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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama Speaking About Syria

Posted by on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Posted at 10:52 a.m., moved up...

He's not going to announce a strike, according to tweets on Twitter.

UPDATE: Could Twitter be wrong? It sure sounds like Obama is about to announce a strike against Syria. We can hit Syria whenever we want. We're ready to go—today, tomorrow, next month.

"This attack is an assault on human dignity. It also presents a serious danger to our national security," says Obama. "I have decided the U.S. should take action against Syrian military targets."

UPDATE 2: Wait: Obama is going to ask Congress to vote on a strike—when Congress gets back from its recess on September 9. He's not calling Congress back into session early. So... no strike against Syria will be announced today and none appears to be imminent. And since House Republicans oppose anything Obama supports, and since House Democrats aren't going to line up behind air strikes, I'm thinking Obama isn't going to get approval from Congress. "We should have this debate," says the president. We should. It's a debate the Brits had in Parliament earlier this week and MPs said no to Prime Minister Cameron. I'm thinking Congress will likewise say no.

The president's rationale for a strike: enforcing international treaties against use of chemical weapons. If the international community doesn't punish Syria for using chemical weapons against its own citizens—or if the international community declines to act, if the United States doesn't punish Syria all by our lonesome—the use of chemical weapons will spread, terrorists will get their hands on chemical weapons, international norms, treaties, and institutions will be undermined.

Obama: "Here's my question for every member of Congress and ever member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price? What's the purpose of the international system that we've built if a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons that has been agreed to by the governments of 98% of the world's people and approved overwhelmingly by the Congress of the United States is not enforced?"

I predict Republicans in Congress and GOP talking heads and Matt Drudge and Peggy Noonan and Tea Party psychopaths will call the president weak—they're probably calling him weak already (can't bear to swing over to Drudge; it's too nice a day)—but they would be calling Obama a tyrant if he had gone ahead and ordered air strikes without consulting Congress.

UPDATE 3: TPM has a handy guide to 30 years worth of military strikes against other nations...

UPDATE 4: Matt From Denver directs us to WaPo's "Syria for Dummies"—totally worth your time.



Comments (73) RSS

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Is it ok to have been against the Iraq War but in favor of a strike on Syria?
Posted by Hanoumatoi on August 31, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 2
I think Congressional Republicans' hatred for Obama is outweighed only by their hatred of Ay-rabs, so I expect them to get behind him.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 11:02 AM · Report this
What @ 2 said and I think most Dems will fall in line, even some of the liberal ones.
Posted by Seattle14 on August 31, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
GhostDog 4
This puts Republicans in a pickle. If they sign off on Syria they are "wasting money". If they don't they are "weak on defense". If they call Obama weak he can say that he is just letting Congress do their job in declaring war.

Heads he wins, tails they lose.
Posted by GhostDog on August 31, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 5…

8. Come on, what’s the big deal with chemical weapons? Assad kills 100,000 people with bullets and bombs but we’re freaked out over 1,000 who maybe died from poisonous gas? That seems silly.

You’re definitely not the only one who thinks the distinction is arbitrary and artificial. But there’s a good case to be made that this is a rare opportunity, at least in theory, for the United States to make the war a little bit less terrible — and to make future wars less terrible.

The whole idea that there are rules of war is a pretty new one: the practice of war is thousands of years old, but the idea that we can regulate war to make it less terrible has been around for less than a century. The institutions that do this are weak and inconsistent; the rules are frail and not very well observed. But one of the world’s few quasi-successes is the “norm” (a fancy way of saying a rule we all agree to follow) against chemical weapons. This norm is frail enough that Syria could drastically weaken it if we ignore Assad’s use of them, but it’s also strong enough that it’s worth protecting. So it’s sort of a low-hanging fruit: firing a few cruise missiles doesn’t cost us much and can maybe help preserve this really hard-won and valuable norm against chemical weapons.

You didn’t answer my question. That just tells me that we can maybe preserve the norm against chemical weapons, not why we should.

Fair point. Here’s the deal: war is going to happen. It just is. But the reason that the world got together in 1925 for the Geneva Convention to ban chemical weapons is because this stuff is really, really good at killing civilians but not actually very good at the conventional aim of warfare, which is to defeat the other side. You might say that they’re maybe 30 percent a battlefield weapon and 70 percent a tool of terror. In a world without that norm against chemical weapons, a military might fire off some sarin gas because it wants that battlefield advantage, even if it ends up causing unintended and massive suffering among civilians, maybe including its own. And if a military believes its adversary is probably going to use chemical weapons, it has a strong incentive to use them itself. After all, they’re fighting to the death.

So both sides of any conflict, not to mention civilians everywhere, are better off if neither of them uses chemical weapons. But that requires believing that your opponent will never use them, no matter what. And the only way to do that, short of removing them from the planet entirely, is for everyone to just agree in advance to never use them and to really mean it. That becomes much harder if the norm is weakened because someone like Assad got away with it. It becomes a bit easier if everyone believes using chemical weapons will cost you a few inbound U.S. cruise missiles.

That’s why the Obama administration apparently wants to fire cruise missiles at Syria, even though it won’t end the suffering, end the war or even really hurt Assad that much.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Still conflicted on Syria but, man, that speech... Clarity, judiciousness, veracity, statesmanship... Wow.
Posted by M. Wells on August 31, 2013 at 11:16 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 7
I don't know. The polling I've seen so far shows the public very torn by this, split almost evenly between support and opposition to military strikes.

Unless there is far more public support, I think the republicans will gleefully use this as yet another opportunity to try to make Obama look bad. My prediction is that this will go nowhere in congress.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on August 31, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
Fnarf 8
Congress will vote for it. Obama wouldn't make this speech if he didn't already have the votes lined up. Boehner and the rest agree. And he made it clear he's going to bomb Syria whichever way they vote.

The anti-Obama people are mostly the same ones who've been screaming for war against Iran for years, so they'll be in favor -- this IS war with Iran, dammit. Doesn't anyone remember the Republican campaign, less than a year ago? Fucking idiots. And now Obama is doing their bidding.

And the Democrats are all nodding along like the bobblehead dolls they are. The smart Republicans -- and there are a few -- know that they don't need to win elections, because they can always, always get the Democrats to get that concerned look on their face and then do exactly what the Republicans want.

This is going to be OUR war, folks. Get your boots on.
Posted by Fnarf on August 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 9
At least he shows he's deliberating. But really, if al-Assad couldn't hit back at Israel each time they dropped a bomb in Syria, why would he try it on us or Europe. It would be suicide.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on August 31, 2013 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 10
Republicans may try to argue that Obama is being weak by turning to Congress, but I think that's exactly the right thing to do. Any action he takes in Syria will require support. International support doesn't appear to be forthcoming. If he gets Congressional approval, that helps cover his ass -- and if it's bipartisan support, which it would have to be to pass the House, that insulates him against GOP critics in the future.

I have no idea what the right approach in Syria is. But the right approach right now is to get Congressional approval.
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on August 31, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 13
@5, thanks for posting that excerpt from WaPo's valuable "Syria for Dummies" post. I hope people will go read the whole thing.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on August 31, 2013 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Fnarf 14
@5, gas wasn't banned because of civilians. And even if it had been, people, including us, would still use it anyways if it worked. The fact is, there IS no "battlefield advantage" -- not only is it extraordinarily difficult to deploy, using far more resources than conventional bombs that kill ten times more, but the "collateral damage" that military folk worry about isn't civilians, it's blowback onto your own troops.

WWI was the laboratory for gas. My grandfather was gassed there. Most of the soldiers who were gassed were gassed by their own side. And every military person everywhere came to the same conclusion: this is stupid. And they don't use it anymore.

Assad uses it, though -- not against troops at all, but specifically against civilians, because he's a nutjob who enjoys terrorizing his people. But terror works the same way: the person who will be hurt by gas in the long run is Assad.

But responding to gas with missiles in a battlefield that has ultimately little to do with Syria at all, but Iran and Russia, is deeply stupid.
Posted by Fnarf on August 31, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Sean Kinney 15
Britain and France will be on board.

Prediction: the Pentagon will have a fresh batch of "smart bomb" footage for cable-news networks to loop.
Posted by Sean Kinney http:// on August 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
I agree with 10 but one more thing: NEVER GET INVOLVED IN SOMEONE ELSE'S CIVIL WAR! It is always a quagmire: Vietnam, Irag, etc. DON'T do it, guys! In a way, Obama is passing the buck to Congress to AVOID seeming weak and also avoid getting us into another fight where we shouldn't be. IMHO.
Posted by BG on August 31, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 17
We got involved in the civil war in Bosnia. Bombed for 18 months and got out. Most people think it worked, or at least helped.

And the strikes against Al Qaeda in 1998 and Libya in 1993 might not have solved anything, but they still had it coming. Oh, and killing bin Laden. Probably worth doing.

So I really don't know what "history" is supposed to be teaching us here. The devil is in the details.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 31, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 18
@ 14, I hope you realize that I know all that already. But gas isn't being used in normal battle conditions here, as they were in WWI, and since war against civilians HAS been the norm since WW2, it's relevant here.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
@14 Assad is using Sarin gas. Sarin is a nerve agent. Nerve agents weren't invented untill the 1930's as an offshoot of insecticide production. Sarin was invented by the Nazis in 1938. It is orders of magnitude different than the chemical weapons of WWI in both effect, duration and deployment.

It is controlled precisely because its effects on civilian populations is so devastating. Unlike mustard gas or chlorine gas Sarin adheres to clothing and surfaces where it remains effective for weeks and doesn't disperse as broadly.
Posted by tkc on August 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
Ten days until Congress returns from recess, at least a week of debate before they vote on Syria.

That is plenty of time for another chemical attack to occur. This time with the attack going awry and crossing the boarder into Turkey killing a few hundred Turkish citizens. At that point Turkey declares itself attacked invokes the NATO treaty and an international coalition is born.

It won't matter who is responsible for the attack. The goal won't be to over throw Assad, it will be to blockade and contain the civil war. At which point Assad negotiates asylum somewhere or just turns on the meat grinder and starts throwing his citizens in.

Pack you bags boys we are going on a guilt trip and it is going to be an ugly ride.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 31, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
So with the sequester and all, can we just bomb 8am-12pm 2nd Tuesday of the month?

And let's just use any old bombs we have lying around, that way we won't need to make any new ones.

Posted by Just Another Knowall. on August 31, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this

Obama foreign policy: wrong and getting wronger.

It's clear Bush was right. We needed to go ground in Iraq to stabilize it. That has allowed the flowering of democracy in Egypt and other countries, maybe Iran.

However, when Egypt begged us to land there (and Libya) we passed up a golden opportunity. Now there is more death and destruction due to factions here in Syria. Instead of being positioned to buffer it, we are hands off, removing troops!

Look we made these countries. We drew the lines and we set it up so they would go after each other. These are not sovereign nations that fought to establish boundaries in equilibrium.

We now owe it to them to come in and make it right for as long as it takes.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 31, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
Kiwibird83 24
Drops two nuclear bombs on civilian cities killing hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, calls the gassing of 1000 civilians by the Assad regime "Deplorable"

America, fuck yah.

No wonder so many foreign nations both hate and fear us. We need to learn to butt the fuck out of other nations business, or at the very least get off our moral high horse considering how much innocent blood the U.S has shed in our short 236 year lifespan as a nation.

Attacking Syria will cost us money we don't have, and undoubtedly result in even more civilian deaths, this time at the hands of the U.S.

Posted by Kiwibird83 on August 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this


Did Japan offer to surrender after the first bomb was dropped?

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 31, 2013 at 1:02 PM · Report this
JonnoN 26
@23 = wrongest. Unless you're being totally sarcastic.
Posted by JonnoN on August 31, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
lolorhone 27
Is anybody thinking chess move? Kick it over to Congress to appease the left on executive power and unilateral action abroad. If they say attack, the fallout can't be solely on the administration. If they say no, Obama can tell those who want decisive action from the world's leading nation (i.e. the right) that he was once again stymied by Congress (i.e. the right). I'm not being cynical, I actually think it's pretty brilliant- and it might actually elicit a measured, thoughtful response to Syria instead of the usual yee-haw bullshit.
Posted by lolorhone on August 31, 2013 at 2:04 PM · Report this
venomlash 28
The Americans are making mistake. They will never take al-Asad alive.
Posted by venomlash on August 31, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
delirian 29
It was the right decision by Obama to get the permission of Congress. I'm pretty sure they will vote for it, but at least now we have the chance of a debate on why we want to take action, what the consequences will be, and what we plan to accomplish. And that debate, in and of itself, is more important than the vote. It will make us focus on the real problems and consequences here instead of some kneejerk reaction to punish Syria by bombing shit.
Posted by delirian on August 31, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
This cartoon fits very well with Dan's paragraph about Republicans calling the President weak:
Posted by Brett Alan on August 31, 2013 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Think @27's right. Obama basically's saying "OK, you and him fight this out." Whatever Congress does, it will be in public sight.
Posted by sarah70 on August 31, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
delirian 32
@24: Is that really your argument? Are you saying that the US doesn't have a moral right to complain about war crimes because of war crimes committed in the past? I'm curious where you think that moral standing comes from. Which countries have the right to complain right now? Think about this logically, and try to flesh out your arguments. I don't want to bomb Syria, but I still think the US has a hell of a lot of moral standing than Syria and that for extreme war crimes we would have the moral right to intervene (when the death toll from intervening is less than the death toll from not doing so, such as the interventions in former Yugoslavia).
Posted by delirian on August 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 33
@26, 32:
You realize Bailo is fucking nuts, right? Reason is utterly lost on him and he knows it.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on August 31, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
Shibari-san 34
Yes, lets help one side commit genocide on the other. It won't ever blow up on our face. -nods nods nods-
Posted by Shibari-san on August 31, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Question # 1 makes me shake my head.
Posted by Seattle14 on August 31, 2013 at 3:19 PM · Report this
Shibari-san 36
@25 Japan was trying to surrender before we dropped the bomb. But America doesn't like to admit that.
Posted by Shibari-san on August 31, 2013 at 3:30 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 37
@ 36, come again?
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 39
@ 38, I know most of that, too. I'm just questioning the idea, as @36 expresses it, that Japan was trying to surrender and we mean Allies refused them til we could nuke them. That's an egregiously incorrect reading of Japan's attempts to get the Soviets to mediate peace on terms more favorable than unconditional surrender.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 40

What part don't you get? Japan wanted to negotiate conditional surrender. They were trying to surrender. We refused, and then nuked them some more until they surrendered unconditionally.

So we didn't nuke them to end the war. Or to avoid invasion and save lives. We could have had that all that by negotiating. We nuked them to avoid giving them any concessions.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
@37 Why don't you read some Howard Zinn instead of the Washington Post?

America had to drop those bombs is the biggest fucking myth after Christopher Columbus.
Posted by Agrippa on August 31, 2013 at 4:53 PM · Report this
The speech from Obama was exactly what I wanted him to say. First that this is worth fighting and that he HAS made a decision to have this fight. Second, that Congress is to give him the authorization to do so.
Brilliant political move, and right judgment call. Risky too, but the right thing is often risky.
Posted by Daniel Francis on August 31, 2013 at 5:11 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 43
@ 40, the part that YOU don't get is that they never approached the Allies with that directly, and only made their overtures to the Soviets who, unbeknownst to Japan, were getting ready to declare war on them.

They could have just surrendered unconditionally, as their navy was destroyed, their air force nearly so, and their army exhausted. Or, they could have tried direct negotiations. Or they could have gone through the Swiss. All of that would legitimately be described as trying to surrender, as that would have been a clear communication of the desire to end the war with the Allies. That wasn't what they did. In the meantime, they publicly stated they would fight to the death, and, as @39 noted, using atomic bombs was not a major tactical shift at all - they were already using entire wings to destroy cities with no strategic benefit.

If YOU think that they were going "no mas, no mas" while we kept on beating them up, you are an ignoramous.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 44
@ 41, I never said that they had to use them. But the notion that their use was somehow even worse than firebombings, aside from the radioactive fallout, is just as big a myth.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 5:25 PM · Report this
delirian 45
@42: What is risky about this choice? The only other option would be to violate the Constitution. The President does not have the right to use the military unless it is authorized by Congress or the country is under imminent attack. And if he did use the military without permission he could impeached (and he should have been at least censured for Libya, if not impeached). Fortunately, now the President is returning to the rule of law. Hopefully he will acknowledge the limitation to the use of military force that he campaigned on:
"The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." - Barack Obama
Posted by delirian on August 31, 2013 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Jesus, re-debating WWII, wonder when we'll get around to Syria.
Anyway I thought it was a pretty brilliant way of side-stepping the red line.
Posted by chi_type on August 31, 2013 at 6:03 PM · Report this
Egypt killed more people than the CW in Syria, but we are continuing to give them billions. To buy weapons.

Not to mention we dropped atomic bombs on people -- civilians. Why are people trying to justify this?

We dropped white phosphorus and depleted uranium on Iraq.

Israel dropped white phosphorus on Gaza. Everyone yawned.

We don't even know who dropped the CW on the people of Syria.

So why are we dropping more bombs on the people of Syria.
Posted by Linda J on August 31, 2013 at 6:05 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 48

What? For some reason my mind wanders and I can't parse what I read when some Internet ranter starts putting "YOU" in all caps. Isn't that weird?

YOU were saying?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 31, 2013 at 6:14 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 49
Yeah, that's weird. Probably a psychosomantic response to being shown that you didn't know what you were talking about.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 31, 2013 at 6:22 PM · Report this
delirian 50
@48: If only the <blink> tag worked in this forum. The 'YOU' could then be written in bold, italics, underlined, caps, and blinking. Otherwise you might not know that it is YOU that he is talking about.
Posted by delirian on August 31, 2013 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 51

Oh yeah? Well maybe it's YOU who doesn't know what YOUR talking about!? Boo ya! I win the Internet..


Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 31, 2013 at 8:03 PM · Report this
@45 "The War Powers Resolution requires the President to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war."

Pay attention here. "notify Congress within 48 hours". We can do a lot of damage in 48 hours. So all that blather about Obama "Constitutionally" needing Congress, is well blather. "Yo Congress I just bombed the shit out of Syria for 48 hours but I'm done now."

Yes it is smart for Obama to toss this to Congress at this moment, like I've said before he's crafty. So what if they say no? It'd be obviouse that it is shifting that way prior to the vote, so he bombs for 48 hrs. and then says "oh yeah what was that? You voted your answer is no?, ok I'll stop now."

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 31, 2013 at 8:13 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 53
Looks like Al Queda is gonna have a air force, courtesy of one lying, spying, warmongering Barack Hussein Obama.

Seems history is another of your many failings in life.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on August 31, 2013 at 8:22 PM · Report this
Oh yeah regarding the WWII stuff, their both right, the offer was made and rejected, Japan wanted to keep most of the stuff they held, Russia, China, Korea, and all those little island nations weren't gonna go for it.

Besides after 4 solid years of worldwide total warfare we were tired.

So yeah one last BOOM BOOM.

Not saying it was right, just sayin.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 31, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
LOL Cascadian Pork Boi your back. Hows that Separatist movement going?
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 31, 2013 at 8:26 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 56
Pretty well, there were hella Cascadian flags flying at the anti-Syrian war protest in Portland this afternoon.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on August 31, 2013 at 8:29 PM · Report this
@1 it seems ao much more like there is an international problem in Syria vs Iraq, but then I was experiencing the Iraq predicate in England, where I'm experiencing the Syria situation through a constitutional lense. The Syria thing seems more a thing but I wonder how 'no more dead Americans' every1 is..
Posted by Foonken2 on August 31, 2013 at 8:33 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 58

The regular Cascadian flags? With a ripoff of the tree on the Oregon license plate? Or your special version where the tree is kind of morphed into the shape of a wide open beaver? But NOT in a creepy way.

Well, except when you paste guns on it like a sort of knockoff Mozambique's. A big vagina flag with guns around the cooter ups the creeper factor a lot.

Anyhoo, Five Large. Are you gay or what? Or are you a married straight guy who uses homophobic and gender-normative slurs like they were going out of style? Or a gay guy who isn't going to take it any more? Are just an actor who says whatever is on the script? And who writes your material, anyway? Because I think I found some plot holes.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 31, 2013 at 8:42 PM · Report this
@56 good deal. Going to war in, and it is in since there is no "with" to go to war with in Syria at the moment, is a stupid idea.

Put a fence around it and wait.

Catch and tend to the wounds of those who escape.

Ugly business.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 31, 2013 at 8:43 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 60

It's the same flag idiot. Designed in 1994 by Portland native and professor Alexander Baretich. And the guns are not pasted they are photographed on the flag.

Also I caution throwing the word"creepy" around when you are a grown single man who goes out of his way to be a baby sitter for children. You are either a sick fuck child molester or perhaps you just choose to be around kids because adults would instantly see how full of shit you are.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on August 31, 2013 at 8:58 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 61

I agree, Syria, like the rest of the Mid East has a lot to work out on it's own the borders were set by European colonialist without regard for the Culture and ethnicity of the local population. Unfortunately it is going to take civil war to set the proper borders, tragic, but none of our business. And if anything we should be hoping that the Radical Islamist factions that Obama supports do not get power. Sharia law is far worse than Assad, as bad as he is, at least he was Westernized. Adding fuel to the fire count turn the entire region into a massive conflict possibly on the WW3 level.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on August 31, 2013 at 9:05 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 62

Yeah, that right there. Gender normative bullshit, like there's something wrong with men who work in day care? Are all those tales you told about being gay bashed lies? I know you were only pretending to be a nurse, but how come you think it's okay for a man to be a nurse but not do day care? That was all a lie, right? Fess up.

Can you link to your vagina flag again? Let's compare. Your version has a different "tree". The license plate tree is obviously a fir. Your tree is, you know, it's got more of a vulva-like structure around it. In the child care biz we make a note of it in your kid's folder if too many of their drawings "accidentally" look like genitalia. Some of that is normal. Too much of it, well... just pray your kid isn't drawing GUNS and genitalia in the same picture.

...oops. I guess somebody we know did that. Creepy shit, Five Large. Let's see the link. The people shall judge.

Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 31, 2013 at 9:34 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 63

The salient point is that we're taught that they "had to" drop the bomb to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Marines who would have had to storm the beaches of Japan, to say nothing of the Japanese defenders. The truth is, there was an avenue to end the war and save all those lives. We could have worked with Japan's offer via Russia and cut a deal using the old diplomatic sausage making.

Could that have lead to a cold war with the surviving Japanese Empire? Or some crazy shit like that? Would it have been a mistake? Maybe. To avoid this outcome, we decided to nuke them. Not to avoid an invasion. The wouldn't have been any invasion because the war could have ended either way.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on August 31, 2013 at 9:41 PM · Report this
@61 Ok well now you've lost me and wondered off into stupid land.

Though I will agree with you that a country ruled by Sharia law would be as abhorrent as a country run by its Christian counter part.

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 31, 2013 at 9:44 PM · Report this
@63 yep pretty much.

what's your point?

History lessons are truth until you discover they are not, then they become myths, until you discover there are truths in myths, then maybe you dig around and discover that history is a prism, there are multiple angles at which to view it. it changes colours depending on how your looking at it, it is complex. And while history is dynamic the moments of it are static.

Confusing innitt.

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on August 31, 2013 at 10:12 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 66
Sorry for reading Stratfor rather than the Huffington Post (though I do think that Ariana is a nice lady, I met her at the Shadow Convention in 2000)

And yes I am against religious fundamentalism on all levels. It is an affront to human rights.

Basically we are on the same page, don't get involved with this shit.

Look shitstain, it is the same Doug as the one currently on my rifle in the pic.

I guess it has been a long time since you saw a vagina that is over 5 years old.

Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 1, 2013 at 12:10 AM · Report this
Oh god, wtf is going on here? Can you please stop the troll fight? It's terribly annoying to find it here.
Posted by puddles on September 1, 2013 at 1:07 AM · Report this
delirian 68
@52: It requires more than that. It requires prior Congressional authorization for using the armed forces except when war has been declared, Congress approved the action, or the US is under attack. The 48 hours is for Congress to be notified that the US is under attack, and the 60 day limitation is for Congress to continue to authorize use even then. The President isn't a king and he doesn't get to use the armed forces like any other power of government. They are special, and the power to use them is restrained for that reason.
Posted by delirian on September 1, 2013 at 6:04 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 69

If it was the same you'd show us.

You decided to hide it away once I pointed out your tree looks like a wide open beaver. Now you refuse to let it be seen ever again. It's obvious.

Now that's settled. Are you gay or not? Simple question.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on September 1, 2013 at 7:28 AM · Report this
#68 Meh

"U.S. Presidents have consistently taken the position that the War Powers Resolution is an unconstitutional infringement upon the power of the executive branch. As a result, the Resolution has been the subject of controversy since its enactment, and is a recurring issue due to the ongoing worldwide commitment of U.S. armed forces."…

Interpret it anyway you'd like, whatever makes you happy. The President is still Commander in Chief.

I'm glad Obama tossed the ball to Congress, but like Reagan, as well as the rest, before him he could just send the troops in and bother with Congress later.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on September 1, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
delirian 72
@70: Do you think there are any constraints for the President using military forces? Could he attack France right now just for the fuck of it?

And as far as interpretations, there are two: if the War Powers Resolution is constitutional, then sending out the military without an imminent threat is illegal. But if the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional, then the only way to send out the military is with a declaration of war, a power only Congress has. Either way, the President does not have that power. It belongs to Congress. The President only gets to command it.
Posted by delirian on September 1, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 74

Oops, I guess we're back to square one. People believe what makes them feel good.

All I can suggest is look around the house for a dictionary and see if it has "unconditional" in it. It's a real word and it means something. Surrender and unconditional surrender are two things, not one thing.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on September 1, 2013 at 7:23 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 75
@ 74, there was no practical effort by Japan to surrender prior to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That's simply a fact, not an interpretation. If you think otherwise, you'll have to show your work. Insisting that unrealistic options are as valid as realistic ones don't cut it, unless you want to apply that line of thinking fairly and suggest that the USA could have surrendered instead.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 1, 2013 at 8:19 PM · Report this
@72 Oh of course there are constraints on the US President just bombing whoever he chooses. We just saw that happen.

But to say the War Powers Act constrains the President, nah not so much. When used successfully it has been used by the President to force the Congress to put up or shut up. Like Obama is doing now.

I know it wasn't intended to work that way, but after fifty years well there you are. Every single President since its passage said, MEH, until they realized "hey we can use this to put Congress in a box.

Here this should cheer you up.…

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on September 1, 2013 at 9:28 PM · Report this
sirkowski 77
@1 Yes it is.
Posted by sirkowski on September 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM · Report this
Posted by chaya760 on September 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 79

The whole "we had to nuke them again" story would be a lot more plausible if we had made any kind of halfassed reply to the initial surrender efforts. Then we could have said, yes, we tried to respond to their surrender overture, but that led nowhere. That would have made a plausible case that we had no choice.

The reason we didn't is that it might have worked and we didn't want it to work.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on September 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM · Report this

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