empowered by Obama's terrible decisions.

There is/was ample evidence to more than just suggest that Chris Stevens wittingly or unwittingly was Obama's man in Libya who was running guns to these "rebels" in Syria when their spiritual (if not actual) allies in country attacked them on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2012.


Cookie doesn't think the Israelis are reliable about the Middle East.

Who would you prefer, Cookie ? The communists ?

Kelly said...

“Now, why would he do that”? Maybe it wasn’t Assad who gassed them?

Sebastian said...

"we are in a dangerous situation created by decades of decisions by the leaders our country"

Right. Because, you see, we were not in dangerous situation before the leaders of our country made their decisions.

The dirty secret is that "the situation" is not very dangerous for us. O could afford to "fail." Trump can afford to bitch and do nothing about Syria.

Sure, kicking the Russians and Iranians out, and installing a humane democratic government, would be nice. But . . .

Anyway, I'll let Farmer take it from here.

Big Mike said...

@Richard Dolan, I agree with Kelly -- the possibility of a false flag operation cannot be ruled out, which is what I think Althouse is alluding to.

Inga said...

“I'll just say that if Assad had civilians gassed just as Trump was saying let's get out of Syria soon and his advisers were contradicting him and saying we need to finish the job, Assad seems to be weighing in on the side of the advisers and saying Bring it on. Now, why would he do that?”

Just afterTrump announced he was going to have American troops leave Syria. I thought Trump always said he wasn’t going to announce publicly what was being done militarily in regard to anywhere we had our troops. I also thought he didn’t believe in drawing red lines, then he’s done just that. He criticized Obama for it endlessly. Did he forget that? Why would Assad do that? Because he sees Trump as just another talker. The puny little missle strike last year after the nerve gas attack didn’t do a darn thing. Last year the Russians said that the rebels gassed themselves and Trump still wanted to be their friend. This year after how many criminal acts by the Russians has Trump finally worked up the nerve to criticize them and Putin? A little late. Putin is going to be much angrier and vengeful after thinking all that while that Trump wanted to be his friend. Trump actually thought we could work with the Russians, really???! I hope you people see how wrong he was.

bolivar di griz said...

Because we're in Syria to stop Islamic state and al queda, Syria's domestic arrangement don't concern except when they cross a threshhold as with last year.

wildswan said...

"Quaestor said...
Chlorine causes red lines to fade to yellow streaks."

As you say.

wildswan said...

There's no stability in Syria and consequently we can't have stable policy except on an issue like use of chemical weapons.

themightypuck said...

Without the use of any chemical weapons, Assad has basically cleared out the area around Damascus. This gas attack was allegedly against the last bastion (who may have already left). Cui bono? My guess is that this is a false flag but you never know. The South really did attack Fort Sumter.

Rick said...

Why should they? Those were all leaders of other countries. Our only pressing concern should be the success or failure of our own government in serving us.

Because failures in other countries teach something about how systems work. When people try to block out sources of learning the obvious conclusion is that they don't want anyone to learn those lessons.

Inga said...

What other people, Russia? Russia is Assad’s ally. Why would Trump think Russians could be trusted to take care of things in the Mideast?

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/white-house/trump-says-the-us-leaving-syria-very-soon-let-the-other-people-take-care-of-it

“President Trump said Thursday the U.S. would leave Syria "very soon" and "let the other people take care of it."

Trump made the announcement in an Ohio speech pushing spending on domestic infrastructure, and after heralding the Islamic State group's near-defeat.

"By the way we're knocking the hell out of ISIS. We're coming out of Syria very soon. Let the other people take care of it now — very soon, very soon, we're coming out," Trump said.“

Rick said...

Trump actually thought we could work with the Russians, really?

Note there's no actual evidence of his belief, Trump merely has not intentionally inflamed relations the way Dems are pretending he should have. Meanwhile she has never criticized Obama for telling Medvedev to pass to Putin "After my election I have more flexibility." She can't evaluate anything outside the prism of party.

Inga said...

“Trump actually thought we could work with the Russians, really?”
—————————————-
“Note there's no actual evidence of his belief.”
—————————————-
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/03/tillerson-ready-to-let-russia-decide-assads-fate/

“The decision to cede ground to Russia on the question of Assad’s future comes on the eve of President Donald Trump’s first face-to-face meeting next week with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. It also comes at a time when the Trump administration is seeking to repair relations with the Kremlin despite a series of scandals that have plagued the White House since Trump’s election.”

J. Farmer said...

I'll quote Daniel Larison in The American Conservative, responding to McCain:

If Trump had not made his unscripted remarks about withdrawal last week, does anyone really think that the Syrian government would have behaved significantly differently than it did? If McCain believes that, he is ascribing near-magical powers to presidential rhetoric with a degree of conviction that would embarrass the most credulous believers in superstitions. Other states act according to their own interests as they perceive them, and it is a measure of our national narcissism and self-importance that our political leaders routinely assume that every foreign state’s action is somehow our fault or our responsibility to “fix.” Most things around the world are entirely beyond our government’s control, and it is important that we understand that there are some things that the U.S. can’t and shouldn’t try to “fix.”

He goes on to make a larger (and more important) point about US foreign policy more broadly:

The warmongering Arizona senator always denies U.S. responsibility for our government’s own crimes and blunders, and like many other hawks he derides most criticisms of U.S. foreign policy as “blaming America first.” But here McCain does something far more ridiculous by effectively blaming the U.S. government for the crimes of states that it opposes because of its supposed “inaction.” As far as McCain et al. are concerned, U.S. actions are never responsible for provoking negative reactions or causing blowback, but U.S. inaction can be blamed for whatever terrible things a foreign government happens to do in its own territory. McCain’s understanding of culpability is completely upside down: he always lets the U.S. off the hook for its worst behavior while imputing the worst behavior of our enemies to our government’s “failure” to “stop” it. The U.S. is never called to account for what it does abroad, but McCain is the first to vilify the government when it “fails” to start or join the war McCain supports. This sort of thinking was pernicious and wrong when it was used against the previous president, and it is just as pernicious and wrong today. It is one of the many reasons why our foreign policy debates are so warped and biased in favor of destructive action.

-McCain Blames America First

Ray said...

Assad’s use of poison gas has been about giving the finger to the US. About being the strong horse. Obama let it go. Trump with one pin prick attack restored us credibility around the world, that Obama had squandered.

I agree that Syria is a mess and lots of bad actors there. Obama, Turkey, Gulf States, and Assad destroyed the so called moderates.

The only one I sympathize with are the Kurds.

Pentagon and state Dept are talking of rebuilding Syria and leaving a permanent us force there. Trump is asking why? Assad is the leader of Syria and does not want us there. Trump is talking common sense.

Inga said...

“But Tillerson made clear to Guterres that the U.S. was once again shifting gears. “What happens to Assad is Russia’s issue, not the U.S. government’s,” one source said Tillerson told the U.N. chief in last week’s meeting. Tillerson’s message, the official added, was that “the U.S. government will respond to the terrorist threat,” but that it is largely agnostic about “whether Assad goes or stays.”

Tillerson’s retreat suggests the State Department is willing to skirt the ethical morass of what to do about the Assad regime as it navigates the dense thicket of conflicting alliances fighting in Syria.”

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/03/tillerson-ready-to-let-russia-decide-assads-fate/

Robert Cook said...

"Five minutes later he demonstrates that left-wing anti-Semitism grows bolder daily."

How so?

Inga said...

“The only one I sympathize with are the Kurds.”

Yes, the Kurds. The Kurds feel they’ve been abandoned by the American government. Trump crawls up Erdogans ass and ignores the plight of the Kurds.

Rick said...

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/03/tillerson-ready-to-let-russia-decide-assads-fate/

Recognition that we can't unilaterally control international affairs is not the same as claiming Trump naive'y believes Russians are partners. If you had any ability to analyze instead of simply repeating the most extreme anti-Trump talking points you found you'd recognize the difference.

Robert Cook said...

"Trump actually thought we could work with the Russians, really?"

Why can't we? They want to work with us. The only reason there's a new push to reincarnate Russia as the great Satan is because Islamic terrorism is no longer cutting it as a justification to continue expanding the budget and power of the War Department. People realize that Islamic terrorism is simply not an existential threat to us, and, in fact, is a minor threat.

Inga said...

“Why can't we? They want to work with us.”

Because they are led by a murderer who uses chemical weapons on people inside and outside his own country. Because he’s a dictator who routinely murders his opposition. Because he’s a kleptocrat, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Robert Cook said...

@Inga:

We have never been reluctant to work in partnership with (or sponsorhip of) murderers and dictators and kleptocrats. This describes many of America's best friends, especially in this hemisphere.

Ray said...

Is the US the worlds policeman?

Is it our job to punish dictators around the world?

Who have us this right?

Who is paying us to be the worlds policeman?

Ray said...

Who gave us this right!

William said...

People here seem to think that Assad needs a rational reason to act in a vile and self destructive way. Hardly. It remains to be seen if the Middle East can create a leader who is capable of acting in a way that is not vile and self destructive.

William said...

Hitler declared war on the USSR, the British Empire, and the USA.

Hagar said...

Who gave us this right!

Our fathers, or rather grandfathers, did, when they fought WWII and the Cold War and won.
Being the biggest and meanest sonofabitch in the valley carries responsibilities with it.

Rusty said...

Hager Yep. Hence more than 6 aircraft carriers.

Robert Cook said...

"Our fathers, or rather grandfathers, did, when they fought WWII and the Cold War and won.Being the biggest and meanest sonofabitch in the valley carries responsibilities with it."

No. What you mean is "opportunities." (To assert our dominion over the world and its resources.)

Crazy Jane said...

The LATimes report this morning suggests there have been multiple reports of smaller gas attacks, presumably ignored by major powers, over the last five years. This may have engendered complacency about a somewhat greater attack as Assad moves in for the kill in a particularly belligerent sector.

It would be provocative and interesting to see external forces pledge support to an independent Kurdistan composed geographically of parts of Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The Kurds seem rational, relatively, among groups in the region, which could use a second, non-Israeli democracy. Over the longer term, replacing current arbitrary borders with tribal ones might cool down the heat in a region we don't need and where we aren't willing to waste our military energy.

Michael K said...


“Trump actually thought we could work with the Russians, really?”
—————————————-
“Note there's no actual evidence of his belief.”
—————————————-
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/03/tillerson-ready-to-let-russia-decide-assads-fate/


Inga naturally goes right to the most wildly left wing magazine on foreign affairs.

I subscribed to Foreign Affairs for years. Foreign Policy is the DNC version.

Tillerson and McMaster seem to have both been the Establishment View of foreign policy, which got us into Iraq and wants to get us entangled with Iran which is an enemy.

We should destroy Assad's compound and leave. We have no interests there.

I would surreptitiously help the Kurds but avoid getting too entangled.

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

Our fathers, or rather grandfathers, did, when they fought WWII and the Cold War and won.
Being the biggest and meanest sonofabitch in the valley carries responsibilities with it.


What sinister piffle. It's okay when we gets hundreds of thousands of people killed and trillions of dollars of property destroyed because we were on the right side of a conflict once almost eighty years ago.

Khesanh 0802 said...

@ Inga apparently you missed the fact that Tillerson was let go.

Michael K said...

Farmer, you would probably enjoy Pat Buchanan's new book, "The Unnecessary Wars,"

I've been listening to it and disagree with much of what he says but it is interesting and he is a good writer.

Inga said...

“Inga apparently you missed the fact that Tillerson was let go.”

No kidding?!

Tillerson was on the side of the US removing Assad, then was told by Trump that he needed to change his stance as it didn’t reflect Trump’s. This was one of those instances in which Trump and Tillerson were not on the same page.

Drago said...

Inga: "Because they are led by a murderer who uses chemical weapons on people inside and outside his own country. Because he’s a dictator who routinely murders his opposition. Because he’s a kleptocrat, etc. etc. etc. etc."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/22/obama-cuba-baseball-diplomacy

Good times, good times....

Drago said...

Inga: "Tillerson was on the side of the US removing Assad, ..."

LOL

Tillerson was a tool of Putin, until he wasn't...

History began this morning for Inga.

Again.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Inga naturally goes right to the most wildly left wing magazine on foreign affairs. I subscribed to Foreign Affairs for years. Foreign Policy is the DNC version.

If you actually believe that Foreign Policy is "the most wildly left wing magazine on foreign affairs," then the term "left wing" has no meaning. Both are interventionist, internationalist publications, though Foreign Policy is slightly less so than Foreign Affairs.

Tillerson and McMaster seem to have both been the Establishment View of foreign policy, which got us into Iraq and wants to get us entangled with Iran which is an enemy.

I have no idea where that reading came from. The story has been that Tillerson and McMaster were insufficiently enthusiastic about blowing up the Iranian nuclear deal. If you want to talk about people who want to "get us entangled with Iran," Pompeo and Bolton far better fit that description than the men they are replacing.

We should destroy Assad's compound and leave. We have no interests there.

What possible good could come from weakening the Assad regime? The Assad regime is the primary stalwart we have in Syria against jihadist fanatics running the place. It still blows my mind that after nearly two decades of failure, people think the US can just bomb a government, weaken and potentially destroy it, and then not expect the result to be anarchic violence.

I would surreptitiously help the Kurds but avoid getting too entangled.

Help them how? Turkey, a country we are legally obligated to defend, has already signaled their willingness to go to war to prevent a Kurdish state, since such a state could easily be a staging ground for continued attacks by separatists against the Turkish state. What state would tolerate that?

Inga said...

Tillerson had to reverse himself on Syria and Assad.

“In a separate news conference Thursday afternoon, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Assad's actions suggest "it would seem there would be no role for him to govern the Syrian people." Just last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Assad's hold on power in Syria was a "political reality that we have to accept."

The top American diplomat also urged the Russian government to "consider carefully their continued support for the Assad regime." Tillerson added that "steps are underway" for a possible international effort to remove Assad.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/06/trump-tillerson-suggest-assad-should-be-removed-in-apparent-reversal.html

FIDO said...

J. Farmer.

No...we've pretty much been on the moral side of most conflicts if the Pograms, reeducation camps and masses of Boat people escaping from the conflicts your side caused us to lose are any indication.


But let's play.

Which side is 'correct': the one with women's rights or the Taliban?

That which oppressed the majority of the population with rape rooms, or the side which was putting up electricity for EVERYONE. The side which shut down the rape rooms?

Please defend supporting rape rooms, child marriages, and the destruction of people's religious and cultural sites. Show your work.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Farmer, you would probably enjoy Pat Buchanan's new book, "The Unnecessary Wars,"

I've been listening to it and disagree with much of what he says but it is interesting and he is a good writer.


I am not aware of any such book. The closest I can recall was Churchill, Hitler, and The Unnecessary War, but that is not new; it was published almost a decade ago I believe. In any event, I did read that book, and while Buchanan did not ultimately convince me of his thesis, the book is an important piece of historical revisionism.

If I am wrong, and there is a new book that I am unfamiliar with, I would love to read it. I agree with you regarding Buchanan's talent as a writer, and he and I tend to see eye to eye on foreign policy more often than not. Long live the paleocons. We've advocated Trumpism since long before Trump.

J. Farmer said...

@FIDO:

Which side is 'correct': the one with women's rights or the Taliban?

Women's rights.

Now let's keep playing.

Which side is 'correct': the one with women's rights or the Saudi royal family?

So if it's women's rights, when do we start bombing Riyadh? When do we forcibly overthrow the Saudi monarchy and bring democracy and women's rights to the Arabian peninsula?

Rick said...

Turkey, a country we are legally obligated to defend, has already signaled their willingness to go to war to prevent a Kurdish state, since such a state could easily be a staging ground for continued attacks by separatists against the Turkish state. What state would tolerate that?

This is an interesting reveal. Israel faces exactly this but somehow Farmer consistently blames them for actions he's characterizing as normal and expected when threatened by Turkey.

FIDO said...

We aren't at war with the Saudi Royal Family and frankly, with the changes they have recently made, they seem on a better track than they were.

One makes a moral difference in places where our strategic interests are also in play, not going looking for trouble.

The key aspect is: if the Left really cleaved to it's self ascribed principles, they would be HAPPY to pitch in in circumstances where they CAN make a difference and avoid the passive aggressive moral simplicity of always being against any war not lead by a Democrat.

Short form: If Feminists were REALLY Feminists, they would have been for Afghanistan and Iraq...and pushing Obama to take action in IRAN.

But no...they weren't. They wanted to bitch about that nickel of a pay gap.

J. Farmer said...

@Rick:

This is an interesting reveal. Israel faces exactly this but somehow Farmer consistently blames them for actions he's characterizing as normal and expected when threatened by Turkey.

I'll send you a cashier's check for a $1,000 if you can quote anything I have ever said to that effect. I have never denied that Israel had a right to defend itself from outside attack. What I have consistently claimed (and continue to claim to this day) is that Israel has no right to steal other people's land and annex it for its civilian population.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hombre said...

“Now, why would he do that?”

Good question - and obvious. But rather than ruminate over that and provide us with some illuminating analysis the DNC-MSM mediaswine prefer to make it all about Trump while giving Obama a free pass.

The follow up question might be, “Who has access to chemical weapons and an interest in keeping the U.S. mired in the muck of the Middle East?”

J. Farmer said...

@FIDO:

We aren't at war with the Saudi Royal Family and frankly, with the changes they have recently made, they seem on a better track than they were.

What "changes" are you referring to? Can you explain to us what you know about Mohammad bin Salman and why you are prepared to take everything he says totally at face value? The "changes" in Saudi Arabia are mostly about the princelings consolidation of power and elimination of potential rivals.

Now you said we are not "at war with the Saudi Royal Family." I agree. My question to you is why not? If you don't support a war With Saudi Arabia, should we therefore conclude that you approve of and support that regime?

Short form: If Feminists were REALLY Feminists, they would have been for Afghanistan and Iraq...and pushing Obama to take action in IRAN.

But no...they weren't. They wanted to bitch about that nickel of a pay gap.


This is complete nonsense. Should we be pursuing wars and aggressive actions against non-democratic states? If you answer no to that question, does it follow logically that you must therefore not really believe in democracy?

How about wars to force countries to have free speech? Not a good idea? Then you obviously don't really believe in free speech.

See how easy and cheap it is to play this game?

Birkel said...

Smug favors return of North America to Natives while people of European ancestry are forced to return to Europe, I guess. It's only logical that if Israel cannot expand to better defend itself then America must be ceded to Natives.

Elizabeth Warren will be elected our Chief.

Good riddance, conquistadors!

/hiding my animus in plain view

Robert Cook said...

"It's only logical that if Israel cannot expand to better defend itself then America must be ceded to Natives."

I guess Newspeak really has become the lingua franca of the day.

Birkel said...

Better dead than Red.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

Smug favors return of North America to Natives while people of European ancestry are forced to return to Europe, I guess. It's only logical that if Israel cannot expand to better defend itself then America must be ceded to Natives.

If that is the case, why can't Russia expand westward to better defend itself? Why can't Turkey invade Syria? Why can't Iran invade surrounding territories to defend itself? Why can't China invade Taiwan?

On what principle could you oppose any of these things? Since, apparently to do so is to reveal that you want North America given back to the indigenous population.

Howard said...

Blogger FIDO said... We aren't at war with the Saudi Royal Family

Except they funded 911 and most of the 911 soldiers were Saudi's. But they are too big to fail in the global system of economic exchange, so they get a pass.

Ray said...

Syria is a mess, but most of it is other party's fault, not ours. Starting with the Syrian Government. Syria's government is not our ally. It's the enemy (usually) of our enemy (ISIS), that is it.

Assad was playing a double game, and not ruthless enough at the start. His Father leveled a city. The US, with the exception of what Trump did to one air base, has not bombed the Syrian government. Syria backed Terrorists against the US in Iraq, gave them safe harbor, and then when moderates were protesting let out the religious hardliners out of prison.

And with Turkey and the Gulf States financing the more hard liners, and the US being clueless on who they supported. This is one of the huge reasons I want out of Syria - we are just not smart enough to know who to back - See Castro, Khomeini, Ho Chi Minh, we all backed at one time as examples. The Assad opposition became VERY Islamic, since Assad wanted it as a choice between him, or Islamic Extremists.

And with the US withdrawing from Iraq under Obama, it opened a power vacuum after dumb decisions by the Iraqi leadership that destroyed the effectiveness of the Iraqi army, and upset the local Sunni's.

Libya, yes, I agree it's mostly the US's fault for what happened there. Where we led from behind with the UK, France, and Italy leading. That is one war I really regret the US being involved in. We had a deal with Khadify, and we broke it.

>The Assad regime is the primary stalwart we have in Syria against jihadist fanatics
>running the place. It still blows my mind that after nearly two decades of failure,
>people think the US can just bomb a government, weaken and potentially destroy it, >and then not expect the result to be anarchic violence.

Birkel said...

Smug,
As a person with Native heritage, I support a policy that gives me North America. I cannot imagine needing to justify why I would want that.

There are no principles in the international arena. There is only power and the will to use it.

Everything else is window dressing.

Drago said...

Howard: "Except they funded 911 and most of the 911 soldiers were Saudi's. But they are too big to fail in the global system of economic exchange, so they get a pass."

Someone hasn't been paying attention.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/04/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-waleed-bin-talal.html

https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-04-19/israel-develops-new-ties-saudi-arabia-and-other-gulf-states

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/mideast/open-secret-saudi-arabia-israel-get-cozy-n821136

Something rather large is happening with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, UAE and a few select others.

You might consider familiarizing yourself with those facts which have been established publicly and then...think a bit more...

Birkel said...

To be completely fair:
There's also the absurd cost which should limit behavior. That's what the Union of Soviet Socialist States found when they did expand West into Europe. They found that the cost of maintaining an empire was entirely too high.

Power and will: short-term and often self-limiting
Cost: middle- and long-term, inevitable and not susceptible to wishing

An argument that rested on cost instead of principle would gain my attention.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

There are no principles in the international arena. There is only power and the will to use it.

Fine then. So if a jihadist group got a bomb and let it off in the center of Tel Aviv, why care? After all, no principles are involved. It's just power and the will to use it.

Hagar said...

Israel has the "right" to steal other people's land and annex it for its civilian population if it can do it and make it stick. That is the way "international law" works and always has. Conquest is good title. Cf. the United States of America.

The House of Saud is running scared and looking for allies in Robert Fisk's coming "Great War for Civilization." Thus the rush for reforms and international approval.

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

Something rather large is happening with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, UAE and a few select others.

You might consider familiarizing yourself with those facts which have been established publicly and then...think a bit more...


I don't think it is as "rather large" as you might think. For one, Saudi willingness to cooperate with Israel is not news and has been true for well over a decade if not longer. Also, the talk about Saudi Arabia is pretty much exactly what people were saying about it in the mid-1970s. The so called goal of modernizing that society is a monumental task, and one should be very credulous when Saudi political figures are speaking to western audiences.

Birkel said...

Oh, Smug! I would care about the dead people. You may find that although I am quite important I am not participating in the "international arena" and so your leap makes no sense.

Inga said...

“The US, with the exception of what Trump did to one air base, has not bombed the Syrian government.”


https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/world/middleeast/syria.html

WASHINGTON — President Obama abruptly changed course on Saturday and postponed a military strike against the Syrian government in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack so he could seek authorization first from a deeply skeptical Congress.

In one of the riskiest gambles of his presidency, Mr. Obama effectively dared lawmakers to either stand by him or, as he put it, allow President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to get away with murdering children with unconventional weapons. By asking them to take a stand, Mr. Obama tried to break out of the isolation of the last week as he confronted taking action without the support of the United Nations, Congress, the public or Britain, a usually reliable partner in such international operations.

“I’m prepared to give that order,” Mr. Obama said in a hurriedly organized appearance in the Rose Garden as American destroyers armed with Tomahawk missiles waited in the Mediterranean Sea. “But having made my decision as commander in chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy.”

Although Congressional leaders hailed his decision to seek the permission of lawmakers who had been clamoring for a say, the turnabout leaves Mr. Obama at the political mercy of House Republicans, many of whom have opposed him at every turn and have already suggested that Syria’s civil war does not pose a threat to the United States. His decision raises the possibility that he would be the first president in modern times to lose a vote on the use of force, much as Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain did in Parliament last week.“

Birkel said...

*pats Inga on the head*

Good contribution, Inga.

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

That is the way "international law" works and always has.

No, that is not true. The UN Charter, to which the US and Israel are both signatories, specifically forbids acquisition of land by conquest. Plus, if Israel had truly annexed that territory, then its inhabitants would be Israeli citizens, which Israel cannot permit since it would cease to be a Jewish state.

Hagar said...

Something rather large is happening with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, UAE and a few select others.

and Russia, Iran, and Turkey to the north. It is a set-up for a major war to break out.

Birkel said...

A piece of paper prevents people from doing things?

Must be some new fandangled bond with which I'm not familiar.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

You may find that although I am quite important I am not participating in the "international arena" and so your leap makes no sense.

As a citizen of a democratic country that has a foreign policy, I am afraid you are very much participating in the international arena. In fact, as a citizen of the US, the international crimes you should be most concerned with are the ones committed by your side.

Birkel said...

One wonders why that magical piece of paper had to include - in the words written on it - a prohibition on a thing that Smug assures me is illegitimate.

Tibet is especially interested to read the forthcoming answer.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

A piece of paper prevents people from doing things?

Must be some new fandangled bond with which I'm not familiar.


Try reading one of our managed trade agreements.

Birkel said...

Smug @ 12:54 wants to assign me group guilt?

I thought there was a piece of paper that prevents Smug from doing that.

Birkel said...

I hear tell there are pieces of paper that outlaw crimes.
That's why crimes don't happen.

Inga said...

“...pats Inga on the head*

Good contribution, Inga.”

...kicks Birkel in the ass and tells him he’s being outargued by Farmer. Having said that, I don’t agree with Farmer, he’s just much smarter than Birkel, lol.

Drago said...

J. Farmer: "I don't think it is as "rather large" as you might think."

I think you are wrong...and not thinking about all the relevant dimensions of cooperation.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

I hear tell there are pieces of paper that outlaw crimes.
That's why crimes don't happen.


And if a cop thinks you may have committed a crime, why don't they just kidnap you and beat a confession out of you? After all, it's just a piece of paper that says they can't.

J. Farmer said...

Smug @ 12:54 wants to assign me group guilt?

"Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us."

-P.J. O'Rourke

J. Farmer said...

@Drago:

I think you are wrong...and not thinking about all the relevant dimensions of cooperation.

I am not sure what is so new on that front. How do you perceive Egypt or Jordan or the UAE to be acting significantly different than they did say a decade ago?

Howard said...

Drago: Thanks! So this is the rapprochement between the Sunni's and the Hebrews caused by threatening the Sunni's existence through an empowering Iran via obliterating the Sunni bulwark in Iraq and signing a Nuke deal with the Mad Mullah's. The enema of my enema is my friend. Schrub and Obambi are ingeniousness personified winning a big one for the deep state.

Trump gets to take all the credit and Little Jared gets all the loans he needs to cover his ballooning nut all at the same time. Win win win win... so much winning I need a nap.

Birkel said...

Well I am glad I don't live in a democracy.

Smug,
You can pretend all you want that the laws that America pretends restrain her will actually restrain her at need. But they won't.

China is building islands. They are weaponizing their islands. There are agreements that claim to prevent what is happening. China is doing it anyway.

Advantage: power and will over Smug

Robert Cook said...

"...kicks Birkel in the ass and tells him he’s being outargued by Farmer."

But isn't it always that way? Birkel should be used to getting well pasted by now.

Hagar said...

The UN Charter is a very recent development launched by the United States in the aftermath of WWII in the hope of forming an international coalition to enforce the notion of restraining future military acquisitions by adventurist regimes.
It remains a hope. The reality is that war is prevented to the extent that the "major powers" - today the U.S. and China - make it clear they do not want any such foolishness to start.

And in the end - a couple of generations from now and barring "accidents" - Israel will annex "the territories" and revise its constitution to that of a secular state with religious freedom.

Birkel said...

Smug: "And if a cop thinks you may have committed a crime, why don't they just kidnap you and beat a confession out of you? After all, it's just a piece of paper that says they can't."

Obvious Answer: Fear of detection and punishment

What fear of detection and punishment does a nation-state suffer?

Birkel said...

Oh, Robert Cook and Inga think that because I amuse myself in a way that pleases me they somehow have won an argument. That assumes a great number of things.

You two are good for giggles.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

China is building islands. They are weaponizing their islands. There are agreements that claim to prevent what is happening. China is doing it anyway.

Saying that someone is violating international law is not the same thing as saying that there is no such thing as international law. As you pointed out, the fact that people commit murder does not mean that laws against murder are meaningless. Also, the corpus of international law is important because contrary to your fevered imagination, most disputes in the international arena are settled by diplomacy and negotiated settlements and not by force of arms.

Hagar said...

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Nah, it is just a superannuated compact between the several states at the time, now badly in need of revision, and if we do not feel like respecting it, we don't have to.

So there! Nyah! Nyah!

Birkel said...

Smug:
Tell me what enforcement mechanism exists to stop China doing what it is.

Without an enforcement mechanism, no amount of words is law. And nothing you write can change this very basic fact about what it means to be a law. That is quite literally a foundational piece of what it means to be law. It's in every text on the subject. But only 100% of them.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:


Obvious Answer: Fear of detection and punishment

What fear of detection and punishment does a nation-state suffer?


What "punishment?" That's just words on a piece of paper. Why should they fear words on paper?

Jim at said...

Assad and/or Putin are creating a red line for the U.S. and the U.N.

Nope. It's the same red line. And that 'red line' was established by one Barack Hussein Obama when he ran his mouth.

Now, I don't claim to have the answers to Syria, but one thing I wouldn't do is make verbal threats about lines to be crossed and then sit on my ass and do nothing when it happens.

Barack Obama's biggest problem was he believed his own bullshit and he thought everybody else did, too. They didn't.

Birkel said...

Smug,
You're normally not so uselessly obtuse. This effort is sad.

Cops suffer penalty in the United States if they violate laws and are caught. There is an enforcement mechanism.

No such mechanism exists for China building its islands or claiming Tibet.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

Tell me what enforcement mechanism exists to stop China doing what it is.

First, domestic law is not the same thing as international law, and the problem you point out is one that international jurists have discussed over a century. First, there is an enforcement mechanism. Namely, the UN Security Council. However, due to the peculiarities of how the UN was set up after the second World War, the five permanent members have veto powers.

Read Richard Falk's Status of Law in International Society. He addresses, at length, the concerns you've raised.

Jim at said...

The video of the kids being washed off and mouths rinsed after the attack, looks fakey as hell.

First thing I noticed, too.
Pallywood.

Hagar said...

In 1871 Britain, France, and Germany told Russia to give back most of the territorial gains it had won in its recent war with Turkey, or risk war with all of them. Russia blinked ad gave back the land.

In 1895 Russia and the other three "major powers" told Japan to give back to China its gains in northern China from the First Sino-Japanese War, or risk war with all of them. The Japanese looked at the warships gathering in the East China Sea and gave back the requested territory.

Hagar said...

@Birkel,
There is an enforcement mechanism. It is called the US Navy.

Birkel said...

Hagar:
I agree with you. Power and the will to use it.

Birkel said...

Smug:
Falk writes about the issues that are obvious. And when all is said and done he finds no enforcement mechanism either.

Mao had the measure of international law.

Rusty said...

Hagar said...
"@Birkel,
There is an enforcement mechanism. It is called the US Navy."

Hence more than six aircraft carriers.


Blogger Hagar said...
"The UN Charter................"

Fortunately we have a document that supersedes that charter

Robert Cook said...

"Fortunately we have a document that supersedes that charter."

Which is?

buwaya said...

"Which is?"

I assume he refers to your constitution.

Robert Cook said...

"I assume he refers to your constitution."

I assume so, as well, but he's mistaken. The Constitution does not give us authority to wage war as we wish against other nations. Also, Article II, Section 2 of Constitution states that treaties we enter into--such as the UN Charter--become the "law of the land." Therefore, when we invade countries in violation of the UN Charter, we're violating the law.

Now, we are free to withdraw from the UN and dissolve our obligations under the UN Charter, but we choose not to, and therefore, the treaty still applies.

buwaya said...

Enforcement of international law, if problems with it pass from the annoying to the critical, requires someone to declare war, or at least credibly threaten it.

Its why the League of Nations failed- when Ethiopia, a member in good standing, asked for assistance against clear Italian aggression, no members would enforce their charter.

Failure of this sort does not require a veto-generating Security Council - simply an unwillingness to assume risk or sacrifice for the sake of maintaining order.

You get the same in criminal or civil law. the state has to hire people willing to take personal risks in order to serve as the enforcers of the law. Every time someone is to be arrested or searched a policeman is risking a fight and bodily harm.

Robert Cook said...

Actually, the Supremacy Clause, (Article VI, Clause 2) is what makes treaties the "the supreme law of the land."

buwaya said...

"Also, Article II, Section 2 of Constitution states that treaties we enter into--such as the UN Charter--become the "law of the land."

There is an ancient argument that such foreign treaties are null in cases where their provisions contradict portions of the US Constitution. It would be a neat trick, for instance, to enter into a treaty requiring an international agency to vet all Internet postings for "accuracy", obviously in violation of the First Amendment. Oops, sorry, free speech is gone because of Article II.

buwaya said...

And that bit about prospective international-agency supervision of internet speech is not at all speculative.

Robert Cook said...

"Enforcement of international law, if problems with it pass from the annoying to the critical, requires someone to declare war, or at least credibly threaten it."

Yes, and this the task of the UN Security Council, and not one permitted to any one nation acting on its own. Under the charter, a nation may engage in war without Security Council approval only in cases where a nation must defend itself or an ally against an attack by an aggressor nation. Under the charter, even threatening the use of violence to compel another nation's behavior is illegal.

Robert Cook said...

"There is an ancient argument that such foreign treaties are null in cases where their provisions contradict portions of the US Constitution."

And...how does the UN Security Charter provisions against waging or threatening aggressive war violate the U.S. Constitution? As I pointed out, it does permit a nation to defend itself or an ally against attack without seeking UN Approval.

Birkel said...

Leftists like Robert Cook would be quite happy having treaties overrule other Constitutional provisions, despite clear guidelines for how the Constitution must be amended.

That is where Robert Cook parts ways with Smug. Smug appreciates the sovereignty of the United States.

Advantage: Smug

Robert Cook said...

"Smug appreciates the sovereignty of the United States."

Sure, we have sovereignty over ourselves, not over the world.

Birkel said...

We are back to arguing whether a piece of paper can control nations.
Robert Cook cannot forgive those pieces of paper for their inability to be other than inanimate objects.

langford peel said...

Every story I have seen or read about this starts with this sentence or something like it.

"Syrian Strongman Assad uses poison gas on his own people."

You see that is very important. They are his people. Not our people.

Syria produces nothing in this world besides refugees who rape women in Sweden and stab people in London. We should pull our troops out immediately and leave the Russians and Turks and Iranians to fight it out over the corpse of this shit hole country. Fuck these worthless camel jockeys. We just need to concentrate on keeping them out of our country.

President Trump is indeed being put to the test. Is he going to worry about America First or is he going to succumb to the blandishments of the neocons who always lifting up their dresses and telling him to grab their pussy just because he can. The neocons are ubiquitous and invest all of the foreign policy establishment and the Deep State. They lose McMasters and they replace him with Bolton. Lady Graham was just on TV with his nipples distended and his panties wet at the thought of another war for us to get into in the Middle East. More of our young men and women to die to satisfy some geopolitical chess game. Fuck that noise.

America first. Let Israel and the Saudi's settle it. They have the money and muscle to do it. If we don't put on the breaks they can settle their hash. It is none of our beeswax.

They are Assad's own people. Not ours.

America first.

langford peel said...

Put the troops and the drones on our own border to protect our country. To keep out the rapist and criminals and drugs.

That is what we should be concerned with. Not a bunch of sand monkeys.

Enough is enough.

No more endless wars in the Middle East.

mockturtle said...

No more endless wars in the Middle East.

Amen!

buwaya said...

"And...how does the UN Security Charter provisions against waging or threatening aggressive war violate the U.S. Constitution?"

And here the devil can be found in the details - or there are all sorts of places hiding places for the slippery fellow. One is that one must define "war". And then there are current or prospective national policies that may "threaten" someone else.

An there are UN and other international treaties that have, on the face of it, nothing to do with war.

If you want examples, the Polish/Hungarian/Czech ongoing contretemps vs the EU give loads of cases where international treaties are in conflict with domestic policies and even their constitutions.

langford peel said...

We need to keep our eye on the ball. I think liberals and conservatives can agree that we don't want to spend American lives and billions of dollars to get in the middle of factional disputes among a bunch of Muslims.

Put our resources where they belong. On the border and our own crime ridden cities like Baltimore and Chicago.

America First.


langford peel said...

President Washington warned us. We need to get out of foreign entanglements. Especially when there is nothing in it for us.

It doesn't matter which bunch of blood thirsty suck ass Muslims run some shit hole country like Syria. Russia, Turkey and Iran will be at each others throats soon enough if we remove ourselves from the equation.

In fact let this be the first step in expelling Turkey from NATO. We don't need a Muslim Fifth Column in any of our alliances. Either get rid of Turkey or better yet get out of NATO all together.

America First.

Robert Cook said...

But Langford, we're not "concerned" with the people in the Middle East...not for humanitarian reasons, that is. The many innocent people we've killed there certainly belies any such delusion. Our concern is strictly geo-political: we are fighting to assert our domination in the region, the better to assure our global political and economic dominance. (We are doomed to fail, as all empires do in their own time.)

langford peel said...

Hungary has the right idea.

We can take a lesson from them.

The believe in Hungary for the Hungarians. No bullshit.

buwaya said...

The problem with letting someone use human Flit or Raid on inconvenient people is that it establishes a precedent where the next guys tempted to do that will be less-deterred from trying that, and the next, and the next.

Granted it is someone else's problem until it becomes a problem for you.

buwaya said...

"But Langford, we're not "concerned" with the people in the Middle East...not for humanitarian reasons, that is"

There is a broad view of humanitarian reasons. One is the need to kill people by the dozens to stave off the danger that they will kill each other by the millions.

Which would be inconvenient even for Fortress America.

Inga said...

How ever will you Trumpists reconcile Trump’s pick for the NSA, with your faith in Trump as a good leader and someone who has told you he doesn’t want foreign entanglements. Bolton is a notorious interventionist. Why would Trump pick him? Is he throwing you folks under the bus?

Robert Cook said...

"One is that one must define 'war'."

The definition of "war" is really pretty simple, but it is infinitely twisted and re-defined so that what is obviously war can be called something else, such as a "police action," "humanitarian intervention," "preemptive defense," and so on. It's all still war.

langford peel said...

I agree with you Robert. It is geopolitical dick measuring. That is all it is.

I hope you can agree with me that we can leave these filthy Muslim fanatics to murder each other and we can stay out of it.


Robert Cook said...

I agree we should remove ourselves from the Middle East, but I don't agree that most of those who are being harmed are "filthy Muslim fanatics." It is mostly innocent Muslim (and non-Muslim) men, women and children who call these countries home. Our illegal intervention in the region acted like a fertility drug on the Islamic extremists, generating many where there were few.

Hagar said...

Fortunately we have a document that supersedes that charter.

Well, Rusty, the U.N. being an organization invented, organized, and largely paid for by the United States government, you are going to have a difficult time arguing that the U.S is not obliged to live up to the provisions it itself wrote into that charter.

IOW, the U.S. imposed the U.N. Charter on the world at large; not the other way around as you seem to think.

langford peel said...

That is the rub Inga. Even a demented senile cunt rag like you can put her greasy finger on it.

The problem is that the neocons control the foreign policy establishment. When President Trump tried to bring in someone who rejected this conventional wisdom like Mike Flynn they all united to destroy him. Pussy hatted Russian fantasists like you foremost among them. The President can only work with what is available to him.

Hopefully he will not listen to them. But I am not hopeful. The only time the media and the Quisling Republicans like Graham and Ryan are happy is when he is killing brown people. I hope he is smart enough to avoid the trap.

But I am not confident that he will. He can get a lot of praise if he just kills some Syrians. I bet if he kills a bunch of Russians you will be really happy. You still will think he is Putin's bitch but killing Russians will get you wet.

langford peel said...

Hey Robert by all means be politically correct.

There are no such thing as innocent Muslims. They are all complicit in wanting to establish sharia law and all that implies. They have murdered Christians and Jews and have forced them out of every country they control. You are a fool if you think they are anything else.

But by all means pretend if that makes you happy.

Howard said...

You guys can debate law all you want but Putin's ultimate goal here is Turkey to reclaim Byzantium to Christendom. Then his name will live on for One Thousand Years

langford peel said...

Killing a bunch of Syrians will not stop a filthy Muslim fanatic from trying to use poison gas in America. The only thing that will stop that is ending Muslim Immigration and expelling the jihadist that have already been smuggled into our country.

Or we can become England. Where a man sleeping in his home is arrested for fighting back against murderers. Where the Muslims can't get guns so they use knives and cars to kill people. Now the terrorist mayor of London wants to ban knives.

You see where your politically correct bullshit will take us.

langford peel said...

I hope Putin does go after Turkey. He will be fighting there for a thousand years. More power to him. Turkey is not our friend. They are not our ally. They refused to allow us to overfly or use their country as a base in the Iraq war. We need to cut them lose and let them and the dirty Russki's kill each other like crabs in a bucket.

America first.

Inga said...

Langford Peel, you voted for him, now you got him. You deserve each other, the rub is that he rest of us don’t deserve to have him foisted on us.

LOL at you and your abject stupidity.

buwaya said...

"I hope Putin does go after Turkey. "

He doesn't have to - the Turks are now his friends, or want to be.

langford peel said...

Oh I have faith in him you dumb bitch. He has a tough row to hoe with all of the establishment against him. He has bested you and your pussy hatted horde of diseased twats at every turn.

Now go and read Hillary's book and dream of what might have been.

While the rest of us can go and enjoy a Stormy Daniels video.

buwaya said...

"Putin's ultimate goal here is Turkey to reclaim Byzantium to Christendom. "

Putins ultimate goal is not that because it would require way more effort than Russia can put out. Russia could not even sustain a fight with Ukraine over the Donbas.

Inga said...

“He doesn't have to - the Turks are now his friends, or want to be.”

Exactly.

langford peel said...

"He doesn't have to - the Turks are now his friends, or want to be."

There is nothing worse than being a friend to the Turks. Good luck to them. Putin deserves all that is coming to him.

The treacherous Turk is a byword of geopolitics.

langford peel said...

The only thing more treacherous than a Turk is a Pussy hatted Democrat or a Panty wearing RINO like Lady Graham.

You should never get in bed with any of them.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

“Oh I have faith in him you dumb bitch. He has a tough row to hoe with all of the establishment against him. He has bested you and your pussy hatted horde of diseased twats at every turn.”

Hahahaha! Dumbass, don’t be mad at me for pointing out the obvious, kick yourself in the ass for being such a moron. If you still have faith in him you’re even dumber than I thought. Hey, speaking of Stormy Daniels, I heard the FBI raided Trump’s lawyer, Cohen’s office. I bet they're looking for and will find a lot more than Stormy stuff in his files.

buwaya said...

To put the relationships in perspective, Turkey is in fact a richer country than Russia, and its growing much faster. Turkey has more to sell internationally than Russia does. And Turkey is looking much more like an imperial state.

Many people missed this, but after the Turks took Afrin (not just the town, but that inconvenient lump of Syria poking into Turkey) last month, they annexed it - its part of Turkey de facto. The Turko-Syrian border is smoother now.

langford peel said...

Inga baby I don't blame you. I pity you for your soulless existence.

You must be upset that your endless investigations based on Democratic lies and Deep State corruption has come to nothing.

The FBI is panicking now as the net is tightening on them. So they are lashing out in every way they can to cover up their tracks. It is not going to work.

Just like everyone who attacks Trump is destroyed the FBI is in for a world of hurt.

Inga said...

“You must be upset that your endless investigations based on Democratic lies and Deep State corruption has come to nothing.

The FBI is panicking now as the net is tightening on them. So they are lashing out in every way they can to cover up their tracks. It is not going to work.

Just like everyone who attacks Trump is destroyed the FBI is in for a world of hurt.”

Delusional. Simply delusional.


buwaya said...

Whats likely going on is that the Turks are trying to take over from Iran as Assads owner. Not sure what the Iranians will make of this. It was once a Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance, that may turn into a Turkish-Syrian-Russian alliance.

The key is to break the Russians off from Iran. And keep them away from the Kurds. The Kurds were once Russian (Soviet) allies, and the YPG (which the US has greatly aided), etc. were and may still be nominally communists.

In other words its a bizarre stew where friends today are enemies tomorrow.
As its always been.

langford peel said...

What is delusional is claiming that Trump is Putin's puppet when everything he has done has put more pressure on Russia. From expelling diplomats to destroying their energy income to arming the Ukrainians....Trump has done everything that pussy Obama never had the smarts or the balls to do. Of course now morons like you want him to go to war with Russia over Syria. I hope he realizes that is a big mistake. He should never do anything that you want him to do. He should ask your opinion and then do the exact opposite.

America first.

Jim at said...

LOL at you and your abject stupidity.

Your precious Boy King made it worse. So, now we're having to deal with a bigger mess.

Now would be a good time for you to shut up. Your way was tried. And failed.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
langford peel said...

The FBI and that lying loser Loretta Lynch are getting worried. She is out giving interviews throwing Comey under the bus. McCabe, Lynch and Comey are all circling each other. The first to flip will come out ahead.

Lets see who that is.

Inga said...

“Now would be a good time for you to shut up.”

Make me, you retarded gnat.

Inga said...


“What is delusional is claiming that Trump is Putin's puppet when everything he has done has put more pressure on Russia. From expelling diplomats to destroying their energy income to arming the Ukrainians....Trump has done everything that pussy Obama never had the smarts or the balls to do.”

Too late wayyyy too late. But it took him a while to crawl out of Putin’s ass. Plus had had to throw Putin under the bus, things are getting too hot for him not to. He’s out to save his own skin now.

“Of course now morons like you want him to go to war with Russia over Syria. I hope he realizes that is a big mistake.”

Not if he listens to his new NSA, Bolton.

LOL, you really are not too bright

buwaya said...

" to arming the Ukrainians...."

True. Putin has given up on the Donbas. Its not worth the trouble. A holding action at best. Its also not usually noted that Russia has been reducing its military budgets.

Howard said...

Now you talking turkey

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