Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 07, 2013

Senate Surrenders War Powers Over False Flag Incident

While U.S. citizens are calling their representatives to vote against AIPAC pressure and against a war on Syria and Iran the really problematic vote is more likely to happen in the Senate.

The Obama administration asked the Senate for an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) in Syria over an alleged chemical weapons attack. That AUMF was already worded incredibly wide and would have allowed the president to wage unlimited war over all the Middle East and beyond.

But the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was first to consult over the AUMF, partially made the already wide language of the Obama draft AUMF even wider and worse. It effectively surrenders all war powers to the office of the president.

While on first sight the body of the new AUMF (pdf) seems to limit the president's ability to wage war, a huge "Easter egg" was put into the preambling Whereas clauses. Here are the three critical ones which have to be seen in combination:

  • Whereas in the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 (Public Law 108–175), Congress found that Syria’s acquisition of weapons of mass destruction threatens the security of the Middle East and the national security interests of the United States;
  • Whereas Syria’s use of weapons of mass destruction and its conduct and actions constitute a grave threat to regional stability, world peace, and the national security interests of the United States and its allies and partners;
  • Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to use force in order to defend the national security interests of the United States

That last whereas clause contradicts the constitution as well as the War Powers Resolution of 1973. It gives the president unlimited power to wage war anytime he finds the wobbly defined "national interest" of the United States endangered. It is huge blank check.

Why are the Senators on the verge of handing such power to the president? It makes life easier for them. It can push off their responsibility to decalre wars and blame the president when things go wrong. It is a dereliction of the Senate's duty.

While the AUMF looks likely to be defeated in the House, a positive vote in the Senate on these new presidential powers would be taken by this and future presidents as a precedent and would support any future case in which the president wants to go to war without consulting with Congress.

The citizens of the United States should concentrate on defeating this Senate vote. Call your Senators before you call your House members and ask them to vote against this overarching claim of presidential powers.

This is even more important now as the case of the "chemical attack" in Syria looks more and more fraudulent. A number of former intelligence officers have written to the president to warn him that the case has not been made, that the provided intelligence is fraudulent and that the incident in Syria was, as we maintained from the beginning, a false flag incident created by Saudi, Turkish and Israeli services:

We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this.
...
Our sources confirm that a chemical incident of some sort did cause fatalities and injuries on August 21 in a suburb of Damascus. They insist, however, that the incident was not the result of an attack by the Syrian Army using military-grade chemical weapons from its arsenal. That is the most salient fact, according to CIA officers working on the Syria issue. They tell us that CIA Director John Brennan is perpetrating a pre-Iraq-War-type fraud on members of Congress, the media, the public – and perhaps even you.
That the incident near Damascus was a false flag committed by the insurgents in Syria is also the stated opinion of the Russian Federation.

The Israeli plan for Syria is to keep up a lengthy war of attrition between the insurgency and the Syrian government:

“This is a playoff situation in which you need both teams to lose, but at least you don’t want one to win — we’ll settle for a tie,” said Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli consul general in New York. “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death: that’s the strategic thinking here. As long as this lingers, there’s no real threat from Syria.”
As we said a year ago:
Destruction of the infrastructure, economy and social fabric of Syria is their and their supporters aim.
The Israeli plan of endless war in Syira also seems to be the plan the United States government supports. Balance both sides, provide weapons and support the insurgents when they are week, reduce support when they are winning, keep the war ongoing as long as possible and with the most possible damage:
"I don’t expect huge, huge change on the day after on the ground,” said the official, who is traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry to a meeting here with European Union foreign ministers on the Middle East.

“That grinding war of attrition will continue and the regime’s manpower shortages will continue to grow, but I would not expect a breakthrough on the ground.”

The war on and in Syria could stop within a few weeks if the United States and its allies would stop delivering weapons, ammunition and other support to the insurgency and would seriously seek a negotiated solution. But the United States will not do so as long as its strategy for the destruction of Syria is working.

The Syrian government and its supporters must recognize this. It is not enough to keep fighting the insurgents. The war must be pushed onto those who support them. The Jordan King Abdullah needs to feel under pressure to finally close down the CIA insurgency training camps within his country. The Turkish prime minister Erdogan is already in political trouble. This trouble needs to be reenforced to induce him to change his aims and to shut down any and all support for the insurgency. There are ways and means, not necessarily neat ones, to achieve such.

Posted by b on September 7, 2013 at 07:54 AM | Permalink

Comments
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Will Congress vote on the 9th? When will the house vote? Does the House vote mean anything?

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7, 2013 8:09:22 AM | 1

It is a war crime to threaten a Country with war.

Bar-Baric (or War-ack) Obama has clearly lost his reason / balance.
He should be removed to decapitate the war crime cabal and run the US under acting Pres Gen Dempsey?.

There would be large number of refugees from israel if a major force was going to bomb it to help terrorists take it over.

Posted by: boindub | Sep 7, 2013 8:38:44 AM | 2

Obama would not have had to go to congress for a brief, limited strike. He would have had to construe an actual, imminent threat to the US in that case though. The constitution says "congress", that is house plus senate. Both sides have to agree. I do not share b.'s pessimism on the senate vote. It would not be enough though, they need the house too and if both disagree there has to be mediation.

The very interesting fact is that NATO this time is not involved at all. Earlier wars were legitimized via NATO or the UN Security council.

Europe insists on the UN report first. Obama runs a risk that Russians/Syrians have or will get proof on who did it.

That strike will take a while. In the meantime Aleppo seems to be completely cut off from any news. No rebel videos, no news reports no nothing.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 8:46:04 AM | 3

I agree with b's conclusion, its time to put heat under terrorists supporters, otherwise everytime Syria gets an upper hand they'll be bombed, and new hordes of wahhabis will come to keep up mass massacres and destruction.

If resistance will do nothing about that (as they havent for over two years now), Syria can indeed become a failed state, just as Israel wants.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 7, 2013 9:07:56 AM | 4

More on the AIPAC/Israel's ties to Syrian "oppostion" in DC and the US.

Attention: Bill Kristol and the rest of the traitor Zionists in the US please stop at Floor 3 for a noose-fitting. Thanks.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 9:15:18 AM | 5

Has the UN produced or released any report yet from the team they sent to supposedly "investigate" the so-called "Sarin" incident?

If not then shouldn't people be asking "Why not?"

They have had exactly one week since the alleged "investigators" left Syria with whatever "evidence" they supposedly collected.

I'm no CW expert, so I cannot say with certainty, but I find it hard to believe that it takes as long as 7 days to test this alleged evidence for the presence of Sarin.

Maybe they have released the findings of that alleged "investigation" and I missed it all, somehow.

And if they have not yet released the findings of the team, I can only presume that they intend to do so immediately prior to any decisive vote in the US legislature on this issue. And if that is the case, then surely it is obvious that such a suspiciously conveniently timed release of findings would be little more than collusive co-ordinated theatre between Ban Ki Moon and the USraelis

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 9:17:57 AM | 6

Evidence matters not. Obama is simply following a script written before he ever took office.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017143025

Posted by: ben | Sep 7, 2013 9:27:57 AM | 7

I Wonder what Bandar Bush thinks of that "war of attrition" following the initial strikes in Syria.

Posted by: Gregg | Sep 7, 2013 9:54:36 AM | 8

Yes I realise that, ben.

I'm just curious why people with influence have not demanded the report's release asap.

Since russia and the us could both be plausibly accused of "bias" regarding the contradictory claims they have both made regarding, the us because it is a stated enemy of the Syrian gov, and the russians because they are a stated ally of same, the only plausible neutral party might be the UNteam

Note: I said "might"

I'm not claiming that the team is in fact neutral or honest, only that they might appear plausibly so to many

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 9:55:17 AM | 9

@6

Correct, as has become abundantly clear, this whole operation and its premeditated stages - i.e., the foundation of anti-Assad propaganda by many, many different Zionist front-groups/individuals, then the initial "uprising", then the "civil war", then the "false flag" - are of a single piece, one huge operation whose roots go back years if not decades - Yinon Plan, A Clean Break .

The placement/creation of all of these front-groups takes time and planning and we are beginning to see just how long this plan has taken to bring to fruition. As massive as the direct aid the Saudis/Qataris gave equally was the massive laying of PR/political cover that the Israelis/US Zionists provided.

So, although I agree with b that in the short term - i.e., 1-2 years - the Israeli plan is create a weakened Assad/Syria the objective of all of this will ultimately be the end of Assad and with it Syria as a viable state.

Obviously, it is instructive to look at the Israeli "solution" for the Palestinians - they never stop stealing land and water, never stop walling off more territory, never stop humiliating/degrading the ghettoed peoples - no matter what the world says as controlling all of that land is their final objective - one that also goes back decades.

This is the entity - Israel/Zionists - that the world is dealing with. One that will not stop the murder/maiming/theft/displacement of people no matter how seemingly amoral/barbaric.

This is what the common person has to know. They will not stop until made to stop. Period.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 9:59:21 AM | 10

I have written my Congressman and Senators several times, and I plan to continue to do so. Apparently, based on an interview from Thursday that I heard with Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), constituent response is running 100-to-1 against the AUMF.

Here's the incredibly feckless and wishy-washy reply I received from one of my Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), a mainstream liberal:

The United States and the international community have strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons. I have heard from many Washingtonians who are concerned about the atrocities committed and the safety of the Syrian people. I have also heard from many Washingtonians who are deeply concerned about the potential use of U.S. military force in Syria. As the United States recovers from a decade of war that has put a strain on our military families and our country, it is important that Congress and the President exercise caution in this decision. A government's illegal use of chemical weapons on its own people is indefensible and unacceptable; however, the use of U.S. military force should not be taken lightly.

Seems clear to me that she's getting ready to vote Yes on the AUMF, but she's trying to maintain as much ambiguity as possible. All these Democratic West Coast Senators -- Boxer, Feinstein, Murray, Cantwell -- who are lining up to support the AUMF are guaranteeing themselves a robust primary challenge.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 7, 2013 10:02:49 AM | 11

"Does the House vote mean anything?"

In constitutional terms it means everything: the House is the US equivalent of the House of Commons in Britain, the reichstag or national assembly. The Senate's role is that of an upper chamber, albeit one on steroids in this case. But we are dealing with an administration that has, almost literally, dispensed with the Constitution; just as it has decided that neither the UN nor modern international law (both largely US made) matter. We have reached the latter stages of this US project and we are right back to where it started: Obama always claimed more power than George III ever had or wanted, now he is claiming more than even James II, who lost his throne in 1688,claimed. Obama takes us right back to Henry VIII, surrounded by cringing courtiers ingratiating themselves.

hmmm, as I understood b's recent post on Sarin, the substance quickly disappears leaving only molecular traces whose provenance is debatable (and therefore deniable). Which is the sum of my knowledge on tjhe subject.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 7, 2013 10:08:10 AM | 12

So why has not Grayson loudly demanded the UN report, since he has a platform of sorts, from which to make a case, against the rush to war on that basis?

At the very least all opponents of the rush to war should be loudly calling for the release of that report, asap.

Admittedly if the report turns out to be a mish-mash of deliberate half-truth, obfuscation and innuendo that, given similar IAEA reports, can most likely be spun any which way, then that might not be a winning strategy , . . .

Possibly I have just answered my own question there :)

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 10:14:47 AM | 13

@bevin

Yep, bit of catch-22, I guess.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 10:15:41 AM | 14

re#11: she's one of those lib-tards huh? i just emailed tammy baldwin this a.m. and i get the feeling i'll be getting a similar response, though i hope not. won't bother with ron johnson,who's
a warmongering liber-turd.

Posted by: bfrakes | Sep 7, 2013 10:20:29 AM | 15

What Rep. Grayson is asking is that the Obama administration release the transcripts, even if only in redacted form, of the intercepted telephone call of the SAA general purportedly chastising a subordinate for the gas attack. This is a "smoking gun" that the warhawks have been heavily leaning on, but apparently it's not an accurate representation of the conversation.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 7, 2013 10:26:18 AM | 16

Kerry has begun his campaign for the presidency to succeed Obama. He would like to change his image as a peacenik acquired during his youthful anti-Vietnam war protest days to that of a hardline, war mongering Israel supporter.

From Iraq to Syria the U.S. has acted and acts at the behest of Israel. U.S. foreign policy must, in effect, first be vetted by Israel.

In the present instance Israel sees Syria as a vital stepping stone on its way to Iran. The U.S. sends billions in aid and arms to Israel, more aid than to any other country. The U.S. refuses to accept that there was a military coup in Egypt in order to continue its military aid to Egypt's bloody military rulers. So long as Egypt's military continues to receive U.S. aid it will maintain the Egypt/Israel peace treaty - of vital importance for Israel.

Israel's Zionists, and their neocon counterparts in the U.S., will not rest until Israel dominates the Middle East. Some, both in the U.S. and Israel, may even – and I believe it to be true – harbor grandiose desires to dominate the entire world. A heavy price to pay as supposed reparation for the Holocaust.

For the Zionist scheme of world domination to succeed the nation of Israel must grow, both in territory and population, hence the settlements. This illegal acquisition of land not only increases the physical size of the state but - just as importantly – it provides homes for the most militant, expanding, Zionist cadre precisely at the nation’s periphery.

The United States has been one of the Zionists´ principal instruments of world conquest. Zionists – who in the U.S. masquerade as neoconservatives - have managed to convince U.S. governments to fight their wars. The U.S. provides the Zionist state with money and armaments as the Zionist entity methodically amasses hundreds of atomic bombs and deftly hones its delivery systems. Once the Zionists become strong enough they will offer the U.S. the choice of either remaining a subservient and meek ally or destruction.

All this will take time – even hundreds, maybe thousands – of years. But what’s a few hundreds of years for such a fabulous prize – rule of the entire world (or, alternatively, its complete destruction).

VHEMT

Posted by: Sanford Russell | Sep 7, 2013 10:34:39 AM | 17

@15

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) actually voted No on the AUMF in the Foreign Relations Committee. He won his seat with heavy Tea Party support.

An interesting, potentially far-reaching, realignment is underway with this AUMF vote. Progressive Democrats are finding common cause with Tea Party Republicans.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 7, 2013 10:37:04 AM | 18

@ 6 Hmmm

Has the UN produced or released any report yet from the team they sent to supposedly "investigate" the so-called "Sarin" incident?

They did say it would take time, mainly lab work. The UN Spokesman's line:

(The weapon inspectors) will be returning to The Hague. The samples that they have collected will be taken to be analyzed in designated locations and the intention is, of course, to expedite the analysis of that sampling that has been taken. But we have to be very clear here that before that mission can draw any conclusions about this incident, the evaluation of all information including the analysis of all samples must be completed. They will be compiling a preliminary report first on the basis of the sample analysis, adding that later they will compile a final report on their investigation results.

Meanwhile the actual inspectors themselves from the World Health Organisation and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said the lab work could take three weeks and that no preliminary report will be released:

The evidence collected by the team will now undergo laboratory analysis and technical evaluation according to the established and recognised procedures and standards. These procedures may take up to three weeks. This is not an electoral process, where you have exit polls and preliminary results. This is a scientific process. The only result that counts is the result of the analysis in laboratories and the analysis of the evidence that's been collected through witness statements and so on.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Sep 7, 2013 10:51:09 AM | 19

August massacres in Syria the media is silent about

Throughout the first week of August, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat Al-Nusra reportedly killed 450 Kurdish civilians in the border town of Tal Abyad. Other jihadists, meanwhile, shelled the Kurdish town of Ras Al-Ayn. The FSA has also waged attacks against the PYD on the grounds that the Kurdish militia is loyal to Assad's regime. However, some Arab groups in Syrian Kurdistan have offered up their full support for the PYD, for fear that Islamist extremists may be gaining control over the territory. The brewing Islamist-Kurdish war in northeastern Syria pressured 35,000 Syrian refugees to flee to Iraqi Kurdistan in mid-August. Shortly thereafter, Masoud Barzani--leader of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)--declared that the KRG was "prepared to defend" Syria's Kurds.

While many analysts doubt that the KRG's well-trained peshmerga fighters would enter Syria to fight on behalf of the PYD, the KRG's military training and financial support for the PYD underscores Barzani's greater pan-Kurdish policies. Barzani's likely motivation stems from his suspicion that a future war between central Iraq and the KRG could occur, and under such circumstances Syrian Kurdistan could provide strategic depth. In the meantime, the PYD's posture vis-à-vis the jihadist fighters is strengthened by the strategic depth provided by Iraqi Kurdistan. If violence continues to plague Syria's northeast, the border between Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan may ultimately dissolve.

The Kurdish Spring

While most Syrian Kurds are Sunni Muslims, their staunchly secular politics pit them against the al-Qaeda affiliated groups seeking the creation of an Islamic emirate in Syria. Ethnic concerns, including the rebels' apparent hostility to Kurdish self-determination, exacerbate the division. Reports of al-Qaeda fighters beheading Kurds and issuing calls for their extermination will only further expand the PYD's support base from secular Kurds.

As the majority of Syria's oil and gas reserves exist in northeastern Syria, the stakes are high for both sides. The geopolitical ramifications of an established autonomous Kurdish region--or independent Kurdish state--in northeastern Syria are complicated. From Turkey's vantage point, a PKK-run Syrian Kurdistan would constitute a major setback, given the likelihood that the PKK would utilize the territory to launch attacks against the Turkish state (especially if the ongoing Turkey-PKK peace talks fail and the ruling leaders in Damascus and Ankara remain in power for the near to medium term). Turkish officials are naturally concerned about the prospects of Turkey's own Kurdish minority demanding greater autonomy from Ankara after being inspired by their Kurdish counterparts in Syria. That said, after the Gulf War, Turkey feared a semi-autonomous Kurdish state in northern Iraq, yet the KRG eventually became one of Turkey's closest Middle Eastern allies.

For Turkey to form a similar alliance with any semi-autonomous Kurdish state in Syria, the ongoing peace talks with the PKK would need to succeed (an unlikely prospect in the near term), or a pro-Turkish rival of the PKK would need to assume power in northeastern Syria (also an unlikely outcome given that the PYD is more heavily armed than its Kurdish rivals). For the time being, Ankara has supported jihadist militias in northern Syria not only to weaken the Assad regime, but also to weaken the PKK/PYD. However, Turkey is playing a dangerous game, as the establishment of a PKK/PYD-run Kurdish state along its border may prove to be less hostile than an al-Qaeda-run Islamic emirate on the other side of the border. For now, Turkey has hedged its bets.

The ongoing battle between Kurdish forces and al-Qaeda's Syria-based branches poses a difficult challenge for the United States. Washington has vested interests in the Syrian state's survival in a post-Assad era, and thus opposes a semi-autonomous or independent Kurdish state in northeastern Syria. This position is largely rooted in the US interest in not alienating Turkey, an important NATO ally. However, the United States also has no interest in al-Qaeda affiliate groups maintaining control of a strip of land on NATO's Middle Eastern doorstep.

Washington could certainly benefit from gaining additional allies in the region. Given the pro-American orientation of Barzani's KRG, the Obama administration would be wise to establish ties with Syria's Kurds, given that the tide may continue to turn in the Kurds' direction over the long-term. If Western states decide to provide the Islamist rebels with more advanced weaponry that ends up being used against the PYD, the orientation of a newly autonomous state in Syrian Kurdistan may not end up being pro-western. There is little evidence that this has been considered by the Western countries arming the rebels.

Like their Iraqi counterparts, Syria's Kurds have sought to benefit from their country's chaos and violence. From their perspective, an independent Kurdish state was promised, but not delivered, by the powers that won World War I. Almost a century later, they smell a genuine opportunity for greater autonomy, and possibly independence. For generations, the Kurds' alliances have fluctuated given the region's fluid geopolitical developments and their need to play off their host governments' evolving tensions.

For now, Syria's Kurds are enduring a little-reported humanitarian crisis amid grave human rights abuses from al-Qaeda, this following decades of tyranny under the Assad government. In the longer term, the Kurds may ultimately achieve their dream of greater autonomy or independence. If so, the "Arab Spring" may be remembered more accurately as the Kurdish Spring.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 11:15:22 AM | 20

RT headline from G20

G20 Syria divide: World’s largest nations speak out against US-led strike

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the notion that there was a 50/50 split of opinion on the issue, alluding that leaders of the majority of the world’s largest economies clearly stated their opposition to military intervention in Syria.

Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa were among the countries that openly spoke out against military action not authorized by the UN Security Council, Putin revealed.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 11:15:34 AM | 21

More on doctored - gee, y'think - Israeli intercept.

Reports of revolt of US Intel?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 11:19:03 AM | 22

So air strikes weakening the any governing authority and no boots on the ground?

Already 11 UN workers killed

Armed groups openly threaten humanitarian workers in Syria, a top UN official stated on Friday. UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said that 11 UN workers have already been killed in the country, and cited several cases of abductions.

Humanitarian abuses and violence are on the rise in Syria, Amos said after a trip to Damascus.

Amos argued that over the past few weeks and months, UN workers have faced threats from various armed groups. She added that a number of volunteers from Syria’s Red Crescent Movement have been killed, along with UN staff, totaling 11 individuals. Amos also cited cases of staff abductions.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 11:33:21 AM | 23

And the good news....Within a week or so, we'll all find out how much push this cabal has, that wants mid-east resource hegemony. If Russia and China throw Syria, and Assad, under the bus, it's worse than I ever imagined. Obama will also reveal, by his actions, who he really works for, the constitution and the people, or the corporate cabal. It's gonna be fun. We all live in interesting times.

Posted by: ben | Sep 7, 2013 11:33:42 AM | 24

The "destruction of the infrastructure, economy and social fabric of Syria" by a terrorist proxy army meets the definition of the Nazi crime of Vernichtungskrieg – war of extermination.

What the Free World needs to do to stop this aggression is to confiscate Western investments as war reparations to Syria. These reparations will be MASSIVE!

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 7, 2013 11:39:27 AM | 25

@18: COOL! did'nt know that. thanks,mike

Posted by: bfrakes | Sep 7, 2013 11:41:01 AM | 26

Now EU also blames Assad while the UN report isnt even finished. Speaking today, the hag catherine Ashton just repeated the lies Kerry and Obama have told us for some weeks now.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7, 2013 12:04:33 PM | 27

@19

thanks. Quite a comprehensive answer, too

Unfortunately, this bit

. . . .and the analysis of the evidence that's been collected through witness statements and so on.

seems purposely designed to leave a ton of wiggle-room for the liars out there to spin anyway they like.

Maybe that's just my cynicism taking over though

On the one hand our UN spokesthingy states that the lab analysis is all that really matters, then immediately afterward throws in witness statements in to the mix.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 12:06:58 PM | 28

http://www.voltairenet.org/article180130.html

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-09-07/high-level-us-intelligence-officers-syrian-government-didn%E2%80%99t-launch-chemical-

* Syria defeats the foreign jihadists and mercenaries in al Qusayr

* US neocons, and I assume the Saudis and others too) go into panic mode that their war is rapidly being lost

* Promises are made to the FSA terrorsts to wait until summer where there will be some 'major event' that allows the US to come into the war along with freshly trained FSA terrorists from across the border in Jordan

* FSA/al-Nusra kidnap Alawite children to be murdered for the staged chemical attack

* Israel provides the doctored/faked audio recordings that actually show the Syrian forces have no idea what is going on and that all of their rockets are accounted for

* The US springs into action with fabricated 'outrage' hoping to sway world opinion to launch air strikes against Syria

* The US knows that it needs to act quick before reporters and investigators start discovering it was the FSA/al-Nusra that are responsible

* The US does everything it can to derail the UN investigators and at the same time along with the US mainstream media try to claim it is Syria that is obstructing the investigation

* The 'evidence' is so absurdly fake that even US war lapdog UK balks at it leaving the US's rush to launch military strikes in shambles

And that brings us to today. The US is isolated. And it is unknown if the US administration is using congress as a way to back down or if the US is going to plow ahead no matter what the future consequences are.

That is my understanding of the situation.

Posted by: Blinn | Sep 7, 2013 12:15:08 PM | 29

'somebody' #3 said "Aleppo seems to be completely cut off from any news. No rebel videos, no news reports no nothing." That's an overstatement. E.g. the following are reports of different fighting events in Aleppo all dated today 7 Sep 2013, and are coming from both pro- and anti-government sources: ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref. But it's true that relatively little news has been coming out of Aleppo in recent days. As I see it this just means there's been relatively little fighting in Aleppo in recent days, which is just to say that neither the rebels nor the government has taken much initiative in fighting in Aleppo in recent days. In the Aleppo situation in year 2013, lulls in fighting activity have been pretty frequent.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 7, 2013 12:22:00 PM | 30

"Humanitarian Intervention" (which is to say the employment of US money and power, without regard to expense, in order to enhance the lives of poor and powerless victims of "dictators"), is not just thoroughly hypocritical but, from the viewpoint of most Americans, who wouldn't contribute a penny or a drop of blood to put an end to the worst of massacres, a liberal luxury that they cannot afford.

There are three sorts of views on Syria, first there are those who have reasons of their own for wanting regime change, these range from zionists to war profiteers to imperial hegemonists, bent on ruling the world as a base to start conquering the Universe. What they all have in common is that "humanitarianism" is no more than an excuse to cajole the naive and guilty to support their devious projects.

Then there are the 'naive". These range from the genuinely idiotic voters who trust everything authority tells them, through the faux liberals who cling to the weird view that the US is a benign force in international relations and enjoy feeling part of it. This group shades off on all sides into cynical Conformism and Exceptionalism grounded in racism. And the almost infinite permutations thereof.

Then there is the third group, represented by the best elements of Tea Party politics, which simply wants the rest of the wporld to fuck off and leave them alone to re-create the mythical white small town world portrayed on 1950s television. They have spent their whole lives searching for this dreamland and they aren't going to be diverted now, as they are getting old, into foolish and costly crusades abroad. They've done that before and it ended badly, with old folk eating catfood and using Black and Decker tools for dental work and minor surgery.

And they sure as hell aren't signing up to Magical Mystery Tours presented by a smooth looking black dude, who reminds them of the fast talking cove who sold them that vacuum cleaner that doubled as everything else you will ever need, surrounded by smartarses who wouldn't know one end of a lawnmower from a fusebox in the basement.

If that worm turns then as we have all noted recently, the world really is about to change. Which is no less than President Suharto's soul brother/stepson promised us.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 7, 2013 12:25:39 PM | 31

Obama warned for fake intelligence on Syria.

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/09/06/obama-warned-on-syrian-intel/

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7, 2013 12:33:50 PM | 32

'b' said "Why are the Senators on the verge of handing such power to the president? It ref makes life easier for them." The link goes to a page that does NOT say that the Senators are on the verge of approving the resolution on Syria and does NOT say that it would make life easier for them if they did. The quoted sentence from 'b' is all from 'b' by 'b'.

And I assert that 'b' is wrong when he says the Senate will approve the resolution, and also wrong when he says Senate approval would make life easier for the Senators. For one encapsulation of why 'b' is in error, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/09/06/president-obamas-syria-problem-congress-is-getting-an-earful-from-constituents/ .

Don't forget that the vote in the Senate is subject to a prior vote to terminate debate, and 60% approval is necessary to terminate debate, and therefore in effect the Senate cannot approve the resolution without a 60% majority.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 7, 2013 12:37:32 PM | 33

A vote in the United Staes Senate is subject to one thing only. $.

TARP had calls from the people coming into Senate offices at 100 nay to 1 for. Reports I've read say calls are 90 nays to 1 for on Syria now.

Public opinion has nothing to do with it. Although there does need to be a modicum of kabuki which maintains the myth.

Clinton, with McCain, put it this way:
http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/bill-clinton-splits-with-obama-on-syria-92683.html

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Sep 7, 2013 12:52:16 PM | 34

Video: Syrian Rebel Admits Using Chemical Weapons

“We’ll kill their women and children like Osama Bin Laden said”

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
September 5, 2013

A video has emerged of an opposition rebel militant in Syria apparently confessing to using chemical weapons in order to follow Osama Bin Laden’s mantra of killing women and children.
http://www.infowars.com/video-syrian-rebel-admits-using-chemical-weapons/

Posted by: kooshy | Sep 7, 2013 12:55:37 PM | 35

30) not when internet lines and phone connections were cut off.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 12:59:22 PM | 36

27) yep she did say wait for UN report and via UN but delivered the headline Kerry wanted (did not have much chance otherwise though as French and UK intelligence services confirmed)

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 1:00:57 PM | 37

somebody

What have France and UK intelligence "confirmed"?

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7, 2013 1:03:45 PM | 38

Democratic Senators don't seem that reliable - Mark Pryor

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 1:04:27 PM | 39

It's heartwarming to know that, even amid all this synthetic war fever, Jackass Kerry can still find time for the really important things in life:

Jackass Urges EU End Israel Sanctions
Bryan Bradley, Nicole Gaouette, Bloomberg, Sep 7 2013

Jackass Kerry is appealing to his EU counterparts to end their restrictions on funds for Israeli organizations in occupied territories beyond its 1967 borders, according to a State Dept official. Jackass is meeting today in Lithuania with EU foreign ministers. He’s arguing that because Israelis and Palestinians are in direct talks for the first time in three years, countries with an interest in peace should support rather than punish them, said the official.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 7, 2013 1:08:25 PM | 40

38 that there is "evidence", they just did not show any

This here is the actual statement of all 28 member states

Information from a wide variety of sources confirms the existence of such an attack. It seems to indicate strong evidence that the Syrian regime is responsible for these attacks as it is the only one that possesses chemical weapons agents and means of their delivery in a sufficient quantity.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 1:13:22 PM | 41

Rowan,
You realize that these sanctions have been put in place since one or two months! Unbearable!! (I wonder if they had been applied yet).

Next to these the EU has directly funds some academic programmes with millions-euros budget...

Posted by: Mina | Sep 7, 2013 1:15:40 PM | 42

38) that there seems to be evidence :-))

This is the statement of the 28 member states

It seems to indicate strong evidence that the Syrian regime is responsible for these attacks as it is the only one that possesses chemical weapons agents and means of their delivery in a sufficient quantity.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 1:19:06 PM | 43

Barack is now jury and judge
This new Neo-Con will not budge
And if he wants war
The truth he'll ignore
And reasons for war he will fudge

The Limerick King

http://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/9686051128/

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 7, 2013 1:19:49 PM | 44

Yesterday I took a look the Syria story at a sample of some US Republican internet outlets (such as Fox News and http://www.nationalreview.com ). From those outlets, plus the public opinion polls, plus a sample of what the elected Republican Senators and Congressmen are saying and not saying (and they're saying nothing for the most part), it is crystal clear the Republicans are going to vote bigly against Obama's Syria resolution, no matter what the final text of the resolution may be.

A large minority of Democrats will also vote against it. The Democrats who vote for it will do so out of allegiance to the Democrats' leadership (Obama, Kerry), but such allegiance, over this particular issue, is going to make their political life harder for them.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 7, 2013 1:24:22 PM | 45

somebody

We all know that they have no evidence, thus nothing have been "confirmed".

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7, 2013 1:27:20 PM | 46

@17;And was the alleged(I refuse to believe serial(Syrial)liars anymore) holocaust inflicted on Jews by Hitler reparations for the selling out of Germany by Jewish politicians who were in charge of the German government in 1918?Hitler(who is being rehabbed every day,another day follows night phenomena,and of course unseen by these idiots) and his cohorts might have thought so.
@31;As an American who grew up in small towns on LI in the 50s-60s,the alleged tea partiers version of reality as peaceful, friendly, local business prosperous and community based is much more truthful than the accusation it was a myth,although I trust noone anymore,and the tea party has been shown,(as most of these orgs are not public groundswells but corporate manipulation) to be another mislabeled trojan horse used to divide and conquer.
The corporate neolibcon scum have destroyed US,in perhaps,I guess you'd have to ask them, another form of holocaustal reparations,as job slavery,bloodsucking healthcare,ineffectual and nose led government,are considered proper for our non chosen majority.Aint no Mexicans coming for Friedmans job huh?Or Krugman,or Dowd or any of our non sweat of the brow pontificators of disaster.
If one aint PO,he aint been paying attention.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 7, 2013 1:29:08 PM | 47

45) :-)) sure, you can confirm that there seems to indicate strong evidence ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 1:34:56 PM | 48

The Angry Arab proves that him being a complete asshole regarding Syria is no mere temporary abberation nor just a bad-call

"Nicaragua in the 1980s: Syria in 2013":

"There are similarities: back in the 1980s, the UC Congress passed an amendment (the Boland amendment) to ban the US administration from arming the right-wing death squads of Nicaragua (the Contras who were referred to in US media as "revolutionaries").  Reagan turned to Saudi Arabia and Prince Bandar was in charge of financing and arming the Contras.  In 2013, the From the Angry Arab:  "Nicaragua in the 1980s: Syria in 2013":"There are similarities: back in the 1980s, the UC Congress passed an amendment (the Boland amendment) to ban the US administration from arming the right-wing death squads of Nicaragua (the Contras who were referred to in US media as "revolutionaries").  Reagan turned to Saudi Arabia and Prince Bandar was in charge of financing and arming the Contras.  In 2013, the US Congress and public had no appetite to arm the Syrian death squads (the "revolutionary" groups, according to US right-wing and leftist media), so the Obama administration turned to...Saudi Arabia and none other than Prince Bandar was put in charge of the operation.  You would think that this is a kooky leftist conspiracy theory but it is true.PS Another similarity: I disliked Ortega just as I dislike Bashshar."US Congress and public had no appetite to arm the Syrian death squads (the "revolutionary" groups, according to US right-wing and leftist media), so the Obama administration turned to...Saudi Arabia and none other than Prince Bandar was put in charge of the operation.  You would think that this is a kooky leftist conspiracy theory but it is true.

PS Another similarity: I disliked Ortega just as I dislike Bashshar."

he has in fact always been a complete and utter vindictively jealous little fuckwit non-entity.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 1:36:04 PM | 49

Petri,
I agree: these cowards attack from far, the war is started since two years, and Syria is supposed not to react.
When exactly is Syria supposed to have an opportunity to claim the Hatay province or the Golan, except in war times?
Obama and Hollande have the right to attack a country kilometers away, without any fear of retaliation in their borders.
We all know the causes are mainly economic, so the ways of pressures have to be economic too: full-boycott. Open strike on consumption, whenever possible. Remove your savings from any major bank.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 7, 2013 1:37:01 PM | 50

The New York Times has an AUMF vote tracker. The undecideds are a majority in both the Senate and House. This is testament to overwhelming public opposition to another reckless military campaign. The politicians are keeping their heads down.

There will definitely be some late break Obama's way. Money talks, and nowhere louder than the D.C. beltway. But the numbers are too steep in the House at this point for the administration to get its AUMF passed. And in the Senate it will be close, with Rand Paul's (D-Ky.) planned filibuster a potential wild card for the anti-war coalition.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 7, 2013 1:48:32 PM | 51

"....In short, the Administration is so sensitive about their case they’re unwilling to allow members of Congress check even the open source parts of it, and any means of tying the attack to Assad relies on assumptions and an intercept that seems to undermine their case.

"Which is why the Administration is invoking on a theory it would never apply to itself: that because Assad is Commander in Chief of his military, he must be held accountable for any actions taken by someone in his military, even if done without authorization...."

Interesting posts at emptywheel: a very weak case is rapidly falling apart, while the case against Obama is becoming unanswerable.

The previous post there, linking Bandar and his meeting with Putin to the dropping of the Serious Fraud investigation of British Saudi arms deals is good too.

hmmm; the Angry Arab isn't running for Messiah or mahdi, most days there is very interesting stuff there for the general reader. He is often wrong, often right but always wears his prejudices on his sleeve. The internet would be a much poorer place without him and many others with whom all of us often disagree.
This may even be true of Juan Cole, but that is probably to go too far.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 7, 2013 1:52:06 PM | 52

somebody

Uh yes I can since there is no evidence presented. Besides there is no such thing as strong/small/medium evidence, either you have EVIDENCE or you have no EVIDENCE.

Apparently you like Obama/Kerry think that Assad are the one behind this incident.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7, 2013 1:52:25 PM | 53

@50

My apologies. In a previous post I identified Rand Paul as a Democrat. He is of course the scion of former Republican Congressman Ron Paul and a Tea Party Republican Senator representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 7, 2013 1:53:51 PM | 54

52, no, I am just fascinated by the use of words ... of course the statement of the EU means they do not know - someone insisted on "strong evidence" in the wording, and others insisted on "seems to indicate", so to be able to have a weekend they put it all into one sentence ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 1:55:57 PM | 55

somebody

Ok my bad.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 7, 2013 2:08:27 PM | 56

@ 51, bevin

The man also wears his supposed "anti-imperialist" on that same sleeve, yet curiously whenever he actually has an opportunity to actually support people actually fighting actual Imperialists, the man always chooses not to. He has an identical attitude towards Hezb.

"This may even be true of Juan Cole, but that is probably to go too far. "

Yes, let's not go there, eh? Mounting an even slightly credible defence of Juan "Langley" Cole and his constant pimping for Wars for Imperialism/Zionism/USreal (whatever you want to call them,) might be a little hard to credibly sustain while retaining any integrity :)

Especially after we all now know that he was, and possibly still occasionally is, on the CIA Freelancer Payroll.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 2:18:14 PM | 57

@Parviziyi @33 y
You accuse me of asserting stuff without a significant basis? Idiot.

You write: Why are the Senators on the verge of handing such power to the president? It ref makes life easier for them." The link goes to a page that does NOT say that the Senators are on the verge of approving the resolution on Syria and does NOT say that it would make life easier for them if they did. The quoted sentence from 'b' is all from 'b' by 'b'.

The ref linked page says:

An audience member asked Frank how Congress could take back some of its power to declare war, which had been "usurped by the executive."

Frank gave him his trademark who-let-you-in-you-moron look. "Usurped it?" he said. "USURPED it? We throw it at him! We BEG him to take it!"

Not much has changed in the past 20 years. Faced with a question of war and peace, Congress as an institution seems to hope the president will act without asking permission. That way, members can attack him if things go south, and pass resolutions praising themselves if they go well.

So that page certainly says that such behavior makes life easier for the senators. They avoid the choice, can blame others or, oif the result is positive, laud themselves.

As for the voting in the Senate:

Senate Democratic leaders are voicing confidence that they will be able to pass a resolution authorizing an attack on Syria.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) believes he will have the votes to pass it even if opponents try to use a filibuster to block it, an official familiar with his thinking said Tuesday.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez (D.,N.J.) agreed with that prediction before opening the first hearing on the issue Tuesday afternoon.


So the measure will likely pass the Senate. Now tell me again where I was wrong.

Want to try again?

Posted by: b | Sep 7, 2013 2:18:53 PM | 58

re: 54

"no, I am just fascinated by the use of words"

So "fascinated' that he seems to always feel the need to constantly mis-use or, even abuse, them himself.

One might term it "stretching the boundaries of definition" - only problem with that description is that he always seem to stretch them way past breaking-point

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 2:21:35 PM | 59

re 57

OOOOhhhh - It's ON!!!

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 2:22:17 PM | 60

The www.voltairenet.org article makes the claim that the FSA terrorists used kidnapped Alawite children from the preceding weeks to murder in the staged chemical attack:

This, among others, article appears to support those claims:

"Syrian rebels accused of sectarian murders
Hundreds of Alawite civilians have been killed, kidnapped or have disappeared during a rebel offensive on President Bashar al-Assad’s heartland province of Latakia, local residents have reported."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10236362/Syrian-rebels-accused-of-sectarian-murders.html

Posted by: Blinn | Sep 7, 2013 2:26:36 PM | 61

58) b. Reid has to be optimistic. He is supposed to get the vote, he can't very well start with "I don't believe I will make it"

This senate calculus here does sound good - for anyone who opposes the war

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 2:31:14 PM | 62

61) They have to give the names and have relatives and parents interviews. Anything else is just rumor.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 2:33:07 PM | 63

A provincial sheik(leader) is quoted in the report. Hardly 'just rumor'.

Posted by: L Bean | Sep 7, 2013 2:38:46 PM | 64

Americans are easily conned. How many of those shocked by Obama.s warmongering voted for him?

The vast majority I suspect.

Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 7, 2013 2:41:34 PM | 65

Talking of Little Rand (as Tarpley always calls him, with inexpressible contempt), the giant electric jellyfish from Mars have got their beady eyes on him. The real damage in this one is in the headline, because having an 'Israel problem' is only one tiny step away from having a 'Jewish problem', which is their super-subtle code for being an anti-Semite (a term seldom defined, for very good reasons).

Syria and Rand Paul's Israel Problem (excerpt)
Garance Frank-Ruta, Atlantic, Sep 6 2013

One official with a pro-Israel organization said: "Rand Paul is a guy who wouldn't support US military action to stop Iran from getting a nuke, or to defend our ally Israel if Iran were to attack them, so it's no surprise he won't support military action to stop Assad from using WMD, either, let alone to ensure US leadership or credibility in the world. His lack of understanding of the world, let alone the role of the US in it or our interest in Israel's security, is so profoundly confused that he has disqualified himself from being taken seriously in the conversation."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 7, 2013 2:43:10 PM | 66

@ 63

Yes, and we all know how truely reluctant you are to give even the slightest credence to anything that could be described as mere anonymously sourced rumour, hmm?


Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 2:43:29 PM | 67

re 48 Hmmm. he has in fact always been a complete and utter vindictively jealous little fuckwit non-entity.

I agree that the Angry Arab is extremely narcissistic. I heard him once in person, in SF. Bizarre, but someone who plays an important role, as no-one else dares to take his position. A great read, one of my favourites. He knows a lot, which you or I don't, because he reads the Arabic press. Maybe not important for you, but it is for me. I would defend to the end his right to continue as he does.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 7, 2013 2:49:46 PM | 68

@ b #57 : The thing quoted from Barney Frank occurred 20 years ago, in a wholly different context, and was Barney Frank's cynical opinion about Congress at that time. Today's reporter then asserts, with zero evidence, "Not much has changed in the past 20 years. Faced with a question of war and peace, Congress as an institution seems to hope the president will act without asking permission." Zero evidence. Plus tons of evidence on the other side that the Congress indeed, reflecting the strong and broad public opinion, does want this issue to be approved by the Congress before the President acts.

To say something worthwhile you have to cite evidence and you have to avoid citing the mere opinion of some silly journalist.

On the other point, all American politicians, including Harry Reid or Kerry or anyone else, practically always say they are optimistic about the outcome of any upcoming vote, be it in the Congress or national elections. They practically never say "I think we're going to lose this vote". They have the general belief and practice that making negative forecasts tends to weaken them, while positive forecasting is harmless, even when a negative forecast is well supported by the evidence. It's just the way they talk, and it doesn't mean a thing. You have to look at the evidence.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 7, 2013 2:50:28 PM | 69

Edit #57

The man also wears his supposed "anti-imperialist" on that same sleeve, yet curiously whenever he actually has an opportunity to actually support people actually fighting actual Imperialists, the man always chooses not to. 

Should read

The man also wears his supposed "anti-imperialism" on that same sleeve, yet curiously whenever he actually has an opportunity to actually support people actually fighting actual Imperialists, the man always chooses not to. actually chooses to incessently attack them.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 2:52:26 PM | 70

@Rowan: It's heartwarming to know that, even amid all this synthetic war fever, Jackass Kerry can still find time for the really important things in life: Jackass Urges EU End Israel Sanctions

Yes, it is quite an interesting "peace process" where one of the sides and the mediator are actively destroying a country right next door.

>>>>>>

@48 "45) :-)) sure, you can confirm that there seems to indicate strong evidence"

LOL. Just like "we saw, with our OWN EYES the um...reports". Pretty "sly" for the Ketchup Chump. For a second there I almost thought Kerry had parachuted into Damascus and done a few autopsies on the gassing victims, witnessing everything WITH HIS OWN EYES.

That quickly evaporates when you realize he likely means he skimmed through the pamphlets (produced by Human Rights Watch and The Syria Observatory for Same-day Tailoring & Human Rights) in his limousine on the way to Foggy Bottom WITH HIS OWN EYES.

Infact, the sentence you quote is all from Orwell's nightmares come to life. We're reduced to simply 'bellyfeel', 'duckspeak', and 'blackwhite'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak


Posted by: guest77 | Sep 7, 2013 2:57:11 PM | 71

@57

Juan Cole - the murderous war criminal propagandist - should have an effing knife shoved up his a$$ a la Moammar.

Here's Juanito on Libya in August 2011 at his most triumphant basically telling everyone that called him a war criminal to eff off.

Fast forward.

And here's Juanito in July of 2013 finally admitting that Libya is a total clusterf*ck.

But like all good "liberal" propagandist murderers when all hell breaks loose b/c of the war crimes they ADVOCATED for, Juanito pretends like he could just never have known what was going to happen even though a six year old could have told you so.

He incredibly and (knife-up-his-a$$) dishonestly ends the July '13 piece with: "I have a bad feeling about this."

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 2:59:08 PM | 72

@68

And i defend your right to defend him, and even concede that he occasionally says something worthwhile,

BUT, then he goes and ruins it all by using what little credibility he gains from those occasional forays into relevence, and the platform he has gained from those occasional forays, to launch attacks on actual real-live fighters against Imperialism.

Quite sickening to watch, tbh. Never in his life has he himself chosen to actually take up arms to physically defend himself, nor anyone else, for that matter, from the vicious attacks, real physical, murderous ones btw, of Fascists and Imperialists.

And all of this while growing up in a place with no shortage whatsoever of real live fascists and imperialists.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 3:02:20 PM | 73

@68, does he lie? There's no right to tell fibs.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 7, 2013 3:12:14 PM | 74

"We've seen the reports with our own eyes". Where's the Febreze? This is what they are really saying, and it goes to the culture of the politician. They never seek out information on their own or opine with their own facts. They are the old gentry, in both real and metaphorical ways. They have servants at all levels - most importantly, their professional lives. Meaning they don't actually work, research, or do much of anything candidly outside of their inner sphere.

Nearly every other sentence out of Kerry's mouth illuminates his privilege. This class simply has no natural curiousness. Also they're bad liars because they rarely have to lie, themselves. They pay people for that too.

Posted by: L Bean | Sep 7, 2013 3:14:46 PM | 75

Febreeze.
Not just any kind of breeze,
but a fabulous Breeze.
Not just warm soft cool gentle fresh,
but one to cover all contingencies.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 7, 2013 3:26:07 PM | 76

Actually , these days people are not important ... media and mass propaganda are decisive factor in election and both of them need ( money ) and who gives money , seek an exchange .... so lobby come and get the power ...

this is the biggest hole in Western Democracy , who has more money , will has access to more medias and has more chance for wining elections ...

sorry for off topics ...

but we will see people have more strength or money/lobbies have more strength in USA ( the biggest and the best example of liberal democracy )

I bet on money/Lobbies ... so we should prepare ourselves for war ...

Posted by: R.P | Sep 7, 2013 3:42:49 PM | 77

cnn has come up with the videos that are shown to senate and the house
the reporter continuously makes the case they are not proof
it is hard with a voice against the images

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 3:52:09 PM | 78

this debate on US and Syrian chemical weapons use on press tv is hilarious.
Press tv is beginning to understand the fun of crazy democratic debates.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7, 2013 4:10:14 PM | 79

Long letter from the Syrian parliament to the US representatives
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/jabhat-al-nusra-and-other-islamists-briefly-capture-historic-christian-town-of-maloula/#comment-390974
Contains the following of the CW question
* On 19.03.2013 Khan Al-Asal, Aleppo chemical attack on civilians and military personnel, Syrian Government asked on 20.03.2013 for an immediate UN investigation.

The investigation Team visit was delayed for more than 5 months by US, France and UK intervention.

* On 30.05.2013 Turkey announced the capture of an Islamist fanatic terrorist group possessing two litres of Sarin Gas. Therefore, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, on 31.05.2013 urged the Turkish Government to cooperate to avoid the possibility of any future chemical attack in the Middle East and Europe.

* On 01.06.2013 the Iraqi Army announced the capture of a fundamentalist fanatic terrorist group on the Iraqi-Syrian borders, and seized chemical weapons and a remote control of a small helicopter.

* On 28.07.2013 the Syrian authorities handed to the Russian and Chinese diplomatic missions in Damascus the evidence of the possessing chemical weapon by al Nusra Front and their intention to use them to attack Muaaret al Numan and the suburb of Aleppo.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 7, 2013 4:22:28 PM | 80

The head counting on the Senate vote is covered in the links provided by Mike Maloney #51 and 'somebody' #62 :
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/09/05/us/politics/syria-vote-tracker.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/06/syria-strike-_n_3880108.html

The first of the above links has a collection of quotes from the undecided Senators. About half of the undecideds have words along the lines of "I remain to be convinced that this strike on Syria is a good idea, and I am patiently and open-mindedly waiting for someone to convince me." In the absence of fresh inputs, many of these undecideds will vote against. One undecided Senator says "The president needs to explain in detail what vital national interests are at stake, his plan for securing these interests and a clear definition of what success looks like in Syria." As a further point, some undecided Senators are decidedly against a resolution that is not delimited in scope enough, and they'd be against the particular text that was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Sep 7, 2013 4:40:57 PM | 81

re 72 Sorrentine. Juan Cole - the murderous war criminal propagandist

Juan Cole is a middle level provincial American academic, who didn't have a post at Yale because he was not up to it. He seems to continue to want recognition in Washington, though he won't get it. That is why his line.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 7, 2013 4:41:29 PM | 82

re 73 hmm. BUT, then he goes and ruins it all by using what little credibility he gains from those occasional forays into relevence, and the platform he has gained from those occasional forays, to launch attacks on actual real-live fighters against Imperialism.

I agree the Angry Arab is not a fighter against Imperialism, more a partisan for Palestine, though that is not all he does.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 7, 2013 4:45:39 PM | 83

@Parviziyi #81:

It's pretty disgusting that they are waiting for a cost-benefit analysis rather than validation of the phony evidence.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Sep 7, 2013 4:51:01 PM | 84

Certainly not all he does, but the thing is that he does actually claim to BE an "anti-Imperialist", quite often and quite loudly too.

Yet he spends as much time, possibly more even, attacking those actually battling real, live, Imperialism despite never having the balls to do so himself, even though he certainly had plenty of examples to choose from, and opportunities to actually do so, in his original neighbourhood of Lebanon.

Instead he chose to hightail it to the US at the first opportunity, and then almost incessantly viciously attack those fighting fascism and Imperialism in his homeland. As incessantly and viciously as a 2nd rate lite-zionist, or US pseudo-"progressive" pro R2P Interventionist hack might do. His attacks are virtually indistinguishable from theirs in that regard

All from the safety of his well-paid 2nd rate academic position at a 2nd rate academic institution in the US, that well-known bastion of Anti-Imperialism

And he'll only support some Palestinians.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 5:07:40 PM | 85

@82

But he did get some "recognition" in Langley when the CIA had him on the payroll. Close enough I'd say.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 5:09:26 PM | 86

@49 hmmm,
your last sentence about "despicable arab"expresses all my angry feeling about him.He constantly demonizes Assad Hezbollah and Iran and speaks in two tongs.The one in arabic in Al-akhbar is very pernicious against the above mentioned especially Hezbollah as he knows more than anybody else that his credibility would be terminally damaged in Lebanon,at least in the public opinion he is addressing.In the language of the white man ,in Al-akhbar english but mostly in his blog he shows his real attributes as you so justly defined him.Nasrallah mentioned in a lengthy interview on Al Mayadeen a few weeks back an offer that Dick Cheney sent via a lebanese expat (a professor) in 2003 consisting in taking power in Lebanon with a few billions $$ to make it more attractive if Hezbollah renounced resistance against "Israel".6 months ago on Al jaded tv the coordinator of Hariri senior with Hezbollah spoke of a message sent by Cheney to Nasrallah in 2003 (with the same offers as Nasrallah described)via a schiite professor living in the US....I often wondered if this person was not Angry arab?it would fit his character more than any other schiite prof in the US of lebanese origin that I can think of.

Posted by: Nobody | Sep 7, 2013 5:13:17 PM | 87

re 81 Parviziyi. I think you may be too optimistic. Once the US is ready to go, it is difficult to hold them back. Law doesn't matter. You notice how the aim has slipped from a simple riposte for use of chemical weapons to a general degradation of Syrian forces. That is because it is the only thing of which the US is capable. It is quite unjustified, but they will do it anyway, because it is what they can do.

They have no other solution than bombing.

Posted by: alexno | Sep 7, 2013 5:14:13 PM | 88

My question is, unless he has been banned is where is Mr. Pragma?
What is our dear Russian's opinion on this?

Posted by: Fernando | Sep 7, 2013 5:18:34 PM | 89

This may seem naive, but does Obama really understand that he is being manipulated. Not unlike the proverbial Manchurian Candidate. Does he have
access to the intelligence is very real and available throughout the cyber world. Does he not have access to viewpoints from his staff which provide a balanced view of the world????

Posted by: georgeg | Sep 7, 2013 5:20:56 PM | 90

@72

I somewhat disagree. Although Juanito may not have the "blue-blood" creds as some of his DC counterparts, his murderous propaganda is even more effective in a digital age where he has consistently been held up by the "progressive" rabble as someone to be called upon to offer sage "liberal" advice/understanding of various issues in the ME no matter if said understanding/advice just happens to jibe with the reactionary neoliberal line. Oops.

Ever since his "critical" assessment of the Iraq War in 2003, he's become somewhat of an institutional propagandist a la Krugman/Hedges for those on the "left". Even if he's not "blue-blood", TPTB know he's trusted by large swaths of uninformed fools who think they are informed BECAUSE they listen to people - ahem, agents - like Cole and the afore mentioned bulwarks of "liberal" thought.

My vehemence against said propagandists is mainly for this reason: how can I - a lowly citizen of the US - seemingly know more - spending my dwindling free time on the Internet - about a given situation than you (insert propagandist name) when it's your full-time paid job/career to be an expert? How can I not believe you to be paid minion of TPTB if your seeming understanding of the world is that of a child?

Although it's taken too long, some people (not enough) are beginning to realize that they don't need anyone (especially of their own political persuasion) to tell them how/what to think anymore.

Sure, propagandists will put what you're thinking into prettier words so that you don't feel as if you have to do your own work but that's their job: to make you dependent upon them - ie the establishment - for your own thoughts and opinions.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 5:21:08 PM | 91

@87

Interesting post. Are there many Lebanese Shiite profs in the US? There probably are a few, but he's the only one I know of.

Btw - Are you from "The Church of . . . ." ?

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 5:47:53 PM | 92

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 5:21:08 PM | 91

your dwindling time should be spent contemplating the fact that you are too a propagandist and a misguided anti semitic troll.the truth is most of your ilk post on this forum out of sheer boredom with no real connection to the people living in the middle east.

Posted by: mace | Sep 7, 2013 5:47:58 PM | 93

@92,hmm,
What "Church of?"I am an arab muslim christian yazidi and all sects that our Nation embraces!!!

Posted by: Nobody | Sep 7, 2013 5:55:02 PM | 94

@93

You're right, mace, as an American whose entire government is subservient to whims of the apartheid state of Israel, I guess I just have NOOOOO real connection to the Middle East, huh?

As an American who pays a portion of my income tax EVERY YEAR to support the apartheid state of Israel and its genocide of the Palestinians I guess I just have NOOOO real connection to the Middle East, huh?

As an American who has had fellow citizens killed and maimed all in the service to the agenda of the apartheid state of Israel I guess I just have NOOOOO real connection to the Middle East, huh?

All I can say, mace, is that I can smell your fear - it really stinks.

You Zionists know the American awakening is upon you and all you can do is smell stinky with fear.

Have fun.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 5:56:26 PM | 95

No worries, mistook you for someone else that uses that name. Ran a blog called "Church of Nobody"

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 5:56:28 PM | 96

Certainly are a surprisingly high number of JDL here lately.

"b" must be doing something right :)

Maybe Laura Rosen sent em.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 7, 2013 5:59:07 PM | 97

One further point:

You'd think after all has been said in done by the US to aid and assist the apartheid state of Israel - the billions upon billions of dollars spent, the thousands of live lost, etc etc - that you arrogant Zionist bastards would at least PRETEND to be grateful to American citizens.

But no.

You just keep acting like a bunch of arrogant effing pricks who don't seem to understand that without the protection of a super-power you'd have been erased decades ago.

Don't worry. The times they are a changing as someone once said.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 7, 2013 6:19:55 PM | 98

I'm unsure which is more ludicrous to attack Cole on the basis that he is too mediocre to get an appointment at Yale-check out the list of people who have got jobs there and at Harvard- or to attack the Angry Asad for not becoming a guerrilla.

Cole is an apologist for US foreign policy, an Obama groupie, a third rate historian and an intellectual whore looking for dates. All of which are qualifications for Ivy League posts particularly in faculties dealing with the middle east. It is one of his few claims to credibility that Dershowitz et al resisted his appointment on the grounds that he was 'anti-semitic.'

As to Asad's war record: it is better than mine. I am, saving hmmm's olympian judgements, an anti-imperialist and an admirer of the resistance in Lebanon but I have never fired a gun in anger, my record of resistance is restricted to a few demos, a couple of strikes and an episode involving policemen which, in court, I explained away as the result of drinking too much.

When those involved are all either imperialists, sectarians, mercenaries or sadists the most sensible and often courageous course is to get away from the battlefield.

I have known many war heroes and most of them came away from their experiences with very nasty tastes in their mouths.
Then there are people like Kerry and Hagel who have made careers waving their bloody shirts.

Why cannot we just stick to the important questions, which do not include whether Juan Cole is a scholar or the Angry Arab the sort of man we'd like to share a foxhole with?

Posted by: bevin | Sep 7, 2013 6:37:57 PM | 99

@99 +1

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 7, 2013 6:49:18 PM | 100

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