Obama: Airstrikes in Syria, Train 'Moderate' Rebels, No American Ground Troops


President Obama told the American people that he will escalate the U.S. bombing campaign against terrorist forces in both Iraq and Syria in order to "degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL."

"America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat," he said in his televised address.

The thrust of the new effort will consist of airstrikes against ISIS. Obama will not hesitate to bomb targets in Syria as well.

There will be no American ground forces involved in the conflict, according to the president. Nor will the U.S. cooperate with the Bashar al-Assad regime—instead, U.S. forces will support the efforts of the "moderate" Syrian rebels.

There are plenty of reasons for libertarians to be skeptical about this latest military adventure in the Middle East. The president did not seek Congressional approval and believes he already has all the authority he needs. Will that change if the president concludes that ground forces are indeed necessary? And though he cited the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff as justification for more airstrikes, he also promised to support Assad's non-ISIS opposition—a rebel group accused of cooperating with ISIS in Sotloff's murder.

In any case, here we go. Full speech here.

NEXT: Tonight on a Special 11 p.m. Edition of The Independents: Reacting to the President's Case for War, With Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, Col. Ralph Peters, and Michaels Moynihan, Weiss, and Baker

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  1. “moderate” Syrian rebels

    Are any of them not dead?

    1. That’s how they embraced moderation

    2. If there were any, our fake constitutional scholar President certainly isn’t intelligent enough to figure out who they are.

  2. You Know Who Else engaged airstrikes in Iraq to stave off domestic opposition?

    1. Cannibalistic Human Underground Dwellers? (You know, the C.H.U.D.s).

  3. You know who sent a few hundred advisors into as Asian civil war

    1. Voldemort?

      1. ROFL, I wish I could upvote you.

  4. Well, I for one am convinced, “Forward!!!!!”

  5. Air power to defeat terrorism. Perfect! Nothing like bombing to win hearts and minds.

    After all, the Libya model (my interpretation of the Presidents strategy) has worked really well. I hear Libya Disney is just a few years out.

  6. We should teach our children the first question to ask after a President justifies military action – “What has America done to cause or contribute to the overall problem?”

  7. “The president did not seek Congressional approval”

    Hi, if the President got congressional approval this would make military action in Iraq and Syria more palatable to libertarians. Why?

    1. (1) at least it would be constitutional and (2) neither Republicans nor Democrats wanted to vote on this. Requiring a vote would make them accountable to their constituency, which would be more likely to result in a “no” vote. Sorta like the attempt to invade Syria a few months ago.

      So it would make it quasi-legal and likely make it not happen at all.

      1. Libertarians care about the constitution? I’m not trying to be flippant, just wondering why you should care about a document written by slavers. I say shread it and then put what’s left in the incinerator.

        1. You make me believe in censorship and sterilization in one fell swoop.

          1. Heck, It’s making me rethink slavery.

            1. And waterboarding.

        2. The restrictions put on government is what is worth caring about. If by shredding the Constitution it would also result in the permanent closure of the federal government and all of its institutions I think I could buy into that.

          Though of course by shredding the document you would be shredding the thirteenth amendment.

          Why would you use “american” in your name when it was a term used by slavers to describe their new country?

        3. american socialist|9.10.14 @ 11:42PM|#
          …”I’m not trying to be flippant,”…

          Why would a lying piece of shit be flippant?

        4. The fact that the founders were slavers does not automatically negate or discredit the contents of the constitution. It just really sucks when the government doesn’t stick to the constitution or apply it equally – whether during slavery or today.

        5. Even given “american socialist”‘s established reputation around here, I have to say I think the responses this generated do an extreme disservice to those posters.

          Those of us who read and appreciate Lysander Spooner (especially No Treason: A Constitution of No Authority) tend to be fairly cynical of the constitution.

          Indeed, I do not think the Constitution is worth my loyalty, for instance, to any United States government (nor do I think it demands it). So, I would indeed sooner shred it than continue to be bound by the government it instantiates.

          But that option is not on the table. I am not permitted to secede from governance.

          So long as the Federal Government chooses to exist, it damn well better adhere to its own charter document, for whatever meager and pitiful effect that may have towards mitigating the inevitable excess and aggression of government.

  8. The problem with “training moderate rebels” is that they usually end up not being so moderate. Or if they do, they are viewed as traitors and sell-outs by their countrymen.

    1. They’re only moderate until they convince us to give them guns…after that they’re just as radical and bigoted as the people our politicians pretend to hate.

      And that includes the much-pitied Kurds, who celebrated the overthrow of Saddam by forcing Arab residents out of “Kurdish” cities at gunpoint…even if they weren’t Ba’athists.

  9. If you like your current boots on the ground, you can keep….err wait

    I don’t understand why you peasants can’t just take obama at his word. His proven track record of honesty, not to mention his nobel peace prize, should assuage all doubts.

  10. I’m ok with air strikes, but training and arming moderate Syrian rebels is worrisome. Sounds like a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of a situation.

    They’re both your enemies, unless I’m missing something.

  11. up to I looked at the check which was of $7513 , I have faith that my neighbour woz like they say really taking home money part-time on-line. . there sisters roommate has been doing this for less than 11 months and by now cleared the dept on there place and bourt a brand new Lancia . look at this now

  12. Obviously the president could not get any Sunnis involved in his “coalition” without giving sanction to intervention in Syria against Assad. Therefore it’s likely they will see push back from Russia and the Shiites. But more significantly, fighting ISIS and Assad are two different missions, which can only come together if so-called moderate Sunnis join together with Turkey and the Saudis to build a new Syria. The president’s strategy, we can conclude, is nation-building, exactly what has repeatedly failed. And the main reason why it has failed, is because of all the debt we’ve run up in trying to establish it by force, resulting in depressions and unemployment leading to violence.

    But the more I think about it, last night’s appearance was merely political theater, an attempt to quell criticism on all fronts, in the usual Obama fashion. He only uses such occasions to defend himself. Perhaps it’s a lawyer’s mentality. He even abused the opportunity to try to shift discussion to what he feels is an improving economy, mentioned as the Dem election strategy.

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