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Archive for Friday, September 6, 2013

Editorial: Dangerous fork

President Obama’s decision concerning action against Syria will have a far-reaching impact around the world.

September 6, 2013

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For five-plus years, President Obama has talked about working with Republicans in Congress, but there is little evidence he has been sincere in this nice-sounding campaign pledge.

The record shows he has given a cold shoulder to Republicans and has been highly partisan in his dealings with Congress.

Now, as he faces an extremely dangerous and complex situation in Syria, he is calling in top GOP leaders and asking, some say begging, for their support of his limited strike,” “shot over the bow” plan of action against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Obama, his senior aides an advisers must have been shocked when our nation’s closest ally, Great Britain, refused to back his action plan. Growing numbers of Democrat and GOP members of Congress seem to be backing away from a quick endorsement of the Obama blueprint. Now, Obama is denying he set the so-called “red line,” which, if crossed by Syrian leaders, would trigger a strong response by U.S. military forces. He claims the “world,” not he, set this red line. He said his credibility is not being questioned.

Regardless, the red line first was crossed almost a year ago and again several weeks ago, when poison gas was used against rebel forces and Syrian civilians. Obama’s bluff was called, and now he is asking Congress to cover him by authorizing “limited action” against Assad.

The current debate over the effectiveness of a cosmetic “pinprick” limited attack, along with questions about the final objectives and goals of a military strike or the possible engagement of neighboring countries has caused wavering among many in Congress. Various observers have said that, right now, it is a toss-up whether Congress will give the green light for action against Syria.

Unfortunately, a majority of Americans do not have confidence in the abilities of Obama to handle the complex and dangerous situation that he has allowed to grow in Syria over the past several years. He claims it is not his reputation, but rather the reputation of America and the world, that is on the line if the U.S. does not take strong action against Assad.

The current situation and how it is handled or resolved represents a huge fork in the road for Obama and his level of effectiveness for the remaining years of his presidency. Likewise, in many ways, his inaction over past years also had placed this country at a fork in the road as to its reputation throughout the world among both allies and enemies.

Comments

Richard Heckler 7 months, 1 week ago

Some ideas and a pertinent question.

Why did the GOP Deliberately crash the USA economy? http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/09/did-republicans-deliberately-crash-us-economy

Let’s use 10 easy ways to fund what we need to do. Fiscally responsible indeed. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/10-easy-ways-avoid-fiscal-cliff

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Richard Heckler 7 months, 1 week ago

The focus of the USA should be:

--- STOP GOP OBSTRUCTION OF NEW ECONOMIC GROWTH!!!!!

--- Removing right wing anti American GOP legislators from government.

--- Reining in the CIA and military spending.

--- Jobs jobs jobs and more jobs.

--- Medicare Single Payer which would create an estimated 2.4 million jobs.

--- Get the massive highway rehab underway.

--- Bring on cleaner energy. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/big_picture_solutions/climate-2030-blueprint.html

--- Replacing the anti american rt wing GOP with the Green Party.

--- Electing a whole lot of new democrats.

--- Funding education to the max = new business and new employment.

--- Break up the big banks.

--- Put the home loan criminals in jail!!!!!!

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Mike Ford 7 months, 1 week ago

I remember a president that was a figurehead.....I remember a vice president who was a warmonger going back to Reagan......I remember believe our lie or you're un American and all of the chest thumpers and flag wavers. The US Congress has plenary powers but these tealicans don't care whether there's an empirical reason for the US Government to function......they don't want it to from the get go. How can anyone with a concept of sanity say anything bad about the path the President is taking? unlike Bush he's consulting the US Congress like he's supposed to do. Must I remind the tantrum throwers and people who make stuff up why things aren't working as they should because these tealican children refuse to stop saying no until their tantrums are rewarded. I hope they're never rewarded.

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oldbaldguy 7 months, 1 week ago

the bigger picture here, is the background, training, experience, judgment, knowledge, intelligence, and charisma required to be an effective President. Who is showing up in 2016?

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Gary Anderson 7 months, 1 week ago

The President has gotten nearly every Republican to vote NO to bombing a foreign country just because he said we should...tomorrow I hope he tells congress how much he loves guns and hates the environment!

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Stop_the_Madness 7 months, 1 week ago

We have a president who is in way over his head. The only reason he was elected in 2008 is the lack of competition for McCain (video poker player in the Senate) and Palin (totally incompetent). Obama has no face that can be saved so there is no reason to waste money we do not have for an effort with no objective. Our record vs. the weakest opponents speaks for itself. Congress need to tell him no so he can pout in the corner.

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Trumbull 7 months, 1 week ago

No way should we be getting involved in this. This is a civil war. There is no "red line" when it comes to good guys and bad guys. Probably a mix of both on each side.

This is a UN issue all the way. I cannot believe that we are even having this debate in congress. Have we not learned anything. Just about everything the US gets involved in post WWII is an utter disaster and waste of human life.

It is also a waste in quality of life for us here. What could we have done with all of the resources we flushed down the toilet in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan?

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Armstrong 7 months, 1 week ago

Does the rest of the world realize just how truly dangerous the US has become within the last 5 years. Really, these clowns running our country have the rest of the world laughing at our incompetence to the extent they may actually hurt themselves. Stupid trumping stupid has made this country a complete military, economic and foreign policy joke. Mercifully the laugh factory will cease to exist in 2016.

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Timothy Eugene 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Let's go kill Syrians because if we don't the Syrians will keep killing Syrians!

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George Lippencott 7 months, 2 weeks ago

So we propose to shoot up Syria at a million dollars a missile. This is supposed to be enough to teach a lesson but not enough to change the regime. As an aside I wonder when war became that precise. We are to do this because chemical weapons are bad and using them a violation of the world order

. Now if the world is offended where are they? The UN should be in the lead. Back channel support is not support. If Turkey and Iraq closed their airspace, France blockaded the Syrian coast and Europe supported the “good” rebels this would all settle out without much more bloodshed - but the UN needs to play.

If we shoot unilaterally as the US we are in a sense declaring war on the nation calling itself Syria. It has a right to retaliate. If it does do we then shoot more missiles? What if retaliation comes as poison gas in our Metro in DC? Do we shoot more missiles and if so at whom. What if Iran shoots at Israel? Do we shoot at Iran? Does Israel shoot at Iran? If Iran shoots at American ships or our bases in the region do we shoot even more at Iran. This can go on ad nausea. Are we prepared to keep upping the ante until - what - we nuke Iran?

We did this in Vietnam, we did it in Iraq, and we did it in Afghanistan. In each case we were not prepared to keep escalating. Our opponents called our bluff. We all know about the resultant mess. Who among us wants the job of telling the wives and families of our lost warriors that their efforts were in vain because our politicians did not appreciate the nature and discipline of our enemies.

If we are not prepared to escalate up to and including nuclear weapons against Iran we best stay out of this mess or we will add Syria to the trilogy of lost causes of the last half century.

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weeslicket 7 months, 2 weeks ago

it's not saturday until tomorrow.

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Keith 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"For five-plus years, President Obama has talked about working with Republicans in Congress, but there is little evidence he has been sincere in this nice-sounding campaign pledge."

More humor in the editorial page.

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James Minor 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The Syrian conflict requires UN intervention, not US intervention. If this is a violation of world security and the UN does not require equal participation from other countries, the US must wait this one out until the world sees what the US is talking about. We can't always be the ones risking our lives, national security, and finances, while other countries sit back and do nothing. Obama has a good heart and mind regarding why we must intervene, but the US won't stop this conflict with bombing or a full scale attack. Syria must settle it on their own and if they don't like their leader and way of life then they must change it, and America should let it happen.

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smileydog 7 months, 2 weeks ago

The only way Obama gets Congress to back his plan of action is if he has the scoop on our elected officials from his widespread surveillance of emails and phone calls, to blackmail them into submission.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 months, 2 weeks ago

If we hadn't invaded Europe in 1944, we would be witnessing Hitler and his descendants murdering the last vestiges of the Jewish race. And probebly speaking German.

So this is what we want.

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optimist 7 months, 2 weeks ago

NO! Are we kidding? There is no lesser evil here. Both sides of this civil war are evil to the core. At least the Assad regime has been less than anti-American. In the absence of a pro-American or at least a pro-Liberty side to this war there is no place for US military intervention. If we bomb them what will actually be accomplished? We run the risk of collateral damage for no gain. Lastly, every politician has promised no "boots on the ground". If this intervention isn't worth risking American lives then it is not in our interests to take part. The President is flat wrong and his "red line" shows what a foreign policy neophyte he really is.

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Larry Moss 7 months, 2 weeks ago

He shouldn't have been sticking his thumb in everybody's eye who disagreed with him over the last few years. A little give and take then might have paid dividends today. There aren't going to be any backdoor, midnight deals to pass this resolution.

The President has to a large extent not lead here at home and now it's clear he can't lead Internationally. Failing to finalize victory in Iraq, Unclear vision in Afghanistan, Little help guiding Egypt. Deathly silent in Iran's uprising. Libya a complete failure with terrorist calmly walking the streets. The reset button with Russia reset to the cold war.

No, the time to act in Syria was two years ago when we could easily tell who revolutionaries were. Now it's hard to tell who is a revolutionary and who is an international terrorist. So, if we bomb them, do we blow up the WMD? How many might die from that release of gas? Even if we did, we wouldn't get all of them. What then? Assad use the rest to kill maybe 10's of thousands? No boots on the ground, so we can't go in a secure them. If we take Assad down and the rebels take over what might they do with the WMD?

Nope, this situation has gotten beyond simple solutions. Blame whoever you want but, at this point we might be better off upping the support to the rebels and keeping our powder dry for Iran. Who is watching in wonderment calculating their next moves.

Oh, and on a final note, @^)?! Russia and their Dictator Putzin!

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Obama is very smart. He has tossed this hot potato to the U.S. Congress knowing full well that the congress will do absolutely nothing. This gets him off the hook. The Republican infected congress will never agree to anything the black dude non-citizen in the White House requests and the President knows this full well.

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fmrl 7 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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pc9323 7 months, 2 weeks ago

What message are we sending as US backed rebels commit war crimes in plain sight?

Search Militants kill Syrian soldiers execution style: Video

To take action search Demand a NO vote on US attacks on Syria

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Lynn731 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Obama is a liar. It has been shown again and again that we cannot believe a word he says. He lies so much, that even he has great difficulty separating truth from fiction. The only extent we should be involved in Syria is to arm the rebels, but only after we know who we are arming. We must determine that they are not terrorists and that they would not be as bad as Assad. We must be certain that it will not hurt Israel. We have been promising to assist them way too long. If it is to be done, the determination and assistance should have been done long ago. Quit promising to help them, and do nothing.

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