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President Obama Seeks Approval For Syria Strike

President Obama seeks Congressional approval for a strike on Syria. We look at the latest.

President Barack Obama makes a statement about the crisis in Syria in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (AP)

President Barack Obama makes a statement about the crisis in Syria in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (AP)

What a shift of gears on Syria.  From what felt like “Full steam ahead and bombs away” to “Well, let’s take it to Congress.”  Let’s debate.  Let’s see.  President Obama’s Saturday address and call for a Congressional vote came at the end of a week of high dudgeon, full-on moral outrage over chemical attacks outside Damascus and American warships on the move.

Now, Washington has hit the pause button.  Will Congress support the President’s call for military action?  Not clear.

This hour, On Point:  the reluctant warrior, Barack Obama, waits on Syria – and what that means.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jim Michaels, military reporter for USA Today. (@jimmichaels)

Nancy Cordes, congressional correspondent for CBS News. (@nancycordes)

Aaron David Miller, public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. From 1978 to 2003 he advised six U.S. secretaries of state on Middle East policy and Arab-Israeli negotiations. (@aarondmiller2)

Paul Pillar, visiting professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University. 28-year veteran of the CIA, where he was one of the Agency’s top analysts.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Obama Seeks Approval by Congress for Strike in Syria – “President Obama abruptly changed course on Saturday and postponed a military strike against the Syrian government in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack so he could seek authorization first from a deeply skeptical Congress.”

Los Angeles Times: President Obama’s U-turn on Syria is a gamble – “But after less than an hour’s stroll, Obama returned to the Oval Office and stunned his mostly new second-term national security team. He tapped the brakes on a military operation he had set in motion a week ago.”

CBS News: Obama’s request for congressional approval on a Syria strike marks “retreat,” Syrian state media says — “A Syrian state-run newspaper on Sunday called President Barack Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval before taking military action against Syria ‘the start of the historic American retreat.’”

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  • Mike_Card

    Oh, just do what Carter did: boycott the Olympics. Middle East people are all nuts, and will continue to kill themselves and others for no reasons discernible to outsiders. Just stand back and allow it to burn itself out.

    • Jon

      what if you were an Olympian? agree with the rest comments.

      • 1Brett1

        I read Mike’s ‘Olyimpics’ statement as an attempt to be a little sarcastic/cheeky. When you say you agree with the rest of his comments, you are agreeing with what I see as a position of wanting us to stay out of their crazy nonsense in Middle East countries. Unless we are directly threatened, we should refrain from getting involved in another act of war. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you, MIke Card, and I can agree on this.

        • Jon

          Well I wish you were Susan Rice

      • 2Gary2

        the Olympics are a retarded waste of time.

        • Jon

          totally agreed but with the rule of the retarded majority what you do about it?

      • Mike_Card

        That’s a really narrow sample. Besides, how did the Olympic team suffer, other than to miss one competition?

        • Jon

          it’s hard not to be popular – wish you had Obama’s job – he’s trying very hard to be.

  • sickofthechit

    The only way to “win” at this is for us to start spending some multiple of our defense spending on effective humanitarian aid around the world. Clean water, adequate food and educational resources are the quickest pathway to a peaceful future. charles a. bowsher

  • nj_v2

    The U.S., and especially OilyDronbama, has zero moral authority to bomb a foreign country unless it poses a direct of imminent threat. The blatant hypocrisy of the U.S., which supplied chemical weapons components and other aid to Iraq now pretending to be outraged about alleged chemical weapons use is astounding.

    Un f’ing believable…

    http://www.commondreams.org/further/2013/08/30-1

    Where’s Damascus?

    [[ A new "game" from Us Vs Th3m shows a world map titled "Where's Damascus?", notes the U.S. is "probably" about to bomb it, and asks viewers to find it. In a day, over 100,000 people tried. A majority guessed within 200 miles, with many more in the general vicinity of the Middle East. Of 65 guesses from within the US Department of Defense, just 57% got it roughly right - statistically worse than many other groups, including the U.K.'s houses of Parliament, which just voted against military action, raising the startlingly cogent argument, among many many others, that if you don't even know where a place is, maybe you shouldn't be considering bombing it. (Disclosure: It took me three tries to get within 58 miles, but I neglected to use the zoom.) Madness. A White House petition to find alternatives, and nationwide rallies planned for Saturday. ]]

    • hennorama

      nj_v2 – that map game was interesting. Without the imaginary lines of international borders, it was interesting to focus solely on geographic features.

      As I had been focusing on Middle East and Syria over the past few days, my score was significantly better than average. A week ago it would have been much lower.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Steve__T

      On that map I got within 70 mi. I actually know where it is but that map kinda threw me off. Still good info and fun.

      Thanks

  • Jon

    Obama is one of the rare guys who has the brain and now he is regret about his red line comment. He expects the congress will set up a stairs and let him step back down.

    • Prairie_W

      Or he’s saying, “The Security Council has done nothing; Congress has been obstructive for years. Can’t force the UN but I can at least put Congress on the spot …”

      Have to admit I’m looking forward to seeing what Congress does.

      In the meantime, the US should be working with Turkey to provide much — much! — more effective aid to Syrian refugees. Coulda. Shoulda.

      • Jon

        The sad fact is that doing the right thing some times looks weak. I totally agree to support the refugees. On a different note, supporting the rebels in anyway can only extend the war and peoples suffering there.

        • Prairie_W

          I think you’re right, Jon. Also, we need to keep in mind that “the rebels” aren’t a single organized politically cohesive group. Far from it. I’d find it impossible to support any political group in Syria and suggest that Obama is in precisely that bind. Dare I suggest that it’s possible to take the same view of political groups in the US in 2013?!

          • Jon

            Right the culture and virtue don’t change unfortunately you sound like among the powerless minority under the power of democracy.

  • HonestDebate1

    Obama should have had a plan when he issued his red line a year ago.

    • 1Brett1

      For once, you and I can agree on something. His tough talk only served to undermine any potential to keep things on a low burner; all he did was turn up the heat/fuel a potential fire, etc. Now, he is fumbling through what looks like a very poorly orchestrated strategy.

      • nj_v2

        DishonestMisDebatorGreggg is one of the broken-clock posters; eventually, almost by chance, he’ll post something that makes sense.

    • Jon

      right. time travel is always a metaphysical option. the safe policy is never meddling with others business. guess mom never taught him well?

    • PithHelmut

      Do you think he could have just said it as an ultimatum while that scenario then be “arranged” in order to go in? If Obama cares about children, what about the ones he has killed with drones in Yemen etc?

    • Don_B1

      As Nancy Pelosi (that should raise your hackles) said, what President Obama said, though incompletely, was that using chemical weapons is a line that was drawn almost 100 years ago and was endorsed by well over 95% of the countries of the world.

      Bashir Assad has played a clever game of slowly crossing new levels of attacking the civilian populace of Syria, going from one level to the next in an attempt to crush the will of Syrians to oppose him, much as Saddam Hussein did in Iraq over his regime. His use of chemicals against the Kurds was highly effective and basically broke the Kurds’ spirit, forcing them to retreat and scatter. That is what Assad is trying to emulate.

      There are many who are saying that Assad can go unpunished with minimum danger for the future use of chemical weapons because Hussein was allowed to also and this is the first use since, some 30 years later.

      But remember that that was still the time of the Cold War and things worked quite differently in those days. Consider Ian Bremmer’s book on a G Zero world (rather than one with leading groups such as the G20, meeting this week, or G8, etc.) where today smaller, more ad hoc groupings of nations will form to deal with specific issues rather than providing an overall direction for all the nations. See:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Bremmer

      as a start. Also, Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large for the Atlantic magazine, has cited this work as being supported by aspects of what is going on today in Syria.

  • Ed75

    The pope has called for a day of prayer and fasting next Sunday. One knows it’s serious when this takes place.

  • stephenreal

    Sarin was discovered in 1938 in Wuppertal-Elberfeld in Nazi Germany by scientists at IG Farben attempting to create stronger pesticides. The compound, which followed the discovery of the nerve agent tabun, was named in honor of its discoverers: Schrader, Ambros, Rüdiger and Van der Linde.

  • stephenreal

    In mid-1939, the formula for the agent was passed to the chemical warfare section of the German Army Weapons Office, which ordered that it be brought into mass production for wartime use. A number of pilot plants were built, and a high-production facility was under construction (but was not finished) by the end of World War II. Estimates for total sarin production by Nazi Germany range from 500 kg to 10 tons.

  • stephenreal

    Nazi gas killing men, women and children is as Nazi as it gets.

  • stephenreal

    Following the Nazi takeover of Germany, IG Farben became involved in numerous war crimes during World War II. Most notoriously, the firm’s pro-Nazi leadership openly and knowingly collaborated with the Nazi government to produce the large quantities of Zyklon B necessary to gas to death millions of Jews and other “undesirables” at various extermination camps during the Holocaust.

  • hennorama

    Happy Labor Day, everyone!

    • stephenreal

      Time and half today at work. yahoo!

      • hennorama

        stephenreal – sorry you have to work on Labor Day, and hope the T x 1.5 is sufficient compensation. Best wishes.

        • stephenreal

          Happy to be part of the team. I enjoy my job. Good people. Thankyou

      • Ray in VT

        That would be nice. I’m salaried, but by working today I can save that time and take another day off later.

        • stephenreal

          Management has it’s own set of problems when it comes to fair compensation. And not all mangers are equal. Our team took a serious hit when the economy tanked.

        • TFRX

          I don’t know what you do or for whom, but somehow I have the feeling you’re destroying my 401k or wasting MahTaxDolarz by the excessivie benefits and salary you’re receiving.

          • Ray in VT

            I consider it to be a calling in life to waste and destroy the earnings and savings of all the true ‘Mericans on this day above all others.

      • nj_v2

        Damn those corrupt unions and commie labor-rights movements!

        • Ray in VT

          If only we had someone working to undo all of those pesky worker rights, then we could get back to the good old days of the 19th century.

    • 1Brett1

      Backatcha!

    • Ray in VT

      “Labor Day”. That sounds commie.

      • stephenreal

        They wanted to call it Lehman Brothers’ Day but they tanked.

        • Ray in VT

          Plus I’m guessing that not many people at Lehman’s actually labored.

      • 1Brett1

        See you at the barbecue collective, comrade!

        • Ray in VT

          Only if everything is soy, vegan and gluten free. Everything else is for the less civilized and evolved.

    • Don_B1

      A quick review of where it came from and its current status is here:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/opinion/krugman-love-for-labor-lost.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

  • stephenreal

    IG Farben sets up a factory just outside Auschwitz, in order to take advantage of slave laborers.

  • Coastghost

    One other reason for Obama to have “a Cameron moment”: since it all has transpired and unfolded on his watch, Obama is himself responsible for the Snowden affair (id est, for giving Russia a working model of much if not most of our NSA). Was Obama’s Administration attentive to intelligence/security contracting and the high levels of contractor staffing being approached, reached, or passed by early 2009? or did Obama’s White House just leave management and staffing of security and intelligence agencies “to the pros”? (questions Obama surely has asked by now: is Snowden a paid Russian agent? has embassy or consular staff been rotated out of Hong Kong this summer?)
    In any event Snowden is all Obama’s. Hitting his “PAUSE” button over Syria and numerous other mismanaged affairs foreign and domestic might be just the thing, and he’s practically issued the invitations to Congress to do just that.

    • stephenreal

      I hardly see the correlation between President Obama and Edward Snowden but I do see the correlation between Nazi gas and Syria.

    • sickofthechit

      We wound up with “contractors” like Snowden because of the gop’s push to privatize as many aspects of government as possible.

      Save us from the privatization of the post office. I sell on ebay and I can’t afford it. I say that because shipping via UPS or fed ex is consistently higher and now that ebay charges fees on our shipping cost (ripoff!) I will be losing even more money. charles a. bowsher

      • margbi

        Absolutely agreed about the Postal service. We need more institutions which proclaim unity instead of dividing us.

      • fun bobby

        the postal service is great for ebayers. gotta love flat rate boxes. we have contractors like snowden because politicians on both sides have used it to create almost infinite pork

  • Coastghost

    The moral steel of Obama’s righteous indignation was self-evident a week ago today, distinctly odd how Obama’s sword melted in its scabbard in the days since . . .

    • hennorama

      Coastghost – the reality of the vote by Britain’s parliament against supporting any U.S. strikes in Syria could not be ignored. Going forward without such a key ally would have been far more politically difficult.

      • stephenreal

        agree

      • Coastghost

        The acoustic effect I detect: Obama broadsided himself with his own ambition: echoes of the collision continue to ring.
        Obama has been US spokesman for violating territorial integrity and ignoring national sovereignty since his Wilson Center speech in Aug 2007: what exactly stayed his hand here? He’s predicting a “limited action”: why would we want or need the UK to hold our hand while conducting a limited strike?

        • hennorama

          Coastghort – TY for your response. Your views have merit.

          Syria is President Obama’s ‘Kobayashi Maru’ conundrum, with no good alternatives in sight.

          Any action(s) taken will be aided by international support in any and all forms. Domestic political support will also help. Additional time will allow the UN inspectors to complete their work, and add to the evidence, which is already strong.

          The upcoming G20 Leaders’ Summit in St. Petersburg will allow for some significant face-to-face discussions, arm twisting, and of course, grandstanding, and will be interesting.

          Thanks again for your response.

          • Ray in VT

            I love seeing a Trek reference.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT – it was just pulled from the zeitgeist, but TY nonetheless.

  • stephenreal

    I read the polls and people are leary of war but should we watch Rwanda part deux?

  • hennorama

    Syria is a mess, with no easy or clear solutions. President Obama called it “someone else’s war.”

    While this conflict started pretty much the same way the other Arab Spring uprisings did, with citizens from all groups taking to the streets in protest against a dictator, it’s now a religious civil war. When was the last time one of those ended overnight, or well? For those who are hoping for a quick resolution, here’s some fuel for insomnia:

    “The fact that religion is central to the roots and prosecution of the war is not a novel social science observation. It indicates that the conflict will likely be longer than expected and the resolution more difficult, based on the scholarship about religious and non-religious civil wars provided by Duffy Toft:

    * Religious civil wars last an average of 105 months. Non-religious civil wars last an average of 81 months.

    * Religious civil wars are twice as likely to recur: 26 percent of the time compared to the 12 percent reoccurrence rate of non-religious wars.

    * Religious civil wars are twice as deadly to noncombatants as civil wars in which religion is peripheral. The former averages 31,000 deaths per year, while the latter averages 14,000.

    “Those working to resolve this conflict will have to consider not only the difficult past and how to rebuild a post-war society, but also the wider implications of the involvement of internal and external groups as well as states that have a religious interest in the future of Syria. The stakes are significantly higher now. This is no longer solely a political power battle; for many, this has now taken on a higher religious meaning. As the international community continues to weigh the costs of various intervention options, it must consider not only today’s concerns, but rather the impact of a protracted, multi-stakeholder, religious-infused conflict that could have far greater and long-reaching costs: human, financial, and systemic.”

    See:
    http://journal.georgetown.edu/2013/06/21/the-religious-component-of-the-syrian-conflict-more-than-perception-by-nicole-bibbins-sedaca/

    (BTW – it’s interesting to read an article from less than three months ago that references “President Morsi.” How quickly things can change.)

    • stephenreal

      I wouldn’t call Iran and Russia’s arms sales and monetary support for religious in anyway so I think the analogy doesn’t work in my opinion. Are their hajis there in Syria? Heck yeah.

      • Guest

        stephenreal – Russia’s motive’s aren’t overtly religious, but it’s impossible to argue that Iran’s support for Assad is not related to religion.

        Syrian regime – Alawite (a Shiite sect)
        Iranian regime – Shiite
        Hezbollah – Shiite

        The majority of the civilian population are Sunni, and most of the opposition groups in Syria are Sunni.

        And don’t forget that al Qaeda is also Sunni.

        Here’s a helpful resource:

        http://www.pewforum.org/2009/10/07/mapping-the-global-muslim-population/

        • stephenreal

          I understand but this is purely realpolitik on their part as maintaining control of territory
          . Yes the Iranians have religious ties but something like 80% of Syria is Sunni. And obviously Russia has the port of Tartus a legacy port from the USSR days.

          • hennorama

            stephereal – TY for your response, and for adding the significant detail of the Russian naval base at Tartus in Syria..

            In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it’s impossible to separate religion from the politics of the theocratic regime.

            And yes, as stated in my post, “something like 80% of Syria is Sunni.” But Assad and his compatriots are from the Alawite minority, a Shiite sect.

            The factor of religion and its involvement in politics is too rarely discussed in the U.S., and certainly the vast majority of Americans seldom take it into account on the rare occasions that they think about international events and politics.

            The religious aspect is ignored at one’s peril.

      • hennorama

        [Repeating an inadvertently deleted post]:

        stephenreal – Russia’s motive’s aren’t overtly religious, but it’s impossible to argue that Iran’s support for Assad is not related to religion.

        Syrian regime – Alawite (a Shiite sect)
        Iranian regime – Shiite
        Hezbollah – Shiite

        The majority of the civilian population are Sunni, and most of the opposition groups in Syria are Sunni.
        And don’t forget that al Qaeda is also Sunni.

        Here’s a helpful resource:

        http://www.pewforum.org/2009/10/07/mapping-the-global-muslim-population/

        • brettearle

          Henn–

          I realize it’s self-serving.

          But I thought you’d get a kick out of my comment to Rick Evans–close to the top of the Thread.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – I did, as it reminded me of my recent Seven Sigma conundrum.

            I especially enjoyed your (5), although it perhaps could have been shortened to “(5) Consider numbers one and two.”

          • brettearle

            Ha. Ha.

            You `ole sun of a gun….

            You always strive to deserve the Last Goddamned Word.

            Just for THAT–get ready for a new Bavarian diatribe being splattered your way–in-the-not-too distant future!

            Please point me to the Seven Sigma conundrum.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – TY for your very kind words.

            As “strive” connotes “strident,” I must object. Rather, I arrive as an English ardent.

            (Please excuse the suffix-free adjective → noun derivation.)

            As to your polite request, see:

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/08/30/week-syria-march-anniversary-fort-hood-sentence#comment-1025330343

            AND

            http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/05/10/week-cleveland-sexual-sanford#comment-896423835

            Finally, you ol’ sonata of a gun – Ich Furz in Ihrer allgemeinen Richtung.

          • brettearle

            HowardFurz

    • brettearle

      Henn–

      Thanks for this. Edifying.

      But, can you, at all, recognize the gas murders–if there is absolute proof–to be a Crime Against Humanity with a Moral Resolve to implement an aggressive counter, that might be, in some way, unconnected to the Civil War?

      To me, the shroud of WWI and the WWII gas chambers must remain as a major, major specter–and, even to some degree, we can include Halabja.

      As I write this, “On Point” is quoting Obama saying pretty much close to the same thing that I am indicating above.

      • brettearle

        I should also add, however, that I oppose the action–UNLESS there is international cooperation by the signatories to the International Treaty banning the use of gas, in warfare.

        • spiral007

          you do know that Syria is NOT a signatory, much like we are not a signatory to ICC; till recently to landmines treaty, cluster bombs etc

          • brettearle

            Yes, I knew that.

            But the support of those who signed the treaty would be enough for me.

      • hennorama

        brettearle – TY for your response, and your kind word. You’re welcome, of course.

        In the OP Week In The News forum, I encouraged people to express their views on Syria to the President, their Senators, and Representative. Someone asked me if I had done so, and what my views were. This was my response:

        “I expressed my support to the President, as well as my preference for waiting for information from the UN inspectors.

        “As to my Senators and my Representative, I also expressed my support of the President, expressed my hope that they put politics completely aside, to follow their conscience, and simply answer this question that President Obama asked (and which the President said was his “… question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community”:

        “What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?”

        See:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-president-obamas-aug-31-statement-on-syria/2013/08/31/3019213c-125d-11e3-b4cb-fd7ce041d814_story_1.html

        “My thoughts on Syria are conflicted, but I ultimately agree that, as the President said “the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets.”

        ==========

        Thanks again for your kind word, and your thoughtful question.

  • allen 2saint

    I think POTUS is a genius. By putting it to Congress, he is taking all those Tea Party amateurs who have been a pain in the ass, spouting all these stupid bullet points just to stir up their bases, and challenging them to do some freakin’ work. Debate with pros on both sides of the aisle, instead of doing stupid things like renouncing your Canadian citizenship as some kind of “statement.” Now we’ll see what they’re made of….which, I predict, is not much when compared to people who have really worked at bipartisan compromise. I wish I could watch every minute with a bowl of popcorn.

    • fun bobby

      yeah war makes such great entertainment

      • allen 2saint

        Typical self righteous liberal to take my comment out of context. Read it again.

        • fun bobby

          he don’t know me vewy well do he?

          • allen 2saint

            Nor does he have any desire to.

          • fun bobby

            Typical self righteous liberal to only care for oneself

          • allen 2saint

            No, I care for a lot of people. But I only respect a few. So far, you’re batting zero in my book by taking shots at me for no reason and by writing in Elmer Fedd speak.

            You took my post out of context and if you’re watching the news, exactly what I predicted is happening. The Republican old timers, whom I have no real love for but at least respect, are showing leadership while the Tea Party children are nowhere to be found. POTUS worked it perfectly. My comment had nothing to do with being entertained by war itself.

          • fun bobby

            if being hawkish is showing leadership than I have had enough of that. why do you liberals always complain that everyone is taking shots at you for no reason?

            anyways that was Bugs’s line which he stole from Red Skelton. for a fuddish line see this article:

            http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/09/02/senator-leahy-syria

          • allen 2saint

            Was your post a show of support? By mischaracterizing what I said? Do you embrace that type of thing when its done to you?

            Sometimes, no matter how we wish to stay out of things, a just country needs to take action. I am not wise or informed enough to know if that time is now, but it is a genius move for POTUS to turn to the same peanut gallery that has delighted in scuttling his every move, including the arms bill, which was cowardice personified not to pass, and actually forcing them to govern…if they can.That is what I applaued.

          • fun bobby

            maybe you should not go around calling innocent people liberals.
            maybe we as a nation should not go around getting involved in others civil wars.
            maybe Obama is a genius
            time will tell

          • allen 2saint

            Maybe you should not purposefully misconstrue people’s posts just to start arguments.

          • fun bobby

            because you called me a liberal. that was uncalled for and beyond the pale.

          • allen 2saint

            Ugh…this is what is known as being dragged down to the lowest common denominator. I commented. You then made a snyde remark, misrepresenting what I said and THEN I called you a liberal. Nice grammar, by the way.

            I start my seond year of grad school today and I will be debating people who have to actually abide by a set of rules, unlike internet trolls. But feel free to embarass yourself some more, right below this comment.

          • fun bobby

            your “seond year”? wow, very impressive. now that you have learned to critique others grammar maybe this year they will teach you to spell.

  • stephenreal

    The US Congress is going to fold like a cheap paper suit. They have no will for war.

  • TFRX

    The right-wing in this country has demanded Obama go through them before doing anything militarily. The President has jujitsued them by doing so.

    Should the PatriotActors stop this, it’s on them.
    The Tea Party sorts may just wake up and realize that, unlike their synaptic response to “Filibuster icewater in Death Valley when Obama proposes it”, they have to do some real governing, and show how out of their depths they are.

    Should Congress vote for military action, the Congress and the right wing are full partners in this.

    I see no political gain to be had by the GOP.

    Better still, this country might actually get a real damn debate about this–a refreshing change from when “bothsides” had “all the intelligence” and I got called a traitor for saying “wait a minute” on Iraq.

    And John (Not Good At His Job) Boehner would like nothing less than having to get all his clowns back in the car for a vote.

    • allen 2saint

      Yup. I think this move was genius. Put those idiots to work.

  • Jon

    I suggest those politicians and on point scholars who vote for war to put on the boots and go to Syria. If they too old or too scared to go then ask their brave children instead?

    • stephenreal

      this all air power and cruise missiles at that.

      • Jon

        OK. tie them on the missiles?

        • stephenreal

          Libya and Kosovo style. Any air campaign needs follow up. Even if the intellectuals are tied to the missiles.

          • Jon

            it’s the intellectuals that lead Americans empire to the grave yard in the middle east

          • Prairie_W

            There’s this great senator back in the ’50′s who would have agreed with that. Lots of committee meetings, victims, finger-pointing, job losses, targeting, name-calling, accusations of treason. Plenty squirming victims, particularly intellectuals…

  • PithHelmut

    If Obama is so concerned about going back on his red line ultimatum, he shouldn’t be. After all he hasn’t closed Guantanamo prison nor has he gotten money out of politics, two of the many promises he has gone back on. Striking the Syrians is unconscionable a disgusting use of our taxes. Where was the diplomacy over the last two years, the building of a coalition against Assad? There is still no proof that Assad released the chemical weapons, it’s looking more like the rebels did it. And we’re going to go in without evidence? We’re going to repeat the debacle in Iraq? I don’t think so. So much for Obama’s compassion. He is nothing but a warmongering wannabe emperor.

    • TFRX

      After all he hasn’t closed Guantanamo prison nor has he gotten money out of politics, two of the many promises he has gone back on.

      Closing a military prison isn’t like closing a TMobile store: You don’t just paper over the windows, pull down the sign, turn off the phone, and change the locks. The GOP has stamped their little feet about doing something with the people held there.

      And the idea that one person can get the money out of politics is almost naive.

      • brettearle

        Well-said.

        The Right Wing Echo Chamber won the Propaganda War on Guantanamo.

        While I certainly agree with you about the inextricability of Money with Politics, I don’t think we can necessarily ignore some of the President’s platitudes on Special Interests and Lobbyists–before he assumed the Presidency.

        I’d have to check on this–but if I’m not mistaken, I believe that he was outspoken on this matter….in terms of doing something about it.

        • TFRX

          before he assumed the Presidency

          That’s saying something we shouldn’t ignore.

          When the postgame analysis is about what candidate Obama wanted to do, and why he didn’t, nobody foresaw the WATBs doing all the tantrum-throwing, sand-in-the-gears bolloxing of basic governance that we’ve been living with since Inauguration Day 2009.

          The “insiders” just propose Obama be more conciliatory in tone and give up more policy points. Hahahaha.

          At some point, it’s all echo chamber asking the Democrat to be the unilateral disarmament president when it comes to financing campaigns and money in politics. Given that, lack of progess is inevitable.

          As I always say: Does Issue X require a bipartisan solution? Then fine! Let’s let have the right-wing give up something first.

          • brettearle

            That, too, is well said.

            [And by the way: Thank you for that new term. I had to look it up in the Urban Dictionary. I'm a wordsmith--I admit it--and I hadn't as yet come across it. Great Acronym.]

            The GOP reminds me of a neighbor I once had–who caused all the trouble and then blamed everybody else.

            Nevertheless, Obama may certainly not have anticipated such DC intractability–before he took office–but he still could have been more measured:

            He certainly knew that he would come up against stern or noticeable opposition.

          • TFRX

            Well, the acronym is not new (at least in the political sense, where a month is a lifetime). But it is useful.

          • george sherwood

            Seriously? The conservatives have been compromising/losing ground to the democrats and their social democracy philosophy since FDR. That form of governance has lead much of the world down the road of financial collapse. Socialism never works because in the words of that great conservative Margaret Thatcher, “sooner or later you run out of other peoples money”! We cannot continue to create ever expanding “entitlements” which have the effect of making it more comfortable not to work than to apply yourself and be self supporting! Standing by for typical liberal rants regarding selfish conservative wingnuts. Bring it on! There is nothing more heartless and degrading to the human condition then to tell individuals …you are not capable of making a living on your own so just sit back and let us “take care of you”! That is truly selfish and self serving.

          • TFRX

            Yawn.

            You lost me at “socialism”. If you wish to be taken seriously to complain about this, walk your talk: Get your parents and grandparents off SocSec and Medicare, undo whatever housing and degrees and such the GI Bill of Rights visited on your family.

            That’s just a very small start.

    • stephenreal

      it’s an air war.

    • brettearle

      Your prism is distorted.

      It looks quite likely that Syria was behind the gas attack–from all indications. If you are saying, in effect, the Media is the conspiracy–about what it’s reporting–then all of your views should come under serious scrutiny.

      Guantanamo was stymied by Congress.

      However, your comment about garnering support against Syria–before this possible crisis now–has merit.

  • stephenreal

    Beirut, Jordan and Turkey are being squeezed by refugees.

  • PithHelmut

    War is not a definite element of the human enterprise (as your guest said). War is a definite element of the male enterprise. Please get that straight.

    • stephenreal

      Women never lead armies in war? Ohh. I could contest that one.

      • Ray in VT

        Boudica also comes to mind.

    • Steve__T

      Ever heard of Joan of Arc?

      • fun bobby

        Catherine the Great?

    • fun bobby

      yes once we finally get rid of men the world will be perfect. brilliant point

  • Ray in VT

    Hold on, the last caller just said that Saddam’s WMDs ended up in Syria? I’ve yet to see any evidence of that.

    • stephenreal

      ray calls malarkey on that one. agree

      • Ray in VT

        Is there some sort of flag that I can throw like a challenge in the NFL?

    • brettearle

      I agree, Ray.

      But you have to admit:
      You can’t exclude it as a possibility.

      Still doesn’t mean, necessarily, that the Iraq War was justified.

      • Ray in VT

        True, however I have seen it alleged on occasion, but I have yet to see any evidence that even leads towards that conclusion.

        • brettearle

          Agreed.

    • J__o__h__n

      Saddam must have moved them there after he attacked us on 9/11.

      • Ray in VT

        It is amazing how many people have and continue to believe that Saddam was either directly or indirectly involved in 9/11.

    • jimino

      It has become an accepted fact in the right-wing universe, repeated recently by my own Congressional Representative.

      Of course, since the USA was involved in providing the chemical weapons in question to Saddam Hussein, we should be able to easily identify them if they are now in Syria. Maybe we can send someone from the US manufacturers and someone who was involved, such as Donald Rumsfeld, to confirm the accuracy of this claim.

      • Ray in VT

        Weird. Which guy said that?

  • Rick Evans

    “His(Obama’s) Muslim Brotherhood”?

    C’mon Tom you and your guests need to hone your listening skills for when birthers, tea-baggers and other kooky callers who spew nonsense. You actually agreed with this clown.

    • ThirdWayForward

      This was my reaction as well.

      Tom, you really need to respond when wacko callers insert their own psychotic projections, such as “Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood”, into their questions.

      You cannot let nonsense like this pass unchallenged.

    • brettearle

      (1) Ashbrook has electronic Producer prompts streaming into his ear.

      (2) He is reading a monitor that informs him of the next callers coming up and what they may be saying.

      (3) He is likely sometimes reading notes that guests, or in-studio personnel, are shoveling before his desk.

      (4) The guy, unfortunately, suffers from CAD. Unstable Angina is not necessarily uncommon.

      (5) He might need to use the Lavatory

      (6) His anxiety level might be higher today–as opposed to other days–thereby reducing his capacity for simultaneous concentration

      (7) He may be mildly resentful that he had to work on Labor Day.

      The guy’s neural Reticular Activating System is turning him into an ADHD monster.

      He’s a great broadcast host and commentator.

      Do you expect him to channel Edward R. Murrow every moment?

      • nj_v2

        Fair points.

    • TFRX

      PublicRadioPolite states that all callers are to be thanked, no matter what they say. Nobody’s ever wrong, or out of line, or lying. Nobody ever gets banned from calling again.

      That’s how Gish Galloping rightwing crap gets spewed on NPR: It only needs to be a meme anointed by Hannity/Rush/Drudge, therefore Politico, and bouncing around inside the Beltway.

      • Rick Evans

        Sorry dude but more than a few times I’ve heard Tom Ashbrook politely challenge “truthers”. Diane Rehm often tabby slaps them and Neal Conan would often challenge once then simply move on with a ‘Sorry but you’re wrong’.

        • TFRX

          That’s not enough.

          More than a few times I’ve heard NPR privilege guests and callers. The “savvy” part of NPR did little beforehand to stop memes like this during their news framing. They get played all the time, and they’ll get played next time.

    • hennorama

      Rick Evans – this was the exchange to which you referred (@~ 42:35 in the audio):

      CALLER (Eugene in Canton, Ohio): Finally he wants to talk to the Republicans, he wants to delegate his red line to the Republicans so he can blame the devastation that will happen because of this, if things go wrong with his Muslim Brotherhood. You know George Bush had the Weapons of Mass Destruction – it looks like they did end up in Syria …(blah blah blah John McCain Sarah Palin blah blah blah) … the Republicans will end up getting the blame with whatever goes wrong with Obama and his Muslim Brotherhood.

      TOM ASHBROOK: Eugene we’ve got it. He’s clearly looking to share responsibility for this decision. On the other hand, Congress has CALLED, including many Republicans, has CALLED for the President to share that responsibility. But point taken. It does spread it around.”

      This was not agreement with the “his Muslim Brotherhood” aspect of the caller’s comment, but rather with the “ Republicans will end up getting the blame” aspect.

      My $0.02: (paraphrasing Sen. Barry Goldwater) “Ignoring the ignorant in the defense of sanity is no vice.” Mr. Ashbrook didn’t challenge the caller’s rambling, spurious and superfluous phrase, as such challenge would lend credence to ignorance.

      • Ray in VT

        So, is the President merely a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, or is he running it? Some minds likely want to know. It’s a good thing that Bachmann, Gohmert and Steve King are likely on the case.

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT – Thanks for your droll reply.

          Caller Eugene said “his Muslim Brotherhood” twice, and not “THE Muslim Brotherhood.”

          We infer the capitalization of “brotherhood” based on the topic. Consider an alternative interpretation. What if Caller Eugene meant only to falsely claim that the President is a Muslim, and/or to also disparage the President’s racial identity (i.e. a “(soul) brother”)?

          On second thought – never mind. Caller Eugene’s motivations warrant no further contemplation.

  • dyazbek

    Very disappointed that you chose to have a war monger like Aaron David Miller as a guest. I find that open-minded guests make for a more informative and stimulating discussion.

  • refwards1

    If Aaron Miller has advised many presidents before, should we consider his track record?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Lotsa luck. The pundits who are always wrong never lose influence. Rummy and Cheney are still treated with respect. Geez, we still hear economic sermons from the ones who led us into the 2008 crash and predicted massive job growth from the Bush tax cuts. Once you’re in, you’re in.

  • nj_v2

    From the Buzzflash Web site referencing an article about Obummer’s announcement…

    “Obama: I’m not really sure what to do about Syria, but I’d like to punch them in the nose, but “i’m not sure I can get away with that politically, so I’m holding off for a bit, not that anything I would do would keep chemical weapons out of the hands of terrorists, in fact creating more death and chaos in Syria will probably make it more likely that chemical weapons will get into the hands of terrorists. And what’s one strike going to do. Do you remember how long it took to ‘degrade’ Gadhaffi? They’ve been going through a civil war for ages. So a bunch of Tomahawk missiles will just add to the bonfire, but you got to do what you got to do. So these are some of my thoughts.

    (Okay, we made it up, even though it’s about accurate for the reality of the situation.)”

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Is syria in Eurasia or Eastasia?

      Don’t you wish we had a strong leader like W who would take control of the situation, costing us >$1 trillion, thousands of American lives, and tens of thousands of iraqi lives? Such a bummer, having this weak prez who hesitates to spill our blood and treasure.

      With Raytheon making cruise missiles MA will get a nice chunk of the economic stimulus. No more cruise missile workers on food stamps. But what about everyone else? With no invasion, KBR (Halliburton) won’t be able to build those expensive schools and hospitals that nobody uses. No fair!

  • Ahmad Alhassan

    Has Obama Chosen Chastity Over The Seductions of Global Power?

    One might answer this question correctly or wrongly, but I believe it is the right question to ask

    http://theoriginalamed.blogspot.com/2013/09/has-obama-chosen-chastity-over.html

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    I realize it will not be a popular position to take, but having looked over the available evidence, I believe Assad’s regime was behind the latest chemical attack, and that we need more than a targeted missile strike to turn the tide of this brutal conflict. I don’t see any point. Either stay out of it or go all in. I’m also war weary, but my reluctant opinion is to go all-in, with troops on the ground only as last option.

    • fun bobby

      for what exactly?

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        It is the only way to remove the Assad regime from power and bring at least some semblance of balance and sanity to the country. And yes, there are strategic reasons for the US and allies to want a more stable and cooperative Syria. It could feasibly kill 2 birds with one stone. The alternative is potentially a prolonged conflict which grows increasingly brutal (this latest chemical attack may pale in comparison to what is to come – given what both sides appear willing to do) and leaves Syria devastated for the next decade or so.

        • fun bobby

          hmmm I can’t figure why that would be a good idea given the fact it has been a miserable expensive failure every time we have toppled a mid east dictator. How will killing Syrians help me? Have you paid attention to recent history? Why would you want al Qaeda to run Syria? is that sane? I would rather they kill each other for a decade than us doing it like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • spiral007

      I have looked at all the publicly available evidence and do not see any evidence that Assad was behind the attacks. There are a number of assertions but NO backup proof. Now, after Iraq, I do not trust the intelligence assertions, I need proof. Sorry,” fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.” Also, there is that little thing about international law!

      • fun bobby

        I thought it was “fool me once, fool me fool me fool me, we can’t get fooled again”

    • fun bobby

      that’s not “going all in” we have a button for that

  • fun bobby

    I bet we already sell them those

  • fun bobby

    “French intelligence”

  • fun bobby

    thus continuing the profit cycle for the MIC. Those educated in madrassas are statistically unlikely to become radicalized

  • fun bobby

    nope if we cant solve it with military spending we cant solve it

  • fun bobby

    logic suggests it. what evidence is there a citizen could independently verify of anything?

  • brettearle

    The more issues that are to be weighed the more it seems to me that a strike, against the Syrian government, is a bad idea:

    –There is not enough international support

    –There will be no UN support

    –The less support, the more dependence on US credibility–

    which has been noticeably damaged, in the eyes of the world,

    because of WMD Intelligence for the Iraq invasion.

    –Russia’s public claim about the Syrian government’s

    culpability is 100% opposite of the US’s claim

    This sets up a policy collision course, which is a dangerous

    precedent for anything that might go wrong in the proposed

    strike against Syria’s command and control centers and

    delivery systems:

    There could be collateral damage that may affect Syrian

    civilians, Russian personnel, Russian civilians, or Russian-
    Syrian civilians

    –There could be a miscalculation by the US of underestimating

    Syria’s resolve to retaliate.

    If Syria retaliates by striking Israel and Israel strikes back with

    full force, it won’t simply be Hezbollah who is “Third Man In”.

    It could be Russia who retaliates and hits Israel.

    If THAT happens, although unlikely, we could be on the brink

    of a regional war; and, less likely, WWIII….but still possible.

    –Report/Interview on PBS’s “News Hour”, this evening,

    suggests that the US Military View sees Russia’s [I repeat,

    Russia's] military capability as weak…even though their ships

    are now moving towards the region.

    –The US has lost significant political capital with Russia

    because of Bosnia and then with Iraq.

    The US strike, even if justified as a retaliatory measure for a

    Crime Against Humanity could literally put Russia over the

    edge–in which case the Russians could decide that “they will

    not let the US act with impunity”–from the Russian point of

    view.

    Only with the nearly full support of the signatories of the

    International Treaty Ban on use of Gas in War Time would I

    support such a decision to strike.

    There are too many risks otherwise.

    • fun bobby

      but how would that help Raytheon?

      • brettearle

        Your one-trick pony-Military-Industrial-complex thinking is anachronistic.

        It IS a factor. But to think it is an overriding factor is a serious misreading of the issue.

        The more you attach yourself to this antediluvian obsession, the more you lose credibility.

        People have to recognize, over and over again, that you feel the need to take up vacant space on the thread, with this vacant belief…. at the detriment to everyone else’s well-being..

        • fun bobby

          what do you think is the “overriding factor” compelling this rush to war is Syria? I have never said the situation is simple.
          you acknowledge money is in fact a factor so why does it upset you to discuss it? we need to always be cognizant of who profits from government policies. with warfare we should be even more vigilant because it not only costs money it kills people.
          the military industrial complex exists currently which you also acknowledge yet then you say it is anachronistic and my thinking antediluvian? do you know what those words mean? tell me more about how my posts are detrimental to your well being

          • brettearle

            I am talking ABOUT your ONE-DIMENSIONAL obsession!

            Eisenhower’s warning and a thirst for Oil are far far far far from all of the issues in the Middle East.

            The ethnic conflict is EXTREMELY complex and intractable.

            When you drive your point HOME you contribute TO THE PROBLEM:

            Your lack of versatility, dimension, flexibility, and vision; and your intransigence and narrow mindedness to funnel ALL of the problems into the hackneyed notion of a M-I complex takes people away from….

            ….LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE PROBLEM SO THAT PEOPLE CAN MAKE MORE RESPONSIBLE CONCLUSIONS.

            If you conceded and admitted that the problems in the Middle East were much more than the Military Industrial Complex, then I would have more respect for your opinions.

            But after a while, your narrow-view obsession becomes tiresome, if not outright annoying….

          • fun bobby

            “Eisenhower’s warning and a thirst for Oil are far far far far from all of the issues in the Middle East.”

            all I can do is laugh when I read that. were you kidding?

            “The ethnic conflict is EXTREMELY complex and intractable”

            yes it is. I don’t know why we keep thinking getting involved with that is a good idea. why do you think?

            “When you drive your point HOME you contribute TO THE PROBLEM:”

            this is funny when you read it if you yell the parts you capitalized. how did you determine what to put in caps?

            “Your lack of versatility, dimension, flexibility, and vision; and your intransigence and narrow mindedness to funnel ALL of the problems into the hackneyed notion of a M-I complex takes people away from….”
            this is all in your head. I often point out the money factor because it is so often ignored or even denied. if my posts are so upsetting to you feel free to ignore or not comment.

          • pete18

            Obama certainly is doing a bad job handling Syria so far but as I asked you in regards to your similar thinking with Bush on 9/11, how in the world would he personally be profiting from this? Seems like there’s more than enough political, moral and strategic rational for him to be considering this. Money is not the world’s only motivation.

          • fun bobby

            what’s the moral rationale? why is this civil war special enough for us to get involved in? the chemical weapons use is a canard at best. we have killed plenty of middle easterners with chemical weapons.
            the political rational makes sense ostensibly because of obama’s red line statement. perhaps he is an idiot who painted himself in the corner with that statement. perhaps. does he seem like an idiot to you?
            Strategically I cant see any good reason to have a face off with Russia. Unless we are restarting the cold war. What strategic advantages would we gain by interfering in the civil war there against the will of the UN and Russia? What strategic advantage would there be should assad’s regime collapse?
            I have never said money is the worlds only motivation. To deny it is important or overlook its influence is completely foolish.

    • Steve__T

      On this chain of thought I would agree. Full support is needed from the UN before any strike takes place.

      • brettearle

        Glad to see somebody else on the thread who often recognizes views that are sensible.

        Appreciate the support.

        Regarding the UN, I was speaking of International Support from those countries who are signatories to the International Ban on Gas in Warfare.

        It’s clear, because of the Russian veto, that the UN Resolution wasn’t going anywhere–as I think you are suggesting.

  • noslack2327

    Rather than part of the solution, Aaron David Miller is part of the problem.

    * Recently on “The Diane Reim” show a caller registered that President Barack Obama’s drones have caused havoc. Mr. Miller’s response was that the drones and our policy “are not perfect.” What a master of understatement. The drones have created more terrorists than they have killed.

    • On his curriculum vitae, he boasts that he has counseled 6 Secretaries of State on Middle East affairs. If his counsel is wise, how is it that we continue to support the apartheid regime in Israel, a regime which is on a land grab on Palestinian Territory, and we continue to support Israeli interests?

    • Israel’s conduct in the Middle East is contrary to United States interests. HAS HE DONE ANYTHING TO POINT THAT OUT AND PROMOTE TRUE U. S. INTERESTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

    Here’s an idea for you Mr. Ashbrook… Broadcast a show in which you present and discuss the error of supporting Israel. You can start by talking about Jonathan Pollard, the U.S.S. Liberty and the tragedy of Rachel Corrie.

    • brettearle

      Ok!….LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

      HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH THE ANTI-ISRAELI VERBAL LOBBY ON THIS THREAD!

      IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE BIAS WOULD BEGIN!

      BRING UP A NEW CLASH IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND WATCH THE IGNORANT BLAME THE JEWISH STATE!

      WATCH! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! WATCH!

      WATCH FOR THE GUTLESS RESPONSE TO THIS COMMENT HERE!

      • noslack2327

        Our support of Israel IS a huge problem. ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE, A WAR CRIMINAL, our “alliance” with Israel is an international embarrassment, and a disservice to the American people

        I suppose you justify Jonathan Pollard, the killing and wounding of our sailors on the U.S.S. Liberty and the killing of Rachel Corrie.

        Those of us who fight the wars and pay the taxes have ISRAEL FATIGUE.

        Here’s an idea for you… move there. After all you probably have birthright, even though the Palestinians have no Right of Return.

        • brettearle

          WHENEVER A CONFLICT ARISES IN THE MIDDLE EAST, JUST WATCH THE POLITICAL BIGOTS COME OUT FROM UNDER THEIR ROCKS!

          JUST WATCH!

          OH YES SIR, MR MALIGNANT-BLAME- GAME!

          GO JOIN A KIBBUTZ

          IT’LL MAKE A MAN OUT-A YA.

          BECAUSE RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE FAR FAR AWAY FROM THAT….

          GO FOR IT, MR. POLITICAL SCAPEGOAT!

          GO FOR IT!

      • noslack2327

        Irgun, Haganah, and the Stern Gang… Three Terrorist Organizations from which the Israeli Polity elected two Prime Ministers.

        • brettearle

          GO FOR IT, MR. POLITICAL BIGOT SCAPEGOAT!

          GO FOR IT!

          • noslack2327

            Ah, yes… the name calling. “Bigot” – how predictable.

            Why is it that anyone who puts the interests of the United States before those of Israel is a “bigot?” Since your first allegiance is to Israel, you really should move there.

          • brettearle

            `POLITICAL BIGOT’….IS……WHAT….I….SAID

            THERE’S A DIFFERENCE

            YOUR RHETORICAL IGNORANCE GOT THE BEST OF YOU, MR. POLITICAL JERK….

          • noslack2327

            More name calling. How pathetic.

            You really should move to Israel.

          • brettearle

            DON’T STOP!.

            LET’S HEAR SOME MORE MANURE!

            MORE!

            PILE IT ON–SO THAT THE FIELDS WILL BECOME FERTILE IN THE LOWER 40!

            HEAR THAT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN?

            ALL THE POLITICAL BIGOT CAN DO IS TALK ABOUT WHAT OTHERS SHOULD DO!

            CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT A POLITICAL BIGOT SHOULD BE TELLING OTHERS WHAT TOOOOOOO DOOOOO……?

          • noslack2327

            Yes… this is what YOU should do. Move to Israel. It is greater priority to you than the United States, isn’t it?

          • brettearle

            OHHHHHH!

            LOOK LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! LOOK!

            THE POLITICAL BIGOT IS ACCUSING HIS POLITICAL ADVERSARY OF DE FACTO TREASON!

            OHHHHH!

            ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?

          • noslack2327

            Evidently the TRUTH hurts. You DO place a greater priority on Israel than you do the United States, don’t you? This matter is really uncomplicated… move to Israel.

          • brettearle

            My priority is with your political bigotry my friend.

            You do not have any idea, whatsoever, what 2 sides of an issue are all about!!!!!!!!

            THOSE WHO OPPOSE ISRAEL ARE AT FAULT!

            AND GUESS WHAT?

            GUESS WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?

            ISRAEL IS ALSO ALSO ALSO ALSO AT FAULT.

            YOUR POLITICAL BIGOTRY IS SICK.

            There are NO SWITZERLANDS IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

            ALMOST ALL, IF NOT ALL, ARE AT FAULT…..OR WERE AT FAULT.

            YOU POLITICAL JERK….

          • noslack2327

            You are offensive, of course, but what should I expect from a person who combines his religion with a political state. You see, we have separation of church and state in the United States. This is a policy non-existent in Israel and among some pro-Israel persons in the United States. Many of those persons place the interests on Israel ahead of those of the United States. You are among that lot and of that ilk, aren’t you? As I wrote, those of us who FIGHT THE WARS are tired of Israel. MOVE OUT OF THE UNITED STATES.

          • brettearle

            YOU’RE A FRIGGIN’ POLITICAL BIGOT, YOU POLITICAL JERK!

            B…..O….T….H

            S….I….D….E…..S

            A…..R……E..

            A….T

            F….A…U….L…..T

            It is YOU YOU YOU YOU who is offensive because

            ALL ALL ALL ALL ALL ALL

            you can see is one

            AND ONLY ONE

            side…

            YOU IDEOLOGUE, OF SICK POLITICAL BIAS

          • noslack2327

            Stop writing, move to Israel, and have a Special Day…

        • brettearle

          I guess your little caper didn’t work out too good, now did it?

          • noslack2327

            * Deir Yassin
            • Irgun, Haganah and the Stern Gang
            • Prime Ministers from two of those Terrorist Organizations
            • Ariel Sharon – the butcher who fomented massacres in Sabra and Shatila – and then was elected Prime Minister
            • The Nakba
            • War Crimes, yes – War Crimes – in Gaza
            • The perfidy of the traitor Jonathan Pollard
            • THE KILLING AND WOUNDING OF U.S. SAILORS ON THE U.S.S. LIBERTY
            • The murder of Rachel Corrie, a witness for peace and justice
            • The on-going land grab of Palestinian Lands
            • State Sponsored Apartheid
            • Unending Development of colonies euphemistically called “settlements”
            • The stupid support of all things Israeli by our Congress

            This is just a partial list of Israeli transgressions.

            Some of us care about stopping injustice – evidently you don’t. Congratulations, and Thank you. Because of your stupidity and intransigence in the face of the truth, I am now especially committed to doing all I can to end our backing of Israel.

          • brettearle

            HERE WE GO AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN WITH THE POLITICAL BIGOTRY…..,LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

            I GUESS THE WEBMASTER WILL JUST HAVE TO WORK HIS MAGIC ONCE AGAIN!

          • noslack2327

            Move to Israel. As i said, you care more about it than the United States, don’t you?

          • brettearle

            OH, WEB MASTER!….

            OH, WEB MASTER!….

            MR. POLITICAL BIGOT IS AT IT IT IT IT IT IT IT IT IT IT IT IT

            A….G…..A…..I…..N!

          • brettearle

            AND THE WEB MASTER KNOWS, YES HE KNOWS, THAT I THINK BOTH SIDES ARE AT FAULT.

            YES, BOTH.

            BUT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT, MR.
            POLITICAL BIGOT.

            NO….SIR…REEEEEEEEEEEEE

    • ExcellentNews

      American support for Israel is based largely on MORAL grounds – the same grounds that mandate our intervention in Syria.
      The fact that Israel itself is not behaving morally, or that the Syrian opposition contains Islamic extremists, does not absolve us from our own principles…

      • noslack2327

        We have NO moral obligation to Israel. Israel is an apartheid state, is on a land grab, and continues to defy international law by staying in the Occupied Territories. Israel lost any moral high ground it had when it committed the massacre at Deir Yassin. The United States people are smeared by our congressional representative continued and unstinting support of all matters Israeli.

  • fun bobby
    • fun bobby

      wow I got a down vote with no explanation? can anyone explain why Obama’s NSA illegally giving illegally obtained information to his DEA to use against American’s illegally has not been covered on NPR?

  • pete18

    2000s anti-war movement really only anti-Bush movement, no surprise here: http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2013/09/02/democrats_deserted_the_anti_war_movement.html

    • John Cedar

      Yup, along the same thought…
      I don’t see Obama gaining politically with this scheme of his. The GOP voters are split on the issue and will not hold it against their guys no matter which way they vote, because it is not a hot button issue. And the Donkey voters are against it, but it is only a hot button issue for them if its a GOP politician voting for it. They will no doubt look the other way for their own guys.

      “I never knew how cool wars could be until Obama started them”
      https://twitter.com/pjhults/status/373222204063748097/photo/1

    • Ray in VT

      That is an interesting, although not surprising, conclusion to draw. The decline in Democratic anti-war presence at protests, which first took a big dip towards the end of 2007, also correlates pretty well declines in U.S. troop casualties in Iraq and the draw down on troops in mid-to late 2008, although I will not discount the role that politics likely played in for some. It’s sort of like how Congressional Republicans pushed for balanced budget amendments throughout the mid to late 1990s but then didn’t utter a peer about such a measure throughout Bush’s two terms.

  • J__o__h__n

    Did that caller seriously suggest Obama consult with Sarah Palin?

    • fun bobby

      clearly Russia is involved in this situation. since she can see it from her house she is a natural choice of consultant

  • Coastghost

    New Obama poli-sci trope: “decisive consultation”.
    Now that it’s been coined, the UN can sponsor international studies of this executive phenomenon . . . .

  • brettearle

    Really?

    Some of what you consider to be Obama’s excuses are justifiable points by the President–regarding the Major Messes that were on on his plate, before he took office.

    The GOP blamed Obama for not getting “things” done.

    Especially the Radical Right, who hijacked the House, staying dysfunctionally loyal to the Norquist pledge.

    The major GOP plan in the Senate, after the 2010 mid-terms, was to see it to it, that Obama would NOT be re-elected.

    How did that one turn out for Mitch?

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 24, 2014
Youths seen playing basketball through bars on a window at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Ethan Allen School in Wales, Wis. (AP file)

The cold hard facts about juvenile prisons. And the case for shutting them all down. Plus: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is with us.

Jul 24, 2014
Orchid (Galileo55/Flickr)

We’ll look at the new science of what plants feel, smell, see – and remember.

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Jul 23, 2014
Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of "Turks and Caicos" hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.  (AP)

From “The Princess Bride” to “My Dinner with Andre “and “A Master Builder,” actor and writer Wallace Shawn joins us.

 
Jul 23, 2014
In this Saturday, July 12, 2014, photo, migrants walk along train tracks and boxcars after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, southern Mexico. (AP)

Crisis at the US border. What do Latinos on this side of the border have to say? We’ll ask our special roundtable.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Where Did Nickel Creek Go?
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

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Our Week In The Web: July 11, 2014
Friday, Jul 11, 2014

As we prepare for a week of rebroadcasts, we reflect on Facebook posts, misplaced comments and the magic of @ mentions. Internet, ASSEMBLE!

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Two Former Senators, One Fix For US Democracy?
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

Former US Senators Tom Daschle and Olympia Snowe joined us today with a few fixes for American political inaction.

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