Obama: Syrian Government Carried Out Chemical Attack

Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Leah Stiles/wikimediaCredit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Leah Stiles/wikimediaShortly after the Obama administration said that the U.S. would intervene in Syria without the backing of the United Nations or its allies President Obama announced that the U.S. believes that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack near Damascus last week.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. has concluded that the Syrian government carried out a large-scale chemical weapons attack against civilians last week.

Obama says the U.S. has examined evidence and doesn't believe the opposition fighting the Syrian government possessed chemical weapons or the means to deliver them.

Now seems an appropriate time to recall what Obama told The Boston Globe back in 2007:

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.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

Read more from Reason.com on Syria here

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  • Aresen||

    Now seems an appropriate time to recall what Obama told The Boston Globe back in 2007:

    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.

    But now the right people are in charge, so it's OK.

  • Sevo||

    And, the SOB lies!
    But it doesn't matter; he's forced to do that stuff 'cause BOOSH!

  • ||

    Joe Biden said the exact same thing. But things are different now.

  • ||

    No, no, no...that was a transcription error. What he said was, "THIS 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."

    Hope that clears it up. I'd hate for people to think that Dear Leader was being inconsistent in some way.

  • ||

    I had a proggie chick honest enough once to tell me this point-blank when I pointed out to her how much Obama just latched onto Bush's dick.

    Her retort was that essentially yes, all that matters is who is doing it. For you see, we can't actually know what someone's motivations are, since we are not mindreaders, but if it's a democrat or a progressive, then Occam's Razor suggest they are taking whatever action it is being discussed for a good reason, to advance the wellbeing of everyone. Similiarly, if it's a rethuglican taking the exact same action, then the Razor suggests that they are doing it for some nefarious purpose which may not yet be fully revealed (but is most likely to involve bringing back segregation and forced labor workhouses for the poor).

    This demonstrates not only a total misunderstanding of Occam's Razor (she just substited it for the phrase "one should assume"), but also laid bare the fact that no amount of pointing out cross-presidential hypocrisy is ever going to shake her faith in the Correct Party.

  • ||

    *Sorry for any spelling mistakes, had my eyes dialated today and it's very hard to read w/ these stupid Stevie Wonder glasses on.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Don't be so uptight. Everything is all right.

  • Brandon||

    *dilated.

  • Dweebston||

    You used "chick" in lieu of twat or cunt, but otherwise you're golden. TEAM POWER autocrat-wannabes are repugnant, contemptible urchins, and every day I've fewer shits to give about their clumsily cobbled excuses for whichever sociopaths they prefer.

  • Inigo M.||

    The proggie chick's response is the kind of thing that makes someone dumber simply for having listened to it. It's just so inane and naive it makes you wonder whether the speaker is being serious.

    It also illustrates something that seems to be unique to progs: an unshakeable belief in their own moral authority/intelligence/correctness. How ironic that they giggle over the religious fundamentalists' ridiculous assertions that the Earth is only 6K years old "because that's what it sez in da Good Book," yet they fail to recognize their own blindly stupid and uncritical faith in regurgitated progtard ideology.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It also illustrates something that seems to be unique to progs: an unshakeable belief in their own moral authority/intelligence/correctness.

    Sixteen years at a Madrassah does that.

  • Dave Krueger||

    Well, the evidence against the Syrian government is irrefutable. It came from a completely neutral source:

    The bulk of evidence proving the Assad regime's deployment of chemical weapons – which would provide legal grounds essential to justify any western military action – has been provided by Israeli military intelligence, the German magazine Focus has reported.

  • Aresen||

    MEH. I'd rely on Isreal Military Intelligence more than most spy agencies.

    Not that they don't have biases and agendas, but they also tend to be rather hard headed.

    TBS, I would think the Isrealis would rather have Assad in power than some of the insurgent groups.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Exactly. The last thing Israel needs is Afghanistan on it's northern border.

  • Libertymike||

    Not necessarily HM.

    Implicit in your assumption is that no member of Mossad or Israeli military intelligence or any other Israeli state operative may have motives which differ from those of Bibi or the nation state.

    Yes, I would agree that it would appear that Israel would prefer Assad the younger to all manner of jihadi on the borders like Ty Law on Marvin Harrison in the 2004 AFC Divisional playoff game.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Fair enough.

  • Libertymike||

    Well, for cinematic authority, how about The Living Daylights?

  • Dave Krueger||

    I think you're wrong, but I have to admit, that's the way the mainstream media seems to portray the situation.

    The only country that likes war more than the U.S. is Israel (especially when the U.S. is their faithful ally). No country that the U.S. attacks ever comes out stronger, and the Israelis want weak countries surrounding it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I agree with your conclusion. Israel could care less whether Syria is run by 7th century fanatics as long as they are weakened. Fanatics would give the added bonus of constantly doing some stupid, but ineffective, violent act which could justify Israel taking much more decisive action in response (cf: the Palestinians).

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    This strikes me as a highly dubious analysis. The most recent developments with Israel and the rest of the region have involved Israel's concerns with non-state actors. The wall separating the Palestinian Territories and Israel proper, Israel's invasion(s) of Lebanon, and the bargaining stance that Israel has taken in various peace summits in the region all indicate that Israel is in favor of establishing a Westphalian balance of powers favorable to its own interests populated by strong sovereign states with all current border disputes resolved in Israel's favor -- not weakened states that can't control their own borders and terrorist organizations.

    The latter is particularly pernicious, as it invites various instabilities and a lack of resolution to border issues that would not be in Israel's interests. Their interests are much better served by a relatively strong Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt since the IDF's core competencies handle conventional warfare against the weak standing armies of those countries much better than protracted counter-insurgency efforts against e.g. Hezbollah in Lebanon.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The latter is particularly pernicious, as it invites various instabilities and a lack of resolution to border issues that would not be in Israel's interests.

    In the past Israel has resolved border issues by simply taking and occupying land during wars and has expanded itself and its resources considerably in doing so. I do not think Israel is unhappy with the results. If they find that has served them well in the past then weak but provocative surrounding states are great for them.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's a simplistic analysis. Taking land is one option that Israel has found works well in some cases but that it has been willing to arbitrate for things more useful to their interests. For example, why would owning the Sinai be useful if they can instead have sufficiently cordial relations with Egypt that they can count on not having them fund Hezbollah or engage in belligerence every 4-5 years?

    Lebanon and Iran, likewise, were Israel's regional partners until the Lebanon Civil War and Iranian Revolution, respectively -- both of which weakened the two states quite significantly and which, from Israel's perspective, greatly weakened their security situation and necessitated quite a bit more effort on their part than the status quo ante.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I can hardly imagine how one could get into conflict with the noted pacifists running Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Arab countries without being a warmongering death-lover. Please, do go on explaining how a country with a population about the same size as Hong Kong's is secretly running the world. That's in no way distasteful or reminiscent of other types of conspiracies involving the Jews.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is this the same commenter who lecture me on the evils of casually ascribing prejudice to another's comments? Please let us leave the tired charges of anti-Semitism at someone who has the temerity to suggest that Israel 'likes war' (and he was obviously talking more about wars we or others fight in the Middle East which weaken Israel's rivals). Israel has engaged in quite a few wars in recent history, albeit many after considerable provocation.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Uh, this guy has stated outright in the past that he thinks that AIPAC is controlling the US' foreign policy and has suggested that Jews in the US are a 5th column. That's textbook anti-Semitism right there.

  • Dave Krueger||

    It never fails. Complain about Israel and someone will inevitably equate it to antisemitism hoping to shut down any further discussion. I'm pretty sure you will not find a single post where I even mention Jews, so don't put words in my mouth. AIPAC is a lobbying outfit that promotes the state of Israel and AIPAC's influence on U.S. foreign policy is no secret (nor is it even disputed by anyone with a brain).

    My comments in the past are that U.S. policy in the middle east is about three things: Oil, the military industrial complex, and Israel. You, of course, only see Israel, completely ignoring the other two, and immediately read it as "Jews", as if anyone who questions Israel must certainly be a neo-nazi.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I may have you confused with someone else, but I'm pretty sure that I have seen you refer to American Jews as a 5th-column for Israel. If that's not the case, then I apologize -- but if it is, then that certainly goes beyond the bounds of political discussion and into some very distasteful anti-Semitic tropes.

    As to oil/MIC/Israel, I find that very little in terms of American foreign policy can be explained in that light and that it is thus fairly useless as an explanatory theory. How do you explain the Cold War in that context? Or our intervention in Kosovo? Or the fact that Euro foreign policy (and policy on Israel) is so different from ours, even though they are far more reliant on ME oil than we are?

    Foreign policy is a little more multivariate than all that.

  • Dave Krueger||

    I may have you confused with someone else, but I'm pretty sure that I have seen you refer to American Jews as a 5th-column for Israel.

    Never.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Apologies, then. I might have been thinking about American...? Not sure. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

  • Tonio||

    It never fails. Complain about Israel and someone will inevitably equate it to antisemitism hoping to shut down any further discussion.

    ^This. Cannot be said enough.

  • Inigo M.||

    "No country that the U.S. attacks ever comes out stronger"

    Uh, ever hear of a place called Japan? Although I will grant you that they were down for a few years immediately post WWII.

    But perhaps you meant countries that were attacked preemptively instead of in response to aggression against the US, which certainly does not apply to Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

  • Dave Krueger||

    I was thinking in more recent terms.

  • CatoTheElder||

    It is obvious that Obama is a pathological liar. The guy just says whatever he wants without regard to the truth.

    Really, there's no reason to believe anything he says. NSA, Presidential war authority, Syrian responsibility, the economy: he's probably lying.

  • Dave Krueger||

    It sure seems that way. Nothing he's been saying lately seems to be in the slightest bit constrained by any comments he's made in the past (as a candidate). Or maybe he's just schizophrenic.

  • ||

    If you go on the 'Being Liberal' Facebook page you won't see a single post about Syria. Like literally nothing, the cultists are going to bury their heads in the sand on this one and rationalize that John McCain and the Republicans made him do it!

  • ||

    Well if he looks Soft on Muslims then the rethuglicans will beat him over the head with it at the midterms, the dems will lose all of congress, and then everything else he wants to do will be stymied. So it's really all their fault.

    When he does something right, he gets the credit. When he does evil, it's because we still allow white people to vote, thus there is always and forever the fear that a republican might get elected somewhere.

    Really the only solution is to limit voting to the northeast and west coast.

    North Carolina & Virginia can apply for provisional voting rights, but will be under strict scrutiny.

  • Inigo M.||

    ONLY if it goes badly (which it most likely will) and becomes another expensive and deadly quagmire. In that case, it will become entirely the fault of BOOOSH. It will take some serious mental gymnastics, but they WILL find a way to make it Bush's fault.

  • ||

    Where is Cindy Sheehan's despicable ass?

  • ||

    Obama didn't kill her son. And by that I mean literally, with his own two hands, the way Bush did.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Sounds like you are harboring some serious hate for Cindy Sheehan and her protest against the Iraq War.

    Why?

    Stay on topic please.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Why isn't this on topic?

    Where are all the Iraq War protestors, who helped put Barack Obama into the White House?

    Why aren't they out there denouncing Obama as a warmonger right about now?

  • ||

    It's completely on topic to wonder where a ferverent anti-war protestor is now that bush 2.0 is ramping up to put us on a 3rd motherfucking front.

    Fuck off demfag.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You're the worst character ever, Towlie.

  • Brandon||

    He's still better than Tony.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Nah, Tony employs some decent sophistry, which gives the logical mind a little bit of a workout. PB's posts are written by an idiot, full of sound and derpery, signifying nothing.

  • ||

    I had sympathy for her at first. That evaporated when I found out that she is a communist and a hypocrite. Kinda like you.

  • ||

    Yeah she's a communist but she hasn't been a hypocrite up to this point. She's not a Dem and ran against both Pelosi (in 2008!) and Obama in 2012.

    She's still a media whore and a communist but people really need to come up with a better example for condemning hypocritical "anti-war" liberals.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    Last I heard she was still protesting Iraq in 2009. I don't know what she has been up to lately. The DemOP media have ignored her since she is no longer useful, of course.

  • ||

    Stay on topic please.

    Fuck you, you mendacious cunt!

    LEAVE PLEASE!

  • Tonio||

    Don't feed it, people.

  • PapayaSF||

    I haven't heard that Medea Benjamin and the other Code Pink human shield types are heading for Syria, either.

  • Inigo M.||

    Maybe that's because the thought of being gassed or, alternately, being beheaded by Al Queda doesn't sound like a great choice. Maybe the Code Pink types are smart enough to know you don't get in the middle of a fight between the Muslim world's version of the Bloods and the Crips.

  • PapayaSF||

    And maybe the fact that the President has a (D) after his name has something to do with it.

  • Skomoroh||

    How does it seem like a good idea to partake in limited actions against a country we know has chemical weapons? Assad might well try to use those weapons against americans and dare Obama to attack with overwhelming force. I doubt Obama has that in him as it might lead to killing lots of women and children. If Assad calls Obama bluff and Obama blinks then we are in worse shape than if we do nothing.

    Either go full in and cripple their ability to respond or leave them alone, the latter being my preference.

  • ||

    "I doubt Obama has that in him as it might lead to killing lots of women and children."

    That made me laugh.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It's not funny. He won the Nobel Peace Prize you know. For his many and varied accomplishments in the field of peacemaking.

  • Dweebston||

    Pacemaking, maybe. He gets my pulse up when he speaks. I'm overtaken by a flash of anger and incredulity.

  • Atanarjuat||

    He won the Nobel Peace Prize you know. For his many and varied accomplishments in the field of peacemaking.

    That was IowaHawk quality, just so you know. I might have to steal that to piss off my liberal friends on facebook.

    Not word for word, though, because then a google search would lead them straight here, and it would be like gazing upon the face of Medusa for them.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I've been compared to mythohistorical figures before, but never one as nice as Medusa. I'm flattered.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "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."

    So, who's dumber?

    The people who think he cares about being consistent now?

    Or the people who believed him when he said it back then?

    No one in the White House gives a shit about consistency. They think consistency is for fundamentalists, idiots, libertarians, rednecks, and average Americans. And Barack Obama doesn't give a shit about what any of those people think.

  • cw||

    Might makes right. That's your consistency.

    OT: Law school seems to be going well, and the baby is almost here!!!!!

  • Libertymike||

    Law school for you?

    First, second or third year?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I wonder what the Obama plan is if his missile strikes do nothing to stop Assad from using chemical weapons.

  • Libertymike||

    Demand more power for the executive branch in order to prevent unlicensed mass murder.

  • ant1sthenes||

    You assume that the point of the missile strikes is to achieve some sort of military or humanitarian objective, rather than a political one -- being able to say "See, I told him he shouldn't use chemical weapons."

    People talk about a repeat of Bush, but this is more of a repeat of Clinton. I look forward to the next GOP frontrunner speaking stridently against nation building and for a humble foreign policy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Candidate Obama said a lot of things.

  • Duke||

    At what point do people like Mrs. Buttplug acknowledge that Obama is responsible for his mistakes and can no longer blame them on what he inherited from Bush? Is there any point where a prog would concede that Their Man is incompetent or a failure?

  • ||

    As long as your goal is noble it is perfectly ok to rationalize, lie, cheat, steal, kill....whatever you have to do.

    At this point I am a little confused about why he has any support at all. His policies are indistinguishable from the policies of the evil Bushitler.

  • ||

    Actually, that isnt true. Most of his policies are the same, but his foreign policy is not.

    It occurs to me that he is either stunningly incompetent or operating with some kind of hidden agenda. Everything he touches in the middle east comes up al qaeda or muslim brotherhood.

  • Duke||

    I think he’s just plain out of his league. But he serves his corporate and political masters well hence his election. I’m told there’s a book written by an insider that exposes just how out of his depths he is when it comes to decision making. I just can remember the guy’s name.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Are you arguing his foreign policy is worse than W. Bush's foreign policy?

    I am not a big fan of Obama's foreign policy but he has still yet to order two mass, and largely bungled, invasions/nation building.

  • ||

    I guess I cant complain. Your trolling is usually of a better quality than we are used to around here.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is it trolling to suggest Obama's limited military actions were of a scale considerably smaller than Bush's two nation building exercises?

  • ||

    It is trolling to jump straight to BOOOOSH! when people point out how completely shitty obama is. How shitty Bush was is of no relevance.

    It is impossible for me to take you seriously if you are using that tack.

  • ||

    Suthen, you're just being stupid here. Nowhere did he imply that Bush's actions made Obama's ok, and he criticizes Obama as much as anyone here. His only question was what you thought of their deficiencies in relation to each other. That's not my cup of tea (I generally don't care to get into "who's worse" arguments), but that doesn't mean he's trolling.

    Despite what Buttplug and Tony have led you to believe, not every single mention of Bush is a tu qouque ploy to vindicate Obama's presidency. Saying idiotic shit like you did here makes it difficult to take YOU seriously.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You made the comparison to Bush:
    -His policies are indistinguishable from the policies of the evil Bushitler.
    -Most of his policies are the same, but his foreign policy is not.

    And you did it in the post I replied to for Pete's sake. Then you accuse me of trolling because I asked you if you really think Obama was as bad.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Hard to say, ethically at least, which is worse. Bush's strategy could have been argued to be an actual attempt to stop an evil dictator and enforce UN resolutions.

    The Clinton/Obama strategy is not intended to accomplish anything other than distract people from domestic woes and make the president appear to be doing something without actually dealing with the risks of actually doing something that might work.

    So, getting tons of people killed to eliminate a bad guy versus getting a fraction of the same number killed to boost your approval ratings. Tough call.

  • Jose Chung||

    Never trust a pragmatist; you can't put anything past someone for whom the ends justify the means.

  • ||

    OT, but here is a documentary about the greatest, most insane water/amusement park ever, Action Park. Jesse wrote a little about it years ago.

    I went several times and it was absolutely as insane as they say. I loved that place. Read the wiki entry on it; it gives some possible reasons why it was able to keep operating without being shut down for so long.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Did they use chemical weapons on their patrons?

  • ||

    Some of the pool/slide water probably had enough chlorine in it to qualify as such.

  • ||

    Wow. That was great. I wish I had been able to go before it closed.

    As kids, my brother and I ate that kind of thing up. We contrived most of our own though. No alpine slide, but the rope swings and jumping 60 feet out of trees into gravel pits.....sigh....

    I would not dream of doing any of that today.

  • ||

    It was amazing. There's more cool info here.

  • pmains||

    Oh, no. You're not going to trick me into clicking your Sugarfreed link.

  • ||

    Whoops. here.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    If it turns out that Assad wasn't really responsible will we say any "Obama Lied, People Died" stickers. Oh wait that assumes there will be actual protests...

  • Jerryskids||

    Will it matter when Obama goes to Congress for a pro-forma approval of whatever kinetic military action he decides to undertake in Syria? Is there any indication that any substantial number of Congresscritters are eager to go on record as being for or against taking any action or inaction which may or may not be litmus-testingly popular or unpopular come the next election?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Congresscritters generally want no part of having an identifiable stance on controversial issues. They prefer to have their constituents project Team identities onto them and vote accordingly.

    So every time Nancy Pelosi opens her mouth, just imagine her saying "I am for you, Alrik of Valt".

  • Paul.||

    WE should get Colin Powell up there explaining the evidence! Everything old is new again!

  • Rich||

    John Kerry declared Monday that there was "undeniable" evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Syria

    Uh, huh. And the evidence proving the perp(s)?

  • Nazdrakke||

    Sorry, that's classified.

  • Rich||

    "Undeniably" classified!

  • ||

    And...

    ...who gives a flying fuck, JOHN?

    Gas has been used plenty of times without the US getting involved. It's just that those presidents were smart enough not to paint themselves in a corner.

  • ||

  • ||

    Scroll down to the comment by FIGJAM.

  • ||

    That's pretty great.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I hid this uncomfortable hunk of plastic up my ass two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the phone to you.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is certainly a 'flip flop.' Maybe it fits with the Founder's idea that having separate branches of government would cause those occupying each branch to zealously guard the prerogative of that branch. While a Senator in the legislative branch Obama pushed for 'the informed consent of Congress' while as the President he reserves the right to act without such under the Executive's Commander in Chief power.

  • ant1sthenes||

    The only problem is that the only branch that's serious is the executive.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it's partly a media thing.

    The Supreme Court won't let the media in.

    When you're looking at any one Senator on TV, you're looking at exactly 1% of half a branch of government.

    The president doesn't have any of those problems. He's like the lead singer of government--he's gettin' all the press.

  • ||

    Maybe it fits with the Founder's idea that having separate branches of government would cause those occupying each branch to zealously guard the prerogative of that branch.

    I suspect the Founders didn't suspect that party loyalty would surpass branch loyalty.

    Oops. Didn't see that one coming.

  • Mickey Rat||

    You ask of Senator Obama? That man is dead.

  • Robert||

    What's that supposed to be a picture of? Looks like a matchbook on fire with one match sticking up.

  • PapayaSF||

    It's a cruise missile leaving a vertical launcher.

  • Robert||

    Awful lot of flame. What do they use as propellant? Looks like a fuel-rich mixture.

  • PapayaSF||

    Some sort of solid fuel.

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