Obama Reportedly Ready To Order The Start Of Syrian Military Campaign

President_Barack_Obama300px-Tomahawk_Block_IV_cruise_missile_-crop-1President Barack Obama appears poised to take the country into yet another military campaign, according to the Washington Post. With critics mocking him over his repeated references to “red lines” in warning Syria, Obama seems to feel compelled to now act even if it could result in an expansion of the war. He is reportedly considering a two-day cruise missile and bomber campaign to hit targets unrelated to the chemical weapons of the country. It will cost hundreds of millions at a minimum, but we appear now to be at perpetual war even as we cancel key environmental, educational, and scientific programs (including program cuts this week).

The campaign seems to be the result of public line drawing and face saving. Obama said early on that he would not stand for the use of chemical weapons. That was apparently ignored and now the U.S. must act to fulfill the threat. The question is why the United States must remain in a perpetual war footing to enforce such demands. China continues to avoid such military action and then in countries like Iraq, China comes in after we spend hundreds of billions to seize assets and contracts.

We clearly need to act in the wake of this chemical attack. However, given the recent disclosure our tacit approval of the use of chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein against Iran, we look hypocritical in using the weapons as the reason for a further entry into the Syrian civil war. If the world is unwilling to punish Syria through the United Nations, the question is whether we should continue to enforce our demands through military action.

Even before the U.N. report, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has already announced that the use of chemical weapons is now “undeniable.” Combined with Obama’s earlier “redline” ultimatum, that announcement would seem to commit the U.S. to once again launch large-scale military operations.

I previously represented members of Congress in challenging Obama’s intervention in the Libyan civil war without a declaration from Congress. In the case, President Obama insisted that he alone determines what is a war and therefore when he needs a declaration. Since the court would not recognize standing to challenge the war, it left Obama free to engage in war operations in any country of his choosing.

We all share the outrage over the use of chemical weapons and the need to seek sanctions. However, no one seriously believes that destroying facilities for a couple days is going to materially change anything in the country. It reminds some of Clinton attacking largely empty tents in Afghanistan with 70 Tomahawk missiles. These attacks will clearly have a greater impact than Clinton’s destruction of tents at the cost of over a $100 million. However, the question is what we expect to be achieved beyond sending the message that we are not to be mocked or ignored. With the long lead into the attacks, Syria has likely taking efforts to prepare for the attack and moved around assets. The danger is that we will cause an expansion of the conflict and push Russia and China to even greater support for Syria.

What do you think?

144 thoughts on “Obama Reportedly Ready To Order The Start Of Syrian Military Campaign”

  1. Rachel Maddow Calls For Congress To Debate Syria Before Attack (VIDEO)

    Posted: 08/28/2013 8:53 am EDT | Updated: 08/28/2013 9:07 am EDT



    Rachel Maddow called on Tuesday for Congress to debate and vote on a potential American attack on Syria before President Obama takes any action.

    It seems all but certain that some form of military action will take place, but Maddow urged caution.

    “If you take one click to a wider view, that reveals more of a debate and less of a certainty that this attack is going to happen, or at least that it should happen,” she said.

    She read from an interview with former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix which appeared on The Huffington Post. Blix, who oversaw the UN’s aborted inspection of Iraq’s (ultimately non-existent) weapons program in 2003, said he saw echoes of those days now.

    Maddow then went through all of the complicated questions surrounding a potential attack, and proposed one solution to the problem: congressional debate.

    “Fortunately, there’s an app for that,” she said, referring to the nominal need for Congress to declare war before any shots can be fired. Legislators, she said, should debate whether or not there should be an attack on Syria, and vote.

    Maddow also went after the Syrian Electronic Army for its hacking of the New York Times website.

    The Times became the latest news organization to get hacked by the SEA on Tuesday when the site was down for many hours throughout the afternoon and evening. The pro-President Bashar Assad group also claimed responsibility for hacking into The Huffington Post’s UK site and changing Twitter’s online information to show that the site was now owned by the SEA. Maddow called the attack “so sophomoric that it’s an insult to sophomores to call it that.”

    Maddow added that the SEA has been very successful at carrying out “these mostly dumb but occasionally crippling attacks on the highest profile websites on the earth.”

    The MSNBC host then wondered, “Is this a freelancing effort by Assad’s supporters? Or is this Syrian policy? Is this cyber warfare being waged by Syria’s military at the direction of Syria’s president? Is this one of the things that Syria feels it can do to lash out at the rest of the world as this country gets increasingly isolated and condemned among the nations of the world?”

  2. Getting down to the ugly Kissingerian policy of “let them kill each other off” (meaning Muslims), Christopher Dicky of The Daily Beast has an article up now explaining the basics of Saudi Arabian interests in a proxy war against Iran in Syria. Essentially, the Saudis do not want the Muslim Brotherhood rebels to Win — as that would cost the Saudis their self-anointed role as the leader of world Sunni Islam — but they don’t want them to lose to a Shiite-affiliated government in Syria either. So President Obama, in taking his policy cues from Saudi Prince Bandar Bush, has to club the Syrian government just enough so that it cannot win over the “rebels” but not enough so that it loses to them, either. This ghoulish “Goldilocks” policy of “just right” bludgeoning essentially translates to Let It Bleed.

    As a side benefit to “just doing some stuff” that looks “all manly mannish” President Obama can claim that he has acted “with restraint” although “firmly.” Unfortunately for President Obama’s domestic political audience, the “precisely calibrated,” “limited,” “proportional” something-or-other-that-he-does will not deter Mad Dog John McCain from goading him to “do more stuff” while former President Bill Clinton campaigns for You-Know-Her calling President Obama a pussy for not going All-Kosovo on Syria.

    Again, Kissinger-style bloodletting rules in the United States of Amnesia. Just enough to please Saudi Arabia and the Apartheid Zionist Entity, but not enough to satisfy the chickenhawk semi-warriors of both right-wing political parties in America.

    Not just “Let the Syrians bleed,” but “Help them to bleed even more.”

  3. MM,

    There you go. One thing I’ve noticed about the spam filter is it tends to key on length, especially when you use the blockquote format. FYI.

    And to answer your question, I submit that we get amoral cretinous Presidents because of an amoral cretinous “campaign finance” and lobbying system.

  4. No defined target, no idea where the actual chem weapons are located, no specific and defined goal in mind, no definition of “mission accomplished,” no idea of what might come afterwards if we topple Assad; in short, a typical 21st-century US military adventure. Hold on to your hats.

  5. I agree Michael. Even Obama isn’t claiming he’s going in for regime change. He’s on a humanitarian mission from god. He will help the Syrian people by killing them. Here is an interesting list of people who claim they only go to war for freedom: “May 14, 2011
    Freedom’s Just Another Word for Blowing Shit Up

    Why are we bombing Libya? For freedom!

    BARACK OBAMA: For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom….for generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer, our own future is brighter, if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity.

    Why has al Qaeda bombed places around the world? For freedom!

    AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI: …when we wage Jihad in Allah’s path, we aren’t waging Jihad to lift oppression from the Muslims only, we are waging Jihad to lift oppression from all of mankind…I invite all the world’s weak and oppressed ones to Islam, the religion of freedom…

    Why has Libya bombed lots of people? For freedom!

    MUAMMAR GADAFFI: It is one of our basic principles to support nations that are struggling for the sake of their freedom, to support those exploited and oppressed…We are morally responsible to stand by these just causes…We have no objections as far as we are able to aiding with arms and money nations struggling for the sake of their freedom.


    The president may not legally regime change people. He does it all the time, but it doesn’t mean it’s legal.

  6. rafflaw,

    The President of the United States does not have the legal authority to “remove” any head of state anywhere or any time he likes. You seem to take it for granted that he does. Why?

  7. Perhaps President Obama could call on former Secretary of State Colin Powell to go before the U.N. and make America’s case of chemical weapons use in Syria — and explain why that has anything to do with the United States. Sure, the U.N. would have to cover up Picasso’s famous anti-war painting, Guernica, so as not to have known American mendacity besmirch this cultural treasure of the world; but the U.S. corporate media wouldn’t show that or remark upon it any more this time than the last time, so why not trot out Mr Credibility here an seal the deal? Perhaps President Obama could even have former CIA Director George “slam dunk” Tenet on the presentation team as well. You know, that whole U.S. “intelligence” thing.

    Somehow the word “shameless” simply doesn’t seem adequate. So here we go again with: another stud-hamster U.S. President — this time from Hawaii instead of Texas — pissing all over the U.S. Constitution and International Law in his naked haste to get in a little “low cost” bombing of some brown skinned foreigners whom he thinks too powerless to fight back:

    Deputy Dubya’s Droopy Diaper Rap

    You fell asleep on watch and let some bad guys blow us up,
    And when you woke you swore to pay them back.
    You then attacked a country that had never done us harm
    Which seems to indicate it’s brains you lack.

    You needed made-up reasons that you thought the rubes would buy.
    You swore Saddam Hussein had done the crime.
    You had Ms. Rice warn darkly of some sprouting mushroom clouds
    In little less than forty minutes’ time.

    Dick Cheney spoke of spies who may have met one night in Prague
    Discussing who-knows-what? or when? or how?
    He claimed that all this nothing added up to something big
    That justified attacking Iraq now.

    Don Rumsfeld claimed to know just where to find those awful bombs.
    He said he knew exactly where they were.
    That none had ever come to light disturbed him not at all;
    For dreams, not facts, made better sales allure.

    And Colin Powell played along and told the world untruths
    In service to a man who oft betrays;
    And now no thinking person who resides on Planet Earth
    Believes a single word that this man says.

    Your CIA did what it does, whatever that might be;
    And spent more billions finding zilch to fear;
    But undeterred you pressed ahead until the spooks agreed
    To tell you everything you longed to hear.

    The Pet Press pundit sycophants fell quickly into line;
    For “access” they had sold their souls for free.
    You gave each one a nickname in return for which they swore
    To overlook your rank stupidity.

    The Congress went along and did precisely not one thing
    To cure us of our doubts about their worth.
    They swarmed aboard the lemming liner, “Gulf of Tonkin II,”
    And led us once again to rue their birth.

    So came the night of green-hued TV pictures from “The Front”
    With breathless claims of “Shock and Awe” profound
    That really only lulled and bored the viewers back at home
    Impressing no Iraqis on the ground.

    You and your team, of course, converged to watch the main event;
    To stomp and cheer each way-cool boom and bang.
    You had photographers snap pictures of you gettin’ down
    And doin’ that studly Texas hamster thang.

    With manhood issues unresolved, you pranced and leaped about
    With every adolescent urge fulfilled,
    You launched three dozen missiles at a Baghdad neighborhood
    Yet never cared to wonder whom you’d killed.

    And don’t you think that forty missiles seem a little much
    To cut the heads off three Iraqi men
    Who, anyway, were somewhere else when all the bombs arrived
    And not where you supposed them to have been?

    That word “decapitation” sounded swell not long ago
    But now only reminds us of your lies.
    Some folks have lost their heads, all right, just not the ones you planned;
    Just those who drive your trucks and cook your fries.

    So things have gone from only-bad to worse-than-that and more
    As GI coffins come home late at night;
    And billions run into the hundred-billions off the books
    Which makes those foreign lenders quake with fright.

    You started spouting Jesus jive because you think it sells
    Among religious folks who live in dread
    Of terrorist hijackers crashing into Red State barns
    And working people organized and led.

    To you, the Middle Ages sound like just the place to reign
    With hopeless people waiting for their doom
    Who every thousand years or so take off their clothes and climb
    Up on their roofs to wait for what? and whom?

    You learned to watch the NBA and do that high-five dance.
    You’ve learned your three-word mantras through and through.
    George Tenet taught you how to ‘slam-and-dunk’ and jockstrap-sniff
    But still you’ve never grown to more than you.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2005

    Where do we get these amoral cretin presidents?

  8. Mike Spindell:

    I agree, these politicians havent had enough of the people’s blood and treasure?

    I really do despise most politicians.

  9. OT, to a degree, with the Agent Orange posting, but there might be some interest.

  10. Mike S.,
    I agree that it is hard to believe any administration when it comes to military actions and the reasons. There may be good reason to remove the current Syrian regime, but will so-called “surgical” strikes do that? I don’t think so. The knee-jerk response to bomb Syria, admittedly a slow knee-jerk response, is a political statement and not an attempt to actually remove the offending party.

  11. Citing numbers provided by the Vietnam Red Cross, the McClatchy Foreign Press reported in July that an estimated 3 million people spanning three generations have been affected by Agent Orange. At least 150,000 of these cases have been children born with severe birth defects since the war’s end in 1975. -from the following link


    Agent Orange Victims Captured In Heartbreaking Portrait Series Decades After Vietnam War (PHOTOS)

    The Huffington Post | By Dominique Mosbergen | Posted: 08/27/13 EDT | Updated: 08/27/13 EDT

    Between 1961 and 1975, the United States waged war against the Viet Cong and their allies, and in the process defoliated the land and forests of Vietnam, as well as parts of Laos and Cambodia, with a toxic chemical cocktail known as Agent Orange. More than 50 years since the U.S. first launched its chemical warfare program in the Southeast Asian region, the tragedy of that brutal campaign lingers.

    This week, about a fortnight after the 52nd anniversary of the start of the chemical warfare campaign in and around Vietnam, a heartbreaking photo series that captures the agony of Agent Orange victims has gone viral. Originally shot by American photographer Brian Driscoll back in the summer of 2008, the series — entitled “Will It Ever End?” — remains relevant and jarringly powerful, telling the stories of the ongoing tragedy of the people and their offspring whose lives continue to be ravaged by the destructive poison.

    Citing numbers provided by the Vietnam Red Cross, the McClatchy Foreign Press reported in July that an estimated 3 million people spanning three generations have been affected by Agent Orange. At least 150,000 of these cases have been children born with severe birth defects since the war’s end in 1975.

    As Margorie Cohn, a professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, noted earlier this month, there is medical evidence to suggest that “certain cancers (for example, soft tissue non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), diabetes (type II) and in children spina bifida and other serious birth defects” are linked to the Agent Orange chemical mix, which contained dioxin, or as Cohn calls it, the “most toxic chemical known to science.”

  12. Sorry about the 9:27 a.m. comment…

    U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon appeals for diplomatic solution on Syria

    By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 5:07 AM


    THE HAGUE, Netherlands — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded for a diplomatic solution to the Syrian conflict, even as world powers appear to be moving toward punitive military strikes against President Bashar Assad’s regime for what the United States and its allies say was a deadly chemical weapons attack.

    Ban said Wednesday a United Nation team investigating the alleged chemical attack must be given time to establish the facts.

    And he has urged the United Nations Security Council not to be “missing in action” as the Syria crisis deepens.

    Ban was speaking in the Great Hall of Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague, which is marking its 100th anniversary.

    “Give peace a chance. Give diplomacy a chance. Stop acting and start talking,” he said.

  13. Gene H., Help… Any chance that you might delete my comment? I posted in haste and didn’t delete extraneous info first.

Comments are closed.