Jul
03
2014
8

White House debating whether to ally with… God help us… Syria.

You have got to be… kidding me.

There’s a battle raging inside the Obama administration about whether the United States ought to push away from its goal of toppling Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and into a de facto alliance with the Damascus regime to fight ISIS and other Sunni extremists in the region.

As President Obama slowly but surely increases the U.S. military presence on the ground in Iraq, his administration is grappling with the immediate need to stop the ISIS advance and push for a political solution in Baghdad. The 3 1/2-year grinding civil war is Syria has been put on a back burner for now. Some officials inside the administration are proposing that the drive to remove Assad from power, which Obama announced as U.S. policy in 2012, be set aside, too. The focus, these officials argue, should instead be on the region’s security and stability. Governments fighting for survival against extremists should be shored up, not undermined.

(more…)

Jul
03
2014
9

A lot of weird details about this alleged American jihadi nurse story.

Starting with the title:

The American nurse, 19, arrested at Denver airport as she prepared ‘to join and fight with ISIS militant who seduced her on Skype and wanted to make her his wife in Syria’

A 19-year-old Denver woman has been arrested on terrorism charges for allegedly plotting to travel to Syria and join an Islamist extremist she had met online and was planning to marry.

Since when did we start cranking out nurses at 19?

(more…)

Sep
14
2013
3

Put Vladimir Putin’s name in the Little Book.

You know, the one with Later For YOU written on the cover.

The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on an outline for the identification and seizure of Syrian chemical weapons and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week.

[snip]

Senior administration officials had said Friday the Obama administration would not press for U.N. authorization to use force against Syria if it reneges on any agreement to give up its chemical weapons.

The Russians had made clear in talks here between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Kerry that the negotiations could not proceed under the threat of a U.N. resolution authorizing a military strike. Russia also wanted assurances that a resolution would not refer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the International Criminal Court for possible war-crimes prosecution.

(more…)

Sep
12
2013
8

Somebody please tell me that we’re *not* giving guns to groups shooting at Kurds.

Because that would not be smart. Pejman Yousefzadeh:

This story informs us that “the CIA has been delivering light machine guns and other small arms to Syrian rebels for several weeks, following President Barack Obama’s decision to arm the rebels.” It also informs us that “in the northeastern province of Hassakeh, clashes pitting Kurdish fighters against members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in the past two days killed 13 Kurdish gunmen and 35 militants.” So, armed rebel groups are fighting other armed rebel groups, some of which are Islamic fundamentalist militants related to al Qaeda. Query: How do we know that the weapons that we are providing to “Syrian rebels” don’t fall into the hands of the wrong kind of “rebels”?

Short answer: we don’t. We don’t even know that the Obama administration has the necessary mother-wit to even ask the right questions.  Which means that we could very well be arming the people who are shooting at affiliates of one of our most reliable client groups.  Which, again, is not smart.

I mean, the seriously, Kurds are enthusiastic when it comes to accommodating Uncle Sugar; can we not endanger that, please?

Moe Lane

Sep
09
2013
4

NYT beating the “Woe is us, and our politics!” drum on #Syria.

1,121 words (or thereabouts) in this Frank Bruni NYT article whining about how Syria is being seen in terms of the 2016 Presidential election, and not a one of them takes the time to even remotely blame the true reason why that’s happening: it’s happening because the current administration has shown a demented genius in taking the small (and moderate, but decreasing) foreign affairs problems it inherited from the last administration and turning them into big problems.  Under the circumstances, I think that the Beltway Establishment can be permitted a certain nervous apprehension, and even a certain stubborn emphasis on discussing who should be in the next administration.

Because God knows that Barack Obama is kind of useless, right now.  Which is probably one reason why Bruni’s so upset; it’s always a tribulation when one’s idol turns out to have feet of clay.

Via Hot Air.

Moe Lane

PS: God, but I am getting tired of writing about Syria. Yeah, I know: try living there, right now, so I should just count my blessings.  And I should.

Sep
09
2013
1

No, New York Times, a Yes on #Syria will not make us do the Democrats’ bidding.

Let me just nip this errant nonsense right in the bud:

Some Obama loyalists make the case that the Syria resolution, if approved, could lead to other successes. Working across party lines might prove contagious, precipitating a search for more common ground.

…because it caters to a peculiar delusion of the Democratic party: to wit, that the reason why there has been (blessedly) gridlock in Congress since 2011 is because of partisanship.

No.

The reason why there has been gridlock in Congress since 2011 is because in 2010 the Republican party was able to elect enough federal legislators to make our collective opinions relevant, particularly the one that goes The Democrats are flipping wrong on the economy. It boils down to this: the other side had two years of full control of the government, and they spent it passing Obamacare and the Lily Ledbetter Act*. Oh, and going outhouse crazy with new levels of deficit spending; levels that they’ve been trying to make the new normal ever since.  Democratic reflexes, in other words, are lacking when it comes to a sour economy; which is merely me finding a polite way to suggest that the typical Democrat with access to the treasury is like the average rat with the pleasure center of its brain wired to the red, candy-like button under its paw**. (more…)

Sep
08
2013
--

@barackobama trying to get one more pail of water from the Lefty well for #Syria vote.

Request: “Obama Personally Lobbies Lawmakers on Syria

Likely response from liberal Democrats – well, at least from the ones who really mean it: (more…)

Sep
07
2013
7

House decides to let Senate be on the hook for #Syria.

Which is the smart call, by the way.

The House could push back a vote on a resolution authorizing military strikes on Syria by as long as a week, according to a memo Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sent to Republican lawmakers Friday.

“Understanding that there are differing opinions on both sides of the aisle, it is up to President Obama to make the case to Congress and to the American people that this is the right course of action,” Cantor wrote in a memo outlining the House GOP’s fall agenda. “Members should expect a robust debate and vote on an authorization of use of military force pertaining to Syria in the next two weeks.”

(more…)

Sep
06
2013
17

Attention, Republican legislators: let the Democrats vote FIRST.

As I have said, many times: I do not know what the right answer is when it comes to intervening in Syria.  Every option is bad, with negative consequences and poor results.  If  I was a Member of Congress I would be frantically trying to go through what information I have available, in order to determine the least-worst scenario and vote for that.  Because of all of that, I cannot in good conscience call for Members of Congress (Republican AND Democrat) to do anything except vote their consciences: if I don’t have the right answer myself, I shouldn’t try to second-guess a legislator’s own sense of morality.

But I will so totally give tactical advice on when to vote.  Glenn Reynolds’ advice here is spot-on:

If I were the GOP — in both the House and Senate — I wouldn’t let a single Republican vote be cast until all the Democrats have voted.

(more…)

Sep
05
2013
7

CBC ordered to shaddap and sit down until White House can dictate their #Syria position for them.

This is not a headline that the Obama administration particularly wanted to see.

Congressional Black Caucus Instructed to Hold Tongue on Syria

As an increasing number of African-American lawmakers voice dissent over the Obama administration’s war plans in Syria, the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) [Martha Fudge, OH-11] has asked members to “limit public comment” on the issue until they are briefed by senior administration officials.

A congressional aide to a CBC member called the request “eyebrow-raising,” in an interview with The Cable, and said the request was designed to quiet dissent while shoring up support for President Obama’s Syria strategy.

…particularly since it’s coming from The Cable.  That it is showing up there is pretty telling, not least because it means that – oh, rarest of cases! – the Beltway Establishment is as leery of intervening in Syria as the rest of the country is. (more…)

Written by in: Politics | Tags: ,
Sep
05
2013
6

Rooting for injuries in its purest domestic form: Jim Moran vs. Charlie Rangel.

This is practically the Platonic Ideal of Let’s You And Him Fight:

Representative Jim Moran of Virginia, a Democrat known for his bullying behavior and loyalty to the Democratic House leadership, scolded Representative Charles Rangel of New York over his opposition to intervention in Syria on MSNBC on Tuesday night. Moran said that, because “we have the world’s largest military,” the U.S. has a responsibility to “do the right thing” and intervene. He bluntly told Rangel, a Korean War veteran, that “not only is your position wrong, but you’re going to cripple our president for the next 40 months.”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is going to be the measure of just how viciously the administration is going to try to whip – yes, I do think that my choice of metaphor is deliberate – its Congressional wing back into line. Jim Moran going Full Metal Neocon on Charlie Rangel, complete with a stealth deployment of the race card*?  Truly, these are strange days. (more…)

Sep
05
2013
--

Organizing for Action acting to avoid organizing over #Syria.

This should not surprise.

The awkward position in which progressive allies of President Barack Obama find themselves can be seen clearly in the actions of his former political arm, now called Organizing for Action, which despite the need for activists to lobby Congress to support the president’s call for military strikes, is essentially voting “present.”

Capitol Hill is all but singularly focused on Obama’s push for congressional authorization to use force in Syria, and the president has canceled a trip to California next week to devote his time and energy to lobbying lawmakers.

But in his weekly call with grassroots supporters, held this week on Tuesday, the executive director of OFA, Jon Carson, said of Syria, “OFA isn’t planning to actively organize on this with so much going on on other issues.”

(more…)

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