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#52 Aug 29 2013 at 9:25 AM Rating: Decent
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Saddam!
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#53 Aug 29 2013 at 9:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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#54 Aug 29 2013 at 9:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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#55 Aug 29 2013 at 9:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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#56 Aug 29 2013 at 10:00 AM Rating: Good
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#57 Aug 29 2013 at 12:34 PM Rating: Good
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#58 Aug 29 2013 at 12:36 PM Rating: Good
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#59 Aug 29 2013 at 1:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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While there is apparently serious evidence to the use of chemical weapons

Who gives a fuck about the use of chemical weapons? No one. The point here is the rebellion against authority, not the event. The absurdity of the whole concept of "oh you can line your own people up and mow them down with machine gun fire THAT'S fine, just don't use gas" should be obvious. Clearly it isn't. Clearly using chemical weapons to inflict pain and suffering is magical and very very mean in a way shooting people in the face or dropping fire on them isn't. World War 1 was a loooong time ago. The terror of symmetrical attrition warfare carried out using mustard gas or the like is an imaginary horror. Sanction nation states for killing large numbers of people, not the methods they choose to accomplish that.
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#60 Aug 29 2013 at 8:04 PM Rating: Good
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So *have* they killed enough people yet for us to go in and kill the rest?
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#61 Aug 29 2013 at 8:06 PM Rating: Good
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#62 Aug 29 2013 at 8:20 PM Rating: Decent
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While there is apparently serious evidence to the use of chemical weapons

Who gives a fuck about the use of chemical weapons? No one. The point here is the rebellion against authority, not the event. The absurdity of the whole concept of "oh you can line your own people up and mow them down with machine gun fire THAT'S fine, just don't use gas" should be obvious. Clearly it isn't.


While I somewhat agree with what you're saying in terms of semi-arbitrary "rules" in play, it's not just fine to line people up and mow them down with machine gun fire. In fact it's a war crime whether the targets are civilian or military. Now whether it's as likely to generate the same outrage? Who knows. I suspect about the same probability.

Quote:
Clearly using chemical weapons to inflict pain and suffering is magical and very very mean in a way shooting people in the face or dropping fire on them isn't. World War 1 was a loooong time ago. The terror of symmetrical attrition warfare carried out using mustard gas or the like is an imaginary horror. Sanction nation states for killing large numbers of people, not the methods they choose to accomplish that.


I think the point is that we allow small arms and targeted munitions in warfare because there's at least the illusion of an attempt to minimize casualties among non-combatants. Large scale bombings tend to be frowned upon, but can still at least be argued as "it's a physical explosive and we really did try to hit that munitions factory and not that hospital next door". When you drop chemical weapons in an area, it hits everyone in the area, whether outside holding a weapon, or hiding in a bomb shelter. In fact, I think the primary rational for banning chemical weapons in war was precisely because while they're not actually that effective at killing people who are outside, on top of hills, driving around in tanks or jeeps, or otherwise actively engaged in fighting, they are incredibly good at seeping into low lying enclosed spaces, which is where civilians and wounded people tend to hide out whilst the battle is raging outside.

Fair or nor, overreaction or not, the leaders of the civilized world saw what happened when relatively primitive gas weapons were used in proximity to soldiers in low lying trenches along the front lines in WW1, realized instantly what would happen if they were used in an urban area, and decided to ban them. And they were almost certainly right to do so. Our rules of war, as silly as that sounds, are ultimately designed to allow party's to a military conflict to fight, while attempting to minimize the number of civilian casualties. They are not perfect, but they're better than nothing.
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#63 Aug 30 2013 at 1:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
it's not just fine to line people up and mow them down with machine gun fire. In fact it's a war crime whether the targets are civilian or military. Now whether it's as likely to generate the same outrage? Who knows. I suspect about the same probability.


Probably not.

I seem to remember 1300 or so unarmed and peaceful demonstrators being murdered in the middle of Cairo the other day by the Egyptian Govt who happen to be , this week at least, the military, all filmed in HD for the TV, and I don't see anyone calling for the bombing of Egyptian military assets to illustrate our displeasure.

Smash is right. Its an effort by the usual suspects to try and appeal to the emotions of their respective populaces (populi?) to allow them to get rid of Assad by firing missiles at him (initially).

I'm assuming that Obama realizes that if he bombs Assad tho', then he will be joining the fight on the side of Al Qaeda (such as they still operate) and that when the FSA (lol) rolls into Damascus as 'liberators', they will immediately take possession of one of the largest stockpiles of true WMD's in the region.

That's a pretty fUcking **** outcome in my opinion.

At least the Brits have been smart enough to realize that (so far at least) and have told that muppet Cameron to go and fUck himself.

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#64 Aug 30 2013 at 5:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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While I somewhat agree with what you're saying in terms of semi-arbitrary "rules" in play, it's not just fine to line people up and mow them down with machine gun fire. In fact it's a war crime whether the targets are civilian or military.

"War Crime" is a meaningless term. Civilians are intentionally murdered in every conflict, by all sides, on a near constant basis. The whole idea of "war crimes" is a self righteous sham designed to differentiate victors and villanize losing forces. With the intent of maintaining civilian population's will to go to war. See also: Nuremberg Show Trials. It'd be more honest and direct to just have a public stoning of captured leaders.
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#65 Aug 30 2013 at 7:11 AM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
See also: Nuremberg Show Trials.
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#66 Sep 01 2013 at 8:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Congress: You better not take any action without asking Congress!
President: I'm going to ask Congress to vote on taking military action against Syria.
Congress: Oh... shit.
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#67 Sep 02 2013 at 10:45 AM Rating: Good
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Only one mention of iRaq in the entire thread.

Not counting "Saddam". Or this.

Edited, Sep 2nd 2013 12:45pm by Demoncard
#68 Sep 02 2013 at 11:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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Should there be more? The two situations really aren't very similar, especially in the sought-after US response.
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#69 Sep 02 2013 at 11:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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Syria doesn't start with an I, so they're probably safe from secret proxy wars waged by Apple over future product name copyright conflict potential. iOwa is next!
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#70 Sep 02 2013 at 2:50 PM Rating: Decent
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I am conflicted. I am not a decision maker on this so my input does not really matter. However, much to my surprise*, I was relieved that the president decided to put the onus on congress and not just bomb stuff (yet**).

* I am not a big fan of Putin's Russia. Most of the time, any way to make them less relevant to world's events is a good way. It is just that, like most sane people, I am worried this conflict could easily change into something the US cannot control.

** It is kind of fun watching "Bomb bomb bomb" McCain going for and against the initiative at the same time
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#71 Sep 03 2013 at 6:14 AM Rating: Good
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angrymnk wrote:

I am conflicted. I am not a decision maker on this so my input does not really matter. However, much to my surprise*, I was relieved that the president decided to put the onus on congress and not just bomb stuff (yet**).
I suspect this is a cya for the pres as much as it's the law and what-not.




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#72 Sep 03 2013 at 6:54 AM Rating: Decent
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I suspect this is a cya for the pres as much as it's the law and what-not.

It's issue avoidance for the '14 midterms, nothing more. Also, there's is absolutely nothing at stake for Obama. He could care less if there's an attack or not, but by appearing to want one he forces the House to either show they agree with him, which diametrically opposes their entire political strategy...or to vote against faux tough guy military response which I believe will cost them not only votes in the mid terms but also their "man card".
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#73 Sep 03 2013 at 7:34 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
I suspect this is a cya for the pres as much as it's the law and what-not.
He'll never get reelected with these kinds of decisions.
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#74 Sep 03 2013 at 8:36 AM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
I suspect this is a cya for the pres as much as it's the law and what-not.

It's issue avoidance for the '14 midterms, nothing more. Also, there's is absolutely nothing at stake for Obama. He could care less if there's an attack or not, but by appearing to want one he forces the House to either show they agree with him, which diametrically opposes their entire political strategy...or to vote against faux tough guy military response which I believe will cost them not only votes in the mid terms but also their "man card".

That's an interesting paradox - what are Republicans to do with a seemingly war-mongering Democrat?
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#75 Sep 03 2013 at 2:47 PM Rating: Default
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Debalic wrote:
Smasharoo wrote:
I suspect this is a cya for the pres as much as it's the law and what-not.

It's issue avoidance for the '14 midterms, nothing more. Also, there's is absolutely nothing at stake for Obama. He could care less if there's an attack or not, but by appearing to want one he forces the House to either show they agree with him, which diametrically opposes their entire political strategy...or to vote against faux tough guy military response which I believe will cost them not only votes in the mid terms but also their "man card".

That's an interesting paradox - what are Republicans to do with a seemingly war-mongering Democrat?


It's not that simple. Obama doesn't want to take any military action at all, but he also doesn't want to appear to be weak. And there's that problematic red line comment he made last year specific to Syria and the use of chemical weapons. The problem here is that Presidents don't normally go to Congress and get permission for air strikes in response to something going on in the world around them. They take action immediately while there's some value in taking action immediately. The take their time and go to Congress when what they want is large enough scale that there's some concern about the War Powers Act.

Which makes this whole thing a catch-22. Taking time to get congressional approval for a small and limited response (like an air strike on a handful of military sites) guarantees that the response will be pointless (cause we've taken too much time and telegraphed what we're going to do). Add to that the broad language of what he's asking for and you can't be surprised with congress not really believing that he's actually coming to them but only wanting to do a limited air strike. Which is precisely why Kerry is being trotted out in front of senator after senator to promise that there wont be boots on the ground. From congress' perspective the only reason to come to them is because you are wanting approval for a larger scale military operation.

Which is almost certainly intentional. Obama is responding to the chemical weapons use in Syria in the one way most likely to result in him not having to do anything about it, while not looking like he just ignored the problem. He wants congress to vote against action. Surely no one thinks he actually believes he needs congressional approval for an airstrike? He waged a large scale air war in Libya with the intent of toppling the current regime and didn't bother to get approval from congress. He clearly doesn't think he needs it for this. It's CYA if they vote for it, and off-the-hook if they don't.
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#76 Sep 03 2013 at 3:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
I suspect this is a cya for the pres as much as it's the law and what-not.


gbaji wrote:
He clearly doesn't think he needs it for this. It's CYA if they vote for it, and off-the-hook if they don't.


/agree

There's really not a lot of public support for any sort of intervention. Best to have the blame rest with the 'do nothing' congress rather than himself, or something like that.

Also this is relevant.
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#77 Sep 03 2013 at 3:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
The problem here is that Presidents don't normally go to Congress and get permission for air strikes in response to something going on in the world around them. They take action immediately while there's some value in taking action immediately.

Smiley: laughSmiley: laughSmiley: laugh

Oh, you.
Quote:
He waged a large scale air war in Libya

No he didn't. The US waged a few days of air campaign (such as blowing up undefended runways and missile strikes on various anti-air facilities is an "air war") and then fell back into a support role as far as the air campaign was concerned. The first strikes were on March 19th, by the 25th the US was largely done with shooting things and the operation was handed over to NATO on the 31st. Even in the initial conflict, past the first couple major salvos, the heavy lifting was done by the French.

Quote:
and didn't bother to get approval from congress

And you screamed and cried and ranted endlessly about how unconstitutional it was and how this was the worst thing ever.

Edited, Sep 3rd 2013 4:55pm by Jophiel
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#78 Sep 03 2013 at 5:00 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
The problem here is that Presidents don't normally go to Congress and get permission for air strikes in response to something going on in the world around them. They take action immediately while there's some value in taking action immediately.

Smiley: laughSmiley: laughSmiley: laugh

Oh, you.


Huh? They don't. Not when it's a limited one time air strike in response to some provocation or action somewhere. More or less precisely because such action has to be taken quickly or it loses any potency. We can debate why presidents do this, how legal it is, etc, but nearly every president has done this since the US has had the capability to do air strikes (I'd actually say "all", but it's not like I've done extensive research or anything). Taking a couple weeks to get congressional approval for such a thing is pretty uncommon. And by "uncommon" I mean "I can't think of any president ever doing this".

Quote:
Quote:
He waged a large scale air war in Libya with the intent of toppling the current regime

No he didn't. The US waged a few days of air campaign (such as blowing up undefended runways and missile strikes on various anti-air facilities is an "air war") and then fell back into a support role as far as the air campaign was concerned. The first strikes were on March 19th, by the 25th the US was largely done with shooting things and the operation was handed over to NATO on the 31st. Even in the initial conflict, past the first couple major salvos, the heavy lifting was done by the French.


Please stop editing out key parts of sentences I write. The objective is kinda important here. The "support" part you hand wave away is air support for an ongoing military effort to topple the then government of Libya. The fact that we only had manned aircraft over enemy airspace for a week or so doesn't remove the significance of why were were there and what we were doing. To suggest in any way that what we did in Libya didn't require congressional approval, but a simple air strike in response to chemical weapons use, ostensibly purely as a punitive move, and with no long term military goal, cannot move forward with congress is nuts.

Quote:
Quote:
and didn't bother to get approval from congress

And you screamed and cried and ranted endlessly about how unconstitutional it was and how this was the worst thing ever.


And you argued that it wasn't required. So I assume you agree with me that Obama has even less of a need to get approval from Congress this time than then, right? Therefore, you must agree that his insistence on getting congressional approval this time is motivated by politics and not legal requirement. Right?
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#79 Sep 03 2013 at 5:18 PM Rating: Default
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someproteinguy wrote:
Elinda wrote:
I suspect this is a cya for the pres as much as it's the law and what-not.


gbaji wrote:
He clearly doesn't think he needs it for this. It's CYA if they vote for it, and off-the-hook if they don't.


/agree

There's really not a lot of public support for any sort of intervention. Best to have the blame rest with the 'do nothing' congress rather than himself, or something like that.

Also this is relevant.


Yes, but the propaganda machine... oops.. swy, commercial media, "inluencers" and various interested parties are making it clear that the Americans should very much want to attack. Like yesterday.

CNN was something of a surprise to me.

Almost as amusing as Kerry saying that is not war, and in the next sentence talk about bombing the **** out of Syria.

May you live in interesting times...
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#80 Sep 03 2013 at 5:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
The fact that we only had manned aircraft over enemy airspace for a week or so doesn't remove the significance of why were were there and what we were doing.

Of course it does. The War Powers Act doesn't apply or not apply based on some Gbaji Standard. And the stated mission was to prevent Gaddafi from using air power and heavy armor against civilian centers (largely by enforcing a no-fly zone; France did the anti-armor work) which is what we were targeting. Did or did Obama not need Congressional approval for a week's worth of combat action?

Anyway, the "intent" is somewhat secondary to the point that Libya was not a "large scale air war" by any stretch of the imagination. So the second half of your statement was irrelevant. You might as well said Obama launched an elephant cavalry charge to topple the regime and then got **** about me leaving out "topple the regime" when mentioning that there were no elephants.
Quote:
And you argued that it wasn't required. So I assume you agree with me that Obama has even less of a need to get approval from Congress this time than then, right? Therefore, you must agree that his insistence on getting congressional approval this time is motivated by politics and not legal requirement. Right?

Absolutely. He's supposed to be representing the will of the people. If not directly via popular support than via the elected representatives in Congress.

Oh, I'm sorry. That was your big "gotcha", wasn't it? Smiley: frown

[Edit] According to one recent poll, 80% of those asked said that Obama should seek Congressional approval for an attack on Syria. Is it "politics" to act upon what 80% of the country wants you to do? Maybe, I guess. But I don't think "politics" is a dirty word in that scenario.

Edited, Sep 3rd 2013 10:41pm by Jophiel
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#81 Sep 03 2013 at 7:21 PM Rating: Good
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You think Assad refused to pay his share?
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#82 Sep 03 2013 at 8:16 PM Rating: Decent
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It's not that simple.

Nope, that simple. Sometimes things are simple, sometimes they are complex. One of your primary failings seems to be your inability to discern the difference.

To suggest in any way that what we did in Libya didn't require congressional approval, but a simple air strike in response to chemical weapons use, ostensibly purely as a punitive move, and with no long term military goal, cannot move forward with congress is nuts.

Yes, and the imaginary person you've invented arguing that congressional approval is required here is really, really, really wrong with a really flawed argument. Someone should battle through his army of Cadillac Driving Welfare Mothers Who Use Abortion For Birth Control And Vote 20 Times For Santa to let him know.

Edited, Sep 3rd 2013 10:18pm by Smasharoo
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#83 Sep 03 2013 at 8:20 PM Rating: Good
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According to one recent poll, 80% of those asked said that Obama should seek Congressional approval for an attack on Syria.

According to many polls, 80% of people who answer poll questions don't understand government, the legal system, or military action, and they also believe angels intervene in their daily affairs. Seriously, what an idiotic poll question.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#84 Sep 03 2013 at 8:50 PM Rating: Good
Smasharoo wrote:
Yes, and the imaginary person you've invented arguing that congressional approval is required here is really, really, really wrong with a really flawed argument. Someone should battle through his army of Cadillac Driving Welfare Mothers Who Use Abortion For Birth Control And Vote 20 Times For Santa to let him know.

gbaji told us that the vehicle of choice of the poors is a used Lexus.Smiley: schooled
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#85 Sep 03 2013 at 10:21 PM Rating: Good
Apparently McCain, who wants Obama to do even more militarily than Obama wants to do, was caught playing poker on his iPhone during the Syria hearing.

& worse, he lost.
McCain's Twitter wrote:

Scandal! Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing - worst of all I lost!
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#86 Sep 03 2013 at 10:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
According to many polls, 80% of people who answer poll questions don't understand government...

They don't have to understand government to have an opinion on it. An uninformed, perhaps idiotic opinion but an opinion nonetheless and one that affects public response towards military action.

Anyway, looks like both the House and Senate are shaping up a resolution for 60 days, plus 30 more if the need is there, no boots allowed on the ground and strikes limited to "disciplinary" targets subject to change if Syria uses chemical weapons again.
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#87 Sep 04 2013 at 12:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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#88 Sep 04 2013 at 4:20 AM Rating: Good
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that number sounds low.
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#89 Sep 04 2013 at 6:10 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
.... a 60-day deadline for military action in Syria, with one 30-day extension possible, according to a draft of the resolution.

The proposal, drafted by Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would also bar the involvement of U.S. ground forces in Syria, according to the draft.

Three months and no ground troops.....

Until that proves fruitless and then the administration is allowed a little bit more time and maybe just a few ground troops.

Until that not only proves fruitless and also detrimental. Now we commit for a bit more time and a few more ground troops and more bombs...

I really was hoping we wouldn't commit to Syria, but if we've made up our minds to do it, i'd rather we didn't do little beany pieces at a time.


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#90 Sep 04 2013 at 6:43 AM Rating: Decent
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Until that proves fruitless

There is no "fruit" Both Congress and the Executive know this. Any strike is about posturing to other minor players, theoretically to be an object lesson to prevent Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi from getting ideas or the like. Enjoy your googling, ignorant savages.
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#92 Sep 04 2013 at 7:33 AM Rating: Good
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Dude with beard, funny hat.
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#93 Sep 04 2013 at 10:33 AM Rating: Good
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The HoverRound community from my wife's side of the family is screaming about this being the beginning of WWIII, and several young kids on our MC server were all in a panic this morning over some similar "news" they must have heard their parents loudly squawking about over the breakfast table.

Lately there has been nothing on the TV but Nick Jr. and such for the baby, so I've not had a chance to keep up with latest in **** broadcast journalism, but from the sound of things they've really lowered the bar with this one.
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#94 Sep 04 2013 at 10:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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Senator McCain wrote:
If the Congress were to reject a resolution like this, after the president of the United States has already committed to action, the consequences would be catastrophic, in that the credibility of this country with friends and adversaries alike would be shredded.


Hey, guess who's now saying he can't support the Senate resolution for action against Syria?
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#95 Sep 04 2013 at 10:37 AM Rating: Good
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What? Not Sergeant Grumpy! Say it ain't so!
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George Carlin wrote:
I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.
#96 Sep 04 2013 at 10:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Senator McCain wrote:
If the Congress were to reject a resolution like this, after the president of the United States has already committed to action, the consequences would be catastrophic, in that the credibility of this country with friends and adversaries alike would be shredded.


Hey, guess who's now saying he can't support the Senate resolution for action against Syria?
I have to say I'm having trouble coming to grips with this whole pro-war Democrat / anti-war Republican thing. What the heck is going on? Smiley: confused
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#97 Sep 04 2013 at 10:51 AM Rating: Excellent
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Oh, McCain is still pro-war. He's mad that the resolution doesn't allow for enough war.
The Hill wrote:
Asked by The Associated Press whether he backs the measure announced Tuesday evening, McCain said: “In its current form, I do not.”

The Arizona Republican has long called for a U.S. intervention in Syria but is pushing for action beyond the “limited” strikes that President Obama has called for.
[...]
McCain wants the U.S. to provide arms to the Free Syrian Army, a rebel offshoot that has been among those battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#98 Sep 04 2013 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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You know, I keep forgetting that McCain is an Arizona politicritter. That explains everything to me.
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George Carlin wrote:
I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.
#99 Sep 04 2013 at 11:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Oh, McCain is still pro-war. He's mad that the resolution doesn't allow for enough war.
The Hill wrote:
Asked by The Associated Press whether he backs the measure announced Tuesday evening, McCain said: “In its current form, I do not.”

The Arizona Republican has long called for a U.S. intervention in Syria but is pushing for action beyond the “limited” strikes that President Obama has called for.
[...]
McCain wants the U.S. to provide arms to the Free Syrian Army, a rebel offshoot that has been among those battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Ahh ok, that makes more sense then. I suppose he might as well, given Obama promised no boots on the ground. Smiley: rolleyes
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#100 Sep 04 2013 at 12:42 PM Rating: Decent
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Lately there has been nothing on the TV

Good parenting!


but Nick Jr. and such for the baby


Oh.

Yes, I'm judging you.
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#101 Sep 04 2013 at 3:32 PM Rating: Default
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Kuwoobie wrote:
The HoverRound community from my wife's side of the family is screaming about this being the beginning of WWIII, and several young kids on our MC server were all in a panic this morning over some similar "news" they must have heard their parents loudly squawking about over the breakfast table.


So more or less exactly as planned. You do understand that the entire reason to spend so much time publicly debating and thinking and planning about what to do with Syria is to generate the maximum amount of angst and public reaction possible, right?

What Obama Should Have Done: Ordered an airstrike to hit a handful of military and command/control sites within 48 hours of confirmation that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime. Then go on TV and say he did this as a punitive response to the use of chemical weapons by Assad, and he'll do it again if he uses them again. Sends a strong message to Assad that he cares about winning his civil war more than we do and not to call Obama's bluff on this. Also sends a strong message to the next guy to think about using chemical weapons to think again. Oh. And also makes Obama (and the US) look like a bad-ass.

Had he done this, there would have been more or less zero political fall out. His action would have been viewed as a clear message against chemical weapons use and not a specific act to involve the US in the Syrian civil war. There might have been some grumblings about unilateral action and whatnot, but as long as it's just a single air strike, congress really can't do anything. It's done, not ongoing, so congress doesn't have much power in that regard (just like every other president who's ordered an airstrike in reaction to some event around the world without asking congress first). All congress can do is censure him (or I suppose attempt to impeach him), but we all know they wont actually do anything in that situation. The action would have been popular and by the time anyone could even raise the question of involvement in the civil war, it would be over, so no real story to tell.


By choosing to drag this out, he's making the aspects of this which should have had nothing at all to do with his original red line position front and center in the debate. It's why everyone is talking about how we shouldn't get involved in a civil war rather than talking about how to prevent folks from using chemical weapons. And, as I've said before, this was deliberate. It's not like we haven't seen a clear pattern in Obama's governing style. If he has a choice between doing something easy, straightforward, and which everyone can agree on, versus doing something that will create conflict, concern, and disagreement (ideally partisan disagreement), he'll choose the latter every single time. He's following the rules of political agitation, because that's what he knows.
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