Sen. McCain Doesn't Support Senate Resolution on Syria Intervention, Doesn't Think it Goes Far Enough

ReasonReasonSen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the most prominent proponents of intervention in Syria, says that he doesn’t support the Senate resolution on intervention in Syria because he wants intervention to go further than the limited military action being proposed.

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain says he doesn’t support the latest Senate resolution to authorize military force against Syria.

McCain is an outspoken advocate of intervention against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and wants more than cruise missile strikes and other limited action.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has proposed an amendment to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's resolution that highlights the fact that in 2007 Obama told the The Boston Globe that "the President does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” The amendment goes on to say that Obama would be violating the Constitution if he launches a military strike against Syria without Congressional approval.

Read more from Reason.com on Syria here.  

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  • UnCivilServant||

    It's time to retire the elder statesman - preferrably in the same manner as a replicant.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You show more respect to Col. Tigh.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Sorry, I'm incapable of that, I'm inherently uncivil.

  • Loki||

    Sen. John McCain says he doesn’t support the latest Senate resolution...

    When I first read this for some reason I thought it said "The late Sen. McCain". Probably a touch of momentary dyslexia. Whatever it was it got my hopes up for a split second. Now I has a sad...

  • John||

    McCain does know that if he were President and Obama were a Senator, Obama would be calling him a racist war monger for wanting to do this? And if it goes south, Obama will put the blame on Congress. God McCain is a loser.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    McCain does know that if he were President and Obama were a Senator, Obama would be calling him a racist war monger for wanting to do this?

    Yes, but he seems to be into that.

  • John||

    It is like all that time in the Hanoi prison caused him to develop a liking for punishment and humiliation or something.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    The combination of an Academy education, and a re-education in Hanoi fully explain his economic views too.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Well, yeah, John, but it's an opportunity to blow shit up. And blowing shit up is a hell of a lot better than Viagra for John McCain. There's no co-pay.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    McCain's Hillary impression is getting a little too real. Are they ever seen in the same place at the same time in photos that are impossible to fake?

  • Hugh Akston||

    There's a sex tape on SugarFree's blog. But I don't think you want to see it.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You thought wrong, scalawag!

  • Loki||

    *BARRRRRRRFFFFFFF!!!!!!*

  • SugarFree||

    [throws bucket of LokiBarf at Hugh]

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), one of the most prominent proponents of intervention in Syria, says that he doesn’t support the Senate resolution on intervention in Syria because he wants intervention to go further than the limited military action being proposed."

    If I recall, correctly, he was the same way on Libya. There were a number of Bush era Republicans who were criticizing Obama for not putting boots on the ground there.

    ...Nevermind that Qatari troops were already willing to do the heavy lifting on the ground--and did so.

    If Welch ever needed more evidence that McCain would have been worse than Obama--just on foreign policy, specifically--then I'd have a hard time imagining better evidence than this.

  • ||

    Yeah, I was adamantly against Obama in 2012 thinking he was the worst possible choice. I am beginning to think I was wrong, that McCain is worse, and by God that is saying a lot.

  • John||

    McCain would have been a lousy President. But we wouldn't have Obama care. He wouldn't have been able to get Congressional approval for Libya and thus would not have intervened at all. And that would have been a much better option that what we did. Remember, if McCain were President, the Democrats would still be anti-war.

    Only Ken Shultz thinks bombing a country into chaos and leaving is a good idea.

  • Andrew S.||

    We absolutely would have had some compromise version of healthcare reform that likely would have been as bad as Obamacare. McCain is that big of a weasel.

  • John||

    No. We wouldn't. I am quite sure McCain would have loved to have done that. But no way would the Democrats in Congress ever have done health care reform where a Republican could have taken credit for it. It wouldn't have passed. The far left would not have held their noses and voted for a McCain plan the way they did for an Obama plan. Things like the public option and the lack of it being single payer would have mattered then. They only didn't matter in 10 because they were so desperate to pass something so Obama could take credit for it. With a President McCain there would have been no such need. And thus they would have been fine killing the bill and waiting until they retook the White House.

  • Irish||

    There's no way on Earth a Republican president forces through healthcare reform. Health care reform wasn't even on the table before Obama was elected. No one was even talking about it.

    That was entirely the result of Obama.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    It was on the table for decades before Obama came along.

  • Irish||

    It had been talked about, yes. However, who was talking about massive health care reform in 2007-2008 when the markets were crashing? I don't recall this being an issue at all during those presidential campaigns.

  • Calidissident||

    I definitely remember hearing about it, although it took a back seat to the economy. I think it's definitely possible there would have been some sort of compromise (almost surely better than Obamacare, but still bad) between McCain and the Dems, and there probably would have been a significant minority of Republicans who would have been good TEAM players and go along with it

  • Calidissident||

    Why do you think McCain wouldn't have intervened in Libya? Has he made a comment I'm unaware of criticizing presidential warmaking powers?

  • John||

    Because the Congress and the media would have gone insane over it. He never would have gotten the authorization. I am sure he would have wanted to, but he would have had a much more difficult time doing it than Obama did.

    Remember, when we have a Republican President, the media doesn't act as a state run propaganda arm and the Democrats are actually anti-war. That is a huge difference from what we have now.

  • Calidissident||

    "Because the Congress and the media would have gone insane over it."

    Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the extent of involvement. If it was just limited bombings, I really don't think that would have happened. We can't know what the makeup of Congress would have been had McCain been elected, but if there was a Republican majority inthe House, like Obama had, what exactly would Congress do? Aside from Rand Paul and a few others, most GOPers would support the president, and some Dems would cross party lines.

    The media is left-leaning, definitely, but at the core, they're statist hacks and opportunists. I recall the media (and Democrats) being intensely anti-war in 2006, I don't recall them being like that in 2002 and 2003, when it mattered most. And if we're talking about Syria, not Libya, I really don't think McCain would give a shit what the media or Democrats thought, given that (in this hypothetical timeline) he would have been re-elected

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    At this point, I think the onus is on those who want to prove John McCain WOULDN'T wage war.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Only Ken Shultz thinks bombing a country into chaos and leaving is a good idea."

    That's not actually what I advocated. I think what Obama did was right on Libya--a broken clock tells perfect time twice a day, but Obama was only right once in five years!

    Qatar was willing and more than able to handle things on the ground--we had the full support and air power commitment of our allies, and because we didn't put any boots on the ground, we had no responsibility for the aftermath--not even in the imagination of the American people.

    Since no American troops were there on the ground, no American troops "died for nothing"--we didn't have to find a way to declare victory and bug out since we were never "there" to begin with. That's just the way things work--if you don't put boots on the ground, you're not responsible for what happens on the ground later...

    And what was the part of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to avoid? Knocking off Saddam Hussein and chasing the Taliban into the hills wasn't the hard part. It was the being responsible for what happened after that--that was the tough part.

    I'm against sending troops to Syria for the same reasons, but Syria isn't anything like that Libya situation was, either. Goes to show, I guess, that it's perfectly possible for someone like Obama to do the right thing for all the wrong reasons or, in that case, he probably did the smart thing for all sorts of stupid reasons.

  • Ken Shultz||

    P.S. Like you mentioned with ObamaCare, I'm not saying McCain would have been a worse president than Obama--but he would have been worse on foreign policy, for sure.

  • John||

    It is hard to see how. Unless your idea of foreign policy success is randomly bombing countries into chaos, which it seems to be I guess. I don't view it that way at all. Obama's foreign policy has been a complete disaster. He has reignited the cold war. He was empowered Islamist enemies in places where they were once under control. He has emboldened the Taliban. He has alienated the Pakistanis. The list is endless.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I rarely agree with Ken, but yes, McCain would have been worse on foreign policy. If I honestly ask myself, "Would we be BOG in Iran if McCain were President?", I'm hard-pressed to answer, "Certainly not".

  • John||

    We basically are at war with Iran right now. We are actively hacking and destroying their infrastructure. I put the odds at 50/50 we won't be in a shooting war with them before 2016. And what the fuck do you think Syria is if not a proxy war against Iran? And McCain could have not gone to war with Iran without funding. And the Dem Congress would have never given him such.

    You guys tell yourself whatever you want to to convince yourselves that Obama isn't the worst possible alternative to pretty much anyone. But the reality is a bit different.

  • Calidissident||

    We're discussing a hypothetical situation where McCain was elected. We're not talking about reality. We can only make the best possible guesses. If you want to contort scenarios to find reasons why it's plausible McCain would be better on this issue than Obama, then fine. Based on what we actually know about McCain, and what he's said and done the last few years, I don't think your interpretations would have been the most likely outcomes

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    If you want to contort scenarios to find reasons why it's plausible McCain would be better on this issue than Obama, then fine. Based on what we actually know about McCain, and what he's said and done the last few years, I don't think your interpretations would have been the most likely outcomes

    YES EXACTLY.

    I should know better than to try to convince John of anything that seems remotely laudatory (even though it clearly isn't) of anyone other than a Republican.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "We're discussing a hypothetical situation where McCain was elected. We're not talking about reality."

    I would dispute that.

    Obama just wants to shoot missiles at Syria, and McCain is actually going on the record saying he wants to allow for boots on the ground--now.

    Like actually in reality, that's what he wants, and it's really, really worse than Obama.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    John, seriously, why would I have a vested interest in rehabilitating Obama's reputation?

    And McCain could have not gone to war with Iran without funding. And the Dem Congress would have never given him such.

    You do realize that merely seeking to go to war with Iran is worse than not seeking to do so, right? I don't give a fig about counterfactuals and Congress, John; we're talking about President Obama and Hypothetical President McCain and THEIR POLICIES AND BELIEFS, not Turtledovian fantasies about who got elected in the 2010 midterms.

  • John||

    You do realize that merely seeking to go to war with Iran is worse than not seeking to do so, right?

    And you do realize that Obama has committed multiple acts of war against Iran in the last five years? You also realize that Obama is basically fighting a proxy war against Iran in Syria right now?

    Obama isn't out of office yet. You guys are fucking idiots if you don't think there isn't a good change we will be in a shooting war with Iran before he leaves. Obama gets us in war after war. And you clowns keep telling us how he just had to be elected to keep all of those war mongers out.

    Hell, I am starting to fear that Obama is going to blunder us into a war with Russia if we are not lucky. It is like a fucking religion with you people. Obama is a Democrat, he must be peaceful. Ah,no not really. And war often finds you even if you are not so interested in it.

  • Calidissident||

    You do realize that saying McCain would have been worse than Obama on this issue doesn't mean that Obama isn't bad on it, or that he isn't a warmongerer? Why is it that you're completely capable of understanding nuance when we're talking about, say, a Republican being better than a Democrat on fiscal or economic matters (even if that Republican doesn't qualify as "good" on such matters), but are completely incapable of it when it's the other way around on a different issue?

  • John||

    Because for once, Calidissident, we really do have the worse case scenario. And jerking off about what McCain would or would not have done doesn't make it any less bad.

    And more importantly, even if McCain were a suicidal lunatic, he wouldn't have had the MSM and the Democrats in Congress out enabling him. That alone makes Obama much worse than any R President could have been in reality.

  • Calidissident||

    John, do you recall McCain's words and actions when Russia invaded Georgia? Our relations with the Russians wouldn't be any better with McCain

  • John||

    They would have been better because Russia would have at least feared McCain. The problem with Obama is that he is so weak. Putin doesn't respect him and doesn't fear him. The danger we are in right now is that Putin is going to miscalculate and do something figuring that Obama is such a rube he can get away with it and force Obama to respond. That is how wars usually start. One side miscalculates and does something thinking the other side is weaker than they are. That is what you people never get. Weakness not strength is what usually causes big wars.

    If would be one thing if Obama were a non interventionist. Then it wouldn't matter so much that he is perceived as being so weak. The chances of there being a miscalculation would be pretty small. But he is not. He keeps intervening and playing chicken with the Russians, while also appearing to be incredibly weak. That is really dangerous.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It is hard to see how.

    Because where Obama only wants to bomb a country like Syria (under the assumption that the Assad won't retaliate against the Syrian people and that Hezbollah won't retaliate against us), McCain wants to actually send American troops to pick a new fight with another country and fight toe to toe with Hezbollah in the streets of Damascus.

    You don't see how one is better than the other?

    Do you imagine that Libya would be MORE stable if American troops were there? Do you imagine that American troops on the ground would make Libya more of a strategic victory than it is now?

    One of them wants to bomb Libya not realizing that he may get sucked into a ground war--the other one openly advocates for ground war at every opportunity, and you don't see why one is marginally better than the other?

  • John||

    Because where Obama only wants to bomb a country like Syria (under the assumption that the Assad won't retaliate against the Syrian people and that Hezbollah won't retaliate against us),

    Yeah, the first option is actually worse you fucking half wit. Obama keeps bombing for no purpose and creating and leaving behind one mess after another. That is going to come back and bite us in ways much worse than even an occupation of Syria would have.

    I wouldn't want to occupy Syria. And McCain never would have because Congress would have never given him the funds or the authorization to do so. What you are telling me is that the wars that McCain would want to fight but couldn't would be worse than the wars that Obama is actually fighting.

    Right now Obama has already helped turn Libya into a safe haven for Al Quada. He turned the entire Egyptian population against the US. And he is working hard to help our enemies turn Syria into a safe haven.

    Spare me your "but McCain really wanted war" bullshit. This is a fucking disaster. Not a hypothetical what if. But a real disaster. And you think it is great Ken. As long as we get rid of a dictator, why not bomb and turn the places over to the forces of chaos? What could possibly go wrong?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I'm not even going to waste my energy trying to reason you out of your Redtardism. McCain would have been worse - I know that - but that doesn't somehow make Obama *good* as a foreign policy leader.

    I know logic is really hard for you when you're protecting the Team, but hey.

  • John||

    McCain would have been worse - I know that

    You just can't give a reason for it. That is called losing the argument. Whatever you want to tell yourself. As Obama goes to war after Congress tells him no and bombs another place where the US has no interests and leaves it in chaos and as a breeding ground for our enemies.

    Sometimes, the worst really does happen. And we are seeing it now. You are just too stupid to realize it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Yeah, the first option is actually worse you fucking half wit."

    Not going toe to toe with Hezbollah in the streets of Damascus is worse than going toe to toe with Hezbollah in Damascus--how?

    Not in direct conflict with Hezbollah is worse than being in directly conflict with Hezbollah--how?

    Out of curiosity, is not being targeted by Al Qaeda worse than being targeted by Al Qaeda in your world?

    "What you are telling me is that the wars that McCain would want to fight but couldn't would be worse than the wars that Obama is actually fighting."

    Why can't McCain fight these wars? You mean because he isn't president? That's what we're talking about, right? McCain would be worse than Obama on foreign policy--but he can't do what he wants because he isn't president. Isn't that what we're talking about.

    I mean, if you're saying that McCain wouldn't be a worse president on foreign policy--because he isn't the president--then that's about as circular as it can get, Buddy Ro!

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Right now Obama has already helped turn Libya into a safe haven for Al Quada."

    Whatever Al Qaeda there is in Libya, they were already there. They didn't suddenly all flock to Libya after the revolution.

    Of course, a lot of the rebels had Al Qaeda ties. All the mujahideen had Al Qaeda ties at some point--and Libya was a gigantic source of jihadis to fight in Afghanistan. They were horribly oppressed in Libya (couldn't even go to their mosque) and that's why so many of Muslims became so thoroughly disenfranchised there and joined organizations like Al Qaeda.

    Ultimately, those people need to be integrated back into society, and that's a tough process. It's like the machete wielding genocidaires being reintegrated back into Rwandan society or the communist rebel murderers in Colombia being reintegrated back into Colombian society. Tough job!

    But the extent to which you have a long term Al Qaeda presence in a place like Libya (operating outside society) is the extent to which you fail at reintegrating people with Al Qaeda ties back into society. ...and there was no way that process was going to take place so long as Gaddafi was in power.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And regardless of whether you'll admit it, an American invasion force would not have stabilized that situation or lessened the presence of Al Qaeda fighters in the area. To the contrary, if we had occupied Libya, Al Qaeda would have proliferated even more in Libya.

    There wasn't much of any Al Qaeda presence in Iraq before the United States invaded. Is there anything that's ever done more to make Al Qaeda proliferate than non-Muslims invading Muslim countries?

    For pit long term security, we need the to dictators fall--their existence generates so much sympathy and support for Al Qaeda. ...but if we can't do the invading ourselves, what do we do?

    We work through proxies when we can--just like we did to great effect during the Cold War.

    And do you have any idea how foolish we made Al Qaeda look in places like Tunisia and Libya during the Arab Spring? Peaceful protest and cooperation with the west brought about the fall of hated dictators in a mere matter of months--something all of Al Qaeda's terrorism couldn't achieve over the course of decades.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Meanwhile, you say the place is rife with Al Qaeda as if they weren't there when Gaddafi was there--why? You talk about turning the whole reason for revolutionary jihadis off locally--as if that were somehow not in America's long term security interests--why?

    Is it just because I said something nice about Obama? I swear, it the only nice thing about him I ever said--that he isn't as awful as McCain on foreign policy? That's not even saying something nice.

  • John||

    How in the hell can he be right on Libya when his intervention left the place in chaos and a failed state? Libya would be better off right now if Kaddafi had suppressed the rebellion. It would have a sucky government. But it would have a government and things would be better than they are under the militias.

    Just because no Americans died doesn't make it a good intervention. I don't see a single positive point about our intervention there. What interest did we have in seeing Kadafi removed from power? He gave up his WMDs. He stopped sponsoring terrorism. Libya was one of the most pointless and disastrous interventions in American history. Who cares that no Americans died. We fucked up an entire country and walked away leaving it to chaos all to remove a dictator who was no longer a threat to our interests.

  • Ken Shultz||

    So you're saying there's no way they should get rid of a vicious dictator--because afterwards, they often end up in a state of chaos?

    The Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781, and between then and the end of the Civil War, I'm not what sure what you would call the U.S. A "stable democracy" probably isn't an accurate description for that 85 years...

    Regardless, the question to ask ourselves is whether what we did was in American interests, and I'd argue it was. The other question we should be asking ourselves is whether the Libyan people wish they could bring Gaddafi back again.

    There's a certain amount of instability after any revolution, but that doesn't mean it has failed. Whatever Libya makes of itself, it was never going to get better so long as Gaddafi was in power. Meanwhile, try to imagine Americans--even during the worst of the Civil War--thinking, "Gee, I wish we'd just stayed under the King of England".

    My impression is that the only people in Libya who are sorry that Gaddafi is gone are the people who were made richer and more powerful through Gaddafi's oppression.

    And what's more, I think much of the impetus for Al Qaeda and anti-Americanism in North Africa and the Middle East came from oppressive governments like the one in Libya. When a corrupt and vicious dictator is enriching himself by oppressing you, it's hard to make your way in life--and much easier to become a Jihadi.

  • John||

    So you're saying there's no way they should get rid of a vicious dictator--because afterwards, they often end up in a state of chaos?

    No. I am saying we should not help them doing it. And if we do, we have an obligation to then help them rebuild after it is over.

    My impression is that the only people in Libya who are sorry that Gaddafi is gone are the people who were made richer and more powerful through Gaddafi's oppression.

    Then you clearly didn't read the link I posted above. The country is a total mess. It can no longer produce oil. That is how the place feeds itself. It is turning Somalia. That is much worse than what it was under Gaddafi. And we help create it by bombing.

    think much of the impetus for Al Qaeda and anti-Americanism in North Africa and the Middle East came from oppressive governments like the one in Libya

    And you would be wrong. If you were right, radical Muslims wouldn't be coming out of places like Hamburg Germany. Radical Islam is endemic in lots of places that either have good governments or in a place like Somalia, no government. And what is happening in Libya right now is giving them a place to train and plan and do whatever it is they do with no worries, just like they did in Afghanistan pre 9-11. Good luck with that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, a huge chunk of the Jihadis in Afghanistan were from Libya.

    George W. Bush was right about how oppressive governments are breeding grounds for terrorist jihadis. He was just wrong about what to do about that.

    Do the vicious oppressors need to be overthrown? Absolutely, it's in America's best interests that they be overthrown--eventually. Does the United States need to be the ones on the ground overthrowing the vicious dictators?

    Hell fucking no!

    Again, I support arming the rebels in Syria as a proxy. I do not support the direct involvement of the United Stats. I'd much rather have another Libya than another Iraq.

    Wouldn't you?

  • John||

    George W. Bush was right about how oppressive governments are breeding grounds for terrorist jihadis. He was just wrong about what to do about that.

    The way to do it is to go around and destroy the governments leaving the countries and chaos and at the mercy of radical militias? If you thought Bush was right, the last thing you would want to happen is what is happening in Libya.

    Do the vicious oppressors need to be overthrown? Absolutely, it's in America's best interests that they be overthrown--eventually. Does the United States need to be the ones on the ground overthrowing the vicious dictators?

    Then why do you think Libya was a good idea? Either you want these guys out or you don't. If you want them out, you can't just kill them and leave. That creates a power vacuum that allows the radicals to take over.

    There is no easy way to do this. Either stay out of it or go in and create a government that suits our interests. Intervening and leaving chaos is the worst thing you can do.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Then why do you think Libya was a good idea? Either you want these guys out or you don't."

    Are you advocating an invasion of North Korea anytime soon?

    There's more to it than that, and some of the calculation has to do with costs, the upside of invading vs. the downside of an occupation, etc.

    I think there are a few fundamental disagreements we're having here, and I think one of them is...

    You seem to think that when the United States occupies a country, it stabilizes that country. I do not believe that at all--quite the opposite really.

    And I have Iraq and Afghanistan as examples. And Vietnam and Cambodia. Occupying countries (especially Muslim countries), tends to destabilize them. ...unless you firebomb them like we did Germany or drop nuclear bombs on them first, like we did in Japan. South Korea has been pretty stable, but then North Korea invaded the South--it wasn't the U.S. invading South Korea, per se.

    I'm sure there are counter-examples, but I suspect they're few. If the U.S. had invaded Libya and we were occupying it right now, I do not believe it would be more stable. I think it would be significantly less so.

    But you can't have a revolution without any instability. Has that ever happened anywhere?

  • John||

    I'm sure there are counter-examples, but I suspect they're few. If the U.S. had invaded Libya and we were occupying it right now, I do not believe it would be more stable.

    Iraq is a hell of a lot more stable right now than Libya. To believe that Libya would be no more stable you have to believe that the US army couldn't handle the militias, which totally untrue. You can't get anymore unstable than what Libya is right now.

    Now, it may be that doing that is not worth the cost. And I would agree with you on that. But you are a fucking moron if you think bombing Libya and destroying the government is better for Libya than occupying it.

    Ken, if you think US intervention is bad, then you shouldn't be supporting US intervention. All the arguments you make against occupation apply equally well to us bombing people and more.

    What you are saying is that if the US just bombs them a lot and destroys the bad government everything will be better. Ah, no. Bombing them does bad things. Chaos is worse for us and most likely for them than even the worst government.

    To take North Korea as an example. As bad as it is, if the government collapsed tomorrow and the place fell into chaos with all of those WMDs sitting there ready for the taking, that would be worse for both us, the world and the North Koreans. So, no I don't want to bomb North Korea and destroy their government leaving the place in chaos. Bad idea.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Iraq is a hell of a lot more stable right now than Libya."

    I'm not sure that's true, and, anyway, Iraq's had a ten year head start.

    If Iraq has become more stable recently, it's no small part due to the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "But you are a fucking moron if you think bombing Libya and destroying the government is better for Libya than occupying it."

    Libya would be less stable under occupation, and they might not achieve the level of stability they're enjoying now until years after we withdrew.

    "What you are saying is that if the US just bombs them a lot and destroys the bad government everything will be better."

    No, I'm saying that if we avoid putting boots on the ground, we can avoid making the situation a lot worse--for both the locals and for Americans.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Ken, if you think US intervention is bad, then you shouldn't be supporting US intervention."

    This is very black & white thinking, and I'm seeing a lot of that in this thread.

    Psychologists call it "splitting"; in philosophy, they call it a false dilemma, whatever you want to call it? There's a whole rainbow of options between total invasion and no engagement whatsoever.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "That creates a power vacuum that allows the radicals to take over."

    Sometimes the radicals take over, but then the reason all those Al Qaeda fighters fled to Mali was because they were chased out after the revolution.

    The people of Libya will have the future they choose for themselves, and if they want to try some Islamists for a while, then that's what they'll do. Power has a way of moderating people over time, too. It's easy to blame the United States for your problems when you have no power or responsibility of your own.

    I think the MB in Egypt is learning right now that being in charge of a democratic country doesn't mean getting to implement whatever with impunity. And I think that the Army there is learning--again--that if you marginalize your opposition from the rest of society, like they're doing with the MB, then you're going to end up with an MB that's declared war on the rest of Egyptian society.

    When people gain freedom of choice, that doesn't mean they won't ever choose something I don't like. But over time, Egypt (and Libya) may find their way to a society where people have enough in the way of opportunity and freedom that they can make their way in society--without being a breeding ground for anti-American jihadis.

    ...and that will never happen so long as someone's using the government to oppress the hell out of one segment of society.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's like expecting the inner city youth of Detroit not to join gangs--without giving them any better options to make their way in life. It's absurd. And oppressing the fuck out of them with a drug war is not the solution. Same thing with the poor and disenfranchised of Libya and Egypt. It's just that they're not joining gangs. They're joining the MB, Al Qaeda, etc., etc. And inflicting a pro-American government on them at the point of a gun isn't the answer.

  • John||

    The people of Libya will have the future they choose for themselves,

    No. They are going to have a future at the barrel of a gun. RTFA. Stop living in pretend land about what is going on there. And don't compare Egypt to Libya. We didn't bomb Egypt. It still had an army to maintain order. In Libya we bombed and ended that possibility.

    Once again, if you don't want to fix the place, don't break it and don't bomb it. Libya has turned into a debacle.

  • Killazontherun||

    This in spades. I could not believe what we are doing there while it was happening in real time. Were we seriously going to help topple a government that had given up its WMDs and supplied intelligence on terror networks? Does anyone in Washington give a shit about the kind of signals that sends to other countries with dicklords running them? Then the overwhelming evidence we were training and arming Al Queda agents.

  • Killazontherun||

    By this, what John said.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Were we seriously going to help topple a government that had given up its WMDs and supplied intelligence on terror networks?"

    I think John's arguing that we should have invaded, isn't he?

  • John||

    No Ken. I am saying we should have stayed the fuck out of it because invading wasn't an option. We have neither the money nor the will to invade. We just made things worse by bombing.

    Thinking that we are helping people by destroying their government and doing nothing to help build another one is insane.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I am saying we should have stayed the fuck out of it because invading wasn't an option."

    The Qataris invaded! They volunteered!

    And it's hard to imagine someone doing a better job than they did!

    They led the battle.

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/.....n-in-libya

  • Drake||

    I thought Romney was the nominee in 2012? I'm not sure what his position on Syria would be, but I'm guessing I would like it better than Obama or McCain.

  • John||

    Yes. And I am guess the majority Democrats in Congress would be none too eager to authorize Romney to go to war for any reason.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm sure you're right, but the thread is about McCain.

  • Killazontherun||

    So? He's free to speculate.

  • John||

    http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....97041.html

    Libya has gone from a functioning if authoritarian state into complete chaos thanks to our intervention. Not putting boots on the ground was a fucking crime. There were people there willing to fight for what? Turning the place into a militia run hell hole and now a haven for terrorist organizations? We would have been better off intervening for Kadafi. At least if he had one there would still be some kind of functioning government.

    The Republicans were dead right to demand boots on the ground if we were going to intervene. As bad as intervening and occupying the country is, doing what we did was worse. The Libya war was utterly immoral. We helped destroy a country and then walked away leaving it in chaos.

  • Irish||

    I don't know what you're talking about John. Bombing the shit out of a country, helping to oust its dictator, and then leaving a massive power vacuum that gets filled by terrorists, militias, and strongmen is a wonderful idea.

    It also helped out Americans at the pump, since the absolute hell hole that is modern Libya has seen their oil output decline from 1.4 million barrels a day to 160,000. Thanks to things like that, all of the shale production in America hasn't been enough to drive down oil prices because of a major decline in production in the Middle East.

    Oh, Libya's power vacuum also allowed for the attack on a consulate that killed an American ambassador.

    Libya worked out just swell. Clearly our bombing of Syria is therefore a necessity.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think I just had a sargasm.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Would McCain be worse than Obama?

    Isn't that something akin to asking "Would sticking your pecker in a vat of molten led be worse than sticking in in a meat grinder?

  • Guy LaGuy||

    America needs to teach Assad that the right way to kill your own people is to deny them access to affordable health insurance.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    They already have socialized medicine. Have had it for ages.

  • ||

    Derp da derp da tiddly terp.

    You are seriously the worst character EVER!

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    "You're a towel!"

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Rand is playing the long game. Good for him

  • Jon Lester||

    Tempted as I am to embellish, I'd better keep my language gender-neutral and simply say I think I've found a new enemy of freedom in Randa Morris. I'd appreciate some backing in comments, if anyone feels so inclined.

  • RBS||

    Randa Morris has been a freelance writer for over ten years. She is an active political blogger and administrator for several social media activism groups.

    How dare Rand suggest working with Russia instead of bombing their proxies. She even throws in the obligatory "Palin is a moron".

  • Loki||

    Not just once, but twice. Not to Ms. Morris: it was Tina Fey playing Palin in an SNL sketch who made the "I can see Russia from my front porch" comment. What a stupid cunt.

  • Killazontherun||

    Team Blue without their Palin and Bachman navigation points would be entirely adrift at sea.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Randa Morris can't be an enemy of freedom. An enemy is someone who is somewhat of a threat. She makes Alex Parenee look like an intellectual heavyweight.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    For what it's worth, my response:

    So, let me see if I follow your reasoning here. Because, we have been threatening a long-standing Russian ally, the fact that Russia has increased support for that ally means that engagement with Russia on the matter to influence said ally's behavior would have been foolish.

    Sorry to have to break this to you Ms. Morris, but it isn't Rand Paul who fails to understand geopolitics.
  • Jon Lester||

    Good one; thanks for doing that.

  • Drake||

    Has McCain dropped all pretense at being a fiscal conservative as well? He doesn't seem concerned we are about to lob a billion dollars worth of missiles at a people who pose absolutely no threat to the U.S.

  • Tim||

    As I've said many times, it makes no sense to shoot a million dollar missile at a vintage 1960 ex-soviet tank that has less value than a used Corolla.

  • Drake||

    I was a forward air controller and I agree - dumb bombs and Vietnam era rockeye is more than sufficient.

    But defense contractors would vehemently disagree.

  • Jon Lester||

    As I recall, more than a few bombs and missiles in Kosovo were used to destroy decoy tanks that cost about $300 each to make.

  • UnCivilServant||

    During our entire yugoslavian intervention, not only did we mostly bomb decoys, leaving the serbian army unscathed, but they managed to shoot down one of our 'stealth' planes with an old (read:ancient even by soviet standards) soviet radar system whose extra-long wavelength was beyond the range that could be absorbed by the aircraft's skin. $1 Billion aircraft tkaen out by $35 hardware.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    When did he ever even bother to pretend fiscal conservatism?

  • Drake||

    When campaigning for the nomination against other fake conservatives.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    If that is what you call a fiscal conservative position, then we disagree.

  • Drake||

    That's why I used the word "pretense".

  • The Late P Brooks||

    NEEDZ MOAR DETH AND DESTRUKSHUNZ

  • The Late P Brooks||

    we are about to lob a billion dollars worth of missiles at a people who pose absolutely no threat to the U.S.

    They mock us!

  • Loki||

    "They task me! They task me, and I shall have them!" - Barjohnback Omcbamacain

  • Hugh Akston||

    I'd be willing to put a saddle on a cruise missile and let Senator Maverick ride it into Damascus.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Can use that side saddle from Mame.

  • creech||

    C'mon, Matthew, how about a picture of Slim Pickens riding that bomb out of the plane in "Dr. Strangelove" with McCain's face superimposed?
    Or, failing that, we need to keep our spirits up with another look at Lobster Girl.

  • CE||

    Or X-box help girl.

  • ChrisO||

    You have to wonder if McCain needs Viagra to keep his warboner going at his age. It certainly seems to have lasted longer than four hours.

  • db||

    Go and look at Drudge Report. Right now. I just did an actual spit take all over my monitor and desk. Half-chewed food everywhere.

    "I DIDN'T SET A RED LINE"

  • Loki||

    "We don't have a domestic spy program."

  • Loki||

    McLaim's getting up there in age. A little "limited military action" isn't enough for him to get his warboner off. He needs full hardcore drone pounding to get him off.

  • John||

    Give him credit for being honest. There is no way we are just going to go over and drop a few bombs and walk away. It never works like that. Obama is either delusional or lying when he says this will just be some short send a few missiles over affair.

  • ChrisO||

    Not necessarily My guess is that Obama's example is Clinton's "wag the dog" missile strike against the abandoned Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. The underlying reason for action appears to be the same in both cases.

  • John||

    He may think that. But it won't work out like that. When he does that Iran and Syria are going to strike back. And Assad will understand that the consequences of using gas are not a bid deal and will use gas again. And when that happens, the Ebony Johnson is going to be back bombing again to show Assad this time he means business.

  • Loki||

    "Ebony Johnson"

    Nice one. I'm not sure if I like that one better or Chocolate Nixon.

    How about "Choco-NixonJohnsonCarter"? Since he combines the worst features of Johnson, Nixon, and Carter into one chocolate coated mixture of obnoxious doucheyness?

  • Drake||

    McCain may be honest, but he's delusional too. No way does Obama, this Congress, or any of their successors have the determination to see an war with Syria through to an Iraq type conclusion.

    This thing will be half-assed no matter what.

  • John||

    Obama, this Congress, or any of their successors have the determination to see an war with Syria through to an Iraq type conclusion.

    I don't think so either. But that doesn't mean Obama won't try it. And if we go over there and the Iranians get lucky and pull of another 9-11 or we blunder into a war with the Russians, we may not have a choice.

    When you start bombing people, you really don't have a lot of control on events after that. And you can't always just walk away after you start.

    More reasons why doing this at all is a really fucking stupid idea.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Honestly, I'm not really sure the Iranians are all that into the idea of pulling off another 9/11. I mean for all their rhetoric, what have the Iranians actually done to us in the last 10 years? They're hostile to us because we show every sign of trying to box them in and our past behavior shows every signal that there's no particular course of action they could take that would bring about accommodation.

  • db||

    McCain's problem is that he's seen the Die Hard movies so many times, and nobody has ever corrected his misspelling of the main character's name.

  • CE||

    Nice amendment by Rand Paul, pointing out Obama's hypocrisy and setting up the case for the impeachment proceedings if he bombs Syria without the consent of Congress.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Did he actually read the resolution, or was he too busy playing Littlest Pet Shop on his smartphone?

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