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Member since: Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:23 AM
Number of posts: 2,049

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White House: Irrefutable Assad link to gas attack lacking, but passes ‘common-sense test’

Source: Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The White House asserted Sunday that a “common-sense test” dictates the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack that President Barack Obama says demands a U.S. military response. But Obama’s top aide says the administration lacks “irrefutable, beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence” that skeptical Americans, including lawmakers who will start voting on military action this week, are seeking.

“This is not a court of law. And intelligence does not work that way,” White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said during his five-network public relations blitz Sunday to build support for limited strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“The common-sense test says he is responsible for this. He should be held to account,” McDonough said of the Syrian leader who for two years has resisted calls from inside and outside his country to step down.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-working-to-rally-lawmakers-american-public-behind-obamas-push-for-syrian-strike/2013/09/08/66cfb932-1868-11e3-80ac-96205cacb45a_story.html

Great, now decisions of war and peace are to be decided based upon 'common sense'. What's next? "Go with the gut?" Thanks to MorningFog for launching a thread in GD about this.


Putin says Russia will assist Syria if attacked

Source: CBS Market Watch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- At a press conference at the Group of 20 conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would "assist" Syria if attacked, according to press reports from there. President Barack Obama said he's considering military action against Syria for the country's alleged use of chemical weapons. It's not precisely clear the form of assistance, as Russia already provides Syria with military equipment and can veto any action from the United Nations Security Council.

Read more: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/putin-says-russia-will-assist-syria-if-attacked-2013-09-06

One-paragraph squib with no further details yet. I guess Putin is drawing his own red line.

Does the Bush-Cheney Iraq precedent allow Syria to attack our ships in the Red and Mediterranean

Seas legally without a U.N. Security Council resolution? IIRC, under existing international law, countries that face a threat of imminent attack are legally entitled to attack in self-defense without getting prior U.N. approval.

If Syria becomes convinced the U.S. will attack (either before or after the Congresssional resolution), i.e., that the threat is imminent, will she attack us preemptively? Or will she just passively lie there and take her 'punishment'?

Let's hope that cooler heads than those of McInsane and Graham prevail on the Syrian side. Not holding my breath.

If you oppose U.S. military intervention in Syria, please sign Alan Grayson's petition (link below):


Thanks to n2doc for first bringing it to my attention.

Does anyone here really think that President Obama would have submitted the Syria

matter to Congress for a vote if public opinion had shown a 90% approval rating for a military strike?

I'm in favor of the Executive Branch seeking Legislative Branch approval for any use of military force (other than actual or imminent attack), but giving Obama credit for doing "the right thing" when public opinion was overwhelmingly against him seems to me a bit expedient.

I can admire his political prowess in inoculating himself from the consequences of a (potentially) bad decision by submitting the matter to Congress but I don't see this move as any evidence of Obama's devotion to separation of powers or balance of powers doctrine. In my opinion, had public opinion been overwhelmingly in favor of attacking Syria, the attacks would have already happened, Congress be damned.

Commit War Crimes? Go Free. Reveal War Crimes? 35 Years. Makes sense to


This country is some seriously sick, fucked-up shit is all I can say. Well, it was a nice idea, I guess. I lived to see the fall of the USSR, so I suppose it's only fitting that I witness the senescence of the American experiment as well.

If Truman refused to use the atomic bomb on Japan, what should he have done instead?

I think that HST arguably had 2 other options:

1) Naval and aerial quarantine of Japanese home islands

2) Conventional land invasion.

After what imperial Japan had done to its Asian neighbors, were options 1 or 2 preferable to using atomic weapons?

I consider myself radically anti-war (and spent much of the past decade in twice- and thrice-weekly anti-war vigils against the Bush Junta), but I think there are certain times when wars must be fought (World War II being one such case). I think President Truman chose properly among a set of bad choices. He made the least-bad choice. But I think those who criticize the use of atomic weapons against Japan should explain what other choice he might have had or made.

The Amash Amendment (NSA) to the 2014 Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2397): Anyone know

where the official text of the amendment is or where voting results for and against are tracked and\or tabulated?

I've found many articles about the amendment, but can find no mention of the amendment on any official or quasi-official House sites.

I'm a bit new to trying to actually search for legislation (either proposed or approved) online, so any help will be appreciated.

Questions About Detroit's Bankruptcy:

Who will be the primary victim of Detroit's bankruptcy? Who will be the primary beneficiary?

I'm having trouble figuring out who is actually going to get hurt by a failure of Detroit to pay its debts. Are Detroit's municipal pensioners at risk of losing some or all of their pension?

Is there a possibility of mass layoffs of municipal employees to cut payroll costs?

I'm very disappointed that the legislative and executive branches of the federal government allowed this to come to pass, given that we were able to pay for bailing out privately-owned banks in 2008-09.

Is the 1% going to be hurt by this bankruptcy at all? Or will only the poor and working class suffer?

Does the 1%-99% dichotomy help to explain or further obfuscate L'Affaire Snowden?

I've not seen much class-based analysis of L'Affaire Snowden and I thought I would put this out there for DU to chew on.

To me, Snowden is a member of the 99%. While he earned a salary substantially above the national median of 50K, he still was a working man, forced to earn his living by the sweat of his brow. The forces of the Washington establishment that oppose Snowden, to me, epitomize the 1%, a rentier class of parasites living off the sweat of others.

I'm interested to hear whether DU believes the 1%-99% dichotomy helps to explain or understand this matter. Or does it further complicate our understanding?

To the extent it is possible, I would love to see the character assassination on both sides kept to a minimum, so that we can consider the class-based ramifications of this matter.
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