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Old 09-09-2013, 11:05 PM   #106
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #107
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sounds like good news?

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PARIS (AP) — Syria has accepted a proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for dismantling, the Syrian foreign minister said Tuesday, as France proposed a U.N. resolution that would enforce the plan militarily if the government failed to follow through.

The moves are part of flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at averting Western military action. Speaking in Moscow, Walid al-Moallem said his government quickly agreed to the plan to "thwart U.S. aggression" — an allusion to possible U.S.-led strikes in retaliation for a deadly Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus that Western powers blame on the Syrian regime. Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied the claim.

Russia, Syria's most powerful ally, is now working with Damascus to prepare a detailed plan of action that will be presented soon, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. Russia will then be ready to finalize the plan with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Al-Moallem's brief statement sounded more definitive than his remarks a day earlier, when he said Damascus welcomed Russia's initiative. He did not provide any details about how Syria might comply.

Western officials have expressed caution about possible stalling tactics or efforts to wriggle out of international pressure by Assad's regime in Syria, where more than 100,000 people have died in more than two years of civil war.

Al-Moallem's response came after France said it would put forward the resolution in the U.N. Security Council aimed at forcing Syria to ultimately dismantle its chemical weapons program. France, like Russia, a permanent member of the 15-nation council, will start the resolution process Tuesday under a part of the U.N. charter that is militarily enforceable, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said at a quickly arranged news conference in Paris.

The proposal would also condemn the chemical weapons attack.

Question of enforcement casts cloud on Syria plan
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:35 PM   #108
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Lets just hope it actually happens. Sounds like great news though. Gave Obama room to backtrack as well.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:17 PM   #109
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The Putin proposal (capitalizing on an off-the-cuff remark by Kerry) avoids unnecessary bloodshed (by the US) and gives Obama room to backtrack on the red line comment.

At the same time, Syria is the clear beneficiary as it will have more time to determine which chemical weapons to surrender (I doubt the UN has the complete inventory cataloged).

I bet the speech writers have been working in high gear given the rather significant change in focus of tonight's speech.
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:20 PM   #110
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I'm glad that we're not getting involved... but at the same time Obama has looked incredibly week on this whole thing. I half expected him to bomb Syria just so Putin wouldn't think he was a puss.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:29 AM   #111
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I don't understand why people keep saying that Obama has looked weak/bad on this issue. I can't really imagine doing much differently given the circumstances.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:13 AM   #112
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I don't understand why people keep saying that Obama has looked weak/bad on this issue. I can't really imagine doing much differently given the circumstances.
I think the issue has been a lack of clarity in terms of a position one way or the other. If you're going to draw a red line in the sand, you need to back it up. If you don't want to be put in a position to have to do that, don't go there. If you're going to rattle your saber, make sure you have the intelligence that will stand up to scrutiny. If you don't want Congressional approval, don't ask for it. If you do, don't come out hard and then backtrack. If you want the chemical weapons turned over, say that. (I think a smarter way to play it would be to demand that Assad step down. That wouldn't fly though.) There's a firm, principled stance, there's a nuanced stance, there's an evolving stance, and then there's a stance that seems inept. Unfortunately this situation feels like the last.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:39 AM   #113
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Obama totally took the wrong side but played his government card entirely right. So I'm neutral towards him on this.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:08 AM   #114
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I don't understand why people keep saying that Obama has looked weak/bad on this issue. I can't really imagine doing much differently given the circumstances.
If you're a parent, and you tell your child that if they act a certain way there will be specific consequences... and then they act that way and you do nothing... What would stop the child from acting that way again?


Again... I'm glad we're not starting anything in Syria. But Obama drew a line in the sand, and then backed away from the line after the other side crossed it... allowing a rival to come in and offer a "solution" instead.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:35 AM   #115
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If you're a parent, and you tell your child that if they act a certain way there will be specific consequences... and then they act that way and you do nothing... What would stop the child from acting that way again?
I don't want to defend Obama as I think this has been a rather large clusterfuck, but what you wrote isn't analogous.

Obama only ex post facto stated his red line; that is, after the chemical weapons were used, he said he intended to "re-establish international norms" whatever that means. You are suggesting that he issued such a warning and then AFTER doing so, the Syrians used chemical weapons. Which isn't how things played out.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:44 AM   #116
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I don't want to defend Obama as I think this has been a rather large clusterfuck, but what you wrote isn't analogous.

Obama only ex post facto stated his red line; that is, after the chemical weapons were used, he said he intended to "re-establish international norms" whatever that means. You are suggesting that he issued such a warning and then AFTER doing so, the Syrians used chemical weapons. Which isn't how things played out.
Ummm...

Quote:
"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus. That would change my equation."

– Barack Obama, August 20, 2012
...?
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:58 AM   #117
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"As the President said yesterday in terms of Syria, we’re watching very closely the stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons; that any use or proliferation of efforts related to those chemical weapons is something that would be very serious and it would be a grave mistake.

"There are important international obligations that the Syrian regime must live up to in terms of the handling of their chemical weapons. And the officials who have that responsibility will be held accountable for their actions and will be held accountable for living up to those international obligations." -White House spokesman Josh Earnest, August 21, 2012
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Because of our concern about the deteriorating situation in Syria, the president has made it clear that the use of chemical weapons_ or transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist groups – is a red line for the United States of America. The Obama administration has communicated that message publicly and privately to governments around the world, including the Assad regime.

-Letter on Syria sent to John McCain and Carl Levin by White House, April 2013
?
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:14 AM   #118
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OK, fair enough. I was looking at it with more of an emphasis of the difference in approach/language used after the fact.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:35 PM   #119
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Hollywood silent on Obama & Syria

Why are the same people who loudly opposed the war in Iraq silent today?

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Asner said the lack of an organized effort against war in Syria is a matter of timing. Bush took months to make the case for war in Iraq, giving the antiwar left plenty of time to prepare a response.

"It will be a done deal before Hollywood is mobilized," Asner said. "This country will either bomb the hell out of Syria or not before Hollywood gets off its ass."

Also, said Asner, unsuccessful efforts to prevent war in Iraq led to complacency among left-wing activists.

"We had a million people in the streets, for Christ's sake, protesting Iraq, which was about as illegal as you could find. Did it matter? Is George Bush being tried in the high courts of justice?" asks Asner. "We've been so God-damned stung in this country by false wars, repeatedly, that, how can you believe in any just war with the history we have had?"

Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Asner, is fear of being called racist.

"A lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama," he said.
1. We haven't had the time to organize.
2. We've gotten lazy.
3. We'll be called racists for opposing Obama
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:57 PM   #120
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When we wanted to find the WMD in Iraq, and didn't, isn't is possible they were moved to Syria ? U.S. probably dropped the ball on that.

Obama flip flops a lot but his threat to bomb Syria is what has prompted Putin to intervene and appear as the mediator, so the threat in a sense worked with or without Congressional approval and support of the people. The problem is, the U.S. doesn't know the amount of chemical weapons Syria has or where they are at.

I fear these chemical weapons will make their way into the hands of terror groups such as Hezbollah. More attacks on civilians are inevitable if the weapons can't be accounted for.
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