US Preparing for Intervention Most Americans Oppose in Syria

Credit: DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Wayne W. Edwards, U.S. Navy/wikimediaCredit: DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Wayne W. Edwards, U.S. Navy/wikimediaThe U.S. is making plans for a military response if it is confirmed that chemical weapons were used last week in attacks that opposition activists claim killed at least 1,000 people. Last week the Navy strengthened its presence in the eastern Mediterranean. With the USS Mahan staying in the region longer than expected there are now four American ships with cruise missile capability in the region.

United Nations weapons inspectors are examining the sites of the suspected chemical attacks today. One of the U.N.’s vehicles was hit by sniper fire.

On Friday Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that if the use of chemical weapons is confirmed the U.S. would respond in order to prevent another chemical attack. 

Last month Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey outlined military options in Syria in a letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. The last of the five options Dempsey outlined was the “Control of Chemical Weapons.” Below is a section of Dempsey’s thoughts on how the U.S. could prevent the proliferation of chemical weapons in Syria:

We do this by destroying portions of Syria’s massive stockpile, interdicting its movement and delivery, or by seizing and securing program components. At a minimum, this option would call for a no-fly zone as well as air and missile strikes involving hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers. Thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces would be needed to assault and secure critical sites. Costs could also average well over one billion dollars per month.

CBS is reporting that the Pentagon is preparing for cruise missile strikes on targets in Syria. Although Dempsey’s letter to Levin was written before the recent suspected chemical weapon attacks it does provide a glimpse at what sort of operations the U.S. military may soon be conducting in Syria in order to prevent the proliferation of chemical weapons if the use of chemical weapons is confirmed. Although Dempsey did mention ground forces being deployed in Syria in order to secure chemical weapons sites in his letter to Levin even Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), two of the leading advocates of intervention, have said that an intervention in Syria would not require having troops on the ground.

While it is looking increasingly like that the U.S. will respond to the confirmed use of chemical weapons in Syria with military force Obama may want to consider that even with the use of chemical weapons taken into account most Americans oppose intervention in Syria.

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  • SugarFree||

    "You put your goddamn hand on that scanning screen, or I'll hack it off and put it on for you!"

  • ||

    "The missiles are flying. Hallelujah."

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sheen's most compelling presidential role.

  • JW||

    Complete the sequence, Mr. President.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who's going to cover the IRS-NSA-AP-PPACA-Fast-and-Furious phony scandalocalypse when we're at war with Syria?

  • PapayaSF||

    And here we have one of the most compelling arguments for a war with Syria. (And you forgot Benghazi.)

    Another: a desperate attempt to make Obama look better. Too late! All the world's bad guys know he's an incompetent windbag. Some cruise missiles won't change that.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I knew when I was typing that out I was forgetting something.

  • Invisible Finger||

    This is why Nixon was better than Obama.

    Tricky Dick actually got us out of wars while his scandals increased.

  • BFawlty||

    Bingo!

  • BFawlty||

    Bingo!

  • sarcasmic||

    The man's got to earn his prize by blowing people to pieces.

  • Hyperion||

    Our government no longer cares about what the people think.

    We have to get into another war, because people killed with chemicals are more dead than people killed with bullets.

    FOE hits it right on target, above.

  • CatoTheElder||

    The government could not possibly care less what people think on any really, really important issue because all contingents of the ruling class agree on all really, really important issues. The behavior of elected officials regarding TARP conclusively demonstrates this fact.

  • Hyperion||

    The U.S. is making plans for a military response if it is confirmed that chemical weapons were used last week in attacks

    When is Congress voting on this?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's part of a continuing resolution to blow people up, see.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, I know, someone killed children with chemicals, now we're going to kill children with drones. That makes it all better.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Congress?

    What do they have to do with the commander-in-chief going to war?

    I suppose they could refuse to pay for it and be face accusations that they don't support the troops, the unpatriotic bastards.

    Seriously, where in the Constitution does it say that only Congress gets to declare wars? Art 1 Sec 8 permits Congress to declare war, but it doesn't say that the president can't do it all by himself. And the US has demonstrated over and over again since the '40s that the president can do it all by himself. He orders the war as c-i-c, and the military obeys him. It's a living Constitution, and all those old-fashioned limits on executive power are just dead letters.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Congress is really the problem. If it asserted its prerogatives even once in a while, the executive wouldn't be so out of control. Even now.

  • John||

    If there is one upside to having a fuck you that is why administration, there is little danger of them ever bothering to build any public support for an intervention.

  • wareagle||

    and where is the loyal opposition in this? From what I can see, the GOP warboner is strong.

  • John||

    Since when is the GOP supposed to be the anti-war party?

  • PapayaSF||

    I await the giant anti-war demonstrations.

    Oh, wait, that would be racist. Never mind.

  • R C Dean||

    To me, the most interesting part of all this is that Our Masters in DC and the DemOp Media-Industrial Complex seem almost entirely concerned with getting the UN to authorize this, rather than Congress.

  • John||

    That is what they did in Libya. I have this strange feeling that God is showing his sense of humor here. Watch us get into a nasty conflict over there and for the WMD reports to turn out to be false or a false flag operation done by the rebels. Because you know lying about WMDs so the country can go to war is a really big deal I am told.

  • Aresen||

    At base, I wouldn't change my view on intervention even if Assad went on TV and boasted that he'd done it and was planning to do it again tomorrow.

    Simply put, we have no dog in this fight. If the US is going to play globocop, civil wars are the domestic disputes of world policing.

  • John||

    But that is besides the point. The irony of watching liberals defend Obama for going to wary on false reports of WMDs would be quite delicious.

  • Aresen||

    I would not object in the slightest to a drone through Assad's bedroom window, but all that would mean is another member of his coterie taking over.

  • Aresen||

    Because then they can pretend they aren't like Bush because intervention in Syria was a 'humanitarian' intervention.

  • John||

    Of course they won't put anyone on the ground who could do anything to prevent a humanitarian disaster. Instead they will bomb random people with no end state other than to show the world they are doing something.

  • PapayaSF||

    The Democrat's definition of a humanitarian intervention is one in which we have no national interest. When we have a national interest, they're against it.

  • Aresen||

    A guy who kills for his own profit is at least comprehensible and can be defended against (even if you can't stop him).

    A guy who kills for a "higher purpose" cannot be controlled and is terrifying.

  • BakedPenguin||

    To me, the most interesting part of all this is that Our Masters in DC and the DemOp Media-Industrial Complex seem almost entirely concerned with getting the UN to authorize this, rather than Congress.

    I wonder what effect the recent NSA revelations will have on that.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    most Americans oppose intervention in Syria.

    What the fuck do they know? If they're so smart, why aren't they working for the government?

  • #||

    Don't worry. As soon as Obama starts bombing them, polls will start showing that team blue supports intervention.

  • Jon Lester||

    You might want to buy stock in Raytheon and whatever other companies are in the cruise missile manufacturing business. Someone will benefit from this, so it may as well be you.

  • John||

    Yes. And Obama doesn't want any casualties to have to explain. So this operation is going to consist of randomly bombing people until the government falls and then declaring victory and leaving the country in complete chaos.

  • Duke||

    If the US leaves Syria after the intervention. See, e.g., Germany, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

  • John||

    We left Libya didn't we? Maybe Obama is dumb enough to throw a hundred thousand US troops in there. But even I can't believe he is that stupid.

  • PapayaSF||

    No way. As far as I can tell, at least 75% of the "good guys" hate us, and 100% of the bad guys.

  • robc||

    Which side is which?

    I havent figured that out yet.

  • DontShootMe||

    Well, side 1 is the folks who are afraid they'll get slaughtered if Assad wins. And side 2 is the folks who are afraid they'll get slaughtered if Assad loses.

  • PapayaSF||

    There are no good guys on the Assad/Iran/Hezbollah side. The rebels have some Kurds and pro-Western democrats, but they seem to be outnumbered and overshadowed by the Al Qaeda and other Sunni jihadi types.

  • ||

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that if the use of chemical weapons is confirmed the U.S. would respond in order to prevent another chemical attack.

    And the sad part is, no one even questions the morality of such a statement. It's just a given that the US will militarily strike anyone it pleases if it concerns WMD.

    Who the fuck do we think we are. FUCK YOU BUSH!

  • ||

    ?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Bush? At least Bush got Congress's permission.

  • Aresen||

    I think Frank's point is that GWB set the precedent.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Well then that's still nonsense.

  • R C Dean||

    Well, he set the precedent of getting some kind of authorization from Congress, too.

  • Jon Lester||

    It was more like a waiver, but they signed on to it, all the same.

  • John||

    If the Syrians are in fact gassing their own people, I hardly see how the international community stepping into stop them is immoral. Iladvised perhaps. But immoral? I don't see it.

  • Jordan||

    Whether they're using gas or bullets to kill their own people, it's none of our business.

    Anyone who wants to help should be free to do so, but don't enlist me.

  • John||

    Whether they're using gas or bullets to kill their own people, it's none of our business.

    When those people start showing up by the 1000s in other countries as refugees, it becomes other people's business. Europe has every right to intervene to stop a refugee crisis.

    It would be nice if there could ever be a rational discussion where such things are called bad ideas and not in the country's interests rather than the usual histrionics.

  • A Frayed Knot||

    So where is the vaunted Turkish military in all this? I've been told, in these forums in fact, that you the Turks have a badass military. They have refugees and military rounds crossing their border, let them beat down Assad.

  • Jon Lester||

    I was surprised that those errant artillery shells weren't used as a pretext to invoke Article V of the NATO charter. It's good if someone thought better of it at the time, but that good judgment seems to have gone out the window lately.

  • PapayaSF||

    Assad plus Iranian Shiites seem like enemies of Turkey, but Al Qaeda Sunnis plus some actual democrats and Kurds aren't exactly friends.

  • robc||

    Europe has every right to intervene to stop a refugee crisis.

    That would seem to be Turkey and Israel and Lebanon and Jordon and Iraq's problem.

    I think I got my geography right, I did it without looking it up.

  • Hyperion||

    Anyone who wants to help should be free to do so, but don't enlist me

    I'd like to enlist McCain and Graham to get their asses on the front lines, now.

  • Aresen||

    There is always the hope that McCain would be taken prisoner....

  • R C Dean||

    Gassing, bombing, shooting, starving.

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

  • ||

    Were Americans gassed?

    It's none of our fucking business! How in the name of fuck are our national interests at stake? Dear fucking god, there are nations in Africa committing genocide and we are going to intervene in Syria simply because some people were killed with chemicals rather than machetes?

  • John||

    Maybe our interests are not at stake. And that makes the war a bad idea. It doesn't make it immoral. Saying it does just makes you look like a histrionic douche.

  • ||

    Killing people where you have no interests isn't immoral?

    Just fuck you John. That was about the dumbest statement you've ever made.

  • John||

    Go fuck yourself and clutch your pearls somewhere else. Killing people to end a genocide would certainly moral even if doing so wasn't in your national interest. And since when is killing people in the national interest somehow the height of morality?

    You people are so emotional, you can't even make a decent argument when you are right. I think we should stay out of there and you people still embarrass me.

    There is more to these issues than your little psychodrama and desire to feel aggrieved and self righteous. Calm down Francis.

  • robc||

    My money, John. My money.

  • Zeb||

    I think you are right, John. Whether or not it is in the national interest has little or nothing to do with the morality of the act. War may sometimes be necessary to the national interest, but unless it is self defense, it is rarely particularly moral.

  • robc||

    If they use my money without my consent, it is immoral.

  • Duke||

    The “rules of war” allow only certain kinds of bullets and munitions. And since we are a “rules is rules” county...

  • Jon Lester||

    I guess we care more about cheap cell phone batteries than the many crimes against humanity regularly committed in places like the Congo.

  • R C Dean||

    The only thing that makes it moral is some element of self-defense.

    Clearly, we aren't defending our actual, you know, selves, but self-defense can also extend to the defense of others. Hence, I suspect, "responsibility to protect".

    Where it starts to break down is that self-defense is more like a privilege than a responsibility. You don't have an obligation to go to the defense of a third party, so "responsibility" to protect is not aligned with self-defense, at least legally.

    It also breaks down because self-defense doesn't apply to "collateral damage", which is vanishingly rare in the usual self-defense situation but inevitable in war-fighting.

  • Hyperion||

    We'll just kill all of those children with bombs, that way no one can kill them with chemicals. WIN!

  • fredtyg||

    No. The sad part is nobody is questioning who really used chemicals, assuming they were used at all. It would make no sense for Assad to use them. It would make perfect sense for the rebels to.

  • bmp1701||

    If anyone's curious, here's a handy list of the factions involved in Syria.

    Maybe it's just human nature to instinctively believe that wars consist of Manichean conflicts between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. Meanwhile, Syria is the perfect example of a civil war being a bar-room brawl with artificial political borders.

  • John||

    The only way the US wins here is for the conflict to never end. If the US was going to intervene, it should have done so at the very beginning when we could still put people who didn't hate us in charge. Now, the US loses no matter which side wins.

  • ||

    it should have done so at the very beginning when we could still put people who didn't hate us in charge.

    How has that worked out in the past?

  • John||

    Quite well in places like South Korea, Greece, Indonesia, El Salvador, and even Iraq when you compare it to what is happening in Syria and Libya right now.

    Amazingly enough Frnasisco, there is more to history than Vietnam.

  • robc||

    Dont forget about the Philippines. Oh wait, nevermind.

  • ||

    Iran

  • robc||

    Chili.

    The list goes on and on.

  • robc||

    Chile too.

  • Invisible Finger||

    19th Century spelling is valid IMO.

  • Jon Lester||

    General Sisi should have waited at least another month before removing Morsi from the Egyptian presidency, so that more Muslim Brotherhood volunteers would have volunteered to fight in Syria, as they were being publicly encouraged to do by at least one top cleric.

  • ||

    It seems likely to me that the party flying the swastika is probably Bad Guys.

  • Aresen||

    If anyone's curious, here's a handy list of the factions involved in Syria.

    Sort of like the War of the Three Henrys raised to the fourth power.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Obama should have made it perfectly clear that Assad only gassed all those people because of a Youtube video. Then he could have walked away from his red line.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, that 'chemical weapons use means America has to get involved directly' excuse is just as flimsy coming from Obama as it was coming from Bush.

    Apparently, they've decided to go, and the rest is just marketing.

  • Hyperion||

    You know, if the Islamists were really smart, they might have faked all of this, to get US troops on the ground over there, so they can shoot at us, on their own turf. Just sayin. This is stupid, stupid, stupid. There is no reason that we should be involved in this, at all, and no good will come of it. We're going to get a lot of people killed, including our own, and then the Islamists will take over Syria. And then we'll be right back over there again, for some other stupid reason.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    I think they would want us to remove Assad first, then shoot at us.

  • R C Dean||

    Hey, this is 2013. Everybody else multi-tasks, so I'm sure the jihadis can manage.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Those who criticized the Obama Administration for trying to arm the rebels in Syria seem to have missed at least one point: if the Obama Administration has already decided to go, then arming Assad's enemies (however bad they may have been) was the alternative to America's direct involvement.

    And wouldn't it be better to be involved in another Nicaragua than another Iraq?

    If Obama attacks Assad Hezbollah directly, won't he be opening another front in the War on Terror? And why would Hezbollah just limit themselves to fighting the rebels in Syria after that? I suspect we may quickly come to wish we had just held our noses and armed the rebels--no matter how bad they were.

  • John||

    The rumor has always been that the Iranians had all of this ability to launch terror attacks against us if we ever attacked them. I have never believed it. But we are about to find out. And if one of the results of this is the extermination of Hezbollah, one will never be able to call it all bad.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Nobody's exterminating Hezbollah.

    If we want to exterminate Hezbollah? We're gonna have to go harder than Israel has. Think about that: if we want to exterminate Hezbollah, we're gonna have to get more involved with Hezbollah than Israel has--and we're gonna have to go harder than Israel has, too.

    That isn't going to happen. If Israel doesn't have the will to do what it takes to exterminate Hezbollah, then what makes you think we have the will to stand up to that?

    You want to exterminate Hezbollah? You're gonna have to nuke them from orbit.

  • A Frayed Knot||

    1. Israel had the will, it didn't have the international political backing.

    2. Hezbollah would not be fighting on its home turf. The only reason they held out against the IDF is because they had years to prep a defense. This won't be true in Syria.

    Not that I'm advocating the US getting involved - just pointing out that Hezbollah wouldn't last if should it get in direct conflict with US armed forces.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Both Israel and the United States have wisely decided in the past to bug out rather than do what it took to tangle with Hezbollah (or what coalesced into Hezbollah) and win.

    Hezbollah has home field advantage in Syria--certainly more so than Israel or the United States.

    Regardless, has Hezbollah presented a threat to American security since elements of what coalesced into Hezbollah attacked our Marines in 1982?

    The correct answer is no.

    Why open ourselves up to that threat now? Is the war against Al Qaeda going so well that we need a new terrorist adversary? Isn't the threat of terrorism from Al Qaeda enough--without subjecting the American people to even more risk?

    Somebody should ask Barack Obama why it's in America's best interests to make America a direct adversary of the United States, when it was only an adversary by proxy before?

  • Ken Shultz||

    *EDIT*

    Somebody should ask Barack Obama why it's in America's best interests to make [Hezbollah] a direct adversary of the United States, when it was only an adversary by proxy before?

  • John||

    Both Israel and the United States have wisely decided in the past to bug out rather than do what it took to tangle with Hezbollah (or what coalesced into Hezbollah) and win.

    That would be because the US never had a justification to do so and no reason to get the public support for the kind of effort necessary to wage a proper war against them.

    If you think Hezbollah with their cold war era weapons, no air force, primitive artillery and no combined arms could win a war against a determined US, you are an idiot or fucking delusional. Seriously, knock off the crack. "Home field" just means you can survive to wage a insurgency after you drop your weapon and run for your life. And should also be noted that there are a ton of people in Lebanon who will gladly volunteer to exterminate the entire Shia minority with US help.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If you think Hezbollah with their cold war era weapons, no air force, primitive artillery and no combined arms could win a war against a determined US, you are an idiot or fucking delusional."

    How are we doing against the Taliban in Afghanistan? They have cold war era weapons, no air force, and no artillery, too.

    Does the term "Vietnam War" mean anything to you?

    Oh, and what technological advantage over Hezbollah do we have that Israel doesn't have?

    "And should also be noted that there are a ton of people in Lebanon who will gladly volunteer to exterminate the entire Shia minority with US help."

    I'd love to think the people of Lebanon would rise up against Hezbollah if the United States went up against them, but that sounds a lot like Dick Cheney's wishful thinking regarding what would happen once we invaded Iraq.

    Hezbollah wins elections in Lebanon too--let's not forget that they aren't without any popular support. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they enjoyed more popular support among the Lebanese than the United States and Israel.

  • Invisible Finger||

    If you think Hezbollah with their cold war era weapons, no air force, primitive artillery and no combined arms could win a war against a determined US, you are an idiot or fucking delusional.

    Holy selective memory!

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    "Somebody should ask Barack Obama why it's in America's best interests to make America a direct adversary of the United States"

    Liked it better in the original.

  • John||

    Israel is under a huge microscope and has never tried to exterminate Hezbollah. They have always done one measured response after another to avoid international outrage. Even when they invaded Southern Lebenon, they left before finishing the job because of international pressue. With Israel it as always been bomb a little more to show them we are serious.

    Dealing with the United States would be an entirely different matter. The United States, being a superpower, can do things and fight in ways Israel can only dream of. Not to mention the fact the Sixth Fleet alone can bring more firepower to bear than the entire IDF. If Hezbollah thinks taking on the US is going to be like fighting Israel, they are in for a huge surprise. They might want to call their Islamic brothers in the Taliban to ask them what that is like. Only Hezbollah won't have a friendly Pakistan frontier to run and hide in. They will just have to stand and die.

  • R C Dean||

    If the Obama Administration has already decided to go,

    And that's the decision at issue, with a side of where the fuck is Congress?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Right. Ken is kind of assuming the argument here.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Ken is kind of assuming the argument here."

    I'm reading the information available. Consider a few points:

    1) The flimsy chemical weapons excuse.

    As I wrote yesterday:

    "The idea that we have to respond to a chemical weapons attack--even if it isn't in our best interests to do so--is such a stupid argument, it should probably be considered a red flag...

    The only reason an administration usually makes that argument is when they want to go to war over the American people's objections."

    2) There's this quote from yesterday's article, too:

    "Damascus, Syria (CNN) -- Syria will allow U.N. inspectors full access to any site of a purported chemical weapons attack, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad told CNN on Sunday.

    The agreement is effective immediately, he said.

    But a senior U.S. official called it too little, too late."

    http://reason.com/24-7/2013/08.....o-visit-si

    Like I keep saying, I've seen this movie before.

    3) Meanwhile there's this in the post above:

    "Last week the Navy strengthened its presence in the eastern Mediterranean. With the USS Mahan staying in the region longer than expected there are now four American ships with cruise missile capability in the region."

    Nothing's certain until after it happens, but put all that together, and, no, Ken isn't "assuming" anything.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    No, Ken, that's not what I am saying. you said:

    Those who criticized the Obama Administration for trying to arm the rebels in Syria seem to have missed at least one point: if the Obama Administration has already decided to go, then arming Assad's enemies (however bad they may have been) was the alternative to America's direct involvement.

    We didn't miss that point because we're criticizing them for getting involved in the first place.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's not a terribly helpful strategy.

    Put it in another context and imagine if Milton Friedman (who thought we really shouldn't have a Fed), when the president or the Fed Chairman came to him and asked for his advice, said, "Well, the thing is, we really shouldn't have a Fed, so I have no policy prescriptions whatsoever. If you want to know what I think, then you're gonna have to abolish the Fed first--and then I'll give you some advice!"

    That's an excellent way to make sure libertarian ideas remain as irrelevant as possible.

    Once it becomes clear that nobody is going to do what the libertarians really want, that does not mean our positions are no longer relevant. If they're going to ignore our advice about staying out of these things entirely, then we've still got a lot to say about how things should be done and why.

    Another example: regulation is better than socialism, and socialism is better than communism; and being a libertarian doesn't mean I can't favor better rather than worse.

    Oh, and incidentally, bringing the Arab Spring to the Persian doorstep might be in America's best interests, even from a purely libertarian perspective, too, but that's another argument.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So you're saying you are indeed *for* the funneling of arms to Syrian rebels? Yes or no?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think, strategically, within the context of a debate about whether Congress should give the president the authority to arm the rebels (in accordance with the Constitution), then, yes, given that even Iran itself considers the survival of the Assad regime to be crucial to its own security, and given that Iran's nuclear program and long range missile program represent a serious threat to the American people, then, yes, I think we should support Congress giving the president the authority to arm the rebels.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How far do you have to be down the gator's throat before you start struggling?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not as worried about slippery slopes anymore, since, you know, they're a fallacy.

    It's certainly possible to use a proxy instead of becoming involved directly--without becoming involved directly.

    All it takes is for someone like Barack Obama to decide to use a proxy instead of getting involved directly. Certainly, Barack Obama's choices aren't any more inevitable than anything else.

    It does make direct intervention more likely, though, when you criticize Obama for arming rebels because they don't respect human rights, etc. I mean, if you don't think arming the rebels is in the best interests of the United States, then argue that point...

    But if doing what's in the best interests of American security involves giving arms to some nasty people, then I think we should do what's in the best interests of American security anyway.

    Don't you?

  • Hyperion||

    Is Rand going to remain silent this time?

  • Dave Krueger||

    While it is looking increasingly like that the U.S. will respond to the confirmed use of chemical weapons in Syria...

    Oh, so you think that Obama is actually going to wait for confirmation? I think they've already decided to attack and are just waiting for fabrication of evidence that will constitute the excuse.

  • Hyperion||

    They need another war badly right now. Because NSA, IRS, etc., etc.. Looks like they've found that war.

  • John||

    I wouldn't even give them that much credit. They are just insane at this point. I honestly don't think they have a plan or any idea what they are doing or why they are doing it.

  • ||

    "I'm just a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just...do things."

  • Rich||

    John, I'm sure Obama will be clear about it in his MLK speech on Wednesday.

  • ||

    You don't need a plan to shoot cruise missiles at someone. There won't be a "war". There will be airstrikes. Americans only get upset when there are boots on the ground getting shot at. Killing brown people from the skies is just fine.

    The only "plan" here is to make the NSA/IRS scandals go away.

  • John||

    As I said above, we are just going to randomly bomb people until Assad falls, declare victory and then leave the country in complete chaos. It is the most idiotic and insane thing I have ever seen a US President do.

  • ||

    But it's not immoral.

  • Swiss Servator - past LTC(ret)||

    At first I read that as "immortal" - and I thought 'great, now we have to send Highlander in..."

  • robc||

    Random bombing sucks, but if the goal is to eliminate Assad, that seems like not the most insane strategy ever.

    It isnt our responsibility who rules next.

    I think in Afghanistan, we should have removed the Taliban from power (check) and then left (uncheck). If they come back, we can too. Eventually, they will see the flaw in returning.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There won't be a "war". There will be airstrikes. Americans only get upset when there are boots on the ground getting shot at."

    I would agree with that, in a lot of cases, but I think you're assuming that Hezbollah is going to take American airstrikes lying down.

    This isn't the U.S. bombing Libya in 1986. This is a terrorist organization with a military wing. They go tit for tat with Israel all the time. Israel launches airstrikes against Hezbollah; Hezbollah retaliates by attacking Israeli civilians...

    Why assume that if we launch airstrikes against Hezbollah, that they'll just take that lying down? And if they do manage to hit some of our civilians, why not assume there will be a "war"?

  • Dave Krueger||

    Back when I was a kid, airstrikes were an act of war. We've come a long way since then. Now they are "humanitarian actions".

    I'm not complaining though, because I know that "fucking for virginity" must be right around the corner.

  • CatoTheElder||

    The mission should be named:
    Operation Shield Me from the Scandals

  • CatoTheElder||

    or more simply,

    Operation ScandalShield

  • DontShootMe||

    +1

  • Rich||

    Hagel said that if the use of chemical weapons is confirmed the U.S. would respond in order to prevent another chemical attack.

    It'll be awkward when someone uses chemicals after the U.S. responds.

  • ||

    If this happens, how likely is it that Putin gets involved? I know he's an ally of Assad, but is his allegiance with him strong enough to go to war with the US over, or has his support of Syria just been more of a superficial "Fuck you" to us and the Europeans and he'll just let Assad sink?

  • John||

    Sadly very likely. And everyone should be terrified by this. Obama is a joke internationally. And Putin and the Russians are paranoid and desperate to maintain international credibility.

    I think it is at least possible Putin miscalculates and figures he could intervene and give the US a bloody nose and Obama will run home giving Russia its biggest strategic victory since World War II. Sadly, I don't think even Obama would run home. And any conflict between Russia and the US is likely to escalate into world war.

    Hopefully cooler heads will prevail. But there is a danger of this happening. Obama is so weak right now and Putin is just crazy and desperate enough to think he can make a chump of him in a limited war.

    It is unlikely to happen. But sometimes the unlikely does happen. And situations like this where one side is incompetent and weak and the other side is desperate and sees the first side as an easy mark is how wars often begin.

  • R C Dean||

    I suspect Putin is quite confident that he can get Barack to back down, and thus has every reason to escalate.

    Remember the mic slip about "wait until after the election when I'll have more flexibility"? Putin does.

  • sarcasmic||

    Speaking of chemical weapons.

    CIA 'helped Saddam Hussein carry out chemical weapons attack on Iran' in 1988 under Ronald Reagan

    U.S. fed intelligence to Iraq about whereabouts of Iranian forces
    Iraq deployed mustard gas and sarin in 1988 on the back of the information
    U.S. administration supported Iraq during the eight-year conflict
    Up to 20,000 Iranian troops were killed by mustard gas and nerve agents from Iraqi forces during the war


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....eagan.html

  • PapayaSF||

    Well, that's not quite fair. I doubt if we said "Here's where to deploy your chemical weapons." We gave Saddam some intelligence because Iran was the greater threat, and we were helping two of our enemies kill each other.

    Which is, perhaps, the only rational reason for intervening in Syria: to keep two groups of our enemies killing each other. Not that I am saying it would be a good idea, just that it's a rational reason.

  • sarcasmic||

    Seems to me the more rational thing would be to let our enemies kill each other.

  • PapayaSF||

    Indeed, but we also want to keep that going for as long as possible, and want to discourage the use of chemical weapons. Those are two arguments for intervention. (Not that I am buying them, just saying that they exist as arguments.)

  • widget||

    'Chemical' weapons were widely used on WW1 battlefields, but rarely in WW2. Hitler! The ignition of gun power is a chemical reaction. Is a bullet a chemical weapon? The best property of ordinance is logistical submission. That is, you want those bouncing betties to injure the enemy in the groin area, not kill him. Gassing people is stupid.

  • plumbertom||

    Just one problem with this plan.
    It fails to take into consideration Al Quada.
    The question must be asked, how does Obama know that if chemical weapons were used that they are not captured or manufactured and used by AlQuada to draw the UN and of course the US into the fight?
    We know for a fact that AlQuada has no reservations about killing civilians to further their aims.

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