What If We Gave A War And No One Came? English Parliament Rejects Move To War

220px-Houses.of.parliament.overall.arpPresident_Barack_ObamaIn the 1930s, Bertolt Brecht asked in a poem  “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”  The question today is of course silly.  The United States will always be there for a war.  In the first rejection of a request for military action since 1782, the Parliament voted 285 to 272 against approving a military strike against Syria.  Undeterred, the White House today is saying that it is considering just bombing the country on its own and throwing aside any pretense of an international effort. By the way, that last time Parliament refused further military action was when the Crown was fighting a collection of colonies in the New World who, after independence, strongly opposed “foreign entanglements” and military ventures.  The United States of America.

As we discussed yesterday, this appears a war designed to save face for Obama. While news reports indicate that Obama’s reference to a “red line” was not in his original speech, it committed the country to act if chemical weapons were used in Syria. I spoke to a reporter working at the Pentagon two days ago who told me that military leaders are heavily opposed to the ultimatum and to military action. However, it is now embarrassing for the President and the White House wants to show that he will not be ignored or mocked — even if it is a lesson that will cost over $1 billion and risk a wider war.

Of course Obama has his allies in Congress like Nancy Pelosi and the media like David Ignatius at the Washington Post who says military action is necessary simply because “Syrian President Bashar al-Assad overrode a clear American warning against such use of chemical weapons.” So we need to enter another war “to demonstrate that there are consequences for crossing a U.S. ‘red line.’ Otherwise, the coherence of the global system begins to dissolve.” The point is simple. The world must obey our commands and we are not to be mocked. It is the ultimate expression of American exceptionalism.

In a bizarre gesture, the White House is now promising just a limited strike or a “shot across the bow.” It is as if we are saying to the world “just let us do this as a gesture and we will be satisfied.”

Notably, England still gets a vote on military action. Since that last vote in 1782, the United States has created an Imperial President while England has evolved into a more democratic system. The Framers must be looking down in utter confusion.

44 thoughts on “What If We Gave A War And No One Came? English Parliament Rejects Move To War”

  1. Obama, Congress and Syria
    The president is celebrated for seeking a vote on his latest war even as his aides make clear it has no binding effect
    Glenn Greenwald
    theguardian.com, Sunday 1 September 2013

    t’s a potent sign of how low the American political bar is set that gratitude is expressed because a US president says he will ask Congress to vote before he starts bombing another country that is not attacking or threatening the US. That the US will not become involved in foreign wars of choice without the consent of the American people through their representatives Congress is a central mandate of the US Constitution, not some enlightened, progressive innovation of the 21st century. George Bush, of course, sought Congressional approval for the war in Iraq (though he did so only once it was clear that Congress would grant it: I vividly remember watching then-Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden practically begging the Bush White House to “allow” Congress to vote on the attack while promising in advance that they would approve for it).

    But what makes the celebratory reaction to yesterday’s announcement particularly odd is that the Congressional vote which Obama said he would seek appears, in his mind, to have no binding force at all. There is no reason to believe that a Congressional rejection of the war’s authorization would constrain Obama in any way, other than perhaps politically. To the contrary, there is substantial evidence for the proposition that the White House sees the vote as purely advisory, i.e., meaningless.

    Recall how – in one of most overlooked bad acts of the Obama administration – the House of Representatives actually voted, overwhelmingly, against authorizing the US war in Libya, and yet Obama simply ignored the vote and proceeded to prosecute the war anyway (just as Clinton did when the House rejected the authorization he wanted to bomb Kosovo, though, at least there, Congress later voted to allocate funds for the bombing campaign). Why would the White House view the President’s power to wage war in Libya as unconstrainable by Congress, yet view his power to wage war in Syria as dependent upon Congressional authorization?…


    According to the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman, Secretary of State John Kerry, this morning on CNN, said this when asked whether the Congressional vote would be binding: “[Obama] has the right to do this no matter what Congress does.”

  2. It is believed Obama is a Saudi puppet.

    “Who Benefits From A War Between The United States And Syria?” follows;


    Excerpt from article follows;

    And guess who has been supplying the rebels in Syria with chemical weapons?

    According to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak, it has been the Saudis…

    Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

    “From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,”

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