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 11:54 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

evidence is whatever the *activists* say
* facts* is anything the presstitudes see fit to print
*truth* is what the emperor say so.

at the end of the day, all the analysis n expose become academic,
once fukus reckons the time is ripe for the kill,
the target is a done deal.
the biggest n meanest mofo always get his man.
kosovo, afpak, iraq, libya....i witnessed it all.
.syria , aka kosovo part 5 , is coming to a cinema near u.

lots of conspiracy theories have been flying around lately about the impending
gang bang on syria
obama needs a diversion from the nsa fiasco
obama is pressured by fuk [fuck fr + uk]
obama the wimp is bullied by a bevy of female neocons
there was even naive hope that the congress critters or the senate would
somehow thwart the prez, or rather, the puppeteer's latest rape fest.

its amazing, at this stage of the *game*
folks who hang around alternate sites n figure themselves more politically savvy
than the sheeples, still cant get around to one simple fact,
that muricun prez, *the most powerful man on earth*, is nothing more than a figure
head, installed by the *deep state* to carry out its agenda.

read n re-read the pnac
iraq, libya, syria, iran, asia pivot, ...the lot, its all there
formulated way back in 1999
its confirmed by wesley clark later in his interview with democracy now.

while u'r at it, look out for another seldom mentioned objective in that *roadmap*
......*bioweapon targeting specific geno type*

is it too far fetched ?
consider this....

+every other objective in the pnac has been realised or going to be

+way back in 1997, offence sec larry cohen told janes
*there'r 'certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they
could eliminate certain ethnic groups or races. the science community is 'very
close' to being able to manufacture 'genetically engineered pathogens that could
be ethnically specific

+the strange death of dr kelly n other microbiologists

+dna, dna galore, more corroboration bet the muricuns n the japs ?
dont forget the muricun biowar program was kicked start by the war criminals
from unit 731, who were spared prosecution coz the muricuns had use for their

about the *intercepted conversation of certain syrian cw unit*
what happen if some bought n paid for traitors in the syrian armed force carried
out a cw attack to frame assad ?

Posted by: denk | Sep 9 2013 4:36 utc | 201

In retrospect this Maureen Down article is very funny

NOT only is US President Barack Obama leading from behind, now he’s leading from behind Bill Clinton.

After dithering for two years over what to do about the slaughter in Syria, the president was finally shoved into action by the past and perhaps future occupant of his bedroom.

Clinton told John McCain during a private Q-and-A on Tuesday in New York that Obama should be more forceful on Syria and should not rationalise with opinion polls that reflect Americans’ reluctance to tangle in foreign crises. McCain has been banging the gong on a no-fly zone in Syria for some time.

The oddity of Obama’s being taken to the leadership woodshed by the Democrat who preceded him and the Republican who failed to pre-empt him was not lost on anyone. When Obama appointed Clinton ‘the Secretary of ‘Splaining Stuff’, he didn’t think Bill would be ‘splaining how lame Barry was.

As Maggie Haberman reported in Politico, Clinton said at the McCain Institute for International Leadership that the public elects presidents and lawmakers to “look around the corner and see down the road” and “to win,” not to follow polls.

When the man who polled where to take his summer vacation and whether to tell the truth about his affair with Monica Lewinsky tells you you’re a captive of polls, you’d better listen up.

Citing his own experiences in Kosovo and Bosnia, Clinton said that if you blamed a poll for a lack of action, “you’d look like a total wuss.” He added that “when people are telling you ‘no’ in these situations, very often what they’re doing is flashing a giant yellow light” of caution.

According to Haberman, Clinton, who apologised for failing to intervene in the Rwandan genocide, continued: “If you refuse to act and you cause a calamity, the one thing you cannot say when all the eggs have been broken is that ‘Oh my God, two years ago there was a poll that said 80 percent of you were against it.’ Right? You’d look like a total fool. So you really have to in the end trust the American people, tell them what you’re doing, and hope to God you can sell it.” That is the problem for Obama: selling it. The silver-tongued campaigner has turned out to be a leaden salesman in the Oval Office. On issues from drones to gun control to taxes to Syria, the president likes to cite public opinion polls to justify his action or inaction. He seems incapable of getting in front of issues and shaping public and congressional opinion with a strong selling job.

After the whistle was blown on the National Security Agency’s No Call Left Behind programme, the president said he would welcome an ex post facto debate. But now that polls indicate that the overwhelming American attitude is ‘Spy on me’, Obama has dropped the subject.

Too bad. We’ll see what Americans have to say when someone in the mold of Dick Cheney or Bob Haldeman gets his hands on all that personal data; the West Wing has been known to drive its occupants nuts.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9 2013 4:43 utc | 202

here's that broken link

Posted by: denk | Sep 9 2013 4:51 utc | 203

202) and this here is quite revealing, too

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran a blistering investigative report revealing the Clinton Foundation as a nonprofit rife with crony capitalist conflicts of interest and multi-million dollar deficits despite raking in at least $492 million from 1997 to 2007. In 2007 and 2008, the Clinton Foundation, which is soon to be renamed the “Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation,” ran a $40 million deficit. Last year, it ran a deficit of over $8 million despite the Foundation and two subsidiaries generating $214 million in revenues.

Hillary Clinton plans to relocate her offices to the Foundation’s Manhattan headquarters in the weeks to come. Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Clinton planned to use the Foundation as a “launching pad into 2016,” a reference to her potential presidential run.

The nexus between Clinton Foundation donors, foreign governments, and corporate interests has long been a concern to government watchdog groups. As of 2008, the Clinton Foundation raised at least $46 million from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, and other foreign governments—the very governments Secretary of State Hillary Clinton eventually negotiated with. Wealthy foreign investors, like Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid and Indian politician Amar Singh gave at least $1 million each.

Previous news accounts have chronicled how Clinton Foundation donors have profited. In 2004, New York developer Robert Congel donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Shortly thereafter, Sen. Hillary Clinton reportedly helped the developer bag millions in federal assistance for his mall project. Congel and Hillary Clinton’s spokesperson denied any crony pay-to-play connection.

The New York Times says the cronyism and conflicts have reached critical mass. “The Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest,” reports the Times. “It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.”

Despite the apparent fiscal mismanagement, well-connected Clinton allies appear to be doing quite well. In 2009, Douglas Band, whom Clinton insiders describe as a “kind of surrogate son to Mr. Clinton,” co-founded Teneo, a consultancy that has since hired Hillary Clinton confidante and disgraced mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner spouse Huma Abedin.

As the Times explains:
Mr. Band poached executives from Wall Street, recruited other Clinton aides to join as employees or advisers and set up shop in a Midtown office formerly belonging to one of the country’s top hedge funds….Teneo worked on retainer, charging monthly fees as high as $250,000, according to current and former clients. The firm recruited clients who were also Clinton Foundation donors while Mr. Band and Mr. Kelly encourage4d others to become new foundation donors….

Some Clinton aides and foundation employees began to wonder where the foundation ended and Teneo began.
Among Teneo’s earliest clients was now-defunct MF Global, run by disgraced Obama bundler Jon S. Corzine.
The Times says Chelsea Clinton “became increasingly concerned” that Band and Teneo’s outside business were negatively impacting the Foundation.

Now, the Times says Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea Clinton are gearing up for a $250 million fundraising push as Hillary prepares to use the Foundation “as a base for her to home in on issues and build up a stable of trusted staff members who could form the core of a political campaign.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9 2013 5:21 utc | 204

The Yankees are TOTALLY off the wall now.
I just heard a declaration that "We don't need incontrovertible proof that Assad was responsible" (to justify stone-aging Syria). I've heard some dangerously stupid things in my time but that one would be a front-runner for the Nobel Prize for Insanity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 9 2013 5:27 utc | 205

Since this has turned out to be a metathread anyway, I doubt I'm actually derailing anything to say that I have always read and digested your contributions, for whatever that's worth to you, DonBacon. I skim over a great many author's posts here, but I have read yours fairly closely.

I know b hates metathreads, but I think they can be valuable from time to time. Understanding people's vanities and hurt feelers and who can't stand whom and why helps me to put their contributions into context.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 9 2013 5:30 utc | 206

I'm surprised to read about you and what happened, Don Bacon.

You should not give anyone the power to drive you off. And I'm quite confident that b didn't (mean to) drive you off.

Someone doesn't like you or your views with not much in his hands against your point of view? His problem, not yours.

friendly regards - Mr.P.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 9 2013 5:47 utc | 207

You are in reality futilely questing for what we both know to be a chimerical; namely, that it is legitimate for those who adhere to the Jewish faith to claim a common history/ancestry that entitles them to be considered a "nation", "ethnicity", "race" or whatever. This is especially the case where ideas on "nationhood" (or what have you) has been systematically used to practice apartheid and genocide upon other very real people all the while said "nationhood"/race/ethnicity is used to crush any one who attempts to honestly address the situation. Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 8, 2013 11:07:41 PM | 195
I'm English, as you surmised, and I was brought up on what I would call Lockean Anglicanism (ie, it's all nonsense really, but we should keep up the appearance, because it's a useful political stabiliser & legitimator for our bastard regime). I have been peering into the tangled guts of the world's Jewish problem non-stop for ten years, without worrying too much about being accused of personality failings, because I am certain that if the human species sincerely wants to survive these ever-worsening crises, it has to be conceptualise the problem accurately. I have become convinced that the way to conceptualise 'the Jews' is as a nation, because I've explored the other ways ('race' and 'religion') in the greatest detail possible without actually becoming a Jew myself. I've even tried to learn hebrew, though learning to conjugate hebrew verbs is almost as difficult as learning to play the harp.

You are saying that the moral consequences of recognising nationhood as a fundamental datum of politics are intolerable, because it seems to you that this is somehow putting a seal of moral approval on endless genocides 'in the name of'. But this is the politically correct ostrich tactic: denying the reality of something because you regard that thing as evil. Denying its reality will not make it go away, no matter how evil it is. A nation is what they are, because a nation is what they act as. They follow coherent and comprehensible policies as a nation. If you try to subdivide and discriminate and say you will only problematise one aspect or another, you will not see that overall coherence. What you will see ('zionism' or 'talmudism' or whatever) will appear not to make sense, because by itself it does not make sense. Jewish policy juggles all these aspects at will, to produce an overall coherence at what can only be identified as the 'national' level, without necessary reference to territory or religion or ancestry or anything else at all.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 9 2013 6:03 utc | 208

205) yep. Iranians sum it up thus

no "irrefutable, beyond a reasonable doubt" proof
no international coalition for a strike

in the meantime they do this

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

George Orwell"

actually that tea party, liberal coalition is a really good thing - people should not let themselves get split because of different life style preferences.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9 2013 6:35 utc | 209

I honestly thought the hardcore Bush supporters were the most willfully delusional people on the planet until I read an Obama apologist writing about how Obama's betrayal after promising a veto of the 1012 NDAA was some sophisticated game of "congressional poker" and what a favor he was doing us by selling us all down the river. I realised that the sheer depth of this "waldo-ism" prevents even the pretense of democracy from working.

Well, the cheerleaders are at it again. I wish this were parody.

Posted by: Monolycus | Sep 9 2013 8:08 utc | 210

210) People live in diverse fantasy worlds. Politics has become a way of managing fantasies.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9 2013 8:22 utc | 211

I'm surprised that the Heritage-funded RW blog, Minority Report would utilize Liveleaks, Presstv, and/or Voltaire net for such an explosive article... Syrian Children Kidnapped By Rebels Identified As Gas Victims By Obama Administration (Video)

Posted by: CTuttle | Sep 9 2013 8:37 utc | 212

Saudi diplomat kidnapped for 17 months. No one seems to bother (certainly he is not a prince). After all, Yemen is in drone-radared peace and they got the Nobel prize!

Rowan: are you sure it's not the Assyrian and later on the Romans, i. e. the Empires in those days, who made them from a tribe into a nation, just like our political parties are now trying to united the European Muslims under the Wahhabi banner in order to control their votes best?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 9 2013 8:52 utc | 213

if US threatens syria,under article 51 on N Chgarter, Syria has right to attack the US: but US has right to do so as it is not under attack.

Robles: Is it possible that somebody may, at the last moment, talk some sense into those beating the war drums in Washington?
Rozoff: Certainly there have been efforts to do so. Even today such an unlikely person as the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who was known to have been the United States’ choice for that position and who has generally gone out of his way not to offend Washington in any way, nevertheless reminded the world community and the US, in particular, that there are only two justifications to taking military action against another country.
The first is Article 51 of U.N. Charter that the country is in imminent danger of attack from the other country, that is, self-defense, and secondly, if there is authorization through the Security Council. Neither of those criteria, of course, applies in any manner to U.S. plans for military attacks against Syria. That’s number one.
Number two, and I think that is not insignificant: this past Sunday in his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square Pope Francis I, the head of the largest religious organization in the world, the Roman Catholic Church with 1.2 billion adherents, called for an international day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. And making statements like, and this is from the press agencies, quotes of his talk, stated quote: “War, never again.” And also made the following statement: “Violence never leads to peace. War leads to war, violence leads to violence.” This is an almost unprecedented statement by the religious leader of the largest religious faith in history, the Catholic Church.
And this Saturday he is going for an international day of prayer and fasting, not only for the world’s Catholics, his own flock, but other religious believers and even non-believers. That’s number two.
Number three, a statement was quoted today by Interfax, the Russian press agency, quoting the chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, Viktor Ozerov, and I am quoting him because it is worth getting these words out more broadly than I expect they have, and his quote says: “If we recognize the supremacy of international law and the sovereignty of UN member states, the start of a U.S. military actions against Syria bypassing the U.N. Security Council could only mean one thing, another American aggression against an Arab state.” More or less paralleling or echoing the statements by Ban Ki-moon.
He further howover went on to list what this means in terms of escalation of a long-term pattern, and again this is Ozerov speaking: “The aftermath of the U.S. aggressive operations are still fresh in our memory. Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya…The list could be extended. No arguments can be accepted here in defense of democracy or human rights.” As the alleged purpose of those wars; my comment.
And he goes on to say, “What is really happening is that Washington cannot agree that countries exist that do not dance to its tune or play by its rules.” That’s the end of the quote by the Russian senator. And that, I think, hits the nail pretty squarely on the head and gets to the gist of the issue.
Syria’s crime is not kowtowing to the United States, capitulating to it. And any other countries, and there aren’t many currently, that have the courage to maintain an independent foreign policy, that have close state-to-state, diplomatic, economic and military ties with nations like Russia and China are also targeted in this.
And in a way, how I envision it, John, is that you have the United States, as a wolf outside of a pen of sheep and it’s selecting them one by one as to which it’s going to devour. And as long as the sheep permit themselves to be picked off individually and sequentially then all of them eventually are going to be victims.

Posted by: brian | Sep 9 2013 8:58 utc | 214

via Xymphoras site
Ghouta again:this time linked to US trained death squads: but Obomber and co seem to be trying to white wash this: note presence of israelis

'In direct contradiction to Obama’s Monday statement to McCain and Graham on the timing of the entry of the first US-trained death squads into Syria, we have this report from the Jerusalem Post that quotes a story first reported in Le Figaro:

The first group of 300 handpicked Free Syrian Army soldiers crossed the border on August 17 into the Deraa region, and a second group was deployed on August 19, the paper reported.

The paper quoted a researcher at the French Institute for Strategic Analysis as saying the trained rebels group was passing through Ghouta, on their way to Damascus.

Okay, now this gets interesting. Obama claimed only the first group of 50 were entering, while Le Figaro claimed there were two groups, with the first one being 300 and the second one not specified by size. Further, note the dates and location: they entered on August 17 and 19 and they passed through Ghouta. The large number of deaths from a suspected chemical warfare agent occurred on August 21 in Ghouta.
Except that it’s not just the US training them. Going back to the Jerusalem Post article:

The rebels were trained for several months in a training camp on the Jordanian-Syrian border by CIA operatives, as well as Jordanian and Israeli commandos, the paper said.

Posted by: brian | Sep 9 2013 9:13 utc | 215

An Italien veteran journalist (of La Stampa) and a Belgian-Italian teacher have been released (seemingly after payment of a lot of money through the help of Italian negotiators) after being abducted by the so-called rebels. They say the "revolution transformed into something else" and say their captors were half-mad people.
As usual, Le Monde hides most of the details of their ordeal
More details here:
(The Commander mentioned has been killed in the latest days according to SyrPer)

Posted by: Mina | Sep 9 2013 9:16 utc | 216

Plain and clear, Pepe Escobar

I think Cameron/Hollande actually do a great part of the job of pressuring O'. Do they use the Wikileaks/Snowden stories for that? After all, The Guardian has been a side in the Syrian conflict from day one (remember the "Gay Girl of Damascus"). The UK and France depend from Qatari money at the moment in proportions never seen before.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 9 2013 9:29 utc | 217

Ctuttle #212

Very interesting article that needs more attention, if true that would explain why there are so many kids in those videos.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 9 2013 11:02 utc | 218

Interesting post on Angryarab.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 9 2013 11:09 utc | 219

I'll leave something buried way down here where nobody will see it, and then I'm off to do some backpacking in the high Sierra.

Regards AIPAC, nearly everybody's omnipotent whipping target. Originally I picked up on what 'somebody' said that on its website there was no Syria attack promotion, which was true. Certain retribution against Israel cities with explosive rockets is not a good thing. People didn't want to hear the truth.

But recently they have promoted an attack. Does anyone (besides me) think it's possible -- possible -- that Obama's obedient chief-of-staff picked up the phone one day recently, called the AIPAC chief and said: We want you to promote attack and lean on some congressmen. I'll send you a list. This is important to the president because his ass is hanging out there.

Possible that the president would order that? Of course it is. So AIPAC isn't necessarily autonomous.

See ya.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 9 2013 13:33 utc | 221

"Denying its reality will not make it go away, no matter how evil it is..."
Asserting its existence will not make it materialise either.

"A nation is what they are, because a nation is what they act as. They follow coherent and comprehensible policies as a nation. If you try to subdivide and discriminate and say you will only problematise one aspect or another, you will not see that overall coherence."

Well, at least you aren't a marxist.

"What you will see ('zionism' or 'talmudism' or whatever) will appear not to make sense, because by itself it does not make sense..."

I know the feeling.

"Jewish policy juggles all these aspects at will, to produce an overall coherence at what can only be identified as the 'national' level, without necessary reference to territory or religion or ancestry or anything else at all."

You are attributing to your "Jewish nation" magical qualities peculiar to it. It's not unlike the "We have more Nobel prizewinners than you do" line.
Everything that you attribute to Jewish peculiarities can be explained, much more rationally, historically.
This creeping obsession with judaistic cults is unproductive. I don't care whether it is "politically correct" or not, it is a dead end, a blind alley, a cul de sac, a deceased fowl.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 9 2013 13:46 utc | 222

Does anyone (besides me) think it's possible -- possible -- that Obama's obedient chief-of-staff picked up the phone one day recently, called the AIPAC chief

Naw! Think your on your own with that one.

Have fun on the mountain.

Posted by: DM | Sep 9 2013 13:54 utc | 223

"Does anyone (besides me) think it's possible -- possible -- that Obama's obedient chief-of-staff picked up the phone one day recently, called the AIPAC chief and said: We want you to promote attack and lean on some congressmen..."

Yes. It may very well have been conceived off as a political trap to separate the Republicans from fundraisers. Such are the sort of juvenile tricks we have learned to expect from this White House of amateur poker players.

On the other hand, if this did happen, it was unnecessary: AIPAC were going to push for this attack plan anyway. It probably originated with them. And they are going to lobby themselves into a frenzy.

Not just a frenzy either but, very possibly, an existential crisis as they arrogantly prioritise Israeli whims over American necessities. And an existential crisis for Balfour's garden too, because there are growing indications that an attack on Syria might just lead to real retaliation (not just home-made rockets left over from Chinese New Year) on Israel.

Don, did you know that Ilya Ehrenburg's cousin was in partnership with Barry Goldwater's father (or something like that) in Arizona?

Posted by: bevin | Sep 9 2013 13:58 utc | 224

221) Well whoever picked up the phone burnt them as they do not seem to be able to make a difference.

Point is AIPAC has how many members and funds? Probably enough to reach every congressperson and every Jewish community. But if they cannot convince people of what they are doing they do not amount to much.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9 2013 14:10 utc | 225

So now this:

Russia has offered Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“We have passed our offer to Al-Muallem [Syrian Foreign Minister] and hope to receive [a] fast and positive answer,” Sergey Lavrov said.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 9 2013 14:29 utc | 226

"So AIPAC isn't necessarily autonomous."

Damn, Don!

You hit it right on the head. Good Shot!

Of course that is exactly what I've been saying all along. AIPAC is a member of something larger, Don, exactly! That something larger is generally called something like "The [intentional non-confrontational blank] Lobby" ™ © ®

Posted by: hmm | Sep 9 2013 14:39 utc | 227

"You are saying that the moral consequences of recognising nationhood as a fundamental datum of politics are intolerable, because it seems to you that this is somehow putting a seal of moral approval on endless genocides 'in the name of'."

No, no, it's much simpler than all that - although, if you will, can be understood in terms of early Wittgensteinian (yes, aware of the his personal history) thought - in that words can't have a "private" meaning and that they have to have a "public" standard by which to be meaningful. That holds for a "private" meaning held by a group of people in this instance Jews.

In this case, what people understand as nationality, ethnicity and the like when asked can be roughly translated: where do your recent ancestors come geographically hail from? Obviously, there is some wiggle room as to what recent "means", "geographically" etc but nearly everyone comprehends what is being asked.

So, when someone answers "Irish" it can be assumed that they mean that their ancestors at some point came from the area of Ireland.

When someone answers "Jewish", on the other hand, it is NOT a reasonable assumption to think that this person is from - within a few generations or so (again, some variance measured in centuries at most but not millennia) the land area formerly known as Palestine as it 1) takes a time frame that is much, much longer than that afforded others - thus, my Sumerian comment yesterday or the question why are not most of us considered Greek or Roman then? - and 2) it posits a geographical ancestral heritage that is murky at best given its antiquity.

Thus, what is happening here - and this is my point - is that a special case is being made for Jewish ethnicity that does not exist for other groups. It is meaningless in a Wittengensteinian sense in that it is a "private" definition for a certain group of people that doesn't apply to others. All of the arcane explanations and justifications by defenders of Jewish ethnicity only further demonstrates that a special case is being made for this one group of people.

Other groups certainly could trace their heritage back thousands of years - e.g. the Irish could claim they are Milesians or Scythians (again, my point yesterday) but this explanation then wouldn't really be verifiable against a "public" standard and thus would be meaningless.

Yes, I do highlight the terrible consequences that this type of thinking has had upon the world but only b/c - as pointed out above by another poster - at the end of the day people have a choice to either deal with the REAL consequences that certain types of thinking produce or continue in their "dead-ended" attempts to justify said erroneous thinking.

I won't be able to answer you for the rest of the day.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 9 2013 14:55 utc | 228

@Somebody #226

The Russians are calling Kerry's bluff. Funny too that as I jump to the Telegraph to find Kerry's quote and a link, they refer to Lavrov's comments in the same terms. But the State Department is now walking back on the offer..

@Don #221

I'm more inclined to believe that AIPAC are terrified that by being put to Congress, this strike might not actually happen and have decided to go in all guns blazing. Nevermind the mask sliping, it's off completely and they've now thrown their hat into the ring.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 9 2013 14:59 utc | 229

Sorry, adding:

The same holds for all of the NON-geographical, more historical/academic lines of reasoning that defenders of Jewishness also use and which you bring up.

Why are these same lines of thought not COMMONLY used by other identified groups? Why are they not ACCEPTED practices used in determining the identity of other groups? You maybe would like them to be common and accepted practices for all so that they special case of Jewish identity doesn't appear so "special" in light of everyone else but that is just ignoring reality and - again - making a special case - a "private" meaning.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 9 2013 15:00 utc | 230

What the hell are you talking about?

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 9 2013 15:07 utc | 231

Hala Jaber
So the 2nd hostage also freed yesterday with the Belgian, and who is a veteran war correspondent for La Stampa also says he overheard rebels say tis not Syrian troops who used chemicals.

Posted by: brian | Sep 9 2013 15:12 utc | 232

Nonsense that Syria would give up its deterrence! Who are kerry to make such threats which of course is illegal too!

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 9 2013 15:58 utc | 233

It does seem that Kerry in particular has earned the nickname I gave him. By the way, did he get his nose broken somehow, at some earlier point? I don't imagine he likes being photographed in profile, because he doesn't have a profile, just a sort of squashed flat line.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 9 2013 16:56 utc | 234

Ah, yes: he broke his nose playing ice hockey (?) in January 2012:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 9 2013 17:01 utc | 235

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 9, 2013 7:02:10 AM | 218

the kids were kidnapped in Latakia and Mothe Agnes is currently preparing a report on the incident for the UN (the one in Geneva!)

Posted by: brian | Sep 9 2013 21:51 utc | 236

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