US finds itself with only one Syria partner

Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to make an announcement at 12:30 PM after the meeting that President Obama is holding of the National Security Council meeting on Syria.

UPDATE: WATCH LIVE: Sec. of State Kerry to explain why military action against Syria would be justified http://nbcnews.to/195oyLc

US finds itself with only 1 Syria partner: France

By ELAINE GANLEY — Associated Press

PARIS —

The United States found itself Friday with France as its only major partner in a potential strike against Syria, after a stunning rejection of military force in Parliament forced Britain, America's staunchest ally, to pull out of any operation.

The collapse of British support for a mission to punish Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons puts pressure on President Barack Obama as resistance grows at home — and comes with the irony that France was the most vocal critic of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq...

Read more here

Also see the article on Syria and the poll of citizens at Daily Kos:

When it comes to taking military action against Syria, a strong majority of Americans think President Obama should be required to get congressional approval, according to an NBC News poll: specifically, 79 percent support congressional approval.

That number shows that, as in Congress itself, a substantial number who would require congressional approval are surely Republicans who just don't think this president should ever have the authority to do anything on his own, but many are Democrats who have less cynical reasons (since the vast majority of reasons are less cynical than the Republican one).

Comments

Why aren't liberals protesting an attack on Syria?

Like Iraq, this potential war involves a dictator and "weapons of mass destruction." But the left has been conspicuously quiet.

--This Week

Martha Brock

What a ridiculous question!

What a ridiculous question!

Liberals ARE protesting the potential war ... the idea that we are conspicuously quiet is absurd.

Who?

and Where? Just asking. Evidence of any large mobilization appears non-existent.

Martha Brock

I don't know about large mobilization

What I see is regular people like me voicing concerns in every venue available. I've received (and sent) dozens of emails about Syria in the past few days.

There may be some top-down action, but I don't know about it.

Protests against Syria attack by US

I have been monitoring Twitter all morning for Syria and attack related messages. There are many posts from individuals. Hardly any from organizations, national or local, and few even from the media until an hour ago.

As the This Week article points out, during the lead up to Iraq attacks thousands marched in the streets in US and Europe.

UPDATE: From Daily Kos at 2:15 pm

Thursday, Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California and 53 other Democrats sent their own letter to Obama regarding intervention in Syria.

Martha Brock

Raytheon called

They need a deposit in their lunch money account.

This whole thing just stinks. I don't believe a word of the so-called evidence our government and the so-called reporters in the region are giving us. Too many lies have been foisted on us in recent memory for any of these players to have any credibility. This will not end well for anyone anywhere, but it'll make a fine distraction from domestic issues all over the country.

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"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Recent history; short memory.

#Syria #Congress Will attack on Syria create gas hoarding and shortages? Just in time for Labor Day travel? #shortmemory

Martha Brock

Jimmy Carter urges 'political solution'

Former President Carter warns US action on Syria without UN backing 'illegal'

Former President Carter on Friday came out strongly against military action in Syria without the United Nations's blessing.

“Punitive action” without a mandate from the U.N. Security Council or “broad support from NATO and the Arab League” would be “illegal under international law and unlikely to alter the course of the war,” the Carter Center said in a statement. “It will only harden existing positions and postpone a sorely needed political process to put an end to the catastrophic violence.”


Read more
: http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/africa/319633-former-president-c...

Martha Brock

Probably won't win me any new friends,

and it could thin the ranks of my tens of (current) fans, but: we need to bomb Syria.

The Syrian Army's attacks against civilians has steadily escalated since the uprising began, and their use of weapons-grade neurotoxins on a heavily-populated area opens a new chapter in the atrocities. If we don't act, odds are they will do it again, and soon, and maybe in several areas next time.

I know some of you have doubts about this, that it is being manufactured to justify another war. But Doctors Without Borders has been treating casualties in Syria since the early days, and they've been directly treating these gas victims. It appears there could be a thousand dead so far, and a few thousand more suffering from varying degrees of exposure. This stuff is nasty, folks, and the Syrian Army probably has enough to kill their entire country a few times.

I said we need to bomb Syria, but I don't mean targeting all government facilities ala Baghdad. We need to strike their Army, preferably the artillery unit that launched the gas attack, and we need to target any ordinance storage facilities (ammo dumps) that might possibly contain chemical weapons. And if the Syrian Army or the rebels use gas again, or if they use heavy weapons to indiscriminately target civilians, we hit them again. Hard.

They will either learn their lesson, or lose their ability to defend the regime.

Count me among the tens...

It doesn't help that our President drew the red line months ago. Nor does the schoolyard antics of the House Republicans. Obama is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't. Nevertheless, we have a moral obligation to do what we can to surgically disable the Syrian army's CW delivery capabilities. Our technological superiority should make relatively easy work of it. A missile here and a little Stuxnet there, and out.

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"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance; it's what makes America great!" - Frank Zappa (6/29/1988)

I don't know where I stand

1. The attacks on civilians and the use of chemical weapons should spark moral outrage.
2. We should not allow Iranian-backed powers seize the day.
3. Our military forces are exhausted from more than a decade of continuous war.
4. Whatever else happens, there is no possibility of any kind of real good outcome.

With all that said, the President has an immense burden, particularly since the House of Representatives is not a competent governing partner. Their refusal to act in good faith on any issue puts the onus squarely on Mr. Obama to decide and to face the consequences. No doubt the right wing will criticize whatever decision the President makes, and will quickly seize on any missteps in the execution of whatever course of action is chosen.

May God give us wisdom in these dire moments.

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The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

I'm against it

If Britain is taking a pass, the evidence is suspect. And even if it isn't, the prospect of blowing the hell out of Syria just for the sake of doing something seems ill-advised.

And if we're going to do something illegal, I'd rather hear a case for assassination than for a military strike.

We haven't fought a war since WWII in which we did what

we should do...per Clausewitz...and that is to destroy the enemy's ability and will to fight and, essentially, reduce them to begging to surrender. War, as some here well know, is not about "shock and awe," it's about killing your enemy.

One...why fight if we don't plan to win?
Two...who is the enemy? Assad is a butcher. So are the others. These people have been killing each other for centuries.
Three...other than striking out because we're morally outraged, what is the objective? Hell, I'm morally outraged at the NCGOP. They're killing people too.

Finally, who will remember and honor our dead and take care of their families? Answer...no one....based on reality.

If Obama wants to fight, reinstitute the draft. Take the children and grandchildren of Congress and all the execs of the MIC in the first round. THEN...we might get some realism from these fools in Washington

Stan Bozarth

Stan

You nailed it.

Agree, Stan

I have been listening to MSNBC, particularly Chris Matthews. I have tried to keep an open mind, though I abhor all violence, especially war. For me this is personal and political.

My son is a veteran (Navy, Gulf I). Stories my son and my brother (Army Intelligence, Vietnam War) have told me make me less confident that what will happen on the sea and on the ground are what we set out to do. There truly is a "fog of war" and we always end up counting the bodies of men, women, and children as "collateral damage," and we always have unintended consequences.

Better to follow former President Carter's advice and pursue political means first, rather than last.

Martha Brock