Should US bomb Syria?

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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.

notice that Obama hasn't made this argument vis-a-vis the American people.

remember how Bush/Cheney/Condi went around in the fall of 2002 pretending that the non-existent Iraqi WMDs had to be found lest Saddam suddenly float a nuke up the East River and level Manhattan? remember Cheney's 1% doctrine? remember Condi's talk of "mushroom clouds"? remember orange alerts?

thank goodness we're finally moving on and acting like adults again.
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.

Hezbollah is not a terrorist group in the same sense that al Qaeda is a terrorist group. Fearing Hezbollah getting chemical weapons is like fearing Iran does. Now, I know that doesn't sound like... good or anything... but Iran is still far from AQ if you know what I mean.
Sensing sarcasm, why do you think a liberal activist like Asner would say this?

Asner is an old man.

"anti-black"? that's my (deceased) grand mother talking. he speaks for no one but himself. nor do i think this is an issue that needs much attention, especially since there's no call for a full-scale ground invasion. there are no comparisons to be made between Syria and Iraq. it's like comparing a barrel of apples to a single grape.

the article also answers these questions.

what's more interesting is how the far left and the far right have lots of things in common, like mindless derision of a moderate, temperate, centrist president:

Farrell and Asner both say that beating the war drums on Syria is one of many mistakes Obama has made.

"I voted for him, but I'm not proud. He hasn't thrown himself on the funeral pyre. I wanted him to sacrifice himself. Instead, he has proved himself to be a corporatist, and as long as he's a corporatist, he's not my president," Asner said. "A lot of people have lost hope -- with the betrayals, the NSA spying ... People aren't getting active because 'Who gives a shit?' is essentially the bottom line."
Hezbollah is not a terrorist group in the same sense that al Qaeda is a terrorist group. Fearing Hezbollah getting chemical weapons is like fearing Iran does. Now, I know that doesn't sound like... good or anything... but Iran is still far from AQ if you know what I mean.

Israel may feel differently
This whole thing seems so strange. Here are some things I don't understand (there are many, but these are the ones on my mind tonight):

1) Why would Assad use chemical weapons and "give them up" so easily, after claiming he never had them? By most estimates - the chemical weapons had zero military impact.
2) How in the world would know "for certain" that the CW were gone? Would we need to search every basement in the country? How many ppl would that take? That's the thing about CW - you can easily hide it.
3) Where is the evidence the Syrian Government used them? We know they were used, but I haven't seen the smoking gun on who it was
4) How in the world would anyone trust Russia to safely gather the CW?
5) Still no mention that these chemical weapons were perhaps Saddam Hussein's - is it really that impossible to believe? All things considered?
6) How do you "bomb" a CW facility without unleashing them?
7) How can the world support a rebel force that is probably worse than the existing government?
8) Is it just me - or does this whole thing just seem too damn strange to really believe?
9) What would the US do if another CW attack happens?
10) Does anyone think this is baiting Iran into doing something foolish so we can have the moral authority to attack?
Oh, the same Israel that is just as much of an aggressor in their personal conflict?

Should not be our concern. Israel is not the United States.

Whatever Israel Wants.

Could care less honestly, was just pointing out that chemical weapons in the hands of Hezbollah would be something for Israel to fear.

Just discussion here, I don't think the U.S. should be involved with this nonsense in any way, really isn't our concern.
what's more interesting is how the far left and the far right have lots of things in common, like mindless derision of a moderate, temperate, centrist president:

Been saying it for years...same thing happened to Bush 41 and Clinton. Both of the idealist wing nuts in their own party turned against them.
And if the next President is HRC or Chris Christie, it will happen to them too.

Avoid the extremes and leave your idealism back in your naive youth, people.

Strict ideology is for fools, as no strict ideology has ever worked. The things that work in govt are complicated mixes of policy that, usually, the extremes can't stomach. And idealism has no place in a conversation taking place between rational, fair-minded, thoughtful people.

And yet, our national political discourse is almost entirely polluted by extremism and idealism. Because those are the wedges that the politicians use to win elections. And it works, which is why it'll never stop. Wise up, folks.
Americans do a much, much better job at killing other Americans with assault weapons than Al Qaeda could ever dream.
Obama outfoxes the GOP yet again, and pulls us further out of the Bush/Cheney nightmare and into a world where different countries actually work together to deal with complex problems in troubled areas.

G.O.P. Expresses Hope as Obama Praises Syria Deal
Published: September 15, 2013 181 Comments

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s Congressional critics expressed guarded optimism about an agreement reached with Russia over the weekend to seize and destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, even as Mr. Obama hailed the diplomatic effort as a “foundation” that could lead to a political settlement in that country’s civil war.

Mr. Obama said in an interview that was broadcast on Sunday that the United States was in a “better position” to prevent President Bashar al-Assad of Syria from using poison gas again because of the deal produced by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister.

“Look, we’re not there yet,” Mr. Obama said in the interview, taped Friday, with George Stephanopoulos for the ABC News program “This Week.” “We don’t have an actual, verifiable deal that will begin that process. But the distance that we’ve traveled over these couple of weeks is remarkable.”

In interviews on Sunday, lawmakers in Washington described the agreement as a risky one, with potential benefits for stability in the Middle East if it succeeds and huge risks for Mr. Obama — both abroad and at home — if it fails. Several senators said Mr. Obama would deserve credit for avoiding a military strike if the chemical weapons could be eliminated in the midst of a civil war.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who just days earlier had described Mr. Obama as seeming “uncomfortable” in the role of commander in chief, said the president may have turned a “muddled” and “clunky” foreign policy response into a tentative diplomatic win.

“It’s hard for anybody to pooh-pooh the idea that we may be on the way to a diplomatic solution,” said Mr. Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Another Republican, Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, said the United States now had the opportunity to “parlay” the negotiations over chemical weapons into broader talks to find a political end to Syria’s civil war and the removal of Mr. Assad from power.

“If the framework can actually be implemented, obviously it will be a big step in the right direction,” Mr. Johnson said. Of Mr. Obama and his strategy, he said: “I hope it works out. I truly do. If he succeeds with this framework, people have to give him credit.”

But senators from both parties also expressed deep concern about the possibility that the diplomacy could fail, perhaps spectacularly, and that Mr. Obama’s actions over the past two weeks had strengthened the credibility of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at the expense of America’s reputation around the world.

“I have to be honest with you, it’s also fraught with danger,” said Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey. “The president will reap whatever achievements can be gleaned from this agreement — if it is successful.”

In the ABC interview, Mr. Obama said his critics had been judging him on the style but not the substance of his policies during the past several weeks. He said he was not concerned with earning “style points” in the conduct of foreign policy, and he pointed to President George W. Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq as an example of making the wrong call.

“Had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and linear, they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy,” Mr. Obama said, adding, “We know that, because that’s exactly how they graded the Iraq war.”

After watching the interview, Mr. Johnson said Mr. Obama’s international credibility would be repaired somewhat if the chemical weapons were neutralized through the diplomatic process. But he said that did not excuse some of the choices the president had made.

“This process has not been particularly stylish. It hasn’t been pretty,” Mr. Johnson said. “Unfortunately, President Obama’s credibility hasn’t been strengthened.”

Lawmakers expressed concern and appreciation of Mr. Putin’s role. Some, like Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said Russia’s willingness to be at the center of negotiations over the chemical weapons may foreshadow a willingness to be part of talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war.

“If the parties are at the table negotiating over this chemical weapons issue,” Mr. Kaine said in an interview, such talks might eventually “roll right over to a negotiated resolution to the overall civil war.”

But others said they were dismayed that Mr. Putin, as Mr. Corker put it, now had his “hands firmly on the steering wheel of this policy.” And Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Mr. Obama had been badly outmaneuvered by a cannier opponent who, he said, had gotten everything he wanted.

“Right now, we are being led by the nose by Putin through this horrible morass that is the United Nations,” Mr. Rogers said on the CNN program “State of the Union.” “He wanted Assad there. He gets to keep his warm-water port, he gets to keep his military contracts, and he gives breathing space to both Hezbollah, which is fighting on behalf of Assad, and Assad.”

Mr. Obama, in the television interview, responded to criticism that by seizing control of the diplomatic efforts, Mr. Putin has been “playing” his American counterpart. He said the Russian president did not have the same “values” as the United States, but still played an important role in the Syrian conflict.

“I welcome him being involved,” Mr. Obama said. “I welcome him saying, ‘I will take responsibility for pushing my client, the Assad regime, to deal with these chemical weapons.’ ”

Mr. Obama added that despite the recent disagreements between the United States and Russia over a variety of issues — including the granting of temporary asylum to Edward J. Snowden, who is wanted by the United States government for leaking classified documents — the two presidents were still able to work together on issues like the chemical weapons in Syria.

“I know that sometimes this gets framed or looked at through the lens of the U.S. versus Russia, but that’s not what this is about,” he said.

it's certainly not over, and it could all fall apart. but, as has been the case since 2007, Obama plays chess while everyone else play checkers.
I think it's more like Chutes and Ladders. It really comes across that he's just winging it and that he hopes it all works out.

At least it's better than the Hungry Hungry Hippos era of Bush/Cheney, or the Candyland of Reagan.
To me it comes across more so he wanted to bomb Syria, but with the majority of the world yelling 'NO' or dubious about bombing at best, and with only a select few voices in the US supporting such a view, he had no choice but to look for alternatives. I'd figure if Bush and co had come up against a similar reaction it may have stalled them (though the gears of war were fully winding up for a decade since the first Gulf War and I'm doubtful anything would have stopped it).

I think Obama's current diplomacy is just a happy accident
Can anyone articulate Obama’s foreign policy goals in the Middle East? We’re not hearing it from the Washington and Putin stepped into the leadership vacuum in the White House to direct the Syrian situation.

If the best we get is the broken record of “at least he’s still better than Bush” – we’re all in trouble.
my board game comment was in jest.

it seems an enormous foreign policy goal has already been achieved -- Assad has been disarmed of his chemical weapons via diplomacy and not having to go through the impasse of China and Russia at the UN, and a framework for dealing with Iran and nuclear power has been etched out. note the progress:

Iranian President Rohani Prepared to Decomission Nuclear Site - SPIEGEL ONLINE

it's incredibly easy to continue to criticize, but it can't be that easy to actively root against a president to make mistakes at the expense of everyone else.
Not sure if this is the dedicated Syria thread or what but this is pretty damn sad



Syria's heritage in ruins: before-and-after pictures | World news | The Guardian
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