Pelosi: Real Liberals Want War?

220px-nancy_pelosi220px-B-2_spirit_bombingIn the cult of personality surrounding President Barack Obama, the ultimate test of loyalty is to shoot a cherish value. No one has proven herself more blindly loyal than House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who previously led the fight to kill privacy in America as a demonstration of absolute fealty. Now, Pelosi appears to be advocating military action. In a meeting with the White House. Pelosi voiced the need for action. Presumably, this means military action — again — because Obama said that the use of chemical weapons would be a redline and of course Obama is not to be mocked. It is a test that England appears to have failed and now there is a concern that the White House views England with suspicion and distrust for balking at war.

Pelosi paid only passing acknowledgement of liberals who oppose war, but suggested that we should attack even if we do so against the wishes of our allies and go in alone. She insisted “it is clear that the American people are weary of war. However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security.” Of course, our sprawling military industrial complex is not weary. We are about to fire off a billion or so dollars worth of missiles that will have to be replaced and could trigger a broader war.

Pelosi is quoted as countering statements from House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggesting a more cautious approach with consultation. Pelosi reportedly countered that the United States needed “to do something.”

So now that Pelosi has led the attack on privacy, called for another war, supported warrantless surveillance, and the killing of citizens on the sole authority of the president, it is difficult to see what is left for the democratic party beyond of course Barack Obama.

83 thoughts on “Pelosi: Real Liberals Want War?”

  1. Ezra Klein in the WAPO poses the question ‘Could bombing Syria kill more civilians than it saves?’.

    He cites an academic paper that found “when outside governments intervene on behalf of rebel forces, the government’s killing of civilians increased by 40 percent.”

    “The United States has been very clear that this is not a mission to save civilian lives. It’s a mission to enforce international norms against the use of chemical weapons. Rather than protecting civilians from being killed, we are attempting to alter Assad’s choice of weaponry when he kills them. It’s entirely plausible that Assad could heed our message to stop killing civilians with chemical weapons even as he heeds his incentives to retain control of the conflict by stepping up his slaughter of civilians through more conventional means. ”

    I would argue that were ever you are on the issue of intervention, it is just not simple. There are no easy answers.

    We need to take the time to work though not what we ought to do according to some ideal, but what we can actually accomplish in the inhospitable region that is Syria.

  2. Assuming the democrats haven’t already lost the 2014 election, if they get us bogged down in Syria or even just put egg on our face surely will guarantee their loss. Many democrats are already disheartened with their leadership over NSA surveillance. I for one am tired of Obama yelling at the electorate for not trusting him/them in the face of clear evidence of trampling our constitutional rights.

  3. Are these the representatives of the New Democratic Party….. Soundly vaguely familiar to the 1860s democratics…. Just saying…..

  4. We get it. We definitely get your point. You think that with a limited strike we can intimidate people so they will not use chemical weapons. And that would accomplish two very worthwhile goals. An important international standard would be preserved. And lives, perhaps many lives would be saved.

    But the belief that a limited strike can accomplish all that is exactly the question under discussion.

    Will the strike actually curtail use of chemical weapons. We don’t know.

    Even if chemical weapons are no longer used will there be wider war? We don’t know.

    If there is wider war, How much can the US do. I really have to question whether the US can fund and has the will to put 10 combat brigades into battle and incur another 5,000 killed in action and the corresponding 50,000 combat wounded. It is not just funding trillions of dollars for years at a time. It is not just recruiting the enlisted grades to fight and die in the sand. Will the enlisted and commissioned officer corp hold together? I do realize it is a career. But some have been fighting for their entire career. Why not just get a civilian job?

    There are real questions regarding a so called limited strike. And from my point of view there seems to be a real reluctance to engage and discuss the many questions in a thoughtful manner.

    What I see is faith that a limited strike will work. And real reluctance to entertain the question ‘what if it does not.’

    No matter how you come down on the many questions that should be answered, the most immediate question right now is: why the rush.

    Why do we need to strike right now, this weekend.

    Shouldn’t we think this through before we put ourselves in the position that we may have to back down or we may have to go to a war that, so far as I can tell, no one wants.

  5. This is one liberal who is disgusted with the Democratic party. I see no difference between party anymore. The Democrats are as corrupt as the GOP.

  6. A.R.E. claims ” If we do not do so, then we are in effect countenancing their use in other times and places.”

    Who is the U.S. to “countenance” anything? Who is the U.S. to dictate what is moral and what is not? Do you not realize the U.S. reputation abroad is filth and getting filthier? The U.S. should ignore this why? Because the U.S. has a lot of guns and crazy people who are spittle-flecked at the thought of getting to fire them?

    A.R.E. then extols failure with “That alone would be sufficient justification in my view for Obama to go for this limited military action.”

    So we have to do something. So it had better fail right from the planning stages. There isn’t going to be “limited” anything. You think one strike and done? Think again. Air strikes alone will not achieve any constructive result. They will harden the lines already brittle with hate for the U.S.

    To top it off, you seem not to recognize that lies are the order of the day. You have no way to verify what you are being fed, but your response is ATTACK! regardless.

    War-mongering twaddle, indeed. There isn’t support among the American people for this, America’s closest ally has said “no.”

    Who has ears to hear it?

    1. Bfm, For your info I am a Vietnam era veteran, and I even volunteered for Vietnam, but the Air Force had other ideas and thought I should spy on the Soviets from Turkey instead. So I am fully aware of what the cost of any military action is, and I was almost caught up by the Six Day War which we thought might come our way since we were right next to Syria. Back then we did not have any air defenses as we do now, so I had a nice ditch picked out to jump into if they did pay an unfriendly visit.

      There is no question that a US air strike cannot eliminate Syrian chemical warfare capabilities. What CAN be done is to destroy valuable military assets that will hurt Syria more than any gain they can get from using chemical warfare against the rebels. I would not want to totally wipe out their air force, just half, so that we would have some assets left to eliminate if Assad decides to try chemicals again. The scenario does not mean that we will or even can eliminate chemical weapons, just that they will have to calculate just how badly do they want other assets as opposed to any gains they might get from chemical warfare. So there is no need or reason for using troops on the ground.

      Then there is the problem of Turkey and Jordan and maybe Iraq. There have already been shells and bombings into Turkey, so what will the US and NATOs response be when if nothing is done,Assad decides to use chemical warfare on the border with Turkey? Indeed, if the US does not act, Assad may well conclude that using such weapons pays and that he can get away with even more aggressive moves because the US and the UK are too afraid of military action to do anything about it. So we will then just leave Turkey to fight it alone.

      There is no question that a limited strike will work to raise the cost of using chemical weapons, THAT is the point. NOT that it will totally eliminate them since the only possible way to do that is to invade and put boots on the ground. Something which is not even needed to accomplish the purpose which is to dissuade Assad from further use of such weapons. That is very easily accomplished and can be successful. As for any military response from Syria, I just remind people that Israel made a rather massive strike in Syria against weapons going to Hezbollah and Syria could do nothing at all about that. So the so called danger of a wider war is overblown to say the least, unless one wants the US to escalate the military action which is rather doubtful. If Assad has his hands full simply trying to fight poorly armed rebels, I am not too worried about any threat he might pose to the US and our assets.

  7. DC. launches a conundrum into the air.
    bejeweled with promised virtued wear.
    soaring high shining flight.
    C’mon USA fight fight fight.

    blowhards blow continue to fuel
    shiny shine for the american mule.
    breads circuses carnival delights.
    C’mon USA fight fight fight.

  8. It’s rather incongruous for the administration to be positive that Assad gassed his own people when earlier in the spring a UN diplomat declared that the rebels were likely responsible for a sarin gas attack on civilians (tp://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi/). Hmmm…who gave them the sarin???? And, was it the original Syrian rebels or the mixed-up with Al-Qaeda Syrian ‘rebels’.

    Back in January the Daily Mail reported that some leaked emails indicated the “U.S. ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime'”. The source of the reportedly leaked emails came from Infowars and before them Cyber War News. All the stories are available on the Way Back Machine. The stories have been taken down from all three sites. Does the fact they’ve been removed indicate a lack of authenticity, and consequently libel of the US (consider the original sources), or something more nefarious?

    (web.archive.org/web/20130130091742/http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2270219/U-S-planned-launch-chemical-weapon-attack-Syria-blame-Assad.html)

    The UN report of the gas attack investigation will take two weeks. For a president who was all about diplomacy and coalition building just one year ago, perhaps he ought to be patient and find out ‘who done it’ before spending billions of dollars we don’t have and possibly igniting a broader regional war.

  9. @ Michael Murry,

    “What a nasty little conundrum for those arguing in favor of wanton American lawlessness in the name of sacred American virtues.”

    Well stated no.. VERY well stated.

    Pelosi seems to have no ethical problem with conundrums.

  10. President Obama’s proposal to attack Syria fails to adequately plan for risks like a surge in anti-Americanism and a wider regional conflict.

  11. The people of the United States have no obligation whatsoever to do anything at all in response to the ongoing civil war in Syria, no matter what weapons the combatants use on each other. The civil war in Syria simply does not constitute a national interest for the United States. Furthermore, any attack by the United States upon a country that has not attacked the United States violates the U.N. charter, which — since the United States has ratified it — forms part of American law. Therefore, those who advocate an attack upon the Syrian regime by the United States advocate the violation of both American and international law. I believe that the United States even has laws — and anti-terrorism ones at that — which consider it a crime for anyone to incite others to break the law. What a nasty little conundrum for those arguing in favor of wanton American lawlessness in the name of sacred American virtues. So now we have an American president sworn to uphold the law openly promising to violate it at his pleasure because it suits him to do so. What a colossal farce!

    The United States has in fact become an outlaw nation and the President of the United States has become an absolute monarch in his own estimation, one who claims that no law on earth may restrain him. Those arguing in favor of such lawlessness as the guiding principle of American government do so most often by citing examples of previous violations of the law as if the violation of a law nullifies it and sanctifies further violations of the law in the future. James Madison answered this absurd proposition by saying:

    “Instances, it is true, may be discovered among ourselves, where this maxim [the Legislature’s exclusive power to declare war or say no to war] has not been faithfully pursued; but being generally acknowledged to be errors, they confirm, rather than impeach the truth and value of the maxim.”

    So citing as precedents egregious violations of the law, like President Johnson’s infamous Gulf of Tonkin affair and President G.W. Bush’s WMD hoax in Iraq — to name only two acknowledged disasters — justifies nothing and in fact argues that no U.S. government should never repeat such crimes and errors, as President Obama clearly intends to do.

    President Obama’s insistence upon his unique right to violate the Constitution and international law at his personal whim reeks of arrogance and duplicity. As Madison warned:

    A wrongful act can neither prove nor illustrate a rightful power.”

  12. A reminder for commenters whose comment disappeared into the memory hole. If you put links into a comment, the max is two (2) links. Three or more links will be rejected by the filter.

    Also, be careful of language. There are four expletives the filter will block.

  13. The reason there is such a hurry is they want to get this over with before anyone starts asking too many questions about the details…….Pretext like this doesn’t always last forever…..If you wait too long, it can evaporate. Don’t let a crisis go to waste.

  14. Arthur Randolph Erb,

    Lets discuss a lack of serious intellect……..It seems rather amusing to me that you would simply join into lockstep agreement with the notion that Assad conveniently cooperated with the US ‘clear line’ by using chemical weapons, and at just the right and opportune time…….And to what end?

    Certainly he had been winning the conventional fight……Even if one disagrees with that, it’s quite clear he also surely knew that such an action would bring about a US military action against his conventional forces which he could not survive…….The question, one needs ask, is who has the most to gain from a chemical weapons attack at this moment in time……Surely not Assad……The Rebels, taking the lead from Obama’s ‘Clear Line’ surely have everything to gain……..They are quite aware of what a chemical attack buys them, it buys them US air support, and a victory in their civil war.

    No……Anyone who simply jumps on board the presidents bandwagon oblivious to the obvious weaknesses in the plot are just brain-dead stupid…..Now if you’re just a cynical partisan hack, at least you’re just wrong, and not stupid.

    Now take your pom poms and your short skirt and sell this cheer down the hallway, because nobody is stupid enough to buy it here.

  15. @ ay since you seem to know so much.. please explain the below articles

    Syrian Kurdish Opposition Leader Saleh Muslim Agrees Assad Is Being Framed by West for Sarin Gas Attacks (August 29, 2013)

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Aug-26/228762-syrian-kurdish-leader-says-assad-not-to-blame-for-attack.ashx#axzz2dNVJ9kAn

    (SAleh MuslimSaleh Muslim, [right] head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), is pictured during a Reuters interview in Berlin in this April 18, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/Files)

    BERLIN: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would not be “so stupid” as to use chemical weapons close to Damascus, the leader of the country’s largest Kurdish group said.

    Saleh Muslim, head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said he doubted the Syrian president would resort to using such weapons when he felt he had the upper hand in the country’s civil war.

    He suggested last Wednesday’s attack, which the opposition says was carried out by government forces and killed hundreds of people, was aimed at framing Assad and provoking an international reaction. Assad has denied his forces used chemical weapons.

    “The regime in Syria … has chemical weapons, but they wouldn’t use them around Damascus, 5 km from the (U.N.) committee which is investigating chemical weapons. Of course they are not so stupid as to do so,” Muslim told Reuters.

    At the time of the incident, U.N. experts were already in Syria to investigate three previous alleged chemical attacks dating from months ago.

    Muslim’s PYD, which has well-armed and effective militias, has clashed with Assad’s forces as well as rebels, but has allowed both to move through its territories during the war.

    Some rebels and rival Kurdish groups accuse it of having been close to the state, a position Muslim disputes. He said Kurdish areas the PYD controlled were under attack from al Qaeda-linked rebels.

    Muslim suggested “some other sides who want to blame the Syrian regime, who want to show them as guilty and then see action” lay behind the chemical attack, which has led to speculation that Western countries will order a military response.

    He said that if the U.N. inspectors found evidence Assad was not behind the gassing and the rebels were, “everybody would forget it”.

    “Who is the side who would be punished? Are they are going to punish the Emir of Qatar or the King of Saudi Arabia, or Mr Erdogan of Turkey?” Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have all strongly condemned Assad and backed the rebels.

    Kurdish militias have sought to consolidate their grip in northern Syria after exploiting the chaos of the civil war over the past year by seizing control of districts as Assad’s forces focused elsewhere.

    The PYD said in July it aimed to set up a transitional council and their emerging self-rule is starting to echo the autonomy of Kurds in neighbouring northern Iraq.

    Muslim said he reassured officials during talks last month with Turkey’s intelligence agency that the council was not a move to divide Syria – which would alarm Ankara, which is wary of deepening sectarian violence on its border.

    Nonetheless, it highlights Syria’s slow fragmentation into a Kurdish northeast, mainly government-held areas around Damascus, Homs and the Mediterranean, and a rebel swathe leading from Aleppo along the Euphrates Valley to Iraq.

  16. I see that those who are opposed to any military action by Obama have neither the courage or wit to say what they propose to do about Assad using chemical weapons. All of you who are opposed simply ignore or duck the questions I posed. How many dead people will it take before you are for some military response? If you are against any military action, then what will you propose when the pile of dead bodies smell so badly you cannot ignore it any more? What will your solution be when the Syrians use chemical weapons on the border areas and the gas drifts or worse is used on the territory of Turkey, Jordan, Iraq? You need to have answers to these questions because doing nothing will simply assure that Assad will increase his use of them.

    That this is similar to Bush’s war of choice, is simply a lie as any cursory examination will prove. Bush falsified evidence, went around the CIA and other analysts and refused to believe the reports of the UN inspectors who said that Hussein had no WMDs. The biggest difference is that there are going to be no US or other troops on the ground. Then there is the obvious difference that NOBODY has disputed the UN inspectors reports so far. We know for a fact that Assad did in fact use chemical weapons. If you cannot answer simple questions, it indicates a lack of seriousness and intellect.

    1. ” If you cannot answer simple questions, it indicates a lack of seriousness and intellect.”

      Isn’t that a bit grand. Isn’t it enough to answer whether this particular situation justifies an attack or is worth the risk of war.

      The president himself has acknowledged this particular situation is not worth war – note his clear attempt to tell us no US boots on the ground in Syria, no involvement in the civil war.

      The question is then, in this particular situation, is there anything to be gained by a limited, one time attack.

      That answer that the situation in Syria does not justify war seems pretty serious to me. And if you have a problem with the intellect it reveals, perhaps you should start with the President and ask him why he so clearly want to avoid US involvement in war in Syria.

      Your question “How many dead people will it take before you are for some military response? ” might be interesting to people who like to answer that type of hypothetical.

      But I would urge all readers to pay attention to the real question before us, to the hear and now, to the reality of this particular situation and what actions might lead us through to a better situation and a reasonable resolution.

      I think those considerations would serve us all better than the calculation of how many dead bodies equal one cruse missile.

      1. bfm, I would hope that y’all would get your stories straight among those who are against any military action. You say that Obama does not want the US involved in this war, but most of the others think that he DOES. Which is it? The reason that he obviously does not want US involvement is that there are no good options from a military point of view. The best he can do is to degrade Assad’s chemical warfare assets and show that the cost of their continued use will be more costly than any possible advantage he might gain from continuing to use them.

        As for the question as to how many dead will stir the world to action, it is not hypothetical since the weapons are being used. Now if they had not been used, THEN such a question would be hypothetical. By refusing to think beyond today, it shows a lack of serious thought and is more like Bush II. I think we all agree we do not want to follow his example. I don’t take seriously your equation of how many dead bodies equals one cruise missile since it a rhetorical one.

        As for solutions apart from military action, Sec.Kerry tried to set up a meeting to get a political settlement, but the opposition would have none of it. The only option is to let the war go on within certain limits until both sides decide that they can get more out of negotiation than fighting. There are obvious advantages for Assad to use such weapons and can tilt the battle decisively in his favor. That is why he used them. The rebels do not have the capability to use such weapons which is the only constraint upon them. I have no doubt that they would use them if they could. At least if the US can keep the fighting within certain limits, we can reduce the number of casualties in this war since conventional weapons are less encompassing and less lethal than chemical ones. The ban on the use of chemical weapons is meaningless unless there is some force used to deter them. In this case, the US has the capability to enforce such a rule and we should use it to hopefully deter other times and places from following Assad’s example. If we do not do so, then we are in effect countenancing their use in other times and places. That alone would be sufficient justification in my view for Obama to go for this limited military action.

        1. “bfm, I would hope that y’all would get your stories straight among those who are against any military action. You say that Obama does not want the US involved in this war, but most of the others think that he DOES. Which is it? ”

          I will stand with the Presidents own statements which I think have been very clear. I am not aware of anyone else who can speak for the President outside his administration.

          If you choose to understand the Presidents pronouncements from the statements of others not in the administration that is your privilege. But please do not try to hold me accountable for their remarks.

          ” By refusing to think beyond today, it shows a lack of serious thought and is more like Bush II.”

          But there is an immediate problem right now. If you have not been reading the latest news, MSM suggest an attack is immanent, within days or even hours. That is the problem we must deal with right now. Surely you can understand that there is no need to answer your very hypothetical question right now. Once we are past this crisis I would argue there will be much time perhaps years to figure out how to deal with the problem you pose.

          There are very serious problems with the presidents proposal in regard to its likelihood to achieve the stated goal and the very serious consequences that will likely follow.

          But rather than deal with the very serious problems of the here and now you would rather wrap yourself in a hypothetical flag of high blown rhetoric. That is fine if that is what you want to do. But lets be clear regarding who is serious and who is on a flight of fancy.

          “US has the capability to enforce such a rule”

          Isn’t that exactly the question under discussion? The president himself does not seem so certain that the US has the capability to enforce such a rule.

          You seem to think that a shot across the bow of Assad’s administration is all it takes to enforce this rule. And why is that? Because our heart or pure, because it is the right thing, because god is on our side. Exactly why is that.

          I would argue that the uncritical statement “US has the capability to enforce such a rule” is the epitome of unserious thought.

          Suppose we take the shot and any number of potential adversaries decide to enforce their own rule that empires should not meddle in the affairs of other countries and other regions. Suppose an adversary decides this is a wonderful opportunity to bleed a meddlesome imperial power.

          Really, have you really given this serious consideration or are you entranced by your own rhetoric?

          OK, for a moment lest just stipulate we can enforce the rule.

          Are you really ready to commit 150,000 men and women, and the last or our combat brigades to be chewed up in an endless sand war?

          Do you have any idea how many tons a day it takes to support a combat brigade in the desert? Do you have any idea how many gallons an Abrams tank burns in 24 hours? How many 30 round magazines of 5.56mm ammunition does a fire team expend in typical engagement. Do you know how many magazines a fire team deploys with before they engage Have you give the actual logistic of ‘enforcing the rule’ any serious though – any thought at all?

          Exactly how many trillions in tax dollars and how many combat casualties are you ready to commit to enforcing the rule. And even if you are prepared to take, say, 5,000 killed in action are you prepared to fund health care for the, likely, 50,000 combat wounded that will return broken to the US? And what about their families. Are you ready to fund support for families of veterans that encounter social problems, including domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and many others, when they return home? Maybe it is just me, but these seem like serious question that require serious though.

          And what about the adversaries possible return action. Or do you think the adversary will just take the blow and beg forgiveness?

          What do we do if they continue to use chemical weapons. Won’t you and the president look a bit incompetent and make things even worse. What if they attack commercial and civilian targets well out of the war zone? What if they use chemical weapons against US military units or against allies? What if they attack Israel? What if they attack Saudi. Have you give any of this any serious though, any though at all, has it even crossed your mind.

          Are you old enough to have seen a military literally begin to disintegrate because it was ordered to do too much? Does it occur to you that disasters occur when resources are to little to achieve the goal.

          And don’t you think you ought to have a little discussion with those who will actually pay that price. Before you take this country to the brink of war don’t you think you need check and be sure others are willing to follow. If you don’t have buy-in at a fundamental level, you may very well find that the rules being enforced are not the ones that you make up.

          I am no pacifist and no alarmist. But there are serious question here that have been given little or no consideration. Why the rush to engage?

          Before you talk the talk of war, before you launch the supposedly limited strike, you better be sure you can walk the walk over IED strewn ground.

          And that thoughtful readers is as serious as it gets.

  17. What is really going on here is that the al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood backed Syrian Rebels have created an incident using chemical weapons with the full intent to bring in the US Military into their civil war to act as air power to rebel forces……The ‘clear line’ was in essence a mission statement to the rebels to do so….Let me say that again, the ultimate irony is that we will now be using US air assets to provide strategic and tactical air support to jihadists forces. That is what is going on and what we are about to do.

    From a military standpoint from the rebels perspective, it is a brilliant ploy. We will do as we did in Libya and pound Assads forces from the air, giving the jihadists rebels what they need to overwhelm government forces…….And the result will be another Jihadist state.

  18. personally i believe its a lie. the corporation is well known for their set ups and lies to drag us into war. they have been paying assad all this time millions of dollars and now suddenly out of no where he just starts gassing his own people? BULLCRAP!!!!! syria has been fighting the usa thats something the lame stream wont report but syria has refused to give into the the billionaire thieves. syria has refused to allow the taliban or al qaeda ( did yall know al qeada translated means the toilet bowl?) yep it does but anyway they have been fighting tooth and nail to stop the corporation from taking over their country and resources. much like the rockefellers killed off the bolsheviks when they refused to go along with them. now its syrias turn.

  19. “It is a test that England appears to have failed and now there is a concern that the White House views England with suspicion and distrust for balking at war”

    Prof, the above needs editing – it reads as though the WH views England with suspicion. The Guardian article is quoting English government officials who voice THEIR worry that the US may now view them with suspicion and that France may now be our BFF. It’s a concern expressed by men who hoped that Cameron would win the vote and it’s just political spin. You know….like what you just did.

    No one from the WH is viewing England with suspicion. Kerry mentioned France because you don’t usually mention the guys who just turned you down, right?

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